By Alan Titchall, managing editor, Contrafed Publishing.
It has been a sobering year, to put it mildly. It hasn’t been entirely the country’s own doing, but you have to wonder what the hell our political leadership is doing to help, other than digging a deep grave for itself in next year’s elections with its, ‘We know what’s good for you’ approach to community engagement.
I have heard others criticise the Government for ‘looking for solutions for problems that don’t exist’. I agree: ideology over reality.
It is socialist ideology to strengthen central power, which is the only reason I can think why this Government is so adamant about its three water reforms. The Havelock North incident was isolated and now history. There are councils that need extra funding to bring their three water infrastructure up to grade – easy – give it to them. We don’t need new government entities full of more bureaucrats.
The RMA reforms (and why don’t we just do what the Aussies do when it comes to environmental legislation?) has a political ideological context – the Government’s interpretation of the 1840 treaty and embracing the ‘Maori world view’, which is creeping into new legislation to become an interpretation minefield.
Abstract proverbs and ‘holistic well-being’ (whatever that means) aside, what is the real world view of Kiwis of Maori descent in the 21st century after 200 years of influence from the big wide world? All societal customs and traditions naturally morph, adapt, and change with time. I struggle to keep up with the ‘world view’, habits and lingo of my young relations – all of it aped from overseas with alarming speed and enthusiasm.
There is a difference between building sensible infrastructure to protect us from the adversaries of the weather, which has always been tempestuous as it sweeps across a long skinny country isolated between two huge oceans, and getting hysterical over our modest contribution to global emissions. Stop blathering about the handful of expensive EVs bought by the well-off and simply reduce the age of our ancient vehicle fleet.
These are not just my views, but reflect discussions around bars, BBQs and work canteens around the country. Folks don’t want to have their ears chewed with ideological ‘spin’ about the likes of ‘co-governance’ while they are thinking twice before taking the kids Christmas shopping and becoming victim to a gang of hammer-wielding teenagers terrorising their local mall.
They don’t want to be lectured about lofty climate ideology watching their health services collapse through lack of staff and funding. Fears over today’s cancer treatment is greater than their concern over predicted sea levels in 100 years time.
So, my New Year wish is less bullshit and more common-sense, please. And some long-lasting concrete or asphalt roads with shoulders would be nice.
Anyhow, as the Aussies say, it has been a good year for Contractor magazine in regards to content, readership and advertising partners. Nga mihi maioha!
We finish the 2022 year with another issue choka full of discussion on all things to do with civil contracting and profiles on the extraordinary innovations you contractors contribute to the nation’s build.
To you readers, our advertising partners, and our talented contributors – all of us at Contrafed Publishing say – many thanks for your support and services this year, and we wish you a pleasant and safe break over the summer and we look forward to working with you all in 2023 and building our future together.