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A Week of It: Tuataras And Tax Debates

A Week of It: Tuataras And Tax Debates


By Kevin List

In This Edition:
Ministers Manhandle New Zealand Icon
Questions Lingering From The Great Tax Debate
NZ First Leader Proves Ill Informed About US Foreign Policy In 1980s
Rodney Hide Admires Provocative Internet Diary
Great New Zealand Argument Sparks Argument
More Images of Spike the Tuatara

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Ministers Manhandle New Zealand Icon

Ms Marian Hobbs and Mr Trevor Mallard and Spike – a tuatara.

This afternoon before a crowd of paparazzi, Ministers of the Crown Marian Hobbs and Trevor Mallard, came face to face with a living dinosaur. Mr Mallard rather unkindly compared Spike the Tuatara to a certain opposition politician. Regardless of this comparison Mr Mallard and Spike seemed to enjoy a good relationship during their brief encounter.

Earlier in the afternoon Mr Mallard had begun to reminisce about teenage courtship rituals associated with the Karori Wildlife Sanctuary. Thankfully for those with delicate sensibilities, these recollections were cut short by some loud coughing from Ms Hobbs. Spike the Tuatara seemed unfazed by the publicity throughout his ministerial meeting. The Tuatara photo-shoot came about to celebrate the kickoff of a new centre for Biodiversity and Eco-restoration to be built at the Karori Wildlife Sanctuary, in Wellington.

Mr Trevor Mallard and new pal Spike

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Questions Lingering From The Great Tax Debate

National Party finance spokesperson John Key on left, Professor Whatarangi Winiata, Maori Party President on right.

  • Are tax cuts of five billion dollars per annum official Maori Party policy?
  • Professor Whatarangi Winiata, Maori Party President.“Looking at some of the forecasts it suggests to me that we can sustain a tax reduction of four or five billion dollars for a number of years.”

  • Now that John Key can evade giving a straight answer with the best of them – has he finally thrown off the shackles of his former career and become a fully fledged politician?
  • Simon Dallow: Where are you gonna cut it? Where’s it gonna go? Has the PSA got a reason to be worried?

    National Party finance spokesperson John Key: This Government is going to increase spending like no tomorrow over the next three years. There is a simple choice here – under National we will let you keep more of the money you earn , so you can spend it and you can save it, or you can give it to this Government that has spent in some terrible areas over the last six years.

  • Just why would Roger Kerr be a fan of cutting taxes to the richest 1% of the population – as President George W Bush has done? And would he be a fan of a 5% fiscal deficit?
  • Roger Kerr, spokesperson for the Business Roundtable: I think we are hearing some economics that are about thirteen years out of date. Look - the Bush administration has cut taxes twice and it is planning to again. It has also been spending, as many people would say, like a drunken sailor – there have been no serious inflationary pressures there. Interest rates are at 30-year lows.

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    Great New Zealand Argument Sparks Argument


    David Lange At the Oxford Union in 1985

    Last evening A Week of It had the good fortune to attend the launch of Great New Zealand argument in Wellington. As well as copies of the book Great New Zealand Argument being available for purchase with a signature from Mr Brown, the audience was treated to a film of Mr David Lange at his fiery oratorical best in the Oxford Union Debate (1985).

    Later in the proceedings a small discussion was set up with Mr Russell Brown of Public Address (and editor of Great New Zealand Argument) acting as chair. Somehow the vexed topic of Et Al and the Venice Biennale cropped up, with many in the audience disapproving of the Prime Minister (and Minister of Art And Culture’s) actions in ordering the Et Al collective to engage in a debate with the media whilst in Venice.

    Entering into the spirit of things following the close of proceedings A Week of It gamely wandered up to one of the panel (not Mr Brown) and asked why the Prime Minister was wrong in asking a recipient of public money to fulfil their obligations. The defender of set-upon artists utilised all the skills that are often used on behalf of the ninth floor, to declare it was probably an operational matter, and therefore the Prime Minister should not have got involved.

    Any members of the public keen to discover more should watch that jolly fine show Frontseat this Saturday evening. In doing so they may also be able to enjoy more of Mr Russell Brown on air.

    *******************

    Rodney Hide Admires Provocative Internet Diary

    Recently Mr Rodney Hide, one of New Zealand’s most prolific internet media diarists pointed his readers to a new internet media commentator on the block - http://lookinginnz.blogspot.com/.

    Mr Hide particularly liked this piece from Looking In New Zealand regarding Epsom and his chance of being elected as the MP for Auckland’s leafy suburbs.

    So for the social liberals in Epsom here is your choice: if you vote for Labour, Greens, Progressives, etc. you are well likely to end up with a Brash/Peters government. If you vote for Rodney Hide in the constituency you won’t deprive your party of a seat but you may well deprive Winston of his coveted “king maker” role. The choice is yours!

    Mr Hide considered these were “very wise words”. A Week of It wonders if Mr Hide had read another posting by the writer of Looking In New Zealand regarding Mr Hide’s colleague Muriel Newman:

    What is a shame is that if ACT goes down to defeat it will be because it offered conflicting, inconsistent views to the public. It has decent candidates like Hide and Roy and complete blithering idiots like Newman. Newman is not a good representative for “The Liberal Party” . Those market/social liberals who thought they could build an alliance with bigots on the Right like Newman or CHP dunces or the Maxim crowd will learn that this was the root of ACT’s failure not a means for building support. In their drive to “expand” the party they drove out any consistent message. Muriel belongs in Destiny except they probably wouldn’t want her either.

    *******************

    NZ First Leader Proves Ill Informed About US Foreign Policy In 1980s

    When NZ First Leader Winston Peter’s first raised the possibility a senior former official of the Iraqi Government could be in New Zealand A Week of It contacted Mr Peters.

    A Week of It wanted to know if the asylum seeker was part of the Saddam Hussein regime that had close ties with the Republican administration of Ronald Reagan and George Bush I. When contacted Mr Peters laughed and emphatically replied ‘No!’

    Later it emerged the man who Mr Peters had the inside oil on was a former Minister of Agriculture in Saddam Hussein’s Government in the early 1980s. According to the recent Pulitzer Prize winning book A Problem From Hell – America And the Age of Genocide – it appears Mr Peters may have been a little shaky on his recent Middle East history.

    According to this fascinating book, between 1983 and 1988, the United States had supplied Iraq with more than $500 million dollars per year in credits so it could purchase American farm products under a program called the Commodity Credit Corporation. In 1989 - a year after the gassing of the Kurds had been well documented, the United States doubled its contribution to Iraq, hiking Commodity Credit Corporation credits above US one billion dollars.

    A Week Of It looks forward to a strong denunciation of United States foreign policy the next time an alleged member of Saddam Hussein’s Government is discovered by the NZ First research unit lolling about in Godzone.

    *******************

    More Images of Spike the Tuatara

    ENDS

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