Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Clergy Comment on Election Issues

Live-on-Air practical theology

David: Welcome along again to Live On Air. This evening we’re doing a New Zealand 2017 election special. It’s my great privilege to have with mere here at Waiaki Church, Reverend John Murray, and online are Reverend Uesifili Unasa and the Reverend Ian Faulkner. Now, all of these people have been very generous with their time in coming into this evening's talk, because way or another they’ve got a pretty vast amount of political experience, and some of them have stood for Parliament and others have been asked to stand for Parliament. We’ll explore that later in the evening, but just to begin with it, a very quick whip around guys; what for you are the two most important election topics? John?

John: Hard to choose, David. I’ve got 200 but hard to name two. I named housing and environment.

Uesifili: Good evening, everybody. It’s good to be here. I have a very keen interest on the housing issue, given that my two sons are thinking that they will be shut out of buying a house forever. I am really interested in the growing divide, which is very obvious to me now, between those who can have a go at being a successful New Zealand or someone who can live comfortably and affordably in New Zealand, and those who can’t. I’m very interested around that area.

David: Great. Thanks for that, Uesifili. Ian, what about you; have you got two hot topics?

Ian: Similar, actually; my two are the increasing economic disparity between new Zealanders, and the second one is housing, for the same reasons that Uesifili has mentioned.

David: Okay, I think the common one for all of you is housing. It’s obvious that the National Party position is that they’ve done enough over the last nine years and the market is cooling down, and more houses are coming on stream. So it should be any problem, I guess for your sons in the near future, Uesifili. You guys may have a different perspective on this. John, could I kick it off with you, thanks?

John: Yeah, I think the dilemma I see with the whole housing issue is National Party as a Government have been caught out, having denied for almost nine years that there’s an issue around housing. They’re trying to buy some capital with housing issues without admitting that they’ve done nothing. The example I give is that they promised to the Auckland City Mission $27 million as a contribution towards a very large building to accommodate homeless. Now, my involvement in the Methodist Mission, we didn’t really support that model at all, because it institutionalises homelessness, and actually doesn’t deal with any core issues connecting to communities. The other part is that $27 million sounds like a large amount of money to give to one project, and therefore quite a good vote-catcher. The reality is the project costs $90 million, so I’m not sure when it will ever happen.

I think the other part is that the electorate; people are generally concerned about the affordability of housing, and the availability of housing. Anybody who can address that, most people will feel okay with. My personal view is that when we dealt with housing in the Mission, it was never ever as simple as that. I think that housing driven by good Government policy is actually a way of addressing a number of issues; it does deal with homelessness as long as you provide a raft of options and locations, but I think governments need to seriously think about how do they deal with the issues around housing affordability - in other words, first home ownership - without getting into the emotive argument about social housing, which to me is not the same thing. I think it’s become a convenient scapegoat for people to talk about social housing as though it’s something someone else should do, and the rest of us, we can’t afford housing.

I suggest they’re all the same thing, or part of the same thing, and they’re all attached to a number of other issues. I talk about housing really as being a living issue; where do people live - how do they live - what are the cultural networks that we enable to grow and be nurtured in a good housing policy - what are the infrastructural things that we’re going to provide as part of a good social housing, community housing, first housing, retirement housing program?

The other thing is I think housing needs to be seen as a way of a government, as I’ve suggested, leveling the housing boom and bust syndrome out. Governments are involved, and I suggest that they can actually start building houses when everybody else is beginning to stop. They can actually begin to build houses by suggesting in the contracts that young people, as part of the contract, actually have an opportunity to learn a trade. If you don’t provide workplace opportunities, up-skilling opportunities to young people, then you can’t tender for the job.

David: I think that’s a really interesting social dimension to social housing. It’s not just a question of how do we put some houses there, but what is the whole infrastructure behind that?
John: Well David, I would argue that all housing is social housing. You know? We all need to be able to interact with everybody else. Seeing housing as simply a political issue or an issue to be avoided doesn’t help, or simply saying, if we do this, that’s the problem solved. No, it’s not; you have to do a raft of things, and I think good community education means that you end up not just with a short term solution - you end up with some good long term communities being established, built and nurtured around a good housing program.

Uesifili: John’s given a pretty comprehensive response, but I want to come really to the basic point that housing, which is meant to be a very basic need for families and communities and individuals, have become so politicised that we are now using housing in New Zealand society as a divide between generations of those who have their own houses, and those who want to buy a house. The second thing is that we are now dividing those who clearly have, because in Auckland for example, you’re a millionaire instantly with a house, whereas those who are basically needing a house can’t even get into one, and that’s a generational thing. It’s not just going to be Mum and Dad who don’t have a house; it’s going to be their kids and possibly the grandkids. So it’s a very big divide that we have now established around what is a very important part of a healthy and well community. I don’t know what the...

David: Sorry to interrupt; do your sons see it as achievable to get a house?

Uesifili: I’m not sure whether they see it as achievable on their own, but it happens that we have a house that they might want to use to get their own. That is a very real issue as John had mentioned; the affordability. I mean, if we’re talking affordability in the vicinity of $600,000-$700,000 in Auckland for a very basic house, I think that is signaling some deep social problems going into the future.

John: Uesifili, just a comment from you; you’ve talked about the purchasing of houses - I’ve not. I wonder if you’d like to comment on that, because I am not sure whether home ownership is necessarily a sign of achievement in terms of a solution towards housing. I wonder whether - do you see rental housing also as a possibility, but a better costing for it, or do you see home ownership in itself as a right? I’m a bit confused. I’m not certain about that, myself.

Uesifili: Yeah, that’s a good question. I’m not sure if I have the answer to that, John. My sense is that most young people, if I was to take my two sons as an example, would like to aspire to home ownership; to buy their own home and actually build whatever their aspirations are for the future as well as building their own families. So, my understanding is that they’re talking really about ownership rather than rental accommodation.

Ian: I would just like to contribute to, or to add to what John has said in that for me, housing is more than just four walls and a roof over somebody’s head; it adds - it contributes to a whole range of other things. It provides stability for people. It provides health for people. It provides a sense of community. It provides a place for recreation. All those sorts of things are a package which to me come out of secure and stable housing, and the opportunities for people to be able to live in what we might define as a home.

David: Okay, Ian I’m going to put you on the spot here; which of the political parties is going to present the most opportunities for that kind of housing, as far as you’re concerned, in this election?
Ian: I don’t see it as putting me on the spot. What I do hear is one political party speaking a lot about aspirations and hopes, and being criticised because there is no detail in that aspiration and hope statement - and the other major political party saying we’ve shown for a number of years that we’re on the right track, you’ve just got to persevere with us for a little bit longer and all will come right. The latter group is one which I struggle to come to terms with. I am a person who likes to look for hope and aspiration, and would like to think that things develop from that.

David: Our next topic is about education, and I’m going to go to Ian Faulkner who was the principal of Wesley College for many years, and principal of other school before that. Ian, this is clearly close to your professional heart; is there any one party where education policy is shining out as a clear vote-winner because it’s a sound policy?

Ian: Short answer is, no. I hear arguments that I can relate to being proposed by a number of parties. So for example, I like the - or I warm to the Labour policy of making tertiary education more accessible to all people, but I don’t necessarily warm to what I hear as a scrapping of any forms of national assessment or indication of where individual students are at, at a particular time. Now, the whole question of national standards is another matter; it’s something to be unpacked in quite some detail, but I leave it as necessary for us to know where our young people are at, at a particular time, so that, once knowing that, we can move then to the next stage in their development.

David: Did I hear that Labour had just announced that it was giving now three years free tertiary education, or did I mis-hear that?

Ian: That was in tonight’s news.

David: Right. Good idea, or not.

John: Well, I think Ian’s leading to a really important point; it’s not just about the free to the student part of education that’s important. It’s actually, are the Government prepared, or any prospective government prepared to fund the cost of education? I would suggest that’s across tertiary, secondary and primary so that you remove the need for parents to have to pay these voluntary contributions in order for their school to stay open.

I would rather the promise were to providing a more total education package rather than just no fees, because if your move the fees how do universities suddenly cope with all these extra students that come onboard when we know already that our university and the international scales are sliding down help because they’re under-funded. I would argue the same applies to our secondary schools, unless they want to make all our secondary schools into charter schools, which won’t save any money anyway, but I certainly recall in my involvement at Wesley with Ian, the inability of governments to fund education properly is just legendary.

Uesifili: Can I add to the comments that have already been made? I’m deeply cynical of the idea that you give free education to university students so that they could freely do nothing for three years. My view is that I think universities should be a choice, and it should be elitist, in the sense that you go there because you choose to go there - not because you have a package that allows you to sit there for three or four years, and maybe get a degree or maybe not. I think university has intentionally moved towards the high end achievers, where the people who are supposed to be there are supposed to be the ones who do what they actually studied for. So, I’m pretty much in the camp that university really shouldn’t be encouraged with free money; it should be there because people choose to be there to do something that is actually useful for the country.

We get that - in my case we’re having to fund and support our own son, who is probably going to come out with [17:03] of something like $100,000-$150,000. That’s intentional and that’s because he chooses to do something that he thinks will contribute to people and to the country and to himself. So I’m not sure whether this is just vote-buying or good policy, but it seems to me that we have a number of university students who probably don’t put the money that they have already borrowed into good use. I do like the idea around charter schools. I think the more options - as John had mentioned - the more options we have for different students and different people the better, rather than a conveyor belt where we all go to university or we all got to Unitec or whatever.

I would want to check the definition of tertiary. So, tertiary to me is what happens beyond secondary school, and I know of many young folk who find any form of tertiary education simply beyond them, because they cannot afford the course fees. They cannot afford the transport to get to the place where their course is taking place. They don’t have the necessary equipment. So the idea that there can be wide access to all young people to further train, whether it be in a Polytech as an apprentice, or in a university, is something that I would want to celebrate.

David: John?

John: Yes, I would agree with Ian’s comment, then Uesifili's; you need a wide pallet of options. There’s a cautionary note though, isn’t there around the elitist, Uesifili? I think you used elitist in a particular way, but if elitist is it’s only available to those who can really afford it, is a problem that - I think it is Pikkety in his book on capitalism highlight that actually it’s elitist in that it’s only to those who have access to the scholarships and grants that you can get say at Harvard University or somewhere like that. If it's elitist in terms of striving for outstanding achievement, I’m fine.

The dilemma I have with all of the processes we’ve got around education at the moment are, a) I notice a large number of people I’ve had to work with, who will have two or sometimes three jobs in order to support their children through secondary school and university, and in some cases - picking up Ian’s point, I would argue to them, but why are you sending your child to university? Now, there might be a very good reason, but it’s often just the idea that, well if they get a degree they’ll get a job. One of the real difficulties I had in the Mission was Samoan and Tongan young people turning up with their deep commitment to the church, and bringing with them their CV which in some ways was sad, because in it they had a degree that wasn’t worth very much, yet they’d borrowed an enormous amount of money to get something that I’d want to say to them, this will not get you a job.

David: That [20:50]. Oh, go for it Uesifili.

Uesifili: Yeah, can I add to that, John? I think it’s important that this bunch of money that’s sitting in there because you want to go to university - it’s actually going to provide, as John had alluded to, this great future which in some cases doesn’t actually exist, despite the money and the debt that some parents and some students have gotten into. So I think it’s a very cynical vote-buying ploy. I mean, it will benefit some, but the majority will end up particularly from the marginalised immigrant communities of Tongans and Samoan and other groups that have come in and they’ve tried to make their way. Most of them will struggle to get into some of those corporate places or jobs that are going to give them a reasonable living. It does depend on the school you go to in many cases, and it does depend too, on the networks you have.

For me, watching some, as John had seen, some of these students who have put their life and savings into a law degree or whatever, are actually having to go back to doing something in the public service like the Ministry of Social Development with a law degree. Yet, it’s cost them a packet, and this is where I think some of this stuff is actually quite cynical and misleading; because you go to university does not necessarily give you the kind of economy that you are hoping for your family or for your future, despite the idea, as you say, Ian - it should be available to everybody. The reality is that some people get in if you happen to be from Auckland Grammar or King’s College or Remuera, and most of those kids who are coming from South Auckland and West Auckland will probably end up in the very...

David: Well, those are really interesting and quite powerful sets of arguments against Jacinda's announcement of free tertiary education for three years. I thought she might be on more of a vote-winner with the idea that you did it for one year, and worked out whether this was the right thing - this was a pathway that could open up. So, yeah I’m not convinced by that policy. The two of you have both mentioned, and Ian certainly touched on it; economic disparity among these young people.

The young people trying to get into tertiary at any level - if they’re coming from a very poor background it’s just not simply going to work for them. I think that was your point, Ian; they don’t have the tools - they don’t have the background - they don’t have the resources to be able to cope with it. So, how much of a problem for New Zealand society is this widening gap between the rich and the poor have we in fact, through the last nine years or possibly even beyond, have we legislated for an impossible disparity? Will it ever be bridged?

Uesifili: Well, if I can come to that question David, from the point of view of an immigrant myself, and from the more marginalised community within our New Zealand society? I think there is progress, and we have to acknowledge that there is progress, because education has given some of these communities and families the opportunity, but it’s not progress at the kind of pace that is needed. For every 10 Pacific students for example, one might get into Russell McVeagh or to Deloitte or something like that.

They are making progress, but it’s not keeping pace with the kind of changes that we need to make in order to bridge some of these economic disparities that are obvious - not just within certain sectors or families of our New Zealand society, but in actual demographic segregation areas of Auckland for example. There are huge gaps that I’m not sure whether these are multiple, generational progress, or really one generation. I don’t know, but it doesn’t seem to be keeping pace that’s required now.

David: Uesifili, would you say that since you were a young lad growing up in West Auckland, going to Kelston Boys’, that you have noticed over your lifetime, now that you’ve got sons who are entering the workforce with student debt; have you noticed that this has become a bigger problem sort of year by year, irrespective of governments, that the rich are getting richer - the poorer getting poorer?

Uesifili: I think that’s generally the issue; there doesn’t seem to be the critical mass of these migrant communities keeping up with the changes, and the growing gulf between those who have enough and those who are struggling. The other change of course is in the population; you’ve got more Asian kids now who are coming into the country, and overseas students who are coming in. The competition is much greater, and of course you’ve got other opportunities in terms of sports.

So, you’ve got kids that are not only having to compete with a greater amount of capable students, and some of them are brilliant students, but you’ve got other alternatives which has all its risks of - it’s like rugby; every kid wants to be an All Black, but not everybody’s going to make it through an injury, or that sort of thing. So, there are those risks. I’m not optimistic as I would want to be, in terms of some of these marginalised communities being given enough of a break to make a difference.

David: Ian, any comments? It’s your area, too.

Ian: So, my concern is for quite a number of young people that believe that they do not have any hope for the future - that they are stuck in the position where they’re at, and they have no means of finding a way out of that. It’s that group which I see increasing - not decreasing. It’s unfortunate in my eyes, that group are largely from particular ethnic groups, and once those young people become entrenched in that, they then move on to other parts, and we know that the prison population is - or a move towards ending up in prison, is there. I don’t believe that is a good scene for New Zealand for the future.

John: Yeah, I’ve wrestled with this one, because employed are the 200 homecare workers, and you might recall that this is the group that there was a significant employment court case over, who are simply the lowest of low paid, because they were woman. So the first disparity I think governments have to be prepared to simply name and deal with is that the gender disparity, so that you have - if you’re doing a job that it pays the same whether you are male or female. The other one is the disparity between those who have that opportunity by the simple fact that they are Pakeha. I find that deeply disturbing because at one level it shouldn’t be there, and yet statistically it is. There is a disparity - so that you create this low waged cohort simply by saying, well we can afford to pay this type of job less per hour because it does less (because predominantly done by Maori, Samoan, Tongan or Fijian) - it will not be done by Pakeha. So there’s that type of disparity.

The ways of addressing that have been, for example, to talk about the living wage. I’m not a fan of the living wage, because the problem with a living wage; it ends up becoming the minimum wage, and the moment you talk about a minimum wage, you talk about pay bands and relativities, so that it’s always at the bottom of the heap. So, you then also start talking about high income earners earning no more than eight or nine times more than the lowest band. I am sort of in favour of that. I think that’s the one that, in the Methodist Church missions, we’ve tried to operate with - when I say try, it’s exactly that - we’ve not been successful, but we have tried. We’ve talked about, and we’re hearing about the use of taxation. Now, I’m quite in favour of using taxation as a social tool for ensuring that there’s a better distributing of wealth. It can be that, but we only deal with the disparity between people who are on a wage.

The biggest disparity is actually between people who earn a wage, and those who don’t need to earn a wage. The wealthiest people on the planet do not earn any money; their wealth is tied up in their assets and their businesses, and their share portfolios and goodness knows what else, which they can live off, and yet they’ve got nothing. I recall the days when there was means testing applied to a number of benefits. Most of the people who got the benefit were those who, for many of us in the community, simply saw as being very wealthy, but actually they were able to hide their income. So disparity is a very complex issue, and I think it’s not just about saying, we will impose this on people in order to introduce a better economic distribution, to address economic disparity. We all have to feel a social obligation and social justice obligation to ensure that there’s a better distribution of wealth across everyone’s needs. I think we should see it as a privilege to pay some form of tax regardless, because we know it’ll benefit someone who actually needs it more than I do.

David: I think I’d like to bring this part of the discussion to a close with the observation that the American philosopher John Rawls wrote a very interesting book called The Original Position, or argued rather for what he called the original position. He said, yeah as a society we should make up the rules around taxation, wealth distribution, et cetera - and everyone should have an equal opportunity to participate in the making of it, but no-one is able to say in advance what position they will occupy in the society when they’re making the rules. Well, we come to the final question this evening, which is about the environment, and especially water quality. Max Thompson is asking; should water quality - that is the rivers et cetera - should that be governed as it currently is by a kind of national standard or should this be in the hands of local bodies - regional councils and the like.

John: I think the dilemma for local government is always it’s always terribly under-resourced, and struggles to actually implement and carry out a lot of policies. So, the example would be the Resource Management Act. The struggles that you have - regional differences in what was intended to be more of a national idea. As I look at the Waikato River for example; the regional authority has struggled there to deal with local community interests and local councils the river flows through, and it’s also been drawn into convoluted and very emotive debates around pollutants from farms, pollutants from industry, pollutants from towns. If Central Government says, this is the standard we’re going to meet, then that’s it. In some ways I suggest that the whole of the environmental global issue is of such urgency we don’t have the luxury and the time to much around with local niceties or local arguments that are not necessarily based on good scientific evidence that says our waterways are in trouble.

David: Could I add to that, John; was it the Ruataniwha dam in the Hawke’s Bay - for a number of years farming community and I think Local Government wanted to build this dam, and quite clearly National Party policy was that this would be a very good thing in terms of the economic benefits, but at every step of the way they were declined, and it went through a couple of court appeals, and finally they’ve said, no this is not the right thing to do by the environment. Unfortunately, Bill English said, oh well we’ll change the Resource Management Act. I thought that was an act of political suicide amongst the blue-greens. You know? There are quite a few people within the National scene who are blue in terms of their politics, but have a definite green tinge about it.

I think that cavalier attitude to dismissing the - and I’ve heard it said by a number of National aspirants that the Resource Management Act has to be changed because it’s stacked against development. Actually, it’s stacked for the environment, and that’s what it was set up to do. Winston Peter's made the very telling point on the minor parties debate that the vast majority of New Zealanders simply know that the state of the rivers is not right, and there’s no point, as you said, in dividing town and country and rural communities against city developments. We’re all drinking the same water. We’re all swimming in the same rivers. We’re all trying to make our livings off the same land where the water is going into those rivers - the run-off into them. So, we’ve got address this as a matter of urgency. For me, it’s the prime issue of the debate; the environmental issues. Uesifili and Ian; how do you feel about it?

Uesifili: Well, I’m interested in the conversation that was on TV this morning, and the perspective by the Maori Party about the involvement of iwi, which I suspect is partly local and partly central in terms of waterways and the environment, and so forth. I think it does come down, as John had alluded to, to the fact that local governments are under-resourced, but are also, I suspect, not really wanting to get into the kind of arguments that all of the other things get into like transport and so forth. So I don’t know what the answer is, but I suspect that depending on which perspective you’re coming from whether it’s local or central government or iwi, there’s vested interest in all of us, and I’m not sure who’s to benefit.

I think it should be looked at from how the community can benefit from the environment, and I’m not sure whether that’s part of the argument at the moment, or whether throwing around the idea of who’s going to benefit politically, and whether it’s business or the farmers who are going to benefit in terms of the economic returns. I’m not quite sure where the conversation is at in terms of that, or in the future, but I suspect iwi and Maoridom might have the stronger arguments in terms of some local responsibility.

Ian: I would only comment, just to follow up on David’s point that water is something that is essential to all of us, and from my view we shouldn’t lose site of the fact that in some way we are all responsible for what happens to this vital resource, because without it there is no human race to follow.

Uesifili: Could I just make a comment there, David?

David: Exactly - very well put.

Uesifili: [39:49] situation up North where the Russian billionaire has asked the local council to give consent to him draining the local river to water his garden. The Maori iwi has objected, and it’s the only time the regional council or the local council listens to the local community. I’m not sure whether Central Government could help here because I think they were very encouraged when the Russian billionaire came up north. So I’m not sure. I’m pretty cynical, but I suspect that there is some real input that the local community might have in this, because it affects them at that grass root level. So yeah, I don’t know.

John: I wonder whether the dilemma always for politics and argument about the environment is that politics are about promising something now. To talk about the environment is to talk about the future. In some ways, the immediate game might not be that much in comparison to the long term cost. I think the classic example was again the in the Waikato region, with the nitrates; it’s not what you do now as an impact on the river now - it’s what you do now and the impact of the river in 50 years time, when those nitrates actually enter the river. Now, there’s no political mileage to be made out of thinking that far ahead. That’s the tragedy of it all, and unless we can actually say we’ll put aside our personal needs for now, and take into account those really long term needs, then the debate is always going to be - it’s always fighting - pushing water uphill with a rake, if you like.

David: Well, I think John, you’re highlighting the last topic that we want to look at tonight; you’re talking about the future, and the topic that I thought would be really great to end with is that some of you have stood for political office or been approached to, and I wondered what your perspective was about, do you actually think the way candidates present themselves, because you’ve been in that process - do you think that they are really thinking about the good of the country first, or are they thinking about getting elected first? Now, Uesifili I think you’ve been approached by just about every political party under the sun in New Zealand. What do you think; if you look at these candidates that are standing now, asking for your vote in your electorate - are they there for the good of the country or are they there because they want to be in office?

Uesifili: [42:46] David is, thank God I had the sense to turn them all down. I think political parties is a team game, and I think it doesn’t matter what your intentions are or your aspirations are for your political career; you’ve got to play the team game. I think most of them are pretty much team players. Whether we like their policies or not, or whether we like their partisanship or not; it’s a team game, and it’s difficult I think for some of them to actually present themselves in light of the party, but I think that’s the nature of the beast, and I think it’s a very difficult career, and life choice to be part of a very big organisation like a political party, but I think from what I’ve seen they’ve done very well.

They line up behind the leader, they nod their heads when they’re behind the leader on camera, and they seem to be saying the things that the leader wants them to say. So, you can’t fault them. The only saying is, you’ve got to swallow some dead rats. I think they do that pretty well, but that’s the nature of the game, I think.

David: Ian Faulkner, what’s your observation?

Ian: Well, never having been in the position of anybody wanting me to stand for a national political scene, I think there’s truth in what Uesifili is saying there, because I just watch the various candidates lining themselves up in order of seniority behind the leader, and following what they have agreed to do.

David: That’s a fair answer, Ian. John, yourself; you stood for the far left didn’t you?

John: Well, I was Chairperson of the East Cape Electoral Committee - in fact, ran one of their campaigns, and prior to that had actually been nominated as a possible candidate. Like Uesifili, I would have to say that even those people I find despicable, in actual fact stood with good intention. I didn’t like those intentions, but actually they believed in what they believed in, and they were committed to, in their view, bettering society and the world. The other part is I think in order to be a candidate; you have to have an ego. Let’s not beat around the bush; you’ve actually got to believe you’re God’s gift to this local community and they need to get out and vote for you. If you can’t believe that you’re not going to make it. The other part is then I think, whether you like it or not, as Uesifili said, you not only have to swallow dead rats - I think sometimes you live inside the carcass of an elephant.

The simple reason is that your ideas are just one of the whole cluster of ideas of a group of parliamentarians, all of whom believe their ideas are better than anybody else’s, and at some point you’re going to have a good idea - most of your ideas are never going to see the day light. The other part is that even in the last year since I was involved, the shift has really been away from the personality of the local candidate to the charisma of the leader. That’s it. It’s the only thing that people vote upon, and I think watching the polling today, one sees that Labour didn’t have to change any policies; they simply changed the leader - Jacinda is a charismatic young person, and their polling up through the roof.

David: Yeah, and in fact some of her announcements are sort of the policies of yesteryear. You know? They’re no longer relevant today, but it’s the wow factor - it’s the x-factor, and I think New Zealand politics has become far more USA presidential in how it runs itself for office these days. I’d like to say thank you very much for all of you coming along tonight, and also to our studio audience; thanks indeed for coming in.