The Election? I’m Bored Already!


I’m bored already. Or maybe the more correct term is frustrated.

For the past 2 months, the media and country has been obsessing over a sports team.  Meanwhile some serious debate needed to be had:

  • The country’s credit ratings have dipped
  • Ongoing disasters are going to make the country’s economic books even harder to juggle
  • Europe’s financial state is in a serious meltdown with only tinkering at the edges to keep it afloat
  • Baby boomers are marching in their thousands towards retirement age and rightly claiming a pension but one the country can ill afford
  • Thousands of our best people continue to leave our shores for good
  • There’s no sign of innovative thinking about developing much-needed future new export earners.


There’s little hunger among the media for that debate and the politicians are equally to blame as they have become schooled by media advisers into keeping on message with 15-seconds TV news-friendly soundbites with don’t progress any thinking.

And everyone is now singing from the Key hymn book in how to soothe the masses.

A Maori TV debate during the week of minor parties saw everyone including even hot-headed Hone and temperamental Winston waving and smiling and not wanting to scare anyone - to the point where an exasperated TV host asked why they didn’t all just get into bed together and form one party as he couldn’t get any bite out of them.

Frustrated? The politicians are back to their tired old tricks of squabbling amongst themselves about how much rival policies will cost and issuing policies well canvassed by focus groups.

This is actually a time to be bold and innovative as the challenges ahead are huge. Has anyone a vision for the country ahead?

Labour can promise anything it likes but the elephant in the room only gets bigger.

Even if people like the idea of a CBD Rail LInk or compulsory Kiwisaver, the reality is that most people, including some present Labour MPs, do not see Phil Goff as a credible attractive and convincing Prime Minster. We all know the knives will be out after the election whether he wins or loses.

Even Goff doesn't appear on Labour's billboards. Extraordinary


Shame on Labour for not having the guts to resolve it before hand even though none of the likely substitutes are any more attractive including Minister of Porn Shane Jones whose sexism is unattractive to the powerful hardcore Labour feminist and lesbian lobby.

Talking of Jones, I wrote months ago about how appalling it was he was invisible as spokesman on transport and needed to come out with support for Len Brown and his rail policies and display some understanding of the portfolio or even that he cared.

He remained invisible, adding to the suspicion Labour doesn’t see transport as a core issue even though Labour should visibly be seen supporting fellow Labour member Len Brown as he fends off government ministers saying the CBD Link will not get Government financing.

Now we have Labour apparently scrambling together a script written by transport lobbyists and  local body Labourites that will support the rail link and promise to give the Puhoi highway a lower priority. I haven’t been sent their policy (the only party that doesn’t bother to communicate here!) but of course it’s very great news to hear that they will fund half the CBD Link if the Council does the rest. But it’s amazing how an election one month out suddenly brings out such policies.

By contrast, Greens’ MP Gareth Hughes has been in the thick of it from day one. He has a great grasp of transport matters and Greens MPs have been everywhere from launcing petitions for the Rail Link to turning up at Mt Albert train station early on a Saturday morning waving placards about saving Northland Rail.

The Greens makeover is impressive. They have an economic policy, easy to understand slogans, the co-leaders are in business suits, not a word about legalising dope and a clever billboard campaign promising a “richer NZ.”

They have taken lessons from successful Greens’ parties overseas especially the successful Australian movement.

Meanwhile National has already predictably rubbished Labour’s transport policies for Auckland.

abour are saying they would:

  • · Reverse hypothecation, meaning fuel tax will be diverted to pay for non-roading related projects.
  • · Abandon motorway improvements, increasing congestion and slowing the economy.
  • · Add on expensive regional transport charges.

Mr Joyce says Auckland simply cannot afford Labour’s poorly thought out transport plans.


abour are saying they would:

  • · Reverse hypothecation, meaning fuel tax will be diverted to pay for non-roading related projects.
  • · Abandon motorway improvements, increasing congestion and slowing the economy.
  • · Add on expensive regional transport charges.

In a statement Minister Steven Joyce says ays Auckland simply cannot afford Labour’s poorly thought out transport plans.

He says Labour are in effect saying they would:

  •  Reverse hypothecation, meaning fuel tax will be diverted to pay for non-roading related projects.
  •  Abandon motorway improvements, increasing congestion and slowing the economy.
  •  Add on expensive regional transport charges.

Of course National can continue to afford to smile. Yesterday 17,000 walked the new Victoria Park tunnel which opened 3 months early, conveniently at the start of the election campaign and gives Auckland motorists a much wanted improvement to their driving.





  1. Jeremy says:

    This will be the second election in a row I will not be voting for National or Labour.

  2. Patrick R says:

    Not sure how you can be bored by the news that two of the only three parties that matter have announced they will fund the CRL! This is a big step in the right direction and a credit to everyone, like you Jon, who have kept up the pressure. Kinda feels like democracy at work, even. Starting to expect a late recant from the cynics in the other party….

  3. tbird says:

    “two of the only three parties that matter have announced they will fund the CRL”

    The correct sentence is:
    “two of the only three parties that matter have announced all NZ taxpayers will fund the CRL”

    Unless Labour is planning to fund it out of its own cash.

  4. Matt says:

    Patrick beat me to it.

    Can I congratulate AKT,, and all the commenters on both (except for tbird) for steering public policy in the right direction?

    Well done everyone.

    And thanks to the Greens and to Labour for listening.

    And a big raspberry for John Key’s hopelessly out of touch Nationals.

  5. Patrick R says:

    tBird, what nonsense, they have announced it will be 50% or 60% funded from the National Land Transport Fund, yes from taxation, whereas Puford would be funded 100% from this source.

    What’s your point exactly? That someone’s tax from say Southland will could be considered to be going to Auckland? Well every road like every rail line is in one place too, in theory both you and me have contributed to many roads we’ve never seen… yet your shouty text is reserved for this project? Go figure.

  6. Luke says:

    a bit harsh really, Labour finally announces a policy that you have been harassing them about for months and you only mention it in code. Transport funding is separate from the rest so easy to pay for if holiday highway is cancelled.

  7. tbird says:

    My point is one of wording.

    Labour are not paying for it, we are. Not that there’s necessarily anything wrong with that.

    I also take exception to the phrase “free healthcare for under sixes” - even though I agree this is a good idea, I think “completely subsidised healthcare” would remind people where their taxes go and who is paying.

    No matter what side of the political spectrum you are on, you have to remember the language used in politics and by the media is often misleading. There’s nothing wrong with being accurate.

  8. Ben says:

    I am up for surprises

    Election Night Final Result

    National Led Government: 45%
    Labour/Green led Government 42%
    Other (just to make life hard) 13%

    In otherwords despite what we see, nothing is confirmed until the Chief Electorial Officer says so

  9. George D says:

    tbird, they are paying for it, in the sense that it would remain unfunded by central government (remember, about 38% of tax revenues come from Auckland), because that government would be spending the same money elsewhere. If it was additional expenditure you might have half a point.

  10. James says:

    The highway is not needed. I drive there once a week almost no cars sometimes. Its only during holiday season that it becomes busy. People can use State Highway 16 which is sometimes deserted! As for Labour’s plan to fund 50% of the loop i’m all for it even though i would most likely not use it.

  11. Chris says:

    My view on the election: Labour is sh*t, National is great. End of story.

  12. Patrick R says:

    Hey killer argument there Chris, you really are convincing.

  13. DanC says:

    It would be great if I could vote for agenda’s and not parties. Bit of this and a bit of that would make for a better country.

  14. Owen Thompson says:

    The country needs to vote for the party with policies, not pretend we have an American-style Presidential vote. The party broadcasts showed Donkey talking to his supporters, not even addressing the camera, while Labour showcased various MPs & policies.

    I don’t expect Phil Goff’s photo to appear on billboards, as I am voting for the Party, not the individual.

    In Manukau, billboards are only allowed on private property, which is better than colonising a public park as shown in the photo.

  15. Anthony says:

    You know, an interesting thing happened at my school a few days ago….We had Rangitata’s National MP (Jo Goodhew) visit the school and all Year 13′s were told to attend to her meeting at lunchtime. lunchtime came and 39 of the 52 Year 13 students, including me, signed out and walked off for the whole lunchtime.

    Hardly any students in my year likes National at all. Same goes for the teachers too obviously so they were impressed with us.

  16. Matt says:

    Anthony, it’s inappropriate that you were instructed to attend any such meeting. I hope you’ve complained to the Board of Trustees, who should be enforcing the rules about schools being used for electioneering.

  17. ingolfson says:

    “and all Year 13′s were told to attend to her meeting at lunchtime.”

    Your school tells you to attend political rallys????

  18. Antz says:

    Yeah, our school is controlling like that. I remember being kicked of a school bus by the DP last year because I didn’t want to do my top button up because it was choking me…-_-’


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