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Beth Ad Lib is the new name for my newsletter. This was put forward by a reader who has been sent a copy of David Seymour’s Own Your Future - thanks!  Ad lib, and a little glib at times. These are some of the topics that caught my limited attention this week.  Feel free to send me tips and links for future issues.

I don’t even have anything more to say about this one. A return to participation certificates perhaps?



By now readers will recognise this as my way of introducing a topic that I consider to be the start of a slippery slope, or a “where does this end?” scenario. These words are the title of a song by Manic Street Preachers in the 1990s. Pedants may wish to debate the history behind the lyrics and their suitability to an ACT newsletter. I however, just like the song and this particular line in it.

Contributions welcome.



Auckland Council have placed a ban on jumping off a North Shore wharf because a five year-old tragically drowned there last year. The fact is that five year-olds shouldn’t be jumping from wharves unsupervised. A ban will not prevent this from happening again, and only restrict the fun of those old enough to make a responsible decision.



Whatever the reasons for it – and let’s face it problems at home are a major contributor – truancy is indeed a precursor to a poor work ethic and negative social statistics.  I’ve listened to the Fraser High School principal’s speech [video no longer available but this opinion piece in the Spinoff covers it well] and it is given with power, passion and conviction.  Kids generally want to go to school when an engaging teacher challenges them in a positive way to reach higher goals, rewards and then drives them on further. ACT would pay good teachers more, based on KPI’s set by an individual school’s Principal and Board of Trustees. One of these KPI’s might well be reducing truancy rates.



One place that truancy levels are vastly better than our public schools has been in Partnership Schools/Kura Hourua. By now we will all have seen inspiring video of some of the young people attending these schools giving testament to how they have turned their lives around. But it wasn’t just the kids that were troubled; imagine the anguish of the parents dealing with a tween- or teen-ager who is falling behind and out of school. The stress on family relationships, the inability to hold down full time work and income while having to take time off to attend school disciplinary meetings, social services and justice appointments with your child.  So it’s not just the kids benefitting from these schools. Mums and dads have probably had their sanity, relationships with each other, their employers, and their children, restored.



Conservation volunteers doing God’s work - culling, trapping, baiting, weeding, planting, and picking up litter.

Unisex toilets and change rooms. Economical and practical.



Being anti-1080

Cognitive bias-promoting social media

Agricultural vandalism



I know it’s all well and good to bag the current government for whatever wrongdoing of the day, but we should be able to counter that with what ACT would do differently or better. But the problem is in most cases the answer would be to do nothing. For instance, if new energy technologies are coming down the pipeline so to speak to replace dependence on oil, coal and gas, then there is no need to ban oil and gas exploration. The danger of doing so is that should these new technologies not be on line in time, we will need to revert to less environmentally safe practices such as drawing on our coal reserves or importing oil and diesel from other parts of the world via many sea-miles. David spoke well in the House this week about just that. The ban is nothing more than colossal virtue-signalling – but you knew that!

Have a great weekend everyone. I hope you have time to get out in the fresh air, jump off a wharf, and listen for birdsong.