Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


Election Day is Time to Refocus on Policies


Gareth Morgan: Election Day is Time to Refocus on Policies

Over the course of this election campaign there has been a lot of focus on dirty politics and spying, and not a lot on policy. With election day looming, Gareth Morgan is calling for people to refocus on the issues.

To help with this, the Morgan Foundation has prepared a pre-election guide entitled Dumb and Dirty Growth. It includes a summary of the biggest issues facing the country and how the three main parties rate. The document is a summary of the research Morgan and his Foundation have done over the past six years, which together presents a plan for how the country could switch to growing in a clean and clever way.

“Dumb and dirty growth is stuff that makes us richer in the pocket, but poorer in other ways,” says Morgan. “I’m sick of people talking about trade offs between the economy, society and environment. We can have it all, but we have to be smarter about how we do things.” To illustrate dumb and dirty growth, the paper uses the example of draining a wetland to use for dairy farming. Given how rare they are, preserving the few wetlands we have left is far more valuable to New Zealand than a few extra dollars in milk revenue.

Morgan’s overall diagnosis is that none of our three main parties really want to deal with the big issues. And while the paper rates the parties on a variety of policy areas, Morgan is loathe to tally the ratings up or tell people how to vote – it depends on which issues people are interested in. “Just make sure you do vote, otherwise you have no reason to whinge for the next 3 years”.

What concerns Morgan the most, given the likely re-election of National, is their plans for Resource Management Act (RMA) reform. The RMA is far from perfect, but National wants to strip out environmental protections in favour of economic growth. Put simply, if growth doesn’t generate enough wealth to improve the environment overall, then we aren’t really better off.

What separates this election guide from others is that it doesn’t take parties on face value. Most election guides simply register that parties have a policy in a certain area. This one looks at whether the policy would be able to actually make a difference to the issues that matter. “Most politicians like to look like they are doing stuff, but are too timid to deal with the real issues,” says Foundation researcher Geoff Simmons.

The guide only looks at the three main parties – National, Labour and the Greens. That is because these are the only parties with coherent policy platforms, backed up by a tax and spending plan. “Beyond the three main parties is a lot of dross,” says Foundation researcher Geoff Simmons. Most of them have good intentions, but their policies won’t be able to deliver what they claim, so they can’t be taken seriously. In fact, that sometimes goes for the main parties too”.

The table below summarises the issues Morgan looks at in the report and the ratings received by each party (out of a maximum of 3):

How we Measure Progress001
Economic Development011
Business Growth21½
Oceans Policy111
Climate Change02
Fresh Water122
Conservation 111
Constitutional 000

The full document will be available online at 4pm today on this link:

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On National’s Rampant Pandering To The Farming Vote

What on earth has happened to the political parties n the centre-right? Once upon a time in the US, the party of Lincoln was a respectable political party before it devolved into the cult of Trump. Here at home, the National Parry used to be able to manage and administer the economic orthodoxy in a reasonably competent fashion. Now it can barely do simple addition and subtraction. Something must have gotten into the water, and not simply out on the farm... More>>


Winston Peters Speech: The Gathering Storm Clouds: Ihumatao

Frequently around New Zealand you hear people say that politicians are all the same. It’s a convenient way to dismiss any careful investigation of the truth of that statement. New Zealand First since its inception has been committed to ‘one law ... More>>


National Agriculture Policy: Will Restore Farmer Confidence And Pride

A National Government will reduce regulatory burden and give farmers confidence for the future. Leader of the National Party Judith Collins and Agriculture spokesperson David Bennett announced National’s Agriculture policy in Gisborne today. “Agriculture ... More>>


Shaw: Wealth Tax Not A Bottom Line For Green Party But They Will Push For It

Green Party co-leader James Shaw says one of his senior MPs misspoke under pressure when she said a wealth tax was one of the party's bottom lines. More>>


Government: More Border Exceptions For Critical Roles

The Government has established class exceptions for border entry for a limited number of veterinarians, deep sea fishing crew, as well as agricultural and horticultural machinery operators. “Tight border restrictions remain the backbone of the Government’s ... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Last Night’s Leaders Debate

Do political debates change voter intentions, and cause voters to switch sides? According to a 2019 Harvard Business School study conducted across 61 elections in nine countries involving 172,000 respondents, the answer would seem to be a resounding ... More>>


Dunne Speaks: The Election Campaign Just Grinds Slowly On And On

With just over three weeks until the General Election, the release of the first major pre-election opinion poll this week confirmed what was already being reported about this year’s campaign. Although the gap between Labour and National has narrowed ... More>>

Electoral Commission: Candidate And Party Lists Released

17 registered political parties and 677 candidates will be contesting the 2020 General Election Nominations have now closed and the Electoral Commission has released the electorate and party list candidates for 2020 online at vote.nz . Advance voting ... More>>

National: Plan To Restore NZ’s Prosperity

National’s Economic and Fiscal Plan carefully balances the need to invest in infrastructure and core public services while also reducing tax pressure on Kiwi families and businesses. National Leader Judith Collins and Finance spokesperson Paul Goldsmith unveiled National’s ... More>>


NZ First: Party List

New Zealand First has a proven twenty-seven-year history of bringing balance and common sense to our government. Amid the continued setbacks of COVID-19 restrictions, New Zealand First has once again sustained its profile by selecting a strong team ... More>>





InfoPages News Channels