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News Worthy: Ambitious for NZ – Meet John Key

News Worthy

30 November 2007 - No. 234

Ambitious for New Zealand – Meet John Key

John Key launched a 12-minute DVD on Tuesday, "Ambitious for New Zealand – Meet John Key". The DVD is intended to give New Zealanders a closer look at John’s life and what he stands for. In it, he talks a little about his life before politics, the things that motivate him, and his ideas for confronting some of the challenges we face as a nation. You can download and watch the DVD here or at National’s YouTube channel, www.youtube.com/user/NZNats.

Over the next few weeks, John will be travelling to more than 30 towns throughout the country to introduce himself to as many people as possible. He will be handing out the DVD wherever he goes.

I encourage you to tell your friends about the DVD so that they also have the opportunity to get to know John a little better.

Old Bailey

Of interest to lawyers is that 2007 marks the centenary of the opening of London’s Central Criminal Court universally known as the Old Bailey. Since the Middle Ages it has been the site of Newgate Gaol and for 85 years was the site of public hangings.

From 1780 to 1834, 21,000 people were sentenced there to transportation to Australia.

Somewhat ironic in the face of the mass exodus of New Zealanders to Australia most vividly illustrated by the figures published on 20 November 2007 that more than 40,000 New Zealanders crossed the Tasman in the past 12 months, up almost 6,200 on the year before.

The reasons for the exodus substantially centre around the lure of the Australian booming economy.

The gangs

The South Australian Government has just announced policies to curb gang activity in the State.

Bikie gangs such as the Hell’s Angels and Mob Shitters are to be banned. Such gangs are to be declared outlawed organisations and their assets confiscated.

The gangs are now sophisticated organisations, not only involved in manufacturing and selling drugs but also in a range of offences including murder, extortion, intimidation and the illegal importation of firearms.

As the State premier said “these people are terrorists within our community”.

In New Zealand, National has made clear its position in a four step plan which is

- The Crimes Act will be amended to ensure that membership of a criminal gang is a criminal offence in and of itself. It will be illegal to be a member of a criminal organisation.

- The Crimes Act will be amended to make it easier for police to conduct surveillance of gangs and listen in on gang communications.

- The Local Government Act will be amended to give police increased power to remove and storm gang fortifications.

- Criminals with gang memberships will be subject to harsher sentences than their non-gang member counterparts. The Sentencing Act will be amended to make gang membership an aggravating factor in sentencing.

Pity the motorist

Transit New Zealand as it morphs into a new body to be called the New Zealand Transport Agency is determined to imprint on our motorway system the traffic management tool known as ramp metering or ramp signalling.

The system is explained in this way

“Ramp signals are traffic lights at the top of motorway on-ramps that manage the flow of traffic onto the motorway during peak periods. With each green light, two cars (one from each lane) are able to drive down the ramp to merge easily, one at a time, with motorway traffic. Vehicles move forward every few seconds between green lights. Separating the vehicles travelling down the on-ramp makes merging onto the motorway easier and causes less disruption to motorway traffic flow.”

It is asserted that ramp signalling has been used with success in Australia, Great Britain, Europe and the United States.

It may be early days but the first impression is of substantial queues of vehicles in local streets waiting to access the motorway.

What seems has happened is that a congestion problem is transferred from an arterial route into a local neighbourhood.

The Government closure of Sunday Schools

The Government has closed the crèches in 10 gyms because they did not comply with licensing requirements.

The axe now moves to Sunday Schools unless “the law of common sense prevails”.

Sunday schools breach the Education Act as well because they have unlicensed people supervising more than three children.

Gym crèches and Sunday schools are baby sitting services. They are not, and were never intended to be, licensed early childhood education centres.

Political Quote of the Week

"A man has made at least a start on discovering the meaning of human life when he plants shade trees under which he knows full well he will never sit." D. Elton Trueblood - author, educator, philosopher, and theologian (1900-1994)

Dr Richard Worth

National Party MP


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