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robson-on-politics 6 August

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

Progressive: positive about people and jobs

Fri 6 August

From Nelson's creative sector to northern tourism

A progressive week in our campaign to promote high quality job opportunities and education. Jim Anderton announced that the creative sector in Nelson will be supported by the government to promote and develop export opportunities. He also announced that high speed Internet for isolated areas is a step closer and today he was launching the Northland Skills Action Plan. The regional initiative aims to add 600+ jobs, many in tourism, adding $86 million to Northland's GDP by 2008. Supporting growth in Nelson's creative sector High speed Internet for very remote communities Northland working on skill shortages


It is Hiroshima Day

Today we remember the thousands of human beings who perished in Hiroshima, and Nagasaki, 59 years ago. The overwhelming majority of New Zealanders utterly reject the very thought that people can in any way be made secure via "nuclear defence". I felt my age on hearing that classes from two Wellington high schools had to check library books to verify the facts about Hiroshima. But then they were inspired to write and perform a 'Threnody for Hiroshima.' Hope lives on. Parliamentary Network for Nuclear Disarmament


WTO means international law offers job prospects

Multilateral efforts to drain the swamps of global poverty, caused by the unfair trade walls built by the rich nations, are all about promoting our common, shared interests and responsibilities. It has been a week of hope as Monday's newspapers were dominated by the news that the Doha Development Round was kept alive after the richest nations offered some concessions to agricultural producers in the direction of slightly fairer international trading rules. Progressive hope for jobs by upholding international law


Pulling down separation barriers

And just as the trade barriers confine millions in Third World communities to poverty and under-development, so too do we need to pull down the Apartheid Wall the Israeli government of Ariel Sharon is building right through Palestinian farms and villages in the Palestine West Bank. This week Professor Jeff Halper of the Israel Committee Against House Demolitions and a professor of anthropology at Ben Gurion University, spoke throughout New Zealand. On Tuesday 10th he is meeting MPs from, I hope, five or six political parties. Jeff Halper's article "The Matrix of Control"


MMP is working fine - the proof is in the record The MMP electoral system attracted 43% support in the latest NBR PhillipsFox poll, more than the 40% support for first-past-the-post. Progressive president Grant Gillon has tallied up voting on Labour Progressive legislation and found clear evidence that MMP is delivering. 80% of legislation has been passed with broad support, with two or more opposition parties supporting. Grant Gillon's analysis - legislation passed with broad support


Free speech and robust debate is the answer

Public servants are citizens with rights as well as employees. Haami Piripi was quite in order to make a submission on the Foreshore and Seabed bill. I may not agree with him, but that is free speech. The CEO of the Maori Language Commission is not involved in making and carrying out government policy.

While I'm at it, I think we're going a bit over the top with Amokura Panoho. It doesn't look to me as though she misused her position. And an inquiry into 'hate speech,' with promises of law changes is not the answer, but is the path to censorship. The way to deal with hateful and ignorant bigots is to rebut and refute. Free, robust, speech is the answer.


. . . but anti-Semitics acts are not free speech

The anti-Semitic attack on Jewish graves and a chapel in Wellington must be condemned by all New Zealanders. Anti-Semiticism is a racist disease and the thug/s who did this must be caught and prosecuted.


You're invited to a special screening of Fahrenheit 9/11 at Rialto Newmarket, Sunday 8 August. Michael Moore investigates the Bush administration. For tickets, phone 09 525 5544, or email


Tune in Sunday 12 - 1 for the Matt Robson Hour on 531 AM. This week: the October local body elections and Dr Malakai Kolomatangi about the Pacific Forum.

More on this week's news at including my member's bill on the sale of alcohol to young people, and a Tongan journalist on a free press. Progressive MP seeks to raise drinking age, toughen law

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