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  • rmacculloch

Wayne Brown is an exceptionally capable Mayor: don't buy Paula Bennett's vacuous politicking.

Former Deputy PM Paula Bennett wrote a NZ Herald article attacking Mayor Wayne Brown. It may have misled readers who thought it was non-biased & written by a dispassionate observer, not realizing it was by a person wanting to be Mayor herself. Bennett writes:

"Where I think it is wrong is when politicians take cheap shots in public & then don’t actually fix the problems. The Auckland Mayor seems to take great delight in belittling the public service & those on public boards publicly. Yes, people at home might cheer when they hear him say it on radio, but who’s in charge? Who has the power to change the finicky, stupid rules that stop us getting on with our lives? .. I understand people’s frustrations .. Trust me, there are plenty of stories and rants in my own household after it took nearly two years to get consent to build a garage."

Who had the power to change those "stupid rules"? Paula Bennett when she was a Minister for many of the 9 years between 2008 to 2017 when National was in power. Instead she either put in place the "stupid rules" she talks about or did not revoke the ones already in place. It was Bennett's National Party government that implemented thousands of rules in the shape of the Health & Safety at Work (General Risk & Workplace Management) Regulations 2016, Health & Safety at Work (Infringement Offences & Fees) Regulations 2016; and Health & Safety at Work (Worker Engagement, Participation & Representation) Regulations 2016, to name but a few. Even before those rules came into force, the number of regulations began exploding during Bennett's time in Parliament:

Were the rules implemented during Bennett's political reign subject to cost-benefit analysis (CBA)? No. I personally complained about that omission to Key at the time and he belittled such analysis. Now that CBA requirement is central to the new coalition agreement and ACT's Deputy Leader has committed to reforming the Health & Safety rules:

"Businesses want to keep people safe and healthy at work but one of the things I hear consistently is that businesses just don't know what to do in order to comply. Small businesses in particular are pulled in so many directions and urgently need this clarity as far as possible .. I want our system to make sure businesses are focused on addressing the things that are causing workers harm and not on compliance that serves no purpose."

If you want your life bogged down by "stupid rules", then vote for Bennett for Mayor at the next city election. On the other hand, if you want an engineer who wants fewer rules and has the technical expertise required to make & implement infrastructure decisions, then vote for Brown. It's time to move on from the tired, shallow, empty words of retired politicians like Bennett, who like the idea of being Mayor but lack the skills required nowadays.



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