Jacinda Ardern isn’t even in the maternity ward yet but the mice are already starting to play.
On the surface of things, stuff is unravelling amongst the B team of the government. We seem to have a government that has a few people talking the talk but not walking the walk
Shane Jones is back to his bluster. With his ego fully unchecked, calling himself the first citizen of the regions, he’s taken aim at Fonterra and it’s chairman John Wilson. Saying that something is deeply wrong and calling for Wilson to take a cab out of town he let himself down when asked for specifics of his concerns with the coop. He couldn’t answer that one.
It appears that Shane has spoken to some farmers who have some grumbles. Well, that’s not news. But without the knowledge to substantiate his claims, he looks like a grandstander rampaging around in an electorate he doesn’t know. Farmers are already suspicious that this government doesn’t really understand their sector and Shane’s outburst won’t set their mind at rest
As I understand it Farmers did not appreciate the Minister going off half-cocked
Then Kelvin Davis took the stage to announce a new prison and mental health facility at Waikeria. 500 prison beds and 100 mental health beds. A shift from the previously planned mega-prison. While I’m no supporter of industrial complex sized corrective units there’s still the glaring problem that we already have more prisoners than beds and it’s going to get worse.
The mega prison was going to provide 1500 to 2000 new beds for a billion dollars. Instead, we build a new prison to replace the rotting one at a cost of $750 million. That looks worse when you realise that once the new beds are built and the old prison decommissioned, it will result in just 174 additional beds. All that money for 174 extra beds!
Deep in the announcement was the revelation that 2 thirds of those 500 prisoners in a spiffy new prison will be double-bunked. And then when asked what the government will do when the prison muster hits 12,000 in the next few years, Kelvin said mattresses on the floor.
Build small prisons, sure. But build 3 of them, not just one.
Of course, Kelvin says that with Andrew Little’s changes to the justice system we’ll have fewer people in jail. Well based on how easily the three strikes repeal fell apart you have to wonder how long that will take. Pie in the sky hopes of a brave new future are no answer to the cold hard reality of today.
And don’t even start me on Eugenie Sage, the greens and the water bottling plant. They didn’t seem to realise that if you get elected on a policy you have to implement it in law or else you make no change at all
So a lot of talk and not much walk in the basics of running the country.