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Latest NZ Poll Results A Wake Up Call

“Latest NZ Poll Results Wake Up Call For All Politicians” –

HUGH PAVLETICH - DEMOGRAPHIA

The February 2008 New Zeraland Fairfax Media- Nielson poll out today with the unnecessarily emotive header Labour poll-axed - New Zealand, world, sport, business & entertainment news on Stuff.co.nz has National Opposition at 55% - the current Labour Government 32% - with the Prime Minister Helen Clarks support having slumped to 29% and the National Party Leader now at 44%. Under the New Zealand Mixed Member Proportional (MMP) system, this poll result would indicate that National could govern alone with 69 seats leaving Labour on 40 within the 123 seat House.

It would appear that only 27% were impressed with Ms Clarks initiatives in tackling education and housing affordability as outlined within this article – with the rather juvenile header - Voters want Key, boots 'n' all - New Zealand, world, sport, business & entertainment news on Stuff.co.nz

As the old saying goes in politics “Its governments that lose elections – not oppositions that win them” – and with these latest poll results (which have been building for quite some time now) – understandably, we are now in the “rats abandoning the sinking ship” phase – from both inside the Labour Party and outside – with the media turning on the government. The latter had to a large extent earlier been the governments greatest “cheerleaders” – but with the change in public sentiment are “re assessing their positions”.

The “loss of faith” currently going on within the ranks of the civil service with the decline in the Governments fortunes – could be described as rather amusing. Much of the earlier advice they had provided the Government - in areas such as housing affordability - could at best be described as “woeful” – as I outlined within my December 2007 Open Letter to Housing Minister .

This illustrates the urgent need for focus on policy development - to substantially enhance the ethical and general performance standards of the public service at central, regional and local government levels in New Zealand. Over recent years - it has regrettably become an ill disciplined “Parkinsons Law on Prozac” exercise. A small country such as New Zealand’s - with a tiny population of just 4.2 million (and a GDP of one third the size of the cities of Houston or Dallas Fort Worth for example) has become “suffocatingly bureaucratized”.

The National Party could not be rated a “stellar performer” on the policy development front – and one of the few areas it has made some progress, is on the issue of “housing affordability” – with a little external encouragement – as this August 2007 speech by its Leader John Key - NZ National Party Leader - Leader of the Opposition illustrates. He spoke in much the same vein to National Party members at their Conference subsequently

The media has yet to report on it adequately – but the reality is that most Kiwis (rightly or wrongly) are “feeling poorer”, with Westpac Bank indicating recently that during 2007 household debt climbed a further $19 billion to $166 billion or 13%. Even though real estate transaction volumes have fallen away quite dramatically and new housing construction is now beginning to weaken – the mortgage debt financing pressures required to participate in a grossly inflated housing market as illustrated in the latest Demographia Survey , place enormous financial loads on households.

The former Australian Liberal Government learnt this to its cost, at the last Federal election as illustrated by the December 2007 research commissioned by the Sydney Morning Herald from Fitch Ratings as outlined within this article Fear of losing homes drove Labor win - National - smh.com.au . It is the “bread and butter” issues that really concern people.

These latest poll results will hopefully stimulate all political parties to develop sound policies that are in the wider public interest. It is to be hoped too - going forward - that the wider public and media - do their job in demanding “policy performance” across the political spectrum. The politicians (at all levels) are our “representatives” and public officials are the “servants of the public” – and they should never be allowed to forget it.

ENDS

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