An interesting week so far in politics with Jacinda Ardern stepping down from her role as Prime Minister and Chris Hipkins – the fact that it was such a smooth transition makes me wonder whether this had been in the works for a while. It’ll be interesting to see if there is any major changes but so far it appears, based on the speech he gave, that they’re looking at the many policies that are being pushed and pruning them back to the absolute essential ones that need to be implemented.
The three waters, which has become a political hot potato (rightfully or wrongfully) I could imagine them ‘sending it back for more consultation’ with an announcement of a short term funding announcement to deal with the immediate issues that require addressing in an expedited manner then I could imagine either the states quo or consolidation with central government funding for long term infrastructure needs.
When it comes to the merged public broadcaster they’ll push that out but I don’t think they really have the stomach for a merging – what I could imagine is that TVNZ remains as it is with maybe the news and current affairs handed over to RNZ and TVNZ licences it off RNZ a simulcast version of Checkpoint which will reduce TVNZ’s costs and reduce the duplication in the current affairs and new divisions between the two organisations.
Regarding the phasing out of DHBs, that’ll still go ahead because the whole idea of having elected DHBs never made any sense particularly when it comes to a national strategy on health not to mention the very low interest that the public had in regards to the whole DHB election process given that a sizeable number got in because they were at the top of the list rather than it being a conscious choice being made (there was an article from years ago that the top winners were also those at the top of the list as they were printed on the voting form). Even if National were to get in I don’t see them undoing it since they were never onboard with DHBs in the first place and ACT years ago talked about reducing the number of boards from 20 down to 6 – 4 in the North Island and 2 in the South Island.
I could see them maybe having a look at the tax code particularly around adjusting brackets given that there has been almost a decade of bracket creep with wages going up well above inflation but the tax brackets remaining static not to mention the IETC threshold for abatement hasn’t adjusted in over a decade meaning many are missing out on the IETC even though, if one were to adjust for inflation, their incomes had only increased modestly. As much as I would love to see a capital gains tax to transform the tax system from one of being ‘deep and narrow’ in favour of ‘broad and shallow’ which would ensure that the burden of taxation wouldn’t fall overwhelmingly on the shoulders of income tax payers.
Today Apple release updates for all their platforms – so far everything is going well with the new macOS 13.2, no issues with any of the software. Nothing Phone is gradually rolling out the Nothing OS 1.1.8 update which includes bug fixes along with January 2023 security update (link). There is the upcoming Android developer conference then followed by the WWDC in June (I’ll get time off from work when that happens) – many things occurring in the first half of this year so it’ll be interesting to see what is announced.