Politics, as in many things in life, is at least in part about perception. What happened? What did you get, as opposed to what your expectation might have been?

Stuart Nash defended his famed 1800 police promise yesterday on our programme by trying to justify the 1800 meant 1800 not counting attrition. He had to do that because Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern in the House answered Simon Bridges' question by confirming they would recruit 1800 police.

And indeed they will, they're just short of 1700 now.


But the critical part of this is, was that what you were expecting? Or were you, like me, expecting an addition of 1800 to the police force? In other words by the time they implemented their policy, the force would be larger by 1800 officers.

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If that's your calculation, they're well short. They've expanded ranks by under 900. So to answer the Bridges question you'd have to say no we won't.

But they won't and don't argue that. And to be fair to the Government, on a technicality, they have a point. But that doesn't take into account the expectation versus what I assume will now be a reasonable amount of disappointment around the realisation that what you thought and what you got, are two different things.

That goes to delivery, which goes to the polls this week. A big chunk of the Government's problem is lack of delivery. We have abject and obvious failures like KiwiBuild, or what we perceive as a partial failure like the police numbers.

What about the gun buyback? Why was it implemented? To stop madmen shooting people, to take the sort of weapons the alleged mosque gunman used out of circulation.

So there is the expectation, but the reality? Well so far 30,000 guns. And what? Is that the lot of them? Does anyone believe that's the lot of them?

Another 100-odd buyback events to go, so at the current rate maybe they pull in 40,000 guns - out of about potentially 1.5 million.


Is that the problem solved? Once again on this show Stuart Nash says he's not apologising for getting 30,000 guns off the streets. That's fine, if that's the expectation you created - but it wasn't.

The impression left for most of us is that a lot of plain old law-abiding gun owners trudged along to a police event and picked up a cheque, and they now shoot rabbits with something else.

They were never killing anyone or causing anyone any harm. And if there is a madman getting radicalised on the internet, they are still able to get the weaponry they need.

Lofty aims are admired only at the very beginning when the pitch is made and at the end if the result is a success.

Apart from that, and short of that, they are nothing more than a fail. That in a nutshell is why Labour are having the week of polls they are.