- Prime Minister John Key has admitted the GCSB considered mass surveillance of New Zealanders in March 2013. He says it never went ahead. There are claims by journalists to the contrary.
- The National government refused to pay compensation to the families of the Pike River mining disaster, an event which ultimately occurred because the 1992 National government disestablished check inspectors in mines and relaxed safety other rules
- The National government was forced to eventually take over the Novopay payroll system for teachers after the failed system meant thousands of teachers and schools were left unpaid or overpaid for months. Despite endless problems, the government didn’t abandon the system. Dealing with Novopay cost the government more than $110 million.
- Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee (National) has had his decisions relating to Red Zones, land clearances repeatedly questioned and overturned in court. A 2013 report criticised the EQC for “inconsistency in information and processes, and long periods without specific information from EQC about their claim”.
- Former Justice Minister Judith Collins (National) was forced to resign after questions were raised about her potentially undermining the Serious Fraud Office. Collins was the minister responsible for the Serious Fraud Office. She was also widely criticised for leaking personal information about a public servant which lead to the man receiving death threats. John Key refused to fire her even after giving her a “last last chance”. Previously, she had been criticised for seeking out favourable treatment from Chinese border officials for her husband’s company Oravida, a serious conflict of interest.
- Jason Ede, a National Party staffer who worked for Prime Minister John Key and was paid with public money, accessed a Labour Party computer database without permission – an act which is potentially illegal and carries a possible prison sentence of 2 years.
- Senior staff in John Key’s office are being investigated after SIS documents were declassified and given to blogger Cameron Slater in order to attack then-Labour leader Phil Goff.
- John Key has admitted to speaking regularly on the phone with Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater
- Former Justice Minister Judith Collins is a close friend of Cameron Slater
- Foreign Minister Murray McCully (National) is to be investigated over his decision to withhold documents relating to Muhammad Rizalman – a Malaysian diplomat accused of burglary and assault with intent to rape. Rizalman was able to leave New Zealand, claiming diplomatic immunity, because of a Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade botch-up. John Key refused to apologise to the alleged rape victim Tania Billingsley.
- The National government announced plans this year for petroleum exploration and drilling in the endangered Maui’s dolphin sanctuary. The Maui’s dolphin is extremely endangered, with only an estimated 55 left in existence.
- The National government approved oil and gas exploration in the Department of Conservation’s biggest forest park. When questioned about it, Simon Bridges (National) said he had never heard of Victoria Forest Park. DOC describes the park as having “untouched landscapes with stunning river, lake and mountain scenery, as well as pristine beech forest. There are several ecological areas and a wildlife corridor”.
- More than half of National Party ministers voted against legalising same-sex marriage.
- Despite 67.3% of New Zealanders voting against asset sales in a nationwide referendum, the National Government went ahead with asset sales anyway. The privatisation of electricity companies has not seen a reduction in power prices. Instead, power prices have been rising - up 27 percent since 2008 according to some figures.
- The National government’s ally in parliament John Banks (Act), was forced to resign after he was found guilty of electoral fraud. The resignation left the electoral seat of Epsom empty. National had urged National Party voters to elect John Banks in the 2011 election. They are urging National voters to elect the Act Party again in Epsom this year.
- The National government has refused to acknowledge or formally recognise statistics relating to child poverty and homelessness. Social Development Minister Paula Bennett and Prime Minister John Key have rejected their own government department statistics which state 285,000 New Zealand children (a quarter of all children) are living in poverty.
- National’s candidates for Hutt South (Chris Bishop) and Clutha-Southland (Todd Barclay) both used to do PR work for the tobacco company Philip Morris.
- Prime Minister John Key has consistently refused to properly address questions relating to allegations made in Nicky Hager’s book Dirty Politics.
- Despite widespread concern, the National government passed a law giving expanded powers to the GCSB spy agency.
- The National Party voted to pass a law which removed the right of prisoners to vote – an action which arguably violates human rights. The law is being challenged in court.
TLDR; The current New Zealand government has been doing some incredibly dirty, dodgy and disgusting things and this is our chance to change it.
Voting this election could mean the difference between people having access to basic necessities or continuing to go without, it could be the difference between the destruction of our beautiful natural environment for short-term financial gains and, on a more personal note, it could be the difference between me being able to finish my studies or not.
More people didn’t vote last election than the entire number of voters who did for the National party (who WON). So please don’t think your vote doesn’t matter. It does. It really really does.
If you don’t know who to vote for, consider doing the VoteCompass quiz, which will align your values with our political parties and give you somewhere to start.
Politics is horrible and it is exhausting to care about things but it is SO. INCREDIBLY. IMPORTANT. Please don’t forget that.