Reading the Weekend Herald, it was hard to find anyone that had a good thing to say about this Labour Government. In fact, I don’t think there was anybody. When one can’t find an article in a newspaper as biased as the NZ Herald favouring the Government, one could be excused for thinking the rulers of the country might be starting to hit turbulent waters. I will concentrate mainly on two of the four I read.
Fran O’Sullivan said Grant Robertson’s letter of expectation to Air NZ (I call it impudent) should be marked Return to Sender. Steven Joyce had a headline Drifting along on a road to nowhere. Audrey Young, in an article about David Seymour, mentioned that when the usually competent (ha ha) Covid Response and Education Minister Chris Hipkins starts insulting one of the largest schools in the country, Hutt Valley High, over its mouldy buildings, it is a sign of a minister under pressure.
Along with the Herald editorial, Audrey also remarked that the failures at the border over Covid-19 testing and vaccinations revealed this week were the worst of all the failures in terms of undermining confidence in the border systems. The editorial spoke of the UK showing us how to implement a vaccine rollout.
Both Fran’s and Steven’s articles, no doubt written independently of each other, link up quite nicely. Fran says Robertson has borrowed large to sustain New Zealand through the Covid pandemic. But, she says, with problems on the delivery front remaining, his attention would be better turned towards the government’s performance itself rather than beating up on a company which has done a pretty good job in current circumstances. Steven says the current government, while good at stopping things, is having a real problem actually making anything happen. That reflects their total ineptitude.
Fran says his “enduring letter of expectations” to Air NZ chairman Dame Therese Walsh has not been favourably received in the business world. I, for one, am not surprised. She notes it is obvious that directors have been up against the wall battling – ever so graciously – with a shareholding minister who delayed the much-needed capital raise last year on specious grounds, instead saddling the company with a slow-dragging anchor of debt at usurious interest rates.
Fran points out Auckland Airport sought up to $1.2 billion to reinforce its balance sheet and ensure it remained well capitalised during this period of strict border controls and greatly reduced passenger numbers, with the aim of it being well-positioned for a post-Covid-19 era. She says it strains credulity that Robertson didn’t allow Air NZ to follow suit.
No it doesn’t. This Government is made up of people who, in the main, have had no experience in business. Probably the closest any of them have come to anything like running a business in terms of handling money is a game of Monopoly. They are completely clueless. According to Fran speculation has turned to whether Labour does itself have a game plan to increase its 52 per cent shareholding further. I would not be at all surprised.
In the urgent debate in Parliament last week, Robertson appeared to be ignoring the major point of opposition to the letter. It was not the letter itself, but the content of the letter. As Robertson pointed out, while trying to excuse himself, it is common practice for these types of letters to be sent out. Indeed it is, Grant, but if you understood the world of business the content would have been somewhat different.
Letters from the previous National administration emphasised a no-surprises policy but Fran said that changed in 2019 when new letters were sent requiring Crown entities to place greater emphasis on the government’s social and environmental objectives: ensuring greater diversity in their organisations, building Maori capability and delivering on wellbeing.
That in itself tells you how little understanding Labour has of operating a business. They are proving themselves to be equally inept when it comes to running the country.
Steven Joyce says from vaccination to a second harbour crossing, too many things are being left undone and the government shows no sign that it knows how to get New Zealand moving again. Let’s be blunt, he says. In the last nearly four years since the change of government, almost nothing of substance has been built. There have been announcements up the wazoo, some funding has been allocated, but there’s been precious little action.
Steven says he can safely assert that John Key would have turned his Cabinet over at least a couple of times by now if he had been faced with the same amount of delivery failure. Right there is the nub of the problem. Those in line in this administration are as useless, if not more so if that’s possible, than those who currently hold the portfolios. What a sorry situation. From the Prime Minister down there is practically no one of any real ability. The Urgent Debate in Parliament was testament to that. The Opposition speakers spoke from an understanding of business while all we got from the Government was a load of warm fuzzies such as businesses wanting to take care of the planet and other gobbledygook.
This country is in grave economic danger from a bunch of inherently ignorant idiots.
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