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Election 2023 Labour’s strategy analysis

By: Andy Loader, Poke the Bear

It is obvious that the Labour aim is to retain the power of government, but to do that they have to convince a majority of the voters in NZ that they have the policies that will benefit NZ and the NZ taxpayers/voters.

With this aim in mind it is interesting to see the initial strategies being employed by Labour as they start their run up to the election in October 2023.

There should be no doubt that the main aim of the budget recently released by the Minister of Finance is a major step in this election strategy of the Labour party and as such there was always going to be a focus on ensuring it was a feel good budget that was aimed at the middle or undecided voters.

In their last two terms of in office this Labour government has been rushing down a path of racial division under a claimed justification of some mythical requirement in the Treaty of Waitangi requiring a partnership and system of co-governance between Maori and all other citizens of NZ. This path of racial division and its undemocratic implementation by the current Labour government has been roundly condemned by many. It has no justification under the Treaty of Waitangi as claimed by Labour which is clearly shown when you read the Treaty document. There is no partnership right under the Treaty of Waitangi!!!!

A Co-Governance Partnership between the Crown and Maori under the Treaty of Waitangi is nothing more than a Lie; a dangerous, divisive attempt to gain advantage based on race, which will end in the destruction of democracy in New Zealand.

This Labour Government has implemented systems where a person’s ethnic identity as Maori is more important than Democracy for all citizens.

The challenge now is for this Labour government to defend their position based on the current apartheid based system they are promoting which basically states that people aren’t born free and equal; or They could be honest and dump this system of race based governance, stop promoting policies of division and return to supporting the democratic rights of all on an equal basis. When we look at the Prime Ministers speeches in the Budget debate, we see that he referred to NZ not the mythical “Aotearoa” and he kept well away from any references to specific Maori issues that have been raised by his so-called Maori Caucus during the current term of his government. Instead his speeches were mainly focussed on middle New Zealand and trying to influence the undecided voters.

His aim seemed to be centred on how good the budget would support families both now and into the future. He stated that this Labour Budget was about providing relief for New Zealanders who need it and making sure that the future can be better.

What he didn’t say was that it was Labours spending over the past two terms that has created the massive increases in the costs of living and caused the sharp increases in interest rates as the Reserve Bank has tried to control inflation.

He also failed to mention that his government has just authorised another massive spending spree funded by debt. The Labour government has over the last two terms, increased spending from $76 billion in 2017 when they took office, to $137 billion by June next year.

This has resulted in net government debt increasing from $59 billion or 20 percent of the economy in 2017, to $179 billion – or 43 percent - next year, with net debt for the 2027 year now projected to be $21 billion higher than was predicted in December’s Half-Year Economic and Fiscal Update.

This budget which was titled as ‘expansionary’ by rating agency S&P Global and with expansionary also meaning inflationary, the result has been a rise in wholesale interest rates, with predictions that the official cash rate may go as high as 6 percent. This of course will have a flow on effect of raising interest rates even higher.

As one of the feel good factors in the budget they scrapped the $5 prescription charges and claimed that this would mean that the mainly low income New Zealanders who went without collecting their prescriptions because they couldn’t afford to collect them could now do so. But in fact there is already a system in place to ensure low-income families who can’t afford prescription charges don’t need to pay.

The worst health problem is the huge number of people who are suffering because they can’t access healthcare needed.

The reality is that the $500 million restructure of the health system, that Labour launched during the pandemic - to abolish District Health Boards, centralise services, and introduce Maori co-governance - has destabilised the entire health sector.

As a result, all health indicators have gone backwards and when the shortage of doctors, nurses, medical specialists, and GPs is factored in, New Zealand’s health system is failing to deliver critical healthcare and is costing lives. Labour’s response to this health crisis has been to cut next year’s funding by almost $1 billion from $29.527 billion in 2023 to $28.653 billion in 2024.

In his Budget speech, Chris Hipkins claimed Labour’s policies to alleviate the cost-of-living crisis are “targeted”. But that’s nonsense. None of the Budget’s main ‘cost-of-living’ policies are targeted specifically to families in need - they are all available to all families.

So why didn’t Labour simply target the $5 prescription charge subsidy to Community Service Card holders? The answer was probably that the 35,000 voters Labour was attempting to win over from National are not Community Service Card holders!

Hipkins claimed that Labour had been focused on keeping our communities safer but ram raids and robberies are now out of control, gang memberships are at an all-time high and their answer to this crisis was to cut the Police budget from $2.528 billion this year to $2.460 billion next year! The Prime Minister told Parliament, “I want to live in a New Zealand where the circumstances into which you were born do not dictate the opportunities that you have in life or hold you back”, but hypocritically on the other hand he authorised $825 million of policies that use race to determine outcomes:

$200 million to build and repair homes for Maori; $34m for two years of kapa haka so it matches the combined funding of the Symphony Orchestra and the Royal New Zealand Ballet; $18m for the Matariki holiday; $168m for the unaccountable Whanau Ora slush fund; $132m extra for Maori health providers and customary healing; $51m for Maori media; and $8m for Maori tourism ‘to help alleviate cost-of-living pressures’.

In discussing that budget allocation, the Minister for Maori Development Willie Jackson revealed, “We’ve got the by Maori, for Maori Budget, but let’s not forget most Maori are not attached to a lot of our Maori organisations.” In other words, he’s confirmed that while the leaders of those multi-million-dollar iwi business development corporations that provide most of the Government’s race-based social services contracts give the impression they deal with all Maori, in reality, it’s only a tribal minority – most Maori prefer to be part of society’s mainstream. The Prime Minister also claimed: “Our Budget is backing our exporters”. That will be news to our leading export sector, agriculture, which has been subjected to excessive regulations restricting progress and limiting production. The biggest lie in the Prime Minister’s Budget speech was his claim that New Zealanders know that they can trust this Government when in fact New Zealand now faces a large list of serious problems with the biggest problem being Labour itself.

Time will tell whether or not Labour’s actions to date are convincing enough to win them a third term in government, but with $5 billion set aside in the budget still to be allocated, there was room for there to be some sort of lolly scramble as we get closer to the election date, particularly with the polls showing Labour losing ground in the election race.

We have seen the Prime Minister announce that the GST on Fresh & Frozen Fruit and Vegetables would be removed and I am sure that he is hoping that most people will be fooled into believing that this will help their ability to put food on the table. But the reality is that it will most likely be used to subsidise the supermarket chains profit margins and the costs of administering this change will actually cost more than any possible savings.

In pre-election advertising Labour has stated that the Prime Minister has brought a laser focus on the cost of living to his job, and they are going to do the same for their campaign.

Yet in spite of this grandiose advertising they have not only removed the subsidy on fuel but they are proposing to increase the taxes on it as well which will result in approximately a 29cents per litre increase in price, which will only add to the rapidly rising costs of living which are already at record levels.

The food price index for July showed that prices are still 9.6 percent higher than a year ago, with fruit and vegetables up 6.2 percent.

Labour estimates that removing GST from those food products would save households about $4.25 per week based on the 2019 Household Economic Survey results and recent price increases.

While a greater proportion of lower-income households’ weekly expenditure goes towards food and drink than higher-income families’, wealthier people spend more. It is estimated that the removal of GST on food and drink will benefit a household in the highest income decile by $53.03 per week, whereas a household in the second lowest income decile will benefit by $14.35 per week” Hipkins has already ruled out a wealth or capital gains tax. In July, he said the current economic conditions meant it wasn’t time for a big shake-up of the tax system. “While work was already underway on a potential wealth tax and CGT as part of a tax switch in the Budget I ultimately made the call not to proceed with it. We simply didn’t have a mandate to implement those tax changes.” While Hipkins claims they don’t have a mandate to make those tax changes, he is still pushing ahead with all of the other changes around co-governance which they also do not have a mandate for. They may claim that their success in the 2020 election with a simple majority gave them the mandate to make these changes but I would argue that the fact that they failed to make any mention of them in their election manifesto was evidence that they did not believe they would get the mandate if they published their intention to commit to co-governance.

The most important question that people will ask of them prior to this upcoming election is; what are they planning in regard to the existing policies around co-governance where a person’s ethnic identity as Maori is more important than Democracy for all citizens?

We can have co-governance without democracy. We can have democracy without co-governance. But we cannot have democracy and co-governance. Democracy will only prevail if we oppose the race based co-governance policies of this current Labour government. We need to oppose co-governance and Democracy will prevail.

We can have co-governance without democracy. We can have democracy without co-governance. But we cannot have democracy and co-governance.

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elocal Digital Edition – September 2023 (#269)

elocal Digital Edition
September 2023 (#269)

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