robson-on-politics 24 March 2005
robson-on-politics, a newsletter from Matt Robson MP
Deputy Leader of the Progressive Party
Thur 24 March
Happy Easter - now that’s Progressive!
Last September, Parliament saved the traditional Kiwi family long-weekend at Easter by the slimmest of majorities (61
MPs out of 120.)
Progressive’s two votes delivered the majority to safeguard the precious time that families need and deserve to be
together. The break allows them to recover from the pressures juggling work and family responsibilities the rest of the
Where was the leader of the “Christian values-based” United Future Outdoor party when families needed him? Where was
the NZ First Party Caucus?
Peter Dunne, who has opposed every single pro-working family Progressive initiative (from Four Weeks Annual Leave to
Paid Parental Leave and all the rest) and NZ First lined up with ACT, that’s where they were.
Ten Feet Tall and Bullet Proof in Whangarei
Yesterday I was in Whangarei with party members who not only have their own branch office but are also putting together
some very creative ideas to raise our party vote up north this election.
Which reminds me, Progressive secured funding in the coalition budget for the Arts Promotion Trust’s ‘Ten-foot tall and
bullet proof’ play and workshop which, I’m told, is getting the anti-drugs message across effectively to young people .
Addressing housing pressures
At the Regional Development conference yesterday Jim Anderton announced funding for research on housing pressures in the
Nelson, Marlborough and Tasman regions. Strong regional economies, growing populations and very low unemployment, make
it hard for people to get into their own homes in some of those regions.
Support for seasonal labour shortage strategy
The Labour Progressive government also announced that it is working in partnership with the Fruitgrowers’ Federation to
develop a joint industry and government strategy to address labour shortages in the horticulture and viticulture
industries. I am acutely aware of the shortages, especially in the Bay of Plenty kiwifruit industry, and am holding
meetings with growers and contractors to help find practical solutions.
Will anyone honestly say ACT has 500 members?
ACT yesterday apparently said it won’t obey the law of the land by having of its senior officers sign a Statutory
Declaration on the party’s membership. What they meant was ACT can’t find anyone prepared at this time to sign a form
saying that it currently has at least 500 current financial members.
ACT now has a month to get its numbers up to 500 as all registered parties are required under the law to make an annual
statutory declaration that still has 500 members by 30 April Can I suggest ACT goes to some of its union mates - the big
business lobby groups - maybe they could be added up as members or at least “supporting members”.
The 500 rule applies to all parties
All parties are required to admit if their membership dips below 500 every April 30. Over 2000 people have joined
Progressive since we were formed in 2002, and we have a separate supporters’ membership of over 4,000. Supporters
receive party information on a 3-monthly basis but they can’t contribute to policy formation or stand as candidates.
Regional Development Conference was a winner
Jim Anderton’s third regional development conference, which concluded yesterday, saw some great new ideas added to the
mix of policy ideas the government is working on in partnership with business to encourage more high quality job
creation for Kiwis. Our most urgent social and economic need is to deliver a standard of living and quality of life
sufficient to provide a future for young New Zealanders in every region.
The framework that Jim has put in place means that the next time the global economy goes sour or commodity prices get
hit, our people will be much more protected and far less vulnerable to getting hurt.
More on these and other stories of the week is at http://www.progressive.org.nz