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Contractions and Misrepresentations from the Conservative Party 003 2014

Conservative Pamphlet – 003 2014 – Foreign Ownership

 

Conservative Statement

The problem with this statement

1

The 2014 election will be deciding the vital question of whether or not we continue to sell our land to foreign business interests.

Scare mongering xenophobic rubbish.  Around two percent of all New Zealand land is owned by foreigners.  That is right 2%

2

VOTE TO SAVE THE COUNTRY

This is a very serious issue and it is up to you to decide and vote to save our country.

Foreigners have been able to buy land in New Zealand since the Treaty of Waitangi. The benefits have outweighed the costs. This is not a crisis issue.  The rules for buying farm land are very tough.

3

The politicians of National, Labour and New Zealand First have failed.

National has steered us through one of the great financial crises to hit the western world.  Land sales to foreigners were greater under Labour

4

Under their watch huge tracts of New Zealand have been sold.

…..and the world has not ended.  The NZ Parliament still makes laws that apply to that land, and there are more jobs as a result.

5

The Conservative Party is saying that it is time to stop the sell out.

Translation:  Stop individuals legally selling their own land to whoever they choose.  That is communism when the state claims to own your land.   

Oh – and by saying “No” to foreign investment we will all get poorer.

6

If foreign business interests are able to buy our land they will certainly do so.

They have been able to do so for 170 years and have purchased two percent.  The Conservatives fail to mention that most foreign purchases of land have over time been resold to a Kiwi - often with improvements.

7

Our local farmers and investors simply cannot outbid huge international corporates that have vast financial resources and in some cases assistance from governments.

Nonsense.  Most farm sales are to Kiwis.  There are no records of Kiwi purchases overseas but it is likely that they are larger than sales in New Zealand to foreigners.    

There are Kiwi farm ventures in Australia, Chile, the USA, Brazil to name a few.  Fonterra has just made a large purchase of shares in a major Chinese milk processor.

New Zealanders purchase overseas land for the same reason foreigners buy here.  The purchasers think they can bring new technology and know- how to add value to the benefit of the country.

8

If we sell our land then we will become tenants in our own country.

Nonsense.  No one is selling “our” land.  The   Land belongs to individuals or companies.   This is not a communist state.

9

NEW ZEALAND WINE

You may have heard about how well our wine industry is doing, about how we make great wines, and that this is helping our economy.

That is great isn’t it?  Let’s wonder for a moment why they are so successful?

10

Actually the truth is that the vast majority (70-80%) of our wine industry is ultimately owned by foreign companies.

Maybe the overseas ownership is one of the reasons they are so successful—you know vertically integrated, good overseas distribution networks so the product gets into all the big supermarkets and restaurants. 

The point Colin just made is that we should have more foreign ownership!

11

This means that when you buy New Zealand wine, most of the profit is going offshore.

None of the wages or the taxes the companies pay goes off shore.  The amount overseas companies invest in New Zealand exceeds the profits they pay.

12

CONQUERED BY MONEY AND STEALTH

“Conquered” – melodramatic and false. Overseas companies have to abide by the law and pay taxes. 

13

In New Zealand we are steadily being taken over by foreign business interests.

So not just foreign land owners but now all foreign investors are evil and bad.

It is rubbish.  If foreigners had not invested in banking, insurance, the freezing industry New Zealand would not be a first world country.  Overseas insurance companies are paying to rebuild Christchurch.

Countries that ban overseas investment are amongst the poorest in the world.

14

They aren’t using guns but they are using money and stealth.

They are just following the law and creating local jobs.   In the case of the wine industry they have helped create a new export industry.

15

The money is easy to come by if you are an international corporate in a government relationship.

More rubbish.  Most overseas investment comes from the UK, Australia and the USA.  Name one company getting this easy money.  This is clearly aimed at Chinese companies and there is very little investment from China but New Zealand companies are investing there.

16

Firstly you can base your business activities in tax havens …

New Zealand has very tough tax laws.  Transfer pricing is not allowed.  The IRD has brought successful case against for example the Australian banks.

ACT will have a 12.5% corporate tax rate and a low flat income tax.   More overseas corporations will base some of their operations in New Zealand.

17

…and secondly you can have unlimited money to use if a government is prepared to print and lend it to you.

This is fantasy stuff.  What is this mysterious company that has “unlimited money?   If they are willing to come to New Zealand and give it to us that might be nice but we have more chance of winning Lotto.

18

Stealth means to do something carefully and quietly to escape detection.

Are the Conservatives claiming that companies investing in New Zealand have avoided the Overseas Investment Commission?  Or is he just making this up? They are following the law of NZ.

19

I have found that most New Zealanders simply don’t know the scale of the sell-out that has been going on.

Because what you are saying is a lie. 

20

As a country we don’t even keep a register that accurately records foreign ownership.

That is not true either.  The Overseas Commission has kept a record of every application.  It has advised very little sensitive land has been sold to foreigners.   

21

Until the Crafar Farms takeover and the recently exposed Lochinver deal, most New Zealanders have simply been unaware that we are losing our country.

The land is going nowhere.  The Crafar farms that were run down and the centre of animal cruelty allegations have been managed by Landcorp (government owned) and have received a massive investment creating new jobs and export income.

To be converted to dairy the new owners will need to invest multi millions of dollars and create many new jobs.

22

But now you do know.

…the contradictions and misrepresentations of the Conservatives.

23

You can do something about it this election by using your Party vote for the Conservative Party.

Who will get less than the 5% threshold and have no MPs….

24

A vote for the Conservative Party is a vote to stop the sell-out.

… is actually a wasted vote. 

 

A Party vote for ACT will count because we will win Epsom.

Party vote ACT and get a considered and thought through set of policies.

Colin Craig says that he may support David Cunliffe and the loony parties of the left who will stall the economic recovery.

Party vote ACT for strong and stable government.

 

ACT only party reducing taxes and saving waste

"ACT is delighted that, according to the Taxpayers' Union independent assessment, the party's policies will save the average household $6,875 over three years," said Dr Jamie Whyte. 

"We note that every other party increases the cost of government to households. According to the Bribe-o-meter, ACT is the only party that is not bribing voters with taxpayers' money. Our policies reduce government spending by a total of $11.6 billion over three years.

"ACT has achieved this saving for households by careful costing of its proposals  The bulk of ACT's cost reduction comes from getting rid of crony capitalism, the practice of politicians giving taxpayers' money to their favoured firms. ACT is pleased its spending reductions have no effect on education and health spending.

"What the Taxpayer's Union does not measure is the increased investment, growth and jobs from ACT's policy of flatter personal income taxes and reducing New Zealand's high company tax rate. The benefit to every household from ACT's tax cuts and waste reduction will be even greater."

The full results of the Bribe-o-meter can be viewed here: http://www.taxpayers.org.nz/bribe_o_meter

The Letter - 1 September 2014

1 September, 2014

28 thousand reasons to tactically vote ACT
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Last night’s TVNZ Colmar Brunton poll puts the left and right 60 MPs each.  United and the Maori Party say they will go with the side that gets to 61 MPs.  ACT just needs 1.3% or 28 thousand Party votes to get in Jamie Whyte.  National needs 62 thousand votes to get another list MP.  (It is a mad system because electorate seats are deducted from number of list seats won).  The German is stealing the election.  More Left voters are party voting Internet/Mana.  Right/center voters are blowing the election by wasting their vote with the Conservatives.  Colin Craig says if he does get 5% he may support David Cunliffe to be PM. (TV3).  

This is the deciding week
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In MMP it is the minor parties who decide the election outcome.  This week the Minor Party Leaders have three TV debates.  TV3’s debate is on Wednesday, TVNZ on Friday and tomorrow on Chinese station TV33 there is a debate that may decide the election.  There are over 120,000 Chinese voters.   This Sunday 11 am Ellerslie Event Centre, Ascot Ave, ACT has its campaign opening.  The commentators said Jamie Whyte won the first TV3 debate so this could be ACT’s week.

The con in conservative is for con.
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Colin Craig’s campaign is dishonest.   He has stolen other parties’ policies but done no costing.  He is promising everything to everyone.  He says he is in favour of flat tax, smaller government and tough on crime.  His flat tax would have to be at 34 percent, a massive tax increase for middle earners.  He has not seen a spending proposal he is not for.  He has no new anti-crime ideas like ACT’s 3 strikes for burglary. His list will elect no 5 Edward Saafi who claims young Tongans are committing suicide because they are not being smacked. (Sunday Star Times).  ACT has fact checked the Conservatives glossy household pamphlet and it is full of contractions see   
http://www.act.org.nz/conservatives-fact-check

Judith Collins problem
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The Letter thinks it is highly unlikely Judith Collins was conspiring against her chief executive.  The last time a minister leaked against a Chief executive was when Helen Clark leaked to journalists to force Peter Doone to resign.  But we agree with John Key that Collins had to go.  She has an incurable problem.  Judith Collins lacks a quality you need to be Minster of Justice and that is judgment.

The media are stealing our election
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Green co leader Metiria Turei is being  uncritically reported calling for Judith Collins office to be “locked down” to prevent destruction of evidence.  A scurrilous allegation, now typical of the Greens.  The destruction of any ministerial files is an offence under the Archives Act.  The media ought to know the claim is absurd.  All ministerial computers are automatically backed up to a separate server under the control of government computer services. It is impossible for a minister’s office to destroy records.

Secret Commissions are wrong

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No one objects to bloggers having political bias but if you are taking money to say things then you have a duty to your readers to tell them.  But bloggers lack of ethics is not a government problem.

Bloggers are still the future
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We commend David Farrar’s decision to sign up to the media code of ethics. The mainstream media are so hostile to the bloggers because the bloggers are winning.  Discrediting one blogger will not stop the trend. The media would be better off to ask why are people going to blogs?  Is it because the media’s coverage of the election is so bad?  You cannot find out the parties policies from TV or the print media. You must go to the blogs.  If you want to know how much the parties are promising you have to go to the Taxpayer’s Union blog. If you want to know how MMP works in Epsom you need to go to Kiwiblog.  And people go to Whale Oil because he breaks more stories.     

Sunday Star Times $12 billion mistake

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An example of why newspaper sales are falling.   Adam Dudding said in yesterday’s Sunday Star Times that ‘ACT’s policies would theoretically return $12 billion to the government coffers – but don’t forget that this would be done by slashing government services’.   He just made this up. ACT’s alternative budget, published in May, proposes $4 billion of tax cuts. These are funded by cuts in corporate welfare ($1.4 billion), cuts in middle-class welfare ($1.65 billion), abolition of the carbon trading system carbon trading system ($217 million) and cuts in government waste ($763 million). No government services are cut in ACT’s Alternative Budget.  Dudding just made up the slashing of government services and the $12 billion.  No wonder people are turning to blogs.

Correction
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Last week we accused the Electoral Commission for being responsible for the Party Opening Broadcast being shown at the same time as the rugby test.  State Television made the decision.  Why have a government owned broadcaster when they put advertising revenue ahead of covering the election?  The Letter did hear a good idea on Media Matters.  The taxpayer owns another TV channel that at present is broadcasting “Parliament TV. The next sitting of the House of Representatives will be after the General Election on a date to be notified”.   Taxpayers paid for the party broadcasts which almost no one has seen.  Why not show then on Parliamentary TV?  Parliament is now a TV studio with fixed cameras.  Why not hold Election Debates in the Chamber?     

Who won the leaders debate?
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Every election the media says the Leader of the Opposition won the Leaders debate.  The media used to say little Bill Rowling beat Muldoon.  It is because the expectation is the PM will win and the media are so surprised the Leader of the Opposition is not knocked out.  You cannot win a debate unless one party makes a mistake.  We think Cunliffe made the mistake when John Key showed  over Lochinver station that Labour’s policy is the same as National’s.

Welcoming Immigration

My latest political experience was to be invited along to a meeting of the Auckland Asian Association.  I was attending along with ACT Deputy Leader Kenneth Wang.

The first couple of hours were filled with speeches. The conference was opened by AAA President Peter Chan, a man I have huge respect for. It was an honour to have him join the Affordable Auckland ticket I formed in 2013 to fight the local body elections. We were a hastily formed group, holding our Inaugural General Meeting just a few months prior to the local body elections. I’ll always be grateful to him for lending his prestigious name to our effort to oppose the Len Brown/City Vision nightmare which inevitably secured victory in that election.

I take enormous pride in knowing that as an ACT candidate, I represent a political party that alone fights racism in every form in this election.  Our resolve is not shaken by snide ignorant remarks, not one sided polls where leading questions give them impression that most New Zealanders are concerned by immigration and foreign investment.

Economic protectionism is an old concept which prevails to this day. New Zealand’s most important free trade agreement is with a country that hides its free market nature with a communist mask. Trade unionist economic border advocates attempt to spread hysteria amongst their membership by making claims that imply every inch of the country is going to be peeled off and exported to another nation with a face that looks different to our own.

It is essential to New Zealand’s future prosperity that yellow fever and racial ignorance by a disturbingly significant number of voters is marginalised and ignored. Robert Muldoon once made us the Poland of the South Pacific. It would be an economically and morally destructive disaster to repeat the mistakes of the past.

I welcome every single individual who identifies New Zealand as being a country where they can improve their own lives and then migrates here to try to do that. As a senior manager working for a supermarket, my desk is crossed several times a day by ambitious immigrants whom desperately want me to employ them. Unfortunately I only have the time to interview just a handful of the dozens of immigrants who ask for a job. The majority of my staff are Indian because the majority of the job applicants are Indian. I don’t judge them on their ethnicity and their ethnicity doesn’t guarantee any results. Some of the successful applicants quickly show themselves to be disappointing. However, others go in the other direction. They are dedicated, they are ambitious; they are willing to do whatever it takes to prove they deserve to be promoted to the next step. They remind me a lot of myself; however I didn’t have the threat of deportation hanging over my head.

Over the years I have received my own promotions and not only taken over greater responsibility but also been responsible for more staff. As most managers will accept, some of these staff will be willing to just work within their times, do their best but not want to go any further.

That’s fine. Some staff will muck you around as much as possible and you will regret, on a daily basis, being the person who put your own name and reputation behind them. The most satisfying part of my job is hiring and identifying winners; people who are desperate to grow in their jobs and want nothing less than the achieve as much as possible.

Those are values which we should cherish in New Zealand. It shouldn’t matter what their skin colour, accent or religion is; those who strive for the best should be welcomed and appreciated in New Zealand.

Unfortunately, my high achieving foreign employees are a real nuisance. Through no fault of their own, they create endless trails of worries and increased workload for me. This is because of the bullshit the Immigration Department makes me go through if I want them to continue their employment with me past their visa deadline.

My role in my supermarket management position is to oversee the Liquor, Grocery and General Merchandise departments. Most of the filling for these departments is done at night time. To a person who has never managed a supermarket department, filling shelves may seem like nothing. However, I can verify that an excellent manager of night filling is worth more than double their weight in gold. I’ve had nightfill managers who are completely incompetent and I’ve had nightfill managers who continue to amaze me with what they can achieve with limited resources.

When it comes to getting competent migrant manager’s visas renewed, that is where the nightmare begins. I have to advertise with WINZ, newspapers, the internal company job list just to hold on to the competent manager I already have. Usually, if I get any applicants at all, they will be from other migrants with little time left on their visas. It is rare that a New Zealand citizen will apply and even rarer that they will actually be suitable.

Tight immigration work laws are strangling basic industries in New Zealand because government policy dictates a racist and xenophobic mantra that I must do everything I can to hire a New Zealand citizen before I can consider advocating for a competent immigrant to have their visa renewed. Often my preferred candidate is the only person who has applied. Immigration still expects me to prove I have interviewed others.

I despise the racism that current immigration law dictates. I want to hire the best person for the job and I dont care what their ethnic origins are. Considering all the time I must waste dealing with racist bureaucrats so I can employ the person I want, I shudder to think how many millions of dollars are wasted dealing with immigration laws.

Every individual, whatever their ethnic origin deserves the same opportunity as anyone else to make the best out of their life they possibly can. Surely, in New Zealand 2014, this is no longer a controversial position?

Contradictions and Misrepresentations from the Conservative Party 002 2014

Conservative Pamphlet - 002 2014

 

Conservative Statement

The problem with this statement

1

It would be nice if we could trust politicians

The Conservative party are politicians.  Are they saying we cannot trust them?

2

Leaders should ideally be people who make promises that they keep….

Ideally yes – but MMP is a system that requires compromises – so all promises might not be possible.

3

But our leaders aren’t the people we would always like them to be.

Including Colin Craig?

4

John Key … promised to change it “if good parents got prosecuted” hasn’t done anything despite 8 prosecutions for a light smack and hundreds of good parents now being investigated.

So 8 prosecutions is a catastrophe for which we should change the constitution?

5

Child abuse has continued to rise regardless of the law and has, in fact, increased by 32% since the anti-smacking law was introduced.

No consideration that this could be a higher incidence of reporting.

6

Police resources have been tied up investigating good parents (hundreds of investigations at an average of two per week).

Does Craig know about the full background of all these cases and the family circumstances?  They are all “good parents”?

7

Good parents have been harassed by investigations, suffered the removal of children to temporary care, been denied custody, and in some cases have been prosecuted.

All “good parents”?  All harassed? – where are the complaints to the Independent Police Complaints Authority (IPCA)?

8

The public response to this bad law was a referendum.

You only need 10% of the registered voters to request a citizens initiated referendum – so “a section of the public requested a referendum”

9

87.5% of voters said change the law.

Voter turnout was only 56.1% - so not 87.5% of all voters – so 49%

10

Overwhelmingly we, the people of this wonderful nation, got it right.

“got it right” means “agreed with Craig” in his head.  Note less than 5% of the electorate want to vote for him now.

11

We told the politicians to change the law … but nothing happened.

49%

12

The situation continues to get worse…

Evidence of this?

13

…Police resources continue to be mis-directed …

Is Colin calling the professionalism of the national Police force into question?

14

… parents and children continue to suffer.

Children continue to suffer from domestic violence? – yes they do.  Again where are the complaints to the IPCA from the parents?

15

There are different ways to ensure accountability in a democracy.

Elections being one way. Colin’s crazy ideas have not got elected yet.

16

Right of recall, an upper house, and binding referendum are all possibilities …

And on what basis were binding referendum selected as the best option? In many ways it is the most risky one.

17

We will change it so that the mistakes of politicians can be corrected.

What if a so called “mistake” is a “considered view after seeking the advice of experts”

18

We will change it so that politicians cannot continue to arrogantly disregard the will of the people.

 

19

Our bottom line is very simple:

If they get elected then with 5% of the vote their bottom line is a change to the New Zealand constitution!

20

If there is a public referendum on any issue and 67% or more of the vote supports the proposal then it must become law.

So the 49% of the population who voted for the repeal of the anti-smacking law would not pass this threshold if a general election turnout of more than 73% occurred! So Colin’s supporters will not even get what they want if the law was passed.

21

One Law for All

Long standing ACT policy

22

The first $20,000 tax free

A $6.4 billion hole in the government budget that will require spending to be cut on Super, Education and Health.

23

It is time we had a smaller more efficient government.

We can agree with that.

24

We can start by reducing the number of politicians … to 99 MPs

ACT policy is 100

25

We need a smaller number of MPs … rather than 120overpaid MPs…

So we expect the Conservative party to announce pre-election that they will be not accepting or donating a substantial portion of MPs’ salaries.

26

… who are either not present in the debating chambers ….

There is only one debating chamber Colin.  We look forward to a promise of 100% attendance.

27

…. or spend most of their time twittering whilst pretending to run this country at our expense.

A promise required that no MPs will use modern technology required. 
Also – if Colin believes that the MPs are ‘pretending to run the country” – then who does he think is actually running the country? The aliens?

28

<nothing …. blank …. silent>

This row represents the lack of any reference to $6.4 billion of spending cuts anywhere in Colin’s policies.

29

Supporting strong and stable families is the cornerstone for building and maintaining a healthy and prosperous society for now and the future.

Any divorced people should apply for their passport and prepare to leave the country – you are not part of Colin’s prosperous future.

30

This is why the Conservative Party stands for traditional family values, for the physical and psychological protection and safety of our children and families for supporting and enabling Kiwi mums and dads to properly discipline and lovingly raise their children without government interference.

Non-traditional families should also prepare to leave the country.
“Properly discipline” is not really defined – but we note that Colin is only proposing to allow “a light smack on the bottom”. Will that satisfy the expectations he has raised in his constituency?

31

Justice – the protection of our women and children must come before any perceived rights of those who choose to sexually abuse or assault our most vulnerable.

This problem has already been solved by ACT’s three strikes for violent offences.  The sensible Sentencing Trust audited the figures and found that to the end of 2013 3,721 offenders had been convicted of First Strike violent crimes, but only 29 of second strike offences – with no-one on third strikes.

32

This election a vote for the Conservatives is a vote to get tough on offenders. 

It is a wasted vote if the Conservatives do not reach 5%.  Zero MPs.

33

It is a chance to make justice about putting it right for the victims.

ACT is focussed on Crime and will be represented in Parliament because we will win Epsom. 

Every vote for ACT will count. 

Vote your values – Party vote ACT.

 

The left is wrong: poverty is falling and income inequality is not rising

"A Roy Morgan poll shows that the issue people are most concerned about is income inequality. This just goes to show how the persistent repetition of a lie bewilders the public. Income inequality is not in fact rising. And the child poverty rate has been declining for nearly 20 years, falling from 35% in 1994 to 16% in 2007 and recently returning to pre-global financial crisis levels in 2012” said Dr Whyte.

“Those who advocate socialism have exploited the public’s concern about a rising number of people being trapped into a cycle of dependency.  The Left’s repeated claims that New Zealand is getting more unequal are simply false and divert attention from policies that would help people out of dependency.

“Prior to the recent recession, there were 15 years of steady growth in median household incomes driven, in part, by the steady increase in the number of two-parent households where both parents are in paid employment (3% pa).

Figure 1: Real household income trends before housing costs (BHC) and after housing costs (AHC), 1982 to 2013 ($2013)

 

Source: Bryan Perry, Household incomes in New Zealand: Trends in indicators of inequality and hardship 1982 to 2013. Ministry of Social Development (July 2014).

 

“The net income gains from the mid-1990s to 2013 were similar for all income groups, so income inequality in 2013 was also similar to the mid-1990s” said Dr Whyte.

Figure 2: Real household incomes (BHC), changes for top of income deciles, 1994 to 2013

 

Source: (Perry 2014).

 

“The Gini coefficient – the most common measure of inequality – shows no evidence of a rise in income inequality since the mid-1990s. The trend-line is almost flat.

Figure 3: Gini coefficient New Zealand 1980-2015

Source: (Perry 2014).

 

“The Top 1% of income earners in New Zealand earn such a modest share of total earnings that the Occupy movement is left with nothing to protest about. The incomes of NZ’s top 1% of earners make up 8-9% of total incomes, as they have since the mid-1990s. It was only in the USA were the share of the top 1% continued to rise strongly, from 13% to 19%. New Zealand’s top 1% is performing so poorly that even the Swedish top 1% is set to overtake it”, said Dr Whyte

 

Figure 4: Top 1% income shares, USA, New Zealand and Sweden, 1970-2012

 

Source: The World Top Income Database at http://topincomes.g-mond.parisschoolofeconomics.eu/#Database

 

“Reducing inequality would not help to reduce poverty.  The causes of poverty are complex but failure to get an education is one.  Our one-size-fits-all education system has failed children from deprived homes for many years.  Charter schools have successfully lifted educational achievement for children in poverty in many countries. Yet the political left is against this ladder,” said Dr Whyte.

“Who doubts that if New Zealand had its own Bill Gates, the country would be both more unequal and more prosperous?  We need policies that encourage hard work, enterprise and success. ACT is the only party advocating such policies.

 “The last time there was a significant increase in income inequality was in the early 1990s and this spike in inequality was immediately followed by a 15 year long economic boom” said Dr Whyte.

The Sunday Series with Jamie Whyte - 31 August 2014

This week: How MMP really works and why 28000 votes will deliver better government.

Discrimination based on who you have sex with

I was an audience member at Auckland’s LGBTI meeting last night. It featured Jamie Whyte from ACT, Kevin Hague from the Greens, Miriam Pierard from Internet Mana, Paul Hutchinson from National (retiring at this election so clearly National saw this as a bottom priority for them) and Kelly Ellis from Labour.

Unfortunately it was a poorly attended and largely dreary affair. In 21st century New Zealand politics, homosexuality is so acceptable as to hardly be an issue at all. We watched politicians from across the political spectrum largely agree with each other and Jamie set a new record for being in full agreement with Kevin Hague. The final step that I could identify in legal discrimination against homosexuals is that in a homosexual relationship, only one parent can adopt while the other may take legal guardianship. This is unfair but hardly something to form a mob with burning torches over.

Jamie’s message was spot on when he said that there should be no discrimination whatsoever by the state for any reason. I was glad when he bravely pointed out that this shouldn’t be applied to the sphere of individual’s private lives. Everyone, every day, discriminates against others for a host of minor reasons. If you’re approached by a man in a bar who you find physically unattractive you’d be likely to reject their advances based on that. I would hope nobody would suggest that you’re obligated to accept someone’s physical advances. The Human Rights Act could not possibly list all the different reasons private discrimination should be banned and it shouldn’t even begin to start. Freedom of association is far more important than hurt feelings at your company being rejected.

I’m a proudly gay man at number 6 on the ACT Party list. I don’t know if being gay in itself is anything to be proud of, but I’m very good at it. Assessing some of the answers that were given at the LGBTI forum, I think the biggest danger to the “Rainbow Community” in terms of future discrimination is from itself.

Labour’s Kelly Ellis not only wants discrimination against transgender people banned under the Human Rights Act but the impression I got from her address is that she considers jokes about transgender people to be a form of discrimination in itself. I have to ask, how much freedom of speech does she want to eliminate in order to spare her feelings?

Internet Mana’s Miriam Pierard suggested Parliament have a special representative from the “Rainbow Community” in Parliament (like a Gay Statutory Board?) and said she wanted feedback from others about the idea. I retorted it was a terrible idea and she said, “Well you don’t want a Ministry of Women’s Affairs either.” Exactly Miriam! You get it, but you don’t! The Ministry of Women’s Affairs, Pacific Island Affairs, Maori Affairs, Ethnic Affairs and Youth Affairs are all examples of group legal privilege which should absolutely be rejected and this essentially matches what ACT is saying when it stands for One Country, One Law.

What the aforementioned politicians fail to grasp is the total invalidity of collectivism. I encountered it myself when I took part in a debate at AUT earlier in the day. The pro-compulsory student group politicians were complaining that students have lost their voice under voluntary student membership. I pointed at individual students watching in the quad and said that there is no way that student, and this student, and this other student all have one voice. They are individuals with their own hopes, dreams and visions for their own lives. They are not a blind block of drones standing in formation waiting for their leader to tell them what to say and think.

I want to finish with a critique of this abominable term ‘Rainbow Community.’ It conjures up images of butch women, drag queens and sweaty shirtless men grinding together in a group. It also illustrates perfectly the absolute failure of collectivists to accurately represent reality. The acronym GLBTI refers to Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex. Without going into too much lurid detail, this is men who have sex with men, women who have sex with women, individuals who have sex with both genders, individuals who have had a sex change and individuals who are either part way through gender reassignment surgery or are hermaphrodites. My experience as a gay man who socialises with other gay men is that their opinions are as diverse as anyone’s. Many of them don’t share my politics yet a few GLBTI activists think they can be the voice for tens of thousands of people who can’t even agree on who is best to have sex with?

In regards to gender and sexuality, the law books should be cleansed of any mention of them in the same way as race should be. The Government should recognise each citizen as an individual in their own right, irrelevant of any other considerations whatsoever.

On a private social level, Government can never and should never try to eliminate discrimination. The only moral way to tackle discrimination at a private level is through social pressure and sanction. It is an approach I take myself. It will never be one hundred percent successful, but no measure ever taken by the state ever will be either. It is the moral way to deal with discrimination and leaves our right to decide who we choose to interact with intact.

ACT Policy Vindicated by Sensible Sentencing Data

ACT Leader Dr Jamie Whyte says the Sensible Sentencing Trust's just released analysis of 3 Strikes legislation "proves ACT was right to promote the policy and that it has made New Zealand a much safer country.

"The figures show beyond doubt that deterrents work and that violent offenders are changing their behaviour to stay out of jail."

The Sensible Sentencing Trust review of court data to the end of 2013 shows that 3721 offenders had been convicted of First Strike violent crimes, but only 29 have received a Second Strike sentence and none has been sentenced for a Third Strike.

Dr Whyte says ACT was "attacked by the offender-friendly establishment when we made this policy part of our coalition arrangement with National in 2008.

"But the SST analysis is the best evidence yet that we were right then and will be right again when we take 3 Strikes for Burglary to the negotiating table after the election."

ACT has a long history of putting victims first, says Dr Whyte.

"We've walked the walk for three elections now.

"We've worked with Sensible Sentencing and will continue to do so. Other parties in this election are blatantly copying our policies but imitation is no substitute for innovation.

"ACT has consistently led the way on law reform to make New Zealand safer and will continue to do so. Protecting people and their property is central to ACT's philosophy."    

Colin Craig’s tax figures do not add up. The Conservatives tax promises are dishonest

“Colin Craig’s tax plan is to have two rates of income tax: 0% up to $20,000 and 25% above that. This will leave a $6.4 billion hole in the budget even before the new spending proposed by the Conservatives.  The Conservative tax promises are dishonest” said Dr Jamie Whyte.

 “Using Treasury figures, ACT calculated that to get the same revenues with a tax-free threshold of $20,000 the rate above $20,000 would have to be 34%, a significant tax increase for middle New Zealand.

 At a Papakura combined churches meeting of candidates on Wednesday, Conservative Party candidate Kevin Stitt made a point of immediately correcting the ACT candidate’s claim that the Conservative Party’s flat tax rate will be 34%. Mr Stitt told the audience that the Conservative Party flat tax rate above $20,000 was 25%. When questioned again on this, he confirmed that the flat rate tax rate was 25%” said Dr Whyte.

“The budgetary mathematics of Colin Craig’s 0% and 25% rates are brutal.

Total taxable income in New Zealand is $143.5 billion. Of this, $54.8 billion is from income below $20,000, from which Craig would collect no tax. All income tax will be levied on income above $20,000, which amounts to $88.7 billion. 25% of $88.7 billion is $22.2 billion. That is how much income tax will be collected on Craig's tax plan.

But income tax today totals $28.6 billion. So Craig's plan will require the government to reduce spending by $6.4 billion

 “To fund a $6.4 billion dollar tax gap the Conservatives must slash Super, hospitals and education.  There is no other spending that comes near to seven billion dollars.

“The Conservatives promises on tax are either silly or dishonest.

“Even their proposed 25% flat tax increases marginal tax rates for middle-income families already hit over the head by the Working for Families abatement rate of 25%. Many ordinary families and second earners will face an effective marginal tax rate of 50% under Colin Craig’s proposals” said Dr Whyte today.

“ACT was able to produce a fully costed policy using Treasury figures to reduce the top tax rate to 24%, the company tax initially to 20% and then to 12.5% by 2020 in its Alternative Budget Analysis. ACT did this by cutting corporate welfare and cutting middle-class welfare by $4 billion. These tax and spending reforms will boost the growth rate by at least one percentage point: that is, by at least one third,” said Dr Whyte.

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