The $1 billion spend on rail is pleasing, if not entirely predictable. Something had to be done, and here NZ First's influence stands out like dogs' teeth. Our below-par roads cannot take the burden
The $1 billion spend on rail is pleasing, if not entirely predictable. Something had to be done, and here NZ First's influence stands out like dogs' teeth. Our below-par roads cannot take the burden of heavy trucks indefinitely, or their impact on our appalling road toll.
It'd be churlish to be anything other than positive towards the increased mental health and addiction funding.
However, it would also be remiss not to point out the proven link between poverty and mental health and addiction. So, while everyone's applauding this move, it pays to temper such praise with reality.
Poverty is also a driver of family violence. So, again, funding initiatives for family violence are just more ambulance/bottom/cliff stuff.
Until the lowest-paid workers and beneficiaries see significant gains in their capacity to pay for the basics, the mental health/violence/addiction stats will remain static. Investment in research and tech to find the silver bullet for decreasing water pollution from dairy farming is no surprise.
But it's ultimately throwing money to the wind. The way to get real traction is to immediately decrease cow numbers. Anything less is proof of living in Fantasyland, but ever-increasing climate change effects will, sooner or later, put paid to that delusion.
Where is the money for massive solar projects, or battery tech to start the huge task of reshaping our transport and industrial systems?
If the Government won't change their emphasis on solving the biggest crisis facing all of us, when will they?
After the next election? After the next climate calamity?
The Budget overall?
The left will secretly feel hacked off. And, if not, they need to ask themselves why.
• Rachel Stewart is a columnist for the Herald.