I enjoy a flutter on the horses, and encouraged by my few collects I can be dismissive of the losses. The balance in my TAB account is testimony I'm not good enough to live off the winnings but the occasional dividends suggest I'm not completely incompetent either.
When it comes to looking at the field for Saturday's election, a betting man would be likely to use the form guides, in this case the opinion polls, and he wouldn't take long to have it sorted. No doubt he would take Labour as a short priced win favourite and Labour/Greens at slightly higher odds for a quinella investment.
But let's not forget that form guides and tipsters sometimes get it wrong and someone looking for a lucrative trifecta pay out could just get lucky. If that is you, try this hypothetical combination for a roughie.
Let's say Labour polls 45 per cent and needs a friend to govern, and then suppose the Greens poll 4.5 per cent meaning they are gone all together. Then let's say National polls 35 per cent, Act polls 8 per cent and NZ First dashes home with a late burst to get the 5 per cent necessary to be in Parliament. That trifecta combination would have 48 per cent, putting them over the finish line ahead of Labour with enough votes to govern as a coalition. The ticket holder with this particular combination would be laughing all the way to the bank.
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It is almost the reverse scenario to what happened last election when National gained 44.45 per cent and Labour gained 36.89 per cent of the popular vote, with the remaining votes shared among the minor parties. In the final calculation this translated into 46.67 per cent of the seats in Parliament for National but left them high and dry without a friend after NZ First chose to support a Labour led coalition to form the 52nd Government of New Zealand.
Right now, with the Greens sitting perilously close to the 5 per cent threshold and NZ First known to finish with a late burst, I would say no party is scratched just yet.
Regardless of which horse does win the race and which major party leads the next Government, councils will be subject to government imposed changes and priorities. One such target for change I think will be most welcomed will be the scrapping of the Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA), a troublesome piece of legislation widely regarded as no longer fit for purpose. Both major parties have committed to an almost identical policy of starting again.
Critics argue that the present act is no longer serving its purpose of promoting the sustainable management of natural and physical resources, but rather is being used as a weapon to object to anything and everything that someone, simply, just doesn't like.
Sustainable management means managing the use, development, and protection of natural and physical resources in a way, or at a rate, which enables people and communities to provide for their social, economic, and cultural well-being and for their health and safety.
Collectively the legal and consenting process surrounding the RMA is a massive hand-brake to the future development, in particular the housing needs of New Zealanders. So whichever political party wins this particular race, it is with confidence I can bet on the track conditions changing when it comes to the RMA.
As a council we accept what is dished up to us and whether the hypothetical dividend outlined above comes in the form of a win bet, a quinella or the trifecta, life will go on and thankfully without the RMA.