Andrew Dickens: Government is proving to be world-champion flip floppers

Author
Andrew Dickens,
Publish Date
Mon, 11 Nov 2019, 4:01PM
The Coalition has changed its mind on multiple matters. (Photo / NZ Herald)

Andrew Dickens: Government is proving to be world-champion flip floppers

Author
Andrew Dickens,
Publish Date
Mon, 11 Nov 2019, 4:01PM

If the rumours are true then the government is about to back off yet another of its transformational policies. And if that is true then it’s frustrating for everyone.

Tomorrow at midday the government will release its decision on the way we run our schools.  One of the principal ideas put forward by the Educational Taskforce headed by Bali Haque was to centralise school governance in hubs, weakening the role of principals and boards of trustees in determining a school’s character.

Many well run schools, which, by the way,  is actually most schools, didn’t like the idea at all.  A new layer of bureaucracy, a triumph of centralisation and government control.

They didn’t like it so much that principals formed a lobby group to campaign against it.  So it appears that the hub idea is going to be left to wither away and it is expected that more specific policies to help the very small minority of schools who don’t cope with self-administration will be introduced.

This is not the first time this government has floated an idea that appeals to their followers and their ideology.  Let it scare the bejesus out of many and then decide to keep the status quo after all.

Think Capital Gains Tax, Kiwibuild, Farming dumped from the Emissions Trading Scheme.

With all these U-turns of their preferred policies the government is leaving everybody unhappy.

People who support hubbed schools, capital gains tax and farming being included in the Emissions Trading Scheme are now feeling let down by their government’s lack of backbone. They voted for the government to do this stuff

Those who were against the transformative policies are peeved because they’ve wasted time and money fighting against stuff that the government didn’t have the guts to see through.

Now the government may weasel out and claim it’s all about consultation and it’s listening to the people, but it was still a temporary firestorm and roadblock that no-one needed.  John Key used to do it too but this mob are world champs at it.

It’s not about whether these ideas are good or bad. It’s about having the courage of your convictions.  It’s about leadership and certainty and instead we’re getting indecision and flip flops. And that hacks everybody off.