robson-on-politics 20 August
robson-on-politics, a weekly newsletter
from Matt Robson MP Deputy Leader of the Progressive Party
Progressive: positive about people and jobs
Fri 20 August
Action this week: achieved
This week saw the opening of another new Community Action Youth And Drugs (CAYAD) facility - Helensville. Continuing to deliver on a Progressive commitment.
And talking to an APEC meeting, Jim Anderton spelled out why Progressive encourages new investment to propel high-paying jobs for Kiwis: We inherited massive skill and apprenticeship shortages after the '90s. But Progressive in government is turning that around. We are delivering on our commitment to industry training.
Helensville anti-drug facility
Encouraging investment and developing skilled labour
Progressive Executive meets today
With a third-term centre-left coalition government in sight if parties keep focused on the need to continue to deliver good policies for Kiwis, the Progressive Executive gathers for its regular face-to-face meeting today.
We've been exceptionally successful on the policy front, but as the second smallest of eight Parliamentary parties, we know we face a big electoral challenge in 2005.
Progressive's primary electoral ambition is to win another term with representation at the Cabinet table. We want continuation of progressive government working in partnership with communities and industries. We want a brighter tomorrow based on the universal, secular and social democratic values of the current Labour-Progressive government. Progressive says yes to sustainable energy generation and jobs, yes to economic development and jobs, and yes we are anti-drugs.
What is Progressive?
National's record: More welfare dependency
Reactionaries can be found in National - it's important to look at their track record. This government is investing 27.7% of our total Budget on social welfare: a 30-year-low because so many people are in jobs, training or education. But welfare spending under the last National government was significantly higher each and every year of Tory rule, reaching 38.6% of government spending! Nearly 10% - billions of dollars - above current levels.
The Robson Hour this week - Sunday 12 - 1pm
On Radio 531PI this Sunday, 531 on the AM band, I talk to Auckland mayoral candidate Bruce Hucker on why Hubbard cereals aren't good for the city. If only voters had the STV system so they could rank the candidates in order of preference, knowing votes would not be wasted.
No Hubbard mayoral site yet, but http://www.hubbards.co.nz/ may have something soon.
And to refresh your memory on the ins and outs of Single Transferable Vote:
Tried to go to London to see the Queen
On 531PI midday Sunday I also talk to Ana, an Auckland woman who tried to go to London. She has been a permanent resident since 1984 and works for a travel wholesaler. Her boss asked her to go to London for a week to attend a training conference with other employees from around the world. Career highlight!
But Ana ran into a brick wall at Heathrow. Officials claimed they could tell her passport wasn't valid. Because I've known Ana and her family for many years, I got involved (at midnight Saturday here - no rest for an MP.) Despite phones calls to our High Commissioner in London, the Samoan High Commission (for Ana is a Samoan citizen), and my assurances as an honourable MP, Heathrow immigration officials told me they knew best. (The fact that NZ is the nation which detected passport fraud by dodgy Israeli agents cut no ice.)
Ana is back in Auckland with a black mark against her name internationally. The phone lines between my office and the British High Commission have been running red hot as I try to get to the bottom of the matter. She is a victim of over-hyped security measures partly based on paranoia. Ana hasn't yet taken NZ citizenship, although well qualified, because she thought that a friendly world respected her Samoan passport. A little like yours truly who lived here for 20+ years before taking citizenship.
The select committee inquiry into relations with Tonga is nearly complete. The evidence of Kalafi Moala, publisher of the banned Taimi'o Tonga paper, was a highlight. Surprisingly Clive Edwards of Parnell didn't take part.
David Robie's comment on media freedom in Tonga and elsewhere
Bulging prison musters mean that National's simplistic solutions to throw away the key are not the answer. Significant investment in rehabilitation programmes, along with early intervention, will work.
Fighting crime and rehabilitating lives
Also on 531PI http://www.531pi.co.nz on Sunday I talk to Siena Tatola on why working for Work and Income (boss, Steve Maharey) opens the road to paradise. At http://www.progressive.org.nz there is more on the above and on the rest of the week's news including UCOL's construction course to train young people and so help flood-hit Manawatu-Wanganui. Skills to rebuild: