Election 2023 use your vote wisely

The election is just around the corner, and we’ve had months of promises and potshots from the major and minor parties. The gloves have come off, and some minor parties are showing signs of being quiet winners come election day.

This rise in some of the smaller parties seems to have a lot of seemingly intelligent people thinking they can ‘game the system’ with their votes. I’m unsure how to put this simply enough: you can’t game the system. You have two votes, one for your preferred elected representative and one party vote. There is no way you can game the system with just two votes.

What you can do is use your vote wisely. Think about what attributes the parties – and their leaders – have that align with your values and will support the wider transport industry and your business.

I recently read an interesting article in CEO World magazine by Dr Jim White titled Attributes of Successful Leaders. White’s view is that no company, or in this case, country, can thrive without good leadership. Leadership is not about personal power or getting people to submit. Instead, it is about setting a good example, inspiring others to do better and be more successful while valuing the welfare of all. White believes good leadership comes down to six key attributes: integrity, courage, wisdom, truth-seeking, respect and equality. I reckon these qualities are a great place to start if we want to assess the leaders we want to lead New Zealand post-election 2023.

When it comes to party policies, BusinessNZ’s Deloitte and Chapman Tripp Election Survey is a great place to gain some additional insights. The survey found 93% of businesses felt changes made by the government in the past three years had increased the cost of doing business. On climate change, 59% of respondents agreed it was affecting the costs of inputs to their business – a significant jump on 2020, when 27% of companies were feeling the impact on input costs.

Transport (roads, rail and ports) emerged as the leading type of infrastructure with the most potential to contribute to New Zealand’s business growth. Only National, ACT and New Zealand First responded strongly that roading is a priority when asked what major infrastructure issues would be a focus.

The transport industry and many of the sectors our industry relies on have been grappling with ongoing staff shortages for some time now. Perhaps unsurprisingly, 59% of survey respondents were not confident the current immigration settings are providing the skills needed for their businesses, with only 18% saying current settings meet their needs. When asked what changes could be made to the immigration settings to meet business and industry requirements, National and ACT have policies designed to make it easier to bring in skilled labour to plug shortages.

In a nutshell, we’ve heard a lot of promises. The big question is what promises will become reality and benefit the transport industry and the 108,000 people who make a living from it.

So, don’t try and game the system. Take the time to look at the various parties’ policies and weigh what attributes and promises are most likely to deliver meaningful outcomes for the road transport industry – and New Zealand.