World Cup audiences shouldn’t be stuck at home

ACT Leader David Seymour intends to introduce a Bill to let people watch the 2015 Rugby World Cup in bars and function rooms.

“For such an important one-off event as a Rugby World Cup on the other side of the world, outside our time zone, I think sports enthusiasts should be able to celebrate the occasion in the same way they would if these matches were within normal New Zealand hours,” said Mr Seymour.

New catchphrase won’t soothe rate pain

ACT Leader and Epsom MP David Seymour does not share Auckland Tourism Events and Economic Development’s enthusiasm for a revamp of Auckland’s “global brand”.

“Funding an advisory panel to conjure up a new catchphrase or logo is last thing ratepayers want to hear about when they’ve just been informed of unprecedented rate hikes,” said Mr Seymour.

“The best possible brand for Auckland is of a city with smart governance, effective infrastructure, and affordable housing.

Blessie’s killer shows more changes needed

The tragic case of Blessie Gotingco’s murder shows that further changes to the use of Preventive Detention are needed to keep our communities safe, says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“ACT’s Three Strike law will effectively lock away the worst violent recidivist criminals, and it is a shame this law was not introduced long ago, not just in 2010 at the instigation of the ACT Party,” said Mr Seymour.

“But more is needed.

Good politics, poor policy

“Funnelling immigrants into the regions through adjustments of our points system may be good politics, but it’s poor policy,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“The policy is clearly intended to release pressure on Auckland housing, but it only adds to a long list of piecemeal policy tinkering that avoids the comprehensive RMA reforms needed to free up Auckland’s inflexible housing supply.

Council must keep its hands off our AECT dividends

Auckland Council should keep its hands off Aucklanders’ AECT dividends, says ACT Leader and Epsom MP David Seymour.

The Council is due to receive advice in November on fundraising options, and at least one Councillor seems to have come out in favour of absorbing the AECT shares into Council finances.

“Don’t Councillors understand property rights? Individuals know how to get better value out of their money than government does,” said Mr Seymour.

Drone laws a step towards future of transport

ACT Leader David Seymour is praising the government’s liberal attitude towards drone laws.

“Usually government regulations are a drag on innovation, so it’s great to see this government getting out in front.”

Mr Seymour says it is positive to see a government that understands the role of technology in transport.

“While our political opponents have a pathological obsession with trains, and making us live closer together, I’m proud to support a government that is future focused when it comes to transport.”

Ditch provisional tax

"Labour are correct to pick up on the ideas in the IRD green paper the government released in March, and call for archaic provisional tax regulations on small businesses to be ditched," says ACT Leader David Seymour.

"Small business people have long complained that paying tax based on the previous year's earnings, rather than this year's can create a cashflow nightmare.

"Provisional tax is out of date and unnecessary in the age of digital financial transfers.  The IRD needs to recognise its impact on the cashflows of small businesses.

Worksafe red tape making housing less affordable

“Workplace safety standards need to be justified in cost-benefit terms,” says ACT Leader David Seymour in the wake of a new report [1] on building safety red tape.

“The existing regulations form yet another regulatory barrier to housing affordability,” said Mr Seymour.

“Builders are being forced to take ‘all practicable steps’ to ensure workplace safety. The threshold is drawn so low that builders even have to erect scaffolding on single-story sites.

Today's rates shock is set to be repeated

“Today’s confirmed rate rises of over 40% for some Aucklanders are the result of a council with completely unrealistic ideas about its role,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“The purpose of local government should be to provide affordable infrastructure allowing New Zealanders to get on with building, working, and living.

“Unfortunately Auckland Council is determined to rack up debt by role playing as a city state, complete with diplomatic missions and countless unelected, generously-funded authorities and advisory panels.

Proposed customs powers show politicians’ digital ignorance – again.

“Once again, 20th century politicians and civil servants are regulating 21st century technology,” says ACT Leader David Seymour regarding the proposal to give customs powers to demand device passwords.

“As with the Harmful Digital Communications Bill, the government is entrusting sweeping powers to a group of bureaucrats, justifying it on the promise that the law won’t be enforced to its full potential.

“Inevitably, overzealous customs staff will use this law to breach travellers’ privacy.