When I was first alerted to the fact that Muller and Kaye had lunched with Simon Wilson my immediate reaction was what the …. you choose the word. I thought why waste time with an ideologically driven chauvinist of the left? There is little point talking economics with the left as they have a lack of understanding amply illustrated by the current administration. I read the article which, I must be honest, had more appeal than what they had for lunch – dumplings and duck salad. According to Simon nobody ate very much, and he gave having a photographer in attendance as the reason: nobody wanted to risk dribbling.
I am pleased to say, having read the article, that there was little dribbling from Muller and Kaye, rather some good concrete facts. So what did we learn from this little luncheon engagement?
- Nikki is going to lead the party’s planning for Auckland, thankfully in conjunction with “Pull No Punches” Judith Collins.
- National will speed up plans for a third harbour crossing involving cars and some form of mass public transport.
- They do not believe the bulk of freight haulage should be moved to rail.
- They will send the proposition of moving the port to the Infrastructure Commission for a report.
- National is unlikely to support light rail to Mangere.
- National is interested in expanding the ferry services.
- There is no date for an end to importing vehicles powered by fossil fuels.
I happen to agree with all those points. What did Simon Wilson take from the chat? On the post-Covid rebuild Muller said “we can’t keep on with the short term subsidies leading nowhere” and “the recovery has to be business led”. Poor Simon was left trying to work out what that meant. Anyone with an understanding of how the economy works would have understood immediately.
In terms of a new harbour crossing Kaye said “We’ve already signalled we’ll have the biggest infrastructure spend in the nation’s history”. Simon likened that to Robertson’s $12 billion announcement and thinks it’s now about who can spent most. No it isn’t Simon. The difference is the National spend will be well targeted and prioritised rather than a leftist lolly scramble.
Simon appeared disappointed that Muller wasn’t more definite on stopping the conversion of land to dairy or setting a date for no more importing of fossil fuel vehicles. He also seemed disappointed at the idea of commissioning a report on moving the port and their thought that putting most freight on rail was a bad idea.
Obviously Simon would like to see all of those things happen because they represent the ideology of the left. It’s mostly to do with climate change. As we have just witnessed with COVID, where the entire emphasis was put on the health effects and none given to the economic outcomes, we have the same here. Simon wants climate change to be dealt with immediately without any thought to the economic consequences.
This is not how a responsible government oversees an economy. Whatever decisions are taken have outcomes and these have to be weighed up against the problem you are trying to solve. COVID is a good example, where the economy has been needlessly harmed by ignoring the economic effects of the decisions taken.
It would appear that because the left have so little understanding of the economy it is easier to just ignore it. Any resultant problems can be solved by handing out money. Whether a person loses a job, and therefore some pride, is therefore not of great concern. Money may be the root of all evil to some but to the left it is manna from heaven.
From the topics traversed and the responses from Muller and Kaye it is obvious Auckland at least will be on the right track under a National led Government. It is also pertinent to remember that elections are won and lost in Auckland.
Electorate vote National. Party vote Act.