Government ministers are exulting over how the NZ economy is performing— and their own work in making it stronger.
David Clark, standing in for Grant Robertson in Parliament on Tuesday, rejoiced at how solid the “underlying fundamentals of the NZ economy are”. He said the government accounts for the June year showed how the coalition had achieved “strong financial results, while also making significant investments in well-being and infrastructure”.
Robertson, singing from the same songbook, celebrated NZ’s economic strength and resilience being recognised in a major update on the state of the global economy.
The IMF’s latest World Economic Outlook shows NZ’s growth forecasts have held steady at 2.5% in 2019, rising to 2.7% next year, against the 1.7% for the rest of the so-called “Advanced Economies”. Continue reading “Ministers enthuse at their economic prowess but polls suggest the public recognises a failure to tackle poverty”
“Diabetes amputations top 1000” : so ran a headline in the NZ Herald over a report on what is becoming one of the public health disasters in this country.
Public health is the science and art of preventing disease, prolonging life and promoting health through organised efforts of society, says Professor Sir David Skegg, one of NZ’s most respected epidemiologists.
“Unfortunately NZ’s performance in this is even less adequate than its treatment services”.
He cites weak leadership and a lack of political will as fundamental problems for public health in NZ. Continue reading “Failure to lift the wellbeing of our public health service helps explain slippage in Labour’s poll support”
The headline on a statement released from the PM’s Office on the eve of the official release of the Wellbeing Budget tells us the government is Taking mental health and addiction seriously.
To demonstrate this, the government has accepted, accepted in principle, or agreed to further consideration of 38 of the 40 recommendations in the report of the Inquiry into Mental Health and Addiction.
This raises an obvious question: which two recommendations have been rejected?
The press statement gives the answer:
- The Directing the State Services Commission to report on options for creating a ‘locus of responsibility’ for social wellbeing within Government; and
- Set a target of 20% reduction in suicide rates by 2030.
Continue reading “Setting a suicide-reduction target might have been detrimental to the govt’s wellbeing”
The Ministry of Health website and the Minister of Health are out of synch, when it comes to elective surgery.
On a page last updated on August 10 last year, readers will find a section headed Health targets: Improved access to elective surgery.
This says the Government has directed the ministry to develop a new set of performance measures to improve health outcomes for New Zealanders.
While work is underway to develop these new measures DHBs will continue to report to the Ministry against the current set of health targets, as well as against a previously established suite of wider measures.
Readers are referred to the Health targets page for more information on the development of new measures.
On the specific matter of improved access to elective surgery, a sub-heading asks: What is the target?
The answer (drum roll, please) is:
The volume of elective surgery will be increased by an average of 4000 discharges per year.
Continue reading “The govt has no national health target for elective surgery – perhaps David Clark should tell his ministry”
It took them a few days to reflect on things, after Land Information Minister Eugenie Sage declined Oceana Gold’s application to purchase land adjacent to its Waihi mine under the Overseas Investment Act.
But Straterra, New Zealand’s minerals sector industry organisation, has publicly expressed disappointment and contends the decision was based explicitly on her anti-mining ideology.
“The application was declined by the Land Information Minister apparently on the grounds that the land would be better retained for dairying.”
If this be so, Sage will have been ideologically conflicted.
The Greens are notoriously hostile to mining – but when did they last come out in favour of dairying? Continue reading “A Green minister finds favour with farming – in this case, to torpedo gold mining plans”
Health Minister David Clark stoically resists pleas to intervene in the nation-wide junior doctors’ strike, which has resulted in thousands of doctors downing tools – or stethoscopes – following failed negotiations with district health boards on employment conditions.
But he has announced rewards for volunteer health workers and he has responded to questions in Parliament about the impact the doctors’ is having on patients.
Whether Clark has a thorough appreciation of all the impacts – and/or will publicly reveal them if he does – is arguable, but according to RNZ: Continue reading “Where’s Dr Clark while doctors press for more pay? Providing rewards for volunteer health workers”
Finance Minister Grant Robertson has headed for Washington for the spring meetings of the IMF and World Bank, as well as for talks with other finance ministers and senior US government officials.
Despite the darkening cloud on the global economy Robertson is gung-ho about the state of the NZ economy, although he concedes that, as an outward-facing export nation,
“ … NZ is not immune to this global uncertainty, and we have to bear that in mind as we transition to a more productive, sustainable, and inclusive economy”.
In Parliament before his departure for Washington he cited reports which indicate the NZ economy continues to out-perform its international peers. Continue reading “Budget surpluses are Robertson’s aim but well-being pressures will test his prowess”