Thursday, December 4, 2008
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
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
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
People preserve land biodiversity
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
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 "
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
The Immigration Service is in the news again today, the latest allegations of corners cut when considering applications because of stand over tactics by NZIS management. This is hard on the heals of scandals around former Service Head Mary Anne Thompson.
Some seem to suggest that the answer to nepotism and corruption is to give the Immigration Service more powers and greater secrecy! Only 9 MPs voted against the recent introduction of the Immigration Bill. This bill includes greater powers of search, entry, and detention. Immigration officials will be able to detain people without warrant for up to 4 hours, and, without a warrant of commitment, for up to 96 hours.
Alongside this is the use of secret evidence such as all sorts of gossip and hearsay, without the poor refugee even knowing what its about. This is not natural justice.
In the Lie in Unison affair, the Ombudsman Mr Smith couldn't get the truth and he wanted a review into processes for handling requests for official information under the Official Information Act. This obviously hasn't been addressed.
The Immigration Service has failed to demonstrate its impartiality in even the most routine matters. With these powers its only a matter of time before things go seriously wrong.
What Immigrants and Refugees need is more honesty from government. The Alliance policy on refugees rejects mandatory detention, protects the rights of refugees, and will promote resettlement programmes for migrants.
This week I have been enrolling migrants to vote, with some success. One person didn't know how to enroll to vote even after several years in NZ. Many are struggling to learn English with the assistance of programmes such as ESOL home tutors, of which I am a volunteer tutor.
The Immigration Service should be an agency to assist people with these things, co-ordinating the services of relevant state agencies and community bodies. Instead it is becoming an alienating institution to our immigrants.
Sunday, June 15, 2008
It would seem that 100 years of National and Labour policy has done little to improve the lot of the workers in the Bay. Instead of implementing policy to protect workers rights, casual and seasonal workers are sill getting a raw deal.
The Hawkes Bay Today goes on to say that the workers 100 years ago were discontented, as Government grants to fruit growers were not being passed on to the workers.
Government which has a hand in funding services and industry, such as our schools and aged care facilities, or gives hand outs to growers, should ensure that the workers are getting a fair share. Unfortunately this is not the case. I hope we can do better in the next 100 years.
Thursday, June 12, 2008
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