Last Week in Parliament
The Government introduced legislation to prevent MPs leaving their party. David Seymour pointed out in the House it was fundamentally because of Winston Peters’ paranoia that his MPs would abandon him (but Free Press has recognized a second reason, see below). They introduced legislation to allow teachers to elect members of the Education Council. Some even claimed this would help the teacher shortage, Seymour pointed out that paying them properly according to performance would have been more sincere and effective. Finally the Government passed first reading for a bill to partially legalise medicinal marijuana, but voted down a bill to properly legalise it. Seymour’s speech on the latter was by far the most viewed online last week.
Two Weeks to Go
Public Submissions for David Seymour’s End of Life Choice Bill are due at the Justice Select Committee by February 20th. If you support this bill (or if you don’t for that matter), please take the time to make a submission to the committee here. The number and quality of submissions will have an influence on how MPs vote on the second and third readings of the Bill.
The Battle for Partnership Schools
The Blue Light Senior School contracted for Taupo promised to be the Partnership School policy at its best. A partnership between the police-based charity and the Crown to run an innovative residential school for troubled boys. It is an opportunity that now will not exist for those kids because of the Labour Party’s ideological jihad against schools that work.
What are they Waiting For?
The Prime Minister says that she will allow the schools to stay open if; they have registered teachers, they teach the New Zealand curriculum, and they are funded at the same rate as other schools. Except for a couple of very worthwhile educators who are not registered, all the schools comply with all of these features. Nevertheless, the Schools face considerable uncertainty.
Without an official policy, Labour are running a scare campaign to intimidate the schools out of existence. They have said they will not introduce legislation to make the schools illegal within six months of the new Government forming (but are introducing an undefined Education Bill next week), and haven’t given the schools any real certainty. Alas the Blue Light Senior School is not going ahead and other schools are in limbo. What messages have they received frm the Minister?
Where are the Maori MPs?
Three of the Labour Maori MPs are deeply involved in running the schools, their family either work at or attend them. Why are they not being heard? Given they eat what they shoot -the Maori electorate MPs opted not to be on the Labour Party list- they deserve more respect within their party.
Like most people, Free Press believed that the Waka Jumping Law was designed to prevent New Zealand First MPs who fall out with Winston Peters from jumping ship. We hadn’t considered another possibility, one that explains why the Labour Party have been so acquiescent. The Maori Party MPs, who won their own seats fair and square, have now become clients of the Labour party. Under a Foreshore and Seabed style fallout, they would be hamstrung, forced to resign from parliament if they disagree with the Party.
There was no Fraud
Media are trying to work out why Metiria Turei’s benefit fraud investigation has not been concluded. Sometimes the truth is stranger than fiction, and Free Press wagers there was no fraud. Why? Turei had to resign because the scandal was about to involve her family. Free Press understands they provided her with significant assistance, and were horrified at her portrayal of being left destitute. If she wasn’t actually destitute, perhaps she did not commit fraud either? If true, it is the most fantastic political suicide ever.
What is Tim Murphy Saying?
Tim Murphy at Newsroom has said, in respect of Winston Peters’ court case: “people who Peters claimed spoke of the matter in advance of media inquiries to him have sworn that they had not known about his overpayments until the day of his own public outing of his ‘mistake’. Others swore they mentioned it to no one after having been briefed.” Is Murphy saying Peters swore an affidavit that was not true? It seems unlikely he could be that stupid as a conviction would require him to vacate Parliament. Where is Graeme McCready when you need him?
What Happened to that Investigation?
Early in October 2016, the police appeared to use an illegal check point to interrogate attendees of an Exit International meeting relating to Assisted Dying. There were at least two complaints to the Independent Police Authority, one by the Police themselves. Since then there have been around 40 reports issued by the IPCA. How long must we wait to find out if the New Zealand Police have been illegally harassing people attending political meetings?
Meanwhile in ACT
ACT is holding a series of members’ only forums up and down the country about the Party’s path back towards 2020. The first are in Auckland on February 24th and Wellington on the 25th. If you are a member and have not received notice of these meetings, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are not a member and would like to be part of retooling ACT, please join.