On Islam and immigration

With overseas terror attacks and mass migration of un-vetted refugees into Europe, many people are concerned about the connection between Islam and terrorism, along with the social unrest that can accompany large-scale migration.  While New Zealand has been relatively insulated it would be incredibly naive to think we are immune to the challenges faced by Europe and the US.

Free Thoughts – Fresh Water and RMA reform: a plan or a blunder?

“Treaty settlements should be for cash and resources. They must not involve deals over governance arrangements that undermine our democratic institutions.”

Summary & Overview

Who owns the freshwater flowing down our rivers?  Does that question even make any sense?

A better question is, who has the rights to use that water, and on what terms?

Free Thoughts - Tobacco tax

Who would take hundreds of dollars each from Maori and the poor every year? Who would keep doing it when it didn’t work?  Who would want to take even more? 

I’ve watched a young mother with a young girl at Countdown buying a can of coconut milk (about $2) and a packet of cigarettes (now $25).  I don’t know their situation but they didn’t look rich. I remember the look in the girl’s eyes, fixed on the cigarettes as if to say: that could have been dinner.

End of life choice

I have prepared a private member’s Bill giving people with a terminal illness or a grievous and irremediable medical condition the option of requesting medical aid in dying. The Bill has been lodged for ballot in Parliament. The End of Life Choice Bill allows those eligible, to choose the manner and timing of their final days, allowing them to end their life in peace and dignity, surrounded by loved ones. The motivation for this Bill is compassion.

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Free Thoughts - The Flag Referendum and Red Peak

The first round of the flag referendum is almost upon us, and at last there is some genuine interest in the process. But the flag generating all the interest is not on the shortlist.

We have a problem. And time is running out.

Free Thoughts - Celebrating the communal

ACT is known for its celebration of free markets and the freedom of individuals, both economically and socially.

If you look at our key principles on our website, the first line reads:  A free society: free trade, free speech, and personal and religious freedom.

Those freedoms provide choice, and we are well aware that what individuals choose will often be collective action and communal activity. We celebrate that. We are social animals.

Free Thoughts - Harmful Digital Legislation

The Harmful Digital Communications Bill looks set to pass into law next week. I have voted against it, and have moved amendments in an attempt to improve the Bill. I want to explain why I oppose this Bill.

The legislation has good intentions – to protect people, especially young people, from online bullying.

But we can’t judge policies and programs by their intentions. It is results that matters. Bad legislation with good intentions is still bad legislation.

Free Thoughts - End of life choice

The contentious issue of voluntary euthanasia is one I have been considering for some time, and I want to explain here why I am preparing a private member’s (End of Life Choice) Bill to lodge for ballot in Parliament.

The primary motivation for this Bill is compassion.

Free Thoughts - Revealing moments: The Greens

The Greens are excited about the potential of solar power.  So am I.

The greater the potential of solar power and other non-fossil fuels, the less we need to worry about current projections on CO2 emissions and global warming.

Somehow it seems the Greens have not quite got their heads around this.

Free Thoughts - Revealing Moments: Labour

When a politician reaches for some information to score a point against political opponents, it pays to check for consistency with other policy positions.

A recent example from the Labour Party was revealing.

Labour members have been busy attempting to look furious that the government has not reduced ACC levy rates as much as possible. They think the government is playing politics on this issue.

Well what do they expect?

ACC is a government agency – of course it’s a political football. That’s what happens with government agencies.