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Mike's Minute: Why is the Govt ignoring the major issues?

Mike Hosking,
Publish Date
Wed, 11 Aug 2021, 9:43AM

Mike's Minute: Why is the Govt ignoring the major issues?

Mike Hosking,
Publish Date
Wed, 11 Aug 2021, 9:43AM

As I listened to Megan Woods and Jacinda Ardern yesterday wittering on about why we didn’t have power when it got cold, I was reminded of Kris Faafoi.

The problem with this Government, among many other things, is they don’t do the basics properly. Sometimes they don't do the basics at all.

Power is critical. It affects us all, and ultimately, the safety and operation of the system, although deregulated, is down to the Government. So, when the power doesn’t work, the Government has failed us, despite Woods trying to argue it’s a commercial decision.

There is no excuse for the power not to work. And Ardern saying in that classic Ardern kind of way that’s it's not good enough means nothing. The same way "be kind" means nothing. But it is yet more evidence that there is too much dabbling.

Which brings us back to Faafoi, he is responsible for the disgrace that passes for immigration, or lack of it.

He is responsible for the migrants here on visas stuck and separated from their families.

He is, in part, responsible for all the skills that have not arrived here to alleviate the crisis in the thousands of workplaces who are screaming out for talent. He's responsible for the applications that aren't looked and the queue that grows ever longer.

And yet, what he's made headlines for of late is gay conversion therapy. Even on that he's cocked it up. He couldn't confirm whether a parent can be made a criminal.

But here's the fundamental question; in a pandemic, why are we talking about gay conversion therapy? Why are we apologising for decades old dawn raids? Why is the Finance Minister opening gender neutral toilets? Why are we banning voting on Māori Wards? Why are we doing a whole lot of stuff that at another time and another place might well need a debate or some attention but right now, in the middle of the biggest health crisis the world has seen in generations, are we dabbling with irrelevant stuff that takes time, energy, and money away from what's really important?

If power system doesn’t work, why has it been allowed to get to this state? If the vaccine rollout is 120th in the world, Delta is in Australia, and could've been in Tauranga, why has it been allowed to get to this state?

These are the things that matter. They're the basics, the need-to-haves, the bits that make life and a country work.

We are failing at the basics yet have time to dabble in the comparatively frivolous. Of course, I know why they're doing it; it's to distract attention away from their ineptitude.

But why aren't we demanding better? Until this country is jabbed, the borders are open, the skills can arrive, the power is on, and we look just a bit like a progressive ambitious country, can we just park the other stuff?

Can we park the headline nabbing, irrelevant, ideologically driven dabbling, that prevents us sorting what really matters?

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