Rena Wreck National's Fault
New Zealanders continue to pay dearly for National's past and continuing incompetence. The $11.5 billion dollar leaky building debacle is directly related to the deregulation of the building industry in 1991 and the Pike River mine tragedy can be blamed on the repealing of the Coal Mining Act in 1993. National governments arrogantly ignore good advice and continue to have the blind belief that less regulation is good and reducing numbers of civil servants, and therefore trusting business to self regulate, is fine. History continues to prove them wrong and yet I don't see evidence of lessons learned, even in their appalling Energy Strategy released recently we find the following statement:
"The Government encourages development and use of voluntary industry standards to rate building energy performance."
With the Rena disaster both the causes of the accident and the delay in dealing effectively with it can be laid firmly at the feet of the National Party. Again in the 1990s the National Government created an "open coast" policy that allowed unacceptable practices to become prevalent within our waters. In the case of the Rena it had a history of faults and concerns and the last time there was any check to ensure these had been rectified was in the Port of Bluff and all that was required was a verbal assurance that all was well.
In reality the likelihood of a major marine accident is probably greater in New Zealand than a terrorist attack and yet the checks and monitoring of coastal and international shipping in our waters have been downgraded substantially. If greater diligence and regulation existed then this terrible tragedy would not have occurred. Voting for a National government is a vote for hands off, no responsibility governance and the tax payer becoming culpable for any resulting disaster.