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robson-on-politics, 13 May 2004


Friday 14 May Matt Robson MP

Wayne Mapp vs Matt Robson

The best debate for years on the North Shore will be: 1pm this Monday, 17 May, Massey University at Albany: from Gate 1 go to the Round Room in the Atrium building. The question is "Ahmed Zaoui: refugee or risk?" This is about a man as well as the impact of terror on people's lives and how the war on terror can backfire. See: http://www.amnesty.org.nz

From public ownership to private prisons

A few days after leaving Labour, Tariana Turia has joined the Opposition's prisons-for-profit brigade. As Minister of Corrections, I made sure the Corrections Bill included the policy of prisons being operated by the state. Fortunately, despite Mrs Turia's decision, our votes and Labour's, with the Greens' support, make a majority. There is a lesson there somewhere. See http://www.progressive.org.nz/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=884

Kiwibank still booming, ahead of targets

Another successful state asset is high on the Brash-Act fire-sale list. The Sunday Star Times reported that Kiwibank remains well ahead of all targets. On Monday the 300th branch will be opened in Mangere East, a community abandoned by overseas banks for a decade. 240,000 customers will ensure that the People's Bank (aka 'Jim's Bank') stays in the hands of the people. http://www.progressive.org.nz/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=895 _

Should more good news on jobs be boring?

It almost seems routine by now, but we are continuing to deliver on jobs to the benefit of working families. This week's news is that 193,000 more people are in jobs than when we were elected in 1999. The unemployment rate at 4.2% is the lowest in a generation. And internationally, only three OECD countries are lower. Just think what would the country would be like if we hadn't put our effort into economic development and jobs. See:
and the Youth Directions programme, getting young people into jobs or training: http://www.progressive.org.nz/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=892

Where Britain, USA and Australia go, so we go?

National's defence spokesman revealed in a speech to party faithful he would surrender NZ's sovereignty without a shot fired. Don Brash was not amused by the media story, coming on top of his own willingness to give away our nuclear free status by lunchtime. Don obviously sees a bit of a problem if Britain, USA and Australia were all going in different directions . Simon 'Nuclear' Power belatedly owned up to a 'slightly overcooked' speech. Also, see comment on National suporting paying more for petrol at: http://www.progressive.org.nz/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=875

Posthumous Pensions

Good coverage in daily newspapers when the Progressive Party leader told Parliament that the National Government in 1991 considered raising the age of super-annuation to 75 by 2000. No doubt Don Brash wants that back on the agenda. Just another reason for the Progressives to be the partner in a coalition government. See: http://www.progressive.org.nz/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=886 and the full speech at: http://www.progressive.org.nz/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=887

Progressive shape another Budget

Progressive leader Jim Anderton announced Budget 2004 funding of $42M over four years for Investment New Zealand and the Strategic Investment Fund to encourage investment in New Zealand. That is going to deliver high quality jobs for our people. Investment is one of our five key objectives because we know that economic and social development are inseparable. Budget 2004 is going to be forward looking, building strongly on the platform we first established immediately after the 1999 election. To get good things done for people, we are strongly advocating policies within the Cabinet system. The Progressive Party's fingerprints are on every initiative of the coalition we belong to, because funding initiatives are discussed and altered in the Cabinet and its committees. We are an integral part of the Cabinet process, including me on the LEG committee. See all our Budget 2004 links at: www.progressive.org.nz/budget2004

Crisis in Sudan is a serious crime

There is proper scrutiny of Saddam-like prison policies of the US in Iraq. But this scrutiny is not being applied to the ethnic cleansing and humanitarian crisis continuing in Sudan. The United States government should be praised for speaking out on the abuse of African Sudanese civilians by Arab Sudanese militias, abuse that may be government backed. When Sudan was re-elected to the Commission on Human Rights, the UN's highest forum for examining civil rights, the US representative Sichan Siv said he was perplexed and dismayed that the African Group backed a country that massacred its own citizens in the western Darfur region. We should all be dismayed. See: www.hrw.org the site of Human Rights Watch

www.progressive.org.nz < http://www.progressive.org.nz > has the rest of the week's news I'm your host on Radio 531PI at the time of Sunday 12 - 1 on the Robson Hour. robson-on-politics is available by email and fax. If someone you know would like to subscribe, email matt.robson@parliament.govt.nz or fax: 04 472 7620. Similarly to unsubscribe.


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