Blog

TOP's commitment for 2020

At TOP HQ our post-election “breather” is now over and it’s time to gear up for the next election. You may have heard the announcement this morning, shedding some light on TOP’s future. We are going through some pretty significant changes, however rest assured that these are all in the interests of giving us the best chance to be successful going forward.

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Congratulations to Labour for Scrapping National Standards

Despite only 14% of a poll of 52,000 respondents taken on website Stuff agreeing with the move, it is a breath of enlightenment long wanted by teachers. It signals that moves are underway to halt the slide in educational achievement that has long been underway thanks to governments requiring schools to do far too much testing, wasting time that could be much better spent actually teaching.  

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Labour’s Economic Reform - Dead on Arrival

The first 100 days of the Labour-NZ First coalition is up at the end of January and I have to say that so far, while there is still hope for real progress on environmental-related issues, on the issues of lifting productivity and building prosperity upon a foundation of fairness – which of course is The Opportunities Party’s (TOP’s) mantra – Labour has failed to give itself a chance.

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The racist rationale that underlies the Brash view on the treaty

Don Brash is an intelligent person, that is self-evident, his track record as an academic and a bureaucrat attests to that. But on the issue of Maori, the Treaty of Waitangi and biculturalism sadly he is prejudiced. The following is the evidence.

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TOP dubs Labour’s tertiary policy as middle class welfare

Labour has committed to free tertiary education – including 3 years of free post-school education over a person’s lifetime. As an added sweetener they have boosted student allowances and loans by $50 per week in a package that will cost $2b over 4 years. The first year of this package will be available to new students as early as 2018.

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TOP Announces Formation of Public Policy Unit

Opportunities Party leader Dr Gareth Morgan today announced the formation of a public policy research unit that the party will use to further develop its evidence-based, best practice policy for the 2020 election.

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TOP Congratulates New Government on Cannabis Stance, Urges Boldness

Cannabis law reform is finally gaining momentum under the Labour/ NZ First Government. TOP’s policy on this issue – advocating legal, regulated and taxed cannabis, a grow-your-own allowance and a legal use age of 20 – was one of the most clearly articulated in the 2017 General Election. Like all TOP policies, it was evidence-based, harm reducing and included an economic impact analysis. 

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There are better ways to help children than extending Paid Parental Leave

Bad news first: TOP would abolish Paid Parental Leave. Now the good news: we would give ALL families with children under three $200 per week; no questions asked. Labour is targeting the middle class, telling low-income families to go to hell.

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Kudos On Zero Carbon Commitment

Labour has begun to make its way through their list of promises for the first 100 days in office. So far we have been somewhat underwhelmed by the policy announcements made; you can see our thoughts on Labour’s minimum wage increases and their foreign ownership ban here. In general this Labour-led Government looks like a continuation of the red/blue duopoly we have seen in recent decades. They are keen to look like they are busy doing something but in essence are addressing symptoms without really dealing with the underlying issues behind them. 

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Will Labour’s Increase in the Minimum Wage lift Incomes?

The new government has taken no time extolling its desire for a higher minimum wage. $20 by 2020 is the number they’ve chosen, probably more for marketing purposes than anything evidence based.

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