The Election Between Centre Right and Far Left – We Wish!!

Oh the irony of the Prime Minister of a government whose whole trade policy revolves around not doing anything to upset China, describing the upcoming election as a contest between the centre right and far left- as though the far left is the scary part!

Labour and the Greens far left? Only in our wildest dreams. Centre right? National with coalition partners like the Conservatives and ACT. This election is potentially more like far right versus centre left. And that should cause concern to anyone but the mega wealthy. Continue reading

Why Not Free Doctors Visits for All?

It is good to see the National government acknowledging the important role that GPs play in keeping us healthy with the announcement in the 2014 budget that it will provide free doctors visits and waive prescription charges for children under 13 years from July 2015. But why stop there? Why not free doctors visits and prescriptions for everyone? Continue reading

ACT Policies Tax The Alliance

Voters beware, if the government levies little or no taxes it will have no money. And if the government has no money it can provide no services.

Jamie Whyte’s announcement that ACT will push for a top tax rate of 24% and work towards a flat tax of 17.5% is like a red rag to a bull to the Alliance Party. New Zealand has been there, done that, in the 1980’s. It didn’t work. New Zealand is still counting the cost – entrenched unemployment, low wages, high housing costs, intergenerational poverty and inequality.

Flat tax is, quite simply, the enemy. It is unfair and unjust. It drastically reduces government income to spend on services that benefit everyone. Continue reading

Give Peace a Chance

Our ANZAC commemorations quite clearly demonstrated yet again that in war there are no winners. Some just lose more than others. Therefore news that a recent study has found during the past century non-violent methods have been twice as successful as violence in overthrowing totalitarian governments, changing politics, and winning new freedoms for people is surely welcome.

That the Department of Peace and Conflict studies at Otago University is reputedly becoming one of the leading lights in this research, including what drives people to terrorism, is something New Zealanders can be proud of. It would be even better if our government was prepared to implement some of the findings. Continue reading

Beneficiary Bashing – Are NZ Voters Smart Enough To See Through It?

Paula Bennett’s press release this week has sparked fears that the elections will descend into a beneficiary-bashing fest.

New Zealand was one of the first countries to embrace a social welfare system and has always been well regarded internationally because of that. It is one of our greatest achievements, along with being the first to give women the vote and declaring our nation nuclear free.

The recognition that the state should not just be there in the case of unexpected misfortune, but actively promote the welfare of all citizens, was innovative and visionary. It is what defines New Zealand as a great place to live. It means that we are all equal. Everybody can participate in the things that we all enjoy. Continue reading