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The Labour Government's Socialist Agenda

Newman Online
Weekly commentary by Dr Muriel Newman MP

The Labour Government's Socialist Agenda

This week Newman Online looks at how the Labour Government is turning New Zealand into a socialist state with its rules and regulations and questions whether Kiwis will realise before it's too late.

As I continue to ask taxi drivers who they think will win the election, yesterday's driver replied: "The communists, of course"!

I asked him why it was that he saw so clearly that New Zealand is turning into a socialist country when most of the public is oblivious to the change? He explained that once you have lived under communism, you recognise it anywhere, even when it has been cleverly disguised.

He said that he and his family had moved to New Zealand to escape from a communist regime. They were now devastated to find that our fundamental freedoms are being eroded away and our liberties curtailed, not only without any hint of civil war, but with barely a murmur of protest.

He likened the situation of New Zealanders under Labour's rule to that of a frog swimming around in a saucepan of warm water: when the heat is gradually turned up, the frog doesn't understand what's going on until suddenly he realises, too late, that it's too hot and he dies. If on the other hand, the frog jumps into a pot of hot water, he immediately realises that it's too hot and leaps out to survive.

The problem that New Zealanders face is that Labour governments have incrementally turned up the heat of regulation, so that slowly but surely we are marching towards their goal of a socialist state. That means that wealth would be redistributed on a massive scale, the unions are in complete control of the workplace, the welfare state is generously expanded and that the government controls most of the activities of its citizens.

These changes - which are largely in place - have been able to be introduced without massive protest by shrouding them in caring and compassionate-sounding rhetoric. Many of the changes have been imposed under the radar of public awareness, while others are introduced with great fanfare using a few high profile cases to justify the wholesale change of law.

This was the strategy used to justify the regulation of all dog owners: a tragic case of a young girl savaged by dogs was used by Labour to introduce draconian new laws - including, a costly national dog database that will never be able to be kept up to date - which will require all dogs (including those that are as dangerous as a stuffed toy) to be micro chipped at birth. The problem is that the gang members, who have never before registered their dangerous dogs, are not likely to get them micro chipped either. And will the local council dog control officer visit the gang headquarters to enforce the law? Not likely!

This dog law exemplifies the hallmark of socialism, which penalises the law-abiding through punitive, costly and restricted laws. Denying them their freedom, while allowing the law-breakers to walk free.

It's like the claims made by the government that a handful of fly- by-nighters is sufficient justification for the introduction of the wholesale regulation of the 30,000 strong charitable and voluntary sector; or using the problem of leaky homes - which has effected only a small number of New Zealand homes - to justify the wholesale regulation of the building industry and the abolition of do-it-yourself building; or claiming that the minority of landlords, who charge tenants too much for rental housing, is adequate justification for the introduction of rent controls.

If Labour is re-elected, the writing is already on the wall for the use of home cooking for fundraising or hospitality purposes:

Labour has claimed that there is an unacceptably high incidence of food poisoning from home-made food, and they not only intend to ban sausage- sizzles and cake stalls, but they are even talking about prohibiting the Kiwi 'taking a plate' tradition. I say let's see the facts, let's examine the evidence and then let's stop this nonsense in it's tracks!

Under the increased powers Labour gave local government, people may soon be banned from washing their car in the street, from pruning their trees without resource consent, and they will be required to ask permission from local Maori to do almost anything on their own private property.

Excessively restrictive air and water quality standards means that open fires will soon be a thing of the past in most parts of the country. Many more schools will be forced to close down their swimming pools because they can no longer afford to run them, and rural water supplies may be priced out of reach.

Many other aspects of our Kiwi way are being banned or restricted, from the abolition of Christmas parades and sports races, to school camps and trips, even jungle-gyms, trampolines and the climbing of trees are all under threat. Using the guise of keeping people safe, socialists have set their sights on banning anything that can be seen as being challenging or fun. Without the ability to learn about risk-taking as children, New Zealand adults will no longer be properly equipped to deal with the everyday challenges of life.

While it has been Labour governments that have traditionally pursued socialist agendas, National governments have a track record of not only failing to reverse bad law, but of introducing some real clangers themselves.

The Resource Management Act - appropriately nicknamed the 'Ransom Management Act' since it gave rise to legalised blackmail especially by Maori - was introduced by a National government. And even though it is now responsible for the confiscation of private property rights, enormous and costly project delays, an explosion in local body bureaucracy, widespread capture by radical greenies, and the abandonment of progressive projects, National still refuses to admit that the RMA should be scrapped.

ACT is the only party in Parliament that seeks out and actively opposes socialism in its every disguise, as a matter of principle. As a party that believes in freedom, choice and personal responsibility, we will continue to fight against regulations that unnecessarily restrict the freedom of New Zealanders.

If this is an issue that concerns you as much as it concerns me, then please on election day support ACT back into Parliament so that, no matter whether Labour or National become the major party, we can retain our status as a watchdog protecting the rights of New Zealanders to their individual freedom and liberty, against the excesses and largesse of big government.

If you have examples of crazy regulations, please email them to me at


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