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Progressive Executive on tertiary education costs

Its good to be a member of a party that works together, focuses on the issues and make progress while also being able to share good humour. The Progressive Executive met in Wellington last Friday and they supported my request to campaign on reducing the cost of tertiary education.

. and on international relations

Delegates also wanted Jim Anderton to talk about foreign policy which he did on Monday. His moderate statement that our sovereignty is not for sale attracted some media attention. See http://www.progressive.org.nz/media/releases/pr20030526-ja-sovereignty-not-negotiable.htm Jim released a backgrounder at the same time covering:

- New Zealand Contribution To War On Terror

- The United States' Record Of Unfair Trade Practices

- Bilateral Trade Deals No Substitute For Doha Round

On Sept 11 2001, acting Prime Minister Jim Anderton was the one who signalled New Zealand's commitment to defeat international terrorism in what would need to be a multilateral approach involving all nations. The backgrounder documents :-

- What we said

- What we have been doing

- 33 New Zealand UN Commitments since 1952

- We back up the sacrifices of our soldiers with a financial contribution from our taxpayers

- The United States' record on fair trade is very poor.

- Bilateral trade deals are no substitute for fair multilateral rules-based agreements See: http://www.progressive.org.nz/media/articles/ar20030526-ja-war-terror-trade-background.htm It is available by fax if you do not have internet access.

Waikato Uni: maintaining a work life balance

Wednesday I was invited to speak at Waikato University's cultural open forum. The audience of staff and students were interested in the need to maintain a balance between work and life. Some were so won over by the need for four weeks leave for all that they are delivering thousands of postcards to Hamilton letterboxes this weekend. Thanks for the support.

Four weeks support continues

We continue to receive thousands of postcards in support of four weeks. This week I've talked to unions and other supporters in Hamilton, Invercargill, and Christchurch about the campaign and the next steps. Submissions to my bill close next Friday June 6, and on June 12 I will be presenting all the postcards to the Select Committee.

Prebble reveals The Sum of All His Fears

Richard Prebble's funny speech yesterday, 'a call for a grand coalition of the right,' had a serious undertone. Careful readers noted that he rattled off one dubious claim after another: the words of a man with many fears.

It was funny to see him say he would do anything to get back into government, even embrace NZ First which supports what illiberal ACT opposes. NZ First supported the establishment of the Ministry of Economic Development, Industry New Zealand and has been supportive of the active creation of jobs in New Zealand, policies ACT bitterly opposes for ideological reasons.

NZ First also lined up with the Labour-Progressive coalition to uphold New Zealand's national interests during the March Parliamentary debate on Iraq.

Prebble reveal his fears and worries about Bill English's leadership. When Don Brash does take over it will dilute ACT's brand image as the selfish party.

Mr Prebble isn't known for generous praise of others. That suggests his lauding for Richard Worth (Nat MP) is really an attack on ACT leadership challenger Rodney Hide MP, who also has his eyes on Worth's Epsom seat.

He revealed that he fears what we know to be a fact: Labour will continue to be the major Parliamentary party for many years; that the challenge for other parties - NZ First, Green, United Future - is to rise to the challenge of getting good things done for New Zealand in co-operation with the Labour-Progressive coalition. National and ACT on the other hand are in a serious contest for the small, illiberal vote.

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