This Labour Government really seems hell bent on utter electoral destruction by dying in a ditch of insignificance.
They were elected to solve the difficult issues of a self-declared housing crisis and ending child poverty. Indeed, the Prime Minister has declared that her sole reason for entering politics was to end the scourge of child poverty and, to show how serious she was about it all, she appointed herself with the lofty title Minister of Child Poverty Reduction.
Both of those issues remain unresolved, and in fact have gotten demonstrably worse.
Housing is an unmitigated disaster four years on from their first election. After promising to build 100,000 houses at a rate of 10,000 per annum, they haven’t even managed, yet, to build the first thousand houses. The original Minister, Phil Twyford, was effectively sacked and demoted to meaningless portfolios. His replacement, Megan Woods, was touted by no less than the Prime Minister herself as the fix-it person who was going to deliver. So far she has delivered nothing but announcements, hubris and embarrassment.
Megan Woods is so bad as a minister that her office is now disparagingly called the “High Dependency Unit”. Grant Robertson’s crack team looking at fixing delivery issues are spending more and more time micro managing the portfolio.
There are ever-increasing embarrassments coming from the housing portfolio. Rents continue to rise, as do average house prices. All the measures that this minister has put in place have delivered the opposite of what was intended. It is difficult to see Megan Woods retaining the confidence of the Prime Minister for too much longer.
Child poverty, similarly, has an ineffectual and hopeless minister in charge. Every measure that was put in place to gauge the effectiveness of reducing child poverty has shown the problem is getting worse and not better. It will however be hard for the Minister to lose the confidence of the Prime Minister as they are one and the same person.
Instead of focusing on fixing the big issues that vaulted them into power, Labour has now essentially conceded defeat in those areas and has now resorted to solving issues that matter to no one but a select few liberal elite jobsworths who complain about trivial things like they are the end of the world.
As Helen Clark found out when she meddled in ordinary Kiwis’ lives with nanny-state-proposed legislation like telling us what sort of light-bulbs we should use and how we needed dribbly showers, Kiwi voters don’t actually like being told what to do.
This is why we have seen the doctrinaire and condescending proclamation that there are “legitimate” uses for a ute, and because the haughty Prime Minister thinks that most people have a ute for illegitimate reasons then you can all have a massive tax on your utes for being so petulant as to believe you had a choice.
That is why we have seen the feting of Dr Rodd Carr and his economic lunacy dressed up as the Climate Commission. His particular version of voodoo economics and economic sabotage seems intent on delivering us a great reset to pre-industrial times or at least making us all pay horrifically for the apparent evils of being a first-world nation.
It is also why we are seeing the blind pursuit of divisive, racist and separatist notions that take diabolical liberties with not only history but the actual wording of a treaty from 1840. The government says that the He Puapua report is not official, except of course that several key recommendations of the report have already been implemented and more are planned.
No one is marching in the streets for increased Maori representation far in excess of their 15% of the population. No one is asking for the abrogation of democratic principles dear to our enlightened Westminster system. Yet the government is foisting their changes on us without even bothering to entertain a referendum on the issues lest those pesky voters reject their changes. John Key may have been arrogant, but at least he put the flag change proposal to the people.
We had all pretty much forgotten the nonsensical plastic bag and straw ban that Labour piled on us, ostensibly to protect turtles that don’t even frequent our chilly waters. But that ban has been brought to the fore now with the latest tranche in nanny statism banning even more plastic products. The days of plastic cutlery and cotton buds, PVC meat trays and polystyrene takeaway containers are numbered in New Zealand, as the Government moves to ban these hard-to-recycle products by mid-2025. I live on a beach and walk it almost daily, I have never seen any of those products, or even the evil plastic bags, on either the beach or in the water, ever.
And who can forget that just a week after a bunch of boomer bike riders illegally rode across the Auckland Harbour Bridge, the government announced the biggest sop to the smallest group of road users: building a $765 million cycle and pedestrian bridge beside the clapped out, past its use by date, Auckland Harbour Bridge.
There is no way that the final cost of that bridge will be under $1 billion. The Transport Minister, Michael Wood, whom I used to think highly of, was heard to claim that even though we have a third of the population of Sydney we will get 50% more cyclists across our bridge than they do in Sydney.
The government has failed, and most don’t yet know it. All the big issues that they were elected to fix have gotten much worse. The government has not only failed on those, they’ve actually surrendered, and started to focus on the small and insignificant.
They also have a complicit and ultra-woke media that focus on minor issues in the main opposition party instead of the failures of those in power. The media and this government have brought divisiveness to us all, under the guise of the woke calls for diversity and inclusiveness.
If you poll people, no one ever says they will vote for a party because they are woke, inclusive and diverse. No one, ever. It is a fantasy, a pipe dream, not matched by reality. Yet this is what this government and their media lap-dogs are focused on.
Like the US in 2016 the media are slavishly telling us about a New Zealand that exists only in the fevered minds of media and left-wing luvvies. The rest of us drive utes, hunt for the freezer, work our arses off, pay our taxes and get on with life. We simply don’t care about diversity, we hire the best person for the job. We think that people like Gavin Hubbard are wankers not heroes. We think that people spending a lifetime on welfare are deadset useless bludgers. We pay for the roads this government seems to want to hand over to people who don’t pay to use them. Most of us aren’t at all racist despite the media and people who actually are racist telling us we are. Any political party that recognises those few truisms will reap a vast harvest of votes.
It’s a topsy-turvy, inside-out world currently, and this Government is hell bent on making it more so. There is going to be a backlash, and when it happens this government is going to wonder what it is all about.
When a government starts micro-managing your life, telling you what vehicles you can own and bending to vocal but minuscule groups of rowdies then it is time the government was changed. There won’t be a fuss, it will just happen, and I don’t think it is that far away.
This Government appears prepared to die in a ditch of insignificance. It is in reality their only shovel-ready project. I say let them die in that ditch. It will make burying them that much easier.