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

Gordon Campbell: On Last Night’s Debate, And The Collins Accusation

Debating is a peculiar discipline in that what you say is less important than how you’re saying it. Looking poised, being articulate and staying on topic generally wins the day – and on that score, Labour leader David Cunliffe won what turned out to be a bruising encounter with Prime Minister John Key last night on TVNZ.

Cunliffe marshalled his points better, kept Key off balance and – more often than not – was in control of the general tenor of the contest. Labour supporters would have been heartened, and given some belated reassurance that maybe the change of leadership last year had been the right decision. More>>

 

Parliament Today:

Gordon Campbell: On Winston Peters' Latest Bout Of Immigrant Bashing

It is only one poll, but rather than cannibalising each other's vote, Colin Craig and Winston Peters do seem to be managing to find the room to co-exist... Few are questioning how Peters got to this happy place, and what it says about the mood of the electorate. More>>

ALSO:

More Immigration News: First People Trafficking Charges

The first people trafficking charges in New Zealand have been brought by Immigration New Zealand (INZ)... The defendants have been charged under the Crimes Act 1961 for arranging by deception the entry of 18 Indian nationals into New Zealand. More>>

Collins 'Misinterprets Media Reports': "Too Compromised To Remain Justice Minister"

Bizarre claims by Judith Collins this morning that she had been cleared of inappropriate behaviour by the Privacy Commissioner demonstrates she is too compromised to remain Justice Minister, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. More>>

ALSO:

Labour On Climate Change: Focus On The Now For The Future

A Labour Government will put in place a comprehensive climate change strategy focusing on both mitigation and adaptation, establish an independent Climate Commission and implement carbon budgeting, says Labour Climate Change spokesperson Moana Mackey. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On National’s Housing Assistance Plan

So, as many as 90,000 people could derive some benefit from National’s housing assistance plans for low and middle-income earners... Yet in reality, the benefits seem likely to be insignificant, and they will be skewed towards those at the top end of the income group that’s supposedly the target. More>>

ALSO:

Election Data Consortium: National’s Worst Case Scenario At Stage One?

A month out from the general election and ipredict traders are still forecasting National’s vote to slip below current polling levels and there is potential for it to fall further. More>>

ALSO:

From The Scoop Video Archive: PM Says SIS "Told Me" About OIA Release

In a press conference immediately following an controversial OIA release of notes on an SIS briefing to then Labour leader Phil Goff, Key said "at that point [Tucker] told me he'd release it ...". Since the release of Nicky Hager's 'Dirty Politics' Key has denied being personally informed and said references by officials to 'the PM' being told briefed referred to his office. He now says the same about his own statement. More>>

ALSO:

  • Scoop Video in the news - New questions over Key claims | NZ Herald News - Stuff.co.nz
  • Earlier - Felix Marwick: Laying out facts over SIS documents - Newstalk ZB
  • Labour - Director’s letter contradicts Key’s claims
  • ACT - The Letter - 26 days to go
  • TV3 Video - Housing issue nudges Dirty Politics aside - David Cunliffe: Key's SIS explanation 'defies belief' - SIS leak came from Key's Office - Goff - Key 'categorically denies' Slater OIA discussion - Video: Key faces more Dirty Politics questions

  • TVNZ - Winston Peters: ‘Dirty Politics' is a new low
  • The Nation - Debate Between Grant Robertson And Russel Norman
  • NZ First - “The Words Mean What I Say They Mean”
  • Get More From Scoop

     

    LATEST HEADLINES

     
     
     
     
     
    More RSS  RSS News AlertsNews Alerts
     
     
     
    Politics
    Search Scoop  
     
     
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news