Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


ACT’s Free Press Nov 13

Free Press

ACT’s regular bulletin

Totally Crooked
The revelation that Winston Peters filed court proceedings against Bill English and Paula Bennett at 4:59pm on the eve of the election makes a farce of his coalition negotiations with National. The decision was made as soon as the special votes gave Lab-Gre-NZF a comfortable three vote margin. Free Press (almost) feels sorry for all those who voted for and even made large donations (when will they be declared?) to New Zealand First but ended up with the former President of the International Union of Socialist Youth for a Prime Minister backed by a clean sweep of seven Maori seats.

For the first time, but very unlikely the last, in this term of Parliament, ACT voted against the whole House. When National abandoned the taxpayer and voted with the Green Party, Labour, and New Zealand First, ACT stood alone against New Zealand’s already excessive entitlement culture being further expanded.

What was the Bill?
National voted to expand (taxpayer) Paid Parental Leave to 26 weeks. Labour lied in the process saying the OECD average is 38 weeks (actually 17.7), but most countries have terrible policy we’d be looking over the shoulder of the dumbest guy in class anyway. Continually expanding entitlements has been the road to ruin since at least Roman times, here we are again.

Free Lunches All ‘Round
Paid Parental Leave is just part of Labour’s ‘Great Loosening.’ By abolishing Three Strikes, Andrew Little has told 2,500 of the country’s most violent criminals who have strike offences ‘have one on me.’ Even people who never supported Three Strikes think that’s nuts. Then there’s the first year free for students, but this weekend saw a new loosening from Carmel Sepuloni.

Latest Loosening
Ms Sepuloni now says that the Government won’t dock the welfare payments of beneficiaries who refuse to name the child’s other parent. This opens the taxpayer up to two kinds of behavior and we don’t know which one is worse: Deadbeat Dads get off Scott-free (who else is going to name them?). Meanwhile fraudsters get to claim maximum benefits while receiving under-the-table child support.

Lurching Left
This Government is so hard left that we are starting to miss the Clark/Key era. Lindsay Mitchell helpfully points out this 2004 exchange between ACT’s Heather Roy and then Labour welfare Minister Steve Maharey: Roy: “When will he admit that this is just a rort so that fathers can dodge child support, and why should taxpayers always have to pick up the bill?” Maharey: “It is a rort, and I have said time and time again in this Parliament that fathers must front up to their obligations, and we will make sure they do, as much as we can.” Today’s Labour caucus would expel Maharey for saying such things.

No Substance
It is not unkind to say Jacinda Ardern did nothing in her first nine years in parliament but it is inaccurate. While she never passed a valuable Private Members Bill, uncovered a major scandal or appeared to do much of anything in nine years, she worked hard on herself and her image.

Off to the Spin Doctor
Free Press has been approached by people astonished to see her reading papers at the airport that weren’t about the country’s future but hers. They appeared to be studies of herself through the eyes of the media. We’d be a lot better off right now if she’d read a bit about international relations.

Secure the Borders
You can’t win power in Australian politics without securing the borders. No Australian politician can give in to Ardern’s posturing on refugees without paying a heavy political price at home. Australian politicians know that giving into Ardern’s offer to take Australian refugees will do two things: One, encourage more to come in the hope they’ll be let into New Zealand and, Two, give the Manus Island detainees entry to Australia with New Zealand passports. They won’t back down because they can’t.

Not Actually Humane
If Ardern wants to help refugees she should adopt ACT’s Canada-inspired policy of allowing community groups to sponsor extra refugees above and beyond the taxpayer funded quota –if they pick up the bill. The Canadians find that private refugee programs perform better than Government ones (Free Press readers won’t be surprised). Her current alternative is just encouraging people to take dangerous boat journeys (and needlessly irritating our most important ally).

Me Too
The National Party has leapt to the defence of Partnership Schools. The help is welcome as the Schools are the best thing that the previous Government did. In fact, they form the only policy that an incoming ‘left wing’ Government can’t easily stomach. If David Seymour ever feels important enough to write political memoirs we’ll all know how extraordinary this turn of events is.

Read online

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Why Big Spenders Are Not Our Tourism Salvation

Covid and climate change have been changing the face of tourism. That’s why it seemed oddly premature last week for Tourism Minister Stuart to announce that New Zealand isn’t interested in mass tourism any more, or in attracting the sort of budget visitors who “travel around our country on $10 a day eating two-minute noodles.” Instead, New Zealand aims to focus its marketing efforts on attracting wealthy, big spending tourists. “In terms of targeting our marketing spin,” Nash said, “it is unashamedly going to be at … High-quality tourists.” Really? The comments have raised a few eyebrows overseas, and a few hackles here at home. Nash’s comments have also been something of a gift to an Opposition adept at portraying the Ardern government as a bunch of liberal elitists out of touch with ordinary people...


National: Surgical Wait List Hits New Record
A new record has been set for New Zealanders waiting more than four months for surgery, National’s Health spokesperson Dr Shane Reti says... More>>

School Strike 4 Climate: Intergenerational Climate Strike On September 23rd
Once again School Strike for climate Ōtautahi (Christchurch) is asking all students to unite in a call to all council candidates to #voteclimate. Happening on Friday 23rd of September... More>>

Privacy Commissioner: Public Input Sought To Inform Privacy Rules For Biometrics
Privacy Commissioner Michael Webster is encouraging New Zealanders to have their say on the use of biometric information in Aotearoa New Zealand... More>>

Government: Wage Growth Best On Record
Workers’ have experienced their biggest pay hike on record, outstripping inflation. Stats NZ figures show median weekly earnings from wages and salaries jumped by 8.8 percent in the June year... More>>

Human Rights Commission: Urgent Government Action Needed To Support Renters’ Human Rights
An immediate freeze on rent increases could give renters some reprieve during the cost-of-living crisis says Te Kahui Tika Tangata, the Human Rights Commission... More>>

Government: Creating Sustainable Public Transport For All
Workers and public transport users are at the heart of the new Sustainable Public Transport Framework, Transport Minister Michael Wood announced today... More>>




InfoPages News Channels