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Anne Else: Brash in Charge - Here is the News

Letter from Elsewhere with Anne Else

Brash in Charge: Here is the News

1 November 2005

The new National Government today took urgency to pass legislation abolishing the Maori seats in Parliament, together with all the government agencies "specifically set up to deal exclusively with Maori or with Maori issues". The new laws passed by one vote, thanks to support from Act and New Zealand First, which owe their seats to National's last-minute pulling of its candidates in Epsom and Tauranga.

Tomorrow the Government will introduce measures removing all references to the Treaty of Waitangi and to "partnership" from legislation. The police will get special powers allowing the immediate arrest of anyone protesting against the changes.

Prime Minister Brash said these moves proved that the National Party was keeping its pre-election promises. Treaty principles in legislation were a source of divisiveness and had to go.

"We are one country with many peoples, not two peoples living in some sort of partnership," he said. "All New Zealanders must be equal under the law."

15 November 2005

A new conservation regime is to come into force next year. Endangered native species such as the kiwi, kaka and kakapo will no longer receive special protection, and all legislation referring to protected species will be repealed.

Prime Minister Brash said that singling out a few species for special protection was "clearly discriminatory".

"All species currently living in New Zealand should be equal under the law, regardless of how long they have been here."

"To claim that those who were here first need some kind of special treatment not available to other species is ridiculous. If they cannot stand on their own two feet without government hand-outs, they are clearly not the kinds of species we want or need in this country."

"These changes will also enable the Government to save further large sums of taxpayers' money, which is currently being wasted on a handful of flightless birds, giant snails and other faulty fauna that few tourists or hard-working, mainstream New Zealanders ever see."

24 December 2005

The Government announced today that the money saved by abolishing Maori seats and agencies will be put toward the immediate introduction of tax cuts for all those earning over $60,000.

Finance Minister Key said, "We have decided that this group of obviously hard-working New Zealanders will be the first to benefit from our tax cut package, because their income will increase the most. This will produce the immediate boost to the economy and to jobs which automatically results from tax cuts."

15 January 2006

New figures out today show that over the last quarter, unemployment rose by 0.5 percent overall, and by 4 percent for Maori.

Minister of Maori Affairs Gerry Brownlee said that the rise simply proved beyond doubt "how much waste, unnecessary bureaucracy and discrimination there was when we came to power."

"Maori have clearly been benefiting from special privileges, such as being elected to Maori seats and employed in agencies like Te Mangy… that broadcasting thing, that were not available to mainstream New Zealanders. National has put a stop to that kind of nonsense."

1 February 2006

New mandatory guidelines and textbooks for New Zealand social studies and history have been issued to all schools. They were prepared and printed in advance of the election last year by Bob Jones University in the USA, working with an advisory committee made up of Gerry Brownlee, Bill English, actor David McPhail, and internationally recognised historian David Irving.

The Prime Minister pointed out that this move was well signalled by him before the election. When Scoop's Alastair Thompson asked if he would be "instructing the education service to change the curriculum" so that schools no longer taught, contrary to the view of the National Party, that "the Treaty is a partnership between Maori and Pakeha", Dr Brash had replied, "Of course. Of course."

To embed the new curriculum, students will be tested on it at the end of every school term. Parents will be able to see exactly how their child's results compare with those of every other child in the country. Any teacher who continues to teach that the Treaty is a partnership, or a "living" or "founding" document, will have their registration revoked.

15 February 2006

The unemployment benefit is to be abolished completely.

"While this will benefit all New Zealanders," said Prime Minister Brash, "it will particularly benefit Maori, because they are the group which has suffered the most from welfare dependency. We are sparing no effort to help them prove that they are capable of complete equality with hard-working, mainstream New Zealanders."

8 March 2006

The Government has chosen International Women's Day to announce its new work scheme for all women on the DPB who are aged under 35, and are not already in paid work for at least 20 hours a week. For nine months every two years, they will be given jobs with the new crown health enterprise, a commercial surrogacy service. Prospective clients will have two options to choose from: ovum and gestation, or gestation only. Overseas clients will be able to combine either of these with a holiday here, flying Air New Zealand.

"These women have already proved they have reproductive skills that are in high demand, especially in the USA", said the Minister of Health.

"Unlike prostitution, surrogacy is entirely family-friendly. It requires very little additional spending on childcare, as most of it can be done from home."

"We expect that this scheme will rapidly reduce welfare dependency among healthy, fit young women, producing immediate benefits for their children."

**********

- Anne Else is a Wellington writer and social commentator. Her occasional column will typically appear on a Monday. You can subscribe to receive Letter From Elsewhere by email when it appears via the Free My Scoop News-By-Email Service

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