Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern launched the Labour 2020 election campaign at the Auckland Town Hall on Saturday.
Her speech acknowledged the work of Prime Ministers John Key and Bill English to guide the country through the Global Financial Crisis, before noting the yawning chasm that had continued to grow between children in poverty and those are not. She acknowledged that there are things that she and the Government have not managed to do, and that the Government needs to continue to be honest with people about why.
Yes, this is the COVID19 election. Yes, COVID19 has put a lot on the plate of the Government in terms of impacts on the economy and the community.
But an election is a contest of ideas. It is about political parties putting their best policies out for public consumption and to see what New Zealand wants to do. Ultimately some policies need to be released. And one or two of them need to be biggish ones that get the public’s attention; that show a direction particular to that party.
As policy announcements seem a bit short at the moment, I have released a few below:
- Ditch N.C.E.A., refine the old system to remove grading and require all courses to have both an external and internal assessment component.
- Explore the possibility of hydrogen from the waste stream in place of petroleum – and if feasible, then explore the feasibility of a hydrogen plant supplying our market. Not a shovel ready project, and not one to likely happen under this government, but one that I think N.Z. will probably attempt at some point – so lets get started on the research.
- Ditch the District Health Boards and go back to some kind of central model, with the democratic function being met by a central board of two members from each province. Savings of possibly $1 billion per year which would be used to fill in gaps in surgery, A & E.
- Explore a universal proportionate income indexed to inflation – assumes a 40 hour working week, not eligible if working more than 32 hours (80%).
- Fund the refurbishment of all state houses not marked for it.
There will be more ideas later in the campaign period.