web analytics

Laissez-faire or fairly lazy?

Written By: - Date published: 3:33 pm, March 27th, 2010 - 5 comments
Categories: Media, national/act government - Tags: , , ,

A wee typo in Fran O’Sullivan’s column today:

“Till now, Key has operated a rather laissez-faire approach to Cabinet management.”

I think O’Sullivan meant “fairly lazy”.

She points out that Gerry Brownlee and Paula Bennett have been allowed to go out and essentially lie to the public about their policies only to be embarrassingly exposed by an increasingly awake media (helped by the blogosphere) because Key isn’t paying attention and he doesn’t have a Cullen-like figure to back him up.

“Labour leader Phil Goff has become so emboldened by the Government’s stumbles that he has stolen a line from the blogosphere and now refers to Key as “Smile and Wave”. If Key took a more courageous approach, he would quickly dispel that epithet.”

The problem for National is that isn’t going to happen. Key didn’t come into politics to take a “courageous approach”. Just as he didn’t come into politics to “close the gap with Australia”, give us “tax cuts North of $50”, or a “brighter future”. He came into politics to get PM on his CV and, as a good National leader, fulfill he duty to the ruling class “to see wages drop”

O’Sullivan does credit the Government with getting down to work, just half way through its term. She points to:

“* Welfare beneficiaries got the long overdue message they should ultimately try to get back to work.”

Of course, they don’t need the boot in the face. They need jobs and a safety net until they can get one. When there are jobs, people take them rather than being on benefits. That’s why the number on the dole when from 158,000 to 17,000 under Labour.

“* The state sector was told it was up for much-needed restructuring.”

I’m still gobsmacked that National’s state sector reforms thus far amount to putting National Archives and the National Library into DIA. I mean, these guys had nine years to come up with ideas and this is it? All that talk of government waste and they’re saving $6 million a year (they hope)? Maybe it’s the soft-lead (the opposite to the approach taken on mining) because the talk is that more controversial reforms are coming – not efficiency-gaining ones, but ones that put more power in the hands of the PM, like making the State Services Commission part of DPMC.

“* Mining parts of the conservation estate was put on the table.”

Even if Schedule 4 land is mined, and that will be fought every step of the way costing National huge support, it still wouldn’t make the slightest economic difference to New Zealand. Even the quarter of a billion dollar a year open-cast Waihi mine, by its own admission, contributes just $40 million to the local economy.

“* Wealthy families who had been rorting the Working for Families scheme were told their particular scam was up.”

Good. Wealthy bludgers need to be stopped ripping us off. Unfortunately, National is planning to give these very same bludgers massive tax cuts.

But these policies amount to essentially nought. The big issues are getting people back into work and getting New Zealand’s economy on an environmentally sustainable footing as we face rising oil prices and climate change. National is tinkering at the edges of small issues and, more often than not, getting even those things wrong.

5 comments on “Laissez-faire or fairly lazy? ”

  1. Salsy 1

    The problem with the Herald writers is that they themselves take rather a “laissez-faire” approach to journalism. I can’t work out whether they desperately avoid deeper political analysis for the fear they will seem critical of the government, or are they infact being censored? Great article in the Domion Post shows that at least not all papers are part of the propaganda machine…
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/opinion/3509633/Mining-special-places-risks-tarnishing-clean-green-image

  2. Lanthanide 2

    “Unfortunately, National is planning to give these very same bludgers massive tax cuts.”

    True, but generally they will end up paying more tax than they presently are. Also taking people off WFF will make the cost of that programme lower, so it will be a little less of a juicy target to slash. Especially if by getting rid of the rorters they can’t use the false “full of rorters” excuse as a reason to slash it.

  3. Rich 3

    If I was in a government, of any colour, I’d look at reforming the ministry along the lines used overseas: have no more than ten senior ministers in the “inner cabinet” and the rest of the ministry reporting to them. So you’d have a economics team, a home affairs team, an education team, etc. Then maybe have a cadre of “ministerial assistants” outside parliament, but politically aligned and on a one-parliament contract.

    That would give better control and ensure that new ministers got a chance to fuck up out of the limelight.

    • felix 3.1

      As Inigo Montoya would say: “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”

Links to post

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Worsening housing crisis must prompt action
    A growing public housing waiting list and continued increase of house prices must be urgently addressed by Government, Green Party Co-leader Marama Davidson said today. ...
    16 hours ago
  • Twenty highlights of 2020
    As we welcome in the new year, our focus is on continuing to keep New Zealanders safe and moving forward with our economic recovery. There’s a lot to get on with, but before we say a final goodbye to 2020, here’s a quick look back at some of the milestones ...
    3 weeks ago

  • Jobs for Nature funding will create training and employment opportunities
    A major investment to tackle wilding pines in Mt Richmond will create jobs and help protect the area’s unique ecosystems, Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor says. The Mt Richmond Forest Park has unique ecosystems developed on mineral-rich geology, including taonga plant species found nowhere else in the country. “These special plant ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Pre-departure testing extended to all passengers to New Zealand
    To further protect New Zealand from COVID-19, the Government is extending pre-departure testing to all passengers to New Zealand except from Australia, Antarctica and most Pacific Islands, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “The change will come into force for all flights arriving in New Zealand after 11:59pm (NZT) on Monday ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Bay Cadets learn skills to protect environment
    Bay Conservation Cadets launched with first intake Supported with $3.5 million grant Part of $1.245b Jobs for Nature programme to accelerate recover from Covid Cadets will learn skills to protect and enhance environment Environment Minister David Parker today welcomed the first intake of cadets at the launch of the Bay ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Cook Islanders to resume travel to New Zealand
    The Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern and the Prime Minister of the Cook Islands Mark Brown have announced passengers from the Cook Islands can resume quarantine-free travel into New Zealand from 21 January, enabling access to essential services such as health. “Following confirmation of the Cook Islands’ COVID ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Supporting communities and landowners to grow employment opportunities
    Jobs for Nature funding is being made available to conservation groups and landowners to employ staff and contractors in a move aimed at boosting local biodiversity-focused projects, Conservation Minister Kiritapu Allan has announced. It is estimated some 400-plus jobs will be created with employment opportunities in ecology, restoration, trapping, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Border exception for some returning international tertiary students
    The Government has approved an exception class for 1000 international tertiary students, degree level and above, who began their study in New Zealand but were caught offshore when border restrictions began. The exception will allow students to return to New Zealand in stages from April 2021. “Our top priority continues ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Tiwai deal gives time for managed transition
    Today’s deal between Meridian and Rio Tinto for the Tiwai smelter to remain open another four years provides time for a managed transition for Southland. “The deal provides welcome certainty to the Southland community by protecting jobs and incomes as the region plans for the future. The Government is committed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • New member for APEC Business Advisory Council
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has appointed Anna Curzon to the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC). The leader of each APEC economy appoints three private sector representatives to ABAC. ABAC provides advice to leaders annually on business priorities. “ABAC helps ensure that APEC’s work programme is informed by business community perspectives ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Govt’s careful economic management recognised
    The Government’s prudent fiscal management and strong policy programme in the face of the COVID-19 global pandemic have been acknowledged by the credit rating agency Fitch. Fitch has today affirmed New Zealand’s local currency rating at AA+ with a stable outlook and foreign currency rating at AA with a positive ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Additional actions to keep COVID-19 out of NZ
    The Government is putting in place a suite of additional actions to protect New Zealand from COVID-19, including new emerging variants, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “Given the high rates of infection in many countries and evidence of the global spread of more transmissible variants, it’s clear that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • 19 projects will clean up and protect waterways
    $36 million of Government funding alongside councils and others for 19 projects Investment will clean up and protect waterways and create local jobs Boots on the ground expected in Q2 of 2021 Funding part of the Jobs for Nature policy package A package of 19 projects will help clean up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand Government acknowledges 175th anniversary of Battle of Ruapekapeka
    The commemoration of the 175th anniversary of the Battle of Ruapekapeka represents an opportunity for all New Zealanders to reflect on the role these conflicts have had in creating our modern nation, says Associate Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Kiri Allan. “The Battle at Te Ruapekapeka Pā, which took ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Better care for babies with tongue-tie
    Babies born with tongue-tie will be assessed and treated consistently under new guidelines released by the Ministry of Health, Associate Minister of Health Dr Ayesha Verrall announced today. Around 5% to 10% of babies are born with a tongue-tie, or ankyloglossia, in New Zealand each year. At least half can ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Prisoner disorder event at Waikeria Prison over
    The prisoner disorder event at Waikeria Prison is over, with all remaining prisoners now safely and securely detained, Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis says. The majority of those involved in the event are members of the Mongols and Comancheros. Five of the men are deportees from Australia, with three subject to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Pre-departure COVID-19 test for travellers from the UK and the US from 15 January
    Travellers from the United Kingdom or the United States bound for New Zealand will be required to get a negative test result for COVID-19 before departing, and work is underway to extend the requirement to other long haul flights to New Zealand, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins confirmed today. “The new PCR test requirement, foreshadowed last ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago