The Soap Box: Seeds of govt's success planted by National

Author
Barry Soper,
Section
Opinion,
Publish Date
Thursday, 7 December 2017, 7:16AM
Many of the hay seeds were planted by National before the election and the chaff is now being dished up by a delighted group of new ministers. (Photo \ NZ Herald)
Many of the hay seeds were planted by National before the election and the chaff is now being dished up by a delighted group of new ministers. (Photo \ NZ Herald)

The Labour led Government's making hay while the sun shines - the spell of good weather's seen them basking in the limelight since Parliament resumed after the last election - but many of the hay seeds were planted by National before the election and the chaff is now being dished up by a delighted group of new ministers.

Reports are flowing thick and fast from the Beehive.

The Health Ministry's in a mess with invisible leadership about to become even more invisible with the departure of the Director General Chai Chuah. The new Minister David Clark's presenting himself as a man on a mission, to repair a fractured ministry, neglected by National for the past nine years. In reality it was the last Government that called for a review of the Ministry which has just been delivered into Clark's lap.

His trenchant criticism of the hapless Director General when he was in opposition left him with no choice but to resign, working with the new Minister would have been untenable. Reviewing the review will now be the job of the newly established Ministerial Advisory Group which will ponder the state of the nation's health for the next two years

Then there was the chest beating of the new Attorney General David Parker, making a Ministerial statement to Parliament's bear pit about the parlous state of our drinking water revealed in another report commissioned by the last lot after the devastating gastro outbreak in Havelock North last year. Parker's pledged to clean clean up the waterways, just as National pledged to last year.

Hopefully the latest report will put money where their parched mouths are.

And salivating at a move that began as the crusade of Judith Crusher Collins was Megan Woods who could barely contain her excitement, jawboning the oil companies to stop rorting the long suffering motorists, in particular those living in the capital or in the South Island who're paying more to fill up. The new Energy Minister's telling us senior colleagues are now working on "fast-tracking" new legislation to give the Commerce Commission power to force the companies to hand over market information.

But then we're told the new powers won't come into place until the end of next year!

And on the slow road to somewhere is the legislation going through Parliament this week, all of it introduced by National before the election but now being progressed under the names of the new Ministers, like the decision to rebuild the Christ Church Cathedral.

But in fairness they are governing, we've had paid parental leave and a law forcing landlords to up their game, making the roof over their tenants' heads a little more comfortable. And of course there is the free tertiary fees, which don't need the assent of Parliament.

So as much as they may claim it, National isn't calling all the shots even though they've provided a fair bit of ammunition.

 

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