Friday, 25 January 2019

25 January 2019

As promised, I’m back! David and I have met over the summer break and early January to talk about what a newly invigorated party will look like in 2019.  The board, staff and office volunteers have all been working on defining our message this year, and we can’t wait to get cracking.


Ugh, as if anyone can be taxed into morality. If you’re not already turned off by the term “neo-liberalism” in the headline (I mean – I’m too old to be neo-anything!), then hold your nose just long enough to have a quick read.  The only thing that’s obscene about the author is his smugness, writing from a position of privilege and telling others that to attain his level of wealth is morally wrong, instead of using his status to encourage others to aspire to something greater.  Equality of opportunity should be the goal, not equality of outcome, or what incentive would there be to get ahead? Why would any of us work or save harder to better ourselves, if we are all to be pulled down to the level of the lowest common denominator? I am fundamentally opposed to the ideas in this opinion piece. I care enough about people who are struggling to want them to have hope that their efforts will make a difference in their lives and the lives of their families. ACT is committed to creating an environment for success.


Our Prime Minister’s waffle-words on the world stage were cringe-worthy.  Impossible to forecast, impossible to measure, so impossible to say whether it fails or succeeds. Perfect populism.

“New Zealanders can’t pay the rent with wellbeing. They can’t fill up the car with kindness.” - says David.


Labour’s spectacularly failing Kiwibuild policy is only slightly worse than National’s Special Housing Area policy which also failed to deliver on numbers, timeframes, or price-points, and National’s failure to do anything meaningful about the Resource Management Act.  The fact is, no government can deliver houses any quicker or cheaper than is already happening by the private sector because to do so requires relaxing government regulations, circumnavigating council consenting processes, and fast-tracking them.  And if a government can do that for the houses they want to build, they should do it for all housebuilders, because it just proves that the RMA is adversely affecting the speed of housing supply.


I spent six years on a school board of trustees. I know the positive power of being able to make locally-based decisions for a little school in a semi-rural area, that could never be replicated under a one-size-fits-all model from Wellington.  David’s contribution to Magic Talk lists this as one of the top two political issues that will dominate 2019 (the other is Capital Gains Taxes), and we are ready to come out fighting on them.  Watch this space.

“The Government’s education reforms – changes to the ‘Tomorrow’s Schools’ model – will reduce parent power even further and put control over schools in the hands of distant government bureaucrats. New government-run ‘education hubs’ will control schools’ money, property, enrolments, zoning and even the appointment of principals. This is an attempt to make schools more equal, even if it makes good schools worse."

“ACT believes these changes are misguided. We want parents to be free to shape the future of their local schools because engaged parents lead to better education outcomes, and opportunities, for children.”


Spotted this Forbes piece somewhere in my social media feeds:

Spain has not really had a government for the past 10 months and yet it is expected to be one of the fastest-growing eurozone economies this year.”


This year I’m going to start using Instagram more to help people get to know Beth.  Please follow @hifuncblonde!


All of us here in the ACT Party office and on the board, mostly working in a voluntary capacity, have a lot of work to do especially in the early part of this year redefining our message and relaunching the party.  We need professional help to do this, and need to pay accordingly.  You’ve told us through surveys and regional forums that it’s important, so please continue to be part of the refresh by making a donation, every little bit helps.


Beth Houlbrooke

Deputy Leader / Vice President  

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