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The New Write 15/7/01

Official Newsletter of the New Zealand Young Nationals 15th July 2001

"I was having to see an embarassingly large amount of breast exposed. I didn't like it." -Dr Mark Prebble

1. LABOUR ORDERS REVIEW OF DRINKING AGE
2. RICH COUNTRIES ACCUSED OF SELFISHNESS OVER GE
3. SLIPPERY STEVE
4. TOP TEN SIGNS YOU'RE LIVING IN A HOUSE OWNED BY A CABINET MINISTER
5. QUESTIONS TO PONDER...
6. WEBSITE OF THE WEEK

1. LABOUR ORDERS REVIEW OF DRINKING AGE

Justice Minister Phil Goff, who strongly campaigned against lowering the drinking age to 18 in 1999, has ordered a review into the effects of this change.

Goff says that he wants teenage car accidents, hospital admissions, youth offending and school behaviour, among other things, investigated.

"What we need to do is clarify the extent to which trends have altered as a result of the lowered drinking age," he said.

However Young Nationals Chairman Daniel Gordon has slammed the move.

"Phil Goff and Helen Clark voted against standardising the drinking age to 18 and have been looking for an excuse to raise it ever since," said Mr Gordon.

"We would not be seeing the current problems of binge drinking by teenagers to such an extent if the liquor laws were being enforced properly. Bottle stores and bars need to be tougher on ID, and the police need to be adequately funded to enforce the law."

"The police can only do so much. Why are the teenagers out so late in the first place? Why do parents seem to have little or no control over their teenagers actions?

"Raising the drinking age again would be a disaster. It would force thousands of responsible drinkers out onto the streets, and lead to even more binge drinking."

"Phil Goff and Helen Clark should not let a minority of trouble makers ruin the system for the vast majority of young, responsible drinkers."

The Green Party has called for a ban on alcohol advertising.

2. RICH COUNTRIES ACCUSED OF SELFISHNESS OVER GE

A UN report on standards of living around the world has ranked New Zealand at number 19, and criticised rich countries for holding up progress on genetic engineering.

The report says that current debate in the western world over GMO's "mostly ignores the concerns and needs of the developing world. Western consumers naturally focus on potential allergic reactions and other food safety issues. People in developing countries, however, may be more interested in better crop yields, nutrition, or the reduced need to spray pesticide which can make farmers sick."

The report stresses the "unique potential of GM techniques for creating virus resistant, drought-tolerant and nutrient enhanced crops. These crops could significantly reduce malnutrition, which still affects more than 800 million people worldwide, and would be especially valuable for poor farmers working marginal lands in sub-Saharan Africa."

3. SLIPPERY STEVE Social Services Minister Steve Maharey is under pressure over his behaviour in concealing information about the merger of WINZ, and his role in the Christine Rankin debacle.

During cross-examination in the Rankin court case, Mr Maharey claimed he couldn't recall or remember something twenty-four times.

And under intense questioning by the Social Services select committee last week, Maharey refused to answer questions about who wrote the cabinet paper which led to the public announcement that the Ministry of Social Policy and WINZ were to be merged.

Jenny Shipley says that Maharey has gone to "great lengths" to conceal important facts. "The Minister refused to answer questions, then refused to seek further advice as to whether or not Heather Simpson, from the Prime Minister's department, had been the person who put together that cabinet paper which ended up under the signature of Trevor Mallard.

"Such behaviour by the Minister and Government members of the select committee further fuels the suspicion, held by the opposition and the public, that dirty tricks and slippery behaviour have been involved in this case."

ACT MP Muriel Newman says that Mr Maharey's "misleading and evasive" answers extend to Parliamentary Questions about the merger of WINZ. For several months Maharey denied that there were any plans to merge WINZ, and end Christine Rankin's role.

"Cabinet made its decision with no consultation, no costings, and no investigation. Never before in New Zealand's history has such a huge policy decision been made in such a clandestine fashion.

"The Departments concerned were kept in the dark, as was the Opposition and the media.

"Mr Maharey should be sacked. A Minister whose memory fails 24 times in two hours, and whose answers to Parliamentary Questions are dishonest, should not be responsible for New Zealand's biggest Government ministry."

Maharey has been the subject of two complaints to the Speaker for breaches of privilege over his answers to written questions.

4. TOP TEN SIGNS YOU'RE LIVING IN A HOUSE OWNED BY A CABINET MINISTER

1. Alamein Kopu has taken all the furniture.

2. You can never really be sure how many bedrooms you've got.

3. All the family portraits are airbrushed.

4. You find Ruth Dyson passed out in the garage.

5. The neighbours complain about the noise coming from Sandra Lee's room.

6. You can't stop the NZ Post installed pipes from leaking.

7. The TV aerial only picks up Marian Hobbs' favourite programmes from the 1970s.

8. There's a written-off red VW Beetle in the driveway.

9. There's a skeleton in every closet.

10. If you're really unlucky, your landlord might be Parekura Horomia.

Courtesy of St Molesworth: email StMolesworth- subscribe@yahoogroups.com

5. QUESTIONS TO PONDER...

Do you really believe that Helen Clark, a 'hands-on' Prime Minister, had nothing to do with the Rankin debacle?
Do you believe she also had nothing to do with the Yelash settlement?
What will the trendy greenies and lefties make of the above UN report on GE?
How long before the Alliance rolls Jim Anderton as leader?
Do you trust the impartiality of journalists at the Press, Evening Post and New Zealand Herald, now that its been revealed most of them belong to the Engineers Union? (Yes, the same Engineers Union which is affiliated to the Labour Party and gave them a $80,000 donation in 1999)

How much money will Christine Rankin be awarded?

Can you imagine the outcry from Helen Clark and other Labour feminists if Steve Maharey was a National Minister?

Who let the dogs out?

Send your answers to the editor, I may publish the best ones...

6. WEBSITE OF THE WEEK

http://www.rubbershorts.com/spinon/games/battlebus/battlebus.html

This is yet another fantastic website from the UK. It is a simple yet extremely addictive game in which two political 'battle buses' duke it out. You can choose to be Conservative, Labour, Liberal Democrat or the News Media, and each has secret weapons and special abilities.

Rumour has it that the National Party Research Unit have become very skilled at this game.

Any views expressed here are not necessarily those of New Zealand Young Nationals, or the New Zealand National Party.

Contributions, feedback and articles welcome. Email phil_rennie@hotmail.com

Subscribe at http://mail.national.org.nz/mailman/listinfo/yn-newwrite or email the editor.

Editor: Phil Rennie


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