We’re focused on the issues that matter to Kiwis. Catch up on the latest in politics with our Week in Review below.

Where Does the Prime Minister Stand on He Puapua?

National is calling on Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern to reveal where she stands on the report Labour commissioned, which proposes separate Maori authority across multiple layers of government and discusses constitutional change.

National has obtained a full, unredacted version of He Puapua – a report commissioned by Cabinet in 2019 that sets out a roadmap to co-governance between the Crown and Maori by 2040.

The report proposes a Maori Health Authority, separate court and justice systems, Maori ownership over the foreshore and seabed, Maori wards in councils and constitutional reform to consider matters such as a Maori Parliament or Upper House for New Zealand.

He Puapua has never been publicly announced but a number of recommendations, such as the Maori Health Authority and Maori council wards, have been implemented already without any acknowledgement from Ardern that they are part of a wider plan.

If He Puapua is implemented in its entirety, New Zealand will cease to be a democracy in which all people have equal representation and would instead operate as a two-system state.

National’s position is clear. We will not accept the implementation of two systems by stealth. We support targeted programmes based on need, such as Whanau Ora, but dividing our country along racial lines when it comes to running core services is a step too far.

National is the party of equality and believes that ethnicity or race should not divide us. We are better together.

  • You can read more from Judith Collins here.

Officials Told Labour That Renters Would Suffer

Officials cast serious doubt over the effectiveness of the Government’s housing package in the months before its announcement. The advice showed the package wouldn’t make a difference to the supply of housing, instead they would likely increase rents.

First home buyers are predominantly renters, any measures that drive up rents only serve to make it harder for first home buyers to put together a deposit, further locking them out of the market.

What the advice from officials shows is Labour is more interested in PR spin and fancy announcements than putting forward policies that will actually make a positive impact on those shut out of our housing market.

Building more houses is the most important action for addressing our housing shortage and delivering for first-home buyers.

National has a plan to require every major city and town to immediately remove restrictions locking-up land and stalling intensification, while also giving councils the cash injections they need to deliver a much-needed surge in new house building.


Upgrade Programme Another Hollow Promise

Walking back its commitment to transport projects across the country is further proof Labour will say just about anything to get elected but then won’t actually deliver it.

Labour announced a number of transport projects as part of the New Zealand Upgrade Programme, many of these were roading projects progressed by the previous National Government but canned by Labour who then recommitted to them last year.

First it was KiwiBuild, then it was Light Rail, then it was a commitment to reduce Child Poverty, followed by a point-blank refusal to extend the bright-line test. Now Jacinda Ardern’s Government is back tracking its commitment to funding much needed transport infrastructure projects across the country.

For those living in Horowhenua this is déjà vu. Otaki to North of Levin was included as a Road of National Significance under the previous National Government. It was then cancelled by Labour in 2018, revived by Labour in 2020 and now its future is uncertain, again.

New Zealanders will be wary to believe anything Labour says in the future. What we’ve seen time and time again is it will say and promise anything to get elected but will back track as soon as the campaign is over.

  • You can read more from Michael Woodhouse here.

Complacency and Incompetence at the Heart of Vaccine Go Slow

The Government’s slow vaccine rollout has caused New Zealand to slip behind Singapore in Bloomberg’s index of the best places to be during the COVID-19 pandemic.

New Zealand should be on equal footing with Singapore when it comes to rolling out vaccines given our similar-sized populations and the fact both aren’t suffering the loss of life or surging infection rates seen elsewhere.

But while Singapore has managed to administer more than 2.2 million vaccines, with almost a quarter of its population having had its first dose, New Zealand is second-slowest in the OECD.

The Government promised us that New Zealand would be at the front of the queue for vaccines, yet here we are in late April and we have done just 3.8 doses per 100 people.

A combination of complacency and incompetence with our vaccine programme is putting our economic recovery at risk. New Zealand’s rollout is well behind Australia’s, which has been widely criticised for being on the go-slow.

We have done well to keep Covid-19 at bay but we must not rest on our laurels. The world is vaccinating way faster than we are, which will give them options for reconnecting to the rest of the world that New Zealand won’t be part of unless we hurry up.

Our vaccine rollout still has too many red flags. Three of the four IT systems are not ready to go, there’s no real vaccine targets, and the Government even admits it has deliberately slowed the rollout down.

The vaccine rollout is critical to New Zealand’s future and we must get it right. Unless the Government gets its eye on the ball we will slip further down the international rankings.

  • You can read more from Chris Bishop here.

Government Shows Its True Colours on Gangs

The Government has shown its true colours when it comes to gangs, with its Ministers now openly championing them as advocates for justice.

It’s astonishing that a Government Minister, Marama Davidson, and the Chief Human Rights Commissioner Paul Hunt accepted an invitation to speak at a gathering of the Waikato Mongrel Mob this weekend. 

The Mongrel Mob peddles drugs, wields firearms and engages in violence, causing misery in communities across the country. They have no regard for their victims.

Marama Davidson is the Minister for Prevention of Family and Sexual Violence. Turning up at this event disrespects the many victims of sexual violence perpetrated by gang members. Her tweets calling the Mongrel Mob meeting ‘a fabulous community event for justice’ was an extra slap in the face.

With gang membership in New Zealand approaching 8000 members, it is time the Government got tough and introduce Firearm Prohibition Orders (FPOs) to give the Police new powers to take guns off gangs.

National has draft legislation before Parliament that would mean gang members subject to an FPO would not be allowed to possess a firearm, get a firearms license, or be on a property where firearms are present.

The Government should support our proposed law change. It is urgently needed to help make our community safer.

  • You can read more from Simeon Brown here.

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