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Robson-on-Politics April 2 2004

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

Progressive: positive about people and jobs

North Korea and consulting on NZ prisons

In North Korea the government can build huge prisons and nuclear power stations anywhere they like without consulting anyone. ACT seems to favours that approach. I'm glad that we live in a democracy where the government listens to and respects people.

On Monday the Herald published my article on what actually happened with the community including Tainui over the proposed 650-bed prison south of Meremere. I am pleased to report the article has been well received.

Making abusive allegations in the Rodney Hide style does no good. Tainui's approach is to be commended. People deserve a government that listens:

Mark Gosche's sense of humour

I ribbed Mark Gosche this week about his electorate newsletter in my letterbox, which claimed paid parental leave and four weeks holiday as achievements of our Labour government (sic). That's going a bit far, I told Mark, though we don't mind giving you guys some credit.

He gracefully delivered a personalised correction to me on Wednesday. Old fashioned scissors and glue changed it to read "for the first time in their lives many workers will get four weeks holiday because of Matt Robson." That's better, but next time mention the Progressives.

Jobs require security of energy supply and attention to exporters' concerns

The Progressives are intimately involved with most things when it comes to important economic and social policy initiatives of the coalition government. Job-supporting exporters are telling us they are suffering in the wake of the U.S. dollar's collapse, so the Progressives expect the coalition will take some concrete action to help ease the pain.

Potential investors, who will create jobs here, tell us they are worried about the security of energy supply. I originally came from a sunny country called Australia which happily has coal to burn, which it does to generate heaps of power for job-creating export companies.

Coal is used to generate electricity in New Zealand, but not to its full potential. New Zealand can be a Lucky Country too. We have a thousand years' supply of accessible, high-quality coal in the West Coast and new technologies are turning coal into a realistic source of significant additional energy generation. Which reminds me it isn't a "Labour government."

One of the first things Jim Anderton and I did when we came into coalition government was veto a plan to hock-off most of Solid Energy, the coal processing and exporting SOE on the West Coast. We are a trading nation that must have security of energy supply. Sooner rather than later, we should exploit the natural advantage of coal. http://www.progressive.org.nz/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=802

12 months of navel-gazing on race

We've had 12 months of public navel-gazing on the foreshore and seabed. I doubt all the hand-ringing has added much to the sum total of human knowledge. I do worry that the endless public debate has taken the media's attention off the core economic and social development issues that are vital to us, regardless of who is in government. Navel-gazing doesn't help our national performance one iota. I recommend an article on our website: NZ should focus on economic development not divisive debate. Read it at http://www.progressive.org.nz/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=804

Natural justice & war on fundamentalist terrorism

This week we have seen yet more terrorist outrages. The Progressives in government support sensible actions against terrorism. We support the rebuilding of the foundations of Afghanistan and Iraq. Investing in draining the swamps of poverty and injustice is effective. But we must also defend our democracy and our civil liberties. That is why it is good news that that we're getting a new, independent, Inspector General of Security who will respect the proper processes of law and will follow the High Court ruling on Ahmed Zaoui on keeping at arm's length from the SIS and government. http://www.amnesty.org.nz/

I'm your host on Radio 531PI 12 to 2 today. After Easter, the time is moving to Sunday 4 - 6pm. Tune in to 531AM. Our website www.progressive.org.nz > has more on the week that was: The tragic death of Michael King http://www.beehive.govt.nz/ViewDocument.cfm?DocumentID=19305 latest suicide statistics and why we need to do more http://www.progressive.org.nz/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=812 Hillmorton High School doing good work with "at risk" students http:// and formally changing our name. http://www.progressive.org.nz/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=809 robson-on-politics is available by email and fax. If someone you know would like to subscribe, email matt.robson@parliament.govt.nz < mailto:matt.robson@parliament.govt.nz> >or fax: 04 472 7620. Similarly to unsubscribe.


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