Tag Archives: Politicians

Our veterans deserve better Mr Mapp

All credit to the Queensland Reds for winning the Super Rugby crown for 2011 but at the same time full marks to the Crusaders for a great example of Kiwi stoicism.  In the face of many challenges both these teams have done well and fully deserve their accolades (even in defeat).

The Crusaders have travelled great distances this year to play their games since the earthquakes in Christchurch disrupted their plans but they are not the only ones who have travelled great distances.  According to HB Today the Defence Minister, Wayne Mapp, has been overseas (at our expense of course) to Crete to take part in ceremonies commemorating the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Crete.  Its right and proper that New Zealand should be represented at such events but if the report in our local daily is to be believed the Government and Mr Mapp are to be condemned for the way they have treated our veterans of that battle.

If the journalists have got it right Mr Mapp and his entourage spared no expense including luxury accommodation and lavish meals but excluded our veterans from all of this.  They had to pay their own way, receiving only a small $2,000 grant which as anyone who has travelled will know barely covers the airport taxes to get on the plane.

These are the men and women who fought the battle.  They are the ones who the people of Crete and other Mediterranean countries so admire and respect.  These are the people who faced their enemy and fought to protect the freedoms we enjoy today.  Where were Mr Mapp and his hangers on when all this happened?  They weren’t there of course so I question what right he’s got to go and take all the glory and kudos, to spend lavishly on himself and to be part of the pomp and ceremony when our veterans were the real heroes.  They were the ones that should have been flown first class and put up in great accommodation, wined and dined at our expense while the others, politicians in particular, should have taken a back seat.

I am absolutely disgusted at yet another example of how self serving our politicians can be, tightening the purse strings around the necks of the hoi polloi while looking after number one.

Mr Mapp should a) apologise and b) refund the travel, accommodation and incidental costs that those veterans incurred in getting to the Crete commemorations.

I salute the veterans – its because of the sacrifice made by people like them that Mr Mapp is part of a parliamentary democracy and I am able to blog to vent my displease with his actions and attitude.

Do we need an NZERA?

The appointment of Roger Sutton as Chief Executive of the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority has been widely welcomed as a good move and in the best interests of the region.  From the little I’ve seen of him on telly I would tend to agree.  He has the communication and leadership skills to bring great vision and drive to a very important organisation.

What a pity that our politicians don’t have the same skills.  Words like self-serving, poll-driven and short-term thinking spring to mind when I hear a politician speak.  The drive to retain power in a system that sees them facing the risk of being sacked every tthree years stunts their ability to think and act in the best interests of the country and its people.

I am of the view that New Zealand faces a disastrous economic future unless something drastic is done to sort out our problems.  I’ve posted before about the economic impact of the leaky home crisis, the Christchurch earthquake and the meltdown of finance companies.  These things, along with world economic conditions, will make life very hard for us all.  But what are those responsible for managing all this doing?  Making minor adjustments to things like student loans schemes and Kiwi Saver (but not their own super scheme I note somewhat cynically).

Perhaps we need to sideline the politicians and appoint a New Zealand Economic Recover Agency headed by someone like Roger Sutton?

Someone able to assess the situation, get a handle on the key factors plaguing this country and then make the hard decisions,not just short term, to help us make progress and get back to a reasonable standard of living.  Not a political appointment, subject to three yearly changes of governments, but an enduring appointment (obviously with safeguards) of someone with vision and leadership skills to sort us out.

So bring on an NZERA.  I’ll vote for that.