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Mike's Minute: What I'm enjoying about the new government so far

Mike Hosking,
Publish Date
Tue, 28 Nov 2023, 9:42AM

Mike's Minute: What I'm enjoying about the new government so far

Mike Hosking,
Publish Date
Tue, 28 Nov 2023, 9:42AM

There's three little things I am enjoying about the new Government so far. 

The first is the media imploding about the use of Māori language. Winston Peters didn’t help with his claim at Government House yesterday that the media were bribed by the previous Government. 

That is categorically not true. But a lot of what Winston says has the seeds of some sense about them. 

What he is commenting on is the media's shocking performance around neutrality these past six years and especially the first three years and their lovefest over Jacinda Ardern. 

The $55 million broadcasting fund he refers to did not buy favour. But it went into an industry that already favoured the people who gave them the money so you can see how those who want to see what they want to see, get to think Winston has a point. 

The second is the tertiary fees deals. It hasn't got a lot of coverage, given a lot has happened. 

But handing out a year for free at the end of the study was what we all collectively said when Labour, for reasons best known to themselves, decided to make it the first year. 

“Next year's on me,” said Ardern. Do you remember that vacuous nonsense? 

Most of us questioned why you would give it out year one when people get to try university for nothing, then walk away when it's not for them, leaving us stuck with the bill. 

Why not make it an incentive? Six years on there's a touch of good, old common sense. 

The third thing is wool. 

Government departments must prioritise wool, which the Education Department didn’t last year because they bought American and artificial to essentially save themselves money. 

In a true centre-right Government the market would win, efficiency would win and cheap would win. But there are times in life you want the influence to pick winners. 

New Zealand is about farming. It's about sheep and it's about wool. We have the best wool in the world. 

Can it beat plastic when it comes to the price for flooring? No. But neither can Savile Row beat Marks & Spencer.   

But, sometimes backing quality for quality's sake is worth the price and wool, like farmers, has had a hell of a time. 

But merino has shown there is money to be made and Italy is interested, so the rest of the wool sector can be lifted by a Government backing something profoundly local and of the best quality. 

See, it's only Tuesday and already things look brighter. And we haven't even had our first Cabinet meeting yet.   

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