In its ‘year of delivery,’ the government can’t get its story straight.

Stacey Kirk writing for Stuff is suspicious about this government?s ability to deliver on its promises. We could also ask if they will ever reach a consensus on their stories. Quote.

This is the so-called “year of delivery”. And with that, surely, comes the expectation that the Government has developed a position or plan to deliver on its promises. 

But a flurry of announcements, some made when they shouldn’t have been and some buried when they should probably have been declaimed in bold to the sound of ringing sirens, has done little to deliver the sense that there’s a plan.

There’s been a string of issues that have flown mostly under the radar in the past couple of weeks ? relatively minor in isolation, but together they paint a picture of artful dodging.? End of quote.

Let?s take a look at Shane Jones’ Provincial Growth Fund which Kirk discusses. Quote.

It emerged on Thursday that the Treasury advised Jones against giving a $10 million loan to private firm Westland Milk, on the basis the company couldn’t get a bank loan and thus the Government ran the risk of looking like a “lender of last resort”. 


They [unanswered questions] were only added to, this week, when Jones was asked to justify the Government’s reasons for pressing ahead with a loan that the Treasury had effectively branded a shonky deal. (Unsurprisingly, there was no Government fanfare to accompany this announcement.) End of quote.

Spending taxpayer money badly is never a good look but disregarding Treasury advice is pretty stupid too. But wait, there?s more.? Quote.

The number of jobs bandied about at the time was 10 and, although there’s an escape clause if the company’s ownership structure was to change, it emerged a little more than a month later that Westland Milk had entered discussions to be sold in part, or wholly, to a Canadian company.

What of due diligence, when there are regions to save and the chance to look good while doing it.? End of quote.

We are already apprehensive about Ardern?s ?well-being? budget given her socialist tendencies combined with her lack of aptitude to be able to quote actual costs when asked. Quote.

We know from Ardern touting it on the international stage that every cent will somehow be run through a filter to show how it contributes to “intergenerational wellbeing”.  

What we don’t know is how that applies to things like intelligence and security spending, or the important but completely unvirtuous funding of an unaccountable slush fund that doles money out to struggling private businesses.

Even if the Government manages to tell an effective story to explain how it works, it’ll have a job on its hands explaining how it all adds up to help any single struggling family.? End of quote.

This government says it will attribute a monetary value to pretty much everything in weighing up its ?wellness budget?. Exactly how they will do this is not known. Quote.

The fact that befriending a neighbour appears to hold more value than curing diabetes appears ripe for mischievous exploitation from the Opposition.

The argument that it’s merely an “accounting function” didn’t count for much when Labour was feigning outrage over the last government’s use of the term “liability” to describe the total welfare bill on the state.? End of quote.

Wouldn?t you think health would be at the top of the ?well-being? budget spend?  Quote.

About the time the Tax Working Group was dropping its CGT-shaped bomb on the completely suspecting country was the time Health Minister David Clark chose to reveal that every single district health board had finally made it into the red ? a $200m national deficit.

This, after months of ministry blocking and refusal to release the numbers that used to be made public on a quarterly basis.

With his release was the assurance that the proactive minister had put them all “on notice” and an attached letter he’d sent, to DHB chief executives, expecting them to prioritise saving a non-specified amount, in non-specified areas

Oh, and he was most displeased that services were also slipping for specialist waiting times, elective surgical waiting times, and those for radiology or cancer services. Most displeased indeed.? End of quote.

The final example Kirk commented on is Whanau Ora, supposedly a success story but who would know? Quote.

Journalists expecting the report had expected a press conference and possibly even the release of embargoed copies ? a common practice that allows detailed stories to be done justice in their first iteration. But no such forward planning was allowed.  

Puzzling, until it’s considered that Whanau Ora doing well goes against NZ First’s principles of “one law for all”, and even against some elements of the Labour Party’s own views of universality

So when the Government ordered a review into the flagship M?ori development funding model under the last government, everyone held their breath that it was the beginning of the end. 

It may well still be. Except that the review which came back called for nothing really, except more resourcing of a policy programme it said was making a real difference to individual families.? End of quote.

When will this nonsense and confusion end? Roll on 2020 and the next election.