Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


robson-on-politics 11 February

robson-on-politics 11 February

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

Fri 4 February

Abolishing student debt

A key Progressive Party policy is the reintroduction of free education at all levels. Our first step is to meet student loan repayments for three years for tertiary graduates working in New Zealand. We want to achieve that in the coalition government in the next Parliament. Then we want to extend to three years to 10 years.

That is the average time taken to pay off a student loan. The effect will be that, under Progressive policy, graduates working in New Zealand could have their full student debt repaid by government. I will be taking this message to university and polytech campuses around New Zealand starting today. This morning I met Massey University Students Association to outline why Progressive is their best party vote. and keynote address to NZUSA:

Adult illiteracy

A Treasury paper released in December revealed that out of 2.65 million New Zealanders aged 16 - 65, 530,000 are illiterate or functionally illiterate. That's 530,000 too many. In Parliament this week, I said "Serious attention needs to be paid to the problem and the Progressives want to do that both in the present government and following the next election."

Household Labour Force Survey

But the good news today is that unemployment has gone down yet again. We now have the lowest rate in the OECD at 3.6%. And even though the labour force continues to expand, the number of people without a job has dropped again. Critics of the "job machine" will have a hard time justifying their claim that our policies are not working. Just look at the evidence!

Picking winners vs picking losers

Protemix is a local company developing a number of diabetes-related drugs, including one they believe has "blockbuster" potential and capable of generating annual revenue of over $1.3 billion. That from just one drug. Government, through the Strategic Investment Fund, has supported Protemix with a $2 million underwrite and a local consortium has injected $24 million of private capital. An astute observer noted "it is pretty hard to pick winners but that it sure beats deliberately picking losers, as implied by the Greens and New Zealand First"

Auckland Progressives meet this Sat 12 Feb 10am Dalmatian Hall, New North Road to focus on campaign 2005. Tel 525 5544 for more info.

Planning for change - I

Interlock's decision to move its plant to China shows that work under way to transform the manufacturing sector into a high-value, high skill industry group is good news. We're working with industry to develop products and connect businesses with markets, and later this year there will be a national manufacturing conference. And one current example: innovative Whispertech has received assistance to ensure that its orders can be filled by New Zealand-built generators. The textiles and footwear sector, facing lower tariffs and a trade agreement with China, is getting $1.1m to help them adjust from commodity goods to high value products.

Another sad NZ First hoax

But in response NZ First is playing a cruel hoax on workers, with statements attacking our trade efforts. Remember NZ First did nothing when they had the chance. They sat in a market-led government. By contrast our regional and economic development policies are delivering results for New Zealanders.

Planning for change - II

Solid Energy, the Exporter of the Year, has faced up to one of the biggest challenges there is - making coal clean by, for example, progressively withdrawing from the home heating market. That is why they will host the New Zealand Pavilion at Expo 2005 in Aichi, Japan. The Expo theme is 'Nature's Wisdom', focusing on new directions for solving global environmental challenges. If we want a society with first world technology, communications, and living standards, then we have to start supporting positive technological developments.

This week on there are stories on: National dithering on Kiwibank

the Chief Justice on crime

an alternative to pseudoephedrine

and 'Turbo-boosting the economy' or, 'Why help Hubbards?'


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The New Pike River Agency (And The Air Strike Wing)

Much of the sympathy the public still feels for the families of the Pike River miners has been sustained by the sense that the previous government – let alone the mining company and the processes of receivership and litigation – has never dealt honestly, or fairly, with them.

Finally, yesterday’s announcement by the Ardern government that a new state agency will be set up to assess and plan the manned re-entry to the mine (on a set timetable) goes a long way to meeting the families’ remaining request: that they be enabled, if at all possible, to bury their loved ones. More>>


Not Going Swimmingly: Contractor Cut, New Dates For Christchurch Sports Centre

“As an incoming Minister, I have been conducting a thorough review of progress on the Anchor projects and to learn of a $75 million budget blowout on this project was very disappointing..." More>>


Tertiary: Allowances, Loan Living Costs To Get Boost

“From 1 January, student allowance base rates and the maximum amount students can borrow for living costs will rise by a net $50 a week,” says Education Minister Chris Hipkins... further adjusted from 1 April 2018 in line with any increase in the CPI. More>>


Foreign Affairs: Patrick Gower Interviews Jacinda Ardern

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says discussions have already begun on how to bring climate change refugees into New Zealand under a Pacific seasonal employment plan... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Centre Right’s Love Of ‘Nanny State’

You’d almost think it was 2005 again. That was a time when the rugged individualists of the centre-right were being beset by government regulations on the nature of light-bulbs, the size of shower heads, the junk food available at school tuck shops and other such essentials... More>>

Speaking Of Transport: Public Engagement On Wellington Scenarios

“Our work on possible solutions for Wellington’s transport future is ongoing, but has progressed to the stage where we’re ready to share our ideas with the public and seek their feedback to help guide our next steps...” More>>


Parental Leave: National's Time-Sharing Change Fails

National has proposed a change to the Parental Leave and Employment Protection Amendment Bill that would allow both parents to take paid parental leave at the same time, if that is what suits them best. More>>





Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election