30 September 2008
NEWS: Key says NZ will weather economic storm
"The international situation is serious, but I remain hopeful that over the next 24 hours, the United States Congress will agree to arrangements that provide some certainty to the financial sector.
"The important thing is for New Zealand to have a well-structured economic plan for growth. National's economic package was carefully put together with a firm eye on the evolving international uncertainty."
Mr Key says it is at times like these that a programme for economic growth and disciplined government spending become even more important.
"We are increasingly concerned that Labour has no real plan. If Helen Clark has one, she has certainly not been telling any one about it." Tweet
30 September 2008
NEWS: "Human timebombs" need defusing
"When I announced National's Youth Plan in January this year, I was clear that a National-led Government would confront this problem and tackle 'the ticking timebombs'."
Judge Becroft has previously said there is a group of about 1,000 serious, persistent young offenders and the system knows who they are.
"For nine long years, the Labour Government has failed to act on the repeated warnings from those on the front line like Judge Becroft. National has been listening."
Mr Key says National will provide the youth justice system with a modern set of tools for getting young people out of the crime cycle.
"We must give the Youth Court the power to refer young offenders to compulsory drug or alcohol rehabilitation programmes, and support new initiatives for teenagers who aren't bad enough to be put in a youth justice facility but who need a serious dose of intervention.
"The 'supervision with activity' sentence is already available for these kids. It's hardly ever used, however, because though there are some very good programmes that work, there are far too few of them.
"National will also back a new range of revolutionary 'Fresh Start Programmes'.
"They will be designed to give young offenders what they need to make a fresh start – structure, routine, clear boundaries, intensive support, and a sense of self-discipline and personal responsibility.
"The programmes will last up to one year and will include up to three months of residential training at, for example, army facilities. Young people sentenced to Fresh Start Programmes will be intensively supervised by high-quality staff dedicated to getting them back on track.
"Fresh Start Programmes will be designed to address the problems underlying a young person's offending and may include, for example, drug and alcohol rehab, outdoor and physical fitness training, literacy and numeracy teaching, and work towards NCEA credits, teamwork exercises, and reinforcement of community values.
"Young people, more than anyone, will determine the future shape and prosperity of New Zealand. We must not let them down."
To view National's full Youth Justice Policy visit: http://www.national.org.nz/Article.aspx?ArticleId=28243
28 September 2008
VIDEO: Journal 46 - the last Video Journal before the election
This is John's last Video Journal before the election. From now until then, he'll be making videos on the campaign trail.
28 September 2008
NEWS: Maori Affairs, Treaty & Electoral Law policies released
Realising Maori aspiration is the aim of National's Maori Affairs and Treaty Negotiations policies released today by National Party Leader John Key.
National also released its Electoral Law policy today.
"Maori view the Treaty of Waitangi as under-pinning their development, laying the blueprint for economic independence, and a relationship with the Crown based on mutual respect and a common purpose," says Mr Key.
"The Treaty envisages all New Zealanders moving forward together, with a shared commitment to the future.
"I share that vision. National is committed to seeing all Maori enjoying a brighter and more prosperous future."
Highlights of our Maori Affairs policy are:
• Putting a big focus on investment in education, including national standards, trades in schools, our Youth Guarantee, promoting greater participation in early childhood education through Kohanga Reo and Kura Kaupapa, and expanding Te Kotahitanga.
• Improving health and housing outcomes for Maori, including working with Maori health providers and Maori collectives on housing.
• Working to increase investment in Maori assets and enterprises, including working with iwi enterprises and their leaders to help overcome barriers to economic development.
• Acknowledging the importance of Maori language and culture, including committing to Maori broadcasting and the promotion of Maori language, arts and culture.
• Working with Te Puni Kokiri to strengthen and expand successful and proven Maori-led programmes to advance outcomes for Maori.
"The settlement of historic Treaty grievances is very important to the National Party.
"National's record in the Treaty area in government in the 1990s is a proud one.
"National intends to devote fresh energy and leadership to advancing Treaty settlements, and aims to achieve just and durable settlements of all historic Treaty claims by 2014.
"Linked to the settlement of historic Treaty claims is our policy on the Maori seats. At the conclusion of the settlement of historic Treaty claims, National will begin a constitutional process to abolish the Maori seats. National wishes to see all New Zealanders on the same electoral roll."
Highlights of National's Treaty Negotiations policy are:
• Appointing independent settlement facilitators to chair negotiations, keep the process moving forward, and ensure both parties act in good faith.
• More effective post-settlement liaison to ensure durable settlements and an end to Treaty litigation.
• Refine the claim negotiation process.
• Review the impact of increases in prices, and in particular land prices, on Treaty settlements.
• Give the Waitangi Tribunal enough support to sit full-time including reviewing remuneration and support offered to members, review the tribunal's operations, and review the Crown's conduct in litigation.
• Speed up the time taken to pass settlement legislation.
"National will also honour agreements negotiated in good faith by the Crown under the Foreshore and Seabed Act."
The Electoral Law policy:
• Confirms National's intention to wind up the Maori seats at the conclusion of the settlement of historic Treaty claims.
• Hold a binding referendum on MMP no later than 2011.
• Repeal the Electoral Finance Act.
Mr Key says New Zealanders have had to wait long enough for a chance to have their say on MMP.
"The referendum will give people a choice between retaining MMP without any further consideration or having a further vote on MMP alongside another electoral system or systems.
"National will also repeal the draconian and unworkable Electoral Finance Act, while ensuring transparency around donations remains. We will reform electoral law through a process that involves all parliamentary parties, and the public."
For Maori Affairs policy document visit: http://national.org.nz/files/2008/maori_affairs_policy.pdf
For Treaty policy document visit: http://national.org.nz/files/2008/treaty_negotiations.pdf
For Electoral Law summary visit: http://national.org.nz/files/2008/electoral_law.pdf
26 September 2008
RADIO: On polls, governing, the Maori Party and more
26 September. On the morning of the end of the 48th Parliament, John talks with Radio Dunedin presenter Neil Collins about National's place in the polls, the prospect of governing without MMP partners, the role of the Maori Party in a National-led Government, John's reactions to the media "ambush game", Winston Peters, the start of the 'official' campaign and factors affecting National's tax policy launch date.