Thursday, December 4, 2008

Thanks for all the support for the Alliance this election, though we have a new conservative government in New Zealand, even as we are sinking into recession caused by high oil prices, the Alliance policies are more relevant than ever. 2008 has been a tipping point in the free market growth at all cost world. The Alliance will be working to defend us from further 80s style wage grabs and Rogernomic policies. I look forward to the opportunity to continue with the Alliance in 2009.

Thomas O'Neill

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Why am I standing for the Tukituki electorate?

With climate change, peak oil and the financial market meltdown in 2008 we face some tough decisions. The Alliance and its policies are a bridgehead for New Zealand to an equal society and a sustainable environment.

What are the key issues of this election and why?
A fair economy in a new economic environment. The Trickle Down myth of Rogernomics didn’t deliver, except for income inequality and an increase in poverty. For the poor to get a little bit better off, the rich have to get much richer. When resources such as oil are limited, New Zealand risks turning into a floodlit golf course and a farm while the rest of us shiver in the dark. Time is running out for planned change to renewable and sustainable energy sources, soon we will have restrictions on growth forced upon us. Choose the Alliance to change your world.

What would the electorate gain from my election?
The Alliance will provide a raft of measures to support the engine room of the economy, the workers. Our policies include free education, free health care, 100% government power, affordable housing, and secure jobs as measures to protect New Zealanders. A progressive tax plan with a new financial tax on market transactions will replace GST. We will support workers by increasing the minimum wage to $17 an hour. The Alliance will increase superannuation to 72.5%.

How important is the party vote?
The party vote is about the policy of government, and the Alliance needs your party vote to return to Parliament. Vote for what you believe in, a positive choice in the Alliance will give New Zealand the real change that people want – real alternatives to the Douglas reforms.

My final message to the electorate.
The Alliance Party wants a major overhaul of New Zealand’s taxation system to assist low to middle income earners, and to pay for free education and a substantial boost for health spending, including free health visits. The Alliance is the only party outside of government to spell out where the money to cover its promises comes from. The key points are:
- First $10 000 income tax free
- Immediate removal of GST on food and phasing out of GST over time.
- Less tax for low to middle income earners on progressive tax scale.
- Introduction of a financial transactions tax.
- Introduction of a capital gains tax, with the family home exempt, as in Australia.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

A good meeting at Grey Power in Rotorua on Thursday 16th October with 100 attending. Each candidate was given 5 minutes to speak, but disappointingly many candidates gave yesterdays campaign speech reheated. We managed to distinguish ourselves by having policy that addresses Grey Power concerns. I have found that we have the best rates for superannuation - 72.5 % of the average wage. National always says they are going to raise it from 65% to 66% which sounds a bit weak beside our rate.
The Alliance will also end means testing for all, and increase aged care funding to improve quality of care in our rest homes.

Everyone who is very concerned about the economic crisis, none the least people who are relying on the super fund, are seeing Billions of dollars being wiped from the fund, mostly overseas. The Alliance will just pay you your super, and do it by investing in New Zealand. This will mean the government will buy up the electricity generators and other national assets, instead of giving the money to super fund managers, who take a huge cut, even when they are losing the country's money. We will guarantee super, and have cheaper electricity to boot.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Conservation Week

This week is New Zealand Conservation Week, and to mark it the Alliance will be planting cabbage trees in Ahuriri reserve, on the corner of Watchman's road and the Expressway at 1.00pm on Sunday the 14th. Thanks to Mary O'Neill for propagating 20 trees for the Alliance and long time environmentalist Tony Billing for the planting site.

The Alliance party has recently spoken out against the Emissions Trading Scheme as unworkable. Crony Capitalism of the worst kind and another money making scheme for the rich.

A socioeconomic view of the environment needs to put the people first. Agriculture is the first priority for a sustainable environment, not the least, as the working class and poor rely so heavily on it. If we don't achieve a sustainable agriculture, we leave ourselves vulnerable to food shortages caused by climate change. Its no option to go back to the idealistic days of horses and carts, this won't feed the billions of people of the future.

I hope that we can all Change our World this week and in the upcoming election.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Storms lash Haumoana

Recent storms have lashed Haumoana, waves crashing into homes and eroding the foreshore. Residents who recently rented these properties were unaware of the possible dangers of storm seas. The conditions were so bad the tenants didn't have time collect prised personal photos and other possessions. Two more homes were condemned. How can the local authorities stand by while this sad tragedy unfolds.

One would think that by now the local authorities would be making everyone aware of the threats of coastal erosion and rising sea levels caused by climate change, but it seems it isn't so. These tragic properties may be the first in a long line of homes swallowed by the seas.

Alliance policy is to help councils provide cheap alternative housing with loans at below market rates if rents are set less than 25% of household income. We will fight Climate change by making New Zealand carbon neutral by 2030.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Sustaining our biodiversity

People preserve land biodiversity

In New Zealand and globally the loss of biodiversity has become a huge issue. The spectacular hugging New Zealand coastline in the future will depend on sea level rise and increased coastal erosion. Inland wilderness areas will depend on our protection.

DOC established that predators and habitat destruction are the main cause of declining native animal species such as geckos. Twenty one gecko species and subspecies are threatened in New Zealand. I rescued this Hawke’s Bay forest gecko from the track back to the forest floor. Geckos are a cold blooded animal, and therefore it is not unusual they are seen seeking exposure to the sun. Rather typically this gecko was found in the sunny spot on a winters day.

The Alliance stands for the right of people to
live in a clean, safe and healthy environment. We recognise that unlimited growth is not sustainable in a finite system.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Government needs to act now on oil replacement

Oil prices keep rising at an ever increasing rate, causing hardship amongst those who can least afford it.

The rate of discovery has been falling since 1964. Other replacements such as oil shale are not up filling the gap of cheap oil. Many claim there is no shortage, meanwhile demand from newly industrialised countries such as East Asia is increasing rapidly outstripping supply.

Time is running out for planned change to renewable and sustainable energy sources, soon we will have restrictions on growth forced upon us. This means working people will likely go without essentials of food and transport, some countries may experience large scale hunger. We saw in the 1970s oil shocks, and the recession that followed. Thatcher Regan and Douglas' answers were to put the blow torch to the belly of the workers, forcing wages down to reinvigorate bosses profits. Prices of oil came down in the 80s and 90s, but wages never returned to their previous highs. Now Bollard is suggesting that workers again take a cut in their standard of living to save the failing oil based economy. But this time they aren't so lucky and there's no return to $10 a barrel of the 1990s, the current thinking in the west that oil will be in plentiful supply until the year 2050 is a pipe dream, the government fiddles while the world burns "