The worst thing National has done?

An interesting thread at Reddit: What’s the worst thing National’s done since being in power?

When assessing these it is worth considering whether a different Government could have done better – or is likely to have done worse.


Defunding youthline when NZ has the worst youth suicide of all time and removing money from mental health services in general.

Youth suicide and mental health in general is definitely up there as one of the biggest issues that has been completely swept under the rug. What a completely nasty bit of budgeting to cut the funding, looking back it’s unforgivable.

Modifying the definition of acceptable levels of E.coli in swimmable water from 1% to 5% to make it easier to meet targets for cleaner water.

Disbanded the democratically elected Canterbury Regional Council in order to install commissioners favourable to irrigation. Regardless of the arguments for and against water storage, you don’t remove democracy because it’s not delivering the result you want (or, as they labelled it, ‘dysfunctional’).

Stopping contributions to the Super fund has meant that it is currently about $20 billion less than it could have been.

The worst thing they have done is nothing. They squandered the largest reserve of political capital seen in a generation. Think of how much good Key could have done if he decided to use his popularity for enacting politically challenging changes that everyone knows are important but won’t act on, rather than reinforcing the status quo.

They used Goldman Sachs to sell half of our power companies to private interests on the eve of the electric car revolution, so now we have a profit focussed instead of utility focussed power sector right as we are about to transition from oil to electricity. And the interest saved on the money they got is a tiny fraction of what we as the taxpayers would have got from returns on those companies.

…they sold 49% of the SOEs. So, no actual structural change; just a one-off cash grab. If you truly in your heart of hearts believe that the private sector is the best place for these things, then fucking sell the whole things and be done with it. Their approach was worst of all worlds — one-off cash injection they didn’t need, combined with lower dividends in perpetuity, without any of the purported benefits of privatisation.

The combination of increasing the regressive tax GST to 15% and removing the top income tax bracket of 40% on the rich was a massive blow to egalitarianism in New Zealand, and has harmed not only poor people but our economy as a whole.

Rushing a law through in a day to overturn a case where it was ruled carers of disabled who were related to their children should receive money from the government. They also took away their ability to complain to the Human Rights commission about it. Harmed constitutional integrity of the nation and was bad for human rights.

Inaction on the housing crisis. For years they denied there’s a problem and now there is likely going to be a whole generation of people that can’t afford to buy. Doesn’t help the inequality situation.

The Resource Legislation Amendment Act. It will slowly destroy the New Zealand wilderness we grew up with. Pokey old alpine lodges in the wild places of NZ will be replaced by a private billionaires’ playground.

The thing that angers me the most is the constant threats and cuts to important services like Women’s Refuge, and Suicide prevention/ Rape Crisis helplines. The money is so small and they constantly cut or put tight restrictions on funding, then they look benevolent when they give some back or restructure it’s crazy.

…child poverty. Has anyone said anything about child poverty? How did we miss this… it was bad when they took over from Labour and things have not improved at all and in some measures gotten worse.

As a teacher the worst thing I’ve seen them do is remove teacher voice from our own professional body. They stripped away our right to elect representatives to the Teachers Council, making it a totally Minister-appointed body with the ability to re-write our standards and raise our fees however they see fit. It’s literally taxation without representation. They did the same to the university governing bodies as well.

Privatization of social services. Selling off assets. Rise in inequality, Housing cost, Living costs, and all in all just being out of touch with most kiwis.

Defunded evening classes for adults.

Told a boat load of lies about the Kim Dotcom case.

They sold our assets while the country screamed “NO!”.
They destroyed our privacy rights while the country screamed “NO!”.
They stormed ahead with the TPPA while the country screamed “NO!”.
They used things like Salmon Snapper Quotas and Flag changes to distract the population from the real stuff.

Imo they have a tendency to govern based on personal opinions and beliefs. When presented with facts, evidence, proof, they somtimes bend. Other times it is clear they aren’t interested.

Implementing a broken-by-design emissions trading scheme, and knowingly counting fraudulent carbon credits towards our emissions reductions targets.

If you want to get into any profession that requires post graduate study, you have to have well off parents to pay for your living costs. If you’re from a poor family, you can forget about being a vet or a doctor unless you’re happy to borrow to support your living costs as well.

The Student Allowance will no longer be available for postgraduate study (except Bachelor degrees with honours).

Studylink Budget 2012

the proposed flag change – the entire process is indicative of National… starting with an idea with some merit and completely fucking up every single stage in the process to end up with a result that satisfied nobody.

Removing voting rights for prisoners in NZ. Anyone who is detained in prison is de-registered and cannot re-register until they are released from prison. The High courts have since ruled that the legislation is inconsistent with the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act. In passing the legislation they sent it the Law and Order select committee instead of the Justice and Electoral select committee. A majority of submissions to the select committee were against the bill (skewed by an Otago uni paper assessment) and only two were for. One of those two was the bills sponsor. Voting rights are fundamental to a functioning democracy.

Passed the “Hobbit law” under urgency, which has since destroyed workers rights in the film and television industry, at the behest of Warner Brothers.

Letting the regions flounder and die.

They didn’t take global warming seriously. None of these other issues matter because when our environment is destroyed, it won’t be able to support a society.

Kept the Act party alive.

Surveillance state.

Boy racer act. Solved nothing and is anti-youth.

Continuing the failed war on cannabis in this country I would count as a failure on National’s watch.


Obviously this went much further than the worst that the National Government has done and there are a number of less major additional gripes. There’s quite a bit of discussion on many of those.

Which is the worst?

Which of these are unfair criticisms?

Which are just ideological differences?

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62 Comments

  1. Gezza

     /  July 20, 2017

    Stopping contributions to the Super fund has meant that it is currently about $20 billion less than it could have been.

    Rotters !

    Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  July 20, 2017

      Littlewood says it is a complete waste of time and money and should be scrapped.

      Reply
      • Gezza

         /  July 20, 2017

        Who’s bloody Littlewood?

        Reply
      • Gezza

         /  July 20, 2017

        Sounds like an idiot. Who is he?

        Reply
        • Borrowing to invest? Hmm let me think. Gearing might have had some very excited in the booming mid 1980s, but the shirts lost are the stuff of legends. If the 1987 crash taught us anything it’s that steady as she goes is infinitely better for the economy, macro or micro, than a worthless portfolio, a debt to pay off or bankruptcy.

          Reply
          • Gezza

             /  July 20, 2017

            What’s dave’s opinion?

            Reply
            • Don’t know who he is!

            • Gezza

               /  July 20, 2017

              dave1924. It sounds like he’s a squazillionaire from making killings in the markets. Blazer’s not here pestering everyone, so he might swing by. You should take a bit more time getting to know the neighbours instead of gallivanting around the Himalayas with ya mobile.

            • Killings in the market Gezza? Ha! A few nice successes and some moderate failures leading to a positive increase in value…. plus nice dividend streams : )

              Trav is correct – steady as she goes with little or no leverage is the right approach for most people, most of the time. The government stopping contributions to the Super Fund given the GFC carnage and the quake damage repair bill was the right thing to do – had to take on enough debt as it was to keep the countries Health, Education and Welfare systems operating at accustomed levels…

              BOL is actually right partially about NZ IPO’s – which is something we have rapped on previously. There have been some dogs brought to market – see Fentex, currently Tegel looks bad compared to IPO price as does Orion Health…. but NZ King Salmon has done well, Oceania Health has been steady as well…

            • Gezza

               /  July 20, 2017

              Cheers dave. 👍🏼

        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  July 20, 2017
          Reply
          • Gezza

             /  July 20, 2017

            “Michael Littlewood reckons the key to being set up for retirement is owning your own home and paying off your debts.

            Littlewood should know. He has spent close to 40 years working in and around the retirement industry – the last nine of which have been studying pension policies from around the world at Auckland University’s Retirement Policy and Research Centre. Littlewood, who stepped down as co-director this week, set up the centre with economics professor Susan St John as part of his own retirement planning.

            He says the government should focus on what it alone can do – providing a universal superannuation payment to ensure low levels of poverty in old age.

            He also believes the tax playing field should be leveled and says the government has a role in collecting information about people’s saving behaviour over time and to produce information to help educate people on their financial decisions.”

            He’s obviously been a big earner & pretty well off. Doesn’t like Kiwisaver but dunno if he’s taken into account some people have trouble with managing their own financial planning & don’t have a lot of moolah to spare. Not everyone’s eonomics guru.

            Wonder what the counter argument is?

            Reply
  2. Gezza

     /  July 20, 2017

    Defunding youthline when NZ has the worst youth suicide of all time and removing money from mental health services in general.

    Youth suicide and mental health in general is definitely up there as one of the biggest issues that has been completely swept under the rug. What a completely nasty bit of budgeting to cut the funding, looking back it’s unforgiveable.

    Disgusting. Disgraceful behaviour. Should be bloody ashamed !

    Reply
  3. Alan Wilkinson

     /  July 20, 2017

    Failed to repeal the RMA when they had the numbers to do it and then putting Nick Smith in charge of doing nothing when they didn’t.

    In mitigation they had other priorities with the GFC and the Chch earthquake but they should have come into Govt ready to do it.

    Reply
    • Likewise MMP

      Reply
      • Gezza

         /  July 20, 2017

        Nah, trav. Ya bein too hard on it. Jeez ya a tuff one mate, I reckon the problem is they probably thought we’d have several parties that would have similar policies on things & there’d be some natural fits that would make coalitions reasonably easy to cobble together & work relatively harmoniously. Maybe?

        But for some reason we’ve ended up with a bunch of idiots all continually cobbling together patchworks of policies they all try to make look completely different from everyone else’s – going for their points if difference. And then they all start trying to shaft each other, which makes everyone think Christ how could that load of idiots ever be expected to form a workable & lasting coalition government.

        The main Parties haven’t woken up & smelled the coffee yet. My theory, anyway. FPP is just a two party dictatorship, flipped back and forward. That’s no bloody use. They’d each just pander to their own consituencies.

        Reply
  4. Corky

     /  July 20, 2017

    Surveillance state. i don’t think people realise the huge inroads into privacy the government and business have and are making.

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  July 20, 2017

      People who vote should do something about it !

      Reply
      • Corky

         /  July 20, 2017

        Yes, you are right. Andy, Earth Mother, Shawzee, Dunn, and Winnie will peel back that Surveillance state and give us back a modicum of privacy.

        When Dunn was able to stop National passing surveillance legislation I begged him not to support National, and outlined my reasons.

        To be fair, he replied with a 3 page statement. But it was clear he was hopelessly institutionalised and was unable to project into the future to see the probable outcome of such legislation.

        I did vote at the time, and petitioned a sitting MP.

        Lol..once again ( after you have been to Spec Savers), no Muslim ban, no vote.

        Reply
        • Gezza

           /  July 20, 2017

          Ya not thinkin straight Corks ! Have you had breakfast ?
          Wot if ya end up with a quartet of numpties? Double the Muslim refo quotas ! At least.
          Trouble at mill.
          Not wiv National tho! Absolute minimum.

          Garn, Billy needs ya vote mate. Do it. 👍🏼

          Reply
    • This is not solely a NATIONAL problem, issue Corky. This is a problem the world over and with all western governments. You seriously don’t imagine that any coalition cobbled together in NZ will alter the direction or “apparent” necessity for surveillance.

      Reply
  5. That is quite the list for all of the masses with a short memory, some pretty appalling behavior amongst that.

    Reply
    • Corky

       /  July 20, 2017

      National have been getting in the gutter with the hoi polloi, Shane. No doubt about it.

      Reply
    • PDB

       /  July 20, 2017

      Depends who is spinning the story – the Canterbury Regional Council WAS dysfunctional, water standard changes are negligible if you avoid the media/left wing spin, dropping the highest tax rate HELPED the economy during the GFC, the Resource act needed amending and has had no effect on the environment, complaining of threats etc to funding is all someone’s opinion. Look at how somewhere like Matamata is only flourishing due to the so-called ‘Hobbit law’ & the most of the regions are not ‘floundering or dying’ – demonstratively false.

      Selling 49% of the power companies was a sound move as it also reduces the cost to the taxpayer of unkeep which had been neglected in many years – but what was worse – that policy or Labour/Greens lowering the govt value of the share offer by scaring people into thinking they were going to Nationalise power (NZ Power policy)?

      Reply
  6. sorethumb

     /  July 20, 2017

    Keep immigration up to benefit the non-tradeables section of the economy.
    Allow the left to attack the population through Susan Devoy’s office (facilitate a foreign invasion) and via an alliance with the sort of academic who uses “white-privelege” and whose thinking is “informed” by Gramsci, Fanon etc.
    http://www.massey.ac.nz/massey/about-massey/news/article.cfm?mnarticle_uuid=1CA55C48-D372-7F7D-9913-C5F6CA0FAE42

    Reply
  7. sorethumb

     /  July 20, 2017

    Under National MBIE is a joke. TVNZ is a propaganda machine and they hold out on OIA requests.
    https://croakingcassandra.com/2016/09/12/hard-stuff-or-mbie-puff-piece/

    Reply
  8. sorethumb

     /  July 20, 2017

    This explains national:

    Corrin Dann
    Let’s move on to immigration. Kerry McDonald wrote on his website and I quote “a high rate of immigration is a national disaster he says it is lowering the living standards of New Zealanders with seroius economic social and environmental consequences “
    Now this isn’t Winston peters saying this it is a respected economist and businessman. He’s worried about immigration, not because he’s but because he’s worried about the numbers.

    John Key
    “We’ll o.k. I don’t think the evidence bears that out. To start off if you look at the average wages in NZ they are up .

    Corrin Dann
    But it is still 20,000 below Australia.

    John Key
    But it almost doesn’t matter what the politicians say it is what New zealanders think and what we do know is that New zealanders are not leaving as they were because they see the oppurtunities.

    Corrin Dann

    But on the flip side of that Treasury says, in a recent report, that immigration keeps wages lower , the profile of those coming in tends to be in low skilled areas and it still seems to be in jobs that New zealanders could fill and it’s keeping New Zealanders wages down so the wages could be higher than that.

    John Key
    We would like to see even more New Zealanders come off the benefit and take up employment

    Corrin Dann
    But their facing competion from migrants coming in

    John Key
    We’ll I don’t think that’s quite right, It depends on a lot of factors. Some of the work can be seasonal, so someone comes in on a seasonal work program which we have reciprical rights because they are part of our FTA or RSC which is a . But they also come in as a regional issue , so if you take Queenstown, go and ask any operator in the heart of the season they just cannot get workers, now, you just can’t pick people up and transport them to Queenstown; you have family infrastructure [ and low pay, lack of accommodation and sky high rentals]

    Corrin Dann
    I guess what I’m trying to say, is your government using immigration (Strong immigration) to prop up and economy that is suffering from a dairy down turn, to get you through a . You have high house prices

    John Key
    Well ok. The answer is no. If you go back and look at those figures in 200? x kiwis went to Australia, now x Kiwis…

    Corrin Dann
    But hang on, if you look at the numbers it is only a quarter that are returning Kiwis

    Jk
    That’s right, because some go in and some go out. But my point is fewer people get residency now than when Winston peters was foreign minister under Labour.

    Corrin Dann
    you don’t want to get immigration down , to fall though, do you. I just got to say something. I saw you in a speech after the budget and you were in a big room of business people, now some of those were the biggest business minds of the country and you stood up and said: “don’t worry about treasuries figure the estimation that it will go back to 12000, you were confident the figure was going to be a lot higher than that.

    JK
    I just think it is likely to be higher than that

    Corrin Dann
    But it’s like telling them you wanted immigration to be up. You were telling them “ don’t worry the demand will be there, the economies going to stay there, that’s what’s keeping New Zealand affloat

    JK
    No, what I like about the fact that migration is strong is that I think that it reflects both returning Kiwis and that it shows they have confidence in New Zealand and that we have an open economy, but personally I think New zealand is a much more successful country/ for that.

    Corrin Dann
    But the issue is can NZ cope in terms of schools, roads, …the argument is that we are not coping with that. The people living here their living standards don’t increase

    JK
    well, I don’t agree with that. I think were are building roads and schools and hospitals…

    Corrin Dann
    you don’t want to get immigration down , to fall though, do you. I just got to say something. I saw you in a speech after the budget and you were in a big room of business people, now some of those were the biggest business minds of the country and you stood up and said: “don’t worry about treasuries figure the estimation that it will go back to 12000, you were confident the figure was going to be a lot higher than that.

    JK
    I just think it is likely to be higher than that

    Corrin Dann
    But it’s like telling them you wanted immigration to be up. You were telling them “ don’t worry the demand will be there, the economies going to stay there, that’s what’s keeping New Zealand affloat

    http://tvnz.co.nz/q-and-a-news/pm-s-reaction-aussie-election-results-video-6479759

    Reply
    • sorethumb

       /  July 20, 2017

      Having said that we have a big fat plus: diversity. Currently 3 1/2d/lb @ Woolworths.

      Reply
      • PDB

         /  July 20, 2017

        Fair enough to have an opinion but do you really have to spam the thread whilst doing so?

        Reply
        • sorethumb

           /  July 20, 2017

          Damning though, aint it!?

          Reply
          • PDB

             /  July 20, 2017

            I don’t know? Your comment’s are basically all the same, on the same theme so I skip through them without reading?

            Reply
            • sorethumb

               /  July 20, 2017

              If more of this theme got into the main stream media you would have to come up with counter arguments, but since the media is dominated by a coalition (internationalist left and..) you can just ignore my posts.

            • PDB

               /  July 20, 2017

              If you didn’t spam the blog with random anti-immigration rhetoric I might be inclined to debate the point with you. Immigration is not all ‘good’, neither is it all ‘bad’.

      • Gezza

         /  July 20, 2017

        The Burke Review. That was orchestrated by MFAT. Burke was notoriously thick.

        Reply
  9. Zedd

     /  July 20, 2017

    The worst thing Natz have done.. you can make all the lists, BUT Im guessing about 40% of the HARD core wouldn’t care if the list included mass-murder ?!

    They are so caught up with ‘Right is RIGHT’ regardless of what they do.. 😦

    What is Natz main policy; look after the top 50.1% & retain power, at any cost to society

    Reply
    • 40% wouldn’t care…… man you are a great window in to the hard core Left green supporter…keep it up Zedd wonderfully entertaining – so much so I wonder if your a parody account

      Reply
  10. Zedd

     /  July 20, 2017

    some people think Im cynical ?

    Reply
  11. And what was Labours list of “dreadful” stuff after 9 years….

    Reply

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