The New Write - 1st October 2002
Official Newsletter of the New Zealand Young Nationals
1st October 2002
-H G Well’s last words
DRINKING AGE REVIEW
2. OTAGO UNI MAY PASS ALL STUDENTS
3. PUBLIC MEETING IN WELLINGTON TOMORROW
4. HOT GOSS FROM PARLIAMENT
5. TOP TEN THINGS GOVT CAN DO TO SAVE THE WORLD
6. WEBSITE OF THE WEEK
1. DRINKING AGE REVIEW
The Government has decided against raising the drinking age after a review by a team of Ministers, instead warning the liquor industry to properly enforce the law.
“The Government said that the clear message was that the retail industry must do more to ensure their members comply with the law,” said Justice Minister Phil Goff.
“Youth drinking attitudes and supply of alcohol to underage youths by parents and friends are also major factors. However, the industry must get its act together to stop retailers breaching minimum age restrictions relating to the sale of liquor.”
Meanwhile, New Zealand First has launched a campaign to raise the drinking age.
MP Ron Mark, who campaigned against lowering the drinking age in 1999, said today that the move had proved disastrous with drunken "children" now on the streets.
"An increasing number of young lives are being damaged by alcohol abuse and more parents are struggling to cope with the consequences of that silly decision in 1999. It is time to put the age back up to 20," said Mr Mark.
Youth Vice President Grant Tyrrell noted that Young Nationals had consistently been strong supporters of standardising the drinking age at 18 and commented that “alcohol problems” had more to do with attitudes than laws.
“Returning the drinking age to 20 would be nothing more than an empty reactionary move and would be no more than a weak band aid. The solution to alcohol abuse by young people is parental control and Parliament providing the police with the resources to enforce the law.
“It is worth noting that the majority of alcohol related problems do not occur on licensed premises. Not only would it be a failure of policy to roll-back the drinking age but it would result in an increase in informal street gatherings and out of control parties,” said Mr Tyrrell.
2. OTAGO UNI MAY PASS ALL STUDENTS
Otago University says it will give students a concession pass if staff go ahead with an industrial strike plans to boycott marking exams.
Industrial action is continuing at Otago University this week, after staff turned down a 3% rise and cash top-up offer. Rolling strikes are being held this week and staff are also threatening to withhold financial information for upcoming budgets.
Union spokesman Shef Rogers says staff are aiming for “maximum disruption” this week.
The vice chancellor Graeme Fogelberg says it is unfair to expect students to study for a whole year and then not be able to graduate because of strikes.
3. PUBLIC MEETING IN WELLINGTON TOMORROW
National is holding a public meeting in Wellington on the leaky building crisis this Wednesday.
National MP Roger Sowry said it was clear that leaky homes were a problem in many Wellington apartment blocks, and in homes around the area.
"Homeowners from suburbs throughout the Wellington region are affected. Many have contacted us through our website with their concerns about how they can get some resolution to save their home and investment.
Hundreds of people have turned out to public meetings organised by National in Auckland and Christchurch over the past 10 days.
The Wellington meeting is at 12.30pm Wednesday October 2nd in the Loaves and Fishes meeting room, behind the Anglican Cathedral – Hill St entrance.
4. NANDOR TALKS ABOUT POT
Green MP Nandor Tanczos has talked about his use of marijuana in the Dominion Post. The 37 year old hesitated before refusing to answer how much he smokes, and where he buys it from.
“I don’t think it’s useful to talk about it. If I start talking in detail I lay myself open to police attention.
“As I said, probably once a month. But I don’t think it’s useful for me to talk in great detail about where I go, or how I acquire it."
Tanczos also says that his use of marijuana is similar to that of wine in church ceremonies, and that the use of cannabis dates back to the time of Jesus Christ.
“While some people may not agree and maybe even find it offensive, the reality is there is strong evidence.
“In terms of Rasta as a modern day continuation of those ancient Nazariric traditions there is very good evidence that ganga has been used as a sacrament for many thousands of years,” said Mr Tanczos.
5. HOT GOSS FROM PARLIAMENT
-By New Zealand’s finest investigative journalist, Sneaky R. Wilson.
*For many journalists in the Press Gallery, a career ambition is to join the “Speakers Club” by doing the wild thing in the Speakers Chair in Parliament. So what do journalists in Auckland do instead?
According to a reputable source, the goal for many journos after a night on the turps at TVNZ is to do the deed in Judy Bailey’s chair. Yep, apparently there is a select group in Auckland who have ‘ridden the pony’ in the chair from which Mrs Bailey addresses an adoring nation every night at 6pm.
*Guess which macho MP used to be a tenor, singing light opera? Believe it or not, it is New Zealand First’s Brian “Bruiser” Donnelly, who was involved in the fracas with Winston Peters outside a Wellington bar two weeks ago.
*Speaking of Winston’s stoush, the Hummingbird bar is now making the most of the free publicity. Their cocktail of the week is “Politician’s Punch”.
*Ruth Dyson is scheduled to give a speech to the NZ Taxi Federation this week. It’s an interesting choice of speaker, given that Ms Dyson has been known to drive herself home after a few drinks at work, rather than call a cab…
*Speaking of the demon drink, there were strong rumours in Wellington yesterday that the Government was considering a partial drop in the drinking age. Some sources thought that the age for outlet sales might have been raised to 20, with the age for bar and pub entry kept at 18.
*United Future MP Larry Baldock is off to Sweden to investigate prostitution, but is taking Mrs. Baldock along as well, of course.
*Although perhaps Mr Baldock doesn’t need to go as far as Sweden to investigate the world’s oldest profession. Apparently a delegation of staff members from various centre-right parties embarked on a field-trip of their own last Friday night, to Liks stripclub in Wellington.
*A youthful National Party press secretary didn’t know whether to feel complimented or insulted while travelling with Bill English on the weekend, after several members of the public asked him if he was Bill’s son.
*Remember the story a few weeks ago about the kaumatua who were paid by DOC to escort endangered frogs down to Christchurch? Well it obviously didn’t work – despite the thousands of dollars spent following Maori protocol, the poor wee frogs recently died.
Will there now be a tangi, I wonder?
*Former Victoria University academic Stephen Church has a new job – as a researcher for United Future. After several years of teaching and commentating on politics, Dr Church has decided to put his money where his mouth is and see how the real world of politics differs from the textbook.
*You read it here first folks…after reading last edition’s Hot Goss on the Maori Poet scandal, the Dominion Post ran the story on it’s front page. Taxpayers will be relieved to know that ‘poet’ is now repaying some of the money, but it’s too late to recover the costs of the whole trip from TPK.
*You can read the “award-winning” controversial poem at http://www.poetry.com by searching for the author’s name, Ruth Harris. The title is “11.9 to 911” and it is god-awful.
*However, in a travesty of justice and artistic merit, the same website has removed my poem. Here it is, uncut and uncensored:
I went to a website,
I heard it was fun.
I sent in a poem,
They told me I won.
thought ‘this is great,
I have really made it’.
But then I found,
It was all just bullsh*t.
*Two New Zealand First MPs were overheard grumbling in 3.2 (Parliament’s bar) about Winston’s obsession with immigration, and like ACT, suggested that a change of leadership might be necessary in the new year to give the Party a long-term future.
*Talk about making legislative progress - in Singapore it is now officially against the law to urinate in an elevator.
*New Zealand First MP Pita Paraone has an interesting background, including serving as chair of the Northland Polytechic Council. However questions have been raised about the Polytech’s management, after it announced recently it is shedding thirty jobs and forty courses to resolve a financial crisis.
The major restructuring follows a budget deficit of more than $1 million last year, which is projected to rise to $2.7 million by the end of the year. The polytech has been criticised for expanding without the student numbers to justify its expansion
*Astrid Smeele is finding life in Trevor Mallard’s office not exactly a bed of roses. Apparently the office is rather dysfunctional and several temper tantrums have been overheard by visiting officials.
*Eccentric elderly Green MP Mike Ward has a new nickname in Parliament – Dr Who.
*Not many people outside Parliament know this, but MPs can go through Hansard and edit the official record to change what they said in Parliament. Winston Peters is now busy doing this, revising some of his more dodgy claims about immigration. It will be interesting to see how Winnie’s version of the gospel has changed over the last few weeks!
Till next week…my lips are sealed!
6. TOP TEN THINGS GOVT CAN DO TO SAVE THE WORLD
1. Attack noxious weeds by persuading Nandor Tanczos that inkweed has religious significance.
2. Invite Bono to talk to the Labour Party caucus about "debt forgiveness, globalisation an' all dat bollocks".
3. Get the Greens to arrange southern African distribution of their new pamphlet: 'Better dead than GE bread'.
4. Drop Parekura Horomia on Zimbabwe.
5. Quit standing up for third world despots like Saddam Hussein who harbour terrorists.
6. Put the board of Maori TV in charge of global warming - that way it'll be endlessly delayed and probably never happen.
7. Preserve the world's stocks of chardonnay by confiscating Judith Tizard's and Ruth Dyson's credit cards.
8. Use David Cunliffe's ego to plug the hole in the ozone layer.
9. Offer to send NZ First and United Future MPs to any countries suffering a shortage of talentless nobodies.
10. Revive Project Jonah. Forget the whales, focus on the rugby player...
By St Molesworth
7. WEBSITE OF THE WEEK
Where you can find out the latest on the leaky homes crisis and what National is doing to try and find solutions.
Which is about to be taken down, so have a last look before it is all gone!
Any views expressed here are not necessarily those of New Zealand Young Nationals, or the New Zealand National Party.
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Editor: Phil Rennie