OPINION

Stop and Go signs are now emerging in Maori – has New Zealand reached peak stupid?
Labour would be better off improving child vaccination rates to keep our babies safe.

With news out of Otago that there have been sightings of a new phenomenon, Stop and Go signs in Maori, we know that NZ Government officials have reached new heights of the ridiculous, with only 5% of the population speaking Maori. Watch out for the (laughable) Road to Zero campaign in Otago coming even more unstuck.

One small ray of hope: they have been left in red for stop and green for go. Thank heaven for small mercies.

All decision-making by the NZ Transport Agency should be based on safety first, not ideology. Motorists need to be able to react quickly and confidently. How can they do that when the language is different and a moment’s pause or panic reaction to the change might result in an accident?

We need a government that can use common sense, logic and reason when making decisions: not dogma or pure bloody-mindedness even when it’s clear they are wrong.

The same applies, for example, to signage in hospitals (Winston Peters pointed this out). Apparently Auckland Hospital has all their internal signage in Maori, so when patients are trying to find their way around, and like 95% of us, don’t speak Maori, that is another obstacle when they urgently need attention. And what about immigrants for whom English is a second language: terribly confusing.

Pragmatic and practical decision-making with the public’s best interest and safety in mind should be the mantra for government public servants who are paid by the public they serve.

However, I have full confidence that we are not fully ‘there yet’ and more examples of this Labour Government’s ideological lunacy will arise.

This is at a time when Maori babies have the lowest vaccination rates in six years, dropping to 67% (from 90% in 2017), and risk catching measles, whooping cough, and meningococcal disease. Three babies have died already this year from whooping cough.

Retaining public service targets that National adopted would have done more for Maori health and well-being than wasted millions spent on plastering Maori words over every spare surface, sign, and public document and ramming the language down our throats through the media (tokenism, according to Kiri Allen).

However, Labour, the party of non-transparency and dishonesty did not want their progress to be measured and removed those targets in 2018.

Accountability is scary and requires hard work rather than just announcements and haemorrhaging of money never to be accounted for. Where were the journalists questioning this dangerous move? It is only now I see articles decrying this treacherous Government’s removal of accountability.

I remember Jacinda Ardern in the House cynically sneering at National’s then health spokesperson, Michael Woodhouse, that National’s child immunisation rate of around 93% still hadn’t reached ‘herd immunity’ (which is around 95%). Who’s sneering now, Jacinda, with your failed, lazy government’s rates for Maori 28% below herd immunity?

Six years ago Maori childhood vaccination rates were not much lower than other ethnic groups, hovering around 90%; so our current Labour government cannot put their gross failures down to poor housing and poverty or their favourite: they are a ‘vulnerable’ group of people.

National, having inherited much lower rates from the Clark government, achieved much better results over nine years with sheer hard slog by the health workers and government ministers actually doing their job on the ground and not directing things from their offices while hoping for the best.

Immunisation rates for Pacific Island infants were higher than for New Zealand Europeans for ten years between 2010 to 2020 when they dropped below. These ‘vulnerable’ people managed to get their babies vaccinated at a greater rate than New Zealand’s Europeans.

Regarding the ‘vulnerable’ label, it is part of the ‘culture of excuses’ to which Chris Luxon referred. It is a gross insult to label these groups, ‘vulnerable’ as with the right help from a government prepared to roll their sleeves up and put in the work, these people could be in a much better position today.

Then there is the issue of education standards falling off a cliff.

It is a toss-up between Jan Tinetti or our former education minister, our current PM, as to who has been the most useless.

Chris Hipkins, who presided over the introduction of the contentious cancel culture (history) curriculum and had Shaneen Lal (the individual who helped incite the Albert Park riot and then miraculously was named Young New Zealander of the Year) as an advisor on Gender Studies, probably tops the bill.

Concentrating on promoting their radical agenda, using our children as guinea pigs could be one reason why the reading and maths results are so atrocious.

As a former teacher, never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined we would come to this. And, thanks to our media’s blind devotion to our corrupt Labour Government, many New Zealanders are still completely oblivious as to what is going on, as the media endorse it.

I have nothing against promoting the Maori language; however, how could we have wasted billions of dollars over the decades on Maori broadcasting and other initiatives, yet still only 5% speak it?

The Government could have promoted Maori by placing it underneath English on signage and elsewhere, so people gradually learned the words and phrases. But no, it had to take a brute force and ignorance approach. Also for years, they refused to use English sub-titles in Maori programming, an obvious way to convey meaning and teach another language

I watched during Covid briefings from the ‘Podium of Truth’ how over time signage changed from English to Maori. The effort made with this seemed greater than that put into getting the Covid response right.

My biggest concern was to see the official ‘The New Zealand Government’ wording at the bottom of all signs relegated to a position underneath ‘Te Kawanatanga O Aotearoa’.

I am sure no one would have objected if the Maori version was placed beneath the English, but, oh no, they had to go the full monty and no one dared ask our little dictator why. Fear and obedience to their great leader stopped journalists’ inquiries, despite ‘Jessica, then Tova’ having every opportunity to do so.

I did my writing apprenticeship as a communications advisor. Like all writers, I am highly opinionated, so freelance writing is best for me. I abhor moral posturing, particularly by NZ politicians. I avoid...