10/05/2018
Dieuwe de Boer
Opinion
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Winston Puts NZ Last With Billion Dollar Foreign Aid Boost While Locals Stuggle

Staff and volunteers at the Nga Whare Waatea Marae food bank in Mangere say they're seeing rising demand for their service. The number of food parcels they gave out doubled from February to March.

- Manukau Courier

That's a big increase, what's happened?

It's due … to the rising costs of living, such as the fact [residential] rents have increased significantly.

People are putting their grocery money into the rent and then using the food bank. A lot of this is thanks to the policies of the Auckland council and the previous National government that have driven housing costs in Auckland through the roof due to restricting supply.

What has the new Labour Coalition done about it? Nothing other than plan to boost up petrol by another 25c a litre, which is something that will drive up the cost of all goods.

To highlight the priorities of the Coalition, just take a look at one of the latest budget announcements: Winston Peters gets almost a billion dollars in extra funds to go in foreign aid to the Pacific. This is as people in New Zealand face rising costs in living. Putting New Zealand first? Not by a long shot.

Subsidies for heating and doctor's visits have been delayed due to lack of funds. Yet there appears to be plenty of cash available to fill the right pork barrels. The argument that increased foreign add is needed to improve relations with our neighbours is a sad cop out. Every person in Tokelau gets $11,000 a year from us and Rarotongans don't have to step foot in this country to collect our pension. Is that not enough already?

In the end, China can out-bribe us if they want to and then the allegiance bought with "free stuff" will be gone. If we are serious about establishing ourselves in the pacific and having a strong influence there, we would be looking at more permanent ways to increase our influence over the region without handouts.

We should be following the lead of the Australians, who are cutting foreign aid and improving the strategic targeting of what little they are giving away.