Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


Richard prebble: The Letter 7 April 2014

7 April 2014
View from abroad

The Letter was in Australia last week. We have come home to see commentators wondering why New Zealand First is on 7%. It is the fallout from the Minister of Justice going at taxpayers’ expense to China to have talks with the company that has made her husband a director. Because it was China Winston Peters is the beneficiary.

Crusher Collins crushing National

We looked up Judith Collins husband’s CV to see if he had a background in food or exporting. He is a former policeman who has a law degree. Would he been appointed a director of a company trying to export milk into China if his wife was not a minister?

That photo

The timing of the Prime Minister’s visit to China and the Collins scandal could not have been worse. What the public saw was yet another National Minister visiting China. Then they saw the photo of the Chairman of Orivida playing golf with the Prime Minister and learnt he paid money to the National Party for the privilege. The feedback to ACT canvassers from National supporters has been very strong. It has stirred up anti-Chinese feeling.

Crony Capitalism

It comes on top of a growing feeling that there is too much crony capitalism. The Auckland Convention Centre contract will not go away. Labour could make much more of the issue if the party had not just released its own crony capitalism scheme on steroids for iwi and the forestry industry. The Greens want subsidies for solar power. Winston Peters is worse. He supports taxpayer assistance to horse racing. ACT is the only party opposing crony capitalism. Once politicians start picking winners such as roads of National significance it is a slippery slope. When a road is built just because the minister thinks it is a good idea then why not an underground railway? Crony capitalism does not become right just because “your party” does it. Crony Capitalism is always wrong.

Let him prove it

David Cunliffe has announced Labour in its Industrial Policy will pick winners. Jamie Whyte has challenged Cunliffe to set up a small investment fund, do some stock market picks and show us he can pick winners. See www.act.org.nz

How to get Kiwis to come home?

On our trip to Aussie we met many talented Kiwis. They are very conscious of the fact that they pay the same taxes yet get excluded from government programs. The prices of housing in Sydney makes Auckland look cheap. They all said they love New Zealand but not one was planning to return. Every election for 30 years the Opposition says that their policies will attract home well educated Kiwis. Doing the same thing and expecting a different result is a form of madness. To get Kiwis to come home we have to do something different: Lower taxes, less red tape, more freedoms and more opportunities than Australia.

The Auckland City Council is right

The Auckland City Council is right to oppose the government’s proposed earthquake code that will cost Auckland over a billion dollars and in a thousand years may save a life. If the earthquake code is correct then the road speed should be 15 k an hour. How can a life lost in an earthquake be worth more than a life lost in a road accident? The new code does not make sense not just in Auckland. Our local garage provides a wonderful service. The local council has advised that his one story wooden garage will need to be earthquake strengthened at ruinous cost. Insurance cost will see at risk buildings being strengthened without the government needing to do anything. What is the point of voting National if they impose this sort of red tape?

Pre budget speeches

The Letter has yet to see a pre-budget speech where Ministers say “This year it’s a lolly scramble”. It looks like we are going to see a giveaway budget. National has averaged $250 million of new spending each year and this year it will be four times higher. John Key is in effect saying “We are going to spend it all. If Labour spends a dollar more the Reserve Bank says interest rates will go up”. Did National ask the Reserve Bank “If we cut spending will interest rates go down?” Labour in its last four years of office went on a spending spree. National has kept nearly all the poor quality spending like family support. If National had just taken spending back to what it was in 2002, hardly slash and burn, income tax could be a growth promoting flat tax of just 18 cents.

Three strikes and the maximum

We see the National Party is claiming credit for the drop in violent crime because they say they are “tackling the causes of crime”. Oh – name one cause the government has tackled? How is it property crime has risen 14%? A few individuals do most of the crime. There are 21 people who are sitting on two strikes. Soon one of these dangerous violent men will do their third crime but there are much fewer of them than the soft on crime brigade predicted. Three strikes and then you get the maximum prison sentence is working. Burglary is the crime that affects the most people. One burglar can do 600 robberies! Three strikes and the maximum jail time would put the professional burglars out of business.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Patience: Drive Safe

Be patient before passing is the AA's message for drivers this Labour weekend.

"People taking crazy risks to get past other vehicles is one of the most dangerous things on the road,” says AA spokesperson Dylan Thomsen.

“The weather is looking good for the long weekend so the roads will be busy. Unfortunately, that also increases the chances of people getting frustrated and trying a risky passing manoeuvre. When they get past, there will probably be more traffic up ahead anyway so it won’t get people there faster.” More>>

 
 

Parliament Today:

Employment Relations Bill: Govt Strains To Get Tea Break Law Through

The Government has been left with egg on its face - failing to get its much-vaunted, but hugely unpopular, meal break law passed in the first week of its new term, Labour spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says. More>>

ALSO:

Guns: Police Association Call To Arm Police Full Time

"The new minister gave his view, that Police do not need to be armed, while standing on the forecourt of parliament. The dark irony was that the interview followed immediately after breaking news of a gunman running amok in the Canadian parliament in Ottawa..." More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Tokenism Of New Zealand's Role Against Islamic State

Our contribution against IS will be to send SAS forces to train the Iraqis? That’s like offering trainers to General Custer just as the 7th cavalry reached the Little Big Horn. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Shell And Todd Caught Drilling Without Approval

Multi-national oil company Shell’s New Zealand arm and local energy giant Todd Energy have breached the new law governing New Zealand’s Exclusive Economic Zone, the Environmental Protection Authority says in an Oct. 10 document released by the Green Party. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Pharmac, Gough Whitlam And Sleater-Kinney

We’re not at the outset of these negotiations. The outset was six years ago, and negotiators were hoping to have some sort of ‘framework’ deal finished in time for the APEC meeting in a few weeks’ time. These ‘extreme’ positions are what we’ve reached near the intended end of the negotiations… More>>

ALSO:

PM Of Many Hats: Questions, No Answers On Whale Oil

Dr RUSSEL NORMAN (Co-Leader – Green) to the Prime Minister: How many times since November 2008 has he spoken with blogger Cameron Slater on the phone and how many times, if any, has he texted him?
Rt Hon JOHN KEY (Prime Minister): None in my capacity as Prime Minister. More>>

ALSO:

Aussie Investigation Dropped: Call On Minister McCully To Pursue The Case Of Balibo Five

West Papua Action is deeply concerned at the lack of any clear outcome from the Australian Federal Police inquiry into the 1975 deaths of the ‘Balibo Five’ including NZ journalist Gary Cunningham. More>>

ALSO:

'Feed The Kids' Bill: Metiria Turei To Lead Fight On Feeding Hungry Children

Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei is urging all political parties to support the Feed the Kids Bill which she inherited today from Mana leader Hone Harawira. More>>

ALSO:

Parliament Today: State Opening Of Parliament

The House sat at 10.30am on Tuesday before MPs were summoned to hear the Speech from the Throne in the Legislative Council Chamber. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news