GUEST BLOG: Willie Jackson – Our ‘third world medical infrastructure in a first world country’

By   /   April 10, 2018  /   24 Comments

TDB recommends Voyager - Unlimited internet @home as fast as you can get

Is the National Party writing the news these days?

Everywhere I look I see nasty right wing hit job after nasty right wing hit job aimed at the small missteps made by our new Government get inflated into enormous mountains while real issues that impact the people who voted for us are minimised.

Is the National Party writing the news these days?

Everywhere I look I see nasty right wing hit job after nasty right wing hit job aimed at the small missteps made by our new Government get inflated into enormous mountains while real issues that impact the people who voted for us are minimised.

Look at the unfolding horror at my local Middlemore Hospital. I’ve been there, I’ve had whānau there, the staff are great working so hard for the people of South Auckland and New Zealand. The nurses, the doctors, the workers are all fantastic and for them to have to put that commitment into a hospital full of black mould with raw sewerage leaking into the walls is a betrayal of their faith.

It is utterly unacceptable that Middlemore has had power cuts and had to run their children’s ward on batteries! That’s a third world medical infrastructure in a first world country!

And why was this public hospital allowed to rot? Because the DHB were too frightened to ask for more money from the health minister at the time, Jonathan Coleman, who conveniently quit as this news was breaking.

Coleman is off to a rich new job in the private health sector while South Aucklanders are left with an underfunded rotting sewerage-drenched public hospital.

What’s sicker than this is that the media seem to believe that Clare Curran’s coffee date is more important than this appalling dereliction of duty. Over a week, there were 65 news stories about Middlemore Hospital yet 195 about Clare Curran!

It gets worse.

We now know that botched earthquake repairs in Christchurch cost $270 million! Gerry Brownlee originally claimed it was a mere $70 million. This was after we learnt corporate spies were used against Christchurch Earthquake survivors.

National gained budget surplus after budget surplus in their 9 years of power by grotesquely underfunding every social and physical infrastructure we have. This new Government are having to do the hard lifting on traffic congestion because National never had the courage.

Labour, NZ First and the Greens now have to fix our under-resourced health system, education system, roading system, Christchurch rebuild, social welfare system and public broadcasting. Everywhere you look things are worse than National pretended they were.

Already, we are doing more in our 150 days of Government to offset National’s nine years of neglect: the families package; restructuring industrial relations to rebalance the scales so that workers can have a voice again; investment in young people who aren’t in education, employment or training; a minimum wage of $16.50 which will be $20 by 2020; and we have introduced legislation to ban the use of letting fees, which will have huge impact on the communities in which we live.

There is a lot to undo, but this is a Government for the many, unlike the last one which was clearly a Government for the few.

These are so many crucial issues of importance to the people of New Zealand, yet the media focus on a coffee date so it’s time the media started getting their priorities right. This new Government is committed to working for the people to repair the damage of the National Party regardless of what the media headlines have been saying over the last two weeks.


– Willie Jackson is the Minister of Employment and a Labour List MP.

– First published in the Manukau Courier


Want to support this work? Donate today
Follow us on Twitter & Facebook


  1. Castro says:

    It’s not just the infrastructure that’s third world; is No Zealand a first world country? I’m not so sure. Is it a country? Debatable. In the OECD, No Zealand has experienced the greatest increase in inequality. When’s the foreign house buyer ban coming in, Wage Slave Labour Party? Once the 50% Have Nots throw down with the 50% Haves (my money on the former) and the likes of Douglas, Richardson et. al. have been executed for treason, then perhaps No Zealand can become a first world country.

  2. XRAY says:

    It seems that Ministers in the previous government intentionally made themselves very unavailable and exceedingly unapproachable as a way to ensure no one bothered to ask for more money.

    Surpluses, tax cuts and pure bullshit in regards to strong economic management over public services. Great strategy,…. not!

    Having said that Jonathan Coleman’s claims he knew nothing about Middlemore means he either subscribed to that management style or was just a useless idiot who had no idea what he was doing and should therefore repay his salary.

    Take your pick Jonathan!

    • Janet says:

      “It seems that Ministers in the previous government intentionally made themselves very unavailable and exceedingly unapproachable ”
      and this was happening not only on the States Departments but also with individual grievances as well. I have come upon some many cases where “Its our job to be fair ” was never applied. A whole new culture of inconsideration and meaness quite quickly asserted itself in our State Departments.

      • Andrea says:

        A person providing feedback to ‘Morning Report’ this morning made a provocative point: just what was the Composite Opposition doing for the past nine years?

        Was it a parliamentary collective unavailability? Too many Important Meetings in the way of concerned whistleblowers?

        And what are they going to put in place now – so a better culture starts to form?

        Or are they still only available to Suits and Important People? Just like the past 150 or so years?

        Politicians are seldom friends to the electorate plebs – based on results.

        ‘Healthcare free for all! Cheaper electricity! Mum and dad investors! Free education! Auckland the Omphalos of the Pacific! lalala…’

        Before moaning about the previous government – rark up the departments, ginger up the scadloads of office wallahs – and answer the letters, emails, tweets, and even phone calls from, you know, constituents and concerned folk.

        Smarten up. Before this year’s budget, for preference. Make the systems work – for the citizens.

        It’s what we pay you for.

  3. Dot says:

    I am enjoying the Commonwealth Games which is is a good distraction
    as the shallow political coverage is sad.
    It is a challenge to tolerate many shallow people
    and stand up to the greedy.

  4. Janet says:

    Right there with you Willie… now get The Herald to publish your article. They don,t even allow comments on their opinionated articles these days !

  5. Michelle says:

    Yes Willie your right Middlemore is just one of our many problems.
    The media are assisting the national party to undermine our new government. They are making mountains out of mole hills so all their failures aren’t highlighted. (and there are many and their failures have hurt and neglected too many NZers) The Dot Com 90k payment hardly received any media attention, the resigning of Keating due to our SAS childish revenge mission another vey serious issue. And to top it of these are issues of national significance these are issues about principles, integrity, power abuse and our reputation as a country. Instead we are bombarded with Currans cup of coffee and the labour party camps abuse story.
    And how come Tiger Waititis recent comments saying NZ is racist got so much coverage and Kiwis up in arms yet when racist old man bob jones socially divisive comments got bugger all media coverage.
    The lack of attention and help provided to the people of Edgecumbe yet kaikoura and recently golden bay got plenty of help says a lot about the type of country we have become. A country where the affluent areas are given priority and the poorer areas are left to there own demise. And why would DHBs ask for money for infrastructure when you are told to deliver a surplus no matter what.
    Today I heard the d ..head coal-man talking about how we needed to carry on for the next 3 years with our social investment policies for our mental health system when our mentally ill people were dying and being treated poorly and badly neglected. Not only is our country racist it is f…d and who did this? those tory bs that are now starting to flee like the greedy scum and fleabags they are.
    ps. I don’t like to swear but these scumbags (the gnats and there ilk ) make me sick to the teeth and angry.

  6. MattyGee says:

    Hey so long at the CEOs get first-world salaries that’s all that matters, right? And the National Party cronies on the Boards. Anyway, the people affected by the poor health sector aren’t National voters, so f**k them…

  7. Lone comet says:

    It really does seem like National is writing the headlines, a totally pathetic state of affairs. How any of them can lift their heads after the true state of the nation has been revealed is incredible.

    • Wensleydale says:

      All of them. They have no capacity to feel either shame or guilt, as has been adequately demonstrated over the past nine years. All you’ll get is a variation on a theme… “Labour are just making excuses! They can’t handle the job of government! Anything even remotely bad that may or may not have happened on our watch, we didn’t know about! Those dreadful public servants threw us under the bus, the conniving shits!”

      Coleman’s already started. “It wasn’t me! I didn’t know! Nobody told me anything!” I swear, half of National are there solely because they like the comfortable chairs, and the other half are just inept. And when the excrement hits the oscillating breeze generator, they abandon ship. Lucrative directorships await! It’s all gravy!

  8. Sparky says:

    I’m not sure if I would call signing the CP-TPP, keeping the 90 day law and much more as missteps. If this govt wants to be seen to do the right thing by people like myself who helped put it in office it actually has to keep its promises. So far its failing and not in a small way either.

    • OnceWasTim says:

      I agree @Sparky. I think we all realise there is a difference between promises made on the campaign trail and the realities that confront politicians when actually coming to office. There’s also a point at which pragmatism and principle collide and that point shows the true mettle of the executive branch. So far, I’m not that impressed.
      I’ll wait just a teensie weensie bit longer knowing that having to unpick the disaster caused by the past 9 years is a mammoth task.

  9. Kim dandy says:

    The answer is simple Willie – a clean sweep of public broadcasting and MSM – it is as bias as hell!
    Labour is in power so do something about it.
    A government gagged by the fourth estate will get nowhere moving forward, on all matters.
    Change the status quo.

  10. simonm says:

    Everything you say is true Willie. Now, whether you like it or not, or whether it seems fair or not, Labour needs to step up to the plate and head off National’s misinformation campaign which is working far better than their government ever did.

    It’s time to get yourselves a decent media liason and PR department to get your message out, rather than sitting passively and allowing the right-wing news media to dominate the narrative. While I realise the new government wants to project a positive aura of change and progress, don’t be afraid to put the blame for all the disasters you’ve been handed back squarely where they belong. If Labour keeps being gentlemanly about all this stuff, National will keep squirming out of their responsibility and in time begin blaming Labour for them. Bridges is already claiming you should be using the “huge surpluses” they left you to fix the mould-ridden, shit stained disaster that is Middlemore Hospital.

    The new government was elected because enough of the population finally got sick of National’s corporate-welfare driven kleptocracy. They chose a government to change that. There are a lots of good people in Labour, the Greens and NZ First who want the best for everyone in this country, not just the richest few. Please make sure you show the discipline required to make this happen. It isn’t fair that you’re held to a higher standard than the previous government, but for the sake of the nation your actions and deeds will need to be at one.

  11. Mjolnir says:

    Heard Amy Adams on RNZ this mornkng. She wanted everyone to focus on the future and not what happened in the past. Translation: don’t scrutinise the previous National government.

    Lets see a burglar try that excuse at his next court appearance.

  12. Mjolnir says:

    John campbell on RNZ about to do a story on “Checkpoint” as to who dug the $11.7 billion hole. This should be good.

  13. XRAY says:

    Think about it, Coleman, the minister who never knew one of the biggest hospitals in the country was rotting and leaking sewer into the walls because no one thought they could tell him because that was obviously the culture of communication he ran, is now about to be CEO of a private company.

    Were I a shareholder in that firm I would be very very concerned as to the calibre of a turkey like this idiot who quite clearly couldn’t run a piss up in a brewery!

Authorised by Martyn Bradbury, The Editor, TheDailyBlog,