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Gerry In The House - 1 July 2005

1 July 2005

Tackling the issues of Mainstream New Zealand

At the National Party Annual Conference last weekend many of the speakers, myself included, outlined how Labour is not meeting the expectations of Mainstream New Zealand. In the days following the conference, confusion arose in the media about what exactly it is meant to be part of Mainstream New Zealand.

Mainstream New Zealand is a mind-set, not a socio-economic condition. Mainstream New Zealanders want what's best for their future. They want a society built on decency and the same laws for everybody. They want fairness and they want opportunity to succeed for themselves and their families.

Mainstream New Zealanders are every regular law-abiding Kiwi who gets up in the morning and goes to work - or is seeking to better themselves through education or retraining. They may, or may not, have children, but they expect a first-class education system and a first-class health system for the country's children. They want security and they want stability.

They take responsibility for themselves and their kids, and they want the opportunity to get ahead in life. They don't want to be told what to do all the time by the government, and they're tiring of the political correctness that is invading every aspect of their lives.

There is no exclusive membership to Mainstream New Zealand. It's not based on race, sexual orientation or gender. It's an attitude to life.

Clearly, Labour and Helen Clark are not part of Mainstream New Zealand. They are getting more and more out of touch with Mainstream New Zealanders every day. They support high taxes when the economy's doing well, and they believe the state always knows best how to spend taxpayers' money. They deny parents choice in education, they support race-based laws, they allow welfare to be a driftnet rather than a safety net, and they give compensation to rapists and murderers.

They are not the values of what I consider to be Mainstream New Zealand - the values and issues that National remains committed to tackling.

Too hot to handle?

This week saw another of Labour's problematic ideas - the public access land grab - thrown into the too-hard basket, to be reopened in the event of them winning the election. National has other ideas for this too-hard basket - take it permanently to the tip, and that's what we will do!

This must be seen for what it is - a cynical move to defer something that could only lose Labour votes following a series of bad polls in recent months. It is as plain as the nose on my face that this issue will resurface should Helen Clark and her anti-farmer gang get back into government.

The Budget allocation of $2 million a year for the next three years to advance the legislation is still there for all to see. You don't have to be a genius to see that more consultation on the issue is not going to change people's minds about the land grab. How stupid does Jim Sutton think we are?

If Labour had any courage in their convictions they would have made this an election issue. Instead, they ran.

The proposed legislation joins a pile of other issues in the too-hard basket, as readers of The Press were so starkly reminded yesterday. But for those readers living outside the great city of Christchurch, here is a reminder of what Labour has found too hot to handle as we get closer to the election...

-John Tamihere and his outbursts.
-Georgina Beyer's Gender Identity Bill.
- Review of the Constitution and the Treaty of Waitangi.
- The proposed Transpower electricity corridor between Auckland and Hamilton.
- Changes to the rural school bus service.
- Marine reserves extension legislation.
- Raising the drinking age.
- The use of cell phones while driving.

Only a vote for the National Party will bring real change for the better for all New Zealanders. We will empty Labour's too-hard basket and introduce only the policies that New Zealanders want.

To go, or not to go, that is the question

The big story of the week has been the question over the New Zealand cricket team's tour to Zimbabwe. This is more important than party politics, and National is willing to put them to one side in order to reach a position which sends the strongest message to Robert Mugabe without bankrupting New Zealand Cricket.

Mugabe is an evil dictator running an evil regime, and the recent events in Zimbabwe are abhorrent. The National Party agrees with Labour on this, and so do the majority of New Zealanders. On a foreign policy issue such as this, and this close to an election, there needs to be a genuinely bipartisan approach.

For a week now, National has been calling for a briefing to take place with Labour to share legal advice and advice from foreign posts so the best decision can be made. Labour finally has made the offer of a briefing, and we have accepted. National broadly supports their efforts on this issue but we are not prepared to bankrupt New Zealand Cricket for the sake of a political decision - unlike Labour.

ENDS

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