When values and trust mat­ter most

Franklin County News - - OUT & ABOUT - JOHN ALLEN

‘‘To me, an un­der­stand­ing of values pro­vides a more sub­stan­tive ba­sis for as­sess­ing who is wor­thy of my trust and my vote.’’


Once ev­ery three years, the sea­son for po­lit­i­cal largess and un­en­force­able prom­ises comes back to tempt us.

Many will fall for the machi­na­tions of the po­lit­i­cal mar­ke­teers and in the process, lose sight of what’s re­ally im­por­tant - whether we can trust our po­lit­i­cal lead­ers to do the right thing for our com­mu­ni­ties.

Last week’s well at­tended elec­tion meet­ing or­gan­ised by Franklin BPW (Busi­ness and Pro­fes­sional Women), con­formed to that elec­tion-cy­cle fa­mil­iar­ity.

The can­di­dates re­sponded to ques­tions around equal pay, men­tal health, housing and road trans­port, with policy prom­ises or equiv­o­ca­tion.

It seemed that, the re­sponses from sit­ting Hunua MP and Na­tional Party can­di­date An­drew Bayly, all fo­cused on money.

A hun­dred mil­lion dol­lars spent or to be spent here, tens of mil­lions there, mil­lions ev­ery­where.

It’s easy to say that more is be­ing spent.

But is that spend­ing wise, and will it be suf­fi­cient?

The key for me, is trust­wor­thi­ness.

So I asked a ques­tion about values.

The ques­tion was about the can­di­date’s com­mit­ment to up­hold­ing the rule of law.

The con­text was Me­tiria Turei’s dis­clo­sure and Todd Bar­clay ex­po­sure, of their break­ing our laws.

The is­sue for me, is that there is no ba­sis for trust if a can­di­date con­dones an MP’s wrong­do­ing.

Of course each can­di­date said they up­hold the rule of law.

It would be naive of me to ex­pect any­one to say oth­er­wise.

But the ac­tions of the Greens and Na­tional Party show a dif­fer­ent value sys­tem, one in­con­sis­tent with their can­di­date’s ex­pressed values.

Only Jon Reeves (NZ First) ad­dressed the is­sues be­hind the ques­tion and con­demned each party for con­don­ing the wrong­do­ing of their can­di­date. Ap­pre­ci­a­tion! I did not get that Baljit Kaur (Labour) and An­thony Smith (ACT) re­ally un­der­stood what the is­sue was re­ally about. Unset­tling! Ian Cum­mings (In­de­pen­dent) ad­dressed the is­sue as one of in­tegrity. Re­spect! An­drew Bayly put it back on me, say­ing that I did not un­der­stand the mat­ter. Pa­tro­n­is­ing! What I un­der­stand is that there is an ap­par­ent cover-up of Bar­clay’s wrong­do­ing.

His crime was se­ri­ous enough that Na­tional would have lost their ma­jor­ity had he been found guilty a year ago.

In their si­lence, their sup­port for Bar­clay and their ap­par­ent cover-up, the Na­tional Party shows a dis­dain for the rule of law.

What I un­der­stand is that the Greens con­done what Me­tiria Turei did.

Her crime was mi­nor and her cause just - we des­per­ately needed her to cham­pion the work around poverty this coun­try needs.

We can un­der­stand her why, and for­give her what, but the ends don’t jus­tify the means.

To me, an un­der­stand­ing of values pro­vides a more sub­stan­tive ba­sis for as­sess­ing who is wor­thy of my trust and my vote.

John Allen is the di­rec­tor of Ru­ral Con­nect, www.ru­ral­con­nect.org.nz www.smal­l­Wind.co.nz www.small­block.org.nz


Let­ters should not ex­ceed 300 words and must have full name, res­i­den­tial ad­dress and phone num­ber. Write to Let­ters to the Ed­i­tor, Franklin County News, PO Box 14, Pukekohe or email julie.kaio@fair­fax­me­dia.co.nz

John Allen

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