MikeAqua: I think national are doing a good job, because from my perspective they are. We have been through some tough times and the ship has stayed afloat. Lots of oth4r countries have hit rock bottom and are continuing to dig. Yes, we have borrowed. The alternatives would have been to cut government expenditure to the bone or massively increase taxes - both of these could have driven the economy into a deep recession.
My direct experience is that, our 4 kids are being educated well by the state, an unwell parent is receiving excellent and timely health care from the state and their condition is improving. The roads are getting better. Quality housing is affordable outside of Auckland, Christchurch and Queenstown.
The problems that have persisted under all governments are still there - stretched health system, child poverty, arguments about education reform, house prices in Auckland. The government will produce figures to say they are getting better. The opposition and NGOs will produce figures to show they are getting worse, and lay blame at the feet of the government.
My read is all governments in my lifetime have been ineffective at solving these chronic problems, but labour taxes and spends more to not solve them.
Imagine what could be achieved if all companies in the world that made > $100 million net profit had to give anything above that level of wealth back to the bottom half of society, the flow on effects for all society would be astounding.