23 and free?

In Newsletter Editorial3 MinutesBy Gavin MyersJanuary 20, 2023

We’re just past the mid-way point of the first month of 2023, and already big things are happening. None more so this week than Jacinda Ardern’s surprise resignation yesterday (19 January 2022). What else could we talk about today?

That said, I won’t spend too much time and word-processing power on the subject, primarily because we’re a trucking publication and I’m not a political commentator. But that’s the thing with politics – the desires and decisions of a few drastically impact the personal and professional lives of many. As much as one might like to ignore it and get on with life, we can’t.

And as with anything in life, it’s the most recent successes or failures people remember. Despite her successes as the nation’s leader in times of trouble and uncertainty, it’s the impact from the aftermath of the most recent ‘crisis’ – Covid-19 and lockdowns – that still lingers. (With a bit of perspective and the benefit of hindsight, I use the word crisis very loosely.) The effects of decisions taken then are manifesting in the economic pressures being felt today. Inflation and a large increase in the cost of living in recent months is impacting consumers directly.

Similarly, business in general isn’t in a happy place. This week, Newsroom reported that the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research’s quarterly survey of business opinion recorded business confidence at its weakest since the survey began in 1970. There’s a rut of uncertainty, and the route out requires clear direction.

Things haven’t been easy for the trucking and transport industry over the past five years. The unfavourable stance of Ardern’s government towards road transport and roading infrastructure has been a continual thorn in the industry. The words of her transport ministers have often indicated one thing, but their actions have consistently delivered quite another. The issues the industry faced five years ago remain, and many have worsened – and much more negative than positive commentary has been made by industry representatives and us over the years.

Whether anything changes over the year remains to be seen. But, with 14 October now set as the big day at the polls, we can only hope pragmatic, effective, economically driven policies result thereafter.

Gavin Myers