robson-on-politics - Thursday 9 June
Deputy Leader of the Progressive Party
Thursday 9 June
Youth liquor harm reduction: It's over to you
Well, MPs have voted to refer my Sale of Liquor (Youth Alcohol Harm Reduction) Amendment Bill, to select committee.
That, folks, means it is now up to you to show leadership to wavering politicians. Make your voice heard on how best you think we can reduce the harm being caused by alcohol harm among too many young teenagers.
Echoes of 4 Weeks Leave Private Bill
When my private Bill to guarantee workers a minimum of four weeks' paid leave a year was first put to Parliament, I was told in no uncertain terms by senior people that there was absolutely "No Way" to have a law change in the current Parliamentary term.
But the law was changed in favour of working families in 2003 and there is no doubt that it was the public in-put at select committee and in MPs' electorate offices that turned the tide. So it now up to all of us to do it again and deliver another pro-families policy.
Does Peter Dunne support families?
That the leaders of ACT, the Greens and National united voted against letting the public have a say on my Alcohol Harm Reduction Bill, is probably not a surprise.
It was united ACT, Green, and Brash votes that gave a controversial Labour private Bill the one-vote majority to become law not that long ago.
But in Parliament yesterday the opposition of Mr. Brash, ACT and Green wasn't nearly enough to kill-off public consultation on the Bill. I admit I am shocked that United Future leader Peter Dunne voted against the Bill, just as I was when United Future opposed my Four Weeks Annual Leave Bill. Progressive has now selected around half of our candidates. One of their tasks will be to highlight, in electorates like Mr Dunne's, the value of giving your party vote to Progressive.
United Future's asset sales plans
The National-United and NZ First-National governments in the 1990s hocked-off our strategic national assets at bargain basement prices. Contact Energy, the forests, Auckland International Airport, you name it.
Well, United is now saying that if it joins the next government then it will be demanding that the government hock-off 40% of all the remaining strategic assets (like NZ Post, the owner of Kiwibank, Mighty River Power, Meridian Energy, Genesis Power, Air NZ etc.).
What United is proposing is financially daft (because we, the citizens who own these assets, would get an ultra low price for our discounted assets because investors pay much, much less for parcels of shares as opposed to going-concerns).
What United is proposing is also very significant in political terms. It fits in like a jixsaw to NZ First's proposal in the last National-led government to sell "bits of" Solid Energy and Auckland Airport. But selling "bits of" assets, as practiced by United and NZ First, is actually even dumber in terms of return to taxpayers than selling the assets as going concerns.
Jim's Misuse of Drugs Amendment Bill started its Second Reading today (Thursday): Updating law relating to prevention of drug abuse.
The Bill is tough on the peddlers of the very dangerous precursors, but many parents will also be interested in its proposal to create a restricted substances class allowing Parliament to regulate the manufacture and sale of party pills like BZP.
The Health Committee decided to narrow Jim's proposed definition of restricted substances because MPs from other parties felt existing legislation would be more appropriate to regulate substances like butane which are subject to abuse by some. Over to you Marian Hobbs and Judith Tizard.
Standing with Fiji democrats
On the eve of a visit by the Fiji PM, Progressive today reiterated that we stand with our democratic allies in Fiji against violent racism dressed up as "indigenous rights".
There is a move afoot to, in effect, grant amnesty to those involved in Fiji's 2000 coup, and their supporters. In other words, it allow anti-democratic, racist thugs to be absolved of being held to account for their crimes.
More top stories are at http://www.progressive.org.nz