There have been some quite superficial comments in the media at how similar the policies are of the two main parties in this election.
Some claim that the contest is about personalities. That says a lot about how the media see things. So much easier for journalist not to have to deal with policies.
From my reading of things, this is not the case.
Two big differences stand out and they are ones that Jacinda Ardern announced in her first two days as leader and which set the polls racing ahead for Labour. They are:
Charge on water use by companies bottling for commercial use. Opposed by National.
Investigation into a capital gains tax. Opposed by National.
Then we have many other polices on which they are quite apart:
Ban on foreign residents buying residential property. Resisted time and again by National
Limit on immigration. National has had a hands off policy.
Ban on public-private partnerships for public services such as hospitals and prisons. National persists with these.
More support for rail transport. No chance of that with National with Simon Bridges, minister of motorways.
Much stronger action on river water quality. Cap on dairy cow numbers. More state housing. Opening of the Pike River Mine.
Well, how is that for a start? In this election we most certainly do have a choice.
Russell O Armitage
poverty), housing and homelessness, budgeting, sensible transport (not the sacred cow of expressways), pollution have all come under stress recently. Then, suddenly, in the space of a few weeks, there is enough dosh for practically anything you can think of. Well, pull my other one.
Targets are set or insisted on by bullying interviewers that the government have no hope of meeting. One hundred thousand children being lifted out of poverty is now set in stone as both parties appear to have accepted the target. Well, good luck with that one. With all of society’s settings pointing in the opposite direction they are going to need a massive disruption somewhere in the system to be able to affect that many children. And presumably they will need a large number of trained people to make anything happen. They must be hiding because everybody I see currently working in this area seem to be overworked already. Why do I have this vision of millions being wasted on initiatives that throw up more problems than they solve.
Maybe we need a new Ministry of Silly Promises to sort out the dopey ones from the ones that we actually need, can afford, and may actually fulfil their promise.