Petrol tax? Let’s get this show on the road
If we’re going to create a transport system our children can be proud of, we’re going to have to pay for it now. Scheme to snatch monkeys ends with
Full declaration, I like Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s vision for what sort of country New Zealand could be.
I like that she stated in one of her earliest speeches that she wanted the government to be kinder, because I can’t help but think that this very important quality would help make the world a less stressful place if it was applied more liberally to how the country is run.
We’ve had nine years of being run by a different set of priorities and values – and that’s a decent chunk of time for the National Party to re-create the country in their image.
I’m prepared to give this new team of women and men a chance to see how they can do things and what the outcomes could be for New Zealanders. And, of course, the beauty of living in a stable democracy is that if it works out terribly, then in about two and a half years we’ll get to fire them.
In the meantime, I suspect it’s going to be a bit excruciating putting up with all the hysteria that seems to lance through the mainstream media about what a terrible job they are doing.
Each week there seems to be a running commentary of dire warnings that, thanks to the Government, this country is going to hell in a hangi basket. But, in my mind, the reality doesn’t really seem to match up with the righteous opinion – and for most of us, our opinion of how rosy life is, can depend on who’s opinion you read.
The latest warnings that this Government has committed a political act of ritual selfdisembowelment, came after it’s 10-year National Transport Plan.
It was heavy on investment in rail and public transport, and included plans for a national petrol tax to pay for everything. Aucklanders will be hit twice given they’re already facing the prospect of a regional petrol tax.
Petrol is already too expensive so the collective wailing and gnashing of teeth is understandable. Maybe, to counter the effect, the Government could GST off fruit and veges, so at least that stuff is cheaper?
But maybe this is just something our generation has to wear for our country so that we can provide a transport infrastructure that future generations will thank us for.
I wish earlier generations had footed the bill, but they didn’t.
Imagine if we had a rail system and public transport that Europe could envy. It would have to be pretty awesome, because the rail and public transport in some parts of Europe is outstanding – and, no doubt, we’d have to shell out big money for it.
Other countries have bitten the bullet to ensure they get what they need. For example, people in Scandinavia accept high taxes as the necessary price for everyone being able to have an equal shot at living their best life.
And having to frind the extra money will hurt. It always has done. I can still remember the palpable sense of shock nationally when the price of petrol went above a dollar per litre, and I’ve experienced the joy and relief of even scraping together five dollars for gas.
But as much as a petrol tax would suck, we should suck it up. After all, it’s for something that New Zealand needs.
If they were scared, which they would’ve been, they would have screaming and biting.’ KAREN FIFIELD
SEEN anyone wandering around Wellington this morning covered in tiny bite marks? Might just be that they were behind a dastardly plot to steal monkeys from the city’s zoo.
Police are today still searching for the intruder who broke into the squirrel monkey enclosure on Friday night but it seems the little critters were more than a match for the would-be thief.
The zoo’s chief executive Karen Fifield said whoever was involved would have ‘‘some monkey bites, for sure’’ from what she called a ‘‘sophisticated and pre-meditated’’ crime.
At least two of the zoo’s 12 squirrel monkeys were bruised and battered after someone used bolt-cutters to break into their enclosure after the zoo closed on Friday night.
Wellington Zoo team leader of primates Harmony Neale said the monkeys, which weigh only around 750 grams, would have been tough to catch.
‘‘They’re very feisty,’’ Neale said.
‘‘Their best weapon is their teeth.
‘‘But they’re wriggly and can turn in on themselves. They’re very quick.’’
Fifield said the monkeys were ‘‘priceless’’ to zoo staff – but would have posed a serious problem to the would-be thief if they had managed to snatch one.
We’ve had nine years of being run by a different set of values – now it’s time to give Ardern and co a shot at their ‘‘kinder’’ version of government.