Suspicions that Labour wasn’t prepared for government were right:
. . . But Labour — which she admitted was not prepared to be in Government . .
The she in the above sentence is the Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.
This is yet another indictment on her party which spent almost nine years in-fighting, festering and frittering away the time it should have been developing policy and preparing to govern.
Because it wasn’t expecting to be in government it made some rash and uncosted promises in the hope of clawing back enough voter support to provide a foundation on which to build for the following election never thinking it would be in a position to deliver.
But a change of leader, MMP, and Winston Peters’ whim, put the party into government.
The price of this unprepared government is being paid in time wasted filibustering its own bills because it doesn’t have enough legislation ready for parliament.
It’s also being paid in promises broken which included one to patients suffering from rare diseases:
The New Zealand Organisation for Rare Disorders (NZORD) is stunned that the Government is not honouring its election promise to establish a separate fund which would allow rare disease patients to access vital, life-saving medicines.
Dr Collette Bromhead, NZORD Chief Executive said that the decision to take the promised fund “off the table” is devastating to the 377,000 New Zealand patients and their families who live with a rare and life-threatening disease.
“We have been told that the pledged $20m fund, to be spent over 4 years, will now not go ahead.
“And in a double blow, we have now been notified that the Government is also reviewing the contract which enables NZORD to provide the essential services and support for patients and families impacted by rare diseases.”
“The decision to cancel the fund for medicines is a complete u-turn by the Government and has been done without any consultation with the rare disease community. It leaves these vulnerable patients with no way to access the essential medicines that could extend their life and provide them with a better quality of living,” she said.
“During the 2017 election, the Labour Party announced that it would set up a separate fund to enable patients who suffer from rare diseases to access medicines. There are over 7,000 rare diseases and we are well aware of the challenges this creates for any funding model.
“The issue with the PHARMAC model is that it funds medicines based on the number of patients with a disease and while, collectively, over 8% of the population suffer from a rare disease, the number of patients for each disease is relatively small.
“Rare diseases just don’t fit into this model and need to be evaluated differently. We need to start thinking about the value for the patient, not just the value for money. Many other countries, such as Scotland and Australia, have established programmes for life saving drugs which allow rare disease patients better access to medicines.
“It is disappointing that New Zealand is taking a backward step with regard to its rare disease patients and we are urging the Government to honour its election commitment. We are also strongly advocating to the Government that NZORD’s funding contract needs to needs to continue, so that NZORD can provide vital services to patients,” says Dr Bromhead.
At question time yesterday National’s deputy Paula Bennett did her best to get an answer about how many extra students had enrolled because of the fee-free policy for first years.
. . .So isn’t her policy just an expensive exercise—up to $2.8 billion—that, as the Secretary for Education told select committee last week, no cost-benefit analysis was done on, and, actually, there’s been no increase of students at all this year?
That she didn’t get a straight answer leads to the very strong suspicion that the money being delivered on this election bribe has had little if any benefit.
People with rare diseases and the people who support them could think of much better use for that money and they too are paying the price for an unprepared government.