Monday, February 27, 2023

Cam Slater: Focussing on the Things That Matter

Any political party that ignores the things that really matter to the voting public is a political party destined for losses. Right now the things that matter to New Zealand voters the most are: inflation/cost of living, housing costs, crime/law-and-order, and healthcare and hospitals.

Inflation and cost of living continue to be ranked as the most important issue facing New Zealand, a new report has found.

The Ipsos New Zealand Issues Monitor, released on Sunday, asks New Zealanders what they are most concerned about and analyses how this changes over time. A total 1002 respondents were interviewed online in February and were asked, among other things, what the three most important issues facing New Zealand today were.

Concern for inflation is 7 per cent higher than the previous report released in September and is sitting at 65 per cent, Ipsos said. Although concern for inflation is lower among people who are retired, at just 52 per cent.

“Concern for inflation/cost of living continues to climb, with roughly two in three New Zealanders considering it to be a top issue they are facing today,” the Ipsos report said. “This is the highest level of any issue since surveying began in 2018.”

Housing and the prices of houses, as well as crime and law and order, are in second-equal place. The level of concern for housing remains unchanged since September’s report, still sitting at 33 per cent, while concern for crime is up two per cent to 33 per cent.

And in fourth-equal place is healthcare and hospitals, which is down five percent from the previous report to 27 per cent, and climate change, which is sitting at 27 per cent.

Click to view

Climate change rounded out the top five, but as you can see from previous years this has never been a top-five issue. It is only an issue now because the survey was taken in the wake of the flooding in Auckland and Cyclone Gabrielle.

In all the other areas of concern, the government has been responsible for those areas getting out of control, particularly with inflation and crime.

The current Labour Government was elected to solve the housing crisis that they stirred up in the media. The issue remains the second most important issue, but they have achieved little in building new houses or making housing more affordable, other than crashing the property market and destroying people’s wealth at the same time. If Labour is the answer to solving the housing crisis, as is claimed by the survey, then people really haven’t been paying attention.

With the cyclone disaster and the mammoth task of rebuilding, you are going to see even more billions of government spending, which will further exacerbate the inflation issue.

The next survey will be interesting because we are going to see food prices explode and shortages get worse in the wake of the destruction of New Zealand’s fruit bowl in the Hawke’s Bay region. No amount of government spending is going to solve that.

The four main issues and the failure of this government to alleviate these should see them turfed from office. If only we had an opposition that focussed on the top four instead of attacking their own members on the fifth issue.

Cam Slater is a New Zealand-based blogger, best known for his role in Dirty Politics and publishing the Whale Oil Beef Hooked blog, which operated from 2005 until it closed in 2019. This article was first published HERE.


Unknown said...

Cam, I read your comments with interest and have of late placed comments.

In relation to this Posting, you mention Labour and the "solving the housing crisis". That one Minister failed and another was appointed to resolve - who I believe has also failed.

Now when the "housing development was under way (for what houses were built) TVNZ always seemed to show what was being constructed in Auckland. It would be interesting to know -
[1] - if Auckland is still having those houses built,
[2] - where else in NZ, did the Labour Govt build similar housing.

Within the scope of above, I would now add the issue of "Social Accommodation" (the use of Motels), in Rotorua. This issue started under Ardern, 2017 going forward from there, and from I can find has not improved. I am also "told" that what has taken place has "ruined the Motel Industry" in Rotorua. If this issue is resolved, who funds the Motel rebuild?

My question being -
[1] - has this issue had an effect on NZ Inflation, with the Govt having to spend taxpayer money to maintain this issue,
[2] - how much of this "spend" has increased overall Govt spending,
[3] - has this "spending" had an effect on cost of living for other Kiwi's,
[4] - has anything been done to reduce this social issue in Rotorua, that "might?" reduce Govt spending.

It is well documented, that low social incomes/housing/health/lack of employment plus has an impact on those affected most, this in turn leads to an increase in crime. The recent "ram raids" in Auckland & Hamilton are testament to this, along with any other NZ City/Town who may have experienced similar crime increases.

Or is the "solution", for the Govt, to have the Adrian Orr keep om increasing the OCR??

Anonymous said...

Indeed, more than enough urgent economic-based issues to resolve....most national elections run on such priorities.

However, with great regret, the elephant in the room remains - i.e. the future of NZ. It suits Labour and co very well that this can be sidelined as a non-priority.

We can be totally sure that Maori are continuing - and intensifying - their campaign.

To think otherwise would be naive.

Mudbayripper said...

Amazing how a cyclone and economic upheaval although absolutely devastating to the country, can detract from the real issue facing us which it would seem doesn't even appear on the questions asked.
All the major problems facing us today can be worked through as a united and equal society.
Unfortunately the current apartheid system relentlessly being forced upon New Zealanders will be our final downfall.

Anonymous said...

In other political surveys education is among the top five concerns of voters have.It is closely related to the crime and lawless problem.
In my view it is a big contributor to the crime problem since as I have stated ad nauseam on other sites statistics find two out of three students who do not achieve proficiency in reading end up in prison or on welfare. NZ literacy and numeracy standards have bottom out this centurY. The prevailing NZ educational philosophy which produces low standards also promotes in schools a strongly secular view with no absolutes hence producing students with no moral compass. Even socialist Finland has realised the foolishness of this and includes some ethics and religious instruction in its public school curriculum like the Golden Rule.