Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Dunne Speaks

Dunne Speaks

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

I know it is election year, and that that always generates a certain amount of frenetic silliness, as parties jockey for first mover advantage, but this year’s various efforts are probably the best yet.

From chemtrails, to non-launches of new parties, to the series of disconnected announcements from across the spectrum on areas as diverse as education, support for families, political overrides of the judicial process, they all smack of a peculiarly New Zealand version of the theatre of the absurd. The pace has been fast and furious with all the finesse of a Parisian traffic jam. In short, a series of symptoms desperately looking for a cause. The one possible exception is the Salvation Army’s State of the Nation Report, although its particular understandable focus discounts its impartiality somewhat.

Such policy making in a vacuum, or to put it more colloquially scratching every apparent itch (one party has made this a shabby art form over many years) might be fun in election year, but is no way to run a credible government.

Some years ago the Irish government adopted making Ireland the best place to raise a family as a key policy objective, and then geared its social and economic policies, including what the required economic growth rate to achieve those would be (around 6% from memory) towards meeting that goal. Such an approach might be far too organised for New Zealand in its current frame of mind. But it would certainly be a death-blow to the spraying around of expensive, unco-ordinated wish lists that seem to pass for serious policy these days.

What all this points to is the need for governments to have thorough and coherent information on which to base their policies and is why the annual Families Status Report the Families Commission is now required to produce is so important. This initiative was promoted by UnitedFuture in its 2011 confidence and supply agreement with National and was implemented last year. The 2014 Families Status Report will be released in June.

It will provide good baseline information on the status of New Zealand families and whānau today, their issues and concerns, and will be the ideal platform on which to build viable policies for the future. That of itself is probably a major reason why Opposition parties keep promising to abolish the Commission. However, spite over substance never wins the day.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines



Public Sector Still Shrinking: Record Low Number Of 'Backroom Bureaucrats'

Ongoing restraint in the public sector and a focus on better frontline services has seen a further reduction in the number of core Government employees, State Services Minister Paula Bennett says. More>>


Disobeying The Law: Police Censorship Of Crime Research “An Outrage”

The Green Party is calling on Police Minister Michael Woodhouse to ensure Police scrap controversial contracts that place onerous restrictions on academic researchers’ access to Police data, the Green Party says. More>>


Q+A Transcript: Groser ‘Not Expecting’ Failure At UN Climate Talks

‘I will be very surprised if we don’t get an agreement. I think it’s a completely different situation to Copenhagen for a number of reasons. We’ve got a much more realistic negotiating proposal on the table. Secondly, I think the science has strengthened...’ More>>


Greenpeace Protest:

Climate Talks, Immigration And Housing: PM's Post Cabinet Press Conference

Prime Minister John Key began by talking about his recent attendance at the APEC and ASEAN summits. He segued neatly from the opportunities available in Vietnam to outlining his upcoming itinerary which includes Malta, Paris and Berlin. More>>


After Urgent Law Change: Beneficiaries Urged To Act Immediately

I am hoping that thousands more people will be enabled to lodge their review... people without internet, who don't even realise that this has been happening. If just a fraction of the people on facebook can help others to put in reviews tomorrow it could improve so many more peoples Christmas. More>>


Auckland: Phil Goff To Run For Mayor In 2016

Phil Goff has today announced his decision to stand as an Independent candidate for Mayor of Auckland next year... As Mayor, Phil Goff will focus on a number of issues that directly impact on the lives of Aucklanders, including tackling traffic congestion and increasing the housing supply. More>>


Foreign Affairs: Mike Moore To Step Down As US Ambassador

Yvonne and I are giving notice to MFAT that we will be leaving the Post just before Christmas on the 16th December... I am now the longest serving continuous Ambassador to the US. I didn’t seek this job but felt I should do it because great issues were at stake. The time was ripe for it. More>>


Fox Glacier: Seven Dead In Helicopter Crash

The operation to recover the victims of Saturday’s helicopter crash at Fox Glacier is a technically challenging task calling for specialist skills in an unforgiving environment, says operation commander Inspector John Canning. More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news