this Labour government should be punished at the polls.

By Tony Orman

Propaganda adverts funded by the taxpayer

I was surprised and angered by government running television advertisements plugging its “Three Waters Reform” agenda. Over the years, I’ve come to expect some deceit and deception from politicians and governments, but the television advertisement was a brazen, bold and dominantly arrogant vehicle to ram through government’s water “reform”  agenda – without fair debate. 

As a swinging voter who has voted for several parties over 50 or so years, I viewed the advert as an insult to the public and democracy. To rub a good dollop of salt into the wound (ouch!) my taxes – and yours, i.e the public purse – are paying for the substantial costs of government’s television adverts. But really the actual cost is secondary to the principles around democracy and fair debate.

The television advert costs are an insult to anyone who has qualms or is opposed to the Three Waters “reform”. Even the local regional, city or district council cannot counter the adverts of government funded by filching from the public purse. Nor can any agencies (e.g Fish and Game) or environmental organisations (e.g. NZ Federation of Freshwater Anglers) concerned about the fate of our deteriorating freshwater.

Labour no longer cares about people

Formerly by parentage from a strong Labour Party background, I recall the arrogant 4th Labour government of 1984 – 1990 destroyed the Labour tradition of caring government that by and large, served the people. By 1987, Labour had lost my support. From then on, I became an uncommitted independent voter.

My use of inverted commas around “reform” is not because of a wobbly, erratic typing finger but directly related to so-called “reforms” by governments of recent decades having been – almost all – utter failures. Think health, electricity, local government, economic and state owned enterprises etc.,.

Out of control

This Labour government are clearly out of control, like a juggernaut, insensitive, short on principles, ethics and totally forgetful of its statutory democratic duty as an elected government — and deaf to the public’s views. Never mind, the public will pay the bill.

But come 2023 election, this Labour government should be punished at the polls for its arrogant disdain of democracy.

( First published by the Marlborough Express.)