Thursday, February 23, 2023

Kate Hawkesby: Govt's denial of any looting in Hawke's Bay smacks of a Jacinda-type approach

There’s a big disconnect happening at the moment between government and locals in the Hawkes Bay area over what’s really going on. 

The Police Commissioner and the PM were both on Mike’s show yesterday saying the reports of looting are just not true, that it’s all the stuff of rumour and gossip, and that it’s unsubstantiated.

But then you have the locals. They’re irate, arguably more irate after hearing the denial of it from government, and saying it is very real, it is definitely happening and they’re traumatized by it. 

One Esk Valley local said if the Police Commissioner doesn’t think it’s happening how about he come down and do a night patrol with him and see it for himself. Others have said they’re watching the looting, crimes and theft unfold right in front of them. We know of people so scared they’ve left town. So which is it?

I’d argue you have to believe the people at the coal face surely? Those on the ground, living it, feeling it, surely they’re the ones we have to take seriously not government officials who pop on some high vis and do a whistle stop tour through an area flanked by hangers on. Is that really a realistic picture of what’s actually happening?  

Hipkins reckons the media rolling into town with all their cameras has hyped things up too. Insinuating that the media are looking for drama, there may be a bit much disaster porn going on yes, that’s probably fair, but, the truth also is that the media are capturing things the government would rather they weren’t.

They are talking to more people, they are getting deeper into communities and they are not towing the party line. 

And what we do know of this government is that it likes to be the only narrative on any story. It likes to be the pulpit of truth and dish out the messaging, it probably doesn’t appreciate some independent journalism being done around the place. But this denial of any issue smacks of a Jacinda-type approach; rejecting the assertion of everything. 

That didn’t go so well for her, it became farcical, and so I wonder why Hipkins would go down the same track. Rejecting people’s truths as fiction is not a good look. If they’re experiencing it how can it not be true? 

Just because a bureaucrat in an office somewhere doesn’t have an official report of it on paper, does that mean it’s not real? No. It smacks of the PPE scandal all over again.. and the RAT tests.. and the flu jabs.. remember all that?

Oh yes plenty of those, we were told, they’re everywhere we’ve got heaps and yet we had GP after GP after GP, day after day telling us they had none, there was a massive shortage and the government was peddling bollocks. 

So we have a trust issue here.

Do we believe the Government’s official line – that crime is down, there is no looting, as true? Or do we believe the increasingly frustrated locals? 

And don’t forget the mixed messages we’re getting here too from government.

Police Minister Stuart Nash asking gangs to ‘pull their heads in’. Justice Minister Kiri Allan, calling on thieves to ‘get their act together’ all the while the PM and the Commissioner saying ‘nothing to see here, there is no crime.’

So which is it?

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


Robert Arthur said...

It is refreshing to learn that reporters are not towing the party line. Where will that end? Next thing they will be objectively reporting on the Waitangi Tribunal, moves to co governance/maori control etc. Racial separatism may be avoided and Democracy in NZ might be saved after all.

DeeM said...

Wake up, Robert.
You're having a nightmare!

This is priceless. Locals report looting and our Police Commissioner and PM, in Wellington, deny it. Labour and the bozos they appoint to key public office just can't help themselves.

Their default position is to deny, then keep denying until the media make the problem go away. It will be interesting to see if the MSM stops reporting these stories or kicks Hipkins where it hurts.

Anonymous said...

I seem to remember after the last Christchurch earthquake Police from around MZ and from Australia were deployed to secure property and maintain the peace, its hard to imagine wise heads at Police HQ wouldn’t have seen the same need?

JohnS said...

Isn't that the problem though Anonymous - the absence of wise heads at Police HQ?