Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Plain English 22 February 2002

Plain English 22 February 2002

plain English

A weekly update from Bill English, National Party

Policy machine rolling

We are getting into the final stages of consultation and debate across a wide range of policies. Not all of them will be politically important, but I want to have a strong plan for government. The Caucus is getting down to pinning our positions, and communicating them positively. A central theme is lifting expectations and more ambition for New Zealand. We're looking to build the political debate around substantial propositions.

Head of State arrives

When the Queen arrives she comes as our Head of State for the last 50 years. Whatever views people have about the future of the monarchy there is no doubt of its place in our history. I told Parliament yesterday the Queen represents our British whakapapa. We are becoming a Pacific nation growing on roots deeply embedded in Britain. As this country starts to think about how to replace the monarchy, we will come to have greater respect for how the monarchy kept us globally fluent because we were connected to an empire. Maintaining global fluency has proved to be a challenge for us. Unfortunately the Prime Minister is away and the Queen was met by a prominent banker, Jim Anderton.

After the Economic Strategy

Helen Clark turned down the chance to debate her "innovation" statement with me on Holmes. If it was so good, I'm sure she would have turned up. We can expect to see more of this tactic through the year designed I am told to "deprive the Opposition of oxygen". The Government will focus on photo opportunities at home and coverage of Clark's international trips, rather than bread and butter issues, and there are plenty of those like the shambles in our health system finances, worst in her own backyard in Auckland.

Put New Zealand's interests first on Kyoto

Business people are not getting a good hearing on Kyoto despite spending 18 months being listened to by the Government. In the face of growing concern about the lack of certainty around Kyoto, Ministers are getting bad tempered about business not playing the game. I outlined our position on the issue this week in Auckland. I believe in putting New Zealand's interests first. That's why National will not ratify until we know the full costs and not before our trading partners and competitors.

This issue will have real political impact in regional centres like Invercargill and Whangarei where there are small scale heavy industries already working hard to stay competitive. Hodgson and Cullen don't seem to understand the corrosive effect of years of uncertainty on this matter. You can read more about National's position by clicking on this link PDF FILE LINK

High Tech links for New Zealand

I have accepted an invitation from one of the leading Governor's in the US, Gov Bill Owens of Colorado, to deliver the keynote address at his Science and Technology Commission next month. Substantial companies operating in areas directly complementary to New Zealand's unique economy will be attending. I want to get a feel for how we look to foreign investors and build relationships where their activities are directly complementary to our strengths. Government owns most of our biotechnology research capacity and should be looking for investors to help us get more out of it.

Labour's running out of partners

Labour is running out of coalition partners. Coalition with Labour has destroyed the Alliance and Helen Clark has opened the door for Mr Jim Anderton to rejoin Labour. This leaves the Greens, who are fast losing the gloss they gained last year, pondering their fate if they snuggle up too closely to Labour. I'm predicting National will go into this election with better prospects for a coalition partner than Labour.

Low income earners to be hit

Low income earners will be hit by soaring car prices because of new rules. Transport Minister Mark Gosche's rules for frontal beams will increase second-hand car prices by about $1500. The measure will theoretically save some lives, but officials advised that the benefits were not worth the costs. It's the sort of measure that is hard to oppose once it's there, but it will hit a lot of lower income people hard.

Full force of the law

It's about 10 days since Labour promised that the "full force of the law" would move the gangs out of their State houses in Palmerston North. Well, they are still there and local residents continue to feel intimidated. Meanwhile, Tariana Turia has told the gangs she will step in if the gangs can think of ways the Government "can be more helpful to your organisation."


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On A Trade War With China

As things currently stand, the White House has NOT included New Zealand on its list of allies whose steel and aluminium exports to the US will be exempted from US President Donald Trump’s recent hike in tariffs.

Given that the tariffs in question have been imposed under section 232 of the 1962 US Trade Expansion Act (whereby the national security of the US is supposedly at stake) this American failure to treat New Zealand as an ally is historically significant. After all, our troops have fought and died alongside the US in every major global conflict – the two world wars, Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan etc – for the past hundred years or more. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Credibility In Politics

Credibility is always such a fickle, unstable element in politics. You know it when you see it, though. More>>

A Step Closer: Regional Fuel Tax For Auckland?

Legislation to allow regions to apply for a regional fuel tax, initially for Auckland, will be introduced to Parliament today, Transport Minister Phil Twyford has announced.More>>


SSC Findings: DHB Exec Misused Travel Funds

A State Services Commission investigation into the expenditure of former Waikato District Health Board chief executive Dr Nigel Murray found that more than half of his claims for travel and accommodation were unjustified.More>>


RNZ Explainer: Why You Should Care About Cambridge Analytica

Facebook's shares have lost billions of dollars in value after something to do with data used by Cambridge Analytica. Confused? Here's what it means, and what could come next. Cambridge Analytica is a London-based consulting firm. It is under pressure over allegations it uses illegally obtained data and social media manipulation to influence elections.More>>


Further $700,000: Teacher Supply Initiative Extended

Acting Minister of Education Tracey Martin has announced a further $700,000 to help more teachers into classrooms, with the extension of the Teacher Education Refresh (TER) Programme... More>>


Dotcom v Obama: High Court Declines to Subpoena Obama

The former President of the United States of America, Barack Obama, is in New Zealand for three days. The plaintiffs have filed an application for an order for his examination before a Judge while he is in New Zealand... More>>


Supporting Disabled People Into Work: Guidelines Launched

The Minister for Disability Issues Carmel Sepuloni and Minister of Employment Willie Jackson welcome the launch of the new Employment Support Practice Guidelines: How to support disabled people to get the job they want... More>>


OIO and Forestry: Regime Amendments Proposed

Hon David Parker Associate Minister of Finance 20 March 2018 Amendments proposed to forestry rights screening regime Investments in sensitive land involving forestry rights will be brought into the scope of the Overseas Investment Act ... More>>





Featured InfoPages