National & Labour Know They Must Ditch Fuddy Duddy Images. But How?


New Zealand’s two major political parties have been revealed in the same day to each have bungled their separate strategies to turn a youthful face to the electorate.

The first was when a very young National Party Member of Parliament did what party officials who sought to block his original selection said he would do which was fall out with the same electoral officials, an incident spiced up by the now seemingly mandatory secret taping sub plot.

The second incident involving the Labour Party followed hard on the heels of the National Party episode.

Nearly 100 electioneering “interns” mainly from the United States were brought to Auckland to assist in campaigning for the Labour Party and along the way to receive lectures from luminaries of the party.

All this at a time when the Labour Party, the equivalent of the US Democrats, was itself campaigning against people from overseas taking the jobs of New Zealanders and in so doing forcing up the price of accommodation.

Fired up by the notion of a Bernie Sanders type of youth crusade the Labour Party Auckland operatives had forgotten to consider that people from the United States insist on a high standard of accommodation in New Zealand.

Indeed, it was the failure of the New Zealand premium hotel sector to provide things that Americans like, such as air conditioning, that was such a problem prior to the arrival of the United States franchise hotels in order to provide its citizens with their home comforts in the South Seas.

The United States interns were less than impressed by the sparseness of their billets.

They were similarly underwhelmed by their failure to meet the high level Labour Party figures who, in the event, seem not to have realised that they were supposed to have met the interns in the first place.

In electioneering strategic terms however both these episodes demonstrated how both the main parties are turning themselves inside out to demonstrate their regard for youth values meaning the youth vote.

The two very recent European elections, the one in the UK and the one in France indicate that their attention is justified.

In election wining terms in New Zealand for Labour and National this means stopping the youth vote sliding into the Green Party.

The Greens embody all the conventional middle class ideological values on things like climate and refugees.

Neither was the mood of the main party strategists improved last month when they surveyed the cover of the house magazine of this voting bloc North & South (pictured) which channeled Vanity Fair with a tableau of idealised Green candidates.

The National and Labour election schemers saw before them the embodiment of the yearnings of this whole sector which is bounded at the younger end by career-friendly university types still in touch with their capping mag days, and at the older end by Guardian Weekly subscribers.


Because National and Labour share something else too.

It is an indelible musty-fusty sectarian aura redolent of times gone by.

This understanding haunts the high command of both the main parties.

It is the reason the National Party forced on an entirely rural and safe farming electorate a perma-grinning disco type in their early 20s whose short career in the real world was notable for a stint with Big Tobacco.

It is the reason that the Labour Party turned a blind eye on a semi-freelance operation to whip up a US-style youth storm in Auckland.


Both the two main political parties will now start once again to heed their once powerful local organisations at electorate and divisional level.

These representation committees will tell them that twisting and turning to meet fashionable media-driven yearnings is one thing.

Also that meeting grass roots expectations requires a fixed and determined longer term direction.

| From the This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  ||  Tuesday 27 June 2017   |||

Published in EXCLUSIVE

Trade Minister Todd McClay says he believes the time is right to launch trade talks with Mexico, Chile, Peru and Colombia as part of the Government’s push for better access in Latin America.

Mr McClay leaves tomorrow to attend the Pacific Alliance Leaders Summit where a trade deal will be top of his agenda.

“We’ve been talking to the four Pacific Alliance countries about better access for Kiwi exporters for the last two years. With direct flights to South America there is increasing opportunity for New Zealanders to do more in these growing markets,” Mr McClay says.

“New Zealand currently has more than $1.1 billion dollars of two-way trade with the countries of the Alliance. But our exporters face high tariffs rates on many products, including dairy, which is currently our largest export.”

“A high-quality free trade agreement with Mexico, Chile, Colombia and Peru as part of the Pacific Alliance trading bloc presents a huge opportunity for New Zealand companies exporting to this fast-growing region because there is so much room for growth.”

Mexico, Chile, Colombia and Peru are home to 221 million consumers and have a huge combined GDP of US$3.85 trillion. The Pacific Alliance is a regional integration and trading bloc.

“Under Trade Agenda 2030, the Government’s new trade strategy, we have set the ambitious target of covering 90 per cent of our goods trade under FTAs and the Pacific Alliance is an important part of reaching that goal,” Mr McClay says.

| A Beehive release  || June 26,  2017   |||

Published in TRADE

Foreign Minister Gerry Brownlee will today travel to Cuba to meet with his counterpart before attending the Pacific Alliance Summit in Colombia.

On June 27, Mr Brownlee will visit Cuba to meet Foreign Affairs Minister Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla.

“This visit will help to strengthen New Zealand’s interests in the Latin American region, which is home to about 625 million people,” Mr Brownlee says.

“New Zealand works with Cuba on a number of important issues, including agriculture, international development, and regional cooperation.

“Both nations provide support to Small Island Developing States in the Pacific and Caribbean regions. Cuba is an important player in the Caribbean and the visit is a valuable opportunity to engage with one of our larger partners in the region,” Mr Brownlee says.

Mr Brownlee will then attend the Pacific Alliance Summit in Cali, Colombia on June 29 and 30. Trade Minister Todd McClay is also attending.

The Alliance is a regional organisation, established in 2011 by Chile, Colombia, Peru and Mexico. New Zealand has observer nation status with the Pacific Alliance.

“The Alliance is looking to begin trade negotiations with some observer countries as a pathway to offering Associate Membership of the group,” Mr Brownlee says.

“New Zealand already has long-standing relationships with the Alliance and each of its constituent nations.

“Pacific Alliance is a growing force for political and economic stability in Latin America, so it’s important for New Zealand to be a voice at the table,” Mr Brownlee says.

| A Beehive release  || June 26,  2017   |||

Published in TRADE

Has taken Napoleon’s Advice: Do not Interrupt your enemies while they are making a mistake

New Zealand First Party leader WInston Peters MP has re-drawn the map of the pending general election so that all roads lead to his own central issue which is immigration

Like the maestro his adherents believe him to be WInston Peters MP has choreographed the pending general election around this single issue.

No matter which route his competitors in campaigning actually wish to take, he has wired the general election so that they must converge on and arrive at immigration

All the other issues converge on the single theme of immigration and do so regardless of any face value variant. Here are the usual main ones that now end up at the immigration destination:-

  • Housing and infrastructure
  • Employment
  • Health education and welfare
  • The environment

This quartet of traditional issues has been boiled down to immigration.

  • Demand exceeding supply of the infrastructure to accommodate them reflected in the bidding up of scarce housing.
  • Employment figures are no longer greeted with the same unquestioning belief that they have been in the past due to the absence of supporting statistics on pay received i.e. part time, full time. So are immigrants depriving locals of the worthwhile jobs?
  • In health education and welfare there is a strong belief that immigrants are competing with residents for stretched services that the residents have paid for via their taxes.
  • The liberal parties have bundled immigration with clean-green. Mr Peters now in effect claims that New Zealand is no different from a farm in that it is being dangerously stocked well beyond its balanced carrying capacity.

Mr Peters’ focus on immigration now puts pressure on the area most affected by the influx which is the Auckland isthmus which the Labour Party regards as its electoral territory.

Having set the order of the election battle to chime with his own agenda Mr Peters gives the impression of heeding the advice of Napoleon who recommended that enemies should never be interrupted while they are making a mistake.

He has boxed in the Labour Party to the extent that it can only tinker with policy surrounding the language schools and their uncertain backdoor contribution to the inflow.

The Greens meanwhile are doctrinally obliged to call for the accommodation of more and still more refugees.

Then there is the National Party.

It has long seen a direct parallel with an immigration influx and industrial growth.

The extent to which it has been check-mated was revealed when New Zealand Business, nowadays the main industrial lobby, tried to refocus the issue on seasonal migrants on farms which has nothing to do with the type of immigration that Mr Peters is talking about.

Then there is Britain now so vividly portrayed in terms of the grotesque high rise, intensive, and now demonstrably unsafe accommodation required to house the recent arrivals.

Neither is this flood of experience in Europe likely to abate before the general election.

Mr Peters’ skill as a politician has been to define issues worrying to the electorate at large. He strips away the confusing ideological or doctrinal or simply fashionable camouflage that disguises them.

As the conductor now of his own electoral orchestra he is there on the rostrum in a position to direct his general election symphony without any distracting variants.

| From the This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ||  Wednesday 21 June 2017   |||

Published in EXCLUSIVE
Wednesday, 21 June 2017 07:45

$6m for more youth enterprise initiatives

Youth Minister Nikki Kaye tonight announced details of the $6 million investment over four years under Budget 2017 to fund more youth enterprise initiatives.

Ms Kaye made the announcement at Victoria University’s Rutherford Building in Wellington, where eight teams of young people had gathered to take part in the Greater Wellington Region finals of a ‘Dragons' Den’ competition, pitching their ideas for innovative companies to a panel of local business leaders for a share of $5000 of prize money.

“Youth enterprise funding is about supporting young people to develop entrepreneurial skills through a range of youth-focused business and enterprise initiatives,” says Ms Kaye.

“It was great to announce details of the funding at an event where the ingenuity and business acumen of young people was on show for all to see.

“In a rapidly changing global economy, young people with entrepreneurial knowledge, skills and aptitude are more likely to succeed in all areas of life, so this is about inspiring our next generation of potential leaders and innovators.”

The funding announced as part of Budget 2017 will include the following investments:

  • Around $1.2 million in the contestable Youth Enterprise Opportunities for Young People Fund, to directly support young people who have a new or innovative enterprise idea or project, to enable them to develop and execute their project
  • Around $1.6 million for a targeted fund to support organisations with a track record increasing enterprise learning in a school environment, and/or supporting the establishment of enterprise start-ups involving young people
  • Around $1.2 million in the contestable Youth Enterprise Fund, to support organisations which are working with young people to help them develop entrepreneurial skills, business acumen and financial competencies
  • Around $2 million in the Partnership Fund, which was set up in 2016 and involves the Government and business, philanthropic and iwi partners working together to grow youth development opportunities – this $2 million investment will support partnerships aimed specifically at generating enterprise opportunities, which enable young people to develop entrepreneurial skills and/or innovative products or businesses.

“Young Kiwi entrepreneurs are already developing new and exciting businesses that are succeeding here in New Zealand and overseas, some already worth millions of dollars,” says Ms Kaye.

“This funding is about inspiring and supporting more of our young people to develop the skills and confidence they need to take their innovative ideas to the next stage and turn them into reality.

“Through the initiatives the funding will support, young people will develop a range of transferable skills such as problem solving, communication, decision making, team work, financial acumen and leadership.

“I expect around 5,000 new opportunities will be created through this funding.

“The next big company to make waves on the international stage could be born out of one of the initiatives that will be supported, just as it could emerge from the young finalists gathered in Wellington tonight.”

| A Beehive release  ||  June 20,  2017   |||

Tuesday, 20 June 2017 07:49

NZ support for energy upgrade in Tonga

Prime Minister Bill English has announced funding to kickstart a major upgrade of the electricity network in the Tongan capital.

New Zealand’s early commitment is expected to assist Tonga to attract other investors for the project.

“Our $5 million support will help provide safe, reliable electricity to around 8,500 households and businesses in Nuku’alofa and save around $1.1 million a year through reduced line losses,” Mr English says.

“This builds on New Zealand’s previous energy investments in Tonga, which include Tonga’s first large-scale solar farm in 2012, and other significant network upgrades.

“Access to clean, reliable energy is essential for businesses to thrive and to reduce reliance on fossil fuels used by diesel generators.

“We recognise this, and we are working with Tonga to help it achieve its energy goals.”

The Prime Minister made the announcement while in Tonga as part of the 2017 Pacific Mission.

| A Beehive release  ||  June 16,  2017   |||

Published in ENERGY
Monday, 19 June 2017 07:53

McClay says United States open to FTA

Trade Minister Todd McClay says his visit to Washington for high-level trade talks with the Trump Administration has been a success and that the U.S. has indicated it is open to a free trade agreement (FTA) with New Zealand when the time is right.

Mr McClay met with Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, newly appointed U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, Congressman David Reichert, Special Advisors to the President and members of the US Chamber of Commerce.

Mr McClay says Secretary Ross has indicated that he is open to a trade deal with New Zealand and did not see any major issues, as our relationship was in good shape.

"It's clear the U.S. will take time considering its trade strategy. They're likely to have a considerable workload over next couple of years with NAFTA renegotiations and some big bilateral deals to do. However, I've welcomed their interest in an FTA as a demonstration of the good shape our trading relationship is in," Mr McClay says.

"Trade Agenda 2030 sets an ambitious target of 90 per cent of our goods trade being covered by FTAs by 2030. The U.S. will be an important part of achieving this goal and my discussions this week in Washington are encouraging."

USTR Robert Lighthizer also told Mr McClay he was keen to work with New Zealand on international trade policy issues.

"This was my 3rd meeting with Ambassador Lighthizer since his confirmation just over a month ago. I have a great deal of respect for Robert and believe that New Zealand will be able to work closely with him on trade."

Mr McClay says there is significant interest in New Zealand's approach to trade policy. Congressman Reichert and members of the U.S. business community said they had admiration for how we had opened our markets and made the most of the opportunities in the Asia Pacific region.

"They recognise we are number one in ‘ease of doing business' and were impressed with the strong performance of our economy,” Mr McClay says

Mr McClay says there is considerable scope to grow trade and investment with the U.S.

"Two-way trade with the U.S. reached $16 billion in 2016. This is an incredibly wealthy market with huge opportunity for New Zealand businesses. Trade Agenda 2030 means the Government will increase efforts to help New Zealanders do more in countries like the U.S.," Mr McClay says.

|  A Beehive release  ||  June 19,  2017   |||

Published in TRADE

Economic Development Minister Simon Bridges has today launched a new guide for potential investors highlighting opportunities in the Māori economy.

Speaking at the He kai kei aku ringa – E RERE Māori economy conference in Rotorua, Mr Bridges told the audience that Māori have huge potential to lift the New Zealand economy.

“Māori are a young and growing population who will form a large part of our future workforce. Māori control over $15 billion in assets, with significant land holdings, and are diversifying in to other high value sectors,” Mr Bridges says.

“Investors are interested in partnering with Māori, and global consumers are interested in their intergenerational outlook and underpinning cultural values of taking care of people, building strong relationships, and looking after the environment.

“The Māori Economy Investor Guide will help investors understand the Māori economy, culture and people. It offers insights as to how and where potential investors can engage with Māori enterprises, embrace the distinctive global advantages of the Māori economy, and forge strong partnerships for the future.”

Produced by KPMG, the Māori Economy Investor Guide was funded by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment as part of their commitment to He kai kei aku ringa – the Crown-Māori Economic Growth Partnership.

The Guide can be found at Further information about investing with Māori can be found at

| A Beehive release   ||  June 16,  2017   |||

Published in POLITICAL

Both leader new to politics and both invented their own parties


A French election transposed on New Zealand would result in a victory for Gareth Morgan's new political party..

Interest in election outcome transfer has so far covered the British general election.

But a scrutiny of the result of the French presidential election won outright by Emmanuel Macron and then of the ensuing French parliamentary election also won outright by his party demonstrates a dream that on face value could only be achieved by Gareth Morgan.

Here now are the similarities:-

*President Macron had never stood before as a party political candidate – Neither has Mr Morgan

*President Macron invented his own polltical party, En Marche. Mr Morgan has also created his own party, the Opportunities Party

*President Macron’s background is in high finance. So is Mr Morgan’s

*En Marche is liberal centrist. So is Opportunities

*President Macron launched himself into the presidential election which he won, and the legislative election which he also won claiming that no existing political party was in a position to effect any positive change. Mr Morgan is saying the same thing.

In the event, President Macron re-cast the French political scene, causing to disappear as any force at all the ruling Socialist Party.

Will Mr Morgan accomplish the same sweeping reorganisation of the political landscape here?

A problem in contrast with seeking to transpose the British general election to New Zealand is that no reading can be taken, no tea leaves read, on the disrepute in which professional career politicians were regarded by the British electorate.

This is because they were all professional politicians who had all devoted their adult careers to politics.

So in the New Zealand general election the electorate in the form of Mr Morgan will be faced with this man-of-the-hour type drawn to the fray--- out of patriotism.

President Macron in his own election, and then in the En Marche dominated legislative (Parliamentary) election broke France’s endless party political electoral conveyor belt which runs from the City councils, through the regional/departmental councils by way of the European Parliament.

It could also be added that the two party names, the one in France, and the one in New Zealand mean pretty much the same thing in being code for a break with the past.

Beyond an agricultural focus and a shared Polynesian experience, the two nations are not immediately apparent as political mirror images.

In recent years however France has followed several New Zealand structural leads. It has cut its presidential political term from seven years to five – still much longer though than New Zealand’s quick-fire three year term.

In recent weeks there has been a strong groundswell in France in favour of proportional representation.

| From the This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  |  Friday 6 June 2017   |||

Published in EXCLUSIVE
Thursday, 15 June 2017 08:36

New Consul-General to Hong Kong announced

Foreign Minister Gerry Brownlee has announced diplomat Carl Worker as New Zealand’s next Consul-General in Hong Kong, a role he has held previously.

“New Zealand has a close relationship with Hong Kong with thriving trade, investment and finance links,” Mr Brownlee says.

“As New Zealand’s 10th largest export market with total exports of $1.15 billion last year, Hong Kong is an important commercial and investment market for New Zealand companies.

“New Zealand has had over 39,000 visitor arrivals from Hong Kong last year.

“We also have a very successful trade agreement with Hong Kong, the Closer Economic Partnership, which has secured duty-free access for New Zealand goods into Hong Kong. It continues to support growing trade both with Hong Kong and as an important gateway to mainland China for New Zealand firms.

“New Zealand and Hong Kong have strong community links, with long established expat communities,” Mr Brownlee says.

Mr Worker is currently Principal Business Adviser with a special focus on China at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and Ambassador for Counter-Terrorism.

He served as Ambassador to China from 2009 to 2015 following earlier assignments as Ambassador to Argentina, his first appointment as Consul-General in Hong Kong from 1994-98, and Deputy Head of Mission in Beijing from 1992-94.

| A Beehive release  ||  June 15,  2017   |||

Published in POLITICAL
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