Blog

Greens Benefit Policy – the Good the Bad and the Ugly

The Greens new “Mending the Safety Net” policy has lots of good news for the poorest members of our society. However, much of the package is the stale stuff we heard from Labour. It’s hardly “fresh thinking”, and could end up harming the very people they are trying to help. 

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Disaster around the corner for anyone interested in environmentally and socially progressive policies?

The latest Colmar Brunton poll put National at 47%, Labour at 27%, with Greens and NZ First on 11% each. Based on this result even with NZ First, it is unlikely that Labour/Greens could form a government. At the moment Labour/Greens seem unable to grow their overall vote, with any growth in the Greens vote coming at the expense of Labour. This leaves a National/ NZ First coalition the most likely election outcome.

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Why Aotearoa New Zealand Needs A Constitution

Last week Forest and Bird won a case against the Minister of Conservation in the Supreme Court. The Society was concerned that the Director General of Conservation had contravened the Conservation Act by allowing a protected conservation land swap to enable the Ruataniwha dam to proceed, and that this would set a dangerous precedent for protected land. The Minister’s response to the Supreme Court decision is Conservation Act reform. 

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Establishment Parties Budget Package: Same Old Same Old

Both the Labour/Green and National budget packages make the same old mistakes that their respective parties have made in the past. National wants to give tax cuts, which inevitably end up helping the rich. Meanwhile Labour/Greens prefer to tinker with the benefit system making it more complex, harder to navigate and employing more bureaucrats as a result. In contrast The Opportunities Party (TOP) champions a whole new approach to reducing poverty. 

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The Opportunities Party Announces New Candidates

As support for The Opportunities Party (TOP) grows, more people are putting themselves forward as candidates and volunteers for TOP for the 2017 election.

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Affordable Housing & More Money For Working People

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The current tax regime favours owners of capital and unjustly burdens wage earners. This is not only inequitable, it results in poor utilisation of capital and lower than necessary income and employment. 

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Greens Water Policy Starting To Flow In The Right Direction

The Opportunities Party welcomes the Green Party fresh water policy “Protecting Drinking Water”. The issues they have raised – charging commercial water users and resolving Treaty issues – are all aligned with TOP’s Clear Water Action Plan. There is clearly enough common ground to work with them on these issues. 

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The Urban Rural Divide is a Myth – But Not For the Reason You Think

On Sunday morning TVNZ’s Q+A reported on the so called rural/urban divide around the state of waterways. The story attempted to show another perspective to that portrayed by environmental groups. Surmising that the rural urban divide is a myth, and that they too want clean rivers, several Federated Farmer advocates spoke out in their defence claiming that urban rivers are just as dirty and that urban folk ought to look at their own back yard before pointing the finger. The same old rhetoric.

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Do we CARE Enough to Save Lives?

Currently there is a lot of political debate around alcohol reform thanks to the release of TOP’s Real Action on Alcohol policy.

I wanted to share what it is really like dealing with the direct effects of alcohol harm at the coal face, through my many years as an Emergency and ICU nurse.

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Can we Develop Land and Improve the Environment?

The Supreme Court ruled yesterday that 22ha of the Ruahine Forest Park couldn’t be destroyed for the Ruataniwha Dam. Forget the Dam itself – it was always a dud that needed putting out of its misery. If the true environmental costs had been taken into account – by charging irrigators for the water and the resulting pollution – it never would have happened anyway.

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