Key's honeymoon continues despite tough times in New Zealand but I wonder what happened to the fire from the election campaign? Remember John wandering around empty stadia lamenting that our biggest export was talent? What about the billboards that promised an end to all those teary farewells? That was all going to change wasn't it? John will claim time's moved on, that the global crisis has shifted the goal posts. But shouldn't that mean people are more, not less likely to return to NZ? Probably you can argue it either way.
The promise to stop Kiwis leaving was ridiculous, the crisis always overstated and the solutions hollow. National's policy, such as it was, focused principally on importing people not on stopping departures. So should Key now be held to account for the continued net flow of Permanent and Longterm Departures to Australia for instance? Yes, but that won't change anything much.
Oddly though, when interviewed this morning on Australia radio (not available online unfortunately), Key made no mention of his concern that New Zealand will soon be denuded of talent. He focused instead on the challenges in the Pacific, on the financial crisis and easing travel between the countries. All valid and reasonable. He, in fact, acquitted himself well, but I wonder what he'll say to the parents who're still taking their kids to the airport? Perhaps he's arranged for them to join him on his Hercules flight home to be literally parachuted into struggling communities en route to Wellington?
The false reality of an election is over. The practical challenge of delivering on the over-blown promise needs attention. What solutions does National have really? When the trans-Tasman super portability kicks in, there may well be some additional movement back to NZ but it won't be great as too many people have lost too much equity and must now rebuild before they can retire.
It's no surprise then that David Farrar has written just the one post about migration since the election (that compares with four in the month or two before it). I can't help but recall Bolger's sage advice against stirring up race-relations during the 1990 election; he's reported to have said "sure it might help us win the election, but what will we do when we show up on Monday to govern?"
19 hours ago