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Speech on Prime Minister’s Statement

Speech on Prime Minister’s Statement

Thank you Mr Speaker.

New Zealand is now enjoying stable centre right government. That’s something we haven’t had since the start of MMP.
And you can put that down to the success of National and success of ACT.

ACT has delivered on its promise. ACT has kept its word.

New Zealand has centre-right government because of ACT.

For that I would like to thank all ACT members, ACT supporters and ACT voters. They made centre right government possible for New Zealand.

I would like to thank Prime Minister John Key, Finance Minister Bill English and National Ministers for their leadership in government through challenging times. We have worked closely together. We have built up a deep and mutual respect and trust.

I would like to thank too the Maori Party. We have developed a deep respect for the Maori Party over many years. We have our differences but we talk about them openly and with respect for one another.

ACT promised stable centre right government. And we have delivered. But we made solemn policy promises too.

Promises made, promises kept. Positive proof that ACT is making a difference.

The highlight of the past year was Three Strikes.

ACT campaigned hard at the last election for tougher sentencing with our Three Strikes policy.

A policy now to be passed into law.

The Sentencing and Parole Reform Bill sends the message loud and clear that New Zealanders will no longer tolerate repeat violent offending.

And what do the critics say? What does the left say?

They say it’s too harsh.

Too harsh! What about the victims? One strike, they’re dead. Their families sentenced to a life of pain, fear, anguish and grief.

Here’s the message for violent offenders.

It’s easy to avoid Three Strikes. It’s simple. Stop killing and maiming innocent New Zealanders. That’s the message this government has sent.

Three Strikes and You’re IN! A promise made. A promise kept.

But it’s not all love and roses. We have had our differences with National. We have a sharp difference over the ETS.

ACT has always maintained it made no sense to stay committed to Helen Clark’s all-gases, all-sectors trading scheme. The failure at Copenhagen makes the commitment all the more silly.

Climate-gate is now the greatest scandal in the history of science.

It turns out that the prestigious agencies involved in leading climate change science were breaking official information laws, arbitrarily adjusting raw data, hiding the reasons for those adjustments, then somehow contriving to lose the original unadjusted data so that it could not be independently checked, thereby making claims that were not remotely justified by the state of the science, and in some cases simply making it up.

The so-called scientific agencies responsible for the climate-scare have ruthlessly suppressed competing theories and contrary data controlling and manipulating the peer review process.

Government sponsored climate science has proved to have more in common with the Spanish inquisition than Popperian science.

Climate-gate, Glacier-gate, Africa-gate has left the once vaunted IPCC totally discredited.

I have always been a skeptic.

When I started studying environmental science in 1975 many of the same so-called scientists were trying to scare the pants off us all with the coming of a new ice age. That’s because the world had been cooling for thirty years. It then warmed apparently for twenty-three years. So the same scientists turned global cooling into global warming. When the warming stopped in 1998, and the earth started to cool, the scare switched to climate change. That way the alarmists couldn’t be wrong.

They were right whatever the temperature.

Our own NIWA is caught up in the scandal and its scientific credibility shredded.

NIWA’s raw data for their official temperature graph shows no warming. But NIWA shifted the bulk of the temperature record pre-1950 downwards and the bulk of the data post-1950 upwards to produce a sharply rising trend. Their warming trend is not a consequence of measurement but of manufactured adjustment.

Well, there may be good reason for the adjustment.

So, before Christmas, I asked NIWA to disclose the adjustments and their reasons. They said they would.

But they have just told the Climate Science Coalition they don’t have the record of the adjustments.

NIWA’s entire argument for warming was a result of adjustments to data which can’t be justified or checked.

It’s shonky. The entire thing is. But on the basis of shonky science, our government is whacking Fonterra with a $100 million-a-year bill, taxing the average dairy farm $10,000 extra and hiking fuel and power costs to every business and householder in the country.

Even if the science was perfect you wouldn’t have an ETS. But the science is not just settled. It’s descended into a farce.

The total cost is over a billion dollars a year. A billion we don’t have. A billion we can’t afford. A billion for nothing.

It’s madness.

Prime Minister John Key is on record endorsing New Zealand being a “fast follower” on a climate change response, not a leader on it. So let’s put the ETS on hold until the rest of the world catches up.

I don’t think any other country is going to be burdened with an all encompassing ETS like New Zealand. They aren’t that silly.

We aren’t going to catch Australia burdened with an ETS. An ETS that it looks like Australia isn’t going to have.

The ETS is bad news for New Zealand.

So back to the good news.

Education is central to ACT policy.

That’s why we support national standards. They will help identify those falling through the many gaping cracks in our education system. They will allow us to do something about it in the future.

And what do the left have to say?

NO. NO. NO. cries Phil Goff echoing the teacher unions. We don’t want standards, they say. We don’t want teacher transparency and accountability.

But overwhelmingly we do. The vast majority of parents do want national standards. They want the best for their children. ACT will see to it that standards are introduced.

Because education is that important.

That is why ACT reached agreement with National to introduce the Aspire scholarships. 600 students will now be able to have radically improved educational opportunities and life chances.

And that’s just a start. All students should have greater opportunities and choice. I’m looking forward to the Inter-Party Working Group’s report on education, which has been exploring ways to give parents and pupils greater choice.

ACT has put respect for property rights, market competition, individual freedom and personal responsibility into the heart of government with Cabinet agreeing to a Government Statement on Regulation. That’s a welcome and long overdue change. Another promise kept.

Dr Graham Scott has led a review of ACT’s Regulatory Responsibility Bill to make it ready to pass into law. That Bill put into law will set fire to the red tape clogging our nation’s arteries and holding back our best and brightest. Another promise we will fight tooth and nail to keep.

This year a select committee will work on ACT’s Taxpayer Rights Bill to cap government spending and put it under taxpayer control. It will rein in government spending. Another promise kept.

The no-nonsense report of the 2025 Taskforce outlined a path to boost New Zealand’s economic performance and lift the opportunities available for all Kiwis – not by going to Australia, but by staying here, at home.

For nine years we’ve been told we should just accept the crumbs off the Aussie’s table.

Well, we want better than that. New Zealand is a nation of winners, not losers.

We finally have a government prepared to back kiwis to the hilt. We know we can take on the world and win. We are not going into the World Cup to come second.

New Zealanders are not second rate. What we need is first rate policy to build a first rate country.

To that end, we will see a trimmed down and accountable single council for Auckland. Finally there will be decision-making that is both transparent and compared to the byzantine politics now ruining Auckland.

So, an exciting year looms. We plan to see ACT’s Regulatory Responsibility Bill passed into law; the Productivity Commission up and running; and government spending capped through ACT’s Taxpayer’s Rights Bill.

These are all issues on which we are working closely with National.

It’s all part of ACT’s determination to ensure stable centre-right government, deliver on promises made, and dramatically lift New Zealand’s economic performance.

Phil Goff might be happy to scrounge crumbs from the table of others. This Government isn’t.


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