News Worthy - 27 June 2008
27 June 2008 - No. 252
Sword of Damocles hangs over hairdressers
Who would have thought that hairdressers have been determined to be a threat to public health by the Labour-led Government requiring heavy handed regulation.
A new provision in the Public Health Bill will apply to many businesses carrying out a so-called regulated activity, such as a hairdresser.
Public Health Risk Management plans are now to be required. These plans must identify how those risks will be prevented or minimised, and set out a timetable for how they will be managed.
Every Public Health Risk Management Plan must then be submitted to an assessor for approval.
The Director General of Health will maintain a national database of consents granted as a result of a Public Health Risk Management Plan.
Small wonder that one commentator noted that the Labour Government is “is seeking to over-regulate everything from free speech, to light bulbs, and now hairdressers. Whatever will they think of next?"
More Train Services, More Trains For Aucklanders
New passenger rail timetables will be in place from Sunday 13 July 2008, giving commuters more frequent services in Auckland. An additional SA train set will also be added to the network.
Rail patronage continues to trend strongly upwards in Auckland, with year end figures (to 30 June) expected to show an increase of around 18%. The additional train services which are being added are a direct response to customer demand for rail travel.
The frequency of many services will increase, particularly on the Western Line.
So far there seems to be no action or plan to run a rail link from the central city to the airport. As I commented in an earlier newsletter (No.238) frustration builds for those who arrive at Auckland airport on weekdays at peak times intent on a journey to the city. The traffic congestion is substantial; the delays significant.
Worse is to come. By 2015 land transport demand at the airport is expected to be “nearly double” today’s levels. Currently there are 81,000 vehicles a day to and from the airport. The service access routes are just coping.
It is a frequent traveller tale that airport access is often the most uncertain and difficult part of the journey.
The Government earlier announced that it is planned to make the existing rail link to Onehunga fully operational by 2009. So we have the clear possibility of a direct rail link to the airport.
In the choice of routes, a preference might well be the route from Onehunga which could substantially follow “buffer land” owned by Watercare Services Limited associated with the sewage treatment plant.
The route might have limited stops – the airport, Onehunga, Ellerslie, Newmarket and Britomart.
Misrepresentation of National Party policy
As the election date approaches (with yet no hint of when except that the latest possible date is 15 November 2008), the Labour-led Government employs scaremongering tactics on a range of issues in the event that National comes into power.
One of those issues relates to the levels of Superannuation.
National is absolutely committed to maintaining New Zealand Superannuation payments at a minimum of 66% of the average after-tax wage.
Furthermore, through its economic and tax policies, National is committed to increasing the after-tax incomes of New Zealanders on an ongoing basis. The good news for superannuitants is that this will, in turn, increase the amount of superannuation which senior citizens receive each week.
Political Quote of the Week
"I not only use all the brains I have, but all I can borrow." - Woodrow Wilson – 28th US President (1913-1921).
Dr Richard Worth
National Party MP