Blog

Voters deserve clarity over cannabis reform.

The new Labour bill for cannabis reform is another in a growing list of policy that has failed to live up to its pre-election billing.  Asked in an election debate whether Labour would legalise cannabis for medicinal use, for pain relief or extending life, Jacinda Ardern responded unequivocally; “absolutely yes.”. Labour continued to campaign pre-election as the party that would "make medicinal cannabis available for people with terminal illnesses or in chronic pain".

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The Myth of the Lazy Poor

I always think twice before diving into the weird and wonderful world that is the comments thread on Stuff, but after a recent article that linked the increase in food parcel deliveries to growing inequality in NZ I felt compelled. My optimism that perhaps the notion of 300,000 kids living in poverty in NZ would stir an outpouring of support quickly turned to disappointment as it became clear a number of busy commenters had left their compassion somewhere far away from their keyboards.

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Rising rents – another symptom of tax break on housing

Stories of the impending rental crisis in Wellington have reached fever pitch in recent weeks. A perfect storm of mismatched supply and demand, short-sighted Government policy ( such as the tertiary policy driving more students into the city), and the overarching inability to fix our tax system has led to a situation where rents are predicted to rise around 20% relative to this time last year.

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The Contamination of our Public Service by Partisan Politics

That one of the causes of the deteriorating quality of policy-making is of the politicians own making should come as no surprise – and it is confirmed by the latest survey of what New Zealand’s public servants think of their political masters. In short, the view is that policy is so compromised by political bias and prejudice as to render it increasingly ineffective in terms of serving the public interest. That’s right – policy best-practice is the victim of political regimes of the modern era having changed the rules to enable their political expediency to rule. One of its strongest manifestations is the role of political staff appointed in Ministers offices that run interference to prevent the public service doing its job. Secondly, Ministers are increasingly unwilling to take free and frank, politically neutral advice. That too was a resounding finding of the survey.

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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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