National needed a good Budget. It got one. The Budget was a
rock of certainty and continuity in a sea of almost surreal
politics played out most visibly and vividly by the Prime
Minister and the Leader of the Opposition.
A much-anticipated return to surplus somehow metamorphoses
into yet another unwelcome deficit; dairy prices slump ever
lower; the New Zealand dollar keeps rising ever higher; the
overheated Auckland property market makes the South Sea
Bubble of the 1700s look like an exercise in financial
Down the years, one taxpayer-funded government entity has
stood out from the rest of the Wellington-spawned shoal of
commissions, boards and agencies in being secretive,
obstructive, publicity-averse and downright unhelpful.
It took some carefully chosen words by a former high-ranking
diplomat to cut through the self-serving verbiage spouted by
politicians and bring some clarity to the acrimonious debate
on the merits or otherwise of New Zealand's latest excursion
to the Middle East.