Dr Bronwyn Howell
The mask-wearing mandate does come from a risk-based approach to decision-making – but where the risk concerned is a political one and not a Covid-19 related one. The constituency being protected is the government, and not the population of New Zealand.
When seventeen countries, the European Commission, and eight tech companies signed the “Christchurch Call” pledge in May, it was heralded as a triumph in the fight against the promulgation of violent extremist content online. The Call was led by New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and French President Emmanuel Macron.
In the bargaining of the Paris summit, the tech companies have agreed in effect to act as the agents of the governments in delivering their political objectives of countering “violent extremist narratives” and engaging in “the fight against inequality.”
If the current (New Zealand) owners cannot sell the Crafar Farms to the highest valuing individual, regardless of nationality, then the consequences for the New Zealand economy in the long run could be substantial. The necessarily lower market values eventuating for the relevant "sensitive assets‟ such as farm land will flow through to lower capital valuations.
Using OECD rankings as either a measure of a country’s performance or as a target to justify adopting a particular policy has become popular amongst the member states in recent years. Policies benchmarked using rankings are simple concepts to market to voters and appeal to a sense of nationalistic pride: ‘winning’ is important, but if you can’t win, then at least you want to be seen to be outranking your fiercest national rival (e.g. Australia if you are New Zealand; Sweden if you are Finland; the United States if you are Canada).
The recent finding by Justice Asher in the Auckland High Court that a group of District Health Boards failed to adequately manage both a conflict of interest invoked by one of their board members being a senior party in a contract let by the board and a fair consultation process throws into doubt the efficacy of many of the processes undertaken by a very large number of ‘quasi-autonomous non-governmental organisations’ (quangos) established in the health care sector under the health reforms implemented since 2000.