Making good in a manic world

In Newsletter Editorial4 MinutesBy Gavin MyersOctober 27, 2023

It’s strange – after months of ongoing campaigns, promises and general politicking in the lead-up to the 14 October general election, all now seems quiet. It feels like the pool of topics has run dry … for now, at least.

It’ll be a few more weeks until we know the final structure of the government to carry the country forward over the next three years. National largely built its campaign on the failings of the outgoing Labour government, served up on a silver platter. Now, Christopher Luxon must make good on his promises to right the ship.

Many of National’s campaign promises would directly affect the transport industry. The issues that were such hot topics in the lead-up to the election remain and can’t be left behind in the dissipating whirlwind of electioneering and ignored; we must now hold his government’s feet to the fire. It’s early days yet, but I have little doubt the pool of transport, industry, policy and infrastructure-related topics will fill rapidly as the sixth National government takes office and gets into its stride.

In the meantime, a change of tone …

An unfortunate reality of human existence is that it’s underscored by conflict and madness. While I wholeheartedly believe most people are rational, caring and good at heart, it doesn’t take much to realise we’re constantly living on a knife’s edge.

I awoke to hear in this morning’s news bulletin about the United States’ most recent mass shooting. Such events are seemingly endemic to the US and little different in my eyes to the wars in the eastern hemisphere by way of a straightforward question, ‘What gives one person or group the right to launch a surprise attack on innocent civilians going about their business?’

As Russia’s invasion of Ukraine continues towards its third year, global headlines have been gripped by this month’s flare-up of violence and conflict in the Middle East. One war was initiated by a maniacal nationalist with delusions of grandeur (where have we heard that before?), while the other can only be described as terror attacks in the face of progress to some form of peace in an exceptionally factious region of the globe. Both are perfect examples of one group’s perceived right and superiority over another and a reminder of what humanity is capable of at its worst.

In both cases, the concern over escalation to the point of nuclear weapons entering the picture has been mooted; the most horrifying of prospects.

As I write this, it’s break time at the primary school across the road, the young Kiwi kids energetically running around, blissfully ignorant of local and global happenings. And it’s easy for us, down in this far corner of the world, to sit complacent in the relative peace that geographic position affords, away from the madness. But, as we’re reminded this week by the start of the coronial inquest into the 2019 Christchurch mosque attacks, we’re not immune.

Of course, like any other nation on earth, New Zealand has its societal problems. Thankfully, they are not to the extremes of others, but they are bubbling away. Youth crime, for example, another hot pre-election issue…

Show us what you’ve got, Chris.

Take care out there,

Gavin Myers