The Herald reports:
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has shared her own cancer experience in a hand-written letter to 12-year-old Lilly Vining whose dad Blair is dying of cancer after being let down by the public health system.
It’s good she replied personally. But let’s look at the substance:
Lilly – a rugby fanatic like her dad – wrote an open letter to Ardern and read it to the public in a video that went viral online earlier this month.
“Before you were Prime Minister you promised New Zealanders world-class cancer care including a national cancer agency.
“If you do what you promised it would tick the last thing off my dad’s bucket list and help many more New Zealanders,” Lilly read, as footage capturing precious moments spent with her dad, who she will soon lose, showed in the video.
So all Lilly is asking is for Labour to implement their manifesto promise.
The Prime Minister begins by sharing her own experience with cancer.
“I lost my nana when I was your age, and I felt like the world was closing in on me, so it’s hard for me to imagine how you are feeling right now,” Ardern wrote.
She says how important it is New Zealand has a specific plan for cancer but is unsure if an agency independent from political interference would be better equipped to address the issues than the Ministry of Health.
“We made that promise when we were opposition (so before we were in Government) and we were worried the [former] Ministry of Health had lost lots of the resources it needed to do a good job and make sure we fix all of the issues stopping people from getting the cancer care they need,” Ardern wrote.
So seems pretty clear there is no intention to implement their manifesto promise. It was just something they say in opposition, but don’t do when in Government.