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robson-on-politics 13 February

robson-on-politics 13 February

robson-on-politics, a weekly newsletter from Matt Robson MP Deputy Leader of the Progressive Party

Progressives in 2004

As robson-on-politics enters its third calendar year, the Progressives will go on the front foot to persuade the electorate that our party provides a dynamic and principled coalition partner. In its first meeting for 2004, the Progressive Executive set out an ambitious programme for growth. Our membership drive continues and I am chairing an appeal to raise a substantial sum from members and supporters, to be used to raise our profile and promote our policies. On the policy front we will continue to develop our anti-drug policies and ensure that Parliament does not legalise cannabis. A new initiative this year will focus on housing. Getting people into good houses needs a skilled workforce and gets people into jobs. There is a shortfall of tens of thousands of houses in the country and the government in partnership with the building industry can develop solutions. A full announcement later this year.

Starting Parliament - what Jim Anderton said

Two simple facts: New Zealand was one of the best performing and fasting growing economies in the OECD last year. So if Don Brash says we have to accept responsibility for what happens, we're pleased to be responsible for that. And the annual economic growth rate measured each quarter for every region has shown 18 successive quarters of growth - four and a half years. The Progressives are proud to be part of the government delivering results like that.

The tangible gains in the last four years resulting from ideas pushed by Jim Anderton and Matt Robson include:

- four weeks annual leave for everyone

- paid parental leave for new mums and dads

- revitalised regions

- the best record on jobs for a generation

- practical steps to transform a range of industries

- a nationwide retail bank owned by New Zealanders offering competition to overseas-owned banks.

The full speech is at


Starting Parliament II

Sad to see the right wing parties are now all competing with each other in a nasty little competition aimed at stirring up division in society. What a contrast to the Labour-Progressive government! Instead of playing on peoples' fears, we develop practical solutions to address them. The Labour-Progressive government has a record of getting alongside the private sector, community groups, and iwi to get people into jobs, of investment in education to upskill people, and of social policies aimed at less discrimination and more involvement by all in our communities. Click for the full speech


A new Friday radio show

Tune in to Midday with Matt on Radio 531PI 12 noon - 2pm Fridays from Feb 27 when I'll be talking with callers talk life and politics in 2004. It's on 531AM which can be heard throughout New Zealand. I'm looking forward to it.

We're having a party

Auckland supporters are invited to join Jim Anderton and me to celebrate the opening of our new out-of-Parliament office at 186 Ladies Mile Ellerslie. Sun 22 Feb from 4pm. Call 525 5566 for information or email sally.griffin@xtra.co.nz

Development targets and draining swamps

The Point Seven rally at Parliament heard speakers from seven parties address the issue of overseas development assistance, that is, development aid. New Zealand signed up with many nations in the 1970s to a target of 0.7% of Gross National Income. Our record last year was 0.22%, 19th among the OECD club of rich nations. As a Minister I asked Cabinet to lift our budget in stages though to 2010. Setting up NZAID as a semi-autonomous arm of MFAT on my watch was good. Now it is time to have a separate Ministry which can act as a passionate advocate for achievable development goals. One purpose of development aid is to drain the swamps of poverty in which terror networks thrive, so it is sad to see the Bush Administration do less than us. Their budget of only 0.19% of GNI speaks louder than words.

See http://www.progressive.org.nz/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=702 and http://www.nzherald.co.nz/latestnewsstory.cfm?storyID=3548570

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