Government treating regions with disdain

The government can’t take a trick at the moment. The media pile on is into its third week.

They only have themselves to blame, and Stacy Kirk writes about their region bashing at Stuff:

People in the regions aren’t stupid.

They know when big city officials and politicians are pulling strings in their area. They know what stings and what’s a bribe, what a new petrol tax is, and certainly they’re aware of when a politician from Wellington last showed any interest in their neck of the woods.

And their support at the polling booth tends to cost more than a new walking track, or a factory, or a new intersection.

Which makes the past week’s Government assault on regional and rural New Zealand all the more baffling. End of quote.

Ahhh… but Labour do think voters and regional voters in particular are actually stupid. She continues:

The Government has unveiled a major shift in transport policy, which will hit every New Zealander in the pocket in some respect, and also announced its wind-down of Government funded irrigation schemes.

The latter was billed by the Greens and Labour in the election campaign; hardly a surprise but that does little to ease the pain of a kick in the guts many farmers will be feeling.

And the Government has found itself flailing in a bid to sell its proposal to can a number of popular major highway projects and instil a 9-12c per litre rise in fuel tax, in order to pay for safety barriers and some big-ticket public transport ventures in Auckland. Their argument that the last Government was advised even higher taxes were needed to carry out its plan are hypothetical as there is no evidence anything close to that was signed off.

The only solace for regional New Zealand seems to be that Aucklanders will face an even bigger 20c per litre tax increase. End of quote.

When nothing is delivered before the next election, then Labour will be punished nationwide. Kirk thinks voters in the regions will hold a grudge. She explains:

Median barriers will be a welcome spend in many parts of the country, but they only limit the damage of a crash. It’s the quality of the highways and roads that go towards preventing a crash.

Route 52 and thousands of other similar veins throughout the country are now even less likely to see any improvement, yet regional drivers will be made acutely aware of Auckland’s flashy new light rail system that they’re paying for at the pump.

The hit to regional New Zealand won’t be easily forgotten – not even when Shane Jones rolls in to town to soothe its residents like some sort of Travelling Wilbury to say it’s all right by splashing some of his $1 billion fund on a few hand-picked projects.

The Government seems set to learn the hard way just how fast the public banks a win and how long it holds a grudge. End of quote.

A good long time if the Hawkes Bay is anything to go by. They still remember David Cunliffe’s interference in the local health board.

I don’t think Labour really understand just how bad Twyford’s tram tax will be despised around the country.


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.

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