Steve Braunias: The Secret Diary of . . . New Year’s resolutions



Look, let me just say that New Year’s resolutions are not for everybody. I think New Zealanders want a plan, and a vision, but they don’t necessarily want a whole lot of fine or meaningful detail.

Again, I understand that the Government has a duty of care to provide a framework of ideas and solutions, and these very rightly include New Year’s resolutions. But these things sometimes don’t stand up to careful analysis and I’m not sure it’s very helpful to reveal the exact wording of our intentions moving forward.

So, at this point the first thing I would say about New Year’s resolutions is that we are operating in a volatile environment, the rules are constantly changing and, while I acknowledge the need for a clear direction, probably the very worst time to release New Year’s resolutions is at the New Year.


It’s my New Year’s resolution to really do the hard yards and perform due diligence. What’s needed is a vision. All of us have a choice: a choice between our current road to mediocrity or a road to a more confident, aspirational and prosperous future.

And so it’s my New Year’s resolution to head in the right direction. Sometimes we think that just enough is good enough. But it isn’t. Life is all about having more than enough.

And that’s why it’s my New Year’s resolution to build, and grow, and prosper. Because owning seven houses is all very well but I

feel I would be more in tune with ordinary Kiwis by owning an eighth.


He toka tū moana he ākinga nā ngā tai. Your strength is like a rock that stands in raging waters. And so our New Year’s resolution is that we must all stand together as one to drown out the loudest, most raging water of all: Mike Hosking.

No one believes a word he says. No one takes him seriously. No one thinks anything he says has any substance, although the latest GfK Commercial Radio audience survey shows The Mike Hosking Breakfast audience on Newstalk ZB now has nearly half a million listeners and Hosking’s share of the Auckland breakfast radio market grew a massive 9.6 share points to 34.9 per cent.

But so what? He’s not on Twitter.


The police and the Government and the media should make a New Year’s resolution to apologise to Brian Tamaki. They have harrassed and persecuted this man all because he knows that the virus is a “virus”.

Now, more than ever, we need air quotes. That way we can sort out the experts from the “experts”. We can choose between advice and “advice”. We can believe that Covid causes death, or “death”.

A news story from Melbourne reports that three people who contracted Covid-19 at anti-vaccination rallies have been hospitalised, with one in intensive care. Just one person was fully vaccinated and three cases had received one dose of vaccine.

But read that story again – with air quotes to form the words “vaccination”, “vaccinated”, and “vaccine”! It makes a nonsense of “Covid”.


My New Year’s resolution is to be kinder to political leaders.

Jacinda Ardern has handled the Covid crisis intelligently and well. Christopher Luxon is like an idea whose time has come for National. James Shaw gets on with the job, David Seymour is agile, Rawiri Waititi and Debbie Ngarewa-Packer act as important voices.

Thus ends the kindness! As the Secret Diary enters its 13th year of business, I will now get on with the practice of travesty, mockery, name-calling and face-pulling. Happy New Year!

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