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News Worthy - 18 February 2005

News Worthy - 18 February 2005

Year of the Rooster

We entered the Chinese New Year of the Rooster on 9 February 2005. Roosters are the perfectionist of the Chinese Zodiac especially when it comes to their looks. But don't let that appearance of vanity fool you. Hidden beneath their well-groomed façade, you'll find one of the most honest and observant souls on earth.

A Rooster believes in being straightforward and expects the same from the rest of us. They also notice everything that's going on, making them experts in law, medicine and science.

The Rooster Years are 1921, 1933, 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005.

The 111 saga A critical element in policing is effective police response to emergency calls. That is simply not occurring and the illustrations include:.

- A woman having to wait 50 minutes for police to respond to a 111 call for help to deal with a drunken intruder, which occurred just a day after Police Minister Hawkins told Parliament that police were meeting the 10-minute response goal.

- claims that police on traffic duty did not respond to calls to stop an offender who kidnapped a two-year-old from its mother.

- a woman in Hamilton who dialled 111 to report an alleged sexual assault, and was told to walk to the police station, while the attacker was still in the house.

It is clear that on any measure the Police have insufficient resources. Simply in terms of Police numbers we have one of the lowest numbers of police per head of population - 18 per 10,000 of population, compared with 22 in New South Wales and 25 in the United Kingdom.

Government cant take credit for the economy Much is said by the Labour government about the strength of the economy. That issue needs to be seen in its context.

In a speech which Alan Bollard, the Governor of the Reserve Bank gave to the New Zealand Canterbury Employers Chamber of Commerce in Christchurch on 28 January he gave five reasons why the economy was doing well. None of them is related to government action. The five reasons were:

- The economic reforms of the 1980s and early 1990s resulted in a more competitive environment for the private sector. · In 2000 and 2001 we had a period where the exchange rate was low and commodity prices had blipped up. - Following 11 September 2001 New Zealand suddenly looked like a more attractive place to New Zealanders, to would-be migrants, and overseas students, as well as tourists. The resulting large gains from net migration had a positive impact on the level of economic activity.

- World commodity prices have risen sharply over the last two years, reflecting both recovery in the US and continuing strong growth in China.

- Growth in private consumption has been very strong, aided by higher employment levels, and also by increases in house prices, which made households feel wealthier. Consumer confidence has remained high.

- The present government came to power on 27 November 1999. After five years of economic growth the gap between New Zealand incomes and Australian incomes has continued to surge. Moreover

- The government is running an operating cash surplus of $7.4 billion in the current financial year. In the six months ended 31 December 2004, total tax revenues were almost $2 billion higher than the same time last year or almost $17m each working day.

- If ever there was a time when beneficiary numbers should have fallen to record lows, it is now. Instead we have over 300,000 working-age adults on benefits, about 15% of the workforce. Around 109,000 are on the DPB, around 79,000 on the Unemployment Benefit, and some 119,000 on the Invalids and Sickness Benefits.

- There has been a 20% increase in core public service numbers over the last four years.

- Private sector debt has blown out. Household debt has gone from about 100% of household income five years ago to over 130% of household income now.

- The bold Labour government plan to put New Zealand back in the top half of the OECD rankings by 2011 has been abandoned. That plan was clearly stated in a foreword which the Prime Minister wrote to in the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor: New Zealand 2000. In question time on 27 February 2003 the Prime Minister denied her statement and said that no timeframe had ever been established.

We should not kid ourselves that the Labour Government has brought prosperity to New Zealand. It hasn't.

Political Quote of the week The quote I have chosen for this week has relevance to aspiring politicians and is taken from the wording of an advertisement placed in the London Press in 1906 by Sir Ernest Shackleton.

"Persons wanted for hazardous journey, small wages, bitter cold, long months of complete darkness. Safe return doubtful. Honour and recognition in case of success".

18 February 2005 No. 20

Upcoming Events

19 February 2005 United Chinese Assn 2005 Multi-Cultural Festival at ASB Theatre 21 February Australian Prime Minister John Howard visit to NZ 24 February 2005 Lifeline Auckland celebrates 40 years of service Republic of France, Minister for Veteran's Affairs HE Mr Hamlaoui Mekachera visiting NZ 25 February 2005

Royal Federation of NZ Justices' Assn Annual Conference in Wellington Official launch of "Ringing in the watches" at the Maritime Room 27 February 28th Conference of Oceanic Regional Association of Chinese Organisations 5 March 2005

Korean Day at Milford Beach 6 March Auckland International Cultural festival 2005 8 March Corran School visiting Parliament 12 March Pasifika Festival Auckland 15th Anniversary of Taiwanese Hwa Hsia Society Indian Community hosting Gala Charity Evening for Tsunami Relief Fund at Waitakere Stadium 13 March

Commonwealth Service at the Holy Trinity Church 19 March - 5.30-8.00pm Richard and Lynne Worth hosting a cocktail evening to meet with Dr Don Brash and Mrs Je Lan Brash. Cost $30pp - Ct: Alan.Towers

Richard Worth

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