Buzz from the Beehive
Uh, oh. Earlier this afternoon there was nothing doing in the Beehive. Or rather, there was nothing doing that they wanted to tell us about.
We therefore drew a blank when we checked the Beehive website to find what our servants are up to.
Nor (when we checked with Scoop) could we find anything new from the Nats or the Greens, although the Nats since then have posted a statement on the rising expense of hiring government consultants.
ACT was given a free kick, in effect, and scored with three statements.
First, ACT’s Firearms Reform spokesperson Nicole McKee was braying that relentless pressure from her party has resulted in the Government making much-needed changes to firearms licensing. Continue reading “ACT beats Hipkins to the draw in announcing changes to our gun licensing laws” →
The latest political polling shows the centre-right parties pulling ahead of the centre-left—but it may be too soon for the leaders of the National and ACT parties to be thinking they will be forming the next government. The mood of the country has seldom been as dark, chastened as it has been by Covid, the cost-of-living crisis, and a string of Rugby test disasters, which not even the golden glow from the Commonwealth Games could erase.
Some commentators have seized on the One News Kantar poll to suggest that the parties of the right would be able to form a government for the first time without the Maori Party,
The poll results nevertheless contained a warning signal for both National and ACT — the former because it was down two points from the previous poll, and ACT because it may have experienced a one-off bounce in its four-point rise.
National currently has its own troubles, notably with its new Tauranga MP Sam Uffindell becoming the centre of a controversy about how much his electorate should have been apprised of something he did as a 16-year-old schoolboy. Besides, the Nats have yet to find the threads which they could stitch into a coherent policy with broad appeal. Continue reading “The polls look promising for the Nats and ACT – but it’s too soon for them to be counting on an election victory” →
Emerging from its annual conference, the ACT Party’s leadership appears to regard itself already as a key element in the next government.
ACT leader David Seymour had the conference cheering as he spoke of how ACT would ensure in the first hundred days of the next government, Labour’s measures on Three Waters, the Māori Health Authority, the 39c tax rate, and Fair Pay Agreements would all be gone, just as ACT’s policies on 90-day trials, three strikes, oil and gas exploration and charter schools would be reinstated.
No surprises there.
But ACT will need far more than this if it is to win over the thousands of additional votes to make certain it does have a powerful voice, rather than being just a prop for National. It will need Cabinet ministers in influential roles.
Most of the issues highlighted by Seymour are likely to get National’s support or are changes which National already has said it will enact. He admits getting them to repeal the Zero Carbon Act will be harder.
“We’re going to have to push very hard on that one, because they’ve committed themselves so heavily, but I think it’s worth doing,” he said. Continue reading “ACT could tap into a rich vein of support by pushing for higher education standards and a stronger Defence force” →
The Stuff team didn’t bring out the big headline type to report on a party political commitment of profound importance to anyone who cares about how and by whom we are governed. That – of course – should be everyone.
Stuff didn’t mention this commitment in the Dominion-Post (flagship of the Stuff fleet) – at least, Point of Order failed to find an account of it in our copy this morning, but maybe it was tucked away somewhere between some ads. Or maybe the press release around 7:09 last night was too late.
An online Stuff report did report it but its headline brought the Maori Party’s highly predictable response into the reckoning: New ACT Party policy branded ‘divisive’ and ‘bigoted’ by Māori Party
The online report opened:
A new ACT Party policy calling for “a referendum on co-governance” has been branded “divisive”, “bigoted” and “appealing to racists” by the Māori Party.
Thus the emphasis was heaped not on ACT’s announcement of a commitment to strengthening our democracy and to enabling voters to determine how we are governed.
Stuff opted, rather, to highlight the hostile position of a party whose leadership does not enthusiastically champion democracy.
According to Newshub, Maori Party co-leader Rawiri Waititi has declared:
“We need to start looking at how Maori can participate more equally and equitably in that particular space in a tiriti-centric Aotearoa. Not in a democracy, because… democracy is majority rules, and indigenous peoples – especially Maori at 16 percent of the population in this country – will lose out, and we’ll sit in second-place again.” Continue reading “ACT makes commitment to a referendum on co-governance – but maybe it was too late for the capital’s morning newspaper” →
ACT leader David Seymour seems to think he is dancing with the stars once more. Whether he’s in step with the music is somewhat uncertain.
At any rate, he’s boldly putting it about:
“We can win in 2023.”
Point of Order has received from him a note on how the latest polls are trending in which he asserts the gap between the Government and the Opposition is closing.
He cites the latest Taxpayers’ Union Curia poll, in which ACT is steady on 16%, while Labour is down 6 points to 39%.
“In the last 12 months, National has regained its election night polling and we have doubled our support.Two months ago, the gap between the centre-left and centre-right was 19 points. It’s now just 6.
“In the most important barometer of the mood of the country, more New Zealanders now believe the country is heading in the wrong direction than the right direction”. Continue reading “Seymour becomes a star in the poll dance – but let’s see a spotlight on the hard policy ACT has choreographed” →
A Flat Tax: The Good, the Bad and Why It Probably Won’t Happen was the headline on an article published in Money Talks News – pitched at an American audience – in 2014.
Act leader David Seymour, who included a flat tax among the policies he unveiled at the weekend, should take note. Even if he was to get 14 MPs into Parliament (anyone putting money on that very, very long shot?), all the other Parliamentarian will vote to stick with a progressive income tax system.
But that’s no reason for a debate to be stifled.
The article in Money Talks News took the complex US Federal tax code into considerations (the code comprised 73,954 pages in 2013 and included seven tax rates, four standard deductions and at least a dozen tax credits for individuals. Then there were exemptions, itemised deductions and the special tax rules.
Why not eliminate all those hoops and simply tax everyone using the same percentage?
The answer was that it depends on who you ask. Continue reading “David Seymour’s Herculean challenges: getting 14 MPs into Parliament (really?) and flattening the tax rate” →