Archive

Posts Tagged ‘Norman Kirk’

Letter to the editor – John Key’s legacy?

25 July 2015 5 comments

.

Frank Macskasy - letters to the editor - Frankly Speaking

.

 

 

from: Frank Macskasy <fmacskasy@gmail.com>
to: NZ Herald <letters@herald.co.nz>
date: Fri, Jul 24, 2015
subject: Letter to the editor

.

The editor
NZ Herald

.

Past Prime Ministers have created legacies that have marked their contribution to this country.

Michael Joseph Savage set up the welfare system and State housing, to alleviate the very worst poverty New Zealand was facing during the Great Depression. Savage would not tolerate the ravages of poverty in a country of plenty like New Zealand.

Norman Kirk’s tenure as Prime Minister was tragically cut short due to illness, but during his brief service to this country, he was instrumental in making our opposition to French atomic bomb testing in the South Pacific known to the world. We became a world leader in opposing atomic weapons, gradually moving humanity from the insanity of a thermonuclear war.

David Lange built on Norman Kirk’s legacy, and announced to the world that New Zealand would become Nuclear Free. Under his watch, gay equality took a giant step forward, removing homosexuality as a criminal offence – something we now take for granted in the 21st century.

What will John Key’s legacy be to this country? Addressing pressing problems surrounding child poverty? Leading the world once again in environmental issues such as reducing greenhouse gas emissions?

No, it appears that our esteemed Prime Minister’s legacy is predicated on changing our flag.

Not exactly what one might call a pressing problem of our generation.

.

-Frank Macskasy

 

.

[address & phone number supplied]

.

.

 

.

Skipping voting is not rebellion its surrender

Above image acknowledgment: Francis Owen/Lurch Left Memes

.

.

= fs =

Once Were Leaders…

30 December 2013 Leave a comment

Once upon a time, in a little nation of a few million people, we elected great leaders who strode the world, setting an example that we could live a better way…

.

Norman Kirk anti nuclear testing at moruroa

Source

.

Now, this country elects leaders like this…

.

trending on twitter - NZ's leader questioned over apartheid amnesia

Source

.

What is it they say – in a democracy we get the politicians we deserve?

I’d like to think we deserve much better. We’ll certainly get a chance to put that to the test next year.

This blogpost was first published on The Daily Blog on 23 December 2013.

.

*

.

References

Twitter: Rudolf Hills

Huffington Post: New Zealand’s Leader Questioned Over Apartheid Amnesia

NZ Listener: Influentials: Speeches that helped shape us

.

.

= fs =

David Parker has nailed it 100%

14 March 2012 1 comment

|

|

This media report is worth reprinting in it’s entirety. Because, quite simply, David Parker is 100% on the nail on this issue,

|

National’s neglectful attitude to lifting our savings rate is something New Zealand can ill afford, Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker says.

“Bill English might believe Kiwis have been ‘scared’ into saving by the global recession and won’t return to borrowing as the economy grows, but he’s obviously got blinkers on.

“The economic settings that led to excessive borrowing are still in place – speculation in housing and farmland for capital gain still attracts a tax advantage and National’s policies have made Kiwisaver less attractive,” David Parker said.

“Unless real policy changes are made New Zealand will just go back to borrowing too much and saving too little when the economy eventually recovers.

“The Australians, who already have a universal workplace savings scheme, are increasing the savings rate to 12 per cent, up from nine per cen. The government there knows that once the recession is over behaviour will return to type unless it makes the changes that are needed.

“Treasury forecasts show Mr English’s blind faith is misguided. It projects that every year, under National’s policies, the country will run a current account deficit and increase its international debt.

“By 2016, New Zealand will owe nearly $200 billion in net overseas debt, up $50 billion from today.

“And the main driver of that debt spiral is a lack of domestic savings, with banks and businesses borrowing from offshore or selling assets to foreign investors.

“This leads to some $10 billion a year flowing offshore in profits, the main contributor to our current account deficit, which is then funded by further borrowing and asset sales.

“The government needs to break the cycle with policies that ensure New Zealand permanently lifts its savings level. By not doing so it shows once again its unwillingness to deal with the structural problems in the economy,” David Parker said.

|

Our Aussie cuzzies have approximately A$1.31 trillion saved in their compulsory super fund.,

Industry Overview

Total estimated superannuation assets increased to $1.31 trillion in the December 2011 quarter. Over the 12 months to December 2011 there was a 1.2 per cent increase in total estimated superannuation assets.” – Source

The clever buggers realised back in 1992 that a nation cannot be sovereign and self-sufficient if it has no savings, and has to rely on overseas borrowings.

We had our opportunity for a compulsory super fund in the 1970s, with a programme that was introduced by the Norman Kirk-led Labour government.

Unfortunately, Rob Muldoon promised to can the Fund and return the money to each contributor – if we voted for National in 1975. Well, we took the bait; voted National; Muldoon fulfilled his “promise”; and now New Zealand’s  “private-sector debt at 30 June 2010 was $315 billion and 166% of GDP“.

New Zealand First and Labour’s policy of a compulsory super fund makes good economic and social common-sense.

Unfortunately,  New Zealanders aren’t terribly good at making good economic and social common-sense decisions.

|

* * *

|

Additional

Key: Private sector debt NZ’s biggest concern

Government debt rises to $71.6 billion

Treasury:  Private-sector debt and factors affecting it

Who says the Govt doesn’t have a plan?

|

|

= fs =


Post mortem #4: Maori Party, National, and the Treaty

30 November 2011 2 comments

.

Full Story

.

Current National and Maori Party coalition negotiations raise two interesting issues. One is fairly self-evident. The other is something I’ve just noticed in the above image of Pita Sharples anf John Key…

Issue one

.

Mr Key said there was no reason why partial asset sales would need to be treated as a matter of confidence and supply.” Source

The sale of state assets is usually a budgetary matter. As I’ve written previously, past asset sales were generally included as part of bugetary legislation and passed by the government-of-the-day using it’s majority in the House.

The Opposition – whether one party as under FPP, or several parties under MMP – would automatically vote against the government’s budget. If the budget passed, the government had Supply (money to pay for ongoing state activities, such as paying salaries; building infra-structure; making purchases; paying for borrowings; etc).

If the budget was voted down – the government fell.

At present, John Key’s coalition-government consists of 62 seats out of 121 (there is an “over-hang of one seat),

.

.

Those 62 seats comprise,

National: 60

John Banks/ACT: 1

Peter Dunne/United Future: 1

Total: 62

62 out of 121 is a majority – just barely. Lose one seat – in a by-election or a defection – and the majority is cut down to one. Lose two seats, and Key’s majority is lost, and becomes a minority government.

No wonder John Key spat the dummy a couple of days ago and called MMP a “weird system”.

Which is why the Maori Party’s the seats becomes vital to the longer-term survival of this new, National-led coalition government. Last term there were four by-elections. There is no guarantee that there won’t be one or two or more this time around.

Key needs the Maori Party as political “insurance”.

The only way that the Maori Party can be placated regarding asset sales is that the issue is removed from the main body of the upcoming Budget, and presented to the House as separate legislation. The Maori Party may then vote with the National-led coalition to ensure Supply, and the business of government carries on.

When the issue of asset sales is presented to the House as separate legislation, the Maori Party will no doubt vote with the Opposition, as Sharples and Turia promised their constituents during the election campaign, and try to vote down the Bill.

No doubt the Bill will proceed through the House, as John Key utilises his two seat majority early on, to guarantee it’s passage.

Once the Bill is enacted and becomes law, the asset sale can proceed unhindered.

At the same time, the National-ACT-Dunne-Maori Party coalition is embedded. There is face-saving all around.

Issue two

.

When I looked at the image above, of John Key and Pita Sharples meeting and greeting each other as equals, the scene reminded me of a photo taken in the early 1970s, of then-Prime Minister, Norman Kirk. I found the image using trusty Google.

Let’s compare the two,

.

Norman Kirk Moana Priest John Key Pita Sharples

.

My, how we’ve matured as a society since the early 1970s.

The symbolism of those two images shows – to me – how the New Zealand social and political meme has been re-defined  in only 40 years.

When Norman Kirk led the young Maori boy across the grounds of Waitangi, the image was one of the Pakeha culture as the dominanant patron of this country, leading the “maori child” walking together, hand in hand. It was the archetypal British Colonial “father-figure”, taking in-hand the “childlike” indigenous people.

In the right hand image, the Maori male is an adult Pita Sharples, meeting John Key on a level playing-field. They are meeting as true Treaty partners.

Despite what one may think of National; their policies; and the Maori Party supporting this government – I find something positive in the right-hand image. I think it bodes well for our future and demonstrates that pakeha fears over the Treaty is without foundation.

We’ve come a long way. The journey is yet to end, if ever.

.

Additional

Chris Ford: Has the Maori Party finally cooked its goose?

.

.