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Dr Muriel Newman

Aspirational Reform

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The last six years of inept management by the Hipkins-Ardern Labour Government has exposed a multitude of problems facing the country that need to be addressed. Since poor outcomes have become the norm in most public policy areas, the lack of resilience of many New Zealand families to cope with adversity, is now a growing concern.

Nowhere is this more visible than in health, where the contrast between being forced onto a public hospital waiting list for specialist treatment, and having the resources to pay for private care, could mean the difference between life and death.

As a nation, surely our goal must be prosperity – lifting living standards so all New Zealanders have the ability to protect themselves from misfortune and enjoy a decent life.

So how do countries become prosperous?

Essentially it all comes down to the role of government.

If a government tries to do too much and be all things to all people – the ultimate goal of socialism – it will fail on most counts, as we have just witnessed. Not only that, but an expanding bureaucracy dominates the economy, over-regulating the private sector and disincentivising wealth creation.

Alternatively, if governments limit their activity to doing what they should do well – and in the process, empower citizens through sound policies with good incentives, then widespread wellbeing and prosperity can be achieved.

This wisdom of good government was captured by the influential American leader Rev William Boetcker at the turn of the 20th century:

You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift.
You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.
You cannot lift the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer.
You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich.
You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred.
You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than you earn.
You cannot build character and courage by destroying men’s initiative and independence.
And you cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they could and should do for themselves.

The problem we face, however, is that few political leaders have the vision or courage to introduce transformational reforms that will genuinely empower New Zealanders to build a brighter future for themselves and their families.

As a result, entrenched policy failure continues to create poor outcomes.

In education, the ongoing decline in student achievement has left New Zealand lagging behind our trading partners, with truancy rates increasing to the point where in Term 2, only 47 percent of students met the criteria for regular attendance at school compared to 63 percent in 2017 before Labour became government.

Meanwhile, in many other countries education funding follows the child to maintain high standards, empowering parents to send their children to whichever public or private school best meets their needs. In Holland, the state monopoly in education ended in 1917, creating a vibrant private school sector, and Sweden now has a thirty-year track record of school choice.

In the New Zealand education system, the funding follows the child at preschool and tertiary levels, where parents and students are free to choose the provider that best meets their needs. But primary and secondary schools largely operate as state monopolies, with parents having little choice of where they can send their child – unless they can afford private education.

Isn’t it for education reform – so the funding follows the child at primary and secondary school as well, to empower parents to better ensure their child’s learning needs are met?

In New Zealand, it’s a tragic reality that our public health system has become a lottery. If you are lucky, you will get excellent care when you are very sick. But if you are unlucky, you could die while waiting for specialist care – unless, that is, you have health insurance.

Many countries around the world, including Switzerland and Germany, ensure citizens have access to excellent health care when they need it through universal health insurance cover.

In Singapore, health insurance is part of a broader compulsory savings program, the Central Provident Fund – a contributory scheme established in 1955 to provide high standards of health care at a very low cost, as well as funds for home ownership, and a generous annuity on retirement.

So, the question is, if other countries can provide universal health cover, that eliminates hospital waiting lists and provides cost-effective health care, why can’t we?

Welfare is another area where policy failure has not only been allowed to persist but has literally destroyed generations of lives. For fifty years a benefit has been in place that has incentivised family breakdown and the alienation of fathers on an industrial scale, leaving mothers struggling to raise children on their own, often in unstable environments of drugs, violence, and abuse.

The end result is intergenerational welfare dependency – the creation of an underclass where child abuse is rife, educational failure commonplace, and gang involvement and crime the norm.

Failed policy is at the heart of this sociological disaster but to date, no political party has had the courage to replace the stand-alone sole parent benefit with support based on work – which is the norm in most other countries.

National came close in 2010, when their Welfare Working Group recommended replacing all existing benefits with a single Jobseeker Support payment. They argued that a single benefit would send a strong signal that all able-bodied beneficiaries receiving welfare are expected to find a job. And while exemptions would be provided to those unable to work due to illness, disability or having a young child, the policy would have refocussed the welfare system back to its original purpose of providing a hand-up to employment and independence from the State.

While National implemented many of the Working Group’s proposed reforms, they failed to introduce that one. As a result, over the last six years, Labour’s further relaxation of work testing requirements has led to more and more children being raised in single parent families on welfare, putting them at grave risk of poor outcomes in life.

One bright spot in the burgeoning welfare statistics is that teenage birth rates are falling. It appears that an ‘income management’ system introduced by National and retained by Labour is partially responsible.

Income management passes control of a beneficiary’s welfare payments to a case manager, who ensures that essential services such as housing, power, and debt repayments are taken care of through direct debit arrangements. Funds for food, medical care and other ‘approved’ basics are available through Payment Cards, with a small amount of cash provided as ‘discretionary spending’.

Since welfare was only ever meant to provide short term assistance in times of need, when someone remains on it in the longer term, managing budgets can become more difficult. That’s why income management was recommended for teenage parents.

It turns out, however, that one of the great attractions of a welfare lifestyle is having full control of the “free money” that’s provided. If there is no “free money”, then not only do fewer people sign up, but more leave the system sooner.

That’s why it makes great policy sense to extend income management to anyone who has been on welfare for longer than six months, because at that stage, without intervention, there’s a real risk of budgeting problems and entrenched dependency.

Another area of major policy concern is superannuation.

With the number of retirees set to double within forty years, and two parties in Parliament already promising to raise the age of retirement, it is likely to be only a matter of time before the burgeoning costs force other parties to join in the chorus.

But raising the age of retirement or reducing pensions are not the only options.

Back in 1974, Norman Kirk’s Labour Government introduced the New Zealand Superannuation Act, a contributory superannuation scheme that was the brainchild of Labour MP Sir Roger Douglas, not been axed by Prime Minister Robert Muldoon in 1975, it would have transformed New Zealand’s economic future and ensured every New Zealander had a comfortable retirement.

In a Herald article in 2007, Investment Analyst, the late Brian Gaynor estimated that if the scheme had been allowed to continue, New Zealand “would be called ‘The Antipodean Tiger’ and be the envy of the rest of the world. We would have a current account surplus, one of the lowest interest-rate structures in the world and would probably rank as one of the top five OECD economies.

“Most New Zealanders would face a comfortable retirement and would be the envy of their Australian peers. The Government would have a substantial Budget surplus and we would have one of the best educational and healthcare systems in the world.”

In 2014 Infometrics estimated that if the scheme had been retained, it would have been worth almost $300 billion – more than the New Zealand Super Fund, Kiwisaver, and the NZ Stock Exchange combined.

What the NZ Super Scheme showed in its short life, was the power of compound interest, and the profoundly positive effect that good policy can have on the country.

So, given that far better policy options exist, than those currently in place, that would empower New Zealanders and dramatically improve our quality of life, why haven’t they been implemented here?

This week’s NZCPR Guest Commentator, former Labour Finance Minister Sir Roger Douglas believes it is a lack of imagination and courage that holds governments back. He points out that traditionally National tends to be the party of the status quo, but while Labour has been the party of reform in the past, this time they got it dreadfully wrong:

“Unfortunately, when the Labour government looked to the future during its six years in office, it envisaged a larger state, higher taxes, government ownership and delivery of social services and an even greater opportunity for it and its expanded army of bureaucrats to meddle with our lives. In the process it gave up on fiscal prudence and sentenced New Zealand to low productivity growth.

“Simply put, the Ardern government chose to shovel money into the bureaucracy and then sit back, blindly hoping that such a wasteful policy would eventually pay dividends by delivering access to the kind of decent education, quality healthcare, and targeted welfare that helps rather than harms the poor, and which has been increasingly denied them.

“Surely the purpose of our democracy is to deliver government of the people by the people for the people, not government of the people by the government for the government. Given its history, Labour should know this better than any other New Zealand political party.”

In reality New Zealand has only had two periods of major reform and that’s when the years of protectionism and ‘think big’ left the country on the verge of economic collapse.

The comprehensive economic reform programme introduced in 1984 by the Lange Labour Government – which floated the dollar, reduced taxes, eliminated subsidies, and introduced a multitude of changes including the State-Owned Enterprise Act, the State Sector Act, the Reserve Bank Act, and the Public Finance Act – that was then followed by National’s passing of the Employment Contracts Act and the Fiscal Responsibility Act – transformed New Zealand from an economic basket-case into a prosperous modern economy.

But over the last thirty years, things have deteriorated, and without genuine reform, New Zealand is well and truly on the slippery slope to third world status.

Roger Douglas believes the answer lies in empowering New Zealanders through aspirational reforms that eliminate all forms of privilege and deliver top quality social services including a generous retirement fund to guarantee quality of life in old age.

Creating the right incentives for individuals to become independent of the State is, of course, the exact opposite of last six years of suffering under Labour and a change in the direction that all governing parties have adopted over the last thirty years.

But isn’t this the future New Zealanders deserve?  

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Hopefully, this is going to STOP! with the new Government.Sylvia
Particularly local government. Hamilton City council changed the voting system To STV. how are they able to do that.George
fascist IWI, whining already, throwing their toys out of the cot …AGAIN !! whining, with lots of tears, all over the FRAUD TREATY!!! What a joke…..David
Government is just another word for controllers and now governments worldwide are joining together so they don’t lose their power over the people who pay exorbitant amounts of taxes to keep them in their untouchable lifestyles.. remove New Zealand from the clutches of the UN, the WEF, the WHO etc and you’ll find most, if not all of your problems will go away..John
The left wing of politics, like the outgoing government, always have to take total control so there is a lot of regulation to enable them to do so.Monica
Just take a look at the nations that have gone down the same path as we have for the last six years. Russia is a good example, and chine is heading that way, govt control will do it every time.Sam
They feel we must be completely tied up in rules and yet they are the total insecure and control freaks. They have gone totally toxic.Donald
well proved alreadyMaxwell
6 years of interference has wrecked our society both financially and societally – a tragedy we may find hard to overcome which we musttony
Absolutely yes. “Man was born free but everywhere he is in chains”. All I can say is thank god I am old ! My beloved country seems to be a disaster. Sir Roger Douglas is correct in my opinion in that there is a total lack of imagination overall. So much untapped potential wasted. Wake up New Zealand !John
Big Brother equates to big problems!John
We government to run the law courts, the police and armed services, & to enact / & protect the rights to life, liberty, propoerty & pursuit of happiness. Nothing more. We don’t need incentives, just freedom to act.Mark
In some respects.Susan
time for change, lets hope it happens soonErin
The country is being governed by a group of corporations bent on profiting at all costsTony
Political left or political right is wrong think .Just think more government or less government. All governments waste money- the bigger they are, the more they wastebruce
Most definitelyDavid
We have in small ways seen this due to MMP after post elections where The elected parties go and do their smoke and mirror negotiations, whilst the public has just got on with business and not had to worry about what government is going to bash them over the head with. This actually proving we are over governed.Owen
Now they are interfering… so as to rip us off and make a HUGE PROFIIT! SCUMBAGS!!!David
yes not only our Govt. but also unelected interests both inside and out of the country interfere with our lives via lobby groups pushing their agendas. Only people power can take back our country. How bad does it need to get before that happens?Sam
Absolutely, look at the covid display. That was a disgrace.Liz
Particularly in the last six yearsmike
The Ardern-Hipkins government assumed too much power unto itself, forgetting its core, its only function is too govern for the people. This government moved from its typical Labour “nanny state” style of government to a more insidious communist style. This tyranny is reflected in many local councils across New Zealand.Rodger
Local communities should decide what happens in their own region .Graham
This is no ‘coincidence’…. New powers, being given for the “Privacy Commissioner”…..Yeah right..! They get access to our info, before we do!! UNBELIEVABLE !! Big money, and power !David
Yes they seem to assume they can make better decisions than we can make!! Wrong!!Neil
state is cancerous tumourpattie
Yes – for way too long!Scott
Totally – as far as the last 6 years are concerned. I look forward to the removal of all the PC rubbish and the unsustainable requirements put on business and property owners. Give folk a “hand up” not a hand out. teach people that there is satisfaction for doing a decent days work whether it be for a wage or by volunteering.Pamela
Government departments are far too focussed on writing rules that slow New Zealand down, stifle progress and doing good-feel stuff that isn’t necessary. Time to bring things back to simply doing the basics.Graham
The labour-greens-maori party coalition is a believer in State dependence — and that people will not vote against them. The Nanny State is far too pervasive. Hopefully this lot will sort this mess, although I have little faith in Luckless and Witless.Gavin
They use our taxes to enslave us and make all the large corporations richer. Our present government system does not work for you and me. We need a NEW system. Wont happen overnight but it WILL happenAlan
Particularly in the past 6 years.Glyn
Sadly too many Kiwis have now been seduced by the promise that government knows best and that you can’t think for yourself. Time for a radical re-shaping of society.Jan
Have felt there is too much government control for a long time.Neil
YES, YES, YES, YES, Go away permanently !!!Noel
Central govt. should devolve many functions of governance back to the territorial authorities, along with associated accountabilities.Ralph
The last six years have been an absolute disaster. Far too many public servants trying change NZ from a democracy into a land of ancient Tribal control. Hopefully Peters and Seymour will reverse this.Steve
Preventing freedom of speech Corrupting of Democracy Local Bodies corruption of Democracy RMA reforms need rewriting Waka Katahi needs reforming Get rid of excessive pedestrian crossings, some bike lanes and increase speed limits where possible Remove Maori names of Government Dept One Health system for allMargaret
I agree with Rodgermike
Local and central government – Both.Kevin
Big Government=Big problem. Incompetence, red tape, diminishing services, cost, out of control bureaucracy, wokeness. The list goes on and on, non of it good.Richard
Very much so, while displaying massive incompetence!Giles
And what about the Media. It is time we started getting truthful and unbiased news from the media.Denis
Rather than governing for the people , the Govt is trying to govern for its own sake-economically and socially- it is a corrupting influenceHarvey
Under Labour, (and to a lesser extent National) government control of citizens has expanded terribly. In other words, government steals our money and uses it to employ ignorant bureaucrats who rule us. It’s long overdue for NZers to regain control of their lives. But does Luxon have the courage to make the necessary changes. I think notPeter
Comrade Ardern led us down this slippery slope. Where is she now? Hanging out with A-listers and further meaning less attention grabbing rhetoric on the world stage.Rick
It absolutely does. It’s disgraceful. They need to get rid of many of the bureaucrats who obviously have too much time on their hands and therefore dream up ever more restrictions and red tape.Helen
yes,YES,YES & lets be like Switiland & have PUBLIC CONTROL that if a govt.wants to push a policy on us & over 66% DONT want it they MUST withdraw it.Cindy
Bring back personal responsibility Start eliminating benefits as a way of life. Do it quick and sudden.Peter
Government should encourage innovation and encourage people to get out and earn a living to support those who are dependant upon tham. A good wrk ethic should be applauded and the resulting income from hard work,not be taxed too heavily.Barbara
Let the people who produce food and exports etc do what they do bestChris
Of course they do!! Look at all of their interferance, in the COV/SARS2 scamdemic. They poke their noses in and they are not wanted…J.A and LIEBOUR!David
This is a result of socialism across the “western” world where traditional core families have been discouraged in order to make people dependent on government instead of being independent.Peter
Absolutely & Unfortunately this is going to take a brave incoming Government to Reverse. Maori have the bit between their teeth it’s going to be like taking a Lollipop from a Child !!! I believe the only way is to tackle this head on & do not be put off by being referred as racists by those elitists Maori whose opinions suited only their own interests !!!Michael Andrew
Too much!!!Ian
We should have more control of our money not giving it in tax for the gov to WASTEKeith
Little administrators the world over love to demonstrate the very limited powers over others. It is the typical storeman approach to life “You need 8 bolts to fix that track but I will give you 6.”frank
I always believed that Government has to focus on two aspects. One: Do what you say and say what you do. Two: Run the country like a multi layered business. Put in charge real technocrats and experienced business people in charge where politicians cannot run certain departments because it is not their field of expertise. Everything else ( especially at this point in our history) we are in dire need to fix our country . We also have to rid ourselfes of all these useless morons actin as PM,s. A condition to become a PM should be a CV showing that a individual has real work experience and can show abilities necessary to work. Not a university puppy with a head full of stupid ideas.Michael
Covid gave the previous government the perfect opportunity to try and interfere in and control the entire population’s lives. Fortunately that backfired, but hopefully didn’t set a precedent for future efforts to be more ruthless and successful.Linda
Nine feared words, “I’m from the government and I’m here to help.”Alec
Labour under Ardern and Hipkins were the worst yet.Steve
Minimal Govt should be the objective not a nanny state, Govt does NOT know bestIan
Absolutely! The New World Order, along with the World Economic Forum and the World Health Organization are a group of self-appointed megalomaniacs whose goal is to communize the whole world, under THEIR rule. They aim to eliminate 7/8ths of humanity to tidy the place up, all in the name of saving Earth from Global Warming, another hoax. They are scare-mongering us into taking poisonous shots that change our genetic makeup. They are bullying farmers and small businesses into untenable restrictions that will destroy them. They are dumbing our children down, making a farce of public education. They are ignoring what our Treaty of Waitangi actually stated, that we all have the same rights and privileges as every other British subject. They now are in the process of dividing us through creating special rights and privileges for Maori only, which primarily only the Iwi want for their own avaricious gain. Joe Blogs Maori get nothing. The people promoting this are EVIL, and we are NOT done with dealing with them, just because we voted Labour out. They have replacement models everywhere, waiting to step in and take up the reins. Every leader in the western world is covertly run by Claus Schwabb’s acolytes, our new government included. And right now they are going to fart around making a ‘government’ while the deadline passes for us to reject the WHO’s intent to take control of ALL the health issues of the 192 UN member countries! They can declare innocent flus to be Pandemics, like they did with Covid, they can mandate jabs that will kill us. The WHO even wants its OWN ARMY to enforce their edicts. It’s time to stand up for ourselves, folks. Just say NO! It is important to remember that we are a common law country, and as such, any law or mandate or Act is null and void if it is misrepresented or lied about to gain advantage. We are NOT bound to obey such nefarious laws. WE the People have the right to stand up for our OWN rights, for our own lives and livlihoods.Joyce
“Big Brother”!!!Mark
yes, it absolutely does.Brenda
Action given when requested?Anthony
Yes in some areas and No in others’ Previous Labour Govt an absolute YES.Martin
Sack at least 50% of govt. workers and make the “left overs” perform for us the citizens but with less pay until they improve our country in their various departments. If not sack them too. Thats what employers have to do to keep from going bankrupt, why not them?stu
If we want to prosper we must become energy independent. We have the resources to do so and were working towards it when the Labour Lot went woke.Dene
Too many rules and regulations most of which are not enforcedArthur
Government has a pathological interest in interfering. No doubt they think they are ‘helping’.Kenneth
We are already too close to being a dictatorship.Paul
I hope the incoming National government will read Muriel Newman’s “Aspirational Reform” articlePeter
That’s what we employ them forWendy
Anarchy (no government) is the ideal. But it requires the people to take responsibility and act morally.Mark
At the present time the state controls the wealth of the country, over bearing taxation and its distribution into non performing entities . It has stifled private enterprise instead of encouraging growth industries. The simple answer is – be a sensible watch dog but Get Out of Our lives!chris
how could they know what I can contribute? so they are bound to hinder or de-incentivise people!murray
Bring back Superannuation.Dave
absolutely,they are the cause of our problems not the answer,but can be,with a little effort.gale
Muldoon and Adern the two worst PM’s we have had in my lifetimeClem
Hell YES!!!!!Carl
Far too much, like we are stupid, but the truth is they are more stupid than we are.Rina
includes local govt as well and most of them are no use so they should go and get a job where they can learn decent work ethics and not bluge on the taxpayerRichard
less is bestNigel
Socialism is not the way to govern a country. Free market enterprise is the answer. It is way past time that political parties must take note.Dennis
Not only controlling individuals, but controlling local bodies too. Just the opposite of what democracy is supposed to be.Elizabeth
Stats NZ selected me and my partner which was compulsory or a fine of $200.00 dollars, I have never had my privacy so violated, I should have had a lawyer present, it is still affecting me that I had to give a strange access to my home and then have my privacy so violated, I felt sick for days and still do.Gayle
The worst words anyone could hear are: ” I’m from the Government, and I’m here to help” – Former US President Ronald Reagan.Mark
I am quite capable in running my own life. This past lot have interferred too much and there is too much of making us all conform to MaoriBarbara
I think so but perhaps we can expect less of it now we are rid of the three parties we most voted to get rid of. Speaking around we did not necessarily vote for the three incumbents but rather voted to get rid of the horrible three that were wrecking NZ. (That may still happen !!!!)Alan
Once the WHO takes over, we’re a gonna.Coral
I would like to add one to the Rev’,s list , Only in a dictionary does Success come before WorkAllan
The key to life is purpose and a drive for achievement. Government destroy this fundamental key to human life by creating division encouraging and empowering media to sensationalise to make way for bureaucratic and political controlLeeanne
Labour as always been a nanny state interfering political partyDianne
Regrettably the pointy heads in the various govt departments don’t live in the real world and have little idea of they aren’t achieving and need to shown the door en massPhil
Good god is the pope catholicElaine
Of course socialist governments interfere too much in most people’s lives; that’s what socialists believe in and doPeter
Hell yeah!!mike
Unfortunately, this has been the case for far too long & both Red & Blue are guilty of such practices which needs to change as Sir Roger says & revert to the halcyon days of government by the people for the people.Bruce
Most of the interference from the last government was by empowering racially selected groups to obtain dominance by government policy aimed at UN created directives of appeasement to correct perceived past judgements of human civilization al developments. Aboriginal tribes were unable to adapt to modern societies without resorting to claims of vast land holdings that had been confiscated. The right of land ownership was never created by commercial decisions as our present laws dictate but by one tribe conquering another and claiming the land and having the power of might to retain possession. Commercialising land ownership is a concept of modern commerce. The UN Undrip document challenged governments to provide policy that enable “self determination” for indigenous peoples seemingly according to their tribal customs. It did not provide for those peoples to abandon their customary practices and take control of modern civilized development on the basis of the lands they held. History records that indigenous peoples all around the world were unable to include modern civilised practices within their native self determination. The intention of the TOW was clearly for the tribal peoples of this country to continue living according to their customary practices with their same hierarchical order. To transition from tribal control to democratically elected representative control was not envisaged in the TOW and it cannot be relied upon as the determinant of modern government decision making.terrence
Until we the people WAKE UP and realise that any government that continues to be associated with the WEF, WHO, and the UN we will continue to be controlled by governments, no matter who is in power. These entities are hellbent on enslaving sovereign nations and their citizens for their ‘new world order’! We need to ditch all ties with Schwab and Co!peter
Government needs to axe all third party or circuitously funded, non elected and non accountable agencies and groups like Inside Out and The Disinformation Project. They’ve run a mock over the last number of years. Government could take more advice from The NZ Initiative though!Tony
Hell yes,especially this red labour govt. If they bring in a 4 year term in office, its imperative that we have a citizens right to referendums to keep control of government. We definitely need a change of how things are done in NEW ZEALAND. That includes the T O W.Peter
Who is going to be brave enough to make the changes nowleo
Not that I would welcome more!Hugh
I moved to NZ in 2005 and was initially very happy here. I now wonder about the wisdom of that decision and despair at my current circumstances. I’m a registered professional, with a full-time job and it’s barely enough to live, truly heartbreaking to see the slide!!Cath
We allow Bureaucrats with little knowledge of how to manage a business wasting money by making expensive decisions with no accountability.Roydon
Of course they do. They should keep their noses out of Joe Public’s affairs and get on with fixing our roads and hospitals and stop wasting time and money on maori things that produce zilch.Don
Absolutely and it has been obvious for the last 6 years. Lets hope this new government can turn things aroundLawrie
We have now had 4 weeks of no Government and things are going olong fine with having to listen to daily drivel from elected officials.Peter
Most definitelyPam
when compared to 30 years ago there is not much freedom left. Nearly every aspect of our lives is controlled by the government.lone
Practical experienced business oriented politicians required to run the business of government. No more university graduates, green as grass.Jeff
Tin-pot tyranny.Stuart
Free enterprise is the Lynch Pin of a thriving Economy. Government should manage a Country like a Business Model. But unfortunately as seen in the last excuse for a Government, when your just Puppets to a World Order and the object is to totally disintergrate our economy, then you have a complete opposite Agenda on how NOT to manage a Country with less interference from central GovernmentGeoff
ABSOLUTELY – Voting age NZers should be able to take control of their own lives. The government’s priority should be to make available the options and information that are necessary to do that.Sylvienne
When only abut 5% of decisions made by Councils are by the elected reps, it makes you wonder why there is a Council there a all. Well stop wondering, that has been the planallalong. Little by Little, until we are all in a dictatorship.Neil
Absolutely that sits at this last government rapid expansion of the public “service!”.Shaun
Government interference in people’s lives only weakens society overall. People become trained to love their keepers and that’s bad because it fosters helplessness and dependency on the government. Change must happen now. Tucker Carlson’s recent interview with Javier Milei of Argentina tells one that the tide might just be turning. https://x.com/TuckerCarlson/status/1702442099814342725?s=20 32:47 Courage is contagious.Donald
Just run the country as you where voted into do.Rod
Both the Greens and Labour have made for farming; – one of our biggest export earners -a difficult bunch of rules to negotiate. The idea of trying to regulate when you can do certain things on a farm, by the calendar, without reference to weather shows how far from reality some Ministers and their staff act.Ted
Their role is not to control everything it is to support what works well for the country,,, and this does not mean continually handing out money and other benefits to people who could and should be working and paying taxes.Ken
Yes, and no more than the last out going Labour, Greens and Maori Party’s the WORST Government we have ever had, thank god the people of this nation wake up and got rid of them and lets hope they never get back into power again.COLIN
If the population is not led professionally, then chaos will ensureSelwyn
Absolutely- when employing staff I have always believed that they all know how to live and run their lives outside work and should be trusted to run their work lives too. They never needed the boss to organise their holidays and home lives and certainly don’t need the government to do it eitherIhaia
In practice we are closely controlled and manipulated by the busy-body we know best pillocks in parliament.Ron
Too many Gorvernment and Council bureaucratc regulations.pierre
Definitely , the Government as it was under labour interfered in every part of NZ’s lives even going so far into forcing mandates on people concerning the experimental vaccine. Also putting controls on local Govt. about enforcing the amount of cars and/or parking there should be in the central city. Too much interference doesn’t teach people to use their own common sense. To think for themselves.Jacqueline
Have a look at Australia. Welfare dependent some families looking at 5 generations who have never had a job. This place is stuffed. Get the incentive to work, productivity ,and work for the dole back. We get nothing for nothing.John
The more government involvement, the less freedom. The more moral a society, the less the government is requiredAthina
Yes – given opportunities and tax encouragement we take ownership and responsibility. Dr Muriel is correct in that when Muldoon took away the employer tax incentive so halting the compulsory super scheme – we lost the awareness of compounding interest. A limited scheme was in, ended up with the interest contributing more than the participants. Should never have been stopped.Maurice
Very obvious I should have thought.Peter
Far too much and in many different ways. The fact that people think that they know better what we should do with our lives is disgusting.Roger
All modern government interfere far too much in our lives.Ray
labour stuffed NZ and winston thinks it’s ok to play stupid games again. people who voted for them should hang their heads in shame. both lots should be in jailRick
It is big brother at every turn, i just hope that David Seymour gets his way and cuts the hell out of govt departments, and therefore brings back some degree of control.Peter
Yes they interfere massively.Charlotte
No need to state the obviousMerv
too many Kiwis rely on Govt. help to servive,now generation after generation.Rae
Although I’ve answered “yes” with respect to interference in our lives, in such a small country I would like to see it doing much, much more to drive us towards realising some kind of bold, innovative economic vision.Ron
We need another leader in the mould of Sir Roger Douglas with with inspirational and imaginative solutions to drive this country forward.Rod
The No. 8 wire mentality died about a generation ago. Today, it is replace and throw away, or wait for someone to do it for you. Initiatives are rarely seen being followed.DAVID
It has been proven many times that the less interference from government the more ingenious the people are and the country does better.Glen
Add to that local Councils.Phil
100% yes. You seem to need a consent or approval for everything today. I am surprised there are any subdivisions in NZ. The final straw is maori have to approve as well. SICK. Just waiting for the radical greens introducing a human fart tax. The country has been left in a shocking state thanks to the labour greens and maori party radicals. MAY THEY NEVER RETURN !Allan
Interferes from the moment we wake up through until we close our eyesWarren
Not only interferes but creates lazy people incapable of thinking for themselves.Elizabeth
Absolutely and in ways that are designed to increase their voter base, welfare, education and employment regs, promotion by stealth of renting and public transportMike
In particular the recently deposed ideologically-obsessed , ultra-Maori-centric , extremely divisive and dictatorial Labour Government . Treacherous in the extreme, in that NONE of their Maorification agenda / intentions were disclosed in their pre-election manifestos. Their leaders ( Ardern and Hipkins ) must rank as THE most deceitful and devious political leaders we have ever had . Liars ! Hugh
When contemplating a new venture I invariable am captured by the regulatory compounders and typically decide it’s not worth the dram\a.Bill
Interferes, makes all very unhappy. How would the Government like it if the tables were turned and the population interfered in all their lives.Ann
In the last six years we have been forced to be more reliant on Government support whereas we should be more independent but that of course labour politions want. I hope with this new Government that the reverse starts to take place and we become more independent and get rewrded for doing so.ken
The control on issues is without a public mandate and so just bureaucratic bullying with dogmatic decisionsBryan
“That government is best which governs least.” – Thomas JeffersonJames
It seems like they want to wrap up people in cotton wool, while they keep everyone under government control.Roy
Government should keep out of our lives. Stuck to basics like defence, police, health.. education etc.Clive
Oh to have government out of our lives. Time we all learned to stand on our own feet.Tim
Being going on for years!Les
In every aspect of our lives. The restrictions on free speech, complimentary medicine, so called vaccine mandates, dismal fiscal policy and direct bullying.Patricia
And they do so badly. Self determination can be left to the bulk of reasonable & reasoning adults.Christina
Very definitely I have never agreed to a nanny stateElizabethan
As a business owner I spend more and more time filling in data sheets and supplying information to government departments and GETs tenders, all that is time-consuming and totally unnecessary. Then it is treated as an exam paper and marked accordingly for Health and Safety, your visions of the future and virtually nothing about the product/service and the companies record. Has it helped NO it has just wasted time and made us more and more inefficient? To may bureaucrats dreaming up ways to satisfy their ideas of how the world should be. Not needed, get rid of them.Alan
Absolutely -if you are farming hugely interfering.They don’t understand that grassland holds carbon very well,and without it we would struggle for oxygen.Dick
Labour government did but I am forever hopeful that the new coalition government will notsue
And driven by the large number of reported overpaid bureaucrats. buzzing around the beehive in Wellington! They seem to be the Labour/socialist center within New Zealand!Stuart
It’s ridiculous the extent to which we’ve abrogated personal responsibility and slipped into socialism.Geoff
Beurocrats don’t know best.Bryan
Ardern is the poorest performing PM we have ever had. We are now divided by race with a worsening economic and social outlook.John
Plus it needs to listen to the votersRICHard
Especially the last Labour Govt!John
There are too many career politicians clinging to redundant agendas and outdated thinking.Max
Very definitely. The nanny state is alive and kickingGareth
We urgently need less government not more, including Councils. The beauty of the 2 tier American model is they arent changing laws, taxes and social systems every month.Mike
And I refer to the just ending Ardern/ Hipkin’s “government as the yet to be current government, is yet to be created.Vernon
EVERYONE I know complains about the amount of bureaucratic meddling and information requirements in their work.Steve
A government which has a focus on listening to those who fund it rather than telling them what to do is the true objective of democracy. How long must we wait?Philip
Freedom of choice ( informed consent) & freedom of speech. keep your noses OUT of my affairs!!!!Honest Dave
They have up until now not listened to their votersRod
Completely way too much!Bryan
It is their plan (regardless of WHO is in actual power) to dominate us all and we the SHEEP just keep allowing then more and more power. We must fight back against this tyranny before we lose every thing.fred
They are all criminals and they all need to go! we need a clean slate to rebuild a better NZ. We need to de-centralize government and bring back borough councils where the people have more say in what goes on in their towns through democratic voting! the councils would be accountable to the people or voted out!!lisa
Labour certainly did- to a ridiculous level..Donald
Far too muchAnthony
And the last six years of this Labour Goverment have made it worse.. Blatent Racisim and the altering of the generational balance between all races, needs to be reversed.Carl
New Zealand Loyal Has the answers but heavy censoring by the globalist elite – World Economic Forum has hidden the prospect of a truely democratic prosperous society for all New Zealander’s!Ray
I spent the day at the A & E at Middlemore hospital a couple of weeks ago, a real eye opener to our poorer society, very few of the people there waiting for treatment were really onto to it, maybe 10 %, they were well dressed bright alert, and could be understood by the nurses and the registrar, the other 90 % looked downtrodden, and non responsive, is this the real state of our country, in a nutshell, a society of comatosed people.sven
It’s all too obvious!!!Bruce
too much pushed on us without any control by us.Chris
absolutely. they seem to want to control everything with the clip board busy bodies The Marxist way or the highway. The UN the WEF are way to involved they care not one jot for the citizens they try to control. Its them only and we can go jump but on the way we will tell you to comply, or elseCarolyn
They will bleed us dryBevin
It does and it’s a disaster for NZHylton
I think it does!Murray
Most of us are able to make our own Decisions for ourselves.Richard
In a word,yes. How many people though, do you hear say,let the gummint pay or why doesn’t the gummint pay. They have no idea that you and I taxpayer are the gummint and we are tired of paying.Peter
it does make you wonder if each party is frightened to let go of the leavers of power, and do the job they are elected to do, control freaks comes to mind, and all on our dollar, and hard work.Merryl
We should be treated as adults not all needing to be mollycoddled. Help should be restricted to a hand up not a hand out.Lucy
They are there to do as we want, not to issue edicts with shaky validity.Collin
The Labour / Greens Coalition did. They ran a Nanny state and chastised anyone who disagreed with them.Rod
Far too muchDon
Government MUST revert to our EMPLOYEES, and stop being our mastersmike
Are we becoming a nanny state ??Kevin
Trouble is bureaucrats lack the tools to use their powers intelligently. Allowing the vaping industry for instancechris
Yes to such an extent that parents believe its the governments job to look after & provide for their children. That the families of the old and sick also pass the responsibility of their care to the government because thats the kind of message given by the government.Pavithra
some timewiremu
Just got back from Europe and they are alot less interferred with thereFiona
We are getting closer to the fascist and Marxist governments of Europe in the mid 20th Century. An out of control bureaucracy propped up by a no longer independent legal system is making sure we all conform to the dictates of the dictator(s).John
A no brainer………..Clive
Government should be looking at how to simplify our lives NOT make them more attached to the bureaucratic umbilical cordDavid
Well when we have a commy Govt as we have had over the last few years you have to tow the party line Comrades, & woke chrome dome Luxon is not going to be any different.Allen
Way, way too much!Gail
It’s never as good or bad as it looks. Repect the power of ‘luck’ and ‘risk’ and focus on things you can actually control. Pessimism is persuasive but the World changes, problems are corrected and people must adapt.Chris
All I want the Government to do is deliver the mail defend the shores and get the hell out of my life.Grant
The Labour Govt seemed obsessed with control hence the proliferation of bureaucracy. Hopefully the new Govt will reduce that disincentive.Graham
YES-Just leave us alone to do our thing We don’t NEED Govt to tell us what to do – If i STUFF UP its my FAULTWiramu- Bill
Yes it does, scarily so. You just have to look at the Sars2 years and the Big Brother pressure and forced experimental shots. The erosion of choice in health supplements/treatments and free speech being quashed. The insane social engineering of Dr John Money’s ‘gender’ fixation being loosed on our children and forced down the throats of adults who should know better. Not to mention the supposed ‘climate panic’, renewable energy, EVs, housing intensification (highrise slums in the making), Zero Road Toll ( =zero road use), Maorification of everything through a rewritten fraudulent version of the Treaty of Waitangi and its attendant gravy train. I could go on.Jeanette
created a population with some members more interested in benefits than workingJean
Certainly around a justified limitation of the Bill of Rights. Unfortunately, they have handed out the nastiness to be taken up by the general public. Same with this gender shit and the sexuality in schoolsSimone
Far too much look at the jabs and disinformation surrounding that.Liz
A good example is the previous governments Zero road toll at any cost. So everyday people that don’t drive like a lunatic get affected every single day by Safety at any cost & pandering to the lowest possible denominator !John
We are a nanny state. And the government suck all the joy out of most things.Sarah
Well they certainly have over the last 6 years people should be allowed to think for themselves and manage there own lives within the lawPeter
The Labour Government was taking the control of our lives.Chun
The sad thing is that people aren’t taught how to take care of themselves anymore thus creating the dependency on gov’t that was NEVER meant to be all things to all people.Hilary
For sure! not to mention the Globalists!patricia
The very definition of Government from the Latin root words means ‘MIND CONTROL’, and politicians,’MANY LIARS’.neil
Very much so.Tane
Blundering, out of touch politicians have no place in our lives. Mind your own business.John
Yes but as a Nation we have become people with our hands out for Govt support. Where have the good Kiwi values gone. If I moan loud and long enough the Govt will bail me out.Frank
The social welfare handouts need to be replaced by a system that encourages each person to be independent and self reliantPeter
Its going to be difficult but all the ‘laws’ pushed through in secret by Labour etc. need to be unpicked & dumpedPeter
Self responsibility and accountability is the way forward.John
I also believe the way forward is end the immoral coup by Maori.Mark
No doubt at all, we have far too much government interference and accordingly cost of government is too high. I am looking forward to the incoming government slashing back the costs of government and reducing taxation.Peter
Govt involvement should be limited to protection of citizens (military and law enforcement), clean water supply and efficent environmentally friendly waste water disposal, fit-for-purpose roading, and provision for those who cannot care for themselves (invalids, disabled, chronically ill) Education and health should be privatised. That would be a good startSharen
Labour is particularly at fault for wanting to control every aspect of our lives. “Nanny state””Ray
Enough is enough!!Dominique
I’ve always believed that government interferes in our lives too much. Anyone whocan, needs to be left alone to get on with their lives, without the beaurocratic interference which seems to be the norm now. This country was built on common sense, but that’s been overtaken by government departments telling you what you can and can’t do every step of the wayTrevor
1000 %.John
Certainly the last Labour Maori Green government has been a disaster for New ZealandPeter
The WHO Pandemic Prepardness agreement is evil regarding our health choices and national soverienty.Wayne
All labour policies are failures.Dave
OUR FREEDOM…..Less government meddling in our affairs !!David
This breeds a dependent societymary
Yes, both central and local are bad enough! It will get a lot worse, when the W.E.F/ UN/IMF.CFR, world policy is mandated world wide, by compulsion!David
Absolutely the government interferes far too much in our lives. You can hardly do anything without needing permission. We used to be a free country – not any more!David
There are far too many public servants. Get rid of most of them and the meddling will stop!Mary
Labour have regulated the country to death. National needs to carry out a line-by-line review and get rid of everything that is unnecessary.Pete
It’s not only central government that interferes in our lives, but local government as well. I just heard that in some parts of the country, farmers are being forced to get a resource consent if they want to run cows and sheep on their steeper hillsides. It is absolute madness what’s going on!Henry
The government has way too much control over our lives – they need to back off and let us get on with trying to building a good life for ourselves and our families.Brian