Mike Hosking: National’s election policies providing a contest of ideas


Credit where credit is due. National can’t be accused of not taking this election seriously with policy.

Name me Labour’s latest policy, and when it was announced. At least National are pumping it out. And put aside whether you agree with it or not, at least it’s out there, at least there is choice, at least there are ideas.

From the $3000 for babies to the $31 billion for infrastructure, most days there has been an announcement.

We have border policy, a plan for Tiwai, and something for small business. That, by the way, with its 90-day trials is the first real example we have seen involving businesses actually being given an opportunity to grow without the endless welfare chequebook being brought out.

We have law and order covered. There was a car insurance policy around third-party cover that would hardly change the world but, once again, a good example of simple practical stuff that shows signs of thought, research, and a gap in the status quo. There has been health money, policy for schools both in infrastructure and future planning.

It’s all there if you want it. The question, I guess, is, do we? Are we open to ideas? Do we want a debate? Is there an alternative? How engaged are we?

The real sadness would be, if this was all about Covid, we as a country are in deep trouble. Covid is omnipresent of course, but some seem to have been swamped by it.

Certainly, you can see it in the Prime Minister in that interview a couple of weeks ago where she knew nothing of council issues and a port proposal. It showed she knows about Covid and little more. Even last week when we asked about social housing and the department paying $3000 a week for houses worth $550, she knew nothing.

Add to that the lack of policy from the Government. Like taxes. Are they cutting or putting them up? Short of telling us from the podium of truth what their latest thinking around levels is, just what is it they’re doing? What’s their plan? What’s next? Do they have anything at all?

Their calling card, the plight of children, was shockingly exposed last week by Unicef.

They seemed to have closed down. The place is run by Jacinda Ardern, Chris Hipkins, Grant Robertson and Megan Woods. And their fingers are crossed no one will notice.

So, kudos to National for, potentially at least, making this election a contest of ideas.

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