We have recently witnessed around the world how the desire for change has resulted in the unexpected.

Sometimes it appears the change is just for the sake of change. Decisions are based on catchy sound bites and slogans rather than real policy or understanding.

Many have wondered how Americans could vote someone like Donald Trump as their President. We were bemused at how the British voted to leave the European Union then protested on the streets when they realised what it really meant and wanted to vote again. Sadly, in New Zealand we are at risk of doing the same.

As calls travelling across the Pacific Ocean to "make America great again" fade in the distance, we were unexpectedly bombarded by the media with Jacinda-mania and the Jacinda-tsunami.


New Zealanders have found themselves caught up in the frenzied excitement of bringing about change, to change the Government and to change because we can. But do we know what those changes will actually be?

Gareth Morgan pointed out, in a not-so-subtle manner, the face leading Labour has changed but the party fundamentally is still the same party that was only polling 24 per cent support back in July. There aren't any significant changes in direction, just more tax and spend. Labour, after nine years in opposition, are still unable to detail the full extent of the tsunami of taxes they will introduce.

Does New Zealand really want change so badly that we are prepared to step back in time and tax the country to a standstill? I certainly hope not.

If Labour's key measurable thing of success in its first 100 days would be the setting up of the tax working group, as Kelvin Davis recently said in an interview, we need to seriously question Labour's intentions and ability to govern.

There is a growing mood that more needs to be done to help the poor and improve equality; which I agree is a problem and is something we need to address.

But how does putting new taxes on to farmers, growers, producers and businesses that provide jobs and grow our economy going to achieve this? Is changing the rules around negative gearing, introducing a capital gains tax and changing tenancy rules going to encourage landlords to invest in more rental properties that we so desperately need?

No, it is only going to make the problem worse. It appears Labour's plan is to hit those who are doing well and drag them down so those less fortunate don't feel so bad about their situation.

Recent poll results showing Labour gaining on, then leading, National has already resulted in the New Zealand dollar dropping in value.

A Labour win will see the dollar drop further. Unemployment will rise as business confidence plummets and profits are reduced. The cost of living will skyrocket, petrol prices will steadily climb and rental accommodation will be expensive and hard to find.

Inflation will be pushed up, resulting in the OCR and interest rates being raised. Those with large mortgages will struggle and some will start to default on their loans. The fact is you can't tax the country into prosperity.

Voters need to carefully look at the policies on offer. What policies are going to actually improve our situation in the long run, not just providing an instant short-term indulgence? New Zealand needs a plan to provide better outcomes for everyone.

The best way to benefit those that are experiencing hard times is to get them into well-paid, long-term employment; not a handout. We need policies that provide opportunities for young New Zealanders to get ahead.

In August, David Seymour released his book Own Your Future outlining Act plans to solve these issues and make New Zealand a better place. It's a detailed policy document with logical ideas outlining how we can make housing affordable through reduced red tape, growth in employment by lowering the company tax rate, sustainable superannuation by raising the age of entitlement now and providing choice in schools for better educational outcomes.

However, it appears New Zealand is more concerned with the artificial personalities, gimmicks and unsustainable spending promises the election sideshow brings.

A vote for Labour will definitely bring about change but it won't be the change voters were expecting or need.

The change we need is a strong Act presence in a National-led Government. Post-September 23 I truly hope New Zealand doesn't wake up with an election hangover and ask, "what have we done?".

Roger Greenslade is the Act candidate for the Wairarapa seat in this month's general election. Views expressed here are the writer's opinion and not the newspaper's. Email: editor@hbtoday.co.nz