Canterbury Mornings with John MacDonald

Canterbury Mornings with John MacDonald

Every weekday join the new voice of local issues on Canterbury Mornings with John MacDonald, 9am-12pm weekdays. It’s all about the conversation with John, as he gets right into the things that get our community talking. If it’s news you’re after, backing John is the combined power of the Newstalk ZB and New Zealand Herald news teams. Meaning when it comes to covering breaking news – you will not beat local radio. With two decades experience in communications based in Christchurch, John also has a deep understanding of and connections to the Christchurch and Canterbury commercial sector. Newstalk ZB Canterbury Mornings 9am-12pm with John MacDonald on 100.1FM and iHeartRadio.


November 29, 2023 5 mins

Do you think Christopher Luxon might be starting to feel a little bit like Princess Diana, who famously said her marriage to Charles was never going to work because there were three people in the relationship?

And how she tried to turn a blind eye to his bad behaviour, until she couldn’t.

The new Prime Minister obviously isn’t at that point yet because there he was yesterday continuing to turn a blind eye to the nonsense his depu...

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Yesterday, I was contacted by someone who, I think it’s fair to say, has had a gutsful of the Christchurch City Council.

They are someone who is involved with business groups and community groups in Christchurch and they’ve felt compelled to get in touch after all the goings-on over the last couple of weeks.

We’ve had the chief executive quitting, the chief financial officer quitting, the KPMG report which looked into that $6.5 m...

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Christchurch Mayor Phil Mauger joined John MacDonald live in studio to discuss the recent departure of Dawn Baxendale, Three Waters overspending, and whether the public's confidence in the City Council has diminished.


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Forget about it.

That’s pretty much the message the Government is getting today from the owner of the Marsden Point oil refinery.

That’s the Marsden Point oil refinery that doesn’t do any refining these days because, as you’ll remember, it was shut down in April last year by its private owner which, back then, was known as Refining NZ. These days it’s known as Channel Infrastructure.

240 jobs went in the process and, ever since,...

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I hope just as much as the next person that good things do come from our new Government, but what it’s planning to do to our smokefree laws is just unforgiveable. 

You’ll remember that, last year, the Labour Government passed one of the toughest laws in the world to try and reduce smoking rates in New Zealand. 

Which would have meant that anyone born after 2008 would never be able to buy cigarettes...

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If the mayor or any councillors at the Christchurch City Council are reading this, it's probably going to make you feel a bit uncomfortable.

Because, if you think you’re going to get away with letting the chief executive carry the can for the shambles that has obviously been going on under your watch, you’re going to have to think again.

Especially now that we know how slack things have been when it comes to dotting the Is and cr...

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Forget about the Commonwealth Games. We need to start campaigning to get another global sporting event in Canterbury.

Can I take you back to Monday March 20. So just over eight months ago.

It was the Monday after that brilliant weekend when we had two days of the SailGP yacht racing on Lyttelton Harbour.

Remember that? The weather was spectacular. People in the official fanzone said they’d had a great time. And truckloads ...

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Nik Kershaw exploded onto the UK pop scene in 1984 as a solo artist.

Recording a string of global hit singles – including ‘Wouldn’t it Be Good’, ‘The Riddle’, and his biggest hit, ‘I Won’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me’.

Nik will be part of the wonderful line up at Selwyn Sounds in March, and joined John MacDonald to talk about the concert, and his career, including a surprising admission about his Live Aid performance.



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It appears Christopher Luxon’s tight lid on things could be about to blow, with all this talk about who is and who isn’t going to be Deputy Prime Minister in the new government.

If I was National’s deputy leader Nicola Willis, I’d be finding it hard to keep the smile on the dial. But she’s managing it so far, from what I’ve seen of her on TV outside the hotel in Auckland.

Because I would have thought that she was a shoe-in to be ...

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I bet Dawn Baxendale is feeling like a new woman today. Because, as we now know, she is about to be the ex-chief executive of the Christchurch City Council. 

And God help the next person who takes over. Because what an outfit that place is.  

Don’t get me wrong. There are lots of good people there. People doing the day-in, day-out stuff that local councils do. But when you’ve got so many of the hea...

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I have never negotiated a merger. And I have never negotiated an acquisition.  

But I still think I could teach our incoming Prime Minister a thing or two. 

Because here we are into another week of coalition talks between National, ACT and NZ First and, after all the to-ing and fro-ing from the Cordis Hotel in Auckland, we still don’t have a new Government. 

But the bit about it all t...

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The leadership structure at the Christchurch City Council is falling apart.

And it had mayor Phil Mauger in a real tizz at the start of yesterday’s council meeting.

This was when he announced that they had to kick people out and go into closed meeting straight away because there was something urgent they needed to discuss about chief executive Dawn Baxendale.

I’ve sat through a lot of council meetings in my time and I hav...

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How cringing are these coalition negotiations getting? 

I’m very tempted to send Christopher Luxon a text message saying ‘you reap what you sow mate’. 

And I would do that, if I had his number. But then he probably wouldn’t reply because he might not believe it’s actually from me. 

But if he did. If he did text back and say “Hi John. Great to hear from you. Not sure what you mean.”

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National may as well just come out now and say its tax plan is history. It’s toast.  

Because, as we all knew it would - and as National should have known - the good old NZ First handbrake is proving to be the fly in the ointment in the coalition talks. 

And it appears National’s idea to partially fund tax cuts by letting foreign buyers back into the housing market and charging them a 15 percent ta...

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Matt Cross called his first New Zealand Cup at the age of just 26. 

Now four years on, Matt prepares for the biggest racing day on the harness calendar once again: the New Zealand Trotting Cup.  

It's a huge week for Canterbury, and Matt will call 60 races over eight days of the carnival.

He kindly joined John on Newstalk ZB Canterbury Mornings to talk about his preparation for the b...

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November 13, 2023 5 mins

Christchurch really is putting on a show this week. And I’m not talking about Cup and Show Week. 

I’m talking about the city council’s ridiculous show of wasteful spending of public money on its beautification trial on that little bit of Gloucester Street where the Turanga central library is on one side, and the new Court Theatre is being built on the other side. The Isaac Theatre Royal is just down the street a...

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Helen Clark has dropped a bombshell. Saying that she reckons if Winston Peters doesn’t like what he’s being offered in a coalition deal with National and ACT, he’ll turn around and try and stitch something up with Labour.

Now I know the first thing you might say to that, is ‘what about Chris Hipkins saying he would never work with Winston again’?

Well, a couple of things on that. If Labour really wanted to get back into governmen...

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Today on Politics Friday John MacDonald was joined by Labour's Reuben Davidson and National's Matt Doocey live in studio.  

He pressed Doocey on the coalition talks: what on earth is the hold up?  

Has Labour made the right call to stick with Hipkins as leader?  

And what needs to happen with the Electoral Commission? 


See for ...

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Imagine building a road and it lasts 70 years. That’s what a concrete expert from the US is saying we could do here in New Zealand if we used more concrete instead of asphalt everywhere. 

Eric Ferrebee is the Senior Director of Technical Services with the American Concrete Pavement Association. 

Now I’m no concrete expert. I’m no asphalt expert either. But I reckon concrete roads would be a gamecha...

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“I’m back.”

That’s what Chris Hipkins said to media after being reaffirmed as leader of the Labour Party. Kelvin Davis has stood aside as deputy and Carmel Sepuloni is now 2-I-C.

Chris Hipkins is going to be accused left, right, and centre of an enormous flip-flop in relation to a wealth tax and a capital gains tax. Because, remember how he said before the election, that neither of those would happ...

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