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Peter Dunne sees opportunities for National in the regional and environment areas and warns against them lapsing into 'Opposition for the sake of it - as looks to be the case at present'

Peter Dunne sees opportunities for National in the regional and environment areas and warns against them lapsing into 'Opposition for the sake of it - as looks to be the case at present'

By Peter Dunne*

The National Party has been looking increasingly awkward in recent weeks while the Labour-led Government has been rolling out major policy announcements.

Its criticisms seem to oscillate between attacking the proposals themselves, but then saying that they are either really a reiteration of National policies already underway, or things it was planning to do anyway.

While there is some evidence these claims are valid (which, after all, should not be surprising, given that National has just finished nine years in office) the consequence is that they leave National's current criticisms looking a little hamstrung, and the Opposition appearing somewhat kneejerk in its response. None of which inspires confidence at this early stage in National's ability to lead a government in 2020, or whenever the next election occurs.

Of, course it is not quite as simple as that and it would be foolishly premature to start making election predictions at this early stage when there are yet almost two and a half years to run before the next scheduled election. (The last election alone showed that predictions made just six weeks before election day can be blown away by changing circumstances!)

Nevertheless, the suspicion is strong that Labour will not be too unhappy at National's present approach. After all, it is getting to implement its policies, and the lament "we were already doing that, or were planning to do it anyway" is neither telling nor withering. It might have more impact if it were being pointed out by the media, as would be appropriate, but, overall, most of the media is still too much in the Prime Minister's thrall for that to be happening yet.

So the challenge for National is to work out what to do.

On the positive side is the polling position - still heavily in National's favour.

Following the general assumption that Governments lose support from the day they take office, it is likely that Labour will never be more popular than it is today - several percentage points behind National.

While a good morale booster for National, there is still the daunting reality that National lacks reliable support partners, and that New Zealand First and the Greens are keeping Labour's head just above the water at this stage, and could do so again after 2020, even if Labour falls.

That probably means National's best shot at governing, in the absence of a new partner emerging, will be as a single party majority Government, something that has not happened thus far under MMP.

In turn, that means ensuring that neither New Zealand First nor the Greens make it to the next Parliament, which also means alienating any potential support from those parties in the meantime.

All this is a very tall order, and will not become even a possibility, given the way National is operating presently. So, what to do?

Well, under this scenario, the flagship policies of the support partners become the real targets, and the day-to-day policies of the Labour Party less important.

As befits its historic rural and provincial base, National needs to reclaim its brand as the party of the regions.

That will require a full-frontal attack on New Zealand First and the Provincial Growth Fund, not so much the Fund itself, because the idea of a dedicated Provincial Growth Fund is popular in rural and provincial quarters, but more because of the cavalier, overbearing, overly partisan, pork-barrelling way it is being driven by Minister Shane Jones. There is already plenty of scope there, with Minister Jones' enormous, cocky self-belief certainly likely to add to that dramatically before the term is out!

The second area of opportunity for National is environmental policy.

There is a strong blue-green element in National, predominantly urban and young, and there are many opportunities for National to appear as the responsible Greens in this regard. However, for some of its MPs, a tectonic plate like shift in attitude will be required.

For example, for many urban voters, in Auckland particularly, the promise of light rail as one of our transport solutions has appeal. Dismissing it the way some National MPs seem routinely to do as just "trams" simply brands them as backward looking and ignorant. But, with the Prime Minister seemingly bent on yielding to all of the Greens' environmental wish lists, even at the expense of some of her own key policies like cutting the cost of a visit to the doctor by $10, the likelihood of the Government going too far, too fast is high, further enhancing the opportunity for a more considered blue-green approach from National.

To be successful, National needs to become a nimble and strategic Opposition, spelling out a clear alternative message to voters.

Although change will not happen overnight, it will not happen at all if it lapses into Opposition for the sake of it, as looks the case at present.

*Peter Dunne is the former leader of UnitedFuture, an ex-Labour Party MP, and a former cabinet minister. This article first ran here and is used with permission.

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National would be better to start working in a more seriously cross-party, non partisan way, in public, and select committee on Health, Education, Housing and Environment. Child poverty is looking good for cross party accord - good on Bridges if it does happen...

If you can't beat them, copy them. The mood of the nation is for cross party action and consensus, given the magnitude of our challenges.

Just lets be clear about this

Most Kiwis couldn't give a Monkey's Uncle about cross party consensus with these TAX AND SPEND LUNATICS , who spend your and my hard earned money with a lot less care than we do ourselves .

And watch this space as we are faced with Tax Increases in the budget and even running a budget deficit on the current account .

Cross party consensus in New Zealand would be like Turkeys voting in favour of a second Christmas .

We need a vigorous opposition to defend us from this spendthrift enemy within

National single-handedly won more constituencies than everyone else combined , the vast majority of Kiwis voted for National , and are not wanting to be shaken down , or conned by the likes of Grant Robertson.

It was this "Party Vote ' nonsense that has given the minority effective control over our future .

So the Government we have is made up of the losers , a ragtag bunch of sensible and well balanced personalities with a chip on both shoulders , who seem to think if you have successfully fought your way up into the middle class , you should be brought back down into poverty and become dependent on, and nannied by, the State .

Its 1970's socialist planning of the worst order , and to reinforce my views , I just look at the level of Industrial action and poor -labour relations since January this year .

Teacher Unions have ensured the closure of Partnership Schools ............why ?

Teacher Unions have demanded the removal of Standards measurement and replaced it with nothing ..........why?

Transport Unions are making outrageous demands , when they already earn good money .

And its pointless saying things like " you get what you voted for " when most of us did not vote for this crap

So much rant, so little sense.

Most kiwis couldn't give a monkey's uncle? How do you know? Did you ask us all? I must've missed the phone call.

Cross party consensus - imagine that, the people in the beehive working together for the betterment of the country. Wouldn't that be horrifying.

Winning more constituencies - so what. More does not equal majority. Those are the rules. If the roles were reversed would you be still be upset?

Government made up of losers - don't think that really requires any response does it.

Teachers unions, transport unions - did they never exist under national? I don't recall seeing many teachers or transport workers driving around in BWMs and Merc's while living it up in their North Shore mansions. Pretty sure teachers and transport workers deserve more than what they get. Have you ever been a teacher?


Yeah, nah. This is politics not some hippy love in. The COL can give it their best shot while we run interference, then we’ll get in, blame them for everything and reverse their policies. That’s the way it works. Mike Moore showed the way when he lost the election all of those years back.

National votaries going full Tea Party.

Just one. Me. The first rule of politics is never limit your future policy options. There is no point in some collective hug. The COL is (unfortunately) the government. They have the power. Get it done, be judged on it and know that it’s all but certain that parts of your work will be reversed later on. There is no need for a cross party agreement. In fact I would desert them if the they did and vote ACT. Btw did they own Duhcinda or what in Parliament yesterday?

They have the power. Get it done, be judged on it

Really turning over a new leaf from the last few years, eh?

No, I want them to move more to the Left to polarise the voting public. They're evidently running scared right now with the Police commissioner announcement and what I presume is another spin fluff piece in the Herald. That doesn't bode well for action and we have the man some call political pus in the acting PM position soon. It's an obvious strategy to play for time.

Heh, that's some bang-up avoidance.

From what I saw Bridges gave up with more supplementary questions to PM because he wasn't able to keep them within order.

ACT not National. She was owned on the contract reference. Hook line and sinker.

Yeah , Jacinda got it all right , well done David Seymour for showing up this new Government's double standards .

This Government is cowing to the demands of the Teachers Union to the detriment of our children , its disgraceful

Agree! Our best route to achieving a quality education for our children would be to drive teacher wages down, not up! There's no way a teacher should be able to afford a house, for example!

I suspect Bridges actually has a lot of respect for Ardern, and wants to work with her on Child Poverty as a matter of personal and professional satisfaction. Ardern has that kind of charismatic leadership.

In modern times we have had some very efficient and effective Leaders of the Opposition. Holyoake, Kirk, Muldoon, Lange and even Clark. Nothing since then of that calibre afraid to say and still the same today in my opinion.The last Labour lot were useless. National got far too much latitude. Ironically that was part of their downfall. National became complacent, conceited and careless too in the end, and the electorate got sick of it.

you forgot Key, kicked Labour's arse all over the shop Nov 2006-Nov 2008, was ahead of very capable Clark in preferred prime minister stakes within a couple of months of becoming leader of opposition.

Yep, point taken. One wonders though how much the star in ascendancy is relative to the declining popularity and effectiveness of the incumbent. JA demonstrated that well enough when she took over but had hardly impressed from the opposition bench beforehand. Then again, in the end, National still won the popular vote and has not lost that position. Hard to guess how it might have played out if Key had still been PM but without The Māori & Dunne seats and no hope of working with WP, expect would be in same position,

For example, for many urban voters, in Auckland particularly, the promise of light rail as one of our transport solutions has appeal. Dismissing it the way some National MPs seem routinely to do as just "trams" simply brands them as backward looking and ignorant.

What they should be doing is dismissing light rail on environmental grounds. To get people to and from the airport light rail is one of the worst possible choices.

Explain please?

Light rail will need a whole new infrastructure tree of sunk costs to provide worse service than a bus and/or rail service would offer. For medium distance travel trains or buses (or even cars) are better for the environment than light rail.

Lets not forget the estimated $80 Billion so far spent on driverless cars. Something must come of this eventually and the impact on transport is lkely to be huge and as yet unknown.

Surely we should bide our time and not make plans now based on current technology?

Light rail may end up being so yesterday.

So build nothing for the next 20 years and hope driverless cars will fix it? National have already tried doing nothing for 9 years...

20 years! Geez wayne.....have a think about what you were using tech wise 2 years ago, let alone 20? Don't overestimate the time change takes.

Sometime doing nothing is better then doing something. And it seems to me Auck planning is based on current options - large heavy cars with one occupant taking up most of the road and squeezing on some rail to boot.

The future is more likley than not to be small 'plastic' self drive pods...Do we need more roads or rail of current design for that?

And I simply cannot see how they could squeeze LR through Dominion Rd without snarling the traffic to a complete standstill .
Cars ( and buses and cyclists ) would presumably have to go a single remaining lane . A single car waiting to turn right and the whole file is stopped . If you restrict right turns you are just forcing people to drive around more- bigger jams ; not everyone can take the tram ( you still need to take the car to the supermarket for instance).

I am not sure that LR is such a bad idea in principle ( although future technology might well render it part-obsolete ) - it just cannot be done sensibly along the proposed route.

Buses won't need to use Dominion road with light rail.
Cars will have a single lane as they do now.
Right turns won't be allowed in most places. People will need to plan their trip better and use Sandringham road or Mt Eden road.
Its been done successfully in many other countries.

"Buses won't need to use Dominion road with light rail."
- sensible .

"Cars will have a single lane as they do now.
- what about the cyclists ( they use bus lanes now ) ?

"Right turns won't be allowed in most places. People will need to plan their trip better and use Sandringham road or Mt Eden road."
- if you live locally ( as I do .. ) you still need to take the car to the supermarket etc. You cannot really plan out of that. Sandrigham and Mt Eden roads are already completely clogged up - pushing more traffic that way is a terrible idea.

"Its been done successfully in many other countries."
- name one that had a pre-existing density / layout of neighboring residential streets in any way similar to Sandringham/Mt Eden/Balmoral.

I am not ideologically opposed to rail , light or heavy - it is just obvious it is a wrong horse for this particular course.

Was with you all the way up to "may end up being", I think the phrase you were looking for is "is"

I think the jury is still out on that. I think it is more likely than not but I do not think it is a certainty .

Self -driving autonomous ride-share EVs will certainly reduce the number of cars in existence ( and demand for parking ) ; it is not clear if they will reduce the number of cars on the roads at any given time and hence the congestion.

Self -driving autonomous ride-share electric vans have promise- but doubts persist ( they are not that different from regular vans that provide ride share today - just a bit cheaper - but that has not really taken off )

Light rail will open up decent public transport to people in Mangere, Mangere Bridge, Onehunga, Hillsborough, Mt Roskill, Mt Eden, City and Wynyard Quarter. The airport is just icing on the cake.
If a bus solution stopped in all of those places too it would be terribly slow. Heavy rail would only add service to the airport, it is unlikely it would ever make economic sense spending billions on one or two stations.

You can have several bus itineraries ( with different stop frequencies ) running along the same route.
Buses can overtake ; trains cannot.

Yes, exactly. Light rail is a mass transit system, these are traditionally employed where masses of people want to transit. What demand exists for the route - high, medium or virtually none?

A bus connecting Mangere, Mangere Bridge, Onehunga, Hillsborough, Mt Roskill, Mt Eden, City and Wynyard Quarter would be a terribly slow and pointless exercise. Just like a light rail line connecting these places will be a slightly faster and pointless exercise. Light rail as planned will open up decent public transport for people in a direction no-one really wants to travel. When for 0.01% as much environmental cost we could add a bus service for those dozen or so people. And yes it would be slower, but it would be 99.99% better for the environment.

Well there is already a bus every three minutes from Mt Roskill to city at peak and I’m pretty sure that a much nicer and faster service will get even more use. This will probably be the most used transit line in Auckland and possibly carry more people than any motorway does.

No it will not be - it will not be built. Tens of millions will be spent on studies , design and consultation before reality is accepted - LR does not suit this route. We have seen that play before..

The original plan for light rail (pre-AT) was to have it as mass transit down Dominion Rd replacing the bus service in an area of increasingly intensified living. AND to put in two more mass transit light rails on parallel streets. Indeed there was potential for real mass transit.

Then at some stage AT became involved and the efficient mass transit plan was killed (because efficiency is completely against AT policy). AT got rid of two of the mass transit lines and extended the one remaining line to the airport to make it a mostly non-mass transit service. It costs twice as much and is environmentally destructive, therefore meeting both major AT work policy goals.

It is nice to see Peter Dunne lobbying for "light-rail".

I think National was doing quite well in opposition until the transport policy announcement. They wanted to criticise it but also say it was their policy too - doesn't make sense really. Light rail is popular and will be a game changer, and no, it is not just trams to the airport. Most of the trips on light rail will not be to the airport just like how most trips on the motorway isn't the city to Bombay.

This government will get somethings right. However, National needs to focus on the money (what everyone is interested in). Labour got away with promising spending more money but not raising taxes or increasing debt. The fact they are backing away from promises, such as GP fees, as well as raising fuel tax, and looks like increasing debt (PPPs and SPVs are on the cars) shows their incompetence. Plenty for National to work on without looking stupid.

Who on earth is going to use light rail , and where on earth are you going to run the rails ?.......... there is no land for a rail line to run from the CBD to the airport .

Why not just use Electric Busses ?

And more importantly make the fair reasonable so that people actually use the service .

The current costs of the bus fair to the airport can be as much as 1/3 rd of your airfare , its disgraceful , and no wonder the buses are running with such low occupancy rates, people are simply using their cars because its cheaper to do so

So you are saying it is both impossible to build and even if it is possible (which I hope it is unless Auckland Transport have gone completely nuts), no one will use it. Care to take a bet?

Stop thinking that LR is only about going to the airport - it's not. People who live on Dominion Rd and surrounding streets will use LR to get to the city and travel to other places along the route. There is land to run LR up Queen St and down Dominion Rd - like there used to be.

LR can carry up to 400 people where as a bus only carries 60. That means we need 7 buses for each LR set. Dominion Rd is almost at capacity with buses so actually cannot take anymore buses. If there is good public transport down Dominion Rd then it can get more dwellings and ease some of our housing crises.

The Sky Bus to the Airport costs $17 each way. Whether this is more expensive that parking at the airport probably depends on how long you intend to park. I've caught the Sky Bus to the airport a few times and at rush hour it is the fastest from the city as it has the bus lanes. And given that I was going for more than a week then it was much cheaper than parking.

@No Fax ...... I dont park at the airport , I get one of my sons to take me there , and its still works out way cheaper than $34 sky bus , PLUS the cost of getting to and from the Shore

$34 is more than half a tank of Diesel , and I can between 400 to 600 (open road ) kms of travel on half a tank of diesel .

Why would anyone build a rail ink to the airport?

Its crazy

Why not just use buses , and if you want electric , then use electric buses

Perhaps the govts. alternative for light rail as well as improved transportation to the airport should be to use boatman's son? If the solution works for boatman it must surely work for everyone else.

How many hundreds of thousands of tourists arriving every year? Boatman's Son is going to need a minibus to handle that.

@Boatman You aren't really comparing apples to apples here. I assume you aren't paying your son to transport you to the airport. Assuming it took him an hour (there and back) at minimum wage of $16.50 then that's $33 - I am sure fuel plus wear and tear of the vehicle is more than $1. So you have actually transferred the cost of travelling to the airport onto your son - so cheaper for you but overall no.

Why would anyone build a rail link to the airport? The same reasons that many of world's airports have done so. It's about capacity - a train can transport a lot more people than almost anything else. Auckland Airport will soon have more than 20 million passengers per year. I assume it might be a bit much for your son to transport all of them.

No he does not work , he is 17 and in year 13 at school , and when he cant take me there and back , my wife does .

And why build a rail link ?............... you might ask again .

Is this Singapore , London, Tokyo or Hongkong ?.

No its little old Auckland , a tiny little city of under 2 million people .

@Boatman - you are still transferring the cost to either your wife or son.

As I said before the LR isn't just about trips to and from the airport. Just like the Southern motorway isn't about trips from the city to the airport. However, Auckland Airport will have 20 million passengers - there is no way the current set-up will work with that. Second lots of small cities have trains to the airport

@nofax , and that is where you are hopelessly wrong , there is no transfer of cost , because public transport is too slow , too erratic and way more expensive, so using the car is more efficient for my clients

The 2 buses into Auckland from Greenhithe , could take an hour and the shuttle to the airport about 30 minutes .

The buses are up to 30 years old , dirty , cold and smelly .

There is a long walk for me from home to the un-sheltered , grafitti damaged , urine smelling bus stop , and that involves wheeling my Louis Vuitton luggage on a wet pavement , plus my laptop , etc , etc .

The car takes 23 minutes using the Waterview Tunnel ( Built by John Key's Government ) ..... public transport up to 2 hours

My time is charged out at $300 / hour

Its a no brainer

@Boatman. I am unsure of your argument. Your son driving you for free is a transfer of cost; no way around that. Once you factor in your son's time and wear on the car then you can start comparing the options.

Second, your argument seems to be that since PT isn't very good we need to spend less on it? You can't really believe that more cars is the answer to our congestion issues? Again, I am not sure if you miss the main point of LR - IT"S NOT ONLY ABOUT TRIPS TO THE AIRPORT.

I know you must be very important - I could never afford Louis Vuitton - but us mere plebs need options to the airport and, for some of us, PT is better, for others, it's private car. Just because for you in and your expensive luggage prefer private car does not mean that's true for all Aucklanders.

@nofax , I am not important at all , and dont be impressed at the Loius Vuitton luggage, it was bought from the Receivers who shut down the luggage shop near Farmers in Albany Mall in 2008 , so it was half price .

Having seen the prices at Dubai duty free a week before , I knew it was a bargain

I travel regularly to Auckland and catch skybus all the time. It is the "fastest" option. But it is not consistent - it is still vulnerable to traffic - particularly between the city and motorway.

LR is a better option, but if it is going to weave in and out and be used for general commuter then again, it becomes unreliable for airport connections.

Auckland needs a direct Airport to CBD Connection. Time is money, and at the moment I have to assume 2 hours from scheduled landing to CBD, and 2 hours from CBD to scheduled take off. That's 4 hours in a day lost productivity. (Yes I can use the net on the bus, but I wouldn't be travelling if that is all I had to do)

Rail/Monorail/LR/Sparkling unicorn - doesn't matter what they choose as long as it is direct, and able to offer a very consistent journey time. So that you can actually plan an itinerary.

Probably the best option is a rail line from Puhinui/Wiri through the planned new suburbs/industrial precinct west of SH20. Rail provides rapid all hours transit and the rail network has a much wider reach than this pokey little tram line. It will also cost about $3billion less and be much better for the environment.

and if you want to do it properly keep going back across to onehunga & hillsborough then continue out to avondale on the land the railways (still?) own that was acquired for the avondale-southdown (planned in the 1940s) route to really get some decent rail conectivity going.

As a skybus user myself Noncents is so right about a direct connection by train. Would be reliable timewise. And the Puhinui train option suggested by unaha-closp is the right one.
Ditch the light rail airport connection.

It won’t cost 3 billion less. The entire airport section needs to be underground and heavy rail can handle much less gradients and corners than light so this part will be hugely expensive.
Also it will only add 2 new stations to the network where light rail will add about 20 so the benefits are significantly less. It’s possibly the best solution for the airport, but not really the best solution for Auckland as a whole.

No, it doesn't need to be underground. The reasons for putting rail underground are hills, built up areas and to meet with existing underground infrastructure. There are no hills, there is nothing in the way and there are no existing underground structures at Auckland Airport. The natural scenic value of our airport with its motorways, parking garages and strip malls can probably stand an above ground rail way station.

National have the right leaning voter sown up, especially now that NZ first have shown their colours and Act have all but disappeared. They can afford to try and get some youth vote with more modern policies. Personally while I align more with the economically conservative side of National, I can't vote for them while they are so backwards looking and afraid of progress. Even their logo and election hoardings looked old and boring.
A true economically responsible party should want to be at the forefront of modern thinking, not trying to keep NZ the same as the 1970's

The worst case of opposition for the sake of it was the sabotage that David Parker of Labour engaged in when the Electricity companies were being partly sold off. It cost the NZ govt a huge amount of money from the very much lowered bids for the shares.

yes - that was great :)

Until National publicly reflects and admits enabling the overseas student visa rort and the massive house price increases they will stay in the naughty corner and languish in opposition.

As for the blue/green vote there's definitely many potential voter including myself out there however they'll firstly need ministers for MPI and environment who can stand up to big farming and commercial fishing interests before blue/green is even slightly believable.

@delboy you are wrong , the Foreign student rort started way before 2008 , in fact it was well entrenched by then ......... thanks to Helen Clark

Interesting that Dunne thinks that National "planning" something is the same as National doing it. Mill Road Corridor for example, 10 years in the offering, only had $2 million spent on it when it is so important to have an alternative to SH1 in the South. Too hard basket. As regards the comment "As befits its historic rural and provincial base" they effectively abandoned the regions (unless it was large Businesses) despite having MP's in those areas. NZ First after their Regional road trip were at 14%. Leaked Superannuation details and media onslaught just weeks out from the Election - subsequently shown that 20,000 were overpaid in the same period - saw a drop to 7%. Who shafted who and how did it affect the outcome?

The National Party have shafted me. Why would I ever vote for them even as someone in the top tax bracket who has bought my first home. I will not forget the massive property wealth transfer and demographic changes they have shoved down the throat of the younger generations.

Before the 2008 election Key was speaking about the "Housing Crisis". Then Teflon John and Bubble-O-Bill spent the next 9 years denying and deflecting while pumping the country with the highest levels of immigration in the western world. They did virtually nothing to drive productivity in construction. All they did was give my tax money to property developers by way of "First Home Subsidies" and then told me I was too rich to get that same subsidy.

Then there is the Communist SPY they still have in their ranks.

The Nation-al party couldn't care less about our nation. They are the China party.

A government of the boomers, by the boomers and for the boomers.

Not in the campaign promises, but in the subsequent years.

compares favorably with the current government of losers , by the losers and for the losers.

@bilbo , you are wrong , Canada has by far the most immigrants in the Western World , and they are a lot less choosy than we are about who they let in .

Secondly , there is no housing crisis , there may be an affordability crisis , but even I doubt it .

And lastly , if you earn too much why should you think you have an entitlement to a housing subsidy ?

Such subsidies are for lower income earners not people who dont need help

This is simply not true.
Top result on Google shows "In 2015, net migration rate for Canada was 6.54 migrants per thousand population"
NZ is running about 14-15 migrants per 1000.

I don't care if you call the problem a crisis or not. Houses are expensive compared to incomes. They're also made from low quality materials here.

"And lastly , if you earn too much why should you think you have an entitlement to a housing subsidy ?"

Three things annoy me about this.
Firstly I missed out because that particular year my employer decided to sell all my stock options as part of a merger. This jump income was a surprise I could not have planned for. So I missed out on the subsidy.
Secondly it's my taxes going towards lawyers, real estate agents and land bankers because subsidies always drive inflation. That's why you see all these low quality shoe boxes for $499,999.99. The same taxes should be going towards something useful like fixing that rotten hospital.
Thirdly I have to pay more out of my own pocket when building my own house because now I'm competing with people who would otherwise still be saving. These people take their subsidy to the bank and multiply it by an order of magnitude. It has a huge effect on prices.

You might think I'm entitled but increasing productivity is mentioned in the article. If the country is going to treat it's more productive members as cash cows then of course it's going to hurt our productivity when they get on a plane fed up with the high taxes, high living costs and poor infrastructure.

The national party leader, Bridges appears arrogant, weak and not someone I can trust. Surely they can find someone better or they'll spend another term in opposition. They could turn into my beloved Auckland Blues who make the crappiest opposition with no real substance look good. Maybe they have taken advice from the Blues coaching crew in selecting a leader. I cant see a comeback for them without a strong public appealing charismatic leader.

Give it a little time mate - it will show this Government IS the Blues.

I trusted a politician once, didn't end well. Don't trust any of them.

Days to the General Election: 27
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