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News Worthy No. 54

News Worthy

18 November 2005
No. 54

Justice delayed is justice denied

So said the British Politician, William Gladstone. The speed with which Susan Wood received a hearing of her employment law complaint against Television New Zealand is commendable and in marked contrast to substantial delays which commonly occur in the resolution of such issues. As an example the dismissal of a university lecturer this month will not result in a hearing by the Employment Relations Authority until February 2006.

Reducing crime by urban design

An initiative which is only being pursued belatedly is to reduce crime through smarter urban design. Requirements such as brighter lighting, good sight lines so that people can see the path ahead and be seen, low planting and fences, clearly marked exits and alarms and eliminating entrapment spots such narrow alleyways, tunnels or blind corners are all good strategies.

Interestingly the best collection of material on this issue is held by the Police College in Porirua.

Preventive approaches to the escalating health bill

The appetite for expenditure in the health sector is insatiable and costs will continue to soar.

Gareth Morgan the well known economist has proposed for serious consideration in the face of such exponential escalation in demand for public health services that policy should be designed to actively encourage healthy living.

He cites obesity as a good example of a self-inflicted medical condition "fat people get that way because they eat too much, exercise too little and eat the wrong stuff - in that order".

He notes that obese adults are either taxpayers or benefit recipients and proposes a tax break for the non-fat.

The Government could publish a range of tolerance for body mass index and those who fall within that over the year (certified say, six monthly, rather like a vehicle inspection certificate for a car), would qualify for a lower rate of personal tax (higher rate of benefit). Those who failed would incur the full tax rate.

The failure of immigration policy

Immigration is rising in importance as skill shortages bite and more New Zealanders head for jobs overseas. In an earlier email newsletter (No. 37), the flood of New Zealanders to Australia has been noted at 630 per week.

In June the Government announced changes to the Investor Category immigration rules.

The rule changes included dropping the investor age limit from 85 to 54, doubling the amount of investment required to $2 million and requiring the money to be invested with the Government.

It is a hugely unattractive investment option and those who predicted that it would slash the number of potential investors have been proven right.

In June 2005, New Zealand was attracting around 30 business investor migrants a month. Since the changes came into force in July, New Zealand has accepted just two.

So much for the Government prediction that 200-400 migrants a year would use the Business Investor category.

NZ heroes - Part 6 of a continuing series - Maurice Wilkins

A Nobel Prize winner in Physiology and Medicine in 1962 for his contribution to the discovery of the structure of DNA - the very essence of life itself - Maurice Wilkins is among our greatest achievers.

Research undertaken by Maurice Wilkins with support from Rosalind Franklin led to the discovery in 1953 by American geneticist James Watson and British biophysicist Francis Crick of the DNA molecule structure. The discovery revolutionised biology and medicine this century.

Maurice Wilkins was born at Pongaroa in the Wairarapa in 1916.

Political Quote of the Week
"Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could do only a little." - Edmund Burke - British politician


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Richard Worth

Visit my website for more information at: www.richardworth.co.nz

ENDS

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