Rejuvenation - my advice for the New Cabinet
Bill English is looking at a new Cabinet focused on rejuvenation. Here's my personal list of some random things the new Ministers could do in their first week that I believe the public would relate to. Most are either cheap to implement, or a return from failed current policies to proven old ones.
Restore adequate funding to core government services, especially education, health and police. Those are the services I pay my taxes for and they have fallen way below what the public can rightly expect or a "rock star economy" can afford. Career politicians who have never had a real job should work for a couple of weeks as a teacher or nurse so as to understand that you cannot constantly stave people of resources without repercussions. For me, I don't need a tax cut but I do want to see the government funding our services adequately.
Reverse the cynical decision of several years ago to exclude the cost of housing from the CPI. Housing costs have inflated enormously and the public, politicians, workers and employers are entitled to be reminded of this each time the CPI figures come out.
Repeal the silly Helen Clark legislation requiring everyone - even kids in school playgrounds - to wear a cycle helmet to ride a pushbike. Laws that are ignored by even sensible people bring the whole legal system into disrepute.
Require that all vehicles in 100kmh areas use full headlights, day and night.
Spare us the repetitive, hand wringing, sanctimonious lectures about speed and alcohol. Most of us got the message years ago and the rest don't give a hoot. Focus instead on safe driving habits.
Get back to solving minor crimes which are the breeding place for career criminals - graffiti, burglary etc. Right now it seems nothing short of homicide justifies the attendance of a cop and that is just unacceptable.
Chuck out the military-style uniforms and gaudy cars and go back to something sober and official-like. That will help restore the internal culture,and public respect, to where it should be.
Decentralise the 111 emergency service. .The national model is an utter failure.
Set up a working group to design a new, Internet-era service delivery model for health covering primary, secondary and tertiary care. Do it from a consumer perspective, not a supply-side one. Every sector except health did this decades ago; health is stalled in 18th century practices.
Put the pressure on to decentralise government services to the regions. Wellington would never have been the site of the capital city had the early settlers known what we know now. Regional development, government-led, is a win for eeveryone.
More to come - if anyone reads this.