Newsworthy 1 July 2005
Newsworthy 1 July
When the Civil Union Act was passed some of us thought that it was the result of manipulative strategy by a small group of committed gays and lesbians. So it seems.
Five weeks after the relationship-defining status has been in force only 56 couples have sought civil unions. There were 23 female couples and 23 male couples. Heterosexual couples numbered only 10.
In retrospect it may be that the legislation will be known for its condemnation from Pope Benedict XVI to New Zealand's new envoy to the Vatican.
In the confusion which surrounds the Government's initiatives in health three things are clear: · Despite huge inflows of taxpayer money, the number of operations has dropped. The Health and Independence Report of 2003 showed that in 1999, 160,000 acute elective operations were carried out. In 2003 the number dropped to 157,000. ·
We now have 21 District Health Boards and 77 Primary Health Organisations with the associated bureaucracies. · In 1998 the Health Minister said that if surgical waiting lists surged to 100,000 people, that would be "criminal".
On 30 April 2005, after $3.5 billion more into health there are 119,000 people waiting for surgery or their first specialist assessment. Coalition Stuff Post election Only National can change this Labour Government and bring in policies wanted by mainstream New Zealanders, such as lower taxes, education that works, safer streets and an end to the Treaty grievance industry.
A vote for New Zealand First does not guarantee a change of Government. As commentators have said: "it's a bit like tossing a coin". Mr Peters' will not state which party he would enter a coalition with, so voting for him is a large gamble.
Maori language test
It is a curious fact that we actually only have one official language in New Zealand. The Maori language is the only official language by dint of section 3 of the Maori Language Act 1987. There is a plan to create a second official language - sign language used by the deaf in a Bill pending in Parliament.
For those versed in Maori I am happy to provide a complementary dinner in Bellamys for the fifth correct entry translating the following line:
"Raiona ki runga te marae. Hipi ki roto te whare Paremata".
Capital Gains tax
The Government is poised to introduce capital gains tax on off-shore equity holdings. There is an issue of philosophy involved.
What logic can there be to introduce a capital gains tax, particularly on Australian shares, at a time when we are proposing a single economic market with Australia?
Why put a capital gains tax on when we want people to save for a secure retirement, and international diversification enhances the security of a portfolio?
Why tax savings more when you want to encourage savings?
Why is it okay for the government, through the New Zealand Superfund, to invest offshore to gain portfolio diversification, but when it comes to your own money there is a new tax to be paid?
Labours new taxes To date there have been 33 new taxes which I have identified in earlier newsletters in clips of five (News Worthy 28 and 30). Here are the next five: · Additional fees associated with importing/exporting -Import entry transaction fee $22- 1 December 2004 · 12. Additional fees associated with importing/exporting -Export entry transaction fee - $4 for exports under Customs approved scheme, otherwise $5.75 -1 December 2004 · 13.
Additional fees associated with importing/exporting -Outward cargo transaction fee $11.25 for ship bound exports, $3.75 for plane-bound exports -1 December 2004 · 14. Alcohol -Increased duty for beverages with between 14-23% alcohol content -7 May 2003 · 15. Petrol (ACC Levy) -Raised from 2.3c to 5.08c per litre -1 July 2003 Holiday reading >
From one of New Zealand's more interesting blog sites (www.kiwiblog.co.nz) comes the authors list of the thinnest books in the World. The selection includes: · The Care and Management of Domestic Animals by John Tamihere. · Good Island Food by Lana Coc Croft. · Probing Parliamentary Questions by Diane Yates. · The Burden of Fame by Martin Gallagher. · Good things about David Cunliffe by Clayton Cosgrove.
Political Quote of the Week
"As nightfall does not come at once, neither does oppression. In both instances, there's a twilight where everything remains seemingly unchanged, and it is in such twilight that we must be aware of change in the air, however slight, lest we become unwitting victims of the darkness", William O Douglas, US Supreme Court Associate Justice.
1 July 2005 No. 34
1 July Rotary Club of Epsom change-over night 2 July Lions vs All Blacks - Wellington 3 July Sensible Sentencing Debate in Christchurch "Lock them Up - Or let them loose". Memorial Exhibition of "The Marco Polo Bridge Incident & The V-J Day" at AIS Asquith Campus 4 July American Independence Day
HMNZS NGAPONA Change of Command ceremony 5 July Launch of Redevelopment of Auckland Art Gallery
Lions vs Auckland - Auckland 8 July Don Brash visiting Epsom Electorate Taiwanese Community fundraising dinner 9 July Lions vs All Blacks- Auckland 10 July - 12.15pm Epsom Electorate luncheon with guest speaker Hon Maurice Williamson speaking on Roading Now. Enquiries Sue Chatfield (09) 520 3532 11 July Richard speaking at the Auckland National Council of Women meeting 12 July "60 years ago" exhibition opening in Wellington - celebrating 60 years of diplomatic relations between France and NZ
Prince Albert II will be enthroned as ruler of Monaco today 14 July France National Day celebrations in Wellington 16 July NZ Society for Music Therapy Annual Conference 17 July Memorial Service for Bhagubhai Vaghela 20 July Taiwanese Chamber of Commerce in Oceania hosting 2005 Regional Conference dinner 25 July Richard opening Panacea Arts Exhibition "A World of Difference" 26 July House resumes sitting 27 July 52nd Anniversary NZ Korea Veterans Annual Cease Fire Parade
Visit my website for more information at: http://www.richardworth.co.nz