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.

ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Gordon Campbell: On Bank Scandals (And Air Crashes)

Last month, the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) filed proceedings against Westpac over activities that have some distinct echoes of the Libor scandal. More>>

Budget: Health Funding Must Keep Up With Need

NZNO: “The nursing team has been doing more with less for years. It’s getting to the point that we’re really worried about our colleagues, our patients, our jobs and the level of health care available for people in our country." More>>

ALSO:

Emissions Inventory: Time For The Government To Do The Right Thing

It’s time for the National Government to step up and do the right thing to reduce climate pollution as data shows New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emissions are higher than ever, the Green Party said today. More>>

ALSO:

Budget 2016: More Partnership Schools To Open

Seven new schools will join the eight Partnership Schools already open, along with further new schools opening in 2017. “The growth of this policy is a reflection of the high level of interest from educators and community leaders,” Mr Seymour says. More>>

ALSO:

No Correspondence With English: Did Brownlee Make Up Sale Of Navy Ships ‘On The Hoof?’

Having revealed that several Royal New Zealand Navy vessels have not left port in years, New Zealand First is now asking the Minister of Defence to prove he did not come up with the idea of selling HMNZS Taupo and Pukaki until the media asked him. More>>

Housing Plans: Labour- Abolish Auckland Urban Boundary
The Government should rule out any possibility of an urban growth boundary in Auckland Council’s Unitary Plan if it is serious about fixing the housing crisis. More>>
Greens - State House Solution
The Homes Not Cars policy allows Housing New Zealand to retain its dividend and, in addition, would refund its tax, to spend on the emergency building of around 450 new state houses. More>>

ALSO:

Houses And Taxes: Post-Cabinet, Pre-Budget Press Conference

The Prime Minister said that the pre-budget announcements showed that his Government is “investing in a growing economy”. He re-affirmed the National Government’s commitment to lowering personal tax rates but that any such change must fit with the fiscal reality of the time. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news