ZB

Nadine Higgins: Govt's 100 day deadline coming up, are they rushing things?

Author
Nadine Higgins,
Publish Date
Wed, 20 Dec 2017, 7:42am
That plan, which includes 17 goals or promises, is the one Labour campaigned on. (Photo \ NZ Herald)

Nadine Higgins: Govt's 100 day deadline coming up, are they rushing things?

Author
Nadine Higgins,
Publish Date
Wed, 20 Dec 2017, 7:42am

Gosh the changes and plans and committees and bills and announcements are coming thick and fast from the Beehive aren’t they?

Cannabis reform, the zero carbon target, legislation to ban foreign buyers, a rise in student allowances, a new Kiwibuild unit announced, restarting contributions to the Superfund the list goes on and that's only what they’ve got up to in the past month.

It’s all part of ticking things off from the 100 day plan, of course. That plan, which includes 17 goals or promises, is the one Labour campaigned on but course forming a government took *cough* a little longer than expected, and I suspect they weren’t convinced they were going to be the ones in Government, until they were. 

So now they have Christmas and New Year in the way before that 100 day deadline is up on the 3rd of February.

They’re rattling through the list at a rate of knots, but I'm wondering about the wisdom of trying to do so much, in such a short time. Especially when you’ve got a bunch of brand new Ministers occupying brand new portfolios, you’ve got new staff, three parties trying to work together in coalition for the first time and yes, you’ve got a Prime Minister who has never been Prime Minister before.

I applaud the push to deliver on what you promise, but I hope they don’t sacrifice research, consultation and good policy on the altar of an arbitrary deadline. 

Some of the things on that list could be considered urgent, for example if you’re very ill and want medicinal cannabis for pain relief you’d certainly be hoping they get the bill through quick smart. But otherwise 100 days is a largely meaningless deadline, nothing will expire or go off or materially change if they don’t tick all the boxes within 100 days. It just means rush and 'look at us, getting stuff done'

The Treasury has already commented that the analysis around the policy to ban foreign buyers buyers was inadequate, warning that it could have unintended consequences, the costs are uncertain, and the Overseas Investment Office is going to be pushing the proverbial uphill to gear up to implement it.

However, that did have to be pushed through, the PM says, or we’d miss our window to get it done before the TPP or rather the CP-TPP is signed.

But I just hope that’s not indicative of the care taken with other legislation in order to impress us that the Government is ticking things off its to-do list. 

The pressure surely raises the likelihood that something will get stuffed up, if not by a Minister, then by a harassed official or public servant who has the heat on them to do stuff quickly. The other risk is that other stuff not on the list that they perhaps should be focusing on or which crops up gets forgotten. 

Personally, I'd rather stuff gets thought through and done right, than done by the 3rd of Feb.

But the deadline is ticking, keep an eye out for Government Ministers on your summer holiday.. I suspect they’ll be the only ones at the beach surrounded by paperwork.