I don’t recall the date or anything, but I remember the exact moment I decided to get politically active. Rob Muldoon was called by some brave journalist on the fact that National seemed to be ignoring all its election manifesto promises. Muldoon just grunted, and said that manifesto promises were dreamed up by advertisers, and nothing to do with him. The flippant way that he dismissed the issue made me angry, how are we supposed to make rational choices at election time if the policies are meaningless?
National haven’t changed. According to their health policy before the election:
Restructuring doesn’t necessarily change the way people work. Structural change diverts the attention of doctors and nurses away from improving patient care. National believes our health service can be improved without the distraction of restructuring. …
National will: … Not carry out another round of restructuring of the public health system.
Super-clinics plan in big health shake-up
Primary health services are about to undergo their biggest shake-up in nearly a decade, shifting some hospital services into the community and creating new super-clinics.
In that article we get a rare honest appraisal from Ryall of how the Nats know they can get away with their policy lies, and how they view the public:
Most people in the country wouldn’t know a PHO if they fell over it. This plan of strong community engagement is probably more of a myth.
So there we have it. On the one hand, Health and PHOs, we the public are too dumb to know or care about complicated stuff or National’s policy promises. But it isn’t always the same story! Because we’re also told that on the other hand, Education and “National Standards”, we the public all knew about this obscure detail in National’s (Tax cuts! Tax cuts! Tax cuts!) election policy and are therefore deemed to have completely endorsed it. In short, for National, election policy only matters if it happens to suit their real agenda. Remember that in 2011.