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Newsworthy 29 July 2005

Newsworthy 29 July 2005

Election date announcement

The election is on Saturday 17 September 2005 and is about finally tackling the issues of mainstream New Zealanders, after six years of Labour's social engineering and political correctness.

It is about restoring for ordinary New Zealanders the right incentives to work hard and to get ahead, for the benefit of their families and their country.

It is about providing the right incentives in the tax system, in education, and in the welfare system so that our children and grandchildren don't feel the need to move to Australia to have a decent life.

It's about bringing the Treaty grievance industry to an end, and reining in a Labour spending machine that has collected and wasted most of the economic growth of the past six years.

Overseas voting For those who will be overseas at the time of the election (whenever that is) the system for overseas voting is described at http://www.elections.org.nz/voting/printer_how_vote_overseas.html

Mallard gives ducks a bad name This memorable line was coined by David Lange and continues to have the relevance it had when first offered.

Mr Mallard has scored an embarrassing own-goal by attacking an American billionaire who has not only donated money to Labour but has also supported the Government in its bid for a free-trade deal with the United States.

Labour has abandoned its billboard campaign and the focus is on personal attack. We have been treated to the surprising display of the Foreign Minister photographed beside a trailer with a Labour hoarding containing criticisms of the United States.

Oaths Modernisation Bill The issue of oaths, on one view of it, is hardly bowel gripping stuff but the Government's latest plans are another indication of a clear strategy of social engineering and political correctness.

The Oaths Modernisation Bill has passed its first reading and is now being considered by the Government Administration Select Committee .

The Bill proposes substantial changes to two important oaths, the citizenship oath and the Parliamentary oath.

If passed citizens and MPs will swear or affirm that they will "respect the democratic values of New Zealand and the rights and freedoms of its people".

This raises questions of what the legislature means (or more so intends) in the first instance by the "democratic values of New Zealand" and in the second instance by "the rights and freedoms of its people".

Compare this to the citizenship current oath, in which people swear to "faithfully observe the laws of New Zealand and fulfil my duties as a New Zealand citizen".

Sex with horses A members Bill in Parliament - the Marriage (Gender Clarification) Amendment Bill proposes to amend the Marriage Act to say that marriage is between one woman and one man. The Government opposes the Bill because it asserts the law is clear.

Yet the Ministry of Justice in its report to the Attorney General into the Bill:

"although it has been clear that the common law understanding of marriage is between a man and a woman, this could be overturned because of some overseas decisions, and the recognition of same-sex marriage in some countries".

Marilyn Waring an MP from November 1975 to June 1984 and a strong supporter of gay marriage describe the Bill as "a filthy little amendment".

The Bill does three things: * It specifies that a marriage can only be between one man and one woman, and provides that 'marriage' between people of the same sex is prohibited. * It specifies that same-sex 'marriages' registered in foreign countries are not recognised as marriages in New Zealand. * It amends the Bill of Rights Act 1990 to ensure that measures intended to promote or advance marriage (for example pre-marriage counselling) are not considered discriminatory

Closing the gap with Australia National has a range of strategies to close the income gap between Australia and New Zealand. In the past five years the gap in average after-tax incomes between the two countries has grown from $5,000 per year to $9.000 - nearly double.

The strategies include tax cuts which are yet to be announced, easing the repayment burden on those with student loans by making the interest payments on student debt tax deductible, one-third of childcare costs will be able to be claimed, resulting in a tax refund of a maximum of $1,650 per child, and major changes to limit compliance costs.

One of the key compliance statutes is the Resource Management Act and the major changes proposed are:
* Scrapping legal aid for objectors.
* Repealing references to the Treaty of Waitangi and 33 other related provisions.
* Limiting objectors to people directly affected.
* Introducing a policy of a late consent is a free consent.
* Making greater use of national standards.
* Simplifying the process for changing district and regional plans. The amendment bill will be introduced within three months of Parliament sitting and passed within nine months.

Political Quote of the Week "Politics [is] the art of achieving the maximum amount of freedom for individuals that is consistent with the maintenance of social order." -- Barry Goldwater - Arizona senator and US presidential candidate

29 July 2005 No. 38

Upcoming Events

31 July - 1.30pm NZ Amnesty International planting trees at Mutukaroa Hamlins Hill Regional Park 1 August Remuera Branch celebrating 40th Anniversary of Amnesty's founding in NZ.

Switzerland National Day celebration in Wellington and farewell to Ambassador 2 August Parliamentary reception for Michael Campbell - 2005 US Open Golf Champion Start of valedictory statements by departing MPs in the House. House in Urgency 3 August Kings College pupils visiting Parliament 4/5 August House rises for end of this Parliamentary session 5 August Memorial Service for Admiral Sir Gordon Tait at Holy Trinity Church Richard participating on Shine TV - Law & Order Debate 6 August Chamber Music NZ National Final at Auckland Town Hall Inaugural launch of KOWIN (Korea Women's International Network)

7 August NZ Guangdong Assn hosting Hong Kong Yip's Children Choir concert 10 August Remuera/Eastern Bays CAB 29th AGM 11 August Auckland District Law Society panel discussion on justice issues House adjourns at end of day today 15 August Auckland War Memorial Museum holding commemoration of the End of 2nd World War in the Pacific

16 August Richard guest speaker at Rotary Club of Epsom 25 August Sommerville Presbyterian Church Candidate Debate 27 August Chinese Painting & Calligraphy Arts Assn Members 2005 Chinese Painting & Calligraphy Exhibition Opening 28 August Politician Sunday at Eden Assembly of God Church


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