Monday, 19 April 2021

Free Press Monday 19 April: A letter of expectation


Honest Conversations

ACT's annual rally and event of the year is on Sunday May 23. We return to the ASB Waterfront Theatre to hear ACT's new MPs, a very special guest and David Seymour tell it how it is. Tickets on sale now.

The Haps

Parliament, schools and kindergartens are in a fortnight’s recess. The Aussie bubble is open, at long last. The Foreign Minister is complaining about Chinese money in the Pacific. We wonder if she lobbied for pacific RSE workers to come and earn New Zealand dollars. ACT’s 14 stop Free Speech tour is packing halls. The Prime Minister complains we won’t engage on Free Speech. David’s response to the Government’s Free Speech consultation is here.

Letter of Expectation

Grant Robertson’s letter to the board of Air New Zealand is a shocker, according to Fran O’Sullivan. The Government’s interference in Air New Zealand has been debated over the last week, in part thanks to the Speaker granting David Seymour an Urgent Debate on the topic.

If the Government can send a letter of expectation to Air New Zealand, can we send one to the Government?

Dear Prime Minister,

In light of Grant Robertson’s letter to the Board of Air New Zealand, here are some expectations for your Government:

Stop publicly attacking minimum wage workers. To accuse fast food and security workers, who have no platform, from the highest podium in the land is a bit cringey. By your proposed definition, it might be hate speech. You are accusing individuals of endangering the whole country. Please be kind.

Use language precisely. Please try to call things what they are. Your recent housing policy was not housing policy but a tax policy. No population on earth has taxed its way to higher home ownership rates. Describing anyone with a rental property as a ‘speculator’ is inaccurate and divisive, so is calling mortgage interest deductibility a ‘loophole.’

Define the problem before intervening. Your ban on oil and gas exploration has removed the best fuel available for a ‘just transition’ away from coal. In fact there is more coal in our future. If the problem was defined as ‘how do we reduce emissions,’ nobody would have suggested banning exploration.

Be proactive. When MIQ occupation shrinks, let’s have a contingency to let more people in. Separated families, specialist workers. It’s one thing to be reactive, such as when the Wiggles phone, but you need to be proactive in our response to COVID-19.

Uphold the rule of law. The rule of law is the bulwark that protects all New Zealanders from tyranny. We need to know that when there are disputes, they’ll be resolved by what the law says. By wading into the Ihumātao dispute on the side of the squatters, then using taxpayer money to buy them their wish, you have done irreparable damage to the rule of law.

Consult on the laws you make. Your firearm laws have been a disaster. You alienated the law-abiding firearm community for the sake of political theatre. Your gun buyback demonstrably failed. Now there is a shootout every other day. We could have told you this. Actually, we did.

Base your graphs on actual data. If you publish a graph showing how many people will be vaccinated and when, please base it on actual numbers. Don't tell us by Official Information Act request that it was 'for illustration only.' If it is just a pretty picture, don't muddy the water by putting numbers on the y-axis!

Think win-win. Too many of your policies are win-lose. Nearly everything you do is about either dividing up wealth or spending it. You need to start asking with each policy, will this bring forth the conditions for wealth creation?

We trust these guidelines will be of help, we take this time to indicate that we’ll be getting very involved in Governance renewal over the next two years.

Yours sincerely,

Free Press Readers