Free Press Monday February 26th -That 70’s Show


#SaveCharters Submissions Open

The Education and Workforce Select Committee has opened for submissions on the legislation to abolish Partnership Schools. Even if you’ve never made a submission before, this is the time to be counted. Say why you support the students’ right to attend the schools that have changed their lives.

Petition Going Strong

It is not too late to contribute to the petition to save the schools at This will also be presented to Parliament.

End of Life Choice Videos Approach 100k Views

The five powerful videos in favour of the End of Life Choice Bill have been viewed nearly 100,000 times in the past week. You can view them all here (although most views are on Facebook). If you’d like to contribute to making more of these videos, please donate here.

That 70’s Show

The Government’s $1 billion dollar per year regional development fund means activist Government is back. Instead of light regulations, essential infrastructure, and broad based low rate taxes, Government will now invest in tourist attractions, speculate in Totara exporting businesses, and renovating airports among an unending list to be trotted out over the run up to the next election.

Think Small

The Think Big projects were disastrous, but you have to give Muldoon one thing: he genuinely believed that the projects would make New Zealand a better place. The new approach of scattering a few million here, a few million there is designed to maximize media opportunities for Government Ministers, particularly New Zealand First ones.

Why It Won’t Work Politically

Steven Joyce and Simon Bridges helped Winston Peters to the Northland Electorate with their Yes, Minister-esque promise of 10 bridges. The people of Northland, not being idiots, could see this for what it was, an insult. They voted accordingly and it appears that W. Peters of St Mary’s Bay and S. Jones of Harvard may be making the same mistake of underestimating Provincial New Zealand.

Why It Won’t Work Economically

Activist Government in the 70’s nearly bankrupted New Zealand, for the simple reason that nobody invests other people’s money as carefully as their own. The Government is not saying ‘we will invest $3 billion aiming to get a ten per cent return.’ The unspoken political criteria will be generating lots of activity in the short run, at cost of long term returns. $3 billion of taxpayer money is about to be systematically invested into the least profitable opportunities.

56 Straws in the Wind

That National Opposition may be the biggest straws in the wind parliament has ever seen. A 1980’s Treasury Official such as Bill English should have attacked the kind of wooly economic thinking that he helped dismantle back then. Instead he literally asked ‘is that it?’ pointing out National had done the same things while in office.


Whoever leads National, they will have to contend with this same problem. The Government may be cranking the Joyce/Bridges regional economic development/ministerial PR machine up to a higher volume, but they are not doing anything that National can criticise with a straight face. ACT, of course, has always stayed true.

The Irony I

National MPs have been bitterly complaining that they got the most votes but did not form a Government. The party that came last, they complain, gets to decide the winner. Well, the new National leader will almost certainly not be elected on the first vote. They will win with the votes of the contenders who drop out.

The Irony II

We had to laugh when people complained that Australian 60 Minutes failed to report Jacinda Ardern’s achievements, instead focusing on her personality and personal life. Her achievement is being a celebrity Prime Minister. If anyone is aware of another Jacinda Ardern achievement, please notify Free Press

Meanwhile at ACT

ACT’s Regional Conferences in Auckland and Wellington were well attended, constructive, and successful. The Central North Island Conference will be in Hamilton on March 17th, South Island venues To Be Announced. Stuff have written a useful review of ACT’s challenge and opportunity. If you are not a member, you canjoin here.