Blog

How do we deal with New Zealand Superannuation? - TOP

NZ Super is a touchy subject for many, especially around election time.  As we have seen on many of our Facebook threads, there is also a wealth of opinion on how it should be managed. Like everyone else, TOP has an opinion too, and it happens to be one of our main policies. Unfortunately, there seems to be a large amount of confusion on how this policy will actually affect people, so we want to make sure we are clear on what we are trying to achieve. 

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Making the Waikato River Swimable - TOP

We must make the Waikato River swimmable again. Even putting to one side the obligation to do so under Treaty settlements; it is just common sense. All our waterways should reach that same standard; and I mean truly swimmable not the watered down version of swimmable the Government has proposed. Most Kiwis can agree on that point.

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Pasifika Youth Parliament speaks out on big issues

A couple of weeks ago 100 young Pasifika leaders gathered in Christchurch to discuss Aotearoa New Zealand’s big issues. I was happy to contribute a video to the day, and they have now published a summary of what they agreed.

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Is New Zealand becoming xenophobic - TOP

It is election year, so Winston Peters has resumed his long-standing anti-immigration stance. This year his case is helped by the fact that the Government has made mistakes on immigration policy. But we need to remember that immigration can be positive, if managed well. We need to avoid throwing the baby out with the bathwater as they have in the US and UK where anti-migrant sentiment has scared off the talented people that can make our country a better place.  

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NCEA and Our Education System - TOP

Today the Government announced a target for 80% of Year 8 students to achieve national standards in writing and maths. This is on the back of the target to ensure 80% of students leave with NCEA Level 2. 

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Stuff and NZME merger a sideshow - TOP

The merger of Fairfax and NZME looks to have stalled. The opponents of the merger said that having one owner of newspapers in the country would put too much power in one company’s hands, ultimately risking public interest journalism. Meanwhile Fairfax and NZME argued that without merger newspapers will close, ultimately risking public interest journalism.

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House Prices Still Rising Fast - TOP

According to media this morning house prices are coming “off the boil”. You could be fooled into thinking they are falling, but they are not, they are just increasing at a slower rate. The bottom line is that house prices are still increasing at 11% per year. This is faster than incomes are rising, so housing is still becoming more unaffordable. Despite the sanguine media reports, the housing affordability crisis continues to get worse. 

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The Rise Of Uber in New Zealand - TOP

In essence, there is no comparison, UBER is superior to any taxi company in New Zealand. Reasons include the convenience of the app-based service which provides information on price, timing, route and the driver; time saved thanks to the online payment process; the ability for driver and passenger to rate each other; and finally price.

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The State of New Zealand's Rivers - TOP

In recent weeks we have seen a spate of reports about the state of our fresh water. First, we had a report from the Prime Minister’s Chief Science Adviser and yesterday another from Statistics NZ and the Ministry for the Environment. On the back of yesterday’s report was the startling (though belated) realisation from the Government that growth has to come from adding value, not more volume. We have distilled three key lessons from these reports, but they all point to the same fact: that the Government isn’t dealing with the actual problems faced by our fresh water.

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Population Growth, and Immigration In NZ - TOP

Firstly an admission - personally I don’t want 10 million people living in New Zealand which is how many the current rate of immigration will deliver in 40 years. One of the things I love about coming back here from overseas is the fact that we have so much space. But that is just my selfish opinion, and this is a democracy. I’m interested to hear what other people think and why. 

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