It’s coming up to three weeks since I last put my finger to the keyboard as family circumstances have led me to be somewhat busier than usual. I have however managed to keep tabs on most of the political machinations. The last two words of my headline succinctly cover my subject matter: namely current or proposed stuff-ups.

Probably a good place to start is with the hoary chestnut of Covid. The main point I want to make here is the effect Omicron has had on the population. The numbers involved contracting the virus and the numbers dying from the virus are far higher than the original strain or indeed the more dangerous Delta. That being the case, a couple of questions must be asked. 

Why, when Covid is infecting and killing more people, are the rules being relaxed?

Why, when Covid was less infectious and there were fewer deaths were businesses brought to ruination and the country saddled with debt for decades to come?

The government’s answer would be that by doing so they saved about 5,000 deaths. If that figure is as accurate as their other modelling then it is simply not believable. My answer is one word: CONTROL. Even now when they are relaxing the rules due to bad poll numbers, it is being done at a slower pace than a snail takes to get to a lettuce leaf.

Next up is Transmission Gully, a name I’m told doesn’t cut it. Neither does the time it took to build it. Even the famous Wellington wind was no help in speeding this project along. Now it needs a new name. Why? What are the names for all the other parts of State Highway One? They’d better be a jolly sight simpler than the one gifted by Ngati Toa, Te Aranui o Te Rangihaeata, the ‘big road’ of Te Rangihaeata. He was a chief of Ngati Toa and a key player protecting land at what became known as Battle Hill. Constructing the road certainly was a battle. I suggest a poll a year from now to find out if anyone knows the name.

Kainga Ora next comes to mind. While thousands more are on the house waiting list under this government, Kainga Ora spends $24 million on themselves renovating their offices. Housing Minister Megan Woods has the temerity to say this is a good thing as it is a sign the agency was growing. I should hope not! They already employ 2,300 people. This means the improvements equate to a spend of $10,000 per staffer.

Speaking of ministers, Police Minister Poto Williams has virtually put National’s Police Spokesperson Mark Mitchell under House arrest by denying him the opportunity to meet with the Commissioner and other Police top brass. I wonder why? They haven’t refused a meeting but Poto has decided they’re too busy. Obviously not an operational matter then. She also accused him of being continually disrespectful to the police. In contrast, she claimed that the police have her constant support. I know whose support they’d rather have. If it weren’t so serious it would be funny.

Another topic that would be funny if it weren’t so serious is Three Waters. ACT’s Local Government and Environment Spokesperson, Simon Court asked Minister Mahuta if she believed Maori had rights and interests in Three Waters assets built after 1840, and if so, why? Mahuta’s reply was that to her knowledge no Maori have expressed rights and interests in Three Waters assets over and above those of ratepayers in their communities of interest.

As Simon pointed out having lifted every manhole to try and find evidence of Maori rights and interests and failed to find any, her rationale for putting co-governance front and centre of the water reforms should be flushed down the drain. The focus must be on providing safe drinking water and high-quality infrastructure for stormwater and wastewater.

From central government to local government and this time it really is funny. This piece of nonsense emanates out of (no surprises here) Auckland Transport. Having seen Labour have a good go at suffocating farmers with regulations some idiot at AT has decided to join in annoying the rural folk. The proposal centres on rules around moving livestock.

Image credit The BFD.

The proposed bylaw requires two drovers, one over the age of 16, one at the front and one at the rear of the herd. Moving livestock would also require road cones and 30 km/h signs to be placed prior to moving stock. As Franklin Local Board Member Alan Cole said, “In the time it took me to put up signs I would have moved the stock already.”

In effect, this means that stock movements in the road corridor would require compliance with the code of practice for temporary traffic management. Therefore, in order to move stock in the road corridor, farmers would have to take training in temporary traffic management – and be tested. Alan Cole asked whether farmers would have to re-sit the test every two years.

Along with Covid, this country is sinking into an abyss of ridiculous rules and regulations.

JC

A right-wing crusader. Reached an age that embodies the dictum only the good die young. Country music buff. Ardent Anglophile. Hates hypocrisy and by association left-wing politics.