Central Government - National Life Issues
On the 26th November you will have the opportunity to vote for the Central Government politicians which you think offer the best solutions for New Zealand.We cannot look at any issue without considering both the legislation in force from Central Government, and also the ethos of society that the Central Government creates. Social issues, the economy, governance, climate change, Infrastructure, race relations, are all matters that have to be dealt with by Central Government.
Dear Auckland Central Elector - I am asking you for your Electorate vote - please!
I have lived in Auckland's CBD for most of my 41 years in Auckland. I understand inner city life and enjoy many facets of it including the convenience. I am also well aware of the divergent needs of Ponsonby, Herne Bay and Westmere. "Escape" from the inner city has given me many pleasant times exploring Great Barrier, Waiheke, and Ponui Islands as well as a day a month taking a small group to Motutapu to work with the Restoration Trust in their nursery and planting areas. For many years I have been on the Auckland City Council/Auckland Council CBD Residents Advisory group advocating for a better city, better public transport, and a more free flowing city. I was involved in politics in the New Zealand Party in 1987 and 1990 and wished to be part of "building a nation founded on justice and truth with a passion for excellence in all good things". We have gone further away from those ideals in the past 20 years.
There are four main passions driving me to stand in this election for Auckland Central.
Number One: PUBLIC TRANSPORT - It is possible to have a vastly better public transport system in Auckland at hugely reduced cost.
Four years ago I designed the Supermaxx template for a vastly better public transport system at hugely reduced costs that could have been introduced within 6 months. This would provide much better service, reduce operating subsidies by $50 million per year, and reduce travel costs to $60 for 30 days unlimited travel on buses and trains between Albany and Papakura. Full details are elsewhere on this website. ARTA, ARC, ACC, Auckland Council and Auckland Transport have been unable to refute it but have refused to implement it.
The Mayor, Council, and most political parties are obsessed with throwing $2.4 billion down the central city rail tunnel before new technology systems such as Skycabs have been examined and tested. We could have a Skycabs (if proven) line from Downtown to the airport via Queen St, Hospital, Newmarket, Royal Oak, Onehunga, and Mangere Bridge operating by the end of 2014 for just $500 million! Why won't they check it out? The problems of functionality of Britomart can be overcome at vastly reduced cost by putting one or two new rail lines from the Eastern Line to Platforms 1,2,3 under Quay St into Britomart.
Conservative Party Transport policy is very simple
(a) We will require an audit of public transport in our major cities to ensure we have the best possible public transport at the lowest possible cost. This audit will include the benefits of moving to fully contracted services.
(b) Immediately organise a panel of competent engineers to examine the New Zealand designed SKYCABS, British Ultra, and Polish Mister new technology public transport systems. No public money will be provided for the extension of rail lines until this is completed. Skycabs (if proven) has the potential to earn New Zealand $200-$300 million per year in exports and provide hundreds of high quality jobs.
(c) Ensure that all traffic including pedestrian, cycle, private, commercial, and public is able to travel freely through our cities for maximum efficiency and enjoyment and minimum pollution and congestion.
ISSUE NUMBER TWO - SOCIAL BREAKDOWN. Actually dealing effectively with social issues.
For the past 3 years I have worked part time for the Salvation Army Supportive Accommodation service. I have learned more about homelessness, addiction to alcohol and other drugs, mental health, and criminal justice issues during these three years than in all my previous ones. There are ways to stop the cycle of dysfunction, addiction, crime, and recidivism and I wish to advocate for these in Parliament and address them in Auckland Central. I have been appalled at the way the government has treated the excellent suggestions of the Law Commission to minimise alcohol harm.
The Conservative Party policy is to (a) lower the blood alcohol limit for drivers, (b) raise the drinking age and price, and (c) reduce the availabilty and marketing of alcohol. We also wish to increase the effectiveness of rehabilitation centres and provide long term pathways to successful lives. We recognise and support the importance of good parenting in reducing the cycle of dysfunction.
ISSUE NUMBER THREE - THE ECONOMY
The world economy is in crisis and will probably get worse. This impacts severely on New Zealand's ability to trade, provide jobs, and improve our balance of payments. If the nation is likened to a ship we need to prepare it to cope with the storms. We MUST increase our revenue and reduce our costs. We must mount an all out marketing effort in 2012 and increase the effectiveness of our trade offices. We will examine the possibility of turning a B747 into a flying trade mission for a 3 month 30 day blitz of our main markets.including on the ground New Zealand food, fashion, and film festival etc. We will aim to ensure that all our goods are exported in the highest 'value added' state possible. We will encourage research and development, innovation, and creativity. We will repay debt and balance the budget as quickly as possible. We will not forego future revenue streams by selling publicly owned assets.
ISSUE NUMBER FOUR - THE ENVIRONMENT
I am a great believer in our 'clean, green, and friendly image and am passionate about improving the reality! I have been in tourism for 40 years and driven small tour groups from the Bay of Islands to Bluff on many occasions as well as exploring the wonders of the rest of the world. We want to encourage farmers to protect their waterways, tourists and New Zealanders to respect our environment, and ensure that we have breathable air, arable soil, and drinkable water of the highest possible standard.
I was absolutely appalled at the Government's handling of the Rena disaster. There is absolutely no excuse for not getting all the bunker oil off during the first four days window of opportunity.(See more detail below)
I have no confidence that Maritime New Zealand would act any better if a similar incident happened in the pristine waters of the Hauraki Gulf and islands. Rest assured if I was your Member of Parliament I would be moving within minutes of learning of the incident to ensure that everything possible was being done to protect our environment.
I support totally the philosophy and policies of the Conservative Party. It is time we had new fresh blood in Parliament bringing creative ideas and a passion for truth, justice, creative thinking and policies, and excellence in every area of life.
The reality of Auckland Central Electorate is that the representatives of the 3 main parties Nikki Kaye (National List #33), Jacinda Ardern (Labour List #13), and Denise Roche (Greens List #11) are almost certain to get into Parliament as they are high on their Party's List. Maybe its time for some gender and maturity balance and new fresh blood that will challenge the status quo, the absurd and extremely expensive obsession with trains and trams, protect our nations economy and environment, take us into the future, and deal with the social issues of the area would be to the great advantage of Auckland Central.
Once again I ask for your electorate vote on the 26th November so that I can spend the next 3 years representing both yours and the nations interests with my Conservative colleagues.
Please email me with any queries you may have.
Stephen Greenfield. Auckland Central Candidate. Conservative Party.
Stephen Greenfield - Born Wellington 1944, educated Wellington, Rarotonga, Christchurch, worked for Union Steamship Co for 9 years including 6 years at sea, worked Air New Zealand 1 year, Tour organiser and escort for 40 years, private pilot for 20 years, developer of the "Connoisseur" luxury rail service in the South Island, relief work in Sri Lanka and Christchurch, a multi cuilturalist working for a harmonious, dynamic, prosperous, and integrated nation and a firm believer that if we are to resolve the problems of society we need to rebuild its foundations in every area of life - social, economic, environmental, political, spiritual.
The following are my own comments and not Conservative Party policy.
The downgrade of New Zealand's credit rating by two major agencies on the 30th September, 2011 is a vote of no confidence in the current government! Key and his government are sleepwalking to the nations oblivion (sometimes known as "going to hell in a handbasket") rather than sleepwalking to an election victory.
The misleading of Parliament by John Key in his statement that Standard and Poor's said a ratings downgrade was more likely if Labour came into power was utterly reprehensible. He should be fired on the 26th November. This incident along with his lying over his Tranzrail shares, and his stated "lack of knowledge of his interests in the liquor industry - which he had already told people about" points to a person one cannot trust. The current (17/11/11) fiasco over the 'cuppa tea' with John Banks does not enhance his image and reputation.
The government sat on its hands showing a total lack of leadership as usual during a 4 day window of fine weather during which it could have got most, if not all, of the oil off the ship. Two Lancer oil spill barges were in Maritime New Zealand storage at Te Atatu and two more were offered to Maritime New Zealand on the day of the grounding. These barges hold 100 tons of oil each and were designed for use in disaster situations. The barges fold up into the size of a large office desk when empty for easy trucking and could have been in Tauranga on the day of the grounding. They were tested by the United States Coastguard a few years back against world wide competition. The US Coastguard then bought 62 of them which are scattered around USA ports. They are also used in 30 other countries including England, Sweden, Canada, and Japan. The ships generators and systems were still operating during those first four days, the oil was warm enough to pump, and the facilities to off load the oil were available.
THE PEOPLE OF THE BAY OF PLENTY MUST REALISE THAT NONE OF THAT INITIAL 400 TONS OF OIL THAT SPILLED NEEDED TO HAPPEN. THE RESPONSIBILITY MUST BE SHEETED HOME TO KEY, JOYCE, AND NICK SMITH. IT IS THESE THREE WHO PUT THE SALVORS AT GREAT RISK TRYING TO RECTIFY THE SITUATION IN A HIGHLY DANGEROUS BROKEN SHIP.
It is also utterly reprehensible that no efforts have been made to round up the containers that have spilled off the ship, including the spilled contents. I have no doubt that with the co-operation of the local trawler industry all of those containers which floated, and their contents, could have been rounded up and brought to shore.
The National Government had the opportunity to ratify the International Convention on Civil Liability for Bunker oil pollution which would have raised the Rena's liability to $29 million from its current $12 million. Government inaction means that the longsuffering taxpayer will probably have to pick up the difference.
Another issue is that New Zealand companies have designed woollen booms which absorb rather than just control oil spills. These hang about half a metre below the surface and when full of oil can be squeezed and cleaned and used again. Why were these not deployed by Maritime New Zealand? Are there stocks in ports around New Zealand for oil emergencies? They could have collected the oil near the ship - and again in shallow waters near the beaches before it came ashore.
A further issue (as if another one was needed) is that it is reported (Press and Dompost 22nd October, 2011) that the Governments Oil Pollution Fund, made up from levies collected from the Maritime and oil industry, is expected to be completely drained in the Rena cleanup. A decade ago the fund contained about $12 million but now totals only $4 million after a decision was made by the then transport minister to draw the account down. Paul Mybergh, Auckland University associate professor and maritime law expert said it had been "a foolish and shortsighted decision" to reduce the levy. Others may call it 'tickling the kitty' or more commonly theft!
(I make these comments not as an armchair critic but as one who spent nine years working for the Union Steamship Company including 6 years at sea. Although I was the Purser and not a mate or engineer I have always taken a complete interest in every facet of life that I have been involved with and have spent many hundreds of hours on the bridge of various ships and visited many engine rooms. I do have some considerable knowledge of how ships work - certainly more than Key and Joyce!)
Rena update. 17th November, 2011
In order to give Maritime New Zealand the opportunity to advise why they did not use the barges on the 19th October I made an Official Information Act request to them for "Full details as to why the two Lancer Barges which I believe you have in storage at Te Atatu were not sent to Tauranga on the day of the M.V. Rena grounding and used to off load the bunker fuel from that ship, and why the offer of of two extra barges on the day of the grounding by Lancer was refused. Please provide full details as to why the 1700 tonnes of fuel could not have been off loaded by these barges during the 4 days fine weather window of opportunity at the start of the grounding".
On the 21st October I received a letter of ackowledgement of the receipt of my request and advice that they would answer by the 17th November, 2011 - the last statutory day they can.
On the 17th November at 2.40pm I received a letter from Mei Chan, legal executive for Maritime New Zealand, advising that the 20 days legally available to respond was being extended by another 20 days until thursday 15th December. They stated " The reason for this extension is that consultations necessary to make a decision on your request are such that a proper response to your request cannot be reasonably made within the normal 20 working day limit. This is due to the level of resources currently being directed to the response effort in Tauranga".
It seems to me that it was a very simple question to which they should have had a ready answer. Surely it couldn't have anything to do with an election and wanting to protect themselves and their Minister - could it"??
We are governed at both central and local government by NOVAC's - people with
NO VISION NO ABILITY NO COURAGE
VISION - Webster dictionary definition. "the ability to perceive something not actually visable as through mental acuteness or keen foresight as. His breadth of vision made this project possible".
GOOD LEADERS HAVE
** A clear perception (vision) of the final outcome
** The ability to achieve it while taking the people with them (Leadership)
** The courage to make hard decisions when necessary and to step out of their comfort zone and the safety of mediocrity.
GROSS DERELICTION OF DUTY - GROSS FAILURES OF LEADERSHIP
MAJOR FAILURES OF THE NATIONAL PARTY DURING THE PAST 3 YEARS:-
** FAILED to mount an all out international marketing effort to increase our exports and create real jobs in manufacturing, farming, services, education, and Tourism.
** FAILED to effectively address the issues of social breakdown such as alcohol abuse, child abuse, welfare abuse, family breakdown. Deferring of the insipid Alcohol Reform Bill until after the election is a massive copout. Failing to lower the blood alcohol limit for drivers, raise the drinking age, introduce a minimum pricing regime, and reduce the number of outlets is totally reprehensible.
** FAILED to improve the education system and ensure that every student leaves school at least able to read, write, count, and with basic computer and life skills.
** FAILED to act with competence and compassion to the Pike River disaster. Trying to sell the mine through a normal receivership process while the issues of retrieving the bodies, establishing exactly what happened in the disaster, and whether the mine can in fact be re-opened are unresolved, is totally reprehensible.
** FAILED the people of Christchurch in the ongoing saga of land zoning, insurance, and reconstruction issues.
** FAILED to address the urgent issue of restoring the EQC funds which are now decimated. Who knows when the next natural disaster will strike?
** FAILED to address the issues of mounting government debt. It is absurd and tragic that we continue to borrow hundreds of millions of dollars to fund debt in times of a rapidly deepening international economic crisis. The credit rating downgrade on the 30th September, 2011 is a vote of no confidence in this government. This government is running a deficit of $18 billion dollars this year as part of a total Gross Crown debt of over $72 billion.
** FAILED to demand better and more economical provision of public transport in our major cities (Such as Supermaxx and Supermetro)
** FAILED to think outside the box and examine new technologies in public transport (such as SKYCABS) which are much more economical to build and operate than trains, and much less disruptive to local communities. These have huge export potential.
** FAILED to abolish the highly shonky Emissions Trading Scheme and introduce instead a system that would actually improve our clean green reality.
** FAILED to ensure that all New Zealanders are equal before the law and to stop the racist separatist path that successive governments have been following for the past 2 decades.
** FAILED to stop the confiscation of property rights held by all New Zealanders and transferring them to a small section of the community by replacing these property rights (ownership) with visiting rights. e.g. volcanic cone transfer in Auckland.
** FAILED to introduce binding Citizens Initiated Referenda and introduce a true participatory democracy.
Financial turmoil and fear, geopolitical changes, riots in Britain, and major weather events have again highlighted the fragility of society in its economic, social, and environmental aspects.
Financial turmoil, social breakdown, debt crisis, public demonstrations, child abuse, increasing poverty, the rich/poor divide, riots in the United Kingdom, failing families - all are linked. David Cameron summed it up after the latest riots " a slow motion moral collapse of society over the past few decades, irresponsibility, selfishness, behaving as if your choices have no consequences, children without fathers, schools without discipline, reward without effort, crime without punishment, rights without responsibilities, communities without control, a generation that has grown up believing that the world owes them a living instead of them owing the world a responsible contribution and to leave the world a better place than when they came into it".
At the last census in New Zealand there were 1,080,000 children under the age of 18.It is reliably estimated that of those some 250,000 are living in a family with some level of dysfunction (dysfunction defined as children not receive the nurturing, protection, care, positive role modelling, guidance and upbringing to which they are entitled and which is very parents responsibility to provide) and of those some 50,000 children living in an environment of serious dysfunction. That is a lot of criminals in the making.
We need to take a short, medium, and long term approach to the huge needs in society currently and have three strategies functioning concurrently (1) To cater for those 12 years old and up who are already in the petty and bigger crime scene (2) those 0 to 12 years old who may need intervention in their family circumstances to stop them getting into the crime scene and (3) deal with the causes of dysfunctional family life.
The sociological evidence is overwhelming that children born into a 2 person mum and dad committed for life family do vastly better in every aspect of life. Until we have the courage to accept that as the ideal for society and have the will to work towards achieving it we will never deal with the issues of societal breakdown. It is not popular and totally the opposite to the promotion of transient relationships, casual sex, and lack of respect for ones self and others promoted daily by the media and entertainment industry.
The superb University of Otago world renowned Dunedin Multidisciplinary study shows that Children with more self control turn into healthier and wealthier adults (University of Otago media release 25 January 2011). They say
"Young children's self control skills - such as conscientiousness, self discipline, and perseverance - predict their health, wealth and criminal history in later life regardless of IQ or social background".
The researchers assessed the self control of more than 1,000 people born in Dunedin between 1972-1973 during the first decade of their life and then examined their health outcomes, wealth outcomes, and criminal conviction history at age 32. Professor Moffitt says that even after accounting for study members' differences in social status and IQ. children as young as three who scored lower on measures of self control were more likely than children with higher self control to have more physical health problems, more substance dependence, more difficulty with financial planning, more difficulty with credit and money management, were more likely to be rearing a child in a single parent household and were more likely to have a criminal conviction record. Self control is a learned habit and it is the parents (both of them) responsibility to model it and teach it. It is at the core of most of our social problems of substance abuse, child abuse, debt, financial management, and obesity.
TOP TEN ISSUES IN THIS ELECTION
1. THE ECONOMY
2. SOCIAL ISSUES
3. RACE RELATIONS - TREATY ISSUES
4. THE ENVIRONMENT
6. CHRISTCHURCH REBUILD
7. THE NATIONAL DEBT
8 NATIONAL INFRASTRUCTURE
10. LAW AND ORDER
3. RACE RELATIONS . TREATY ISSUES. COMMUNITY RELATIONS
We come to the people for whom the government is supposed to both lead and serve. We all say we long for a peaceful harmonious vibrant society, yet do many things that work against this. It is time we went right back to basics and relooked at how we want this country to operate.
We believed and promoted in the New Zealand Party, and I still believe, that forming a Royal Commission to establish a written Constitution is the best solution for the grumbling issues that cause much friction in our society. The Constitution itself is not necessarily the panacea but it will focus the debate on how we want the country to function in the future and (hopefully) put to bed some of the issues of the past. Issues of the Treaty of Waitangi, the flag, the monarchy, Maori seats in Parliament, governance, etc all come up for debate and resolution.
MY OWN VIEWS
We have an amazing history in New Zealand and the tragedy is that so much of it is lost by neglect, political correctness, manipulation, wilful ‘rewriting', and fraudulent misrepresentation.
We need to establish some basic realities
- Culture changes from century to century and decade to decade
- In any culture at any time there is both good and bad
- A smart society will always pick the best of each culture available to it and meld it into a new and better culture than the original.
- The difference between the regulatory and cultural aspects of life must be understood
- Each person must be free to practice their culture and religion provided it does not interfere with any other persons rights
- Each person must be equal before the law in the regulatory aspects of life
Both Labour and National have taken us down a separatist, racist path over the last decades which is sowing the seeds of conflict for generations to come, rather than resolving past grievances.
I am totally opposed to the guilt and grievance industry built up over the past decades through the actions of Labour and National Governments. It sows discord rather than harmony. It creates rather than resolves grievances, it impoverishes rather than empowers those involved. But a lot of lawyers have got very rich!
When I went into politics it was with the hope of being part of building a nation "founded on justice and truth with a passion for excellence in all good things".
We have to ask some hard questions and provide calm and rational answers as to what creates a fair and just society. A willingness to look at truth is the first requisite, no matter how uncomfortable it may be. Then justice will be done.
My belief is exactly the same now as I promoted in 1987, 1990, and 1993 that New Zealand will be a country which has come of age when Maori themselves want to participate equally with every other New Zealander in government and ask for them to be abolished.
4. THE ENVIRONMENT - CLIMATE CHANGE
There is no doubt that the climate is changing with more extreme weather events happening more regularly.
There is considerable doubt as to how much of this is man made.
There is no doubt that much of the hype and fear mongering around climate change is specious. The carbon trading emissions scheme of ours, and other, governments is almost fraudulent, and highly unlikely to make any difference at all. No doubt saving the Amazon forest and other such schemes will be sold many times over, and the planet will be no better off.
As part of taking our green, clean image seriously and our scientific energy supply and transportation study we wanted 2 years concentrated study and development. After that time all new buildings would have been required to
(a) be insulated to the highest standards
(b) capture what energy it could in the form of solar (and maybe wind)
(c) capture what water it could for non drinking purposes.
Instead the government is lumbering us with all sorts of extra expense and compliance costs on very questionable grounds.
We could have electric powered cars suitable for urban areas capable of travelling at 80k per hour for 60-80km per charge at a cost of around 2 cents per km available in New Zealand for around $24,000 within a few months. They are operated in Europe and the United Kingdom very successfully however our government refuses to allow their import!
We would know by now whether it is feasible, and I suspect it is, to have an increasing proportion of our freight carried to Europe by modern solar powered airships. Not a food mile problem in 18,000 km!! Goods picked up at point of manufacture, and dropped at point of consumption. Fabulous. Instead we face the prospects of New Zealand produce becoming increasingly unattractive to European consumers as they are ‘conned' by the food mile debate.
Pollution is a major, recognisable, scientifically proven hazard to health, and maybe climate change. We should be combating pollution for health, and image (clean and green) issues sake. If it helps with climate change as well then that is a bonus.
8. NEW ZEALAND INFRASTRUCTURE
It is well documented and accepted that New Zealand is way behind the best in the world in provision of infrastructure to allow the country to flourish. While I have a preference for private enterprise to provide this they have been proven incapable of doing it for the most part.
The Telecom monopoly of communications infrastructure has left as well behind the pack in Broadband provision. The current agreement with Telecom as the prime provider of broadband cable seems to be an absolute dogs breakfast. The fibre should be held by a single entity and could be financed by bonds or on the share market with equal access to all retail providers, none of whom could own more than 5% of the fibre provider.
NEW ZEALAND RAILWAYS
Private Enterprise had their chance and lost. Under both National and Labour governments the railways became a grossly inefficient protected organisation losing vast sums of money and employing a huge excess of people. What most people do not seem to realise is that it was actually under public ownership the railways were turned into an efficient profitable enterprise in the late 1980's by the reforming Labour government and Richard Prebble. National virtually gave it away to their mates who stripped out the assets and we have a dysfunctional under resourced institution which should be the backbone of New Zealand's long distance freight system.
The sweetheart deal done by Cullen with Toll originally was outrageous and the government had to take back the tracks and pour millions into their upgrading.
THE GOVERNMENT SHOULD GET ON IMMEDIATELY WITH ELECTRIFYING THE LINE FROM TE RAPA TO BRITOMART, CHANGING THE SOUTH ISLAND PORT TO CLIFFORD BAY (AFTER INVESTIGATING WHETHER THE REINTRODUCTION OF AN OVERNIGHT SERVICE TO LYTTELTON WOULD NOT BE MORE EFFICIENT) AND TAKING THE OTHER STEPS NECESSARY TO MAKE RAILWAYS THE MOST EFFICIENT AND ECONOMICAL TRANSPORT IN NEW ZEALAND.
Roads are an essential part of New Zealand's infrastructure. I would point out that The New Zealand Party advocated from 1987 that all road taxes should be returned to road users in terms of better infrastructure. If that had been done we would now have a motorway from Warkworth to Cambridge and Levin to Wellington, and much better roads elsewhere. Completion of State Highway 20 is an absolute priority to take pressure off Auckland's inner city motorways.
I have always been totally opposed to tolls or public private partnerships on New Zealand's state highways. However in the current economic climate in this age of austerity the only way we can afford new motorways is by tolling them. There must however always be a free alternative available. It is rather dangerous in the current economic climate to have so much of our Superannuation Funds money invested in overseas shares. This could be brought home to fund infrastructure development where there is a guaranteed revenue stream such as through tolling.
Our power supply system is a shambles. Most of our problems are caused by the shonky ‘reforms' of the National Party. The only things about them that I would guarantee is that
(a) our power supplies are not as secure as they should
(b) we are paying more for our supplies than we should be
I would point out that many years ago, while we still had a DSIR, we wanted to bring together the best brains of the DSIR, Universities, and Private Enterprise to pursue two stands of science and make New Zealand world leaders
- The capture, storage, and usage of energy supply from renewable resources and transportation by non polluting means. We could have been world leaders in solar generation and electric transportation by now!
- I believe there are far more healing properties in the products of nature (sea and forest) than we give God credit for. There is also an enormous amount of quackery and virtually fraudulent claims for unproven ‘remedies'. We need to scientifically explore the possibilities and subject them to the same level of testing as the normal drugs we use, then patent them by the government for the benefit of all humanity.
We took New Zealand's clean, green, image seriously in a very practical way.
For instance there would be no argument with Waikato farmers about power pylons across their properties. Transpower would be under instruction that any future power lines had to be undergrounded, and that at least 5km per annum of existing pylons and lines be undergrounded, starting with the iconic landscapes of the Tongariro National Park and McKenzie country
9. GOVERNANCE. CENTRAL GOVERNMENT
I BELIEVE IN A 4 YEAR TERM FOR BOTH CENTRAL AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT WITH ELECTIONS HELD ON A FIXED DATE E.G. FIRST SATURDAY OF OCTOBER. IN THIS CASE ELECTIONS WOULD BE HELD EVERY 2ND YEAR IN CONJUNCTION WITH A CITIZENS INITIATED REFERENDUM COVERING BOTH LOCAL AND CENTRAL GOVERNMENT ISSUES. THE ISSUE OF A FOUR YEAR TERM WOULD BE INCLUDED IN THE FIRST REFERENDUM HELD.
In the 1987, 1990, and 1993 elections we advocated the introduction of a true Citizens Initiated Referendum in conjunction with each election. (This is very different to the botched up Bolger version currently in place).
As the referendum is held in conjunction with central or local government elections costs (and inconvenience to the public) are minimised.
A relatively low number of signatures (150,000) would be required and there would be no limit to the number of questions in any referendum. All questions would have to pass the Election authorities to ensure there was no duplication, that the questions were appropriate, and that a clear outcome could be determined.
The results of the referendum must be declared within 7 days of the election. It would be mandatory for any issue passed by at least 60% of registered voters (or 75% of votes cast) to be implemented by Government or City Council within 3 months or they would be required to resign and call a new election.
The manipulation of the New Zealand political system started with National buying out Alamein Kopu. National forfeited the right to govern then. It is the people, the people, the people, who determine the composition of parliament in a true democracy, not the politicians.
I am pleased to say that it is Conservative Party policy to require binding referenda be introduced after this election.
Like most people in the debate on the introduction of Proportional Representation I believe the STV (Single Transferable Vote) system is fairer and ensures that all politicians are subject to the people rather than the party. However MMP is in force and can be made much better and more accountable with some minor modifications without the need for another wholesale revamp of our electoral system.
In the 2011 election I will be voting for the retention of MMP in the expectation that the new government will hold the promised enquiry and make the necessary amendments to improve MMP. I believe we face far bigger difficulties that we need to concentrate on rather than a massive change to our voting system.
Hallmarks of a flourishing society
Seven great virtues:-
Temperence, courage, fortitude, self control, truth, thrift, diligence
Seven heavenly virtues:-
LOVE, JOY, PEACE, FAITH, HOPE, PATIENCE, KINDNESS, GOODNESS, FAITHFULNESS, HUMILITY, SELF CONTROL, CHARITY There is no law against any of these things.
LOVE - is patient and kind, it is not jealous, or conceited or proud,; love is not ill mannered or selfish or irritable; love does not keep a record of wrongs; love is not happy with evil, but is happy with the truth. Love never gives up; and its faith, hope, and patience never fail. Love is eternal.