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Free Press

Free Press

ACT’s regular news bulletin

Parliament Resumes

After giving the country a two month break, parliament will resume tomorrow. Your property is no longer safe. The parliamentary year begins with debate on the Prime Minister’s Statement, set down for 13 hours.

ACT’s Agenda
David Seymour is scheduled to speak for ACT in the debate a little after 3pm. New Zealand is stuck in a Holyoakian period of policy drift. At least there will be one voice in parliament for improving New Zealand’s policy settings with lower taxes such as indexing tax brackets to inflation, reigning in damaging regulation such as that strangling the housing market, and choice in social services such as Partnership Schools.

Ride the Tesla
A generous donor has gifted rides in a Tesla S at ACT’s February 27 conference. It is an electric sports car that accelerates from 0-100 in 3.2 seconds (faster than most Ferraris).Find out how you can get a ride here.

Don’t Forget
There is a brisk trade in conference registrations but it is not full yet. With less than three weeks to go, please remember to register for ACT’s 2016 Conference.

A New Column
David Seymour has started writing a weekly column versus Jacinda Ardern in the SundayStar Times. Alternating each week, one writes the main column and the other writes a response. David’s first column (on shifting the Waitangi celebrations) can be found here.

A Pity
There were bright spots such as the dawn prayer but overall Waitangi 2016 was unfortunate. A week of speculating about speaking arrangements can dampen a national day. So can the Prime Minister calling the hosts Mickey Mouse. New Zealand deserves better.

Let’s Have Some Competition
ACT has long said competition is the cure for bad behaviour. We don’t understand why one Iwi (Ngapuhi) gets to monopolise the celebrations when the treaty was signed not only at Waitangi but at around 20 locations throughout 1840.

A Humble Suggestion
The commemorations should be held at a different signing site each year. They could follow the original order of signing locations. There were about 20 so by the time it gets back to Waitangi they should have worked out how to put on a better show. Why shouldn’t folks in the South Island, for instance, be able to host the National day some times?

Government Should be Proactive
The Free Press is aware of tautoko (support) for this initiative from other iwi. The Prime Minister’s office should begin discussions with the Iwi Leaders’ Forum. Next year’s celebrations could take place in the first new location.

More Partnership School Success
Vanguard Military School have released pass rates of 100 per cent for NCEA Level II and 93 per cent for Level 1. The school has a very high proportion of Maori students. ACT’s policy is doing more to raise Maori achievement than any TPP protestor. Free PRess wonders if Partnership School naysayers must be getting worn down yet.

Outcomes not Intentions
Milton Friedman always said that public policies should be judged by their outcomes rather than their intentions. Scotland’s free university policy, which is similar to Labour’s proposal, is one of those well intended policies that has backfired. 100 per cent government funding has meant caps on funding and student numbers. The sharp elbowed middle classes get better access than poorer Scots and Scotland has greater inequality than England. Ironic, but Uncle Milton is usually right about these things. (Hat tip, David Farrar)


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