Meteria Turei

Policy is important, but the 2017 election is now about leadership. Change versus the status quo. Who has the X-factor? In six weeks we will know

James Carville, President Bill Clinton's campaign manager back in 1992, famously coined the phrase "it's the economy, stupid" to explain their election strategy. Fair enough, but not that profound. Almost all elections are about the economy. People vote with their hip pocket in mind.

Metiria Turei's admission about past rule breaking looks to have cost her a ministerial position, even if the Greens are part of Government after September. That's a pretty heavy penalty for being overly silly some twenty-four years ago.

While I can’t go so far as to claim Metiria Turei as a full friend, she certainly is someone that I’m friendly with. I’ve been to a party at her home, through my wife’s work with a local sustainable energy trust. I’m certainly on happy-smiles-and-stop-to-chat-on-the-street terms.

So a friendly acquaintance, if you will.

The transcript of Wednesday's question time in the House is not yet available via Hansard. Fortunately, I am able to roughly recreate it below (with some possible inaccuracies, although minor in nature).

Russel Norman: To the Minister of Energy and Resources. Is he any good at his job?

Involvement in the cannabis trade probably isn't the ideal way to learn how to grow things and sell them to other people. But there's a reason why those who do so need to master some important skills really, really well.

Over on Kiwiblog, DPF has a post decrying Meteria Turei's "claim that Maori growing marijuana are developing entrepreneurial and horticultural skills" and arguing that "the last thing you want is MPs praising drug dealers as entrepreneurs".

It was a year of much effort but little reward for Labour and the Greens (and the Progressives). So was it a year wasted, another step towards oblivion? Or was vital groundwork laid?

I seriously need to get over 2010, but first I need to write about the opposition parties; which means Labour, the Greens and, for the sake of history rather than politics, the Progressives.