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


Richard Prebble’s Letter From Wellington

Richard Prebble’s Letter From Wellington


Why have electorate agents for list MPs? How do you take rules written for electorate MPs and apply them to a list MP whose electorate stretches from North Cape to Stewart Island? How do you apply rules written before fax machines were invented, to the cyber age? How parties operate electorate agents has always been different. Richard Prebble as an MP for Auckland Central used to help illiterate constituents fill out state house applications. ACT MPs do not get many requests for advice on social welfare emergency assistance but they do get asked for in-depth, quality information on, eg, the Land Transport Management bill. Richard Prebble has written an article for the Herald on the real issue. See


The new look Herald has put its journalists’ by-lines by every story and let journalists have their lead and print any allegation they like against ACT. Audrey Young has, in front-page stories, claimed that ACT has broken the rules to “benefit financially” and “the scheme could save…around $150,000 per year”. What readers have not been told is that Parliamentary Services has said ACT’s pooling of resources is not secret, is allowed, every dollar is accounted for, and ACT does not receive any extra money by this arrangement.

James Gardiner and Vernon Small in a front page Herald story created the impression that there was trouble between ACT MPs and Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union delegates when both groups were staying at the same Waiheke Hotel. The Herald did not print that the two groups got on so well the union delegates invited Stephen Franks and Rodney Hide to visit the ACI factory. Having manufactured these stories the Herald had the nerve to write “The timing is catastrophic for ACT. It holds its conference [this] weekend…Will there be any takers now?”. Come and prove them wrong.


Most ACT voters are in the Herald circulation area. ACT got 12% of the list vote in Auckland (National just 19%). The Herald’s attacks do not seem to have fazed ACT voters though it is clearly the reason why the NBR and the Dominion Post’s Auckland readership keeps rising and The Letter has set new circulation records this year.


Labour’s new Land Transport Management bill is going to turn every new road into a political decision. The history of NZ politics was roads and bridges - MPs made their careers by getting taxpayer funding for a road for their electorates. The old National Roads Board, now Transit, has as its central policy the legal requirement to provide “safe and efficient roads”. This depoliticised roading decisions. Engineers were able to develop robust cost/benefit ratios and safety records so that new roading could be prioritised in a non-political list. The new bill scraps the need for efficiency and instead sets social, environmental and cultural criteria. There is no way to objectively assess roading by social or cultural factors. Politicians will be making the decisions. This nonsense has come about to keep the Green MPs’ vote. ACT has on our website the bill, objective analysis and how to


qLabour is grateful for the Greens’ likening Australian PM, John Howard, to Saddam Hussein. This has enabled the PM to portray her policy stance as moderate. In fact Clark has moved from saying it’s the duty of every UN member to support Security Council decisions, to a refusal to support the implementation of a new Security Council resolution, and refusal to condemn France’s possible veto (France is a third rate power and its veto is an anachronism). The post-Saddam consequences for NZ’s hostility to the USA, UK and Australia will be profound. Beehive officials, touting that US Trade Representative Bob Zoellick telling a congressional committee that free trade talks with the USA were a possibility was a “significant statement”, shows how out-to-lunch Labour really is. All of NZ’s friends in Washington say Labour is completely deluded. A US/NZ free trade agreement is not on the USA’s


Michael Cullen is using the age-old technique of dowsing down expectations. He is telling the credulous media that he will be holding a hard line on expenditure. The Letter understands that there will be significant new social spending. The Finance Minister will present the new spending as moderate and fiscally neutral but Labour’s spending Ministers believe they have achieved considerable success.


Labour is embarrassed at having to admit that Ministers did talk about achieving top half of the OECD by 2011 and now admitting that it is not achievable. ACT believes for once the ninth floor spin is correct; Helen Clark never supported the goal. What she said was, it’s achievable “if we set our minds to it”. She has always set her mind against it. Clark is convinced that any government that tackles NZ’s structural problems – 350,000 able-bodied adults on welfare, real tax reform – will be swept away.


This weekend ACT’s conference in Wellington will debate the real issues. Nobel prizewinner, Milton Friedman, agreed to speak because he believes ACT is a unique party advocating freedom, choice and personal responsibility. You can register for the conference at


Email received by Ken Shirley:

Subject: -----Original Message----- From: [Withheld] Sent: Tuesday, 25 February 2003 10:32 p.m. To: Ken Shirley


I strongly oppose the prostitute reform bill.

I am a primary school Teacher , I know if you teach kids good thing in life they will be an asset to the society,

If you choose to support wrong things in the society, you are responsible for the damage tha's going to happen to the families and to the nation in future .

(signature) Mr Ken

The electoral roll confirms the writer is indeed a teacher, but he appears to have a remarkably similar writing style to the local terrorist who has been sending cyanide.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Peters/Ardern Triumph

There are a lot of good reasons to feel joyful about this outcome. It is what so many young voters – the best hope for the country’s future – wanted.

Far more important than the implications for the Economy Gods ( is the dollar up or down? ) last night’s outcome will also mean many, many vulnerable New Zealanders will have a better life over the next three years at least.

Yet the desire for change was in the majority, across the country..>>>More


Labour on its agreement |Peters: Post-Election Announcement Speech | Greenpeace “cautiously hopeful” about new Government | ACT - Madman on the loose | E tū ecstatic | Chamber welcomes the outcome | Greens on their joining Govt | EDS welcomes new govt | Immigrant groups worry | Feds ready to engage new coalition government | Labour Ministers of the Crown announced


Climate: Increasing Greenhouse Emissions Hit NZ

New Zealand is seeing impacts of excess greenhouse gas emissions in our climate and oceans, according to the latest national report from the Ministry for the Environment and Stats NZ about the state of the atmosphere and climate…More>>


Wellington.Scoop: Arrests At Blockade Of "Weapons Expo"

“We encourage people in Wellington to get down to the Westpac Stadium now for a day of awesome peace action. There will be plenty of food, music and activities to keep us sustained through the day.” More>>


Rorschach Restructuring: PSA Taking Inland Revenue To Court Over Psychometrics

The Public Service Association will be seeing Inland Revenue in Employment Court over its intention to psychometrically test employees reapplying for their roles at the department as part of its controversial Business Transformation restructuring plan. More>>


Nuclear Disarmament: Nobel Peace Prize 2017 Awarded To ICAN

Congratulations from iCAN Aotearoa New Zealand to international iCAN, the other iCAN national campaigns and partner organisations, and the countless organisations and individuals who have worked so hard for a nuclear weapons-free world since 1945. More>>


Expenses: Waikato DHB CEO Resigns

An independent inquiry has identified that Dr Murray had spent more than the agreed $25K allocated for relocation costs, and other unauthorized expenses involving potential financial breaches of the chief executive’s obligations. More>>


Wellington.Scoop: Sad About The Trolley Buses?

The Regional Council’s MetLink is today spending money to tell us that it really loves Wellington’s trolley buses, even though they’re all being taken off our roads by the end of this month. More>>


Post-Election: Preliminary Coalition Talks Begin

New Zealand First will hold post-election preliminary discussions in Wellington with the National Party tomorrow morning and the Labour Party tomorrow afternoon. More>>




Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election