Friday, 9 November 2018

9 November 2018


I love fireworks. I love the sight, the sound, and the smell. As a child, I was double-happy because I would be let loose with a string of tom-thumbs which I placed around the garden and blew up all my mother’s spring flowers. I screamed and ran in bare feet from jumping-jacks and spinning wheels that came off the nail mid-flight, and a Mount Vesuvius lasted for what seemed like a mesmerising half hour.  My blackened-on-the-outside raw-on-the-inside barbecued sausage on white bread was flavoured with gunpowder from the used fireworks we threw in the coals that fizzed and spat at the food being cooked. I stashed and saved my crackers and sparklers for New Year’s Eve. Pets and toddlers were kept at a safe distance, reassured and modelled by behaviour that said: this is fun, this is wondrous, you’ll be okay. Nobody was precious. Now cue the bleeding-hearts who say “ban”. The cotton-woolled kids have turned into fun police. Save me. The rules for fireworks I go by are the same the rules I live my life by: self-responsibility, consideration, respect, and tolerance.


Mallard’s response was to take cheap shots at David for going on Dancing with the Stars (refer video around 1:20 in the link). David may have two left feet (does that make a right foot?), but at least he recognises a principle when he trips over it. And besides, he didn’t miss any parliamentary business during that time, kept up his electorate duties, and party leadership commitments, all the while raising nearly three times that amount for charity. David +$70,000; Brownlee and Mallard -$24,000.

And never to pass up a good opportunity to raise even more money for charity and have a good laugh while he’s at it, here’s David’s latest fundraiser. Throw in a bid for Make a Wish Foundation.


It’s difficult to understand where this government’s priorities in education lie, because by all appearances it’s not with the kids that need extra help in the earlier stages of their schooling, nor with underpaid teachers, nor with an effective strategy to attract more into the profession.  Perhaps that’s not surprising with three different parties trying to cobble together a policy direction.

Labour’s fees-free tertiary education policy costs $275 million per year.  That would give 50,000 teachers a $5,500pa pay rise. The average teacher is paid $62,000 pa, so that represents a 9% pay increase.  Furthermore, there are 2600 bureaucrats employed by the Ministry of Ed, on an average salary of $82,000 pa, $20,000 more pa than the average teacher salary. You could fire half of them and no-one would notice, and the savings in salary could add an additional $2,000 pa or 3% to teacher salaries.


Labour and National are just as bad as each other when it comes to adding fuel taxes, and it’s always the little guy who pays the biggest portion of their earnings.

There is another way: congestion charging, tolls (user-pays methods), and funding infrastructure through share of GST; cutting taxes by eliminating government waste, scrapping fees-free tertiary education, and winter energy payments to high income earners.  $70 million of winter energy payments will go to $70,000 pa plus earners this year!


Who is dreaming up these laws and tying themselves in knots trying to cover every eventuality?


Damien Grant is the best read of the week most weeks such as in this piece about the housing crisis.

“…the government is employing favoured building firms to build houses and flogging them off cheap. We've been reduced to a state where the government is rationing housing by ballot to solve a creation entirely of their own making.”

Damien is guest speaker at our end-of-year wrap-up fundraiser event in Mt Eden next month.  Come along, book via the website and check out all the other events happening around the country at the same time. Meet some like-minded people. We promise we are not boring. 

…and with that another weekend approaches. Whether you’re working it or it’s working for you, stay safe and perhaps stop for a moment to celebrate freedom with a thought for those who fought harder for it than we will ever understand, on Armistice Day this Sunday. I hope to go fishing Saturday.


Have a great weekend!

Beth Houlbrooke

Deputy Leader / Vice President  

Freedom is not free


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