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The New Write: Young Nationals Newsletter

THE NEW WRITE

Official Newsletter of the New Zealand Young Nationals
30th July 2001

"It's a very good question, very direct, and I'm not going to answer it."
- George Bush

1. LABOUR INCREASES STUDENT DEBT
2. MICHELLE BOAG SPEECH TO CONFERENCE
3. STUDENT MAGAZINE THREATENS RIVAL
4. GREENS HUMILIATED BY GM REPORT
5. TOP TEN: WHERE IS DAVID BENSON-POPE?
6. WEBSITE OF THE WEEK


1. LABOUR INCREASES STUDENT DEBT

Shocking figures recently released by Victoria University Students Association show a massive rise in student debt under Labour, says Young Nationals President Daniel Gordon.

"In 1999, under National's policies, student debt was forecast to reach $11.9 billion by 2020. With Labour's policy changes, that debt is now forecast to be $20 billion.

"This is an absolute disgrace. Thousands of students, their parents and grandparents voted for Labour because they believed their promises would reduce student debt. They haven’t. In fact they have made it worse. On current figures, debt will reach $5.2 billion by next year. That's an increase of almost $2 billion dollars since Labour took office."

"Interest free loans have encouraged nearly 50,000 extra students to take out loans, many of whom didn't need them. And Steve Maharey's outrageous blackmailing of universities is going to mean either massive fee increases, or serious cuts in quality."

Daniel Gordon says he is also shocked at the silence from many student politicians and the student media on these issues. "If it was a National Government driving up debt like this they would be screaming blue murder."


2. MICHELLE BOAG SPEECH TO CONFERENCE

Excerpts from Michelle Boag’s speech to National Party Conference, 22nd July 2001. All main speeches made to the National Party conference can be found at www.national.org.nz

We’ve got lots to do folks. Here’s my agenda for the first 90 days.

The first big job is fundraising. You all know there’s a huge job to be done, and you’re going to have to trust me that I can do it, because I can’t stand here today in front of the nations media and reveal my step by step plan. However, many of you have asked how I intend to raise the money we need and we’ve had the benefit of some pretty frank discussions about how I am going to approach this vital task. For me, it’s the number one priority, because only with those important resources, can we do the things we need to do to win the next election.

Secondly, we’re going to have an intensive policy blitz. The next 90 days are going to be a hothouse of activity where we hold summer schools, weekend retreats, regional workshops and a host of interesting and exciting forums where National Party members can come along and debate their ideas and really contribute to the policy development process. We’re going to clarify our vision for New Zealand, what sort of country we want this to be, exactly how we can turn New Zealand into a country our young people aspire to live in, succeed in - and stay in! - a country where others envy us for our innovation, our freedom and our prosperity.

Before we do that, we’re going to do one important thing: We’re going to state, clearly and absolutely, what the National party stands for, and we’re going to make sure everyone knows about it.
Imagine, if you will, our National Party principles, in very simple form, printed on the back of every membership receipt, so that when people join our Party, they know what they are here for.

Our Party’s communications needs a total review, and I intend to personally take charge of that process and ensure we have access to some of the best skills that this country has to offer - many of them from talented volunteers who want to help us to put New Zealand back on the right track. We must have a full time communications resource at National HQ and we must significantly lift our performance in both the internal and external communications areas. Media and presentation training will be a major focus for all our MP’s, our candidates and our senior party officials.

Campaigning, communications and fundraising is what I do best, and right now the Party needs those skills.

Ladies and Gentlemen, there’s one more element which is absolutely essential if we are to achieve the results we want for our Party.

We have to rediscover our Pride in our Party. We’re a great party - we’ve led this country for 38 of the last 52 years and we’ve done an outstanding job bringing New Zealand to the attention of the world in areas of science and technology, business, the arts, music and sporting achievements.

Now is the time for a new pride in our country, and we’re going to start by making the National Party the organisation that people are proud to openly support. The catchcry for rebuilding our Party will be A New Pride in National. Pride in our Party that will attract new people, communicate exciting new ideas and show New Zealand that we are the party that can and will lead this country forward.


3. STUDENT MAGAZINE THREATENS RIVAL

Salient, the official magazine of the Victoria University Student’s Association, has threatened its rival Lucid with legal action. A letter from a lawyer on behalf of Salient editor Nikki Burrows claims that Lucid reporter Keith Ng's investigative article on appointment process for the editor of Salient could be defamatory and have "serious impact on her reputation", and that if Lucid prints this article, the magazine, its publishers and the editor "will be liable to Ms Burrows in damages".

Among the "false allegations" that Ms Burrows says should not be published are claims that her partner Alistair Shaw, office manager at the student association in 1999, allowed her to see the other applications for Salient editorship before she submitted hers, and also that her application was produced with the help of Robert Whittaker, current Salient employee and a member of the panel of four that appointed Ms Burrows as the editor.

The lawyer acting on behalf of Ms Burrows has demanded that Lucid produce the article to Ms Burrows and her lawyers for approval before going to print.

Due to these threats, Lucid has delayed publication for a week while it seeks legal advice. "We don't have that much experience with lawsuits and threats," says Lucid editor Neale Jones, "but we will not allow Ms Burrows to bully us into altering the article. It is an accurate and honest report of the facts, and no matter how heavy-handed the level of intimidation, we're sticking by the truth."

"I think it's a cause for concern when the editor of a student association magazine tries to censor what an independent voice on campus tries to say about her in a professional capacity," Jones says. "Students have a right to know, and Salient should have been a medium to inform. But it just goes to show how valuable an alternative voice can be - assuming that Ms Burrows doesn't close us down first."


4. GREENS LABELLED 'HYPOCRITES'

The Green Party has been humiliated by todays release of the Royal Commission on Genetic Modification, which says GM has huge potential for New Zealand's economy. The report also explicitly rejects the Green Party idea of a GE-Free NZ as "impractical" and "unwise".

"It holds exciting promise, not only for conquering diseases, eliminating pests and contributing to the knowledge economy, but for enhancing the international competitiveness of the primary industries so important to our country's well-being," the commission said.

National's Environment spokesperson Dr Nick Smith says that the Greens were fearful of this finding, and their protests on Friday were "an insult to the intelligence of ordinary New Zealanders who have paid $6 million for the four-volume report."

Dr Smith says the protest showed the Greens have "closed minds."

“Considering they claimed credit for the Royal Commission, had input into the terms of reference and appointment of Commissioners, and commended the Commission for its thorough process, it will be totally hypocritical of them not to support its conclusions.

"The real reason for the protest is that the Greens know their 'fear' campaign on GE has not stood up to the scrutiny of their own Royal Commission. They are getting nervous about being hung by their own dreadlocks.

"The Greens have had a field day with slogans like 'No toad genes in potatoes', but on Monday, their chickens will come home to roost."


5. TOP TEN: WHERE IS DAVID BENSON-POPE?

New Zealand’s favourite Labour MP, the high profile David Benson-Pope, has strangely been missing from the headlines lately. Where is he?

1. Lost his ID card and the guards at Parliament won’t let him in

2. Mark Prebble found his moustache a “sexual come-on” so fired him

3. Was last seen dating a Democratic congressman

4. Got run over by a parked car

5. Dam kids always asking for his autograph – keeps getting held up at airports

6. Went to Young Labour AGM and got stuck in the phone booth

7. Got locked in a supermarket overnight and starved to death

8. Left Parliament to pursue solo career as gangsta rapper, “Snoop Doggy-Pope”

9. Woke up in Taihape after epic drinking session with Ruth Dyson

10. Parekura Horomia ate him


6. WEBSITE OF THE WEEK

www.dancinghamsters.com

Self-explanatory, and strangely addictive. Don’t bother unless you have sound.

Apparently there is a single and an album available in the UK.

Contributions, feedback and articles welcome. Email phil_rennie@hotmail.com

Subscribe at http://mail.national.org.nz/mailman/listinfo/yn-newwrite or email the editor.

Editor: Phil Rennie

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