Archives for May 2023 | Josie Pagani



So, you want to win the election?

“Who do you think will win?” The question is an occupational hazard of bloviating about politics in public forums. I usually answer declaratively: I don't know. The quest for predictions recalls the Nobel laureate economist Kenneth Arrow, who did a tour of duty as a weather forecaster for the United States Army during World War II. He was ordered to evaluate mathematical models for predicting the weather one month ahead, which he duly did, and found them all worthless. Informed of his findings, his superiors sent back another order: “The Commanding General is well aware the forecasts are useless. However, he needs them anyway for planning purposes.”

Josie's Stuff column looks at the 2023 election. She argues:
  • Voter dissatisfaction with National and Labour is high, so expect ACT, the Greens, Te Pāti Māori and NZ First all to have a successful year by their standards.
  • NZ First is likely to return because if Shane Jones wins Northland, it’s hard for Labour to win as NZ First has ruled out Labour
  • Labour's strategy will be to make the election about the future, not the past. It will cast bread-and-butter policies as the alternative to risk. Chippie's familiar leadership versus fear of cuts.
  • Both parties will try to put themselves on the side of the many, and cast their opponent as a tool of special interests or privilege.
  • National is casting Labour as a coalition of chaos.
  • If Labour wants to be re-elected it could do worse than borrow the slogan of my mate Edi Rama, prime minister of Albania, who borrowed it from Tony Blair’s Labour: “Lots done. Lots to do. Lots to lose.”

Pacific leaders in PNG

Pacific leaders, including New Zealand's Prime Minister, are in Port Moresby for a visit to Papua New Guinea by the US Secretary of State and the Premier of India.

Josie joined RNZ's Morning Report to talk about the event. Listen here.

Post budget on the Kaka

Josie joined Bernard Hickey and Peter Bale to discuss the Budget and the removal of charges for medicine.

Listen to the whole thing here.

Josie joins from about 37' - the whole show is worth your time.

Budget 2023

This was a good Labour Budget for children, parents, the sick and the young. But won’t someone spare a thought for the trust funds. No? Me neither.

Free medicine is Chris Hipkins’ best signature policy so far.

Josie's post-budget column in The Post is here

Christopher Luxon's polling

Josie Pagani joined David Farrar and Heather Du Plessis-Allan on The Huddle and talked Christopher Luxon's polling and other stories of the day.

Why TPM should support Ukraine

“When you can find the courage to condemn a tie as a symbol of past colonisation, but lack it to condemn Russia for abducting children and ethnic cleansing..time to reset your moral compass.”

Read Josie's Stuff column here.

No Thank YOU, Tesla buyers

Reporters this week established that the recipients of EV subsidies live almost exclusively in leafy suburbs. People who live in struggle street do not buy brand new $80,000 motors, or even relatively affordable brand new Toyotas. And it is not just an $8000 handout to buy a new Tesla. They also get an ongoing $2000 a year top-up bonus of unpaid road user taxes. Over 10 years, a Tesla owner is getting another $20,000 handout. Bludgers.

The International Energy Agency estimates that if the whole world achieves its electric vehicle targets by 2030, we will save an additional 235 million tons of carbon. Sounds good, but the world produces about 37 billion tonnes each year, so that is a 0.1 percent reduction in carbon emissions.

If I were more cynical, I would say that the people who have told us that taxing wealth is off the table also have an EV policy that looks like more middle-class capture than effective climate strategy.

Josie's column is here.

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