We are a funny wee country aren’t we?
One of the most interesting things about the last 8 years in NZ has been the dumping of rational and empirical evidence based social policy. We don’t implement policy based on facts now, we implement ideologically extreme brain farts.
Look at the ‘work sets you free’ style of social welfare reforms.
None of it is based on the welfare of the individual, it is based on a right wing belief that beneficiaries are best served when they are forced to work. Look at charter schools, private prisons, throwing people off welfare, throwing people out of state housing, privatising state housing, the housing crisis, the migration scams – all allowed by free market ideology but all highly detrimental to the country.
We implement ideas that feel good to right wing people, we don’t implement policy based on rational discourse.
Take for example the current P epidemic. This has been caused in part because of the changes to the proceeds of crimes act. By lowering the evidential threshold from beyond reasonable doubt to balance of probabilities (which is in of itself a massive erosion of civil rights), Police inadvertently changed the entire economic structure of the drug industry.
If it takes you months to get a return on a cannabis crop which can be stolen by the Police with no legal protections to the individual whatsoever, then meth production with its speed and huge cashflow is a far smarter risk to take.
NZ doesn’t have the ability to be that intellectually reflective so how this move by the Police has exacerbated the drug problem is not understood by the media.
So it’s pretty hilarious that this main change is now being used to fund drug rehab. Look, allowing the Police to point the finger at anyone and take all their assets to then provide a revenue stream is as dangerous as allowing the ACC to be a 30% shareholder in a Private Prison. It starts to warp the values and interests being served. ACC for example don’t want a decrease in the incarceration rates because they derive a revenue stream from the Wiri Prison.
If Government need more money to fund a program, will they direct Police to start seizing more assets? It might ‘feel’ good to think we are taking criminal’s money to fund drug rehab programs, but the abuse of power this allows the Police is enormous.
The simple truth is that the Government have failed to stop this stuff getting through the borders and we are simply playing catch up with counter productive policies that end up making things far worse.