Written By: - Date published: 11:46 am, January 17th, 2018 - 82 comments
Categories: accountability, business, climate change, economy, Economy, employment, Environment, greens, jacinda ardern, labour, local government, nz first, Politics, science, workers' rights - Tags:
All parties in this government need to increase their vote share if they are to have a reasonable chance of being re-elected. What policy results will New Zealand have to vote for and campaign on in 2020?
|Coalition agreement points, in summary||Will it attract votes?|
|Regional development: A $1 billion per year Regional Development (Provincial Growth) Fund.||No detail from Minister Jones on how this is going to work, let alone what we are going to see for our taxpayer money in 2.6 years.|
|Transport: Reprioritise NLTP towards rail. Significant investment in regional rail.||Plenty of takers for the money, little new rail work likely to be started inside three years, high risk of voter disappointment.|
|Forestry: Re-establish the New Zealand Forestry Service, and planting 100 million trees per year in a Billion Trees Planting Programme.||No sign of anything yet.|
|Zero Carbon Act and Commission: Establish Green fund for business. Include agriculture in ETS.||Little sign of it yet. Useful for shoring up Green base but little else. Negative in rural community.|
|Auckland Port: Commissioning a feasibility study on moving the Ports of Auckland to Northport.||Zero voter yield in three years.|
|Biosecurity: A funding increase to Biosecurity NZ and a select committee Inquiry into biosecurity.||Will happen in the May budget. The best inroad the government has into rural voters.|
|Water and Irrigation: Honour existing Crown Irrigation investment commitments, but wind down support. Stronger regulation of fresh water.||Completed projects will, reasonably, be claimed by National. Rural voter turnoff.|
|Monetary policy: Review and reform the Reserve Bank Act.||Will discussions already held with the Minister of Finance be enough, rather than legislative change? No votes in it.|
|Minimum wage: Increase to $20 an hour by 2020, with the final increase to take effect in April 2021.||This is a vote-winner, and well on track.|
|Tax: Tax working group. Increase penalties for corporate fraud and tax evasion, and introduce a tax on exports of bottled water.||Tax group findings will need enormous political skill to not lose votes implementing findings going into 2020 election. Likely voter negative.|
|KiwiBank: Investigate KiwiBank’s capabilities to become the Government’s banker when that contract is next renewed.||Lovely idea with no votes in it.|
|Foreign ownership: Strengthen the Overseas Investment Act and create a comprehensive register of foreign-owned land and housing.||It’s as strong as it’s going to get under this government. No further votes in it.|
|Research and development: Increase R&D spending to 2 per cent of GDP over 10 years.||To be reflected in the May budget. Relationship with entire business community unsettled at best.|
|Health: Re-establish the Mental Health Commission, annual free health checks for seniors with the SuperGold card, free doctors’ visits for all under 14s, increasing the age for free breast screening to 74.||In reality any voter shift in health depends on massive shifts of funding into services each financial year, rather than any tinkering or structural adjustments. Await May budget.|
|Education: Restore funding for gifted students and Computers in Homes, pilot counsellors in primary schools, free driver training for all secondary school students, restart Te Kotahitanga teacher professional development||Teachers will never be happy and always vote left. Parents are never happy. Students don’t vote.|
|• Defence: Re-examine the Defence procurement programme.||Possibly reflected in the May budget, but unlikely. Few votes will be pulled away from National.|
|• Housing: Establish a Housing Commission. Kiwibuild.|
|Success depends on how fast Minister Twyford can pick up a hammer. Should be possible in three years, and should have some voter yield.|
|• Law and Order: Work towards 1800 new police officers over three years, investigate a volunteer rural constabulary programme, increase funding for Community Law Centres, establish a Criminal Cases Review Commission.||More police on the street is always a vote winner, and superette and dairy crime for cigarettes is corrosive among specific voters.|
|• Social Development: Increase Working For Families. More funding for family violence networks. Free counselling for under 25s. Overhaul of welfare system to be less punitive.||Some voter upside here if done well, but headline unemployment will need to stay very low to be effective.|
|• Superannuation: Keep age of eligibility at 65.||Nothing to deliver here. Mostly a vote-share risk.|
|• Environment: Move to an emissions-free government-vehicle fleet by 2025/26, establish a tyre stewardship fund, piloting alternatives to 1080, work towards a Kermadec Ocean Sanctuary.||No sign of anything concrete yet. Mostly vote-share risk.|
|• Conservation: More funding for the Department of Conservation. More predator control.||Should occur in the May budget. Will help to shore up existing voter bases on left.|
|• Immigration: Ensure work visas reflect skills shortages and cut down on low quality international education courses, and take action on migrant exploitation, particularly international students.||Policies so slight that they barely register. Real capacity to lose left votes if done badly.|
|• Pike River: Commit to re-entry to Pike River.|
|Should be able to be a completed project by 2020. No further votes in it.|
They have made massive delivery over almost all of the 100 day list. Great work.
But of the above list, most respond to slim constituents within party bases, and attract few if any new votes.
All three political parties in government need to increase their vote share if they are to have any confidence that they can form a further government.
The above list does little to attract new votes that will achieve this goal. That’s before Business As Usual happens to the government, which always corrodes support. Time will winnow out the good vote winners, and the losers.
The real question is: is there enough votes in these policies to regain power?