Thursday, May 13, 2021

Kate Hawkesby: Shocker of a week for the government


Not a great week for the government this week.

The vaccination rollout’s been called a shambles, with potentially worse to come.

Minister Chris Hipkins is saying he's nervous about how it’s going to go, supply is an issue, lots of excuses of course, but the upshot is, even what they’re currently rolling out is a mess.

Just ask the 81 year old who was turned away, having booked an appointment and waited half an hour only to be told, no jab today sorry love.

She was one of many in the same boat.

Nurses, already feeling undervalued and over worked, have been kicked in the teeth this week by the government; they’re now looking at striking.

Unions are at odds over whether the government’s public sector pay freeze is indeed a freeze or not.

The CTU has swallowed the government’s line that it’s not a freeze, but the Utu Union hasn’t.

Matt McCarten told me yesterday if it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, so he’s calling it for the spin he thinks it is. Either way you slice it, the messaging has been a mess and the government’s attempts to hose it down even messier.

Then, there’s Ashley Bloomfield having to apologise to Health Minister Andrew Little over ‘misleading’ him by providing incorrect information in the heavily redacted Mental Health report.

The Ministry of Health removed key information from the report, claiming it was trying to ‘modernise’ how the data was presented.

Turns out, seven relevant pieces of information were missing, oops.

Mental Health Foundation’s Shaun Robinson said at the time that the missing information was either “a cock up or a conspiracy, but either way it didn’t look good.”

So, Bloomfield had to apologise to Little who then had to apologise to the public, saying, ironically, that transparency is very important to him.

And that’s all before we get to the He Puapua report.

For the most open honest transparent government, things haven’t been looking too transparent of late.

The pulpit of ‘truth’ is proving a stretch, are they being ‘too definitive?’

The big question is, will any of this, buried mid election cycle, resonate and register with voters? Do they care? Or will a nice wedding in Gisborne over summer, splashed no doubt all over media, push voters further in love with the PM and her government? Will all be forgiven? Are we that shallow? I wouldn’t be surprised.

The polls will tell the story but so far, the failure to deliver, the lack of transparency, the back tracking on promises, and the blow to the public sector, may all be swept under the carpet.

The captive and devoted audience may still be, A) asleep at the wheel, or B) don’t care.

National, if they’re smart, will spend less time releasing personal memoirs and debating the leadership, and more time making the party look fit to govern.

Two and half years to go, clock’s ticking.

Kate Hawkesby is a political broadcaster on Newstalk ZB - her articles can be seen HERE.


Anonymous said...

Well this Govt seems to be digging itself into big holes.
But that is great
There are plenty of us with our shovels ready!

DeeM said...

With so much covert radical and fundamental change finally exposed to public scrutiny, combined with the government's love affair of all things Maori being rammed down everyone's throat 24/7, I think Kate has hit the nail on the head. DO THE PUBLIC CARE?
I suppose we'll find out when the next opinion polls come out but I would not be surprised if Labour still hold a commanding lead. I hope I'm wrong but my impression is that a good deal of the public have no interest in politics. It's just noise. Today's celebrity culture encourages you to vote for a personality, not policies or ideas. Your leader has to appeal to the public.
That's where National has a problem. I've seen Judith Collins interviewed a number of times in recent weeks and she has been underwhelming. With a firecracker issue like He Puapua, a great, or even a good, opposition leader should be making life terribly awkward for the government.
Judith has been unassured, often appearing to lose her train of thought half way through an answer. Instead of driving home key points that will grab the public's attention, her answers wander off aimlessly, seeming to get lost in a maze of general flim-flam. She has to do much better than that or Labour are going to wriggle off the hook.
She needs to get some coaching or hand over (I don't mean step down, necessarily) to someone who can get the message across. Chris Bishop's recent performance in the house against Trevor Mallard showed some real passion. I know what you're going to say - he's a man, he's white. Yes, but he's fairly young and he did win 10 inter-varsity debating tournaments. Just a suggestion!

Doug Longmire said...

Comrade Ardern, the Child Poverty Minister, leading the "transformational" government is now showing her true colours.
Maori Rule by 2040, DoC handing over to Maori, Maori Health Board with total veto powers.....
The demolition of democracy is under way in AOTeeAHRowa !!