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robson-on-politics - Friday 13 August 2004

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

Progressive: positive about people and jobs

Fri 13 August

Development in Northland

I'm off to the Far North this weekend where Ngati Rangi are co-hosting with Progressive a seminar on development in Northland. From this I intend to produce a template for development for Maori people in regional New Zealand and to put in into practice elsewhere.

More news on the results to come. and Jim Anderton recently visited and found Northland in good heart _________________________

New Zealand united against anti-Semitism

Parliamentarians unanimously rejected anti-Semitism in a motion deploring recent attacks on Jewish graves and a chapel. I was humbled to receive a letter from a prominent Wellingtonian thanking me for my contribution Sadly, the tone was spoiled by Rodney Hide who tried to link anti-Semitism with people advocating for justice in the Middle East and two states with secure borders.

And Winston Peters couldn't help himself and attacked and abused immigrants and refugees. What would Peters have said to another Jewish refugee, Albert Einstein? _________________________

"We have a crisis!"

Apparently, media moguls like to turn every story into a huge crisis - it helps sell the "news product". Well there were a couple of stories of crises this week. The first was shocking news was "inflationary pressures are building like a volcano."

The second: companies' "growth potential being at risk" because, well, because there just aren't enough people to fill all the job vacancies in this flourishing economy of ours. Makes a change from National's record of 11% unemployment. Unemployment down to 4.0% and two million Kiwis in jobs for the first time ever and over 608,000 jobs in Auckland _________________________

National adopting Progressive regional dev't?

At the risk of tempting fate on this Friday 13th, I want to say something positive about National. During the week, National announced that the party's social security spokesperson Katherine Rich, is also be the party's Economic Development spokesperson.

It is good that National has made the connection between economic development and the very strong gains that we've also seen in so many social statistics -falling crime, higher participation in education, record levels of employment. National's move is the correct one and is a tribute to both Jim Anderton's work over the past five years and to the Progressive Party's success in putting development at the heart of the coalition government's programme. _________________________

Progressive investment in quality of education

Significant research this week indicating that students' mathematic skills are improving thanks to the progressive government's Numeracy Development Projects that are operating in schools from Years 1 to 10.

This is great news, but I'm told by an audiovisual expert that there wasn't any crisis to be found in the reports - which is why you may not have seen it on the TV. The no-crisis story that didn't make the news _________________________

Our progressive coalition government is delivering

National is right when it says New Zealanders' living standards have fallen behind Australians' living standards. It happened in the 1980s and 1990s under the slash and burn policies of those times.

But the OECD says things turned positive since the election of the first Clark-Anderton government in 1999. Our economy has experienced stronger growth in the last five years of centre-left coalition government than my land of birth, Australia. According to the OECD, New Zealand expanded by 19.7% (1999-2003) and Australia 18.1% over the same period.

In the previous five years led by National, NZ significantly under-performed. Under National-NZ First's guidance, the Oz economy won 23.5% to 17.2%. Growth in GDP per person is a better measure of our gains under progressive administration, the OECD says.

Well, growth in our real per capita GDP exceeded Australia's in four out of the last five years. Progressive regional, industry and skills investment programmes helped ensure Kiwis' per capita GDP to increase a cumulative 14%, compared with just 11.3% for Oz.

In the previous five years of Nat-led government, the score was a disgraceful 9.9% (Kiwis) Vs .a magnificent 16.9% (Aussies.) So if you are sick of Aussies kicking Kiwis' backsides, you need to ensure the Labour Progressive government wins a third term so we can continue to deliver genuine economic and social progress. National's policies bad for jobs, families _________________________

Tune in Sunday 12 - 1 for the Matt Robson Hour on 531 AM. This week, talking to Judith Collins (not many know she is National's Pacific spokesperson) and former National MP Arthur Anae on our links with Samoa.


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