Andrew Dickens: Get a move on

Author
Andrew Dickens,
Publish Date
Mon, 25 May 2020, 4:25PM
(Photo / File)

Andrew Dickens: Get a move on

Author
Andrew Dickens,
Publish Date
Mon, 25 May 2020, 4:25PM

COMMENT:

Well I almost had a normal weekend.

My farmers market was open but hardly anyone turned up but that’s fine because allowing people in one at a time into a whole Farmer’s Market would have been a nightmare if everyone turned up. And amazingly I used the 50 dollar bill that’s been in my wallet since February to buy the vegetables.

We went shopping or a door snake. The most fun was asking shops whether they had a door snake and seeing people perplexed. We went to 3 shops until we found one. All had registers and QR code systems. None had the government system which is actually more cumbersome. That’s if it works at all.

It rained and I swear I could see my gardenias breathing a sigh of relief.

We had a Sunday lunch at a local Bistro. We’ve decided to do that every week as a family to keep our locals going. The café we’re talking about is quite a big one. An enterprise that was expensive to buy. It has famously high turnover but a lot of that was tourism based. We’ve been worried that it might be in trouble. But I spoke to the owner who is quite surprised at the level of business she was enjoying.

She’s not alone. I’ve called a number of my small business owning friends over the past days of Level 2 and all are pleasantly surprised at the business coming through the door. That’s not to say times are good but for many they’re not terminal. Then again it's just a week and a weekend and this may be a dead cat bounce. It will be interesting to see if the limited optimism lasts. But even so at least there was some optimism.

But the best part of my weekend was hearing the announcement that consents for small projects around the house were being scrapped. This is not the economic stimulus that will save the country but it will kick start some activity.

So now home owners can start projects like sleep-outs, sheds, greenhouses, carports, awnings and water storage bladders. It’s going to save homeowners up to $18 million a year in consent costs.

But more importantly it could fire on work for the trade. Chippies without work can be hired to build a cabana house or a windy house for the kids. Trade suppliers can supply the materials for a new sleep out which will give another Kiwi a roof over their heads.

What I like so much is that it’s a concrete step achieving something. So far our Covid Recovery has included a lot of wage subsidies and benefits and a $4 billion dollar injection into the health sector. But everything else is miles away from happening. 6 billion dollars of infrastructure spend and yet we don’t know what infrastructure. 8000 state houses but we have no idea where and who will build them.

I’m impatient. We’re all impatient. Every day that nothing happens is a day when another kiwi loses a job. I want David Parker’s changes to the RMA which is poodling it’s way through select committee and I wanted them yestyerday. On Friday I asked Todd Muller if he had any areas he’d like to get stuck into. He said he needed to talk to his team about things. I understand but you know. We’re 2 months in.

There is an absence of urgency amongst ALL our leaders who I think are scared of making a mistake.