One Question Quiz


Aug 28 2023

Liz Gunn conspiracy party formally registered, targets ‘deep state creatures’

Liz Gunn and the ‘deep state creatures’

Former broadcaster and conspiracy theorist Liz Gunn has successfully registered her political party, meaning New Zealand Loyal will appear on ballot papers next month. In a social media message, Gunn made clear that the “them” in the party’s slogan “Loyal to you, not to them” refers to “the globalists”, saying “we are on the precipice of losing our country to the globalists”. She further warned of “the deep state creatures who I’m afraid to say have for centuries, in fact, ruled our existence. There is much research that you can do there.”

Two other parties, the Women’s Rights Party and the Democratic Alliance, were also confirmed registered by the Electoral Commission today. Leighton Baker, who like Gunn was a prominent figure associated with the occupation of parliament grounds, recently registered a party in his own name. It’s a very crowded field.

Liz Gunn and the ‘deep state creatures’

‘Brian Tamaki and his mob are determined to disrupt … That’s anti-democratic’ – Hipkins

Chris Hipkins (Image: Tina Tiller)

Responding to the disruption today of a Christopher Luxon media conference by the same Freedoms NZ candidate that caused the halting of his own walkabout in Ōtara recently, Chris Hipkins said it was “clear that Brian Tamaki and his mob are very determined to disrupt the election campaign”. 

Responding to questions at his post-cabinet press conference, the Labour leader said: “Ultimately, that’s anti-democratic. They’re denying all New Zealanders the right to hear from all political parties. Christopher Luxon is absolutely entitled to hold a press conference. He’s entitled to share his views with the New Zealand public and the New Zealand public are entitled to hear those views.”

He added: “I don’t think a party that thought it had any shot at getting into parliament would be doing that. This is just Brian Tamaki and his team trying to make a lot of noise and disrupt everybody else … I don’t think that’s good for democracy.” While free speech was “cherished”, he said, “I don’t think people should use that deliberately to drown out the voice of others.” 

Work was under way by the Parliamentary Service to look at whether MPs required extra support and security on the campaign trail, he said. 

a white man wearing a light teal tie speaking with his mouth open against a black background
PM Chris Hipkins fronts a press conference. (Photo: Marty Melville/AFP via Getty Images)

Public service cuts to save $4bn as tax take falls, says Robertson

Prime minister Chris Hipkins and finance minister Grant Robertson

With tax revenues falling, the government is targeting contractors and consultants as part of public service cutbacks that should save $4bn across four years, says Grant Robertson.  With accounts for the 11 months to the end of May showing tax revenue $2 billion beneath Treasury forecasts, a “savings and efficiency exercise” is under way, with the twilight of both Covid measures and “big policy changes” such as RMA, three waters and health reforms meaning “there is room now to reduce reliance on consultants and contractors as the government returns to focussing on delivering core public services”.

Contractor and consultant spending would be reduced to below 11% of public service workforce spending, said Robertson, saving about $165 million a year. “Public sector agencies are being required to trim one or two percent off their existing baselines. They have been directed to do this while protecting front line services. To ensure this, I have excluded several agencies from the exercise entirely. These permanent savings will apply to about 19% of the government’s expenditure. Alongside these baseline savings, an immediate savings review has also been undertaken which has resulted in a number of underspends being identified and some money that had been set aside for programmes no longer being required.”

Budget allowances in the 2025/26 year would also be cut by $250 million and $500 million in 2026/27. With an eye on the campaign under way, Robertsion said: “We have been clear that this cannot be a big-spending election. Uncosted, untargeted tax cuts like those promised by the opposition are simply not affordable. Likewise broad sweeping statements about slashing public services is also destabilising and disingenuous.”

Christopher Luxon earlier said that National’s fiscal plan would be revealed “in the coming days”.

Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh donate $2 million for Wellington Town Hall

Sir Peter Jackson giving a tour at the opening of the exhibition. (Photo: RNZ / Alexander Robertson)

Te Herenga Waka (Victoria University of Wellington) and the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra announced today that they have received a $2 million contribution from Sir Peter Jackson and Dame Fran Walsh to build a state-of-the-art recording studio in the basement of Wellington’s Town Hall as part of the revitalisation of the historic venue.  

“This amazing new facility has far more significance than just being an old building that’s been converted into a recording studio,” Jackson and Walsh said in a statement. “Twelve years ago, we recorded the music for our Hobbit movies in the old Town Hall with the NZSO and the help of London’s Abbey Road studios.”

“After they’d spent a couple of weeks analysing the auditorium, the Abbey Road engineers declared Wellington’s old Town Hall to be ‘one of the best acoustic spaces’ they had ever encountered,” they said. “Those clever Victorians sure understood the complex science of acoustic engineering.”

Now expected to re-open in 2025, Wellington’s Town Hall will be the only facility in New Zealand with both renowned acoustics and state-of-the-art recording studios. NZSO Chief Executive Peter Biggs said the facility will be “essential” in attracting international productions and producing world-class homegrown films and television series.

“The NZSO has a proud history of recording for film, including Hollywood blockbusters. Our aim is to play on many more films and the new facilities will enable us to do so,” he said. “While the recording suite is significant for the NZSO, it will also help raise the profile of Aotearoa New Zealand as a one-stop shop for filmmaking talent.” 

‘No Slim Shady’: Luxon media conference halted by fringe rival intrusion

RNZ livestream

A media standup with Christopher Luxon, has been forced to relocate after being hijacked by a Freedoms NZ candidate. After a couple of questions (both on whether National would work with New Zealand First), a candidate linked to the Freedoms NZ umbrella movement, which espouses policy positions based on misinformation popped up from the fence behind the microphone and began shouting at the National Party leader.

“We haven’t seen you in Ōtara,” he shouted, making reference to “gun shootings” and the investment fund Black Rock. It appeared to be one of the individuals who recently disrupted a Chris Hipkins event in Ōtara by drowning his walkabout out with loudhailer slogans.

RNZ livestream

Luxon said he would speak to the man directly if he allowed the press conference to proceed. “Why don’t you be a bit respectful, buddy,” he said. The protester continued to heckle over the press conference, saying, “Will the real Mr Chris Luxon please stand up?”

“You’re a real funny guy,” Luxon responded.

Protester: “You say you are a Christian, but you are not changing anything with abortion. You are not doing anything with transgender.”

Luxon: “You’re no Slim Shady, buddy … I don’t think you’re modelling your values very well.”

The standup was then moved indoors. Luxon said it was wrong that he had not visited Ōtara.

‘He’s in a time warp’: Winston Peters responds to Hipkins’ remarks

Winston Peters speaks to media at Parliament on June 17, 2020. (Photo by Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images)

“If it wasn’t for the fact this country is in such a crisis, this would be a comedy. It’s as though he is in a time warp.” That’s how Winston Peters responded on Breakfast this morning to Chris Hipkins’ announcement that Labour would not work with New Zealand First, a declaration that came more than a year after Peters first ruled out working after the election with his former coalition partner.

Asked on RNZ whether New Zealand First could sit on the cross benches and offer minimal confidence and supply to a Labour government while otherwise working bill by bill, Winston Peters offered up a quintessentially cryptic response. “There’s an old English saying: ‘Only a fool tests the water with both feet.'” He added: “All these questions are premature, they’re wrong. We make one promise: we will try and see that there is a stable and much better government going forward. and that’s the big challenge. Democracy will prevail … The voters are the master.”

Challenged by Morning Report’s Corin Dann on recent statements that appear to be making trans rights a political football, Peters declared, “That’s because the journalists and others have falsely reported what we’ve said. We’re not anti-anyone. We’re about commonsense and safety.” And on potential party list candidates with unhinged views on vaccination, he stressed the final list was not out yet, saying: “I’m multi-vaxxed. But I do not think we have heard all the science.”

Winston Peters speaks to media at Parliament on June 17, 2020. (Photo by Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images)

Luxon challenged on NZ First stance in heated Hosking interview

Christopher Luxon and Winston Peters. Image: Archi Banal

Chris Hipkins’ announcement yesterday that Labour would not work with New Zealand First was in one sense redundant: Winston Peters had some time ago ruled out working with Labour. But its true design of course was something else: to launch salvos against parties and individuals in what the Labour leader branded the “coalition of fear”, and heap pressure on Christopher Luxon over his refusal to answer the question of whether National could work with New Zealand First after the election.

On Newstalk ZB this morning, Mike Hosking tried the question again, half a dozen times with increasing exasperation. Luxon said NZ First was not above the 5% in National’s internal polls and he was “quite relaxed” about the issue, “just not entertaining any thinking about them at all”.

Hosking: “You’re going: oh-no-no, I’m not doing this, and we’re not above we’re not below, you’re not being decisive and people want decisiveness.” Luxon: “I’m being really decisive. I’m saying to you really clearly: party vote National.”

Hosking again: “Putting your fingers in your ears going la-lat-la-la isn’t going to solve your problem. Your problem is you’re leaving open the possibility for voters to think, maybe he’s going to go with this clown. Why would you do that? Why would you take that risk?”

“Yeah, but Mike, look at the polls.”

“I am looking at the polls!”

“The people are saying, National and Act, they’re good with.”

Luxon said Hipkins’ attack of yesterday was the act of a desperate man, “wanting to create some fear-mongering, throwing stuff at a wall to see what sticks, and being negative and personal.”

The Green party’s plan for street level light rail in major cities

As reported in The Bulletin this morning, the Green party announced on Sunday that it wants to convert Auckland’s tunnelled light rail scheme into a street level project, claiming the money saved would allow it to fund similar projects in Wellington and Christchurch. Co-leader James Shaw says street level rail would take another two years to build, but save an estimated $5.6 billion over the “mind-bogglingly expensive tunnels currently proposed”.

Under the Greens’ plan, rail from Britomart to the airport would be operational by 2032, while in Wellington, Island Bay to the railway station would be up and running by 2029. “In Christchurch, the full network would be operational by 2032. It would run from Church Corner to Papanui via the city centre, then towards Hornby and Belfast in phase two,” Amberleigh Jack reports for Stuff.

The Greens are also proposing a $750m Urban Nature Fund to protect towns and cities from flooding, part of their Climate-Safe Communities plan.

Want to read The Bulletin in full? Click here to subscribe and join over 38,000 New Zealanders who start each weekday with the biggest stories in politics, business, media and culture.