The morality of Government

In The Last Mile, September 20224 MinutesBy The Accidental TruckerOctober 15, 2022

What is happening to our country under the facade of ‘we know best’ is immoral. Few days pass now when we don’t hear of yet more of our money – tax or rates – being committed by either national or local government to one or another project that could be loosely described as based upon ideological fantasy or vanity. While this is going on, we see and hear more and more about the increasing number of people without adequate housing; food banks that are struggling to meet demand; a crime rate that is increasing, the police stretched beyond belief and unable to attend many crimes such as house burglary; a health system on the verge of collapsing; freshwater and waste-disposal systems that need billions of dollars to bring them up to standard; children who are leaving the education system with minimal – if any – literacy ability; and, of course, ‘roads’ that are rapidly deteriorating to the point they would not look out of place in many third- world countries.

On top of this, organisations such as Starship Hospital are now relying on public donations to provide comforts to our sick kids and I hear that Plunket also has to reduce some of its services because its resources are stretched. Wellington Hospital is again appealing for children’s winter pyjamas for in-patients.

We learn that the NZTA now has 88 people employed in its comms team, up from 32 in 2017, and 65 of the 88 get paid more than $100,000 a year.

Then I read that the Greater Wellington Regional Council is having to stump up with close to $500,000 in legal costs for a loss in the Environment Court. It seems they wanted the court to put protection orders on some wetlands, but the court found the wetlands did not exist.

Why is this happening? What has happened to this country that our elected representatives, either at the national or local level, can continue to argue that what they are doing is for the good of us all? How can they justify spending large amounts of taxpayers’ and ratepayers’ money on things such as cycleways, while running up huge debt – debt will be an albatross around the necks of future generations, when the very fabric that used to make New Zealand society a model for the world is collapsing around us?

As citizens of this country, our expectations must be that our elected representatives, who exercise the power that is given to them by the office they hold, will not abuse the privilege that we have given them. Yet morality in decision-making seems to have disappeared, gone the same way as the dodo bird and common sense.

Is our New Zealand approaching the ultimate stage of absurdity? Thomas Sowell, an American economist, historian and social theorist born in June 1930 is quoted as saying: “Have we reached the ultimate stage of absurdity where some people are held responsible for things that happened before they were born, while other people are not held responsible for what they themselves are doing to today?”