The public wrestling match between Dr Don Brash and Rodney Hide over the leadership of the ACT Party shows that the country’s extreme right wing is in tatters.
It also tells us all as voters that something very important about where the National Party is headed if it is re-elected to govern.
National Party leader John Key has made it clear that he is happy to work with Dr Brash in a future coalition, whether he is the Leader of ACT or some other far-right political party.
This is despite Mr Key having publicly branded Dr Brash as an extremist.
The reason Mr Key is keen to bring his former leader on board in a new right-wing extreme political team is because it gives him the excuse to ram through all the unpalatable polices that National has always intended to put in place.
The policies we will see pursued are detailed in the 2025 Taskforce chaired by Dr Brash. Mr Key established the Taskforce as payback to Act, for giving him support in the last election.
Some of its key recommendations make frightening reading. If Dr Brash gets his way, government spending would be slashed by $9 billion, meaning savage cuts to health and education.
Kiwis are already struggling to pay their bill, buy healthy food for their families, keep their houses warm and fill the petrol tank of their cars.
It is also becoming increasingly difficult to pay for their children to go to the doctor, particularly after hours.
I have also been told by some families that they cannot afford school uniforms, books and pay for their children to take part in after-school sporting activities.
Under a Key-Brash Government, middle and low-income New Zealanders will be under even more financial pressure.
Mr Key and Dr Brash want to radically reform the welfare system. They want to hock off our valuable assets, like power companies, to foreign buyers. That would push up the cost of electricity even more.
It is hard enough right now to pay the power bills. Kiwis cannot afford the kind of sky-high prices that foreign investors would charge if they got hold of our power companies.
Dr Brash believes the age that we are eligible to get the pension should be lifted. He wants the minimum wage hacked back by $100 a week to a rate that will be impossible to survive.
While those on low incomes are being punished even further, those who are earning the most are rubbing their hands with glee as they take home hundreds or thousands of dollars extra every week thanks to Mr Key’s tax cuts.
Labour does not support these kinds of policies.
We believe in giving all New Zealanders a fair go. We want every worker to be able to get ahead with better jobs and higher incomes. We want people to be able to look forward to buying their own home, saving for their retirement and to enjoy watching their family grow up in a society that puts our children first.
Labour would put a stop to asset sales. It does not make sense to sell off assets that return valuable dividends to the community – money that can be spent on health and education.
Why would we let foreign and corporate buyers reap the rewards of owning assets that we have built over generations?
Labour will not sell off the family silver. We will grow the economy so that it benefits all New Zealanders.
Phil Goff is the Leader of Labour Party and the Opposition. The above article is exclusive to Indian Newslink © At press time, Dr Don Brash had become the Leader of ACT Party, edging out Rodney Hide, whose future as a Minister in the National-led Government remained uncertain.