This week the writers at Bach in Ponsonby have got together to have a look back at how well we have done with some of our predictions, and they are pretty good, certainly better than Auntie Herald.
Back in early April we pointed out that Spark’s coverage of the Rugby World Cup wasn’t going to work in the provinces and won’t be all that good in the big cities either AND IT WASN’T.
As we predicted this was a mixture of lack of rural fibre to the rugby heartlands and simply not enough big-time experience in video streaming of bandwidth hungry sports. It is the future but just not yet. Simon Moutter left Spark early so the bad mark coming won’t ruin his chances of a big job like at Air NZ, another poor performer as we predicted.
This year our writers have twice offered our view of how the coalition government is going, having declared that we would really like this government with its leadership mix of young and earnest Jacinda coupled with experienced and wily Winston.
Back in March we pointed out that Jacinda made a big mistake in appointing one Minister to cover the two big portfolios of Housing, on which they campaigned so hard and Transport on which National keep harping on about their Roads of National Party Significance.
Well, we were dead right that Twyford made a mess of them, and Jacinda relieved him of Housing, mainly because National’s most talented MP, Crusher Collins had him on the ropes. Our advice in May was to let him keep housing as he might just have got on top of that if only he listened to advice, but sadly she gave him Transport where his speciality of not listening is going to make things bad later this year as National keeps up its attack on roading, even though their own efforts were risible. Labour just don’t seem to be able to get that message across and leave it to NZ First to point out the wastage at NZTA.
Recent appointments to NZTA won’t help as there are no roading people and the whole effort seems to focus on heroic projects like Light Rail and Hydrogen. Don’t hold your breath for a credible business case for these two. As we stated before the Nats are just waiting to have a go at Julie Ann Genter about Light Rail and her apparent conflicts there.
Jacinda’s other big error was appointing Luxton to lead her business advisory group in an effort to thwart his move to National and now that looks awful. Labour mistake Corporate NZ for Business NZ. There must be plenty of big-time business owners who support Labour simply because you make more money under Labour. Pick them please.
We pointed out that Chris Faafoi is doing well because he knows something about his portfolio as does Andrew Little. We are pleased that Chris has been rewarded and Little continues to be mostly sensible in a tricky area.
All parties have good and bad performers. We note Collins is the best Opposition MP by miles and will be more of a problem to Simon than to the Government. Sarah Downie has added to the belief that Invercargill produces strangely ineffective representatives, but then so does the Far North with Mat King and Willow-Jean Prime.
Minister of Finance Robertson continues to impress and totally outclasses his Muldoonist opposition Finance spokesperson, Goldsmith. We encourage Robertson to take more control of his big spending fellow ministers who are throwing money at some urban projects that the big cities like Auckland could and should pay for themselves, especially if they were forced to take simple actions like releasing valuable portside land to bolster their balance sheets.
Winston remains the sensible wily leader he always was and Jacinda is excellent on social issues and the international venues but really does need to do a better job of team selection back home.
Our view that Shane Jones is doing way better than the Herald hacks think is supported by the recent announcement from Infrastructure NZ that the Provincial Growth Fund should be $6bn rather than the $3bn, so disliked by the Nats.
We’ll have another look at how things are going following the local body elections, which are way less exciting than the footy. Are those two really the best that Auckland can offer out of the million or so that could stand?