- The Debate
- Get involved
- Constitutional review
- The Treaty of Waitangi
- Commonwealth membership
- Common Cause
Time to come home Garth
Garth Bray is TVNZ's Europe Correspondent. It appears from his latest opinion piece it's time for him to come home, hopefully to jog his memory on a few facts he seems to have forgotten. Right at the end of his opinion piece, he states:
That said we're pretty pragmatic people. A head of state that other people pay for seems like a pretty pragmatic arrangement.
This is nonsense. We (New Zealand taxpayers) have to pay for Charles' publicity tours, over and above what we usually do for visiting heads of State. These visits don't break the budget, but they're not cheap either - and they certainly aren't free. Moreover, we also pay for the Governor-General, who monarchists endlessly point out is the Queen's representative (they had the term "de facto head of State, as it implies a New Zealander might actually be able to do the job of head of State better than an unelected foreigner). The Governor-General costs New Zealand taxpayers about $7m per annum, about the same as the President of Ireland, who actually is head of State.
Garth then concludes with this silly statement:
One that also advocates for the kind of products New Zealand makes it's living selling would be a bonus.
Garth, come home and see all the gleaming new diary factories we're building. Come home and see the wharfs stacked with logs and wood products bound for Asia. Come home and see the empty wool stores and closed meatworks. You'll quickly see we're no longer Britain's farm and the sort of products Charles pushes (which, by the way, he doesn't do for us - in fact most of his other "greenie" policies hurt New Zealand farmers) aren't what we're exporting. Charles won't help us pay our way in the world. Nor should we expect him to.
To be fair to Garth, he is just channeling a part of the New Zealand psyche we often come up against - cultural cringe. This is the idea that New Zealand isn't good enough, can't make its own way in the world without outside intervention, that it's "pragmatic" to undermine our independence. It's time to come home Garth.