Could the person with the good news please step forward?

“Fuel has gone from about $1.50 per litre to around $3.00 per litre since July 2021. Now is not the time for the Government to ease back on RUC relief. And it’s not just fuel – costs across the board have had their biggest increases in years. These costs have to be passed on. Consumers will have to pay, adding to stretched household budgets squeezed by a steady stream of cost-of-living increases.

“All the major business groups are saying lack of staff is one of our biggest issues. NRC and the New Zealand Trucking Association are certainly hearing that from our combined 3,000 road transport operator members.

“It is getting harder and harder to find staff. We are heading into another wave of COVID infections on top of influenza infections and are experiencing very high rates of absenteeism that are slowing down the supply chain.”

Smith said instead of addressing the issues at hand the Government is fixated on restructuring health, education, local government, water, and broadcasting.

He said a statement sometimes attributed Petronius, a Roman official at the time of emperor Nero circa AD 60, is apt. “Reorganising is a wonderful method for creating the illusion of progress while actually producing confusion, inefficiency, and demoralisation.”

“We are facing enormous challenges but there doesn’t seem to be any realisation in Government that these challenges exist – or a willingness to listen to people who are facing these challenges about the urgent need to address them.”