Simon Bridges plans to repeal National Party laws | The Jackal

10 Mar 2020

Simon Bridges plans to repeal National Party laws

Simon Bridges - National Party Leader
When Oscar Wilde said, “there is only one thing in the world worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about” you know he must have been referring to politicians like Simon Bridges.

In modern day politics this axiom couldn’t be truer, especially for the National Party of New Zealand. In the absence of any new policy ideas, National has been re-announcing their plank over and over in order to gain media attention.

However the real kicker is that they've also been promising to repeal legislation that the National Party actually passed while in Government.

Yesterday, the NZ Herald reported:

National leader Simon Bridges unveils details of the party's 'regulation bonfire' plan 
Meanwhile, National also promised to reform Anti-Money Laundering laws – which it introduced when it was in government in 2016. 
"It was introduced so New Zealand was compliant with international obligations and to protect our interests against illegitimate money laundering," National's economic development spokesman Todd McClay said.

Actually the law was changed after the National led Government came under considerable pressure because New Zealand was revealed in the Panama Papers as a major international tax haven. But even before that the National Party had passed the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Act in 2009. Surely Bridges isn't talking about rolling back that legislation?

Obviously these laws shouldn’t be weakened or fully repealed because we do not want dirty money being hidden in New Zealand. It is both damaging to our international reputation and our economy.

But if promising to repeal already weak Anti-Money Laundering legislation wasn’t bad enough, Simon Bridges also wants to weaken workplace safety regulations right at a time when workplace deaths have increased, which is a terribly counter-intuitive idea.

Yesterday, RNZ reported:

National wants 'common-sense test' on health and safety regulations 
Bridges said one of the key elements to be announced today is a health and safety common-sense test. 
"This is not about compromising New Zealanders' safety but it is about recognising what small business owners are telling us every day, that regulations are creating a lot of cost and burden in this area without the benefit," he said.

It seems a bit ridiculous that the leader of the National Party is promising to repeal yet another act that was passed by the last National led Government. In fact the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 was a bill introduced by non other than Simon Bridges himself. By saying that it needs to be changed he’s simply admitting that National got it wrong in the first place.

Of course this has nothing to do with changing regulations for the benefit of New Zealand. Instead, Bridges is grandstanding and using people's misconception that substantial deregulation is required to help the economy. The National Party previously weakening building regulations, which led to the leaky building crisis, is testament to that not being correct.

However the main thing that these announcements tell us is that the National Party has no actual plan at all. Instead they're simply grasping at straws and barking at every passing car to gain attention, which with the mainstream medias complicity is going to make for a very long and tedious election campaign.