行动党主席John Boscawen说，行动党提出的“三振出局”（Three Strikes）法发挥了应有的 作用，他很高兴司法部长Judith Collins同意这一观点。
“无论是我还是我行动党的同事们，无论是在过去或是现在，都不希望看到有人在监狱中浪费他们的生命。和其他人一样， Elijah可以做出选择。我衷心希望他能做出正确的选择。 如若不然，监狱将是他的归宿。”John 说。
ACT Party President John Boscawen says ACT’s Three Strikes legislation is working exactly as intended and he is pleased that Justice Minister Judith Collins agrees.
“Elijah Whaanga - who has received a second strike and a final warning for two aggravated robberies - is a violent young man, and just the kind of offender the law was intended to target,” Mr Boscawen said.
“His first strike was also for an aggravated robbery. He hit the victim over the head numerous times and stole $68. I don’t care if it was $68, $680 or 68 cents - the issue is not what he took, but the violence of the assault.
“Mr Whaanga is in the habit of using violence to steal other people’s property. If he does that again, having received a final warning in the clearest terms from Judge Adeane, then jail is the right place for him.
“Critics say he needs treatment. Well, he will get a chance to address his problems while he is jail for the next two and a half years, serving his second strike sentence without parole. I sincerely hope he does address his problems and becomes a productive citizen on his release.
“Neither I nor my ACT colleagues past and present want to see people waste their lives in jail. But this man, like everyone else, has a choice to make. I hope for his sake he makes the right one. If he doesn’t, jail for a long time is where he belongs, and ACT’s ‘three strikes’ law will send him there” Boscawen said.
Labour Finance Spokesman David Parker’s neat and succinct criticism of Labour's Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) piles contradiction on contradiction, ACT Party President & ETS Spokesman John Boscawen said today.
“In a press release this afternoon, Mr Parker said ‘gas and coal generators’ carbon costs are incorporated into the price paid to hydro, wind and geothermal generators, despite the fact they have zero or low carbon emissions.’
“In other words, Mr Parker is conceding that Labour’s ETS allows hydro, wind and geothermal generators to make windfall profits at New Zealanders’ expense,” Mr Boscawen said.
“Time and again I stood up in the House and said that Labour’s ETS would create windfall profits for renewable generators and it would hurt those on low-comes the most. But Labour didn’t care.
“In the same release, Mr Parker goes on to say that ‘under Labour’s [new energy] policy only companies whose generated electricity emits carbon will be able to charge for it.’ What this means is Labour is now trying to sell itself as the saviour of a problem it created.
“The point of introducing Labour’s ETS was to push the price of electricity up so that New Zealanders used less of it.
“Mr Parker needs to explain why he favoured giving renewable generators a windfall gain two years ago, and what has changed in the past two years to make him change his mind?
“I would wager that this has nothing to do with caring about energy prices for households and everything to do with Labour’s campaign to upset the asset sales programme,” Mr Boscawen said.
The Labour/Green’s scheme to nationalise the electricity sector because they ‘care’ about power prices is hypocritical when they were responsible for introducing an Emissions Trading Scheme which pushed up the price of power, ACT Party President & ETS Spokesman John Boscawen said today.
“The whole point of their Emissions Trading Scheme was to drive up electricity prices so that people used less of it,” Mr Boscawen said.
“The ETS lifts the marginal cost of producing electricity, and, as it’s the marginal cost that sets overall prices, all generators get the benefit of the higher price, regardless of whether they have to pay the carbon tax.
“The result is that those generating renewable energy make windfall profits at householders’ expense.
“I spoke out against the ETS because it would impact the most on those who could least afford it. But the Greens and Labour, who pretend to care about the poor, were more than happy for the price to rise.
“They didn’t care about high power prices hurting New Zealanders then, but now that they want to put a spanner in the works of the asset sales programme, they suddenly claim to care.
“These parties are willing to hurt all New Zealanders by eroding the value of state owned assets, and also private assets, such as Contact Energy, which are owned by New Zealand investors and Kiwisaver schemes.
“They are a bunch of hypocrites who only care about power prices when it suits their political agenda,” Mr Boscawen said.
ACT President John Boscawen today welcomed the establishment of the satirical online newspaper The Civilian, New Zealand’s answer to The Onion.
“I am honoured that the ACT Party has been satirised in The Civilian following in the footsteps of John Key, Steven Joyce and David Shearer,” Mr Boscawen said.
“However, he warned the public against taking The Civilian too seriously.
“I had a phone call today from a reporter who had been sent the story and thought she was onto a scoop.
“I had to break the news that she had been a victim of an April Fool’s joke five days too early.
“This mistake is a warning to all New Zealanders. You should not believe everything you read on the internet.
“However, I wish to congratulate The Civilian - you know you have hit the big time when a mainstream reporter takes your story seriously,” Mr Boscawen said.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Welcome to ACT’s regional conference for the lower South Island. I acknowledge ACT Scenic South board member, Guy McCallum and deputy board member Colin Nicholls and I thank you both for your efforts in organising this conference today.
I also acknowledge and thank ACT Leader John Banks for his attendance.
When Guy first asked me to speak on the subject of ‘why I support ACT’, I thought that’s easy. ACT has been the only party in New Zealand that has constantly elected into Parliament a group of MPs who all agree on free trade, the Reserve Bank Act, flexible labour laws, the importance of private property rights, one law for all and the rule of law.
There are many reasons to support ACT.
However, the focus of my speech today will be Partnership schools and the announcement yesterday about the establishment of the Partnership Schools Authorisation Board by John Banks in his role as Associate Education Minister.
At last week’s national conference in Auckland, I stressed the need to rejuvenate and rebuild ACT. We need to take our message directly to ordinary kiwis by direct mail, social media and public meetings. I mentioned that I first joined ACT at such a public meeting in May 1995.
However, what I didn’t mention were the two significant events prior.
Firstly, in February 1995, I sent away a cheque for $5 for a copy of ACT’s founding document – the 100 page ‘Commonsense for a Change’. This laid out ACT’s policy prescription and I could immediately see that ACT was a new kind of party offering new solutions to the country’s problems and was unlike any other political party at the time.
In particular, I was attracted to ACT’s proposals to have people paying part of their taxes directly into their own retirement savings accounts, rather than as general taxation - making them less dependent on the government at retirement age.
ACT also proposed providing greater choice in education by allowing alternative independent schools to establish and compete on an equal footing with the state education system – thus driving up standards for all through competition.
Secondly, in March 1995, I attended a public meeting – the first ACT meeting I ever attended. It was at the property now known as the ASB Showgrounds in Greenlane, Auckland and there were close to 1000 people.
The featured speakers were the joint ACT founders, Sir Roger Douglas and the Hon. Derek Quigley. I also heard for the first time, Rodney Hide and Muriel Newman – both of whom went on to become ACT MPs.
However, the speakers who left the biggest impression on me that night were Donna Awatere-Huata and Iritana Tawhiwhirangi – founder of the Kohanga Reo movement in the early 1980s and ACT’s first Education spokesperson.
Iritana, now Dame Iritana, gave an inspired, uplifting speech as she explained how ACT’s policies to provide greater choice to parents, particularly those from lower socio-economic areas who didn’t then have choice, would do more to address Maori under-achievement in education than any other single policy change.
Educational under-achievement was leaving vast numbers of Maori marginalised and unable to read and write. Far too many were ending up in prison. Under-achievement also lead to disproportionate numbers of Maori and Pacific Islanders becoming dependent on social welfare and robbing them of their independence, their spirit and their lives.
She explained how those from lower socio-economic areas lacked the resources that more affluent parents had, to send their children to private schools. School zoning captured young Maori in poorer performing state schools.
I was so impressed with Dame Iri’s speech that I went up and introduced myself to her during the break. Over time, we became friends and we have spent hours since, discussing educational and social issues for Maori and other New Zealanders.
With the founding of the Maori Party, Dame Iri became a member and subsequently stood for them in general elections on their party list.
While ACT has clear policy differences with the Maori Party in some areas – for example we opposed the Marine and Coastal Area Bill and we don’t support separate Maori seats in Parliament – we still have much we agree on, such as providing choice in education as a means of raising educational achievement for ALL, but particularly for those in lower socio-economic groups.
The Maori Party and ACT also recognise the huge damage the social welfare system has done to Maori and the way it has created a system of dependency and a feeling of entitlement.
So I was absolutely delighted that when John Banks announced the members of the Partnership Schools Authorisation Committee on Friday, Dame Iritana was among them alongside Chair Catherine Isaac, Deputy Chair John Shewan, John Morris, Dr Margaret Southwick, Tahu Potiki and Terry Bates.
Finally, 18 years after Dame Iri stood and addressed that crowded ACT public meeting in Greenlane, she will have the opportunity to bring to fruition the vision that she saw and so strongly advocated that night and ever since.
It was also pleasing this week to see that Pem Bird, President of the Maori Party also appeared before the Education and Science Select Committee to speak in favour of partnership schools.
There has been much misinformation about Partnership Schools – much of it spread by the teacher unions in a newspaper campaign that must have cost their members hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Far from being the ‘rich party’ portrayed by the media, the ACT party doesn’t have the resources to combat it.
The first and most important thing to know about Partnership Schools is they will not be compulsory – no parent will be required to send their child to one.
It will be THEIR choice, and for a lot of parents they will actually have a choice for the first time!
However, those who choose not to send their children to a Partnership School, will have the benefit of a higher standard of education that ACT believes will eventuate as a result of competition. So everyone will win.
Secondly, Partnership Schools will be designed to primarily serve lower socio-economic areas.
Thirdly, Partnership Schools will be funded by the state, largely to the same extent that the taxpayer would fund the same child in a state school – the funding will follow the child as ACT has advocated since its inception in 1994.
Fourthly, Partnership Schools will be closely monitored by the Department of Education – far from being unaccountable as our opponents argue. Partnership schools will be bound by an agreement entered into between the state and the schools’ founders and they will be required to meet the standards jointly agreed.
Fifthly, ACT’s partnership schools will not be subject to the Official Information Act as they are run by private organisations in exactly the same way that many thousands of privately run early childhood centres who receive Government funding are not subject to the Official Information Act.
Sixth, the Labour Party has argued that private enterprise or for-profit organisations will be involved and that this is somehow a bad thing! Yes, it’s true, that private for-profit organisations may wish to be involved but why is that deemed bad? And how is that different from the many thousands of privately owned early childhood centres that have opened and been funded by the taxpayer to provide 20 hours of early childhood education?
Labour is quite happy for profit organisations to operate early childhood education but not primary and secondary schools – how hypocritical is that?
In any event, my understanding is that none of the 34 initial preliminary applications received are from for-profit organisations, albeit that overseas research shows that for-profits run the most successful schools.
Seventh, there is overwhelming overseas evidence that properly monitored charter schools, as they are known overseas have been very successful, despite the opposition’s efforts to argue otherwise.
Sweden for example introduced ‘free schools’, their version of partnership schools in 1992 and they continue successfully to this day under both ‘right’ and ‘left’ wing governments. If Labour’s claim that Partnership Schools hadn’t been successful overseas is correct, surely an incoming left-wing Swedish government would have scrapped them and they haven’t.
Eighth, Partnership Schools will have more autonomy than state schools – there will be no regulated pay scales nor set hours. They will not be required to have all of their teachers registered with the Teachers Council, however you don’t need to be registered to be qualified. I personally have a world of business experience. I taught accounting briefly at the then Manukau Technical Institute and I wasn’t registered with the Teachers Council.
Delegates, for the last 18 years the ACT Party has championed reforms to education and social welfare systems. The ACT Party has stood up for the less well-off and campaigned on providing choice for those who don’t have choice. We don’t expect there will be a large number of Partnership Schools initially, but we are optimistic that a sufficient number will open at the beginning of Term 1, 2014.
While there may not be many, the fact that there are some will lead to competition between those first Partnership Schools and the surrounding state schools and we expect the benefits will only grow as time progresses.
Each week the Opposition parties stand up in Parliament and claim to represent the poor.
The first step out of poverty is a top quality education and if the opposition were truly concerned for the poor and the less well off, rather than their Teacher Union mates, they’d support us and the vote in Parliament would be unanimous.
Partnership Schools are a fundamental part of our Confidence and Supply Agreement with the National Party and from my discussions negotiating that agreement with the Prime Minister and since, I am sure we have his full support.
Like Dame Iritana Tawhiwhirangi, I look forward to ACT implementing the vision that she and Donna Awatere-Huata so ably enunciated in March 1995.
Thank you for your attendance here today.
Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to our conference.
This is a crucial conference for ACT and is another step in the rebuilding and the rejuvenation of our party.
Thank you for coming and for your support.
Thank you, to you Alan Gibbs, your family and staff for hosting us on your magnificent, inspirational property.
I would also like to acknowledge a number of people here today.
Firstly, I would like to thank you John Banks, for your commitment to, and leadership of, our party. You have taken on a very difficult and lonely job in circumstances you didn’t expect. A job that involves personal sacrifice, unrelenting demands of the party and electorate and constant public scrutiny.
As Associate Minister of Education with responsibility for introducing Partnership Schools, you are on the verge of achieving finally, after 17 years, what has been one of ACT’s key policy planks – greater choice in education, which we believe will significantly address the educational underachievement in some sectors of our society. You have our full support.
Secondly, I wish to acknowledge and to thank on behalf of the party our outgoing President, Chris Simmons. Chris, you have led the party through two and a half very turbulent years and have admirably overcome the many challenges that you were presented.
Thirdly, to you Rodney Hide – your contribution to New Zealand politics and ACT over five Parliamentary terms – 15 years - has been huge! You made history by winning the seat of Epsom from the National Party for the first time in 50 years. None of us should ever forget that you winning, and then retaining Epsom ensured that the party remains in Parliament today. We collectively owe you huge gratitude.
On a personal level, I’d also like to thank you for your mentoring of myself and my former Parliamentary colleagues when we entered Parliament and for your continued support when I took over from you as the Parliamentary Leader.
I also acknowledge Vice President Barbara Astill and the other members of our Board.
I have been elected to a two year term as President of the ACT Party. As President I chair the Board of Trustees, the body responsible for running ACT and in particular developing and approving policy; identifying, selecting and ranking candidates; and raising the money required to run a successful election campaign every three years.
This is not a job I sought, nor one I would have challenged Chris Simmons for, but when Chris advised me that he intended to stand down and asked if I would be prepared to put my name forward, I seriously considered it.
You should know that I regard this role as one of the most important in New Zealand politics today. It is vital that ACT be rejuvenated and rebuilt for the sake of our country. We occupy a very important part of the New Zealand political spectrum and represent views and promote policies that no other political party does.
Since our founding in 1994, ACT has been the only party in New Zealand that has constantly elected into parliament a group of MPs who all agree on privatisation, free trade, the Reserve Bank Act, flexible labour laws, the importance of private property rights, one law for all and the rule of law.
I joined ACT 18 years ago. During this time I stood for the party in Epsom in the first MMP election in 1996 and served on the Board of Trustees for seven years in total, first as a regional representative, then Treasurer and finally Deputy Leader.
In 2008 I had the privilege of being elected an ACT List Member of Parliament and was appointed Minister of Consumer Affairs and Associate Minister of Commerce in August 2010, positions I relinquished in May 2011 to focus on my new role as Parliamentary Leader.
So ACT has been a big part of my life.
When I look back over those last 18 years, I despair at New Zealand’s lost opportunities.
I despair at successive government failure to build on the reforms of the 1980s and the early 1990s.
I despair at the welfare dependency culture that we’ve created in our society where people are concerned with their rights and think little about their responsibilities back to society.
I despair at how the Resource Management Act has become a massive and costly impediment to investment and growth, how it has reduced our living standards and further delayed infrastructure that should have been built 20 or 30 years ago.
And in particular I despair about the chronic levels of underachievement amongst some of our children – disproportionately, Maori and Pacific Islanders. I cringe when I see the desperate efforts of our opponents trying to misrepresent our position on partnership schools. If this is the calibre of the Teacher’s Union, no wonder we have a problem with some of our teachers.
I have watched as governments have wasted billions of taxpayers’ dollars – your money and as a result have been unable to substantially lower taxes to provide real incentives for those who want to work, save, invest and get on in their lives.
Our problems are man-made. We have done it to ourselves. New Zealand could be so much more prosperous than it is currently.
ACT has a vision for the future but we need to learn from the mistakes of the past.
Following that first MMP election in 1996, Prime Minister Jim Bolger went on a massive spending spree – much of it poor quality! This was the price he was prepared to make you the taxpayer pay so he could remain Prime Minister in coalition with Winston Peters. New Zealand is still paying the price of those mistakes today.
Then followed nine years of Labour government and more lost opportunity!
Helen Clark’s desperate last minute bribe to students and their parents to try and win the 2005 election by extending the interest-free student loan scheme represents all that is bad about politics and politicians.
We now have a scheme where students are incentivised to borrow the maximum that they are permitted and to invest any surplus – only to repay it years later in devalued dollars or at a substantial discount.
And if they don’t trust themselves to invest it successfully, they should just put it in the bank and earn 3%! To do otherwise is simply not economically rational.
But it gets worse! National who so severely criticised the massive extension to interest-free student loans in opposition, has done little to wind it back. You won’t hear a single National MP criticise this loan scheme.
And nor will you hear a single National MP advocate what most other Western countries recognise as blindingly obvious – simple demographics demands that the age of entitlement for superannuation should be progressively increased unless we are to be burdened by heavier and heavier taxation.
Therein lies National’s problem, and ACT’s huge opportunity and in fact, ACT’s huge responsibility!
Under MMP National must position itself as a party capable of getting at least 40% of the party vote, and from National’s point of view, closer to 50%.
However, in doing this, National has been far too timid in advocating policy change for the good of the country, focusing instead on not offending anyone in their support base.
New Zealand is screaming out for leadership! True leadership would have the National Party advocating for FAR greater reform than what they are currently proposing.
And that ladies and gentlemen is the role that falls to us.
ACT can and MUST provide that leadership.
It’s the reason that this party has a future and always will have.
It’s the reason why we must rebuild our membership and our electorate organisations.
I believe that young people will be the key to the future of our party and we must find a way to really engage them – technology and social media are obvious tools but they won’t be the only solutions.
Similarly, I have always believed that Asians should be much bigger supporters of our party. They subscribe to the ethics of hard work, thrift and enterprise and a party that believes so strongly in low flat taxes should be a natural one for them to support.
ACT has always believed that your efforts should make a difference and it’s the immigrants who sacrifice so much to come here who would have so much to gain from ACT policies and philosophies.
I’m not saying that’s going to be easy! In fact, I’ll say the opposite. It’s going to be hard. Very hard! But we are fighting for our country and it is so important that we are successful.
Our goal at the next election in 2014 must be to achieve a minimum of 5% of the party vote, and to retain the seat of Epsom.
We’ve proved before that we can get 5% and more – we’ve done it three times before!
We built this party person by person. We had a vision for how great this country could be in 1995 and we went out and signed people up one by one at meetings all over the country. Jo Walsh who is here this afternoon reminded me recently that she signed me up following a Roger Douglas church hall meeting in St Heliers in 1995. For someone who went on to become an MP, a Parliamentary Leader, a Minister and now the President....that was a pretty good signing Jo!
But there is a second very important reason why ACT needs to rejuvenate and rebuild. Some would even argue it is more important.
And that is the simple fact that the National Party will need a coalition partner if it is to remain in Government. No party has gained more than 50% of the popular vote since 1951 and it’s even harder under MMP.
If ACT is not back in 2014 in even bigger numbers, National will be dependent on either the Maori Party, New Zealand First or worse still, both of them!
The country would pay a very high price for this. In fact it’s already paid a high price over the last five years and that would only get substantially higher if the Maori Party held the balance of power.
To get just a glimpse of this cost, one only has to look at the Emissions Trading Scheme. ACT is a party of principle and when we weren’t prepared to burden the country with the excessive costs of the ETS, a position vindicated by National substantially amending the scheme in the most recent term, the National Party went out and bought Maori Party support.
As part of that deal, National agreed to transfer 40,000 hectares of DOC land to four iwi with the intention that iwi would plant native trees and transfer the land back in 75 years time.
Iwi were to retain the carbon credits which in 2010 were valued at over one billion dollars. The market has subsequently collapsed and so today its value is a tiny fraction of this, but it remains a fact that that was the price the Maori Party was able to extract to support a single piece of legislation.
I have a great deal of respect for Tariana Turia and her ability to extract benefits for her people. I think Maori electors generally fail to appreciate just how successful the Maori Party has been.
Since then, we’ve also had the Marine and Coastal Areas Act – our new seabed legislation and the government’s current Constitutional Review. One can only imagine the list of demands that will come from that should the Maori Party hold the balance of power in 2014.
Having painted such a negative scenario, I should at least highlight some of the positives.
Paula Bennett has made a great start to the social welfare reforms so badly needed and so strongly advocated by former ACT MP, Muriel Newman during her time in parliament and since.
Finance Minister, Bill English has also done his best to rein in the growing government expenditure given that his hands have been tied by others with regard to so many of the entitlement programmes.
And while National has been disappointing in so many areas, the alternative of a Labour/Green government doesn’t bear thinking about.
In the last month, we have had the charade of the opposition’s inquiry into the effects of the high exchange rate on our farmers and manufacturers.
This is their attempt to pretend that they care. It was the Green’s and Labour who wanted to impose massive additional costs on our farmers by taxing them on their animals burps and farts under the Emissions Trading Scheme when no other country in the world would remotely contemplate it.
It was also the Green’s and Labour who wanted to drive up the price of our electricity for our manufacturers and all New Zealanders and then pretend in Parliament that they care for those in poverty.
Before concluding, let me specifically address some comments to the people of the Epsom electorate.
The voters of Epsom have played a critical role in the outcome of the last three elections, firstly by electing Rodney Hide over Richard Worth in 2005 and 2008 and more recently John Banks over Paul Goldsmith in 2011.
The people of Epsom have huge power and have used it very wisely.
The Epsom electorate votes overwhelmingly National with their party vote, but it remains an undeniable fact that had John Banks not been elected MP for Epsom, the National Party would not have been able to form a majority government with ACT and Peter Dunne’s United Future.
Having ruled out Winston Peters as a possible coalition partner, National would have been left with only one alternative – The Maori Party. I believe had Epsom voters not elected John Banks, the Maori Party would have held the balance of power and would have been in a position to have decided who governed New Zealand. They would have extracted a huge price for their support!
We need to constantly remind Epsom voters of how crucial their support for John Banks was in the last election, and why it will be so important that ACT retains Epsom.
I have told John that in my new role as President, I want to go out with him every week on to the streets of Epsom, into the shops and on to the doorsteps, and constantly remind Epsom voters of how crucial their vote was in securing a further three years of National government.
During the many phone calls I have made over the last week promoting our conference, I learnt that National’s MP resident in Epsom, Paul Goldsmith recently held a barbecue at his home for his supporters. I don’t know how many of those supporters actually voted for Paul Goldsmith personally with their electorate vote, but those that didn’t should be very thankful that the majority of Epsom voters did. Because if they hadn’t, Paul Goldsmith would have found himself either in opposition now or at best, part of a government dependent on the Maori Party for the passage of every single piece of legislation.
I’d like to personally invite those supporters, the people who deliver Paul’s brochures to come and join the John Banks and ACT team in Epsom instead.
Because if those National supporters really want to the see the National Party in power with a strong dependable coalition party in ACT, they should throw their weight behind us instead.
And that’s why my fellow trustees and I will need your help. My commitment to you today is to do all I can to rejuvenate and rebuild this party. Over the years I have made literally thousands of ACT telephone calls, either asking for help or money, inviting people to functions or thanking people.
Following this conference, I intend to travel throughout New Zealand to meet and talk with both our current and our past members and supporters. I want to explain to them why it is so important that they support ACT and help us rejuvenate and rebuild a party that is vital for the future of this country.
Minister for Climate Change Issues Tim Groser has declined a request by ACT to make the ETS a truly open market mechanism, ACT Deputy & ETS Spokesman Leader John Boscawen said today.
“We wrote to Mr Groser asking him to submit a Supplementary Order Paper on the Climate Change Amendment Bill to ensure restrictions on international imports may be made only for qualitative reasons and not quantitative,” Mr Boscawen said.
“We did this because the current legislation allows future Ministers to ban high quality, environmentally sound foreign carbon credits.
Doing so would push up ETS costs on New Zealand households and exporters for no environmental benefit. In fact, Labour and the Greens are already on record saying they would like to do exactly that.
Yesterday in Parliament, Labour tried to set a totally arbitrary restriction requiring 50 per cent of all credits to be New Zealand Units and not foreign ones.
“This is like saying that 50 per cent of all goods sold in New Zealand must be New Zealand made – a return to Muldoon era policies.
“Mr Groser could have ensured that future Governments would have to come back to Parliament and pass legislation in full view of public scrutiny if they wanted to push up costs on New Zealanders by restricting their access to foreign carbon credits. But he declined to do so.
“We are disappointed that the Government would not go further and use legislation to reinforce New Zealanders’ right to purchase carbon credits at the world price – it’s a missed opportunity.
“Nevertheless we are pleased to have supported this overall bill which greatly reduces the costs on New Zealand exporters and households,” Mr Boscawen said.
Last night’s volley of failed Labour-Green amendments to the Emissions Trading Scheme could have driven the costs of the ETS through the roof for negligible environmental benefit, ACT Deputy Leader John Boscawen said today.
“The Labour Party amendments would have removed the two-for-one discount that currently applies, made consumers and households dependent on local carbon credit suppliers by strangling imports, and doubled the price cap from $25 to $50,” Mr Boscawen said.
“The Green Party would have done all of the above, as well as set a minimum price on carbon emissions and establish not one but two new climate change bureaucracies.
"If the Opposition parties were in power they would like to see the emissions price rise to $50 per tonne. This would increase the overall ETS cost for a household of four to well over $500 per annum.
“That might be an acceptable cost if it was a matter of saving the planet, but it is not. At 0.2 per cent of global emissions, New Zealand could not affect the climate even if it wanted to.
“Some say we should be setting an example, but what example would we be setting? We are already at a competitive disadvantage to our major trading partners, China and the US, who do not have an ETS. Foreign politicians would quickly see that putting a $500 per household drag on one’s economy for no environmental benefit is very silly.
“ACT has worked hard to ensure our ETS does not disadvantage our economy, unlike Labour and the Greens who would rather shoot our economy in the foot,” Mr Boscawen said.
ACT Deputy Leader John Boscawen says the three strikes law is working exactly as intended - to keep the most serious repeat violent offenders off our streets.
Mr Boscawen was responding to the Herald on Sunday report that a Waikato man could be the first person convicted of a third strike under ACT’s Three Strikes law.
“The offender has a history of violence and already had a long list of convictions before his first strike," Mr Boscawen said.
“His second strike offence – when he was sentenced for the aggravated robbery of a man in his home - was committed while on bail for his first strike.
“The alleged third strike offence occurred in prison less than two months later where the offender was involved in a situation in which a prisoner was beaten up and the prison guard who intervened was attacked and left in a coma.
“This is the type of offender three strikes was designed to target – those who repeatedly commit violent crime.
“Getting tough on violent crime and making our communities safer for all has always been one of ACT’s core policies and is why we campaigned for Three Strikes in the 2008 election. It was passed into law in 2010 and since then well over 1500 violent and sexual offenders have been charged with a strike offence, and nine have two strike offences.
“For most, the warning of a further strike will act as a deterrent against further offending. It can encourage them to get the rehabilitation they need to turn their lives around.
“Unfortunately there will always be a discrete group who cannot be rehabilitated. These people must not remain free to harm others.
“The first third strike conviction will a strong message to all other would be violent offenders - actions have consequences, and repeat violent crimes will not be tolerated,” Mr Boscawen said.