Kiwi politicians are returning to work for 2021, and it's "about bloody time," according to straight-talking North Otago farmer Jane Smith.
"I've been interested to see there's no sign of life yet in Wellington after – what is it – a two-and-a-half-month break?" Smith told The Country's Jamie Mackay.
According to Smith's "rough calculations," there wasn't enough time left in the term for the Government "to actually get something that resembles a policy-in-action done."
Smith believed this year would bring unforeseen consequences for the Government, due to inaction in 2020, saying "a number of things - if not most things - weren't achieved, or even started."
"The Ministry of Consequences is really going to have to face up to the tsunami of things that are about to hit them."
Mackay pointed out that Opposition Leader Judith Collins' State of the Nation address was today, but that didn't appease Smith.
"What did Benjamin Franklin say? 'Well done is better than well said,' and there's a lot of talk and a lot of great speeches going on, as we saw during the year, but actually not a lot of action."
Although she was interested in hearing what Collins had to say, Smith believed listening to the speech would be "a little bit like chewing on dry Weetbix."
A "proactive and productive Opposition" would have used January to gain some traction "and get something off the line," Smith said.
"I haven't actually heard a lot of anything much from the opposition or a proof of life."
"It's really interesting to see how they remain wounded, and they haven't actually convinced themselves of their purpose - let alone being able to convince anyone else of that at the moment."
Smith said she would be keeping an eye on how the next couple of weeks go for the National Party.
"I guess the middle has been claimed by the left and the right belongs to Act so I'm interested to see a "who, what, how?" and some sort of value-proposition from the opposition."
Meanwhile, the former Ballance Farm Environment Award winner was also keeping an eye on Environment Minister David Parker's controversial freshwater regulations.
Smith will speak at a farmer meeting about the regulations at the Southern Field Days site in Waimumu, on February 11.
The meeting followed on from a farmer-led petition asking the Government to review freshwater regulations.
However, she dismissed Mackays' suggestion that she was a "poster girl" for the cause, as she was only using "common sense."
"As you know I'm an environmentalist and I really care about doing the right thing by the environment – but we all know that it's a very, very long game."
Making environmental changes was an "intergenerational thing" and something that "resource consents are never going to solve," Smith said.
"We're well on our way to giving communities the weight and the onus to work together for collective responsibility, and certainly Parker's plan is not going to do that."
Also in today's interview: Smith talked about the expected heatwave in North Otago.