It's official. Labour has politicized hurricane Gabriel, blaming it on Climate Change. They're even pontificating about policy responses as bodies are still being found. It is not the time.
If the PM insists on laying blame and talking policies, then the only question he should be asked is as follows. Why has he hit folks living in Gisborne & Hawkes Bay with ute taxes and is pursuing them for agricultural emissions charges, but never returned funds back to them for flood protections that would've saved lives? Especially when the PM says he "expected" such disasters due to Climate Change?
Aside from Labour trying to strengthen its brand as the party of kindness, there's deep economics at work: higher risk creates a higher demand for insurance. Small risks affecting individuals can be privately insured but when it comes to national risks, like viruses or hurricanes, the demand for social insurance rises. These big events create more demand for government intervention.
Therein lies the crux of an election year strategy taking shape at Labour HQ. Namely keep reminding folks how much their lives are vulnerable to risk. The PM has already been at it, "As we've said, we do expect that there are going to be more extreme weather events and we all need to be prepared for that".
He may as well add a line like .. and never-ending, frequent Acts of God raining down on us require empathetic leaders prepared to intervene using every lever of government. So vote for a Labour-Green coalition in 2023. We know best how to make the right choices for you in these Climate Change times. The other guys will abandon you.
The parties of the right should wake up to Labour's plan, namely that we need more social insurance than ever to deal with more risk than ever.