By Trevor Ammundsen
Another catastrophe is upon us. This Government does seem to breed them and appears to have learned to use these for their own advantage portraying themselves as experienced catastrophe management experts. Any self-proclaimed expert should be scrutinised however, so before we let this Government off the leash to rebuild our nation’s infrastructure let us review how they performed with the first catastrophe, the Covid Pandemic.
This Government is not very good at doing anything constructive and initially their Covid response supported this statement They did nothing. Prime Minister Ardern was concentrating on the first anniversary of the Mosque shootings and opening a Pasifika Festival when The Director General of Health, Ashely Bloomfield, reportedly forced the Government’s hand, making them face up to what Covid was likely to do to the Country. So belatedly the Government started doing something, and what they did is what they were told by Dr Bloomfield.
From a late and slow start the Government commenced a very punitive regime of population control, aiming initially at managing the burden on our hospitals but soon after changing the goal into protecting the population from likely death. One more death is one too many, the Prime Minister would cry from her pulpit of truth.
The trait of being slow to respond did not desert the Government. This became obvious with the vaccination of the population where New Zealand was about six months behind other OECD countries in commencing their inoculation programme, which forced the Government to extend their punitive population controls, most notably in Auckland. While the Government’s lackadaisical response meandered along, the economy was severely hit, although their handing out billions of freshly printed money to support business has helped delay the manifestation of the economic damage. And then the Government gave up.
How does the report card read then? The deaths in New Zealand were 10.4% higher in 2022 to the previous year, a spike in deaths not seen since 1918 when we had the Spanish Flu epidemic. That is over 3,000 more deaths than expected, mainly attributable to Covid. So that’s a fail then. Unemployment is very high, about 10% if you include the unemployed who are looking for work as well as the wastrels that cannot be bothered looking for work. The Economy is reportedly heading for recession but will ironically possibly be saved from this by the economic activity generated by the recent cyclones. Overall this area was a fail also.
Not a particularly good performance though and now this coven of clowns is going to try to save the regional infrastructure in the North Island. This time they are fast out of the blocks and have committed $300M to clean up work and infrastructure. To put this into perspective, this is less than half of the amount the Government wanted to spend on a cycleway across the Auckland Harbour Bridge.
They have also been very fast with the rhetoric … “evidence showing that the Cyclone was made worse by Climate Change”. What evidence? No one knows really but never let the truth get in the way of a solid statement of belief. James Shaw, our Climate Change Minister, made such announcements while carrying on to espouse that we need to relocate the population away from dangerous coastal areas. We live in an island. I guess this means we need to go to the middle but how do we fit the populations of Auckland, Northland, Coromandel, East Coast, Poverty Bay and Hawkes Bay onto National Park.
And once we are all there, how confident are we that this Government will help us should there be a major volcanic emergency?