When I first established this blog I wanted it to be asking a critical question of New Zealand. The question needed to be critical – it needed to bring a focus on the ability of New Zealand as a nation to be all that it can be and not just what the country currently is; to in the first instance be the best small nation in the world.
I chose the title of my blog as a play on the well known saying used in Australia and New Zealand, “She’ll be right mate”. It is a way of saying “Don’t worry – everything will be fine”. It also encapsulates an attitude that has become too prevalent in all aspects of life, that leaving things to chance instead of going the extra distance and making sure that whatever the problem is, goes away on its own. It undermines the ethos of being a New Zealander. It undermines the narrative of being a small resourceful nation that loves its peace and maiantains good reputation among the global powers.
The “She’ll be right” attitude has also helped to give rise to some worrying traits in terms of how New Zealanders handle political promises and the politicians who make them. Frequently there are cases of politicians vowing to make good on an opportunity to right wrongs, possibly meaning well, but also possibly meaning to score political points that show they are acknowledging concerns. Except that there is nearly always some sort of hitch including those writing the policy thinking they know best, a significantly weakened version written by politicians with a preference for being middle of tthe road. To figure this out one needs the skill of reading between the li(n)es and spotting the real message.
One problem that has been passed through the last two generations of New Zealanders is the deliberate running down of the lower and middle class. The methodology is subtle. Slow but sustained stretching of New Zealanders to breaking point is the name of the game. It is to make sure that they are too tired after a busy week to stay informed and generally ignore the latest legislation going through Parliament. The need to earn money is hampered by resistance to.meaningful wage rises and improvements in working conditions, usually because of an alleged hike in costs to the employer – true or otherwise.
Thus we come to a bit of a rat race, where the population are working harder and harder but continue to fail to get ahead. Politicians prove unable or – just as likely – unwilling to get meaningful measures in place, lest it yank their snouts out of the trough. They have the know how and the means, but they lack the will.