Politics in Full Sentences - 6 August

Tue, 06 Aug, 2019

Alwyn Poole on the Podcast

Last week’s edition of the Politics in Full Sentences podcast featured legendary educator Alwyn Poole. Alwyn and his wife Karen are twin forces of nature who established two of the first nine Partnership Schools, growing out of their groundbreaking independent school. Besides running his schools, Alwyn has taken the fight to the Government and unions over education policy in every public forum. We were thrilled to have him as a special guest to discuss where the Partnership School project and education generally is up to under this Government and where they should be going. You can listen on Apple Podcasts or Spotify and watch on Facebook and YouTube.

Changing of the Guard

We have repeatedly said that media and other politicians have missed the significance of Ihumātao. New Zealand led the world with full, fair, and final Treaty settlements that protected private property rights. A new generation of Māori activists are now saying ‘this hasn’t worked for us, we want to start again.’ It is not just at Ihumātao. A recent Ngāpuhi hui designed to initiate a settlement was attended by over 300, but hardly a soul under 40. To put that in perspective, the median age of Ngāpuhi is 22.

They Have a Point

Despite the settlements, a rule of three still applies to Māori economic and social statistics. Whether it’s going to jail, getting an education, or being on a benefit, Māori are three times worse off than the rest of New Zealand. ACT has been saying for a long time, unless we reform education, welfare, and land use regulations, we are headed for big trouble. It may have arrived.

The PM’s Mistake

Normally we look on at the Prime Minister with a mixture of despair and amusement. Even her silliest policies do not move the big rocks that make up New Zealand’s economic policy consensus. Ihumātao is different, and David Seymour picked it first. Her intervention, stopping construction and emboldening the protestors, will be career defining. As the protests intensify, we fear for New Zealand’s peaceful unity.

Free Speech and Diplomatic Relations

Diplomats such as the Chinese Consul General in Auckland enjoy diplomatic immunity under the Vienna Convention in return for undertaking a duty not to interfere in the host country’s internal affairs. The Consulate’s pressuring of AUT and the University of Auckland to suppress criticism of China is unacceptable, as is its praise for students who pushed over a Hong Kong Chinese student.

It's the Economy

We are cursed to live in interesting times, but we still have to earn a crust. Under the last Labour Government, New Zealand led the world into the Great Financial Crisis, actually going into recession before the collapse. Things are again going badly abroad and the Government is again doing everything a government could to make sure we get there first. ACT says if we don’t cut wasteful spending, reduce taxes, and reform education, welfare, and land use regulations, we’re stuffed.

Freedom to Speak Tour

David Seymour continues to take his message about the importance of free speech around the country. He will be at Auckland and Victoria universities and in Howick and Palmerston North over the coming weeks. Events in Hamilton, Timaru, Oamaru, Invercargill and at Otago University are in the works. If you would like to help ACT spread the word, you can support us here.