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Mike's Minute: Ferries, plane and towers - We should learn from this

Mike Hosking ,
Publish Date
Tue, 25 Jun 2024, 9:35am

Mike's Minute: Ferries, plane and towers - We should learn from this

Mike Hosking ,
Publish Date
Tue, 25 Jun 2024, 9:35am

So it seems we have ended up with three stories. 

But all three stories have the same outworkings - we look like a basket case of a country, but we got there three different ways. 

First is the plane. 

That’s on the Government, and indeed various Governments, who failed to take defence expenditure seriously and it's caught them out. 

Like NATO, member countries promise to spend 2% of their GDP on it, but don’t. Until Putin rolls into Ukraine and then they panic. 

We talk it up here as vital, but make the same mistake until it gets too embarrassing to ignore. 

Second is the ferries. 

That seems to be on KiwiRail. KiwiRail don’t seem to be up to much. 

Yes, they have been mucked around over the years by various Governments. But as I said yesterday, read the paperwork between them and Grant Robertson over what they were looking to do and what it was costing and how clearly they had no control over what was going on and the bill blowing out. 

Governments can't run literally everything on a daily basis and it is KiwiRail who have let the Government down, and badly. 

The third story is the power tower. 

“Inconceivable” was the word. 

Given it took us about three and a half minutes to work it out and given it only took them less than a weekend to join a few dots, they really shouldn’t have been so defensive on Friday. 

Idiots were in charge of spanners. Why they have launched a further inquiry baffles me. 

Once you have worked out thick people don’t follow instructions, what else is there to investigate? 

So, all in all, a shocking week for a country that is having a tough time of it anyway. 

All of it was avoidable, but we arrived here through different channels - indifference politics and lack of vision for a plane, laziness and contempt over other people's money and lack of discipline for a ferry, and then people you wouldn’t hire to walk your dog over a tower. 

All of it was avoidable. All of it is more expensive now because of actions not taken at other times. 

So the trick is, have we learned anything and, if we have, do we put it into action? 

Do we get better? 

Do we work harder? Do we try harder? 

Do we want to improve? 

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