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


Robson-on-Politics, 26 March 2004

Robson-on-Politics, a weekly newsletter from Matt Robson MP Deputy Leader of the Progressive Party

U-turns In recent weeks we have seen some dramatic policy U-turns from National and some confusing messages from other parties that appear to be flirting at U-turns of their own.

I can tell you from close observation of the goings on in Parliament that National's u-turns have been unsettling for NZ First, ACT and United as they each try to position themselves as National's partner.

Labour will stay staunch Labour, I'm sure, knows that policy U-turns don't work unless they are based on either new evidence or enduring principles. Labour, I'm sure, will continue to proudly defend our progressive achievements since 1999, and not pander to the Right Wing parties that are beating the drum over the Treaty of Waitangi and Maori issues generally.

The Right Wing are desperately trying to add to misunderstanding on race relations. I think it will be hard to sustain for 18 months to polling day because the truth is that New Zealand race relations while not perfect have at least seen tolerance and respect between communities.

This isn't Yugoslavia or Palestine! Sometimes when I hear statements from the Opposition on race relations I think they must be referring to Yugoslavia in the 1990s or Palestine in the 1930s. And I admit to being a bit out of my depth on all of this. The navel-gazing and angst we've seen is a bit hard to comprehend for a simple, Australian-born fellow like me.

No community is in danger of being dispossessed or disinherited in this my adopted homeland. This is one of the happiest countries in the world. New Zealand in the 21st Century is a model of fairness, good relations between communities and democratic participation. Some politicians mightn't know it but most New Zealanders are actually busy unlocking the future. Audio file of Mana News interview with Jim Anderton http://www.progressive.org.nz/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=795

Maori economic development vital to our wellbeing Our economy has been one of the fastest growing in the developed world over the last four years. Unemployment is down to levels not seen in a generation, including of course for Maori and Pacific Island people.

The coalition government has funded many impressive Major Regional Initiatives that are driving growth in regional economies. The truth is that every region has enthusiastically worked with local Maori to build a stronger future for us all which is vital because New Zealand's economic development depends on successful Maori economic development.

In forty years time, up to 30 per cent of New Zealanders will be Maori or Pacific people. Jim Anderton's radio interview with Mana News, discussing the vital role of Maori economic development, can be heard as an audio file at http://www.progressive.org.nz/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=797

National's dismal proposals for Maori National says it wants to end both MMP voting and Maori electorate seats. These proposals, taken together, are inflammatory.

If implemented, they would cut the number of MPs who identify as Maori from the current level, reflective of the Maori proportion of the population, to a disgraceful 1%. In short, National's proposals, if ever implemented, would tear New Zealand apart by very significantly disenfranchising Maori.

Labour's Kiwibank, paid parental leave & 4 weeks leave

In the general debate on Wednesday, Labour expressed their now very strong support for the government's progressive successes - Kiwibank, four weeks leave and paid parental leave featured highly as things to be protected from a Brash Attack. - The highlights of the past four years of coalition government are the Progressive ones. My speech as an original backer defending Kiwibank is on the website. http://www.progressive.org.nz/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=798

Remember I'm your host on Radio 531PI 12 to 2 on Fridays. Tune in to 531 on the AM band. www.progressive.org.nz < http://www.progressive.org.nz > has more on the week that was: A major regional initiative announced to develop tourism in Wanganui / Ruapehu / Rangitikei. http://www.progressive.org.nz/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=787 Fairer trade rules are delivering more New Zealand jobs. http://www.progressive.org.nz/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=796 Israel, US are undermining the war on fundamentalist terrorism. http://www.progressive.org.nz/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=789 Iwi consultation money well spent (and there'll be a new article on the site Monday). http://www.progressive.org.nz/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=790

robson-on-politics is available by email and fax. If someone you know would like to subscribe, email > matt.robson@parliament.govt.nz

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Also, Loan Interest: Productivity Commission On Tertiary Education

Key recommendations include better quality control; making it easier for students to transfer between courses; abolishing University Entrance; enabling tertiary institutions to own and control their assets; making it easier for new providers to enter the system; and facilitating more and faster innovation by tertiary education providers... More>>


Higher Payments: Wellington Regional Council Becomes A Living Wage Employer

Councillor Sue Kedgley said she was delighted that the Wellington Regional Council unanimously adopted her motion to become a Living Wage employer, making it the first regional council in New Zealand to do so. More>>


Scoop Images:
Dame Patsy Reddy Sworn In As Governor-General

This morning Dame Patsy Reddy was sworn in as the New Zealand Realm’s 21st Governor-General. The ceremony began with a pōwhiri to welcome Dame Patsy and her husband Sir David Gascoigne to Parliament. More>>


Ruataniwha: DOC, Hawke's Bay Council Developer Take Supreme Court Appeal

The Department of Conservation and Hawke's Bay Regional Investment Company (HBRIC) are appealing to the Supreme Court over a conservation land swap which the Court of Appeal halted. More>>


With NZ's Marama Davidson: Women’s Flotilla Leaves Sicily – Heading For Gaza

Women representing 13 countries spanning five continents began their journey yesterday on Zaytouna-Oliva to the shores of Gaza, which has been under blockade since 2007. On board are a Nobel Peace Laureate, three parliamentarians, a decorated US diplomat, journalists, an Olympic athlete, and a physician. A list of the women with their background can be found here. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Key Style Of Crisis Management

At Monday’s post Cabinet press conference Key was in his finest wide- eyed “Problem? What problem?” mode. No, there wasn’t really a problem that top MPI officials had been at odds with each other over the meaning of the fisheries policy and how that policy should be pursued... More>>


Mt Roskill: Greens Will Not Stand In Likely Post-Goff By-Election

“The Green Party’s priority is changing the Government in 2017, and as part of that we’ve decided that we won’t stand a candidate in the probable Mt Roskill by-election... This decision shows the Memorandum of Understanding between Labour and the Green Party is working." More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news