There wasn't a specific event that set this off, rather a series of events - a systematic degradation of the country I have lived in and loved my whole life. It's getting harder to keep loving it.
There are many many good people in New Zealand. I would say the vast majority of Kiwis are likeable, amiable folk. We help strangers when we can, we pull together when times are hard. We fight for the underdog.
But in this THIRD FUCKING TERM of bastard government, I cannot believe we haven't said enough is enough. What has happened to us New Zealand? I really want to know. We used to be a Nanny State (I know a lot of people say that with derision, but I think it was something to be very very proud of - we LOOKED AFTER our most vulnerable citizens). But more and more we are dropping that stance in favour of out and out douchebaggery.
- slashing aid for the ill
- benefits failing to even attempt to keep up with the accelerating rise in the cost of living
- a public health service that spends too much of it's time faffing about failing to deliver - because it's been made next to impossible for it to deliver
- public education standards falling, and stupid shortsighted decisions on how to *fix* this
- THE STATE OF FUCKING CHRISTCHURCH
- The living wage & zero hour contracts
- Housing crisis in Auckland
- STARVING KIDS, for the love of all that's dear to you STARVING KIDS IN THE LAND OF MILK AND HONEY. W.T.A.F!!????!!
- failure to address the international refugee crisis
- failure to protect indigenous species
- beneficiaries being made a scapegoat while corporate tax evaders are ignored - just doing the math, it's completely obvious that someone needs to turn the binoculars around
- ridiculous pet projects - I like pandas, but fucking feed the kids FIRST. I still think the most appropriate flag for us right now is this:
I'm getting really fucking angry making this list, so I'm going to stop. Also I could probably go on forever, which is suboptimal for anyone reading this.
And so much of these nearly fascist level capitalist decisions are being so fundamentally piss poorly managed it's starting feel like some kind of whack job conspiracy. Or a really really bad joke. If the systematic dismantling of the fundamental decency of New Zealand was the aim, it's hard to see how they could have done a better job of it. And we still have years more of this bullshit to put up with.
Look, I know I'm a hard core lefty, so I'm pretty much bound to disagree with a fair chunk of National policy - but usually I'm just a bit mad about it. In the last few years I've tended to feel more a sense of creeping nausea and real, deep ANGER about the direction our beautiful country is being driven in.
F.F.S. people, where has our compassion gone? (I know it's still there in many people, but it's so hard to do anything with it). There was a time when we basically had no homeless people to speak of, now we have the beginnings of a crisis of people on the streets. In New Zealand. I never, ever thought I'd be saying that. I've given blankets to people I found sleeping in the reserve near my house, I've handed cash I really couldn't spare to people living in fucking tents on the street. In winter. With kids. I'm not trying to toot my own horn here, I just have real trouble juxtaposing this against the image of New Zealand that I have in my head. Godzone. F.F.S.
On to my current pet peeve. Health services.
Hospital waiting lists are - I'm not even sure I have an appropriate term to describe them - FUCKED UP. In order to alleviate the problem of crazy waiting lists... wait for it because this is fucking epic... the decision was made that lists would be limited, if the wait was going to be longer than [insert time frame between 3 and 6 months] then tough shit, you aren't getting on it. If you aren't categorised as very urgent, in many cases you simply WON'T get the diagnostic service you need. Everytime I am put on a new waiting list I get the same depressing speech from my doctor - who is clearly sick of having to tell patients this - that there is a chance that I will not get an appointment, in which case private is the only option left to me (actually to be fair it isn't the only option, the only option is continuing to suffer without diagnosis because I can't fucking afford to go private) *fortunately* my file tends to make specialists go "we should totally take a look at her", so I am yet to be refused a waiting list position. Not everyone is so *lucky*.
So to *fix* the problem of waiting lists being too long, rather than getting more specialists, or looking for better methods of processing people, the decision is DON'T PUT SO MANY PEOPLE ON THE WAITING LIST. Bugger the fact that these people are sick, and that their health professionals are recommending intervention. As long as it looks good on paper.
And that appears to be the fundamental flaw of this National government. As long as it looks good on paper, fuck the consequences. As long as the 1% still have their silk sheets, fuck the consequences.
One day the consequences are going to creep up on the 1% and bite them in the nads. The trickle down effect may be complete rubbish, but there is a reverse system of creeping despair and poverty that will eventually impact EVERYBODY.
This is not someone else's problem. If we want New Zealand to be the country it wants to be, and I think most of us want a country that is kind and caring (I choose to hope that I am right about that, despite some evidence to the contrary) that looks after all of its people. And its flora & fauna. That isn't judgemental. That holds its hands out to the world with compassion and love. We all need to be willing to speak up, or show up, or put our hands up. BE COUNTED. That's the New Zealand I want, and I'm prepared to swear my way to the fucking top to get my point across.