Thursday, 23 February 2006

Ten Worst New Zealanders

A few bloggers have listed their ten worst New Zealanders, predictably including the likes of Roger Douglas and Ruth Richardson (or proxies for them) even though the economic golden weather we are presently enjoying is in many ways due to the reforms they both instituted (and which have been left largely untouched by the Clark-Cullen Government) -- and unpredictably including the likes of Sarah Ulmer. Sarah Ulmer for goodness sake!?

Another difference from the other list-compilers (apart from a sense of perspective) is that with very few exceptions I don't believe there have been any truly evil NZers in public life (well, maybe just the last two on my list). For the most part they've just been either bumbling mediocrities or slimy power-lusters who as a result of their meddling and manipulation have made others lives more difficult than they needed to be, (or in the case of Robert Logan or William Massey spread disease inadvertently).

And I've only selected nine, still leaving one spot for your own suggestions. Come on, convince me.
  • Robert Muldoon - an easy target, to be sure, and a deserving one. For nine years he lay across NZ's political, commercial and social life like a dead weight. Once his Government was finally deposed, the feeling of fresh air sweeping through the country was almost palpable.
  • Simon Upton - this poseur brought in and administered the worst violation of property rights since the war, the RMA, and presided over and was responsible for the tragic contaminated blood scandal. Asked before the fragrant fool headed off to a Paris sinecure whether he regretted anything in his political career, he proudly declared, "Nothing gnaws at my soul."
  • Lord Douglas Douglas Graham - speaking in the wake of giving millions of dollars of taxpayers' money to Ngai Tahu for things those taxpayers hadn't done, Graham declared: "The sooner we realise there are laws for one & laws for another, the better." No one did more for separatism in NZ than this former Minister of Apartheid and certified pompous arse. When first selected in the safe seat of Remuera one of the selection board confided afterward that it has always been considered that National could win the seat if it put up a donkey as a candidate - "and that's just what we've done this year," said the worthy gentleman. It is a fitting epitaph.
  • Julius Vogel - a Keynesian before Keynes, and a Muldoonist before Muldoon. An inveterate booster and meddler and a believer in big government -- we largely have him to thank rather than the later Fabians for beginning NZ's accelerating growth of government -- his profligate borrowing to pay for 'Think Big: The Vogel Years' almost bankrupted the small, young country, destroyed lives and dreams, and led to almost twenty years of depression. Unlike many of the others in this list, Vogel at least had the shame to leave NZ and retire in disgrace -- but not before extracting a taxpaid pension from the bankrupt government.
  • Russell, McVeagh, Simpson, Grierson, Bell, Gully, Sue, Grabbit & Run, et al - simply gruesome all of them. Hip-deep in sharp practice, legislative chicanery and monopolistic bullying the lot of them. Dick Cheney did a good thing when he shot one of their breed. I like to think it was intentional on Cheney's part.
  • Marie Clay - a turner of minds into mush. The woman whose 'Look-and-Guess' approach to reading taught three generations of New Zealanders how to be illiterate.
  • Colin McCahon/Ralf Hotere - producers of Emperor's' New Clothes for those too blinded by pretension to see it.
  • Pick a missionary - any missionary. Introduced native New Zealanders to Western mysticism when they were still enmired in their own, before earning their trust and using it to sell them out.
  • Te Rauparaha /Hongi Hika - these two stone killers murdered, enslaved, raped, looted and had eaten thousands of pre-European NZers (and more than a few Europeans as well), ceasing only when they could call on law and a new Treaty to protect their conquests. Truly evil.
UPDATE: Strong contenders for the tenth position so far: Graham Capill, Bert Potter, Bob Semple, Morton Coutts. Keep those suggestions coming.

History, New Zealand


  1. I find myself in some agreement with some of your list, and will only add:
    Doug Graham is often referred to as "Lord Montrose" - after his middle name.
    Upton, IIRC also passed the anti-smoking laws as Health Minister despite saying he was against them.

  2. Morton Coutts, for continuous fermentation and the alco-fizz legacy that we've been left with.

    I do think it is unfair, on McCahon, to tarnish him with the Hotere brush...

  3. Rob Muldoon is an obvious choice,
    he was a bully, but Bill Rowling and the rest of the Labour oppositon, his fellow National Party members and for that matter the media should accept some responsibility for not having had the courage to stand up to him.

  4. Oh, and I sent him this email, which was above the deity to reply to:

    "You make me laff - demonizing lawyers -RM were my biggest clients. Yet you applaud maggots who exploit women. Bwahahahha!

    Expect me to continue to call you on your egregious bullshit. You and your mate Perigo - who has nothing intelligent to say and only blows off about other people....

    "In a stroke of breathtaking audacity, the network had brought the screening FORWARD after the church kicked up its stink! It wasn't scheduled to play for several weeks. Now *that's* KASS!"

    As if it was anything to do with principle and not ratings. Honk. What a moron.

    Losers , the lot of you.


  5. Excellent list showing better knowledge of history and lightyears better knowledge of liberty than the previous two compilations!

    Look forward to a list of top10 on which Lindsay Perigo will be a very strong contender for mine. Eh Ruth?

  6. You got that right Rick.Perigo has a VERY high opinion of himself - for no good reason. He is the Prince of Puerility.

    Cressswell is so way ahead of him, but he won't listen to me and distance himself from these retards.

    You've got the brains - I've got the looks - let's make lots of money.

    Email me Rick.

  7. You got that right Rick...Prince of Puerility

    Hate to break it to you but I was being dead-pan serious.

  8. Graham Capill - so close to being in Parliament AND power in 1996 (by 0.8% of voters), the one who talked of the so called "moral highground" for so long, and the rest you all know. Utterly despicable beyond words.

  9. I would add Keith Locke here - absolutely clueless individual, who takes no responsibility for his actions.

  10. How about Margaret Pope? Watch "Reluctant Revolutionaries" and see how she involved herself in the "Cup of Tea" and anti-nuclear silliness.

  11. So Ruth ... what exactly have you achieved in terms of liberty in New Zealand? Been the only consistently pro-liberty commentator on radio and TV? Started any political parties recently? Or maybe you produce a magazine in your spare time? Or perhaps simply serve to inspire people by standing up and loudly, clearly speaking your mind for what you believe in the public arena, despite the personal costs?

    Come on - inquiring minds want to know :-)

  12. Interesting you didn't include Chapman Tripp in that list...I would definitely put that lot in there. Used to work there as a Mail Boy. Worst time of my life.

  13. No. 10 would be Jim Bolger - put his own popularity ahead of Ruth Richardson's programme of liberalisation. You can forgive Labour PMs for giving up as they are Socialists, but National is supposed to be small Government, free market, etc.

    Plus he gave us Simon Upton as Minister of Property Confiscation, Doug Graham as Minister of Apartheid Implementation, Winston Peters as Treasurers Nappies (i.e. Full of Shit.)

  14. Those "three generations of New Zealanders" had better literacy rates than any other country in the world. Oh, yes, Marie Clay really screwed us up...

    Yes, if you take extremely large sample sizes, and some sophisticated ways of teaching using phonics, then you will see some small difference between achievement levels compared with either other ways of teaching using phonics, or with the whole language approach previously used in NZ.

    But latest fashion of claiming that NZ had some educational disaster in our teaching of reading is quite bizarre.

  15. Compare and contrast:

    1)Icehawk: "But latest fashion of claiming that NZ had some educational disaster in our teaching of reading is quite bizarre."

    2) DOMINION POST, November 2005: It's back to school for workers.
    The Labour Department estimates up to 530,000 New Zealand adults have inadequate literacy and numeracy skills. . . In a briefing to incoming ministers, the department said though the latest adult literacy and numeracy survey was nearly a decade old, 18 per cent – or 530,000 adults – had "very low" competencies. Living standards would slow in the next decade unless "skills and adaptability" of the existing workforce improved...

    3) The briefing from the Labour Department was using research gleaned by the 1996 International Adult Literacy Survey (the first large-scale national literacy survey of working-age adults in New Zealand), which determined that around 20% of New Zealanders are essentially illiterate, and a further 30% are simply "functionally illiterate," unable to easily use even a bus timetable.

    CONCLUSION: Oh, yes, Marie Clay really did screw up three generations of New Zealanders, condemning nearly half to a lifetime of functional illiteracy.

    QUESTION FOR FURTHER THOUGHT: Is it not bizarre that such a result was not shouted from the rooftops by those who claim to care about their fellow NZers? Is it not outrageous that one of the chief stated goals of public 'education' is to teach reading, yet it doesn't? Is it not odd that it has become fashionable today to deny the educational disaster in our midst, rather than confront it?

    LINK: Neither free nor education - Not PC


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