The fifth Labour government was a disappointment, an embarrassment, and a litany of opportunities lost. Many good things were done, even the occasional great thing â€“ but right now I can only look back with disappointment.
For nine years with had a “left wing” government, a Labour government, which:
- put a refugee in solitary confinement for 10 months, despite never telling him what he was accused of
- employed a senior police officer for nearly four years despite him admitting to the sexual exploitation of vulnerable teenagers and publicly supporting convicted rapists
- put in place financial support for the children of workers, but ignored the plight of our poorest and most vulnerable children
- drove a 50% increase in the prison population
- failed to bring stability to our abortion rules; leaving our bodies to the whim of the next government
- did not give workers back the right to strike
- drafted and passed amendments to the Immigration Act removing rights of appeal and allowing the use of secret evidence
- drafted and passed the Terrorism Suppression Act, a piece of legislation which cuts deeply into our fundamental rights
- condoned and supported the October 15 raids in which the Police invaded and harassed innocent communities
- passed legislation preventing courts deciding who should own the seabed and foreshore
- put NZ troops into Afghanistan and Iraq
- released an wonderful disability strategy, and completely failed to implement it
- failed to address climate change in any meaningful way
Don’t misunderstand me, that Labour government was hugely better than its predecessor (and has every sign of being better than its successor) but it could have been so much more; we deserved so much better.