ACT welcomes important progress for our trading nation

ACT Leader David Seymour welcomed the finalisation of the TPP agreement, freeing up trade amongst the twelve signatory countries across Asia and the Pacific.

“ACT is committed to free trade between nations, and this is another important step in that direction. Tariffs will be eliminated on 93% of our trade with these nations, once the agreement is fully phased in.

“New Zealand is a trading nation. International trade is the foundation of our nation’s wealth and the basis of our standard of living.

New ocean sanctuary welcome, but compensation principle important

ACT Leader David Seymour has welcomed the Prime Minister’s announcement of an Ocean Sanctuary in the Kermadec region, but says the government must consider the costs imposed on private businesses.

“An important principle is at stake here. If justified, existing operators in fisheries and mining should be fully compensated,” said Mr Seymour.

Red Peak inclusion may help rescue referendum

Red Peak’s inclusion in the flag referendum may help save the referendum process, says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“The South African and Canadian flags both emerged from outside those countries’ original flag processes to become cherished icons, something similar may be happening here.

“The Government is committed to having a referendum and adding Red Peak will mean many people who felt alienated will now be able to get behind it.

Come on Labour, step up to the plate

"The Prime Minister has given Labour the chance to have the Red Peak flag added to the flag shortlist, which over 50,000 people want," says ACT Leader David Seymour.

"But Labour have added a proviso in their Bill today, that the first round of the referendum starts with a question as to whether you want the flag changed. That is daft.

"For most of us, the answer to that question depends on what the alternate flag is.

Everybody take a deep breath

“The Prime Minister has opened the door to adding the Red Peak flag to the options for the flag referendum,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“Andrew Little intends to table a Bill adding Red Peak to the list of options, but wants to change the structure of the planned referendum process.

Successful talks bring fairer PPL to pre-term babies

Successful talks between ACT Leader David Seymour and Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Michael Woodhouse have yielded extended paid parental leave for parents of pre-term babies.

Hipkins tries to make bad from good

“The contest within Labour over whether or not to support the partnership schools that are already helping numerous Kiwi kids has boiled over today, with a bizarre press release from Labour Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.

Mr Hipkins was reacting to NZ Herald speculation that some US philanthropists may, possibly in conjunction with Ngai Tahu, build another partnership school in New Zealand.

“Whether that might happen I have no idea, but most kiwis would think that a wonderful thing,” said Mr Seymour.

Auckland Council must stop coveting neighbours’ assets

“It is incredibly arrogant, even by their standards, for Auckland Council to include the Auckland Energy Consumer Trust in its asset review as a ‘potential’ asset,” says Epsom MP David Seymour.

Nanny state retreats

ACT Leader David Seymour will bring his Rugby World Cup Bill back to Parliament this afternoon, and expects it to pass into law today.

“The Bill will allow pubs and clubs to open at extended hours for Rugby World Cup games, meaning New Zealanders can enjoy watching the Cup at community pubs and clubs,” said Mr Seymour.

“While the key provisions of the Bill regarding notification, opening times, and the number of games remain, the Select Committee has worked hard to make several improvements.

Avoid another Solid Energy – sell Landcorp farms now

Landcorp’s dismal performance shows that the government should wind down the company’s asset base, says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“The parties who campaigned on ‘keep our assets’ need to explain why the taxpayer should keep any companies that are just as often liabilities,” said Mr Seymour.

“The New Zealand taxpayer deserves better than another Solid Energy-type meltdown.

“The dividends received from this business (0.4% in the past year) signal the poor returns to the taxpayer.