244 episodes

Newstalk ZB serves up what you need to know, on all things politics at home, and abroad. The show reviews, previews, analyses and challenges the biggest political issues of the week, with all the big players.

Politics Central Newstalk ZB

    • Politics

Newstalk ZB serves up what you need to know, on all things politics at home, and abroad. The show reviews, previews, analyses and challenges the biggest political issues of the week, with all the big players.

    Gerry Brownlee: National confident low-ranked candidates can win electorates

    Gerry Brownlee: National confident low-ranked candidates can win electorates

    As New Zealand marked 100 days without community transmission of Covid-19, National Party deputy leader Gerry Brownlee says the Government's warning of an approaching second wave is "very puzzling".
    The Ministry of Health announced the milestone on Sunday, with no further new cases in of the deadly virus reported for the fourth consecutive day.
    There remain 23 active cases of coronavirus nationally, all in managed isolation facilities, while the number of New Zealand's confirmed cases remains at 1219.
    Director general of health Dr Ashley Bloomfield thanked every person who had been tested for Covid-19, saying Sunday marked a "significant milestone".
    "However, as we all know, we can't afford to be complacent," he said in a statement.
    "We have seen overseas how quickly the virus can re-emerge and spread in places where it was previously under control, and we need to be prepared to quickly stamp out any future cases in New Zealand. Every person in the team of five million has a role to play in this."
    But Brownlee told Newstalk ZB the Government's warning of an imminent second wave of Covid-19 in New Zealand was "puzzling".
    "People have made a big effort on this and they expect to get all the relative freedom," he said.
    "None of us are complacent about it, I believe, it is something that is going to be with the world from this point on."
    In recent days Bloomfield urged Kiwis to "be ready" and have a stock of masks on hand in household emergency kits should we see an outbreak similar to the one sweeping through Victoria.
    Health Minister Chris Hipkins last week announced Kiwis would be encouraged to wear masks in public places if New Zealand moved back to level 2, and encouraged them to prepare some in the meantime.
    And public health expert Michael Baker suggested a mask day – in which New Zealanders all wear masks to work, as a trial run for a time when Covid might return.
    The advice comes after months of officials saying there was not yet enough evidence that mask use protected the public from Covid-19.
    Hipkins said the evidence had changed, and that "we are now in a different situation to where we were previously".
    After renewed warnings from Bloomfield in the last week about a potential outbreak, Brownlee called on the Government to "come clean" on the rate of Covid-19 infections in New Zealand.
    "We have had three months of no community transmission, then inexplicably, the director-general of health Ashley Bloomfield tells the nation that a second wave was a likely prospect," he said in a statement.
    "It doesn't add up. Why announce this now when there are few cases?"
    But surges of Covid-19 have been seen recently in Victoria, Hong Kong and Vietnam - all regions which had previously kept the virus contained.
    On Sunday Victoria recorded the highest number of people to die in a single day in Australia since the pandemic began - 17 people, with another 394 infections announced.
    Of the new cases announced, 43 people were in intensive care, and 26 were on ventilators.
    Meanwhile on the heels of the National Party's list release, Brownlee said he believed National MP Alfred Ngaro could beat Labour's Phil Twyford to return to Parliament.
    Ngaro, who dropped 10 places on the list to Number 30, will almost certainly have to oust Twyford in Te Atatu to return.
    "I think he can win that seat," he told Newstalk ZB.
    "You're up against Phil Twyford, who, despite being the architect of much of the non-delivered policies from Labour – KiwiBuild and light rail, etc - is number four, so he's going to be in Parliament anyway."
    He is also confident that Christoper Luxon, who is at number 61, can win his seat of Botany. 

    • 5 min
    Peter Dunne: If NZ First fails, what happens to their votes?

    Peter Dunne: If NZ First fails, what happens to their votes?

    A former MP and Minister believes NZ First's time in Parliament may be at its end. 
    A 1 News Colmar Brunton poll has Jones on just 15 per cent support, with National's Matt King, the incumbent, on 46 per cent and Labour candidate Willow-Jean Prime on 31 per cent.
    The party vote in the poll shows Labour on 41 per cent, ahead of National on 38 per cent, Act on 8 per cent, NZ First on 7 and the Greens just below the 5 per cent threshold.
    Jones did not front on TVNZ's Q+A show this morning but admitted he needed to get the "political jack-hammer" out. There was a huge road ahead.
    The party has been languishing at about 2 per cent in recent polls, but NZ First has usually done better on election night than in the polls.
    Former United Future leader Peter Dunne says that means we can't discount Winston Peters' party just yet. However, he told The Weekend Collective that he would have thought that Jones would be in second, not third, place. 
    "Northland voters aren't changing their loyalty. And give credit to [Labour's] Willow-Jean Prime. She is running a very strong campaign if Labour has got the lead on National."
    He says that Jones' style can draw people in but also put them off in equal measure, and with Labour not offering a deal, Jones will have to do it himself. 
    Dunne says that most electorate deals are normally based around a MP who has been there a long time, which Jones is not. 
    As for the future of the party, Dunne says it will depend on Winston Peters' decision and if he wants to stay.
    If he doesn't, "do they all just board up and go away, and if they do, where do they distribute their votes too?"
    Dunne says it could have a seismic effect on the political scene as those NZ First votes are redistributed. 
    That redistributing could happen already, he says, if the low poll puts people 

    • 11 min
    Mary Trump on her uncle's poor work ethic, 'dysfunctional' inner circle

    Mary Trump on her uncle's poor work ethic, 'dysfunctional' inner circle

    US President Donald Trump's estranged niece Mary Trump reveals the presidents poor work ethic in an interview with Newstalk ZB.
    Trump is the president's niece and the author of a recent tell-all book that blew up after its release last month.
    Mary Trump, 55, is the daughter of Fred Trump Jr, the president's older brother, who died at the age of 42 from a heart attack linked to his struggle with alcoholism.
    Titled Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World's Most Dangerous Man, the book looks into the life of the now US President.
    The White House rejects claims made in the book, and the Trump family unsuccessfully sued to block it.
    But it was released on July 14 after a judge sided with the publisher.
    Mary Trump told Newstalk ZB when working for the Trump Organisation the now US President would spend hours on the phone gossiping and talking to reporters.
    He would also spend large amounts of time searching through newspapers reading articles about himself, praising reporters on their work and other times disagreeing with "negative" articles about himself.
    "There was no real sense of work ethic," she said, and believes this is similar to how he works in the White House today.
    Mary Trump told Newstalk ZB she believes her uncle is surrounded by enablers, including people who are both weaker and stronger than the president himself.
    She describes his inner circle of friends and family as dysfunctional, saying "they are all in it for themselves".

    Mary L. Trump, author of Too Much and Never Enough. Photo / Supplied
    "They have incentives that have nothing to do with Donald's wellbeing."
    When asked about how easy the book was to write Mary Trump said "I had to grapple with things I'd never grappled with before about my family."
    "I had to think about things I tried really hard to forget."
    Mary Trump said she learnt how cruel her family was to her father.
    "Donald is doing his part to be the darkness now," she said, saying her grandfather Fred was once the families darkness.
    Despite acknowledging the US President's past, of suffering in his childhood, Mary Trump stressed that he is an adult now and "he needs to be held accountable and take responsibility for his egregious behavior now".
    The White House rejects claims made in the book, and the Trump family unsuccessfully sued to block it. Photo /AP
    Fred Trump, Donald Trump's father, believed kindness was a weakness. "He did his best to beat it out of his sons".
    When her father died she was 16 years old, Donald Trump and his siblings became the trustees for his family. She then learnt she had been disinherited, but said she wasn't that shocked.
    Mary Trump said she was disowned by her extended family because her grandfather had no use for her father, and he didn't want his son's widow to get any of the fortune.
    The popularly of the book has "shocked" her.
    "People are finding the physiological analysis of it enlightening and valid."
    In its first week after release, the book sold 1.35 million copies, according to publisher Simon & Schuster.
     

    • 19 min
    Mary Trump on her uncle's poor work ethic, 'dysfunctional' inner circle

    Mary Trump on her uncle's poor work ethic, 'dysfunctional' inner circle

    US President Donald Trump's estranged niece Mary Trump reveals the presidents poor work ethic in an interview with Newstalk ZB.
    Trump is the president's niece and the author of a recent tell-all book that blew up after its release last month.
    Mary Trump, 55, is the daughter of Fred Trump Jr, the president's older brother, who died at the age of 42 from a heart attack linked to his struggle with alcoholism.
    Titled Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World's Most Dangerous Man, the book looks into the life of the now US President.
    The White House rejects claims made in the book, and the Trump family unsuccessfully sued to block it.
    But it was released on July 14 after a judge sided with the publisher.
    Mary Trump told Newstalk ZB when working for the Trump Organisation the now US President would spend hours on the phone gossiping and talking to reporters.
    He would also spend large amounts of time searching through newspapers reading articles about himself, praising reporters on their work and other times disagreeing with "negative" articles about himself.
    "There was no real sense of work ethic," she said, and believes this is similar to how he works in the White House today.
    Mary Trump told Newstalk ZB she believes her uncle is surrounded by enablers, including people who are both weaker and stronger than the president himself.
    She describes his inner circle of friends and family as dysfunctional, saying "they are all in it for themselves".

    Mary L. Trump, author of Too Much and Never Enough. Photo / Supplied
    "They have incentives that have nothing to do with Donald's wellbeing."
    When asked about how easy the book was to write Mary Trump said "I had to grapple with things I'd never grappled with before about my family."
    "I had to think about things I tried really hard to forget."
    Mary Trump said she learnt how cruel her family was to her father.
    "Donald is doing his part to be the darkness now," she said, saying her grandfather Fred was once the families darkness.
    Despite acknowledging the US President's past, of suffering in his childhood, Mary Trump stressed that he is an adult now and "he needs to be held accountable and take responsibility for his egregious behavior now".
    The White House rejects claims made in the book, and the Trump family unsuccessfully sued to block it. Photo /AP
    Fred Trump, Donald Trump's father, believed kindness was a weakness. "He did his best to beat it out of his sons".
    When her father died she was 16 years old, Donald Trump and his siblings became the trustees for his family. She then learnt she had been disinherited, but said she wasn't that shocked.
    Mary Trump said she was disowned by her extended family because her grandfather had no use for her father, and he didn't want his son's widow to get any of the fortune.
    The popularly of the book has "shocked" her.
    "People are finding the physiological analysis of it enlightening and valid."
    In its first week after release, the book sold 1.35 million copies, according to publisher Simon & Schuster.
     

    • 23 min
    Charles Croucher: Victoria's' deadliest day - massive surge with 10 deaths, 459 cases

    Charles Croucher: Victoria's' deadliest day - massive surge with 10 deaths, 459 cases

    The Australian state of Victoria has recorded 459 new Covid-19 cases and 10 new virus-related deaths, making it the state's deadliest day since the pandemic began.
    The state's death toll now stands at 71, after seven men and three woman died from the virus overnight.
    The age of the men ranged from 40s to 80s and the age of the women ranged from 70s to 80s.
    Of the new fatalities, seven were linked to aged-care outbreaks and three were not linked to an outbreak.
    "We, of course, send our condolences and best wishes to those families," Premier Daniel Andrews said.
    "This will be a terribly difficult time for them, and they are in our thoughts."
    Victoria's total number of cases now stands at 8881. There are 228 people in hospital and 42 of those are in intensive care.
    560 active aged-care cases
    Andrews revealed of the state's 4233 active cases, 560 are in aged care.
    "The exact number of settings will be finalised in that release later today, and we have some 381 active cases among healthcare workers," he said.
    "That is a significant challenge, given, whilst we have overall capacity and we've worked very hard all throughout the year to grow the number of people that can be available for our fight against this virus in a clinical sense, whenever we have clinical staff and other critical health workers away, furloughed because they are a close contact or in fact as an active case, that does put some additional pressure on our system.
    "That's why we are looking at a whole range of innovative ways to grow the total capacity of our health system."
    Andrews said about 200 off-roster paramedics and third-year students are helping with contact tracing.
    "It is a wildly infectious virus and whether you have underlying complex health issues or whether you are otherwise healthy, people have died from all of those cohorts and more from right around the world," the Premier said.
    "So there is no reason for anybody to think that because they are otherwise fit or because they are not in their 80s, then somehow they have essentially got a vaccine for this."
    Workplaces 'driving second wave'
    Andrews said there were specific sectors "driving" the state's second Covid-19 wave.
    He said recent data indicated some people were continuing to go to work despite feeling sick and showing symptoms.
    "Aged care, healthcare, big distribution centres, meatworks, cool stores, big warehouses, these workplaces are driving most of this second wave," Andrews said.
    "What that tells you is that some people, for whatever reason – not a matter of judgement, just a fact – some people are feeling sick, they have symptoms and they are still going to work."
    He said if this continues, the number of daily Covid-19 cases will continue to rise.
    Andrews urged anyone with symptoms to get tested, and reminded people there is income support available for those who might struggle if they have to miss out on work.
    "There is the income support, if you didn't have sick leave to fall back on. Then while waiting for your test, you've got to stay at home," he said.
    "You can't be going out to the shops, you can't be going to work. All that will do is spread the virus."
    Warning over never-ending 'chain of transmission'
    Victorians have been warned the state could see a never-ending "chain of transmission" if residents don't all do their part by following the restrictions.
    Andrews warned the high level of community transmission meant the state risked cases continuing to rise.
    "If we're not careful, [there will be] a chain of transmission that just doesn't end," he said.
    "We will finish up with many more people dying, many people that are chronically ill for a long period of time. And a health system that won't cope.
    "I want businesses to survive. I want people back at work. I want people finding a Covid normal. We can achieve that.
    "But the...

    • 7 min
    Judith Collins on Ihumātao dispute: 'Kiwis are sick of this nonsense'

    Judith Collins on Ihumātao dispute: 'Kiwis are sick of this nonsense'

    It has been over a year since occupiers of disputed land at Ihumātao were served with eviction notices prompting thousands of people to flock there to support the occupation and halting Fletcher Building's construction plans.
    Mana whenua and others have remained on site for three years to stop Fletcher Building from constructing 480 houses there.
    National leader Judith Collins told The Weekend Collective the Ihumātao land dispute is a commercial and inter-family issue, and has nothing to do with the government who should've stayed out of it.
    "It's important to know, even though it's a commercial discussion and contract between Fletchers and the people they brought the land from, there is no point at all for the government being involved, they have only delayed matters.
    "I actually think Jacinda Ardern's job is to come forward and tell us after years of negotiations and getting involved, where is this deal?"
    Collins says the situation has gone on long enough, and needs to be resolved quickly.
    "This is getting crazy. People who are sitting there doing nothing, how are they getting paid? How are they living?
    "New Zealanders are getting sick of this type of nonsense. This is land which can be used for housing, which is why it was sold to Fletchers in the first place. 
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    • 5 min

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