Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Don Brash Writes - No. 75, 18 April 2006

Don Brash Writes

No. 75, 18 April 2006

This newsletter comes to you from Washington, where I am on the first leg of a two-week trip that will also include New York, the UK, China and Singapore. I am using this trip to undertake high-level discussions about ways in which New Zealand's foreign relations interests, particularly trade, can best be progressed.

While I will update you on the trip in my next newsletter, I will take this opportunity to let you know what I have been up to during the parliamentary recess.

Plunket Petition

In the past few days I signed my name to a petition calling for the Government to reinstate funding to the iconic PlunketLine service.

Plunket has been giving good advice to Kiwi mothers and babies for generations. For the past 12 years their dedicated 24-hour phone line has been a crucial source of this support. Mums and dads trust PlunketLine. I am appalled by Labour's decision to axe funding for it. Helen Clark made a promise in 1999 that her Government would "fund the PlunketLine service on a 24-hour-a-day, seven days a week basis". The Prime Minister's failure to honour that promise is a betrayal, not only of the Plunket organisation, but also of Kiwi parents and children.

I am hopeful that if enough people sign Plunket's petition, Labour will be forced to reverse its decision.

You can sign the petition by downloading a copy at

Labour's Energy Crisis

Last week I visited Lake Tekapo, one of the South Island hydro storage lakes. This lake - like hydro lakes throughout the country - is dangerously low, meaning there is a real danger of power blackouts this winter.

I am concerned that Labour is so embarrassed at having a third power crisis in six years that it would rather gamble on it not happening than face the facts.

I believe it is time for the Government to initiate an electricity savings campaign. A well-designed conservation campaign seeking modest savings now would cost little compared with the economic damage that blackouts would cause. I have pledged support for any fast tracking of public money through Parliament necessary to get such a campaign started.

Though this would be a short-term fix to get New Zealand through this winter, it underscores a wider crisis in the Government's electricity policy. Labour's failure to address the roadblocks in the way of building new generation, such as the Resource Management Act (RMA) and the policy mess over Kyoto, has got us to this point.

New Zealand needs a robust energy policy that provides security and efficiency of power supply. We simply can't afford to prevaricate over new generation options.

National would confront this issue on a number of fronts. We would appoint a Minister of Infrastructure to take responsibility for ensuring New Zealand's power needs are met now and into the future. And, as a matter of priority, we would reform the RMA to provide a better balance between protecting the environment and responding to urgent infrastructure needs.

Don Brash

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Peters/Ardern Triumph

There are a lot of good reasons to feel joyful about this outcome. It is what so many young voters – the best hope for the country’s future – wanted.

Far more important than the implications for the Economy Gods ( is the dollar up or down? ) last night’s outcome will also mean many, many vulnerable New Zealanders will have a better life over the next three years at least.

Yet the desire for change was in the majority, across the country..>>>More


Labour on its agreement |Peters: Post-Election Announcement Speech | Greenpeace “cautiously hopeful” about new Government | ACT - Madman on the loose | E tū ecstatic | Chamber welcomes the outcome | Greens on their joining Govt | EDS welcomes new govt | Immigrant groups worry | Feds ready to engage new coalition government | Labour Ministers of the Crown announced


Climate: Increasing Greenhouse Emissions Hit NZ

New Zealand is seeing impacts of excess greenhouse gas emissions in our climate and oceans, according to the latest national report from the Ministry for the Environment and Stats NZ about the state of the atmosphere and climate…More>>


Wellington.Scoop: Arrests At Blockade Of "Weapons Expo"

“We encourage people in Wellington to get down to the Westpac Stadium now for a day of awesome peace action. There will be plenty of food, music and activities to keep us sustained through the day.” More>>


Rorschach Restructuring: PSA Taking Inland Revenue To Court Over Psychometrics

The Public Service Association will be seeing Inland Revenue in Employment Court over its intention to psychometrically test employees reapplying for their roles at the department as part of its controversial Business Transformation restructuring plan. More>>


Nuclear Disarmament: Nobel Peace Prize 2017 Awarded To ICAN

Congratulations from iCAN Aotearoa New Zealand to international iCAN, the other iCAN national campaigns and partner organisations, and the countless organisations and individuals who have worked so hard for a nuclear weapons-free world since 1945. More>>


Expenses: Waikato DHB CEO Resigns

An independent inquiry has identified that Dr Murray had spent more than the agreed $25K allocated for relocation costs, and other unauthorized expenses involving potential financial breaches of the chief executive’s obligations. More>>


Wellington.Scoop: Sad About The Trolley Buses?

The Regional Council’s MetLink is today spending money to tell us that it really loves Wellington’s trolley buses, even though they’re all being taken off our roads by the end of this month. More>>


Post-Election: Preliminary Coalition Talks Begin

New Zealand First will hold post-election preliminary discussions in Wellington with the National Party tomorrow morning and the Labour Party tomorrow afternoon. More>>




Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election