French PM Apologises Over Bastareaud Affair
Last week, the above headline finally satisfied, hopefully, the nation’s profound indignation over the injury a rugby player’s lie had caused to New Zealand’s international reputation.
Meantime, here are some of the other headlines from last week that our political and media “powers that be” — guardians and reporters of the nation’s brand reputation — should truly have been concerned about:
Popular swim spots spoiled by bacteria
[Issue: Of 300 popular swimming spots tested regularly by councils over the past two summers, just 58 per cent were suitable for swimming almost all of the time. What about NZ’s “clean, green” image?]
Principals in threat to boycott standards
[Issue: The leaders of our primary schools don’t want comparative performance data on their schools made public. Hey, we can’t have kids and parents in the non-performing schools realise they’re getting screwed.]
NZ doctors earn 35% less than in Australia
[Issue: NZ is disadvantaged in the international market for senior doctors. Don’t worry, we’ll find somebody to treat you … eventually.]
Delay on water quality criticised
[Issue: Government decides to delay by three years requirements for councils to improve the quality of drinking water. Not to worry, there’s plenty of beer and wine.]
$5 Million to avert heart wait-list deaths
[Issue: Surgical waits in Auckland exceed guidelines. New Zealanders have a 35% greater chance than Australians of dying within eight years of being diagnosed with cardiovascular disease.]
Fears for NZ’s image after $54 million budget cut
[Issue: The cuts are to the Department of Conservation.]
$28,000 fine for polluting rural lagoon
[Issue: An exception … or just another dairy farmer?]
Sure, there might be more to some of these stories than the headlines indicate.
But still, why can’t we and our leaders — so readily appalled and obsessed by a bogus bashing charge by a rugby player — get half as upset about real issues like these … Are we jeopardizing our “clean, green” export-supporting image? Is education about protecting schools and teachers, or about educating kids? Is NZ’s medical care and/or its medical profession in a death spiral?
Which headline bothers you most?