Richard Prebble’s The Letter
It’s very expensive – but some other government will pay! Labour believes the public does not care about telephone number Maori settlements as long as the public still has access to the beaches. ACT will look very closely at any proposals the government puts up on the issue.
Labour must get either United or the Greens to back their legislation. The United party is willing to do so if Labour puts a Queen’s Chain claim through every coastal property! Citizens have paid top dollar for coastal properties only to find that they now have no privacy.
The Pacific Forum was a triumph for John Howard. He not only got his candidate as secretary but also a review of the Forum secretariat that’s been ineffective. The voting was 9 – 7. Interestingly, the Solomons, Vanuatu and Fiji – often anti-Australia – went with Australia. So did NZ. It was Micronesian countries threatened with climate change – which John Howard dismisses - that voted against. John Howard succeeded by agreeing to support more aid for sport, especially rugby, and to support a Pacific Island team in the Super 12!
ANOTHER TOP JOB
Commonwealth secretary Don McKinnon wants another term and now he knows he has got it. The Forum has enough Commonwealth countries to ensure McKinnon another term.
The former Christian Democrats, then Future NZ party, then partner of Peter Dunne’s United party, has dissolved. Many of the party’s activists are disillusioned and some have already joined the new Destiny party.
ACT’s “No FART TAX” campaign with Federated Farmers is developing real momentum. Audiences of 250 – 300 are turning out on weekdays in tiny rural communities. Over 550 farmers have joined Federated Farmers in just three weeks. ACT’s Gerry Eckhoff is becoming a rural folk hero. Record prices and good weather, National’s passing of the Resource Management Act and support of Kyoto, had turned farmers off politics. Record numbers did not vote. But ACC levies, local body rates, the OSH Act, and now the flatulence tax has got farmers angry. And ACT is the beneficiary as the party has a 100% voting record on issues of importance to farmers.
RATES AND ROADS
Aucklanders are incensed by the ARC’s rates and road chaos. Both are going to get worse. Aucklanders who tried the Britomart station tell stories of train delays, breakdowns and no trains. The cost of new locomotives is huge and will fall on the ratepayer. Air NZ’s new discount fares will result in perhaps an extra million more trans-Tasman passengers and most arrive at Auckland. The Mangere bridge is already over its design capacity. Only a small accident can have a catastrophic effect on citywide traffic. Transit is predicting gridlock next March when the tertiary institutions insist on personal enrolment of students. Even if Transit receives more funding, it cannot spend it. The problem is in planning delays. The new transport bill with its politically correct extra consultations and Maori spiritual values will increase the problems.
ACT has led on the transport issue. There needs to be legislation to enable the motorways to be finished. Like Sydney and Melbourne, Auckland needs the capacity to toll to fund its roads. Rates should be capped at the rate of inflation and local bodies required to stick to roads, rates and rubbish.
The folly of the state saving for us is illustrated by the announcement that the government’s super scheme will invest the bulk of its funds overseas. The NZ sharemarket will receive just 7%, less than half what the stock exchange expected. The growth of NZ enterprises remains dependent on foreign capital. The issue illustrates the problem. The long-term affordability of superannuation depends on the wealth of the NZ economy.
Now for some good news. One of the reasons that the NZ economy has outperformed the OECD average for a decade with low inflation is the independence of the Reserve Bank. Over the nineties, while in opposition, politicians like Jim Anderton, Michael Cullen, and Winston Peters and the Greens, have criticised the Reserve Bank, its focus on inflation and its independence. This week in parliament, the Reserve Bank Amendment Bill – which restates the Bank’s independence -was unanimously supported by every political party. There would not be a parliament in the world where such a symbol of capitalism and the global economy as an independent Reserve Bank - with the sole target of low inflation - would receive support across the spectrum.
THE RODNEY HIDE SHOW
Critics say it was the most comprehensive
demolition of the TV host in living memory. Rodney Hide took
charge of the Brian Edwards show and had the host admitting
he works for Helen Clark, has been paid $190,000 but says he
does not know if he is paid by the Prime Minister’s dept,
parliament or the Labour party. The All Blacks were
demolishing the Wallabies so no one has seen this example of
charter TV. As taxpayers you’ve paid via NZ on Air for the
series so we are posting it on our website -
http://www.act.org.nz/hideshow - so you can judge for
yourself. Is it not classic TV?