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Mike's Minute: My thoughts on Luxon and the C-listers

Mike Hosking,
Publish Date
Thu, 20 Jun 2024, 9:31am

Mike's Minute: My thoughts on Luxon and the C-listers

Mike Hosking,
Publish Date
Thu, 20 Jun 2024, 9:31am

On the fringes of the Prime Minister's Japan trip are two stories. 

The first is the plane that needs replacing and the second is C-listers. 

I very much doubt whether anyone who matters in Japan really shifted their thinking about New Zealand over such frippery. 

The plane is the more serious story, and needs addressing, and if any good comes out of a bad situation it might just be that things have got so comical, so third world, that we might actually get around to addressing the problem. 

Clearly no Government has had the gonads to make the call, given the politics, remembering of course the 757's are not about VIP's but mainly about troops. But our plight, or at least the image of our plight, is now so pathetic that we may well just acquiesce and accept that we need to actually show a bit of leadership and sort it out. 

We may as well do the Interislanders at the same time. 

But, to story number two. C-listers and tag-alongs. 

The Prime Minister was making a point that bypassed too many of those who cover him. Too many of them don’t get it, or more importantly, don’t want to get it. 

You only had to watch his press conference in full in Japan on Tuesday to see it. There are some in the press gallery that are children. 

Was Luxon blunt? Yes. 

Was he wrong? No. 

Was he indelicate. Maybe. 

And that’s the price you pay for unsophisticated coverage, of which there is far too much. 

His point was specific, in the sense these missions need people who have an interest in the market you are in, can do business in the market you're in, are already in the market you're in and can convert into tangible results the trip they have just taken. 

In other words, it's not a meet and greet. It's not options and ideas, it's not blue sky and thought bubbles. It's cutting deals, doing business and banking the cheques. 

That was his point and in fact, if you listen to his words he made that point. So therefore, he was right to double down when questioned by the clickbaiters and it was based on experience because he had been on these jaunts in another life. 

The credit he deserves is based around his determination to do the miles, hold the meetings and put this country back on the map. 

When it comes to business, he is a serious player looking for results. 

His punishment is he's followed about by people who don’t get that. 

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