I have been reading a book called Fridays with Jim, where David Cohen is interviewing former National Party leader and former Prime Minister Jim Bolger. Aside from being a good book, it raises a number of questions about where New Zealand is headed.
To be clear I am not a National supporter. However Mr Bolger is known for progressive thinking where practicality of policy supersedes political ideology. As such the interviews on which the book is based identify a range of policy areas that are not being addressed by any of the political parties in Parliament, Labour and National included.
This is a list of policy areas/issues no one in Parliament seem to want to talk about, but which are very important to our future as a country.
- Green technology and science – heard of hempcrete?
- Constitutional arrangements – Mr Bolger supports a Republic of New Zealand
- Disabled and vulnerable peoples – not mentioned in the book, but one that I think more effort needs to made to address
- The loss of jobs to robots and technology – Mr Bolger described a hotel he stayed in in Japan where a robot brought him a towel; supermarkets are becoming self serve
- Forestry – planting a billion trees is one thing; managing our forests is quite another
- Men’s welfare, social issues – human rights organizations like Amnesty seem loathe to address them
- Alternative energy sources such as pump hydro stations, waste to energy and the need for a nation wide plan
- The future of cars – will there be a hybrid surge before we change to alternative fuels
- Ending neoliberalism – what are the alternatives, and how do you think we should change?
- Housing – much noise being made, but clearly no one has answers or a vision
- Addressing white collar crime, money laundering and shell companies
- Your privacy in the cyber era – protecting against online threats; social media and how much does your smartphone/etc know about you?
This is not a complete nor comprehensive list. It is merely intended to give you an idea of some topics that are not being discussed – both ones that I identified, and ones that were identified in “Fridays with Jim”. What have I missed that you think should be on here?