Politics in the Year of the Rat

Authors: David Rhodes
Publication: New Zealand Journal of Forestry, Volume N.Z.J.For. 2021, Issue N.Z.J.For. 66(1) 2021, pp 44, May 2021
Publisher: New Zealand Institute of Forestry

Abstract: Mix two parts COVID with one part election year and garnish with global protectionism and climate change. Aside from being a recipe for a full plate, this past Year of the Rat tested the industry like few before. So, what did we learn? Well, we discovered just how quickly and extensively the Government can assume near wartime powers. Under the unchallengeable banner of saving both lives and jobs the Government passed, literally overnight, legislation governing taxation, social security, immigration, capital expenditure, official information, tenancies and public health. A short extract from the Imprest Supply Act sums it up – ‘Capital expenditure may, during the 2019/20 year, be incurred in advance of appropriation in relation to any Vote.’ Capped of course. Let’s say no more than $10 billion.
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