Our experts cast their minds ahead to the sweeping politiscapes of 2019.
What, we asked, are the three issues on which 2019 could hinge?
- Climate change politics, specifically how they relate to farming.
- So, uh, where exactly do we stand when it comes to China and the USA?
- We haven’t seen the last of the strikes, because as the nurses showed, strikers who stay staunch win. Teachers have a big Term 1 coming up.
- Facebook, and who will have the courage to unplug all their servers or whatever it takes to shut them down forever.
- Tax? Just in general. It seems like something that’ll come up at some point.
- Whether or not it’s the ref’s fault that we lost the World Cup final.
- Forget issues – it’s sideshows that dominate political debate – and who can pick them? Honestly, did anyone see the Jami-Lee Ross saga coming? (Er, correct answer – NO).
- Climate change – the recent COP24 conference in Poland underscored that it’s no longer enough to keep talking about reducing emissions. We need to change how we act. That’s a challenge for any government. National will make it very hard for the government to move (note how quickly they spooked the PM over prospective fuel taxes). Finding the politically saleable way forward is going to be a real test of the coalition’s skill and persuasion. This issue needs a bipartisan approach – but there won’t be one.
- Health and education – both systems are groaning under pressure and a Labour led Government has led to (unrealistic) expectations that help is on the way. It is, but not quickly enough and not on the scale required.
- Climate change
- Drug law reform.
- Climate change and the policy reaction to it
- Can the Government’s actions start to match its talk?
- Will National continue to rip itself apart?
What are the issues upon which 2019 is likely to hinge?
- The economy
- See 1.
- See 2. (It’s the same every year)
- House prices when it should be emergency housing.
- Economy when we should be child poverty.
- And who owns water?
- Brexit, China vs US and global financial situation
- Housing progress
- The Wellbeing Budget
- Economic change in NZ: many groups of people (including rough sleepers and those who receive income support) are in need of more assistance. Whether the government can shift economic fundamentals will affect these people’s life chances and whether the government can make good on its transformative promise.
- International relations amongst NZ’s allies: the UK, the US, and China all have outsized influence in the world. Trade wars, military flare-ups, different forms of Brexit, or a Corbyn government in the UK could all have significant ripple effects on politics in other places.
- Climate change: the latest IPCC report says we have twelve years to change radically our production pathways. Will governments heed campaigners’, and in particular young people’s calls, to take radical steps to take the report seriously?
- Climate change
- Security (domestic in terms of housing and international in terms of war)
- Capital Gains Tax
- Law and order
- Conscience issues (watch out National!)
- The economy (stupid …) and whether growth can be maintained in the light of global uncertainty
- Can the Government make real progress on poverty, housing and education?
- Can we be best friends with both the USA and China?
- NZ’s housing market catching Australia’s cold.
- Being the kiwi pattie in the US/China sandwich.
- The Rugby World Cup.
- Extreme geopolitical positions generate massive support and massive opposition
- Threats to privacy and access to information
- Forced migrations change the face of much of the planet.
- The Wellbeing Budget and Labour’s ability to shift the dial on how we measure progress.
- Judith Collins v Simon Bridges: not much chance of peace breaking out there.
- Elimination in the quarterfinals of the RWC. I’m sorry, it’s not like I want it but…