Heather du Plessis-Allan: What is the point of declaring a climate emergency?

So, the climate emergency.

I know that you’ll probably expect me to be critical of the Prime Minister’s plans to announce a climate emergency next week

But I’m actually not going to criticise it.

Because I can see why Jacinda Ardern is doing it. Jacinda, as we all know, has made a very big deal of the fact that she is a global climate warrior

We all remember the time when she declared climate change is the nuclear free moment of her generation

But of course, we all know she’s actually not done anything.

Her government passed the Zero Carbon Act which is nice but won’t do much.

They brought farmers into the ETS but at such a discounted rated that, again, won’t do much.

And her government has banned offshore oil and gas exploration which, again, sounds nice but will probably lead to us just importing the stuff and thus having a bigger footprint.

So what do you do if you want the world to think you’re a climate warrior but you don’t actually plan to do anything about the climate?

You declare a climate emergency.

Because you just have to say it, you don’t actually have to do anything.

That’s what’s happened with the councils around the country.

Just look at Dunedin City Council and Central Otago District Council. Both of them have declared climate emergencies but they are both among the least energy efficient councils in the country.

But it doesn’t really matter, because there are gullible voters up and down this country who probably vote Green and who will lap this up and forget to check back in a year to see if anything has really been done, and there are progressives around the world who will take note of this and be impressed.

Now the thing is, here at Newstalk ZB Drive, we also see the value in pumping up our green credentials without having to do anything.

So I hereby declare this a Newstalk ZB Drive climate emergency

And I’d to welcome you to the first edition of the climate friendlier Drive show, and welcome to all our new green listeners.

Mike’s Minute: Government is in full panic mode over housing

As much as I like Grant Robertson, and I do, if you ever had any doubt that this government is hopelessly out of its depth economically, Robertson’s letter to Adrian Orr should confirm it.

“Dear Adrian, have you seen the price of a house? My god, it’s through the roof. What can we do, Adrian? We’ve banged on and on and on about prices being out of control, in opposition we bagged the government mercilessly, we promised to do something about it, but that blew up in our face. Who knew Phil Twyford was so useless? Anyway Adrian, it seems I’m now stuck, given I am in charge of all the money and the prices are still going up.

It was suggested to me that your monetary policy might be to blame, so given that suits my political agenda, I am writing to you today to blame you. Adrian, it’s not good enough and you must do something about it. Don’t ask me what, but please, please, please can you make the price of a house go down.

But, and this a big but Adrian, while you’re at it can you not sink the economy? The economy is already in trouble and let’s not mention how much of that money you’ve printed for me. And I know I added employment to the list of stuff you had to take care of with the OCR, as well as inflation of course, but Adrian have you seen the price of a house!”

So, in essence what Robertson is doing, is dropping Orr in it for political purposes. They have flooded the economy with money, they want people to borrow, but given they haven’t created an environment of confidence business isn’t borrowing. The only ones who are, are those who want a house.

Go figure, who saw that coming? Apart from about everyone who has ever bought a house.

Orr as much as he is taking heat, can only do so much. He’s not in control of everything.

The man who has more control than Orr is Robertson. And he’s panicking because he made a promise on housing he couldn’t keep, and he’s been caught with his pants down.

The lesson here, as we have said, god knows, how many times, is politicians don’t control housing. Never have, never will.

Stop getting sucked in. And if you insist on getting sucked in, stop blaming others for your inability to understand the market.

Nine tweets Jacinda Ardern probably regrets, even just a little bit

There comes a time in every successful politician’s career when their Twitter accounts are ruthlessly trawled through by a combination of political activists, bemused bystanders and, yes, bored journalists.

Somehow it’s taken three years for Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern to experience the same treatment. Over the past few days, Twitter has been alight with decade-old commentary by then-Labour backbencher Ardern, with many making the charge of hypocrisy in resurfacing Ardern critiques of John Key’s Government for a perceived lack of action on issues like social welfare and the environment.

What’s interesting about this recent online excavation movement is that most of the tweet diggers are on the left. Not exclusively, though: David Seymour’s in on the game, too.

In recent days, the Prime Minister has also been upbraided online for the repeated “ruling out” of key issues, dating back to her decision to rule out a capital gains tax for the entirety of her tenure as New Zealand’s leader.

Just yesterday, Ardern pinned it on the entire country, saying that, in fact, “New Zealanders ruled it out”.

“We campaigned on it several times, and we just couldn’t bring New Zealanders with us,” she said.

But when it comes to her own tweet archive, here are nine posts that Jacinda Ardern might now be regretting (presented in no particular order).

‘The gaffe man!’

This tweet of Ardern’s has taken on much higher significance since both she and Boris Johnson ascended to the leaders of their respective countries. It also seems to resurface in tabloid UK media at least once a year.

‘For the love of..’

In a week where the skyrocketing price of Auckland houses has made countless headlines, this 2015 tweet from Ardern seems especially pointed.

‘Comprehensive housing plan’

Megan Woods, October 5 2020: “Labour has a comprehensive housing plan.”

As one tweet response to this simply says, “Lol. Has not aged well”.

‘A shortage in some areas’

Same as above, really. Awks.

And again

This one is presented without comment.

‘Like hearing a drug addict lecture an alcoholic’

‘The future of the St James Theatre’

I have still never stepped foot in Auckland’s St James Theatre. At this stage, I expect I never will.


Last year, Sky News ran an “exclusive” story revealing Ardern’s true views on controversial Australian broadcaster Alan Jones. Turns out, it was this tweet likely uncovered by a tired Sky intern.

Twyford v English

Nice to see Phil Twyford get a mention six years back.

Labour will not be forming a formal coalition with the Greens

Newshub can reveal Labour leader Jacinda Ardern will not be forming a formal coalition government with the Greens.

Instead, the Prime Minister is planning a lower-level support arrangement, but there will be no negotiations because the Greens have zero bargaining power – Labour is powerful enough on its own.

Labour’s class of 2020 met together for the first time on Tuesday and Ardern was absolutely giddy with success, welcoming 22 new MPs into the Labour caucus – one so large serious space sacrifices have been made.

“I have not seen this room so full before,” Ardern told the caucus. “There’s no room for the sausage rolls.”

Labour now has 64 MPs – an outright majority – so the Greens are not needed to govern.

The Greens won’t mention a coalition and they’re not going to get it.

“We expect nothing,” Green Party co-leader James Shaw said, when asked if he expects there to be a formal coalition agreement with Labour.

The Greens will be offered a little more than nothing but not a lot.

“New Zealand has delivered us a mandate to be able to govern,” Ardern said. “What I’m looking for are areas of potential cooperation.”

Newshub understands that cooperation won’t be a fully-fledged coalition deal with the Greens in on all the action.

“I want to make sure that I’m having these conversations directly with the Green Party,” Ardern said, when asked if she could rule out a coalition with the Greens.

Labour leader Jacinda Ardern, Green Party co-leader James Shaw, and Labour's finance spokesperson Grant Robertson.
Labour leader Jacinda Ardern, Green Party co-leader James Shaw, and Labour’s finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. Photo credit: Getty

Ardern is also holding off making a call about who her deputy Prime Minister will be – either the deputy Labour leader Kelvin Davis or her Finance Minister and bestie Grant Robertson.

“Any decisions around roles and responsibilities are yet to be made,” Davis said.

“I totally support Kelvin, I mean he is the deputy leader of the Labour Party and he will remain the deputy leader of the Labour Party, I’m sure,” Robertson said.

But Labour deputy doesn’t necessarily mean Deputy Prime Minister.

“When it comes to the deputy leadership within the party I have no intention of changing that, however keep in mind, all of the role allocation I will work through over the next two weeks,” Ardern said.

In this party of winners, there are a couple of losers.

Helen White lost Auckland Central to the Greens’ Chloe Swarbrick.

“Sorry?” White said when asked why she lost to Swarbrick. When the question was repeated to her, White said: “I’ll talk to you later.”

Tamati Coffey also looks set to lose Waiariki to the Māori Party’s Rawiri Waititi.

“I’ve not conceded just yet,” he said, alluding to the special votes which are yet to be announced.

That’s for another day.

“Today we crack on with the mahi,” Ardern told her caucus.

And with such a large and rowdy bunch, Labour’s definitely got its mahi cut out for it.

So what happened to this promise ?? Went up not down

Labour would lift 100,000 children out of poverty by 2020 – Ardern

1:22 pm on 5 September 2017

Labour leader Jacinda Ardern is committing to lifting 100,000 New Zealand children out of poverty by 2020 if her party is elected.

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Labour leader Jacinda Ardern Photo: RNZ

During last night’s Newshub leaders’ debate, National Party Bill English promised to set a specific target for reducing child poverty.

He said 50,000 children should be lifted out of poverty through the government families package announced in the Budget in May – and, if National was re-elected, further initiatives could double that result.

Ms Ardern told Morning Report this morning she was pleased but surprised to hear her National Party counterpart commit to a target.

When asked if Labour would commit to the same number by 2020, she said yes – measured as 50 percent of the median income.

“My goal is to eradicate child poverty in New Zealand,” she said.

“We can lift about 50,000 as well, when it comes to the extra 50,000 that of course is something that we’ll have to set targets for in government … Our package relative to his at budget time actually did more for lower or middle-income families.

“He said he’ll do 50 [thousand] based on his tax package, the extra 50 [thousand] I assume that means he’s going to have another tax package.

“If that means he’s going to only target low-income families, that’s positive.”

In the debate she claimed 290,000 children in New Zealand were living in poverty.

“That’s what most organisations in New Zealand tend to use,” she told Morning Report. That was based on UNICEF figures.

“It’s the number of families living on 60 percent or less of the median income.

“Bill English then disputed that figure, so a little bit of a lack of clarity around what he based that number on,” she said.

Ms Ardern said it was good to hear Mr English put a number on it after all these years. His predecessor, John Key, had refused to set a target, saying it was too hard to measure.

“After nine years we’ve finally got Bill English saying there’s child poverty in New Zealand. I think that’s a bit of a win.”

She said Labour had also already committed to the goal set by the Children’s Commissioner of cutting child poverty by 10 percent.

In Wellington this morning, Mr English defended his decision to announce a target on live television.

“It was just a great opportunity in a debate where everyone is focused on the election and you’d have to say they are very interested, it was a great opportunity to be able to announce that target in a way that people would actually see it and believe it.”

Mr English said several of National’s initiatives – such as an increase in the accommodation supplement and free GP visits for under-13s – would also help reduce child poverty.