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No one could describe Mathew Hooten as a Labour Party lackey - he has pushed the National Government line at most opportunities over the years - both in the NBR and on RNZ where he is the regular National foil to a series of Labour commentators.

On 20 October, he put the following on Facebook:

"On 18 August, I wrote in the NBR that the outgoing National government "has proven itself over nine years to be lazy, visionless, arrogant, complacent, dishonest and house-trained by the ... Wellington bureaucracy.” I stand by that. It has been a wasted nine years with ministers mostly acting as PR spokespeople for their departments rather than leaders.* I am surprised by how pleased I am to see the back of them.

One of the things the Lange government did after 1984, which I hope the new government still supports, is abolish the Muldoon regime's farm subsidy and other corporate welfare schemes. It led to farmers having to respond to the extent they are now among the most commercially successful people in New Zealand, and new land-based industries emerged including high-quality wine.

Over nine years, the outgoing government reversed that historic work, establishing the MBIE monstrosity, expanding corporate welfare, reintroducing subsidies for the dairy industry and corrupting government procurement.

Pretty much everyone in the business community except welfare beneficiaries like RocketLab will applaud the new government if it tackles these issues."

You have to believe that whatever Mathew writes is closely analysed by the National hierarchy, and this piece of analysis will cut deep into the psyche of the entire upper echelon. One comment that arose was that the final nail in any arrangement with National was Bill English's intransigence in relation to Nick Smith who for long has been his blind spot and now his downfall. Winston simply refused to have him back in Cabinet - a step too far for Nick's old mate - end of story!

"I am surprised by how pleased I am to see the back of them," will I suspect be a reaction echoed widely throughout the business community - even those who dutifully ticked the 'blue' box. 



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