English and Coleman to contest bid for National Party leadership in Caucus vote next Monday; English's hopes for quick and cohesive leadership change dashed; Coleman wants 'generational change'; English says NZ Super options open

English and Coleman to contest bid for National Party leadership in Caucus vote next Monday; English's hopes for quick and cohesive leadership change dashed; Coleman wants 'generational change'; English says NZ Super options open
Bill English speaking to journalists on Monday.

By Bernard Hickey

Deputy Prime Minister Bill English's hopes for a quick and conflict-free leadership change have been dashed with Health Minister Jonathan Coleman and Police Minister Judith Collins saying they will contest the National Party Caucus vote for the leadership next Monday with a call for 'generational' change.

Coleman emerged from a two hour National Party caucus meeting early this afternoon to say he would be running at a formal vote to be held next Monday. (There's background on Coleman here).

English announced his candidacy shortly afterwards in a news conference in Parliament.

He said he saw the options for reform of New Zealand Superannuation as open and would not repeat Prime Minister John Key's commitment never to change the retirement age or the indexation of New Zealand Superannuation while he was Prime Minister.

English said he had plenty of support from his caucus colleagues and said he respected Coleman's decision to run against him.

Collins later told reporters she would also bid for the leadership, while Social Housing Minister Paula Bennett said she was also keeping her options open.

"We are going to go into the toughest campaign ever that we have fought and I know that we need to win and the only way we can do that is if we have some of the toughest people running it," Collins said.

Transport Minister Simon Bridges ruled himself out of the top job, but said he was open to being a Deputy Prime Minister. Amy Adams is also thought to be keeping her options open.

'Appetite for change'

"I sense an appetite within caucus for a change from the status quo and for a moment of generational change to be seized," Coleman told reporters after the Caucus meeting.

"I would not put my hand out unless there was considerable appetite for a contest of ideas across the caucus," he said.

Today's comments mark the first open signs of conflict within the leadership group of the National Party since John Key won the top job from Don Brash in November 2006. New Zealand faces a week of uncertainty about who will be Prime Minister.

"We have a huge opportunity in NZ, somewhat unique among developed countries of a strong growing economy, government surpluses, a proven confident business sector that is creating jobs - so we have got choices over the next 5 to ten years that most countries don't have," English said today.

"I have been intimately involved in the policies of the John Key led government, I can see fantastic opportunities for stronger economic performance, for spreading the benefits of growth for more New Zealanders and for getting stuck into some of our most intractable social problems - and area where we are just getting started really," he said.

"So I am a candidate for the leadership."

No Deputy PM pick yet

Asked if it was time for regeneration, English said: "Well, yes it is and that is what we are doing, that is what the caucus is going through. That is why the caucus wants to go through a competitive process and regeneration is about ability to deliver in the circumstances from 2017 through to 2025 and we are very well set up for that."

English said he had not thought through who would be his deputy or who would be in his ministry, and he denied that he would be promising ministries to various caucus members to win their support.

Asked if he would run on a ticket, he said: "That is yet to be seen. This is a caucus who had John Key there as a leader for ten years, there has been a great deal of stability and cohesion. I think they want the opportunity to really consider what the alternatives are, because two-thirds of them have never been involved in a leadership change."

Asked how many supporters he had in caucus, he said: "I have had plenty of strong indications of support, but that's a matter that will be refined over the four or five days."

'Unity is everthing'

English said he was not particularly surprised that Coleman had decided to contest the leadership.

"I know Jonathan well. He manages the biggest, hardest public agency in Government and that's the health system. He does that very competently. I have always known he was ambitious, so he is welcome to have a go," he said.

Asked if he was worried it would divide the party, English said: "It can do, we've seen that in the past. But I think there is a strong commitment from the caucus to make sure they have a process to make sure they get the leader they really want at the same time as maintaining the kind of stability and cohesion they have got used to. They understand how effective it is. One the reasons we have been a well-supported government is because it has been such a disciplined caucus and they know that any signs of loss of that discipline are not going to help. Unity is everything."

English re-opens NZ Super debate

Meanwhile, English declined to repeat John Key's commitment to resign if the age of eligibility for New Zealand Superannuation or its indexation to 66% of the average wage.

"There's always options there to change super, but we haven't considered them," he said.

He later declined when ask to repeat Key's commitment to resign if these settings were ever changed.

"No, I won't be making that commitment. But equally we haven't considered any of the options. But in any case that is an issue for the duly elected leader of the National Party and Prime Minister next week."

English hinted in July 2014 that the policy might change with a change of leadership.

"I've got nothing new to say about the pension age. We made a commitment. It's now become a matter of trust, as much as policy. The Prime Minister said he would resign if the age changes. If the age changes and he doesn't resign, no one would trust him ever again, even if they support the policy," English said back in July 2014.

"We're not changing it. A future Government may well do that (increase the retirement age)," he said then.

Kaye back

Auckland Central MP, Nikki Kaye, has also returned to Parliament, having received treatment for breast cancer. 

She announced she would contest Auckland Central in 2017 and would back English for PM.

After Prime Minister John Key's shock resignation yesterday, English told reporters he would consult with his family and caucus members over 24 hours on whether he would bid to become Prime Minister. Key said he would support English if he put his name forward.

English had said he would prefer the caucus coalesced around a single candidate quickly and avoided a divisive contest at next Monday's caucus meeting set to decide the leadership.

Police and Corrections Minister Judith Collins, Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce and Social Housing Minister Paula Bennett had all said they had not ruled out bidding for the leadership and indicated they would be happy to see a contest.

Key left the meeting around 11.15am to allow the caucus to discuss the leadership issue and selection process without him in the room. He told reporters it was up to caucus to decide whether the leadership was contested when asked if he was unhappy that English was not immediately being selected.

The National caucus meeting continued beyond midday and eventually broke up around 12.30 pm.

(Updated with Collins joining the contest, and Bridges ruling himself.)

We welcome your help to improve our coverage of this issue. Any examples or experiences to relate? Any links to other news, data or research to shed more light on this? Any insight or views on what might happen next or what should happen next? Any errors to correct?

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21
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Key gives new meaning to the old saying, when the going gets tough the tough get going.

Spoonley praised him as a great cheer leader for immigration and as having not allowed the sort of devisive debate that occurred elsewhere.
http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/ninetonoon

RNZ your propaganda station.

I have been very disappointed at the coverage of Key's resignation by RNZ. They have been so concious to not be seen as critical of John Key that they haven't actually done their jobs in critiquing him and his time as our prime minister. Its been an unforunate trend of late.

I don't really agree.
There was an interview with Don Brash on RNZ this morning and Brash was very critical of Key

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Yes I think Brash has summed up Key the best so far. He excelled with his popular persona but did little in terms of fundamental change. He achieved little that any other PM would not have. His popularity has distorted the public's view IMO.

12
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... exactly right ... his extreme popularity was an asset to be used , if he chose to , to fix some of the big issues facing NZ ...

Instead , he sat on his hands , and coasted along .... no bigger vision , no ability to roll up his sleeves and get into the hard work ... the silly sod can't even hammer in a nail !

... I do wish they'd put Paula Bennett in as leader ... I know they won't ... but she's a busy , no fuss lass ... a good honest grafter .... someone with a feel for the people of this great land , girt-by-sea ...

We have entered into an age of Alpha Males. Godlike, manly men, not afraid to ride a horse bare chested, annex a peninsula or take a dodgy phone call. Hillary has been defeated. The Republicans in France have put up the manly looking Francois Fillon to counter Marine Le Pen - a clever move that will ensure they win decisively.
Don't shoot the messenger - just reporting the facts here.

10
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... wake me up then , when we enter the age of the big busty dominatrix ...

Ahhhh .... Mzzzz Paula ... B still , my beating heart !

Be careful what you wish for, you might get the Crusher!

Oh..the Bare necessities, the Bear necessities...Gordon Bennet ....whatever next...Gummy.

Wipe that grin off yer face....ye lascivious man...Paula is not right for the top job, just yet.

No ta. ....She may be right up your street, but I think we need a Doctor in the House, who does HOUSE CALLS....

Wake me up, when we have a Leader who leads us not into temptation, doesn't beat about the bush, does not prevaricate, wave and smile, just gets the job done....

A real Prime Example, not a sub-prime exponent. A real do-gooder, not a dominant personality disorder, just someone who achieves and never flags.

We need action....on Houses, and not the type Gummy distractedly dreams about. ...where to rest his weary head.

When Houses, become homes again, instead of cash coffers, then maybe ..Paula can take over after fulfilling her "Current Position"...

Marry that, with those with a sweet tooth....Gummy....and we may succeed.

Hey GBH: Just think of Annette King and you poor old ticker will settle down....

... Angela Merkel has a similiar anti-stimulatory effect on the human male libido ...

To avoid unwanted pregnancies you and your partner should keep an emergency framed photo of either lady near to where you intend laying down to sow some seed ...

I just puked in my mouth a bit.

This entire thread is making me nauseous.

Have you thought about returning home?

What an odd question. What would motivate you to say that. How bizarre.

Your visceral reaction to our discussion just made me think you might be more comfortable living under the politically correct totalitarianism of the UK.

Why so weird and passive aggressive Zach? It's so odd. I have been reading the comments section of interest.co.nz for a few years (before ever commenting) and you really do stand out. You attack people personally and seem like such an obsessive and bitter person. So much drama.

Your comments have zero to do with you being an NZ-er. I have met veritable fuck tonnes of racist, sexist, xenophobic Brits. As I have indeed met them all over the world. Bigotry is not unique to NZ and in fact, NZ-ers in my experience tend to be a rather nice and tolerant bunch. And rather chilled. You really stand out with your constant drama and need to vent bile.

But whatever floats your boat dude. You won't silence me with your ranting. But i find it charming that you try so very hard. What a curious chap you are.

Honestly, I would have just said, "yes thank you for asking I was thinking of eventually retiring to Royal Tunbridge Wells".

This fantasy should really have stayed in your head.

Well Putin and Trump are enormously popular worldwide. Francois Fillon looks like he will steal the French Presidency from Le Pen. I see Fillon is married with five children and drives race cars at Le Mans for a hobby.

Every chap's entitled to his own homoerotic musings on shirtless Putin's manly sweat-glistening pecs, but inflicting it on the innocent is a tad ill-mannered.

Come on man, it's the current year! These things are celebrated now.

Brashes summary showed the Key did a great job as Prime Minister and leader of the National party and leader of New Zealand for the last 8 years what do you want a robot. You cannot please everyone.
Disappointed that the media again focused on Superannuation . They know it spells political doom for any party that make changes. Politician just wont be able to leave any scheme alone.

You're right about Brash, he wqs spot on in his assessment of Key. I was more meaning the RNZ interviewers such as Kathryn Ryan etc.

Will it all end in tears or tears
;o)

Yes, the hesitation yesterday. And today.

I see no drawbacks to handing each contestant a switchblade and making this a literal knife-fight. Televised. I'd watch the hell out of it.

maybe they should fight for it , english has experience
http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x2qqoqs

Lets be honest, it would rate very well. My bet would be on Judith `bonecrusher` Collins.

PC wise she just might be what this country could do with. No frills take it or leave it. A wounded Lion is a dangerous beast. An elephant never forgets how it was treated.

Probably more like this.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q6qDnlAbxUw

Coleman strikes me as someone who wouldn't hesitate to use fingernails in a slapfight.

Who is Colman ?

... he cuts no mustard with the electorate ... but , behind the scenes , he's hot stuff ...

will light up the political scene like a very bright lamp

For him, the mantle of power - Garrrrh!!

... very punny ... can't hold a candle to that , watt !

Hes the Northcote MP that does not support skypath landing in Northcote. Cyclists should be in someone elses backyard, they detract from the ambience of the motorway.

Touch Super, and you are toast. English is playing with fire ?

I can't see that if he only very gradually raises the age when a person gets super as was recommended by the retirement commission. But if they alter how it is assessed then I agree, they will be toast. As was Shipley when she tried to do it in the 90's. If I remember rightly she tried to tie it to the CPI and was roundly condemned by Grey Power who not only are a clever lot but a very very powerful group.

18
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Key was a canny bugger ... he knew that the superannuation bloc were growing in number every year ... he understood not to touch it for fear of an electoral backlash ...

... he was a survivalist ... a populist ... not a doer , not a visionary .... as he himself shouted at Labour's little leader " Get Some Guts " ... pity he didn't take his own advice ...

I'm a middle NZ boomer and notice the attitude of my contemporaries on age of entitlement, is softening slightly. Linkage with CPI and the envy tax approach are still verboten territory. Maxwell and others are doing a good job of keeping the issue live. Super is a still very contentious issue but an increasing number of grey hairs will privately acknowledge there needs to be change.

So the Bboomers will consider a change on the age of entitlement after they've got across the line?
How convenient...

Boomers softening on super once they're safely across 65.

Typically selfish to the last.

Casual social observation only, guys, no call to get excited.
Get back to working so you can pay off your student loans, now.

... speak for yourself !

I reckon the 65 age of retirement stuff is truly bizarre ... it was established by mad Otto Von Bismark in the 1800's ... when few people survived beyond 55 ..

... to this day our government holds true to the dreams of a handle-bar moustachiod ancient sour kraut ...

Strange , but true ...

Ha, I had you as an already confirmed card carrying winston aggregate and here you are implying you is a spring chook only ! Reckon you is taking the piss.

Bismarcks welfare dreams were directed at achieving political control, not Savage style altruism borne out of social justice. The present concept and intentions are light years away from those of that expansionist warmonger.

Yes, how dare Bismarck seek to secure the support of the working classes. Luckily we have none of that malarkey nowadays.

Decades of middle class welfare have driven the working class gradually towards extinction. Robotics will finish off another lot. Bismarck would probably be pitching to the middle class now, offering a radical superannuation scheme with universal non means tested entitlement at age 65. Horrifying thought eh.

@ openplanresolution. The problem with oldie bashing is that some what later there you will be. Or - you have kicked the bucket.. Your choice.

Won't be any pensions or healthcare for me when I'm 65, or effective antibiotics for that matter.
Therefore, I'm pretty comfortable that I'll either be grotesquely self reliant or dead much earlier than today's heady life expectancies.

Either way, I predict a minimum of resentment.

P.S. It's Open Pension Resolution. Like Open Bank Resolution but for the public pension. Coming soon.

One thing is for sure, if you just meekly accept such then such it will be

Yes, but just increasing the age of eligibility or linking it to some index wont cut it. Political suicide.

Look at Kiwisaver, only a shadow of its intended model.

I agree Patricia.
To bring some real perspective and life experience on the subject, I've managed and run a number of small, medium and large enterprises in NZ and overseas. To draw a line at say 65 being retirement age is just down right stupid! How do you compare an office worker to a construction worker whose body after 35 years of physical toil are 'stuffed' by the time they are 55 or 60 .They may not be able to up skill, do not have the literacy or capacity to change career-I personally have worked with many of these loyal employees.Simply saying we need to raise the retirement age just tells me we have too many people whom have not considered this issue very seriously at all.

Unless either side can get young people to vote in numbers. I have a feeling this is going to be a key election issue, and key's rubbishing of the treasury forecast may come back to haunt the national party.

English wont make changes to Super. With Winnie waiting to scoop up the greedy old vote National has to pick its battles. Something the other politicians failed to understand hence been stuck in opposition for 3 (soon to be 4) terms.

I asked a JK disciple this morning what his legacy will be, most people get to leave parliament having left something to remember them by but JK ?
Muldoon thing big, Douglas GST, HC WFF, Cullen superfund and kiwisaver, WP gold card, anderton Kiwibank,, bolger treaty settlements ETC ETC

National cycleway.

Did that actually get built, or was it just a vague suggestion?

Maybe only bits of it got built

http://nzcycletrail.com/

Failed flag

Think of the Big Kauri, not the pig fern, Flag issue was only a distraction and the neh sayers fell for it.

On the plus side Key's legacy includes stability, moderate economic success.
But his success was in 'the present'. He really did very little indeed for the country's future.
It's a funny mix, in my opinion, of success and failure (fundamentally more failure in my view)

The reality is that Key has been very good for 'middle NZ' aged over 45, as well as the wealthy. That has been the basis of his success. But he has failed much of the balance of our population.

And here was silly old me thinking that surpluses created by prudent management, were about the future.

10
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Which surpluses are you talking about exactly? And how many of what size will be required till the extra debt built up under this government has been repaid?

How much extra per year will the surplus need to be to make up for the loss of income from selling the 49% of the energy companies. I heard the break even date is 2019 for the energy sales, after that the decision to sell is a net loss every year ongoing... Are we still on the cusp of something special?

Look over the fence at the joneses on the other side of the world: last time I did our crown debt as a ratio to GDP was significantly lower than theirs. A rather clever trick given the global turmoil of the last 8 years.

The energy company partial sell off story is not yet ready to be written but clearly they are becoming much more competitive as a result. Can you imagine getting a phone every other night, urging you to switch, under the lumbering state owned model we previously had?

this government increased Gst and tobacco taxes . The debt in NZ is in the private sector.

Yup, sure is. It's time this free country nonsense where people are able to borrow overseas to fund whatever they want, is knocked on the head. Bring back the system when new cars were only for those with overseas funds, I say.
The extra tobacco taxes are a real killer eh. If it carries on that way smoking will be a terminal decline activity.

My family had overseas funds in the sixties and we bought a new Holden station-wagon every year and sold it for more than we paid for it. Good times. True story.

Just like Auckland housing today, eh? - borrow overseas funded money through your bank for a house and every year it keeps going up in value.

Where it should be, not on every taxpayers shoulders

I think you might be wrong about that. Forgive me, I am not an economist, but it would appear that the default of private debt may well be on the taxpayers shoulders -

"So the story of the Government wholesale funding guarantee is a story of New Zealand taxpayers being asked to pick up the funding risks of foreign-controlled private businesses"

and

"The effect of the wholesale guarantee is that when the banks go off to New York or London to sell taxpayer guaranteed commercial paper to overseas investors, they are no longer selling private IOUs. They are selling New Zealand government debt in disguise"

Thus it would seem that championing how low govt debt is is somewhat misleading, as the govt has effectivley guaranteed private borrowing as well. or have I misundrestood?

http://www.converge.org.nz/watchdog/20/04.htm

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The myth of JK's financial savvy; spare me. What has happened to debt over his tenure? The whole country is more in hock now than when he was the opposition leader,; more dynamic was his term .....I guess we are running faster to stand still huh?
He sold (monopoly) power companies returning plenty to repay debt in an era of historically low interest rates. We've been sold down the river...whats left of them!

Implicit in your criticism of crown debt levels is that Key should have screwed back spending post GFC. That,
offcut, would have visited a great deal of hardship on the peoples of our great little country.

My guess is the hardship hasn't been avoided, just delayed. As with many from the financial industry, his skill is in privatising the profits and socialising/delaying the losses.

If electing a merchant banker was the answer to the GFC then we asked the wrong question. A quick look around the world will find that our current financial structures are well past their use-by-date and we are running on hopium; spare me another 'the Fed is going to raise rates' headline.

The need to keep digging(borrowing) was in part due to the activities of the industry he came from. Post GFC we should have been questioning the free market neo-conservatism; cheap flat screen TV's doesn't come close to the social costs we are incurring following the free market mantra. We can't compete against the environmental vandalism of other countries cheap products, nor should we. Free-trade is a free-fall.
Again I think JK's 'for sale' sign in front of NZ has delayed, not derailed the freight train heading our way.
Pitchforks anyone?

Agree 100 - the train is coming

but did he not say the proceeds would be used to pay for more assets so we would be better off in the long run, and instead what did they do with the proceeds .
and this from someone who benefits from the sales,
hey if some daft bugger is going to sell his family silver below what they are worth so he can have a piss up I'm in on that like fleas on a dog

Yeah, I'm still waiting to find out what use the proceeds of the sales were used for

I recall that being said too. A pity our media in NZ don't pull them up on that, shows how weak our media is these days, being more interested in clickbait stories. Also shows how weak the opposition is by not pulling them up on it. What has been left to show for the money? I guess they may say it went to pay for the earthquakes.

I think what they have done made economic sense. They had to increase debt to keep the country a float economically. Floating the utilities on the financial markets made best use of the counties assets.

if I remember right, they gave me a tax cut in the middle of the GFC (lowered government revenue )
I have never heard of that in business when you hit a slowing or bad economy most business cut costs, reduce staff, defer capital improvements tighten the purse,
that is why the debt blew out, then to counter that they put TAXs up (GST)
there was no need to sell if they had no mismanaged the books at the start. They could have rolled back WFF and accom supplements, saved billions there

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“If you just set out to be liked, you will be prepared to compromise on anything at anytime, and would achieve nothing. ”― Margaret Thatcher

read this excellent summary
http://pc.blogspot.co.uk/2016/12/a-can-kicking-pm.html

Aware back in 2007 that housing was already severely unaffordable, he articulated then an unbelievable solution to fix it. Which might have. Yet he never did any of it it, not one jot. Instead he left the the bubble to inflate, creating serious imbalances, rampant consumption of capital, and leaving a generation locked out of home ownership.

Taking office in 2008 government debt was just over $10 billion. In eight years he has taken it six times higher – with no plans in place for it to retreat.

When he took office the wage gap with Australia made us the poorest ‘Australasian state,’ with the average NZ wage around one-third less than the average Ocker. He made that one of his main tasks. His top job. Eight years later, after refusing to do anything to lift NZ productivity (and refusing to even listen to proposals that might), that wage gap remains the same, and the average Tasmanian still earns more than we do.

This is a man who resolutely refused to make hard decisions. Who elected to promise much, and deliver little.

And deliver Little he will.

Pretty much nails it for me - I voted for him (more than once) to make a change...and he did nothing but keep the status quo and stay "popular"...anything that may have upset some part of the electorate simply became a "too hard basket" job. So a can kicker he is.....

It still amazes me how many cheerleaders there are for him, my peers included - yet when you ask them to specifically tell you why he's been "so great" they cant list the achievements... its either "well Labour would have screwed it up" or "he's a real kiwi bloke.."

Seems critical thinking is not a strong point of the average NZ'er.... and the MSM are just dreadful which doesn't help...

In essence for me I had great hopes and he turned out to be nothing more than a "politician" - which is not a compliment.

Zero vision - zero action

Bill English even said that having lower wages than Australia works in our favour.
That comment showed their true neolib colours.

He should personally take a salary cut, expenses cut, then, when and if Prime Minister ensure that all MPs take the same.

I do believe our MPs etc are overpaid, per head of Capita...when compared to even an Aussie bludger.

The sale of the state house that JK got his start in is actually very symbolic; job done you might say!

Wow! What a turn of events, no one saw that coming.

I don't think English is the answer, Key just gave him a massive hospital pass. Ive watched some of the coverage and he appears like a possum in the headlights and with the current trend towards presidential type election campaigns that's terminal. The prospect of English v Little would make even a political junkie like me turn to the drink.

Coleman is just positioning himself for next time so if they want to convey a sense of renewal and policy shift then Collins is their best hope. The next tier would be better to keep their powder dry to the next cycle.

Whats this day + 1 and a fine mess we have.
Very poor stock work.

Collins would be a hell of a risky choice. Too many skeletons waiting to fall out of her cupboards, and lots of dirty dealing that hasn't been addressed. Nats tried to give the impression that she'd been investigated and exonerated on the corruption allegations, but that was sleight-of-hand. Stage-managed clearing her on one minor thing, and pretended that applied to all the other allegations. They covered it up, and the dirt's still there to be used against her.

Then again, Key got away with a lot in the media so she might get a hall pass too.

Bill English is hardly a safe bet with his history of leading National to a dismal 21% party vote failure in 2002. And people go on about David Cunliffe being terrible leader with his 27% in 2014, Bill would have dreamed of having that support base...

Word on the street is that the only reason she's still there is that she had dirt on Key, and used that leverage. But dirt on Key just lost a lot of its value.

Bill English would be a fool to take it.
But if he can't learn from history, who am I to set him right.
None so blind....etc.

Yes
Bill is setting himself up to go out as a two-time-loser
Bryce Edwards in Stuff today calls Key's departure a "hospital pass"
Sure is

The noise of Bill's supporters support is remarkable.
Can't hear a thing.

Not so sure, no one wants Andrew Little, Labour and the Greens even more IMHO.

Whinee P must be grinning ear to ear right now.

Simon Bridges will be a better pick to lead the nation! Youngster is the need of the hour.

NO

Any particular reason why not?
He looks quite presentable and sounds very Kiwi:

Simon Bridges

[ unfortunately, that is a personal insult, so not permitted. Ed ]

You don't have to get that close to get an inkling of that

Funny how selective the personal insults editing is on this site

There are very sensitive people who read and comment on this site. However I am intrigued as to what the problem is with Simon Bridges. Why can't we have a rational discussion about this?

I found his attitude did not align with my beliefs, so not a problem, just not for me!

He comes across as as thick as two short planks. National now has a huge problem, no one I can see has JK's personal charisma. National's saving grace is probably Andrew Little....

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I can't imagine anyone actually wanting to win the next election. JK has set the country up for a bigger financial disaster than Muldoons think big.
We now owe lots of Billions but the real problem is that our only succesful export has been selling off our low population statistic and we now have a huge deficit of infrastructure that needs to be built and paid for to support our enlarged population in the manor we are used to.
National stated only a couple of weeks ago that we need over 100 billion $ spent on infrastructure over the next 10 years to support the growth of our population.
If we had a million taxpayers 100 billion dollars would be $100,000 each tax payer.
That is on top of our normal tax obligations.
Somehow JK's culpability has been totally ignored by the media and he is hailed as a hero. The next government will take the blame and the next prime minister will be vilified as the scapegoat.
Meanwhile JK sails off into history an untarnished hero of the nation.

Yeah its sad to hear the media promote the idea that his successor now has to decide how to spend the mouthwatering huge surpluses ... clueless.
From here
- the world economy will hits big problems through 17/18 .. .. Europe, China, Sth America .. a rush to US$ leaving US as the last bankrupt standing ... near collapse by early 20's.
- Fed rates will not rise, or will rise and immediately come back down;
- commodity prices to tank
- NZ will go on a massive public works infrastructure program, govt debt to blow out

How much would those mouth-watering surpluses be if National had maintained contributions to the Super Fund, and do the surpluses include the cash proceeds of the sale of the power companies?

Um no. It has something to do with drawers and a lack of sharp knives within

I see John Key is on the home page of Wikipedia as top news:

John Key Wikipedia Homepage

I think we can lay to rest the notion that this is not important world news!

Why the obsession with him being world news? Smile and wave leader who left everything to "market forces", who now will go and play golf with Obama and soon be forgotten.
Who cares...more import to focus on who replaces him.

Just a carry-on from the BBC coverage of the other day. Quite a bit of discussion about how relevant to the world it was.
The real question is, why did you feel a need to reply to my comment which was largely informative?

I think Zach may be Mike Hosking in disguise... :D

https://www.facebook.com/RadioHauraki/videos/1459223280759335/

I think Zach may have very little other pleasure in life, than attempting to troll people in comments sections.

Zachery is definitely not Mike Hosking in disguise. Unlike Mike Hosking, Zachery impresses with his intelligence and wit.

So, which of our parliamentary cannon-fodder is going to have to throw themselves on the grenade regarding the true horrific extent of the corrupt and fraudulent foreign students racket? Joyce bloody well ought to, after all his wilful blindness and attempts to defend the indefensible.

Just read on NZ Herald, SB is bidding for the Deputy PM role! Great stepping stone before the top job. Good on him and good for the country.

Seriously? The guy calls a press conference to announce he wants to become deputy for BE but there is no arrangement with BE. A teeny bit OTT I would have thought.

He's trying to trump Paula.

3 News has reported that Bill English has got this sewn up with 45 or so MPs and the real fight will be for Deputy PM between Paula and Simon.

http://www.newshub.co.nz/politics/bill-english-has-the-votes-to-become-p...

I'm not a Collins fan, but just saw that she sees it being more important to invest in infrastructure rather than cut taxes. That is one big improvement over 'Mr Polls' John Key.

from what she said this morning, no tax cuts, increase spending on police health and education, get alongside NZ first, build more housing, in other words sited all the things nats have let slide and said we need to do better
she would get my vote, her time will come just needs to wait for the polls to drop
"We've got enough poverty without making our elderly poor."
http://www.newshub.co.nz/politics/judith-collins-super-stays-at-65-will-...

A pleasant surprise.
Just shows how poor Key has been, despite his popularity...
A man obsessed with popularity over what is best for the nation.

No tinkering with Super, spend on infrastructure, declared South Auckland is her constituency and they don't want to sit in cars for 2 hours each way to work, expand the base and connect with more, even the opposition...Collins is looking likeable. Why not take a chance on her and give her the PMship ?