Jesse Mulligan: Government delivering to 'all NZers'? Yeah right
OPINION: I saw a tweet this weekend from the Prime Minister.
And I know what you're thinking; historically, Bill English's Twitter account has not been a very reliable source.
But I know Bill English said it because he was quoting himself: Bill English, from a speech at this weekend's party conference where he said: "We lead a Government that is delivering to all New Zealanders."
And I immediately thought, something's not right about that. And not just because it sounded like a slogan for Domino's pizza.
But then what made me really think about it was when somebody put Bill's tweet next to another tweet from Jackie, who's been on our show before.
Jackie helps out homeless people and women escaping violent relationships.
Her tweet was asking if anybody in Auckland could help out with sleeping bags for three people she knows who will be sleeping behind a church tonight.
So I know for a fact that the Government isn't delivering to Antoinette, Ray and Joseph. And I'm sort of confident that most of the 4000-plus New Zealanders living on the street would say they don't really feel the Government is delivering for them either.
Then I remembered a graph I saw in The Economist recently, showing we're now the worst country in the OECD for housing affordability.
And I thought if I was looking for my first home and I found out that I'd literally be better off in any other country in the Western world, I'd probably be skeptical whether the National Government was delivering for me too.
And how about the parents of all the teenagers who've killed themselves this year? How would they feel reading that tweet? You don't need me to tell you New Zealand has one of the worst youth suicide rates in the world.
And by the way - in case you think I'm taking sides here - let me take a minute to mention the Labour Party's Facebook blunder last week where they tried to link the suicide problem to rising immigration.
But let's get back to that tweet...
Respectfully, I'd say to the Prime Minister tonight, if you want to stand up at your party conference and talk about your successes then talk about economic growth.
Talk about the surplus.
Talk about the numbers of tourists who want to come here and the number of migrants who want to stay here.
Talk about unemployment being low and exports being high and how our Sauvignon Blanc is the best in the world and how Peter Burling is an absolute legend.
But don't say this Government is delivering for all New Zealanders when what you mean is that it's delivering for all New Zealanders except the poor, the homeless, the first-home buyers, New Zealanders suffering from depression and mental illness and the 100-plus young New Zealanders who take their own lives each year.
Of course, that slogan isn't quite so catchy.
Jesse Mulligan is a host for Three's The Project.