Latest from the Beehive
We drew a blank, when we paid our morning visit to the Beehive website. Nothing had been posted since Associate Environment Minister Eugenie Sage announced the Government’s plans to phase out more single-use and problem plastics to reduce waste and protect the environment.
Hmm. Let’s check our email in-tray.
This contained advice about the PM’s next media conference – in tandem with the DG of Health – on the virus thing that has thrown politics and politicking into a bit of a tizz. The conference is at 1pm today.
Our email also brought statements (all Covid-related) headed –
- Leader of New Zealand First responds to questions on the general election date
At this difficult time our concern must be focused on the health of our team of five million. That team includes all politicians and their parties.
That is why I immediately suspended New Zealand First’s campaign.
Health first, politics second.
When we have the information we need to better understand our health challenge then we can address the timing of the election.
The General Election, and the campaign that proceeds it, needs to be free and fair for all concerned – parties, candidates, officials, and most of all voters.
If that means delay then so be it.
But that is for another day. Today we need our team of five million mobilised once more to play their part so New Zealand can recover its previous health position.
“The health of our people and their livelihoods is our total focus,” said New Zealand First Leader Winston Peters.
- James Shaw awaiting precautionary COVID-19 test result
Green Party Co-leader James Shaw is awaiting the result of a precautionary COVID-19 test after travelling to the South Auckland area over the weekend.
James Shaw said today:
“I developed minor cold symptoms after returning to Wellington from Auckland at the weekend.
“On the advice of health experts, I undertook a COVID-19 test to rule out the possibility of having the virus, and am currently staying at home while I await the results.
“I remind all of us that we must take any symptoms seriously and be tested if advised to do so by medical professionals.
“We all have a role to play in keeping COVID-19 out of our communities, and that includes following the advice of health experts.”
- Greens call for continued commitment to science from political leaders
This one looked like something worthy of positive comment from Point of Order’s editorial team.
We are highly approving of science and science-based policy-making.
Take genetic editing, for example. We have published umpteen posts calling on the Greens to go with the science and relax their dogmatic opposition to genetic engineering to help deal with a raft of challenges, including climate change.
Alas, the Greens today are taking a somewhat narrow approach to the science they say they support.
The Green Party is calling for a renewed commitment to trust medical science, following community transmission of COVID-19.
Green Party Co-leader James Shaw said today:
“New Zealand became one of the most successful countries in the world at fighting the COVID-19 virus through an absolute commitment to good science and good government.
“Now is not the time to abandon either. Now is the time to band together as a country, be directed by the science, and back good decision making.
“It is particularly incumbent on leaders from all stripes to support and back a strong community health message. This will ensure we get through this and stamp out COVID-19 once again.
“I have been disheartened to see some leaders cast doubt on the developments and associated decision making over the last 48 hours.
“To create confusion and suspicion quite frankly could result in reduced trust from our communities in the very institutions we rely on most to keep us all safe.
“This could lead to less willingness to pitch in to stamp out the virus. This puts us all at risk.
“This has been amply demonstrated in some other countries where the relationship between the public and the institution of government has been undermined by self-serving politicians over many years, rendering those countries almost ungovernable in times of crisis.
“I would urge New Zealanders to continue to do what we do best: work together as a community, and use our common sense.”
We should not be surprised to find the Greens are fundamentally politicking, when they say Greens call for continued commitment to science from political leaders.
If a commitment to science was seriously on the Green agenda, Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage might (and should) have thought twice before saying, when announcing the government’s biosecurity strategy:
“We recognise the value of nature and our obligation to protect it and importantly, to restore the mauri (the living essence) of nature and people,” said Eugenie Sage.
Yes, we know all about government policy requiring the incorporation of Mātauranga Māori in the science undertaken in our universities, crown research institutes and state agencies and the arguments in support of this approach. Whether saying it is science makes it science is very much a matter of contention.