That’s a pretty standard question when your own political team is comfortably in power.
Particularly since the failure to implement the Capital Gains Tax in April 2019, there was clamour for this government to have the courage to do more.
Since that time a number of large government initiatives have been actively stopped or gone nowhere.
They have shown extraordinary caution to solidify the direction of the Climate Commission into a forceful, bold and comprehensive climate change response across the whole of government and indeed of society. Tax. Climate. Poverty. Environment. Productivity. Savings. Housing. Energy.
They have made small steps in some areas, but no more.
There is one quite present thing that ought to give this government courage to act boldly and implement swiftly in climate change, poverty, tax, housing, or any other policy area and it is this. All government entities, and almost 90% of the entire population of New Zealand, have acted to the common policy interest of us all and agreed to invasive medical treatment, and the state has enabled this to occur within 10 months of just one year, with exceptionally fast results.
Over one third of New Zealand’s population and 40% of its economy has in Auckland been subjected to a martial order controlling its citizens and curtailing their human rights and commercial freedoms three times over two years, with but minor protest. The Brian Tamaki protest managed to gather less than half the number of Kiwis whose main sport is cross-country running.
When the state and its political leadership determine that there are policy goals which are so pressing that human rights and commercial freedoms must be suspended on such a scale, you know that you have a society that is at base so cohesive, with such high trust in government, that it really will sacrifice to transform itself in the common good.
Within such incredible circumstance of dramatic cuts to our rights and freedoms for common cause, the popularity of the ruling Labour Party remains higher than it has for decades. Our sustained cohesion is something to behold.
So there is no political excuse left not to act boldly in responding to any of our outstanding policy areas. Poverty. Climate. Environment. Housing. Productivity. Savings. Energy.
We have good reason to now expect that this government and indeed ourselves can get to 90% achievement of any such audacious goal.
Not only is there the will of the public service to act at speed and with power, so too is the will of the people to achieve it.