From Penk’s Pen

Tactics and Strategy – 2020 vision

At the time of writing the nation is on the eve of going into a reduced form of “lockdown”.

The hard work and sacrifice of everyone reading this column has enabled significant gains in relation to health outcomes – thank you. The authorities deserve praise for some good decisions made and I’ll leave any reflections on anomalies (such as the “voluntary” aspect of school attendance) for another day.

The tactics of meeting the coronavirus threat have been well canvassed in recent times but the longer term, strategic view also needs serious attention. To some extent, the health response to Covid-19 has been tactical by necessity, whereas the much needed economic recovery must be strategic. That said, the tactical response has already needed to include some mitigation of the damage to workers’ wages, through a government subsidy. And conversely the long term game will need to account for the risk of re-igniting a fire of infection, as well as encouraging a vital free market economy.

Naturally health outcomes and prosperity are linked in many ways too. Future spending on health care in hospitals and Pharmac funding (to give a couple of obvious examples) are crucially dependent on revenue flowing from private coffers to public Treasury.

It’s now incumbent on all decision makers (and those who fancy themselves as future decision makers, such as non-government MPs!) to promote plans for making New Zealand a place where the lights can remain on in our schools, hospitals and courts in the years ahead. I’m looking forward to that contest of ideas throughout 2020, as a prosperous and pleasant future for us all depends on it.

As always, feel free to contact me via my electorate office (currently operating remotely, for obvious reasons) by email to or phone to 09 412 2496.

Cheers, Chris Penk MP

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