National government

Some very quick thoughts on the matter of the PM's lawyer and his lobbying efforts, written on a Friday afternoon while waiting for a taxi to take me to the airport. So don't expect anything too deep and meaningful!

Revelations that the PM's personal lawyer was active in lobbying the Government not to tighten the rules on the sort of foreign trusts fingered in the "Panama Papers" present, as they say, poor political optics. Here's some quick thoughts.

The Government is seeking to retrospectively change the law to match the Ministry of Social Welfare's practice. Retrospective legislation is bad generally, and very bad in this case.

The Government has introduced a Bill which retrospectively changes the Social Security Act 1964 so as to nullify Crown liability to beneficiaries. It is generally accepted that retrospective legislation is generally not a good thing.

If a large majority of us are worried about inequality and National is making the problem worse, not better, why isn’t the Left doing better politically?


A recent UMR poll found 50% of us are 'very concerned' about growing inequality, 37% are 'somewhat concerned', and only 13% 'not concerned at all'. 

Seven out of ten of us believe the gap between rich and poor is widening.

The incentives the Government is dangling before prospective investors in Meridian Energy show just how much pressure its "Mixed Ownership Model" policy is under.

Some things sell on their merits alone. Icebreaker. BMW. Wooing Tree Pinot Noir. Sure, they may throw in the occasional discount or sweetener to clear inventory or get over a flat patch, but on the whole the purchaser is prepared to shell out top dollar based on confidence that she or he is getting quality in return.

The Crown won't be able to change Sky City's gambling concessions without paying for it. But it isn't the Crown that would do so.

I have but three words to say to those who think that the announced agreement between Sky City Casino and the National Government, complete with regulatory concessions that will permit the casino to make a lot more money from punters over the next 35 years, really is "legally binding" on the Crown.