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Robson-On-Politics 15 August

Robson-On-Politics 15 August

Sir Howard Morrison Sir Howard, one of our most famous entertainers, was a guest of the Progressive MPs at Parliament on Tuesday. What I find impressive is what he has achieved since his 40th birthday when he turned his energy and talents to building up the capabilities, skills and talents of young people. In the Beehive, we saw the fruits of his endeavours. Students from Te Wero, a National Diploma course in Maori performing arts, put on a display for MPs from five parties, staff, and other guests What Sir Howard and his team are really doing is developing leadership potential in young people. By assisting our young to have pride in their talents and culture, they are fulfilling a Progressive goal of having everyone under 20 in jobs, training or education. _____________________

Safer Communities Via Jobs, Early Intervention Crime statistics published on Thursday showed reported crime increased by 2.5% last year, vs a 1.9% population increase. Crime rates have virtually stabilised because unemployment is down (to a 16 year low, at 4.7%). If National and Act were in power, unemployment would be up and crime would be far worse. But we can't be complacent. The Progressives want to see safer communities. Progress toward a full employment economy will help, but also there needs to be a much stronger push to intervene with young people before they start on a life of a crime. See: Robson calls for stronger early intervention push _____________________

Long live the New Zealand Labour Party Without them, the Progressives wouldn't have a coalition partner in government. And God bless them as they are open to persuasion, and rational debate. This week we had another win, not just for our party, but for New Zealand. The coalition's bonded scholarships scheme will assist low income students into high fee courses and it is an excellent opportunity for students around the country to help address known labour market shortages. See: Opening up more opportunities for low income students _____________________

No Aussie Rules Here, Mate Australian parliamentarians who want the Pacific to adopt the Aussie dollar as a common currency should hop off. Progressives made a rejection of a common currency a cornerstone commitment at the last election - it won't happen while Progressives are in government. We won't have a bar of such an anti-jobs proposal. See: Dollaroo told to hop it _____________________

Another Step Toward Tackling Poverty and Crime The Progressives' two votes are critical to the success of the Responsible Gambling Bill which had its second reading this week. It will tackle one of the well-known contributors to the incidence of poverty afflicting some parts of our society - problem gambling. I can't believe the opposition of National, ACT, and the Greens - the intention of the law change is to limit opportunities for crime, dishonesty and exploitation of the vulnerable. It provides for community input into the number and location of pokies and improves the accountability for use of gambling profits. In short, this bill is an important part of the wide-ranging campaign to tackle poverty and to make our communities safer. See: Responsible gambling _____________________

Progressive Leader On WellTrust Progressive leader Jim Anderton announced on Monday after Cabinet that WellTrust will receive funding for the rest of the 2003/2004 financial year to support teenagers and their families who are faced with alcohol and drug abuse problems. There is a lack of treatment services in Wellington for young adults who are having trouble with drugs and alcohol. WellTrust provides both an assessment and treatment service, the aim of which is to turn these kids' lives around - and the Progressives yet again proved the value of being a constructive coalition partner in government. See: WellTrust to receive funding _____________________

Conference Just six weeks to our inaugural conference to be held at the Waipuna Hotel in Auckland. Details are on the web at and go to our home page, for news on the super fund, the Privileges debate and why we can't have children getting smashed in Courtenay Place. _____________________

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