The logic of 3-strikes critics

Our 3-Strikes for Burglary policy has been greeted with enthusiasm by many. But some commentators, including the editor of the Herald, are against the proposal. They take issue with the idea that increasing the penalty for repeat offenders will reduce the number of burglaries. They think we will incur the cost of imprisoning more burglars without achieving an equal or greater benefit by way of reduced burglary.
 

Letter to the NZ Herald re three strikes for burglary

Your editorial about ACT’s three strikes for burglary policy included several errors, mainly of reasoning rather than fact. You are right that there were fewer burglaries committed in 2013 than in 2012. But what is the relevance of this fact? There were still about 120,000 burglaries in 2013. Why should we not want the burglary rate to decline yet further and faster?

Who is ACT’s New Leader?

Jamie Whyte is ACT’s new leader. More than that, he’s a Kiwi and represents what we are all aspiring to – an open, progressive and dynamic New Zealand. A nation led by a stable, disciplined Government that gives people the freedom to achieve their full potential and build successful families, businesses and lives.

Jamie has worked as a management consultant, foreign currency trader and philosophy lecturer. The 48-year-old is also an award-winning writer and has contributed regular opinion columns to the Wall Street Journal.

Easter trading laws archaic, in need of overhaul

Easter trading laws are outdated and in need of a major overhaul, said ACT leader Jamie Whyte today.
 
"This weekend thousands of businesses will be closed, liquor sales will be banned, and countless Kiwis will be denied the right to work," said Mr Whyte.
 
"Retailers are fed up. Consumers are fed up. Yet this nanny-statism continues, without any clear justification.
 

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The Letter - 14 April 2014

14 April 2014

 

Be careful what you wish for

If a Labour/NZ1/Green government really bans Chinese from buying houses, takes land under the public works act for housing, builds 100,000 houses and puts on a capital gains tax it really could collapse house prices.  Their house is most families’ greatest asset.  Such interventions will cause great distress. Home owners will not be able to sell without taking a massive hit. Homes will be worth less than the mortgage.  Banks will foreclose.   A home owner can only vote Labour if they think the housing policy will not work.

The Letter - 7 April 2014

View from abroad

The Letter was in Australia last week.  We have come home to see commentators wondering why New Zealand First is on 7%. It is the fallout from the Minister of Justice going at taxpayers’ expense to China to have talks with the company that has made her husband a director.  Because it was China Winston Peters is the beneficiary.

The Letter - 24 March 2014

 

Policy not politics

 
“If only the media would give coverage to policy” says Labour apologists.  No one could accuse us of being a gossip mag so we have examined Labour’s latest policy release to see why it has been almost totally ignored.  On examination we agree that the policy deserves much better coverage.  

 

Apartheid; no whites apply

 “Forestry and Wood Products: Economic Upgrade” is a boring title for a policy.  We have a new title “Only Maori can apply”.  See, you are already interested.  (We are not making this up.  Labour proposes a tree planting programme costing $20 million a year that is only open to Iwi).

 

The Letter - 17 March

Xenophobia

Someone must have called an election.  First David Cunliffe says Labour is going to change the rules for foreign investment.  Now Winston Peters is sure foreigners are stealing our fish.  The Letter suspects if it was not election year and Judith Collins had been meeting with an EC civil servant Labour would not be claiming “scandal”. 

471,711

The 2013 Census reports there are half a million Asian New Zealanders.  The Number of Maori is over stated as a person only has to say they have a tiny fraction of Maori blood to be recorded as Maori even though they may regard themselves as being of another ethnicity.   (There are people who are less than 1/200th Maori. They are known at universities as “quota” Maori).  Commentators opined last week that the Maori seats may decide the election.  Unlikely.  The reality is the Asian vote will be decisive.

The Letter - 12 March

We Are back

Nine years ago The Letter retired to Lake Rotoma. A general election has been called for 20 September so it is time to return from the pleasures of the Lake and ask “where is the money coming from for all these election promises?

 

Election is a tossup

The first TV poll of election year showed National at 51%, Labour at 33% and the Greens at 8%.  National can govern alone say the commentators.  That was election 2011.  The first TVNZ the poll for this election year National is again on 51% and the Greens 8% but Labour is up 1%.  More ominous for National their coalition ally ACT was on zero.  In the 2011 election National received 47%.  This time National strategists think the party might get 45%.  Without a revival of ACT National will struggle to form a stable coalition.

The logic of 3-strikes critics

Our 3-Strikes for Burglary policy has been greeted with enthusiasm by many. But some commentators, including the editor of the Herald, are against the proposal. They take issue with the idea that increasing the penalty for repeat offenders will reduce the number of burglaries. They think we will incur the cost of imprisoning more burglars without achieving an equal or greater benefit by way of reduced burglary.
 

Who is ACT’s New Leader?

Jamie Whyte is ACT’s new leader. More than that, he’s a Kiwi and represents what we are all aspiring to – an open, progressive and dynamic New Zealand. A nation led by a stable, disciplined Government that gives people the freedom to achieve their full potential and build successful families, businesses and lives.

Jamie has worked as a management consultant, foreign currency trader and philosophy lecturer. The 48-year-old is also an award-winning writer and has contributed regular opinion columns to the Wall Street Journal.

Roger Douglas: How to judge the 2014 budget

First publshed on the National Business Review

Budget day is coming up. Finance Minister Bill English has promised that this will be yet another "responsible budget".

But what does it mean for a budget to be responsible? How can we tell if a budget is responsible or reckless?

Allowing Kiwis to sell their homes to foreigners benefits Kiwis

Winston Peters has apparently convinced David Cunliffe that when foreigners buy New Zealand property they make New Zealanders worse off. Mr Cunliffe has announced his intention to adopt Winston Peters’ policy of banning foreigners from buying homes. Even John Key is now saying he will look into the matter.

There is no need to. Mr Peters and Mr Cunliffe are wrong: allowing New Zealanders to sell their homes to foreigners benefits New Zealanders.

My challenge to David Cunliffe

The Labour Party has announced a return to “industrial policy”. If elected, they will decide which businesses and sectors of the economy will deliver the highest returns and promote them in various ways – most obviously, by subsidising them with taxpayers’ money. 

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