WINSTON PETERS: National increasingly infected with the arrogance virus


WINSTON PETERS - June 9th, 2017
National increasingly infected with the arrogance virus

Stay in power long enough and politicians can end up getting arrogant.

National has been showing these tendencies for some time now acting as though they are running this country as by right.

Last month we had Associate Social Housing Minister Alfred Ngaro having a go at the Salvation Army, Willie Jackson (“play ball or else”) and John Campbell in the media.

Even by National’s standards he went too far and was told to pull his head in – which he did with an apology.

Don’t expect to hear a peep out of Mr Ngaro through to the election.

Another showing this born-to-rule arrogance has been Simon “Bridgeless” Bridges, the Minister who boasts about building 10 bridges in Northland following up National’s promise two years ago.

Funny how he never mentions that work hasn’t started on one of these bridges yet.

This week the transTasman NZ Government Departments Review revealed worrying questions were being raised about the level of Beehive influence over government departmental decisions.

This week also New Zealand First uncovered another example of Mr Bridges’ arrogance.

We found he repeatedly blocked KiwiRail from releasing a business case on Auckland’s proposed $50 million third main railway track.

As KiwiRail pointed out to Mr Bridges the law was clear that the business plan for the rail line should be released. It was in the public interest to do so.

No, Mr Bridges knows best. He blocked the business plan going out to a public transport advocate group Greater Auckland.

The Prime Minster has been afflicted by this arrogance virus as well.

He keeps on denying that Auckland has a housing crisis.

We have people living in garages and cars, the Reserve Bank Governor telling him not enough houses are being built to meet population growth and address housing shortages; the Demographia International Housing Survey reporting Auckland is now the fourth least affordable city in a survey of 92 cities around the world and economist Shamubeel Eaqub saying denials of a housing crisis are now simply lies.

But Bill knows best: The Auckland housing crisis is a myth.

That’s arrogance.