Monday, August 13, 2012

Fiona Mackenzie: Visionary Leadership Needed for NZ

Four years ago, I was excited at the prospect of a real sense of direction emerging for New Zealand. After 3 terms of Labour refusing to take advantage of prosperous times to lift our game, I was sure the new Government would have it all worked out. National was keeping this vision under wraps in the very competitive, pre-election environment – but they did have one, didn’t they?

Well, I was quickly disappointed and it’s been a painful lesson. The last four years has only reminded me of the old maxim – "Never make assumptions. They will inevitably be wrong." We have just another Government intent on doing what it takes to stay in power rather than lead us to greatness.

New Zealand is crying out for a sense of direction (that is not downwards) – a vision for our country that guides us in turning the tide on damaging decisions, clumsy legislation, spurious racial division, intergenerational harm, grasping greediness, laziness and victimhood - and thus creating a country we can be proud of again.

Watching the Olympics over the last couple of weeks, I see a personification of that vision.  Amazing young people who are committed to being the best they can be, thereby inspiring others to get off the couch and see life beyond the X-Box. Our athletes and their support teams have committed themselves, made sacrifices and gone for goals. Success or failure - they take responsibility – and they have made a great contribution to New Zealand’s spirit.

Our country can work like that too. We can stop fiddling with things and playing political games, and start focusing on making a real difference for the benefit of all Kiwis. Strong countries get to invest in their people and their environment. If we want New Zealand to be a better place to live, we need to be strong.

If we had a winning vision for New Zealand, one that Kiwis could embrace, it would serve to guide our politicians and us in everyday life.  We’d ask the question – will this help achieve our goals? Or in Peter Blake’s terminology: “will it make the boat go faster?” If the answer is “no”, then we don’t go there. If it makes no difference, we wouldn’t invest time and resources in areas that simply don’t matter. If the answers yes, we might even make the tough decisions that have been crying out to be made for too many generations.

While we are distracted by inanities such as celebrities twittering, there are so many issues crying out for this leadership. Personally, I’m tired of seeing generation after generation of kids unloved and damaged by the very people who should be nurturing them. There’s the perpetual hand-wringing over the drunk, the obese, the streetwalkers and the violent offenders on bail. I can’t understand why commonsense rules to the banking and finance sector are being made to protect the financially naive. I’m so over the manipulative and power-hungry guilting the hard-working taxpayers into not even questioning where their monies go. Don’t start me on the issue of racial ancestry and mythology determining inventive new rights and privileges over other Kiwis. I’m tired of public sector waste and incompetence where everything seems to be focused on perpetuating process (and pay packets), rather than achieving worthwhile objectives. And I’m convinced we do not have an effective democracy.

True we have many great people making their contribution at all levels of our society. But to make a real difference, we need to see it radiating from our leaders at the top of the political spectrum. Next election is 2014 – and I live in hope. Visionary leadership is all I ask for.


Anonymous said...

Visionary leadership under MMP?

Anonymous said...

Nicely put. Seems both the major parties are really just living in the past. No one gives a damn about looking after the workers or looking after the rich anymore. Just these parties but the rest of NZ has moved on and they are just out of time.
Politics should be like jury service - you just have one term and you need to get everything done then. The relection nonsense just slows down everything.

Anonymous said...

Well said Fiona. Why is this a voice in the political wilderness? THe last four years have been destructive, devisive and so disappointing. The vision of positive leadership and renewed purpose has disappeared, leaving NZ with ever-greater numbers forsaking its shores and with policies that further divide and separate.

Anonymous said...

In a democracy with strongly developed and organised competitive sectional interests and ideologies, instead of hoping for a miraculous "Moses" to emerge "out of the blue", there should be some basic consensus on an all-inclusive constructively visionary direction on which way to move towards - what vision?

Thus - we need some public debate about that, from which aspiring politicians can pick up clues on the most promising visions, with a hope of some public support, for without the latter, hardly any vision has hope of success.

If the status quo is unsatisfactory, we have to decide:

1. Is there a more promising future towards the libertarian Right of the political spectrum, favoring plutocratic capitalism?

2. Is there a more promising future towards the socialistic Left, favoring Govt. capitalism?

3. Is there a more promising future "The Third Way", which defines the center of the political spectrum through at least a minimally meaningful level of personal (retirement) wealth (capital) ownership by all citizens eventually,favoring the egalitariansim of all inclusive capitalism, or Ownership Democracy.

Anonymous said...

I agree real leadership with an ongoing sense of direction would be great; I also hoped that, maybe this time, it would come with the National government - ah well - fooled again.

BUT how much 'leadership' do we want? Where are the boundaries? What is the cost?

Obesity is a personal choice! so is drunkenness, drugs and streetwalkers (quaint term). Should we have laws agains all of these? how about adultery, jay walking or saying nasty things about the countries leaders?Where should we stop?

It is easy to point out the problems (foundation stone of NZ First existence) but each solution has a cost of one form or another. Be careful what yu ask for.


Argus said...

You want a vision?
Try this—
Per Lincoln: Democracy is government of the people, by the people, for the people. Nice.

Instead, we have this:
Government of the People, by the Party, for the Party.

My vision? Democracy as defined by Lincoln—nothing more, nothing less. (The Swiss are well on the way but they too have parties ... )

Anonymous said...

You are right re "visionary leadership"... theres a dearth of it and none on the horizon I can see...but how could we get that to work in our political system anyway?...under MMP there's no way to give visionary policy a clear mandate.
MMP homogenises policy into a toothless directionless toxic soup....aka "consensus"

You've gotta hand it to our adversaries (the whining, PC, psuedo-feminazi, marxist, greeny, bone wearing ferals ).....while some of us have been working and producing things our society needs, they've infiltrated with stealth, the govt, media, schools, the justice system, universities, councils, committees, and they produce nothing but hot air theories and BS.
They are parasites and yet their victim-envy mentality prevails.
They are impotent to produce by moral means so they regulate to financially gouge those who do....aka "Rich Pricks"

We'll have a bloody big fight on our hands to put it right....especially when the big Ogre/Driver seems to be the U.N...Comrade Helen & co.

Kevin said...

The tired old two horses pulling a tired old cart have hd their day. We need a new wagon, and a new horse to pull it. We have many people in all walks of life whose knowledge could be put to good use. Let's use them. To quote my war amputee uncle, we don't have democracy here, we have hypocracy. All for one and one for all, not the dividion we have today, which will just get worse.
TGhe prece of freedom is eternal vigilance said Thomas Jefferson. Let's keep it that way. Kevin.

Anonymous said...

Democracy...Hypopocracy.....True but try this one;


A system of Govt where the least capable of leading are elected by the least capable of producing, and where the members of society least likely to sustain themselves or succeed, are rewarded with goods and services paid for by the confiscated wealth of a diminishing number of producers"..