Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Why Do We Tolerate Shonky Governance?


Someone recently remarked to me that they hadn't seen one of my letters in the Southland Times for a while so I decided to rectify that...

Dear sir


When Prime Minister John Key and his Government continue to have support in polls it suggests to me that New Zealanders have become used to accepting declining ethical standards in politics.

Good process and honesty are no longer expectations under this Government and it is either short memories or tolerance that have allowed the following to occur:

  • Numerous findings from our Ombudsmen and Auditor General that good process hasn't been followed in school closures and the Sky City deal.
  • Lack of accountability for incompetence and dishonesty when poorly performing Ministers remain in their positions.
  • Blaming the public service for poor performance while at the same time creating the problems with huge budget cuts.
  • Claiming that they want to support those in need while at the same time giving tax cuts to the rich and increasing funding to private schools.
  • Outsourcing contracts at the expense of New Zealand businesses and workers.
  • Trying to change the Official Information Act to hide the truth behind such matters as the shonky Hobbit deal.
  • Stopping environmental reporting rather than properly address the degradation of our rivers. 

One of the Green Party's four principles is 'appropriate decision-making' and this involves strong democratic process and proper consultation with those affected by any decision. The most obvious issue that has ignored good process is the sale of our Power Companies. Despite polls during the last election showing 75-80% of people were opposed; independent economic advice expressing concern; over 90% of submissions to the select committee opposing enabling legislation and Maori taking legal action, the Government still claims they have a mandate to continue.

I am hopeful that the overwhelming support for a referendum on the sale of our state assets will allow a return of true democratic process and a reining in of a Government that refuses to listen to the people who put it there.

2 comments:

robertguyton said...

You are saying that National is venal while the Greens are paragons of integrity (hyperbole for the sake of my story), which of course is quite correct and so I think you could expect some feedback in response to your letter.
My advice is, as always, keep 'em pithy (er).

bsprout said...

You do pithy better than I ,Robert, so I'll leave that to you. My rambling, verbose style seems to be supported by some and it will be interesting to see who responds.