Is James Shaw trolling me? It’s Thursday and he’s onto his second wacky idea for the week.
Tuesday, he was still banging on about that damn wealth tax despite the fact it, one, is not happening, and two, even if it was, it wasn’t solving the problem he was claiming it would solve, i.e. the price of houses and first home buyers trying to get into the market
Now its cars. Combustion engines to be precise, he wants them banned.
He’s not the first of course. Announcements have been made internationally, not least of which is in Britain where they are banning their import from 2030.
Why Boris Johnson did that given all he’s got on his plate I have no idea.
But James sees trouble in the fact that if we don’t ban them as well, they’ll dump their product on our market and to quote him, we’ll be stuffed.
Will we? Japan has dumped their product on our market for years and we love it. In fact, it’s not really been dumping we've gone out and made an industry of it.
James may not know this but if you wander the second hand yards of this country, they are full of imports from Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, Britain and South Africa and a few specialist products via America.
And guess what? We buy them; buy them willingly and with a certain passion.
Why? Because one, they’ve brought the price of cars down, and two, they offer a range of vehicles that might otherwise be unavailable to us.
What James fails to get is largely we are driven by price. The average car in this country is well over a decade old, and one must also never forget the car fleet is owned by some of the most passionate motorists anywhere in the world.
We love cars: old, new, fast, noisy, and rare, more cars per head than anywhere outside America.
No one wants James' world of cycles and buses and EVs. Obviously some do, but not many or else we would be on to it already and we are not.
A cheap new EV is $70,000, and the bus doesn’t come past your door at the time you need it.
Banning stuff is the policy of defeat, used by megalomaniacs who failed to take the people with them.
Come back to me in 2030 in nine years’ time and let’s see who’s right, shall we?
Mike Hosking is a New Zealand television and radio broadcaster. He currently hosts The Mike Hosking Breakfast show on NewstalkZB on weekday mornings.
Breaking Views brings you expert commentary on topical political and policy issues. The views expressed are those of the author alone. The blog is administered by the New Zealand Centre for Political Research, an independent public policy think tank at NZCPR.com - register for the free weekly NZCPR newsletterHERE.