THE HAPS

If you find life frustrating under Labour, you are not alone. 500 people have registered for ACT’s campaign launch in the first three days. Attendance is free, please help make it the biggest ACT event ever. Be present to kick off the 2023 campaign proper by registering here.

The polls are heading in the right direction but anything can and will happen over the next 53 days. We won’t be able to celebrate a change unless it is real, and the new government has the fresh new ideas to turn this country around. If anything, the polls mean we must work even harder.

THE IRONY

Free Press has no words for Labour promoting financial literacy. We’d be more comfortable if the nation’s children gave Labour a financial literacy lesson. The greater irony is Labour, who’ve spent five years taking content out of the curriculum, now want to put some back in eight weeks before an election. People are tired of education being politicised.

A PATTERN

There’s a growing contrast between the Labour Government and the Labour Party. Labour in government put signs in Māori, on the campaign trail they use the language their voters speak. Labour in government make miniscule changes to vaping laws, the Labour Party promises far reaching ones. Why not just do it now?

HIGH PERFORMANCE GOVERNMENT

The bald facts are that under Labour spending has increased by around 80 per cent. It’s true, the population has grown in that time. So has inflation. When you dig into the numbers, annual spending, per person, has increased 29 per cent. The problem is Labour can’t point to improvements in services for this cost.

THE SEEDS OF GOVERNMENT WASTE

The usual answers for why Labour wastes so much. Their Ministers have crazy ideas, about bike bridges and mega mergers, and turning every department into a microcosm of the Treaty with the need to uphold the Principles of the Treaty coming before any earthly practical goals. These are all valid, but there’s another reason.

THE PUBLIC SERVICE ACT

Labour may have useless Ministers but that’s not the only problem. The public service has been made a law unto itself. When Chris Hipkins replaced the State Sector Act with the Public Service Act (rushed through under COVID conditions in 2020), he removed the need for the public service to serve the “democratically elected Government of the day.”

A LAW UNTO THEMSELVES

Instead the public service now “enables both the current government and successive governments to develop and implement their policies.” So much for ‘yes Minister’, the bureaucracy can now say ‘no Minister, we aren’t just here for you, we’re here for the governments of tomorrow.’ Who will they be? That’s up to the public service.

BRINGING BACK ACCOUNTABILITY

ACT’s policy for effective and efficient public services, released this weekend, would make three changes. Together these would motivate public servants to serve the government of the day, with clear targets set by ministers backed up by performance pay.

PUT THE DEMOCRATICALLY ELECTED MINISTER IN CHARGE

ACT’s policy would let the democratically elected Minister set goals for the Chief Executive of their department. At present that direct relationship is not possible, with the departmental heads more responsible to the chief of the public service than the Ministers elected to do the job.

MEASURABLE KPIS

ACT would borrow Australia’s RoGS (Report on Government services) model to measure what government services achieve. For the Ministry of Social Welfare, for example, the goals might include the number of people moved off a benefit to a job, and the number who stay in a job for six months, one year, two and three years.

BACKED UP WITH REAL REWARDS

Among the listed companies that make up NZX50, around half of CEO pay is incentives, over and above base pay. Yet people in charge of huge departments with massive consequences for New Zealand’s success get paid exactly the same whether their department performs or not. It’s nuts. ACT would let the Minister set performance pay, attached to reaching the KPIs.

ANOTHER SMALL BUT IMPORTANT EXAMPLE

This policy (read the whole thing here) is another example of how ACT is ready to turn New Zealand around. The party has the policy and people to ensure that taxpayers get value for money, and citizens get effective services. Without real change, backed up by fresh new ideas, we are doomed. We hope you’ll help ACT get over the line.


Press Contact

[email protected]