Parliament

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

 

Free Press: ACT’s regular bulletin

ACT’s regular bulletin


National Disappointment
This week, National is working with the Māori Party to pass weak reforms to the Resource Management Act, adding bureaucracy and pandering to iwi interests.

What do the Reforms Do?

Within six months of a local body election the Council must identify Iwi in its jurisdiction and make an Arrangement for planning. So after the democratic election comes an undemocratic one. National will try to play down the significance of this move, but if you’re on the fence you need only ask yourself: Why have the Māori Party been prepared to walk away from Government to achieve it?

Preventable Situation

One more ACT MP could have stopped this legislation from being possible. Instead, National is now voting down ACT’s proposals to abolish iwi provisions, cut red tape, enshrine property rights, and prevent ministerial overreach.

Supporters Let Down

National is meant to be the party of property rights and equality before the law. Their choice to back the Māori Party and Iwi Participation Agreements instead of working with ACT and United Future is dumbfounding. Free Press understands National supporters are dumbstruck at how their party is pandering to the Māori Party and are giving National MPs heaps at party meetings.

The Takeaway

The RMA debacle is a disaster for National supporters and a disaster for anyone affected by New Zealand’s housing shortage. It’s the perfect example of why New Zealand needs a stronger ACT after the election: with just one extra MP, ACT would have the leverage to block National from making deals with the Māori Party.

Talkback Running Hot

The media can’t keep this issue quiet. David Seymour joined the debate with Leighton Smith on Mondayand explained the political and personal forces that led Nick Smith’s deal with the Māori Party. You can listen here, with David joining five minutes in. If you’re interested in the policy debate, here’s David in the House.

A Victory for Freedom

In more positive news, the Government has agreed to allow the sale of nicotine e-cigarettes tax free. Tobacco taxes have more than doubled over the past six years, impoverishing poor communities and especially Māori, 36 per cent of whom still smoke. ACT has long campaigned for a tax-free nicotine alternative, sensible policy has finally prevailed.

Free Speech in the News

Former Muslim, now critic of Islam Ayaan Hirsi Ali has cancelled her speaking tour to New Zealand and Australia due to security concerns. David Seymour, who had tickets to hear her speak, said “Nobody should have their freedom of speech shut down in the face of violence.” Whatever has been threatened in Australia, in New Zealand we’re proud to live in a free society where we battle with ideas, not threats of violence. Let’s keep it that way.

A Heartening Response

Then, yesterday, an open letter was released by 27 prominent New Zealanders defending free speech, including the important of debating controversial views on university campuses. ACT applauds this initiative.

ACT Lays Down a Challenge

In a full-length interview with The Nation on Saturday, David Seymour laid out ACT’s challenge for 2017: To hold the balance of power after the election, stop New Zealand First, keep Labour, the Greens, and Mana out of power, and hold National accountable to taxpayers. The full interview is here.

A Cause to Support

We have already received donations on account of this interview. Kind commentators have said Seymour is as masterful as John Key in this interview. Less kind commentators have compared him to a young Winston Peters. ACT has a mission, and needs your support. If you already support ACT, thank you, your support will make a bigger difference now than ever. If you have not supported ACT before, please consider contributing to our 2017 campaign.

The Fiscal Framework

Labour and the Greens have promised not to raise taxes, and to reduce Government debt to 20 per cent of GDP two years later than National would have. As the NBR’s Rob Hosking points out, the left can no longer complain that the Government has a debt problem when they see repayment as a lower priority than the right does. More importantly is the spend up they are promising.

Huge Spend Up

The Treasury is forecasting $20 billion in surpluses over the next four years. Labour and the Greens’ promise not to raise taxes and slow the repayment of debt can be looked at another way: even they don’t think they can blow $20 billion in the next four years. The political contest is whether that money will go into extra spending, or whether the people who earned the money will be able to keep it. ACT will be releasing its tax policy in the run up to the Budget.


ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Ch-Ch-Changes At IRD

job cuts aren’t happening at the IRD, exactly. Instead, there’s apparently a ‘transformation’ in store, and jobs won’t be axed ; no, they will be ‘transformed’ before our eyes into… non-jobs, if you happen to be among the unlucky legion of 1,900 who are being lined up for transformation, which seems to work rather like a secular version of the Rapture.

Except that at IRD, not even your shoes will be left behind. More>>

 

Christchurch Mental Health: Hospital Too 'Awful' For Reviewers To Visit

Jonathan Coleman has to stop the stalling over a new building for mental health services in Christchurch to replace the quake damaged Princess Margaret Hospital, says Labour’s Health spokesperson David Clark... More>>

ALSO:

Greens Call For Govt Action: Children Sick Because Of NZ Housing

The Royal Australasian College of Physicians president-elect said today that children with preventable respiratory illnesses are being re-admitted to hospital because they're being sent back to cold, damp homes. More>>

ALSO:

Less Tax Cut, More Spending: Labour Launches Fiscal Plan

“Labour will invest $8 billion more in health, $4 billion more in education and $5 billion more for Kiwi families through Working for Families, Best Start and the Winter Energy Payment than the Budget 2017 projections for the forecast period.” More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Greens’ Room For Political Pragmatism

The Greens here are currently being criticized by the commentariat for not making the same kind of pragmatic choices that sunk the Democrats in Australia. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Being Humane About Welfare, Child Support, And Tax

It made for an unusual Venn diagram, but Greens co-leader Metiria Turei and Finance Minister Steven Joyce were briefly sharing some common elements this week in the set that says – hey, don’t use the powers of the state in ways guaranteed to make the system you’re trying to defend worse, not better. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election