Right from the get-go Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has impressed. From her maiden speech to Parliament to her speech attacking the “massive, massive failure” of Work and Income New Zealand when a service centre computer was found to have substantial security flaws; from her taking over as Leader of the Labour Party to this day, she has won peoples hearts. She has shown to the centre left that there is still a future to be proud of.
To date I have been very impressed with the promises made. They are many, extensive and have the ambition I thought was lacking in the previous Government. It is not to say I do not have concerns. I do, and they split into a range of areas. The sheer scope of what is being undertaken is massive for a first term Government. I admit that Ms Ardern could be outlining her overall work plan. If this is the case then it sounds like a great programme.
Policy announcements so far largely address my major concerns. I see movement pending on transport, housing, social welfare and income. All of which is good. Teething issues around the T.P.P.A. clauses remain. These need to be addressed.
Except that I will be honest and admit I am a bit worried by whether Ms Ardern has bitten off more than she can reasonably process. If Ms Ardern and her Government cannot show the necessary realism, it could be a detracting factor in terms of getting a second term. The National Party was not expecting to be on the outer when they thought they had done the hard grafts stitching New Zealand First leader Winston Peters up. But they were.
Given her programme it would be unrealistic to expect all of the following, but if a couple of the key ones were tackled I would be very grateful. They are:
- An inquiry into the courts to find out why the sentencing regime is not
- A referendum on a formal constitution – with a working group established to explore outcomes based on result
- An investigation into the pros and cons of a nation wide biofuel programme based on the waste stream
- End N.C.E.A. – all subjects need partial internal assessment
- Review how D.H.B.’s funded
- A formal framework on the permissible applications of drones, aviation hazards and licensing Increase Defence Force funding to 2% of G.D.P. – support U.N. peace ops; international law enforcement and take lead in South Pacific security
- Truth in sentencing – 25 years means just that
- Recognize Palestine if unconditional disarmament of HAMAS ; Israel’s 1967 border is legit
- Embed the Resource Management Act
- Introduce rules forbidding New Zealand companies from having ties with companies that have a hand in making chemical, biological or nuclear weapons
- Increasing research and development to 2% G.D.P. with the potential for research in other fields