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robson-on-politics 5 September

robson-on-politics 5 September

CTU at Progressive conference

There are many reasons why the CTU's Ross Wilson is coming to our inaugural conference in two weeks' time at the Waipuna Conference Centre in Panmure, Auckland.

Chief among them is that the CTU recognizes that the partnership approach with the regions, promoted by the Progressives, is providing jobs and a sound future for workers. The CTU also knows that the Progressives are at the forefront of supporting healthy working environments. And of course the CTU and Progressives have been working together on the four weeks' leave campaign to bring New Zealand into the modern world. You're welcome to attend. For details about the conference venue and facilities contact Sally Griffin ; ring me or Joy Gribben at Parliament 04 471 9011 to talk about the policy sessions See also


Tulips from Invercargill

We can now sing new words to the old tune: "Tulips from Invercargill." In a working visit to the Netherlands I discovered that Southland businesses are exporting tulips to their Dutch homeland. The Netherlands is taking a similar economic develop-ment path to New Zealand, using industry clusters and partnerships. The Dutch, of course, are recognized as social and economic winners, with the Economist recently ranking the Netherlands as the best place in the world to do business for the fifth year in a row. See:


Ron Mark off the mark

NZ First is continuing with its misleading attacks on new New Zealanders. At Question Time on Wednesday MP Ron Mark yelled out something along the lines of "filthy immigrants bringing diseases." Attracting new New Zealanders is vital to NZ's social and economic development. NZ First is finding it hard to adapt to MMP. They don't want a New Zealand based on social harmony. Instead for narrow political advantage they wish to foster division and hatred. Long may they languish in Opposition!


The rule of law

The recent decision of the Refugee Status Appeals Authority on asylum seeker Ahmed Zaoui shows New Zealand is a nation that respects the rule of law. This judicial body, in an open process, found in a 218 page decision that Mr Zaoui is entitled to refugee status. There is a review process under way conducted by the Inspector General of Security. I am confident that New Zealand is a place where the rule of law is respected and that justice will be seen to be done.


Seafood center in the Top of the South

Nelson Tasman seafood businesses will have a better chance to be more internationally competitive and in a position to increase the wealth of the region thanks to a seafood center for excellence. Jim Anderton announced a $1.5m investment towards the $18m cost of the center, which will provide education, research and business facilities. That has got to be good for quality job opportunities in the Top of the South in the future. See:


United Future says no to families' concerns

We've had some extraordinary speeches from United Future MPs this week, giving us plenty of insight into the conservative mindset of that Parliamentary caucus. Thankfully, United Future doesn't hold the balance of power to choose between a Labour-Progressive coalition or a National-ACT in the current term that ends in 2005. Even party Leader, Peter Dunne, the most liberal in his caucus this week slammed four weeks' annual leave because this piece of pro-family legislation would - well, cost a little. Once again, this party reveals itself to believe that their much trumpeted support for families applies only to the already well-off. The United Future party's rejection of four weeks leave can't be squared with professed support for families.

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