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robson-on-politics 24 March 2005

robson-on-politics 24 March 2005

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


Thur 24 March

Happy Easter - now that’s Progressive!

Last September, Parliament saved the traditional Kiwi family long-weekend at Easter by the slimmest of majorities (61 MPs out of 120.)

Progressive’s two votes delivered the majority to safeguard the precious time that families need and deserve to be together. The break allows them to recover from the pressures juggling work and family responsibilities the rest of the year.

Where was the leader of the “Christian values-based” United Future Outdoor party when families needed him? Where was the NZ First Party Caucus?

Peter Dunne, who has opposed every single pro-working family Progressive initiative (from Four Weeks Annual Leave to Paid Parental Leave and all the rest) and NZ First lined up with ACT, that’s where they were.

Ten Feet Tall and Bullet Proof in Whangarei

Yesterday I was in Whangarei with party members who not only have their own branch office but are also putting together some very creative ideas to raise our party vote up north this election.

Which reminds me, Progressive secured funding in the coalition budget for the Arts Promotion Trust’s ‘Ten-foot tall and bullet proof’ play and workshop which, I’m told, is getting the anti-drugs message across effectively to young people .

Addressing housing pressures

At the Regional Development conference yesterday Jim Anderton announced funding for research on housing pressures in the Nelson, Marlborough and Tasman regions. Strong regional economies, growing populations and very low unemployment, make it hard for people to get into their own homes in some of those regions.

Support for seasonal labour shortage strategy

The Labour Progressive government also announced that it is working in partnership with the Fruitgrowers’ Federation to develop a joint industry and government strategy to address labour shortages in the horticulture and viticulture industries. I am acutely aware of the shortages, especially in the Bay of Plenty kiwifruit industry, and am holding meetings with growers and contractors to help find practical solutions.

Will anyone honestly say ACT has 500 members?

ACT yesterday apparently said it won’t obey the law of the land by having of its senior officers sign a Statutory Declaration on the party’s membership. What they meant was ACT can’t find anyone prepared at this time to sign a form saying that it currently has at least 500 current financial members.

ACT now has a month to get its numbers up to 500 as all registered parties are required under the law to make an annual statutory declaration that still has 500 members by 30 April Can I suggest ACT goes to some of its union mates - the big business lobby groups - maybe they could be added up as members or at least “supporting members”.

The 500 rule applies to all parties

All parties are required to admit if their membership dips below 500 every April 30. Over 2000 people have joined Progressive since we were formed in 2002, and we have a separate supporters’ membership of over 4,000. Supporters receive party information on a 3-monthly basis but they can’t contribute to policy formation or stand as candidates.

Regional Development Conference was a winner

Jim Anderton’s third regional development conference, which concluded yesterday, saw some great new ideas added to the mix of policy ideas the government is working on in partnership with business to encourage more high quality job creation for Kiwis. Our most urgent social and economic need is to deliver a standard of living and quality of life sufficient to provide a future for young New Zealanders in every region.

The framework that Jim has put in place means that the next time the global economy goes sour or commodity prices get hit, our people will be much more protected and far less vulnerable to getting hurt.

More on these and other stories of the week is at http://www.progressive.org.nz


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