I’m not so sure the nation has spoken but Winston Peters certainly has and, after a long 26-day wait, we finally have a government….of sorts. Now all the nation has to do is, wait and see. There will be a myriad of questions about policy and how this new coalition will deliver on promises.
People will be asking if there will be money in the coffers in three years time. How will a proposed change in monetary policy affect us? Will interest rates rise? Can poverty in this country be overcome? Immigration looks set to be slashed, if so can the present workforce fill many critical areas of skilled (and unskilled) shortages?
One also has to ask will there be an early start on new State-funded housing and will the promise of ‘affordable’ homes be realised because $578,000 – deemed affordable – is way beyond the pocket of the great many people who need homes.
Furthermore will their wages sustain repayments and how easy will it be to save even a 10% deposit towards purchase?
There will be many more questions but importantly, can Jacinda Adern be everything to everyone. She promises to be a Prime Minister and a government for ALL New Zealanders; I hope so. Certainly she is measured and self-assured, and seems genuinely earnest, excessively so, perhaps, in her desire for the new government to create an even better New Zealand than what we have had.
There’s talk from her about ‘looking after the regions’. We know that in the past this has been attempted. At one time many businesses were based in regional towns, but gradually they fled to the cities. Perhaps, big business in provincial towns will flourish again.
Of course, there is so much we don’t yet know. As Rural Living went to print, policy details had yet to emerge and we didn’t know which portfolios would be delegated to the new NZ First cabinet ministers or the Green Party ministers outside of cabinet.
Personally, I’ve always seen Winston as a master manipulator so when someone suggested he would enjoy the role of ‘mentoring’ Jacinda Adern, frankly, I shuddered, slightly; I hope our new PM is strong enough to stick to her guns on issues she truly believes in and that she can maintain that perpetually sunny outlook.
Ms Adern is said to dream of heading an active government working alongside people to ensure that they have all their needs met. Perhaps that’s all it will be, a dream…or not. Like the rest of the nation, I will have to wait and see. In the meantime, it will soon be full steam ahead with Jacinda and Winston at the helm and James Shaw riding on their coat tails.