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robson-on-politics 26 April 2005

robson-on-politics 26 April 2005

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

Tues 26 April

Remembering those who died in war

In ceremonies across Aotearoa thousands yesterday remembered those young men and women who have died or were injured fighting in the many wars in which New Zealand has participated.

We remember the bravery of the young men and women, and also the pain of their families back home. We remember the many innocent civilian victims of the conflicts. We remember a time when our foreign policy and the wars that we would participate in were decided in London or other capitals.

New Zealand this century must continue to have a strong but appropriate defence capability based on our needs and resources. And it must have an independent and moral foreign policy based on international law that puts New Zealanders' interests first.

Defending our democratic, universal values

As the oldest democracy in the world, it is in our national interest to promote democracy in other places and to support cooperation and multilateral action to address global challenges from climate change to reducing the conflicts caused by poverty and ending poverty itself. The UN, the World Court and the World Trade Organization help resolve disagreements and disputes between nations, and help uplift humanity. They are very much worth strengthening in our national interest.

Any failure at WTO a betrayal of poorest

If the European, North American and Japanese politicians fail to provide leadership by ensuring the WTO Doha Development Round succeeds in pulling down unfair barriers to global trade, then one of the costs of such failure will be the entrenchment of current Third World poverty - poverty that provides fertile ground for conflicts and war.

1.4 billion people in our world live on less than US$2 a day, 500 million on less than a dollar a day. One of the major reasons why we live in a conflict-ridden world is because so many live in extreme poverty where 20,000 people die from poverty each day. A failure at the WTO Doha to lower barriers to global trade will be a failure to give the poorest in the world the opportunity to trade their way to higher incomes and secure futures defined by less conflict and war.

Are you listening Don Brash?

There is no room in New Zealand for the type of politics that polarizes and retards other societies that are torn by conflicts over ethnicity, religion, culture and race.

The Conservatives in the UK have been running a negative, divisive campaign ahead of their Election and the Conservatives will remain in Opposition. There is a lesson there for the right-wing parties seeking to bash new settlers in New Zealand.

Number of drunken teenage drivers soars

I read today that the number of drunk teenagers getting behind the wheel of a car in Western Bay of Plenty has soared since the drinking age was lowered five years ago. And the offenders are getting younger. The number of 15 and 16 year olds picked up for drink-driving last year was nearly three times as many as in the late 1990s when the legal drinking age was 20. In this year's election, Progressive is campaigning to raise the drinking age back to where it belongs.

Paid parental leave extended to self-employed

The participation of sole mothers in paid employment is low in New Zealand compared with nations in Europe. That is one of the reasons I introduced the law change to extend four weeks annual leave to workers and it is why the Labour-Progressive government is to extend New Zealand's paid parental leave scheme to the self-employed. These policies of the centre-left are about social justice and also about financially encouraging working parents to stay in the workforce, and outside of the welfare system where they were deposited by National-United and NZ First-National governments in the 1990s.


Progressive Budget 2005 annoucements

The roll out of Progressive Party Budget 2005 initiatives continues this week. All Progressive initiatives are listed at: http://www.progressive.org.nz/budget2005


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