Friday, 8 February 2019

What a Mess

Normal Service is Resuming 

Some folk in the media are beginning to take notice of the present New Zealand government's hot air balloon.  When the Labour party entered into coalition with the Greens and NZ First it achieved a Parliamentary majority.  It's first "act" was to commit to a number of high-profile, grandiose goals.  This was "fast-followed" by new public spending commitments to the tune of billions of dollars.

The response of the media was to clap, cheer, and perform celebratory haka in every news room.  Wow! Wonderful! Exciting! Jacinda Ardern is such a cutie!  And so on, and so forth.  Now months later a few media scribes are beginning to notice the yawning gulf between promise and no-delivery, between spending taxpayers money and actually getting results.  It's taken a while, but it would seem that reality is beginning to bite at the heels of big-noting politicians and the media flunkies whose promises and commitments fooled the gullible.
Newshub can reveal the Government's Provincial Growth Fund (PGF), designed to create jobs and boost the regions, has only created 54 jobs and spent just $26.6 million of its $3 billion.  Even with just 3.4 percent of the funding paid out, each job is costing the Government about $484,000. [Tova O'Brien, Newshub]
Our featherweight Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern launched her money-box government with high sounding promises.  "Hold us to account!" she said.  Our paper-thin Prime Minister was (and remains) well out of her depth.

 The 'go-slow' doesn't fit well with the Prime Minister, who has labelled 2019 her year of delivery.  Last year at Waitangi, Jacinda Ardern pledged to address Māori inequality in prisons, asking media to "hold us to account".

"So long as that exists, we have failed in our partnership," she said.  On Monday she "absolutely" denied her Government has failed in its relationship with Māori - but by her own measure, it arguably has.  Māori make up 15 percent of the New Zealand population, but in our prisons, 51 percent of the population is Māori.  That statistic hasn't changed since Ms Ardern became Prime Minister - in fact it's slightly worse, up 1 percent since September 2017.
She should never have made the promises.  But it all sounded wise, beneficent, and glorious at the time.  The media certainly thought so as their febrile clapping filled the auditoriums.  Meanwhile Ardern's public persona has now morphed from glorious heroine to plaintive whiner.  "Be reasonable.  Give us a break".
"We don't want anyone in prison, no one wants anyone in prison," added Ms Ardern.  
You don't say!  Tova O'Brien is at least one reporter who has reverted to the normal, trademark cynicism when dealing with politicians and their promises.  Her final cynical bite was:
The Government's already hard-to-reach targets seem to be getting harder by the minute.
Funny that.

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