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My Kitchen Rules New Zealand

Series 2014, Episode 3 My Kitchen Rules New Zealand 27 Aug 14 00:49:18

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Q+A: Panel discussion on Sir Roger Douglas interview

Published: 3:47PM Sunday September 23, 2012 Source: Q+A

GREG

Now back to Raymond Miller, Nicky Hager and Paul East. First of all- If can start with you, Nicky, first of all, the results of that poll - is it surprising that more New Zealanders aren’t saying ‘go’?

 

NICKY HAGER - Author

No, I don’t think so. If you look at that poll, you’ve got 30%, which is sort of the rump National-ACT area, but, actually, National should be looking at the 57% who aren’t happy, because you can’t form another government, you can’t win the next election on 30%. And John Key, I think, is making the wrong call on this because there’s a lot of people who are unhappy and he isn’t having the spine to act on it, because he could throw Banks out of the Cabinet and still have Banks’ vote for confidence and supply. I just don’t think he’s got the courage to do it at the moment.

 

GREG

Paul, is this an example of New Zealanders going, ‘Okay, we realise what’s happening here, but we don’t want to destabilise this government. And if we do-‘

 

PAUL EAST - Fmr National Minister

No, it’s not. Look, this is a story that’s of interest in Molesworth Street, and that’s about it. Most people are worried about a lot more significant things than this issue. I think the media will be very disappointed with that poll, because they have been doing a hatchet job on John Banks for the last two weeks, as Sir Roger Douglas said. So I think they’ll be the ones who are disappointed. I think John Banks-

 

GREG

You think he’s been victimised - a hatchet job?

 

PAUL

Well, I think the media have concentrated on it to far too great an extent in terms of its importance to New Zealand. I’m not saying necessarily that they shouldn’t have looked at it, but I’m just saying that we’re still banging on about it. Look, this happened before he was a minister and MP in this present government. Now, John Banks was a very good minister in the Bolger Administration, and I am sure he’s a good minister today. Let’s concentrate on the work he’s doing there, not something that happened a year or two before he even got back into Parliament.

 

GREG

Kim Dotcom’s involvement in all this - what have you made of that, Raymond?

 

DR RAYMOND MILLER - Political Analyst

Well, I think there’s considerable public sympathy for the position that Kim Dotcom has and others have taken with respect to this. But can I just make a comment that I- Roger Douglas said he thought that the brand had been hurt. I think the brand has been destroyed, effectively. ACT has been nothing but trouble for John Key.

 

GREG

From teacups onward.

 

RAYMOND

From teacups onward. I mean, if it hadn’t been for the teacup incident, National might well have ended up with an actual majority in government, New Zealand First may not have got back in, and ever since they’ve been arguing this case of the-and trying to defend this case of John Banks and the donations. So it’s been a real problem for the Government.

 

PAUL

Can I just add there I think the- I don’t disagree about Kim Dotcom being a figure that deserves some support, but it did seem there was a substantial overreaction in the way he’s been dealt with, but that will play out in the courts in time. But, look, we’re still two years away from the next election, and I think there’s a lot that can be done between now and the next election in terms of ACT and its support base.

 

GREG

How, given where it’s at now?

 

PAUL

Well, look, they’ve got a lot of keen young people there, they’ve got policies. No doubt National has tilted slightly to the centre in the last four years. It’s left a space on the right for people who are worried about some of the issues that they see as important to New Zealand. And I think ACT can capitalise on that, and I think it will be between now and the next election.

 

GREG

Hypothetically-

 

PAUL

Don’t write them off.

 

GREG

Nicky, hypothetically, whether a Labour MP, let’s say, who were in there now who’d done the same thing - tried a mayoral campaign, it all went whatever with the donations - what- that would be over and dealt with fairly quickly, would it not?

 

NICKY

It depends whether or not the person fronted up and dealt with it and moved it on. John Banks isn’t fronting up, he’s not answering the questions, he’s not producing the information, and so he’s playing a big role in it rolling on, actually. In fact, even in the recent past we’ve seen Labour MPs being caught up in scandals for things that they did years ago or when they were in government. And, actually, if that’s the only time you can hold them accountable, that’s when you should do it.

 

RAYMOND

And, you know, John Banks has failed to really front up on this. He seems to be running for cover all the time. You asked about Kim Dotcom. I mean, he’s a natural television performer. I mean, he is a very credible sort of person, there is a lot of public sympathy for him, but I think the public also realise that John Banks should be the person who’s fronting up on this issue, not John Key.

 

GREG

All right, Nicky Hager, Raymond Miller and Paul East, thank you all so very very much.

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