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Kate Hawkesby: Shocker of a week for the government

Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Thu, 13 May 2021, 11:16AM
(Photo / NZ Herald)
(Photo / NZ Herald)

Kate Hawkesby: Shocker of a week for the government

Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Thu, 13 May 2021, 11:16AM

Not a great week for the government this week.

The vaccination rollout’s been called a shambles, with potentially worse to come.

Minister Chris Hipkins is saying he's nervous about how it’s going to go, supply is an issue, lots of excuses of course, but the upshot is, even what they’re currently rolling out is a mess.

Just ask the 81 year old who was turned away, having booked an appointment and waited half an hour only to be told, no jab today sorry love.

She was one of many in the same boat.

Nurses, already feeling undervalued and over worked, have been kicked in the teeth this week by the government; they’re now looking at striking.

Unions are at odds over whether the government’s public sector pay freeze is indeed a freeze or not.

The CTU has swallowed the government’s line that it’s not a freeze, but the Utu Union hasn’t.

Matt McCarten told me yesterday if it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, so he’s calling it for the spin he thinks it is. Either way you slice it, the messaging has been a mess and the government’s attempts to hose it down even messier.

Then, there’s Ashley Bloomfield having to apologise to Health Minister Andrew Little over ‘misleading’ him by providing incorrect information in the heavily redacted Mental Health report.

The Ministry of Health removed key information from the report, claiming it was trying to ‘modernise’ how the data was presented.

Turns out, seven relevant pieces of information were missing, oops.

Mental Health Foundation’s Shaun Robinson said at the time that the missing information was either “a cock up or a conspiracy, but either way it didn’t look good.”

So, Bloomfield had to apologise to Little who then had to apologise to the public, saying, ironically, that transparency is very important to him.

And that’s all before we get to the He Puapua report.

For the most open honest transparent government, things haven’t been looking too transparent of late.

The pulpit of ‘truth’ is proving a stretch, are they being ‘too definitive?’

The big question is, will any of this, buried mid election cycle, resonate and register with voters? Do they care? Or will a nice wedding in Gisborne over summer, splashed no doubt all over media, push voters further in love with the PM and her government? Will all be forgiven? Are we that shallow? I wouldn’t be surprised.

The polls will tell the story but so far, the failure to deliver, the lack of transparency, the back tracking on promises, and the blow to the public sector, may all be swept under the carpet.

The captive and devoted audience may still be, A) asleep at the wheel, or B) don’t care.

National, if they’re smart, will spend less time releasing personal memoirs and debating the leadership, and more time making the party look fit to govern.

Two and half years to go, clock’s ticking.

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