Watkins on health and safety mess

Written By: - Date published: 10:02 am, August 27th, 2015 - 17 comments
Categories: accountability, health and safety, national - Tags: ,

Even Tracy Watkins has joined the chorus of ridicule on National’s health and safety mess:

National’s health and safety legislation its lightbulb moment

It no longer matters whether it is true or not that school playgrounds will have to close thanks to the Government’s health and safety laws. Or whether it is true that school camps will be banned, outdoor games are under threat, or that people will have to wear a harness while using a ladder. It’s enough that people believe it.

The health and safety legislation was borne out of the best of intentions in the wake of the Pike River mining disaster. But politics have intervened. National was the first and worst offender – under pressure from its provincial MPs, its efforts to placate powerful lobbies like farming have turned the legislation into a laughing stock.

John Key’s increasingly lacklustre defence of the shambles consists of answers that sound more like satire by the day.

Ouch. I’ll take issue with Watkins framing of this piece however:

National’s health and safety legislation has turned into a running gag and political liability on the scale of Labour’s fart tax, and lightbulb ban.

The difference being that the research levy and energy saving lightbulbs were sound and sensible policies that an unprincipled opposition and giddy media turned into major beatups. Whereas the health and safety policy is incoherent, politically expedient, likely to cost lives, and a mess entirely of National’s making.

17 comments on “Watkins on health and safety mess”

  1. Weepus beard 1

    Yes, there’s always, always a #Labour did it too zinger associated with any criticism of the current government from the likes of Watkins and the rest of her army right wing commentators.

    • Draco T Bastard 1.1


      If they have to criticise National then they’ll always put the boot into Labour even if there’s no way to compare Nationals actions with Labours.

    • Rodel 1.2

      I avoid reading Watkins, listening to Henry, Hoskings, Garner or Alfred E Neuman. Life’s too short to consume rubbish.

  2. Aaron 2

    I like the phrase “giddy media” – very apt.

  3. Tracey 3

    How do you get people to care in polls?

    I ask cos most people I bump into, of all political persuasions do care that people are dying and being maimed in workplaces…

  4. Philj 4

    Great to see some in the media waking up from their slumber. I don’t watch the silly TV anymore. Who would?

    • tc 4.1

      Wait and see if it’s sustained or just the ‘balance’ piece offered up.

      Then they can go back to shilling for the nats and point to the article as evidence of being ‘objective’.

  5. The difference being that the research levy and energy saving lightbulbs were sound and sensible policies that an unprincipled opposition and giddy media turned into major beatups. Whereas the health and safety policy is incoherent, politically expedient, likely to cost lives, and a mess entirely of National’s making.

    That’s because Watkins is critiquing the perception of the policy among voters, not the substance of the policy itself.
    I guess to her they are one and the same; popular meme=good policy, unpopular meme=bad policy.

    It’d be nice if once in a while she read the legislation and then made researched critical remarks on said legislation.
    Instead all we get is her calling the horse race.

    • Lindsey 5.1

      Although most people are using the energy efficient light bulbs, there is still one USA Congress-critter who is happy to cost the US taxpayers extra for the old fashioned type of light bulbs because he thinks that energy efficiency is some sort of Agenda 21 socialist plot.

    • Hanswurst 5.2

      Indeed. It is absolutely bizarre that opinion columns are so often based on second-guessing exactly the public opinion that they are supposed to inform. Tracy Watkins: “Having stuck a finger up my arse and determined which way I think you think the wind is blowing, this is my considered opinion”. Pathetic.

  6. aerobubble 7

    Keys answer to housing dampness crisis… …they should air their homes! Wtf, when his sole parent mum was stay at home, not being forced out to work, not living in derprved s.auckland, etc.

    Key keeps doing that, project today ils on yesterday and yesterday labours time on today.

  7. Muttonbird 8

    Another one today. The current government prostrates itself before lobby groups and then the dead bodies mount up under their watch…


  8. Keith 9

    People needlessly being injured or killed because compromised National MP’s are only worried about saving their own arses, is somehow on par with energy saving light bulbs? Seriously Tracy? What a fucking farce!

  9. RedBaronCV 10

    How about some stats on all those killer light bulbs and shower heads Tracey. Come on now we need to know how deaths they caused last year??

    And remember “nothin’ to fear nothin’ to hide “so the Nact team will be very happy to tell you

  10. Smilin 11

    Riders of the Storm, killers in the parliament dogs without a bone
    How can this shyte pass as law H&S my arse Key and his cronies dont deserve to be in govt The power of the Smilin Assassin is really coming home to us now .This is corporate lobbying of the worse kind we might be better off to allow China complete sovereignty of us because this rightwing fascist govt is beyond anything like democracy
    What kind of conscience do these Nact MPs have ?

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