Apr 13, 2022·edited Apr 13, 2022

I'd just like to respond to the idea of more construction to employ people and "build back better". I detest that slogan because it suggests that the solution is increasing construction. We already have much of the infrastructure in place.

In my opinion, what is needed is a way for us to stop paying global prices for vegetables and fruits that are lower quality than what we send overseas. The government should consider a "mates' rates" subsidy based on the *actual* cost of sending the food around the country *locally*. Otherwise we are just subsidizing our international customers because we are paying the same rate as them and they are receiving our produce including the transportation cost internationally. This makes absolutely NO SENSE.

I can buy NZ butters and cheese in Mexico, where I live, for far cheaper than I can buy them here. I will be returning to Mexico soon because this country is simply unaffordable and quite frankly living like it's 2020 without a public mask mandate. The next pandemic will be long COVID because New Zealanders are as thick as ten planks and more selfish than the most selfish person you can think of....

Another way that New Zealand needs to fix the housing crisis is to penalize everyone who lets their house sit empty because they make more money from the rising value than the wear and tear of people living in them. The European model for making sure houses actually house people is a good example.

Unfortunately all the right-wing governments here are too spineless to implement this type of measure. They need to also fix the bright line policy so that it actually returns tangible benefits and makes it more attractive to actually have people tenanting all these empty houses. In my street alone I can tell there are 10 houses sitting empty or used as AirBnBs and that's in Devonport.

The only thing I like about the "build back better" idea is to improve public infrastructure in safe ways like cycle lanes (NZ really should legalize the right for cyclists to take the lane where it is unsafe to ride in the gutter and remove cyclists from the footpaths. I am deaf and I have nearly been run over twice by cyclists who probably yelled at me to move. That doesn't work, innit).

Finally, the government needs to make it more attractive to work in the public sector, particularly the hospitals. It's ridiculous that we need to import Filipinos and Indians to fill these areas. Of course, this requires a shift away from right-wing ideologies. Labour and National are undoubtedly right wing to the hilt. Labour is left of National but is still closer to the right than to the center no matter how you try to spin it. They do not give a flying f*** about the average person who cannot afford to live here. I earn 50k a year. I cannot afford to live here because all that income is from overseas and after tax I cannot afford to live here and I even own a house where the tenants are paying off the mortgage for me because I cannot afford to service it myself. And yes, my parents helped me get the house. Absolutely ridiculous. I never want to live here again but unfortunately I might be forced to return because the country where I live has no safety net for the elderly.

Mates rates for food. Better public infrastructure for walking and cycling and bus/train/ferries. No more user pays for hospitals. Market rates for public sector workers. That would "build back better", not your misguided suggestions for building more infrastructure that we will struggle to pay taxes for.

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Very sorry to see you go, Justin. I have really appreciated your intelligent, calm and fair take on what is most important each day. Perhaps being a Canadian has let you see things about NZ that we don’t see ourselves.

Anyway, thank you for all that hard work on our behalf, and all the best for whatever you do next.


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Thanks for all your hard work Justin. I’ve enjoyed your fair minded balanced approach and appreciated the fact you don’t resort to the emotionally charged language that is so prevalent in reporting now.

It has made for an enjoyable, informative read each morning. All the best for your next project. V

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Kia ora Justin, as a subscriber since inception I've really enjoyed your spin on The Bulletin. Looking forward to seeing what comes next.

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Cheers Justin You've done a top job with the bulletin I reckon. Usually it's the first thing I read each morning. Your coverage has always been fair and pertinent and the links are appreciated. Have an enjoyable easter

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Thank you so much for your hard work producing the bulletin. I've thoroughly enjoyed your spin on the news and have appreciated the views you have offered. Best wishes for your next gig, whatever it turns out to be. Cheers, Brent

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I’m sorry you are leaving. I have so appreciated what you have done. Be proud. Yours truly, Amy (news and politics junkie)

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