We’ve heard of people being treated like animals by the governments of some countries. But two statements from the Beehive yesterday suggest the well-being of beasts – those that contribute to our export receipts, at least – is much higher in government budget priorities than the well-being of people.
Exhibit one: A statement from Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters, Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods, and Health Minister David Clark. They announced a COVID-19 vaccine strategy, which will enable New Zealand scientists to contribute to global research efforts and explore the potential of vaccine manufacturing capability in New Zealand.
Government has allocated $37 million to the strategy.
Exhibit two: A statement from Agriculture and Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor, who referenced the latest technical data in showing progress on New Zealand’s world-first plan to eradicate the cattle disease Mycoplasma bovis.
He reminded us that two years ago the Government, DairyNZ and Beef + Lamb New Zealand and industry partners made a bold decision to go hard and commit funds to a 10-year programme to eradicate M. bovis to protect our most important sector and the economy.