New Zealand

Hosking: A Govt defined by sheer hopelessness


It is one of the older tricks in the book, when you're the government and you're in trouble, dump the bad news on Friday.

This current Government is excellent at it. And this past Friday was Derek Handley.

The previous Friday was the Curran resignation, other Fridays have also involved the revelation of the Curran meeting and, of course, the Meka Whaitiri scandal.

All on Fridays. All designed to be lost in the Friday hubbub of people at the pub, going away for the weekend, watching the All Blacks, and generally by Monday putting it behind them.

But given it happens so often these days the magic and effect has sort of faded.

What made the latest Friday dump so egregious is that Derek Handley, and I hadn't realised this until the revelation, had moved his entire family home from New York for a job that got butchered.

And the best we got was Meghan Woods, the Prime Minister was missing in action again, Meghan Woods saying it could have been handled better.

No kidding, Sherlock.

A bloke moves his whole family halfway round the world to get shafted by incompetence, no wonder he's ropeable.

Of course one of the ironies, is that Handley is, of course, an entrepreneur. And like most entrepreneurs I would have guessed would be very dubious about governments given the way they treated him.

So in that sense they were lucky to have him as a contender for the job. He would seem to have been a very high quality candidate.

Although there remain many questions about what he would have actually been doing.
Was it a job in title only? We may never know given the whole thing seems to have been shelved.

Anyway the upshot is he's been shafted, Curran is a disgrace, Ardern is, yet again, being shown to be a combination of weak and absent.

And it is yet another example of this lot, mainly Labour, doing everything possible to make themselves look inept.

Now, if there is a light at the end of this calamitous tunnel, it's that my gut says it won't hurt them in the polls.

Two years out from the next vote, most of us are getting on with life, rather than peering at Wellington with a microscope.

The economy is the thing that really turns sentiment. And there is plenty in that particular storm still brewing, and I have no doubt it will bite them in the bum badly.

But for now this mess around your Currans and Handleys is what they call optics.

Yes, it's a mess. Yes they're amateurish. But it's more flesh wound than body blow.

But if this is a result of sheer hopelessness rather than teething issues of a newish government, then there will be a day of reckoning.

If the economy turns and they still look bewildered, they're toast.

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