OPINION

Chloe Swarbrick seems to be showing us she is not one of those cute cuddly Greens who can always find something good to say about everyone. Nope, she’s a whinging, nasty serial complainer, who thinks if she shrieks, scolds and stamps her foot then people will start listening to her.

The Government today announced its 36-point action plan, the successor to its 49-point 100-day plan, which was completed on March 8.

The new plan includes items such as delivering the Budget, and legislating for tax cuts, and “take decisions” on a dozen things, such as the reform of the Holidays Act.

It also included raising “the energy” New Zealand brought to its international relations.

The 36-point plan can be found here.

Prime Minister Christopher Luxon said the plan was focused on three areas – rebuilding the economy, restoring law and order and delivering better public services – a key messaging line from the party’s 2023 election campaign.

In response to the announcement, Green Party co-leader Chloe Swarbrick said there were no surprises nor “meaningful solutions” in the Government’s “bingo card for environmental destruction and trickle-down economics”.

“Christopher Luxon is not in the boardroom anymore. The irony is these bullet points wouldn’t even hold up in the corporate world: vague, immeasurable and untethered from reality and evidence as they are.

“What on earth does raising the energy New Zealand brings to international relationships mean? For who precisely, and how in reality, does the Government want to ‘improve the rental market’?”

She said when someone showed you who they were you should believe them and the Government had shown that its focus was “squarely on gutting environmental, climate and social gains in order to line the pockets of a few at the top”.

“They could at least be honest about it.”

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So, now we’ve heard the Greens’ response to the Government’s 36-point plan, calling it “PR spin” and “as pointless as it is hollow.”

But let’s take a step back and ponder, is it really the Government that’s untethered from reality, or perhaps the Greens themselves?

The Greens seem to be painting themselves as the champions of meaningful solutions, yet their critique lacks substance.

Swarbrick questions the vague nature of the plan, but isn’t her own criticism equally vague?

Instead of offering concrete alternatives, she chooses to throw stones from her glass house.

It’s easy to criticise but it’s much harder to propose real solutions.

And what about Swarbrick’s assertion that the plan is focused on “environmental destruction and trickle-down economics”?

That’s a bold claim, but where’s the evidence?

It’s easy to toss around buzzwords, and slogans but, without backing them up with facts, it’s just empty rhetoric. We saw all too well what happens when a foolish leader spouts only slogans as when Jacinda Ardern was Prime Minister.

But what about Labour?

Labour’s deputy leader Carmel Sepuloni said the Government “should ‘raise the energy’ on cost of living support for New Zealanders”.

“Our country isn’t a company and shouldn’t be run like one.

“Kiwis deserve a Government that chooses cost of living support for those who need it, like free prescriptions, half price public transport and free and healthy school lunches, rather than $2.9 billion for landlords.”

She said it showed the Government’s “latest list” showed coalition partner ACT had “won out over New Zealand First “in a big way”.

“It makes us wonder who’s calling the shots.”

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Carmel Sepuloni echoes the sentiment that our country isn’t a company and shouldn’t be run like one.

Sort of a fair point. But does that really mean we shouldn’t strive for efficiency and accountability in government?

We saw what happens when you run a government like a drunken sailor. Grant Robertson’s borrowings were the largest of any government in New Zealand, ever!

And what do we have to show for it?

Pretty much nothing.

The 36-point plan, flawed as it may be, at least attempts to outline priorities and set goals.

Isn’t that what responsible governance is all about?

Meanwhile, ACT leader David Seymour proudly declares that his party’s policies make up half of the actions in the plan.

Love them or hate them, ACT is undeniably making waves within the coalition Government.

It’s a reminder that politics is a game of compromise and, sometimes, the loudest voices aren’t always the most influential.

As we dissect the latest political drama, let’s remember to question not only the actions of our leaders but also the motives behind the critics.

Are the Greens and Chloe Swarbrick truly the arbiters of reality, or are they simply playing their part in the never-ending game of political theatre?


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news,...