Duncan Garner: If money is no longer an issue, I have one request - double the Pharmac budget

OPINION: Long live the year 2020 - said no one ever. 

But we can learn from it, and I have picked through the rubble and found money is no longer an issue. 

No longer is it really credible for any Government to say 'sorry' - we don't have the money for that.

Heavens, this Government gave $45 million to the East Coast on Tuesday for a project they don't want, nor have plans for.

Never before in my 25 years covering politics can I remember so much money being spent in a three-year cycle and so much debt being accumulated. 

We've even had former Prime Minister Jim Bolger on saying 'don't worry' - increase taxes if you must but otherwise, who cares? Don't pay it back, write it off. 

I'm not sure that policy will be adopted by either leading party, but borrowing certainly does seem carefree and easy right now.

So I have one request in the health area: can we please double the Pharmac budget and backdate it.

This crisis has proved we have money if we need it in a health crisis. 

Cancer is a health crisis. 

We need more drugs - better drugs - and this is desperate. 

Cancer kills thousands of us every year, and with a bit more money, our lives could be saved or prolonged. 

Successive Governments have run cancer settings that effectively mean we accept death and don't fight for life. We have sat back and allowed it. 

No more, New Zealand - demand better.

Australia is lightyears ahead because for every dollar they spend on cancer drugs, we spend 50 cents. 

We send New Zealanders to an early grave, when the truth is, if we approached cancer like we did COVID, you'd enjoy more birthdays and Christmases with loved ones. 

Sign Malcolm Mullholland's petition to increase the drug spend. Make it non-negotiable - whoever does this has my vote.

Duncan Garner is the host of The AM Show.