Investing in children pays a dividend in good and productive citizens. That principle has been slow to work into policy. It needs a different economics from the small-state orthodoxy of the past three decades.
A unanimous report yesterday by Parliament's health select committee chaired by Paul Hutchison encapsulates all three principles. It lays down a big challenge, and bigger potential, to this and future governments.
Paul Hutchison is to the Key government what Tim Barnett was to Clark's one; great talent whom for whatever reason was never made minister, in spite of their obvious talent far beyond some who sat in the cabinet.
Contrast this with John Banks' legacy, a string of Jesus freaks and boot camps called charter schools. While every other school is looking at the sex education curriculum in a new light, these soldier plod academies can teach what they like.
I'd rather have a progressive Nat that a regressive prat.