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Free Press: ACT’s regular bulletin

Free Press

ACT’s regular bulletin

RMA Schemozzle Continues
The Resource Management Legislation has hit the wall, with the Māori Party severely overplaying their hand. They are continuing to wag the dog even after securing major concessions that make the reforms tepid at best and separatist at worst. Rural New Zealand is in revolt, if our email inbox is anything to go by.

ACT’s Position
Always willing to help, ACT has drafted four amendments to be moved in the Committee stage. These would respectively: remove the Iwi Participation Clauses, ban Rural Urban Boundaries, introduce private property rights into the Act (no, they haven’t been there for the past 26 years) and ban the powers of Ministerial diktat proposed in section 360D. Watch this space.

Coming to Palmerston North
ACT is holding its Lower North Island Regional Conference in Palmerston North this Saturday. David Seymour’s keynote speech will address the Boomer vs. Millenial debate that has erupted since Bill English promised to raise the age of entitlement to NZ Super by 2037. Register here.

Private Members’ Bills Show What’s at Stake
The Private Members' ballot is an opportunity for different parties to show what they’re about. National put in bills about lost luggage as a strategy to clog up the ballot – politics before policy. Labour entered no fewer than four anti-Partnership School bills – say no more. ACT has a principled bill on a major issue of civil liberties – assisted dying. New Zealand First and the Greens are in a different ball park, however.

Free Rugby (and Cricket, and Netball, and Pétanque)
New Zealand First has a bill that would require almost all sport to be provided live and free on TV. We already know that free-to-air channels don’t produce enough revenue to fund sports, that’s why the rights were sold to pay-TV. The taxpayer and/or the NZRU/NZ Cricket/NZ Netball/et al will end up footing the bill. As if we needed further demonstration, this bill shows that New Zealand First will happily run up a bill against the taxpayer and treat private organisations with contempt.

Free Student Loan Repayments
Having already taken interest off student loans, the Greens now want to absolve borrowers from student loan repayments while they save for a house. Wrong on so many levels. It will increase the amount of tax that goes to subsidizing student loans. The biggest beneficiaries will be those with the biggest loans, those who probably went to better schools to get into longer more expensive and more highly subsidized tertiary courses. Worst of all it won’t even help those it is supposed to help. The targets of the scheme will find it harder to get mortgages due to the liability they still carry in the form of a student loan. That’s the Greens, with so little regard for economics and fairness they propose to spend taxpayer money making rich kids better off, but hardly.

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Urban Planning Report: Momentum Grows To Replace The RMA

A major new report from the Productivity Commission lays the foundation for action on the growing political consensus that the Resource Management Act and associated laws are failing both cities and the natural environment and need a complete rewrite.

Published this morning, the final “Better Urban Planning” report is the culmination of eight years of investigations ordered by the government into the causes of unaffordable housing and urban planning. More>>

 

Vaping: Quitline Supports Decision To Legalise Nicotine E-Cigarettes

Today Associate Minister of Health, Hon Nicky Wagner has announced that Government are taking the proactive step of legalising nicotine e-cigarettes, a move which Quitline is pleased to hear and support wholeheartedly. More>>

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Gordon Campbell: On The Labour/Greens Deal (And The NZDF)

If Labour and the Greens were hoping their Budget Responsibility Rules (BRR) agreement would foster an unlikely alliance then hey… mission accomplished! Because it isn’t every day that Sue Bradford, the CTU and Matthew Hooton speak with one voice, as happened yesterday. More>>

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Until After The Election: Extension Of Report-Back Date For Havelock North Inquiry

Attorney-General Christopher Finlayson announced today that the report-back date for the independent Inquiry into Havelock North Drinking-Water has been extended at the request of the Inquiry’s Panel. More>>

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Little Heading For Court: Apology Over Donation/Hotel Contract Claims Not Accepted

Today I want to publicly apologise unreservedly to Mr Hagaman for any hurt, embarrassment or adverse reflection on his reputation which may have resulted from my various media statements. I have offered that apology to the Hagamans. More>>

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Biscuit Tin Of Democracy: World Heritage Site Protection, Ombudsman and Equal Pay Bills Drawn

On Thursday, 23 March 2017 three places are available on the Order Paper for the first reading of a Member’s bill. The ballot was held, and resulted in the following bills being drawn... More>>

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Emissions Plan: NZ Needs More Science, More Trees, Fewer Beasts

A combination of technology breakthroughs, much more plantation forestry, and a big switch away from pastoral, particularly dairy farming, are identified as the key elements of any approach New Zealand takes to reducing its carbon emissions to a net zero level, according to a new report sponsored by the New Zealand chapter of GLOBE, a multi-party, global parliamentary grouping. More>>

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"Backed To Win Seats": Labour Māori Seat MPs Won't Stand On List

The Labour Party is backing a request from its Māori seat MPs to stand as electorate MPs only, says Labour Leader Andrew Little. More>>

OutsKey: John Key's Valedictory Speech

I rise to address this House for the very last time. It has been a huge privilege to have served the people of Helensville as their member of Parliament, and, of course, the people of New Zealand as their Prime Minister. More>>

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