The Letter - All changed, all the same
We agree with John Key. The collapse in Labour’s support makes the government vulnerable. There are right/centre voters
who think National is so left-wing that they won’t vote if they think National is going to win easily. Staying at home
could elect a real "fruit cake" government. The combination of many parties and voluntary voting has resulted in
extraordinary governments being elected in Europe, governments no pollster predicted. What this election has needed is a
positive reason to vote and last Saturday Jamie Whyte delivered just such a speech at the ACT Northern Regional
Jamie Whyte’s analysis of National
“The National Party in opposition claims to believe in personal responsibility, individual choice and fiscal discipline,
in government they turn into the Labour Party. From the policies pursued over the last 5 years, you would think that
Helen Clark’s Labour Party was still in power. Labour increased government spending dramatically. This National
government has sustained it….Labour employed tens of thousands of new bureaucrats. National has kept most of them in
their jobs. Bill English has actually boasted that under National high-earners pay a greater share of total taxation
than they did under Labour’s tax policies.”
This week David Cunliffe and John Key both announced their parties tax policies. Labour will increase income tax on
“high income” earners and John Key says there will only be tax cuts for middle and low income earners. Both tax policies
are based on the belief that the purpose of tax is to redistribute income. They just disagree about the starting point.
Neither leader thinks that tax should be set at the level that most encourages enterprise, growth or jobs. Neither
thinks your money is your own and no government has the right to take a single dollar more than is needed to fund
essential state services. This is the Clark/Key regime.
ACT under Jamie Whyte
"ACT is the only party in New Zealand that truly believes in free markets. The only party that believes in property
rights. The only party that believes in individual liberty and personal responsibility. The only party that believes in
a small state and a big individual."
It is a powerful message
ACT’s polling reveals around 17 percent of the electorate are right/Centre voters. 83% of New Zealanders are lefties who
want the state to take the big decisions in their life for them. Jamie Whyte did not say National did not have its
reasons for governing as if Helen Clark was still PM. But the 17 percent who voted five years ago for a change of
government feel cheated. Up to half of the 17 percent have voted ACT and last election at least 3 percent of the
right/centre voters stayed at home. That is the audience Jamie Whyte is aiming for - the voters who really believe in
free enterprise and personal responsibility. They are the intelligent voters who realise that on all the big issues the
National government will not lead - from the sustainability of super, falling educational standards, the decline in
productivity in our hospitals to the stifling levels of tax and red tape. These voters like Jamie Whyte. They were
waiting to hear Saturday’s speech.
Due to the media blackout few heard it but by 20 September they will.
The importance of education
“Education has become more important than ever. All around the world, the incomes of the well-educated are rising
rapidly while the incomes of uneducated people are stagnating.
What matters now are your intellectual and social abilities, both of which can be greatly improved by a good education.”
What is wrong with New Zealand education?
"The difference between our best students and our worst is the biggest in the OECD. Our average is average only because
our best are very good. Our underperforming students are doing really badly. About 15% leave school almost illiterate.”
The Letter would add not only are the uneducated unemployable as the disturbing levels of youth unemployment signifies
but our uneducated young adults are unable to do any task involving literacy. The country has a growing problem of
unlicensed drivers who cannot pass the new driver’s license. We need to improve education standards or soon or later we
are all going to be literally met them in a crash."
Why are so many schools failing?
If a state school fails to provide educations that satisfy the parents of their pupils, it will not shut down…it is
likely to attract extra government funding. In the private sector, resources flow into success; in the public sector
they flow into failure.
When market competition is replaced with state supplied goods and services, consumers’ preferences do not determine what
gets offered. We get a standardized, one-size-fits-all educational model.
And, as always with one-size-fits all models, state education in New Zealand now fits only a few children.
As a recent Economist Magazine survey showed, charter schools in America clearly outperform state schools.
In New Zealand, Nick Hyde’s Vanguard Academy and Alwyn Poole’s South Auckland Middle School, for examples, are showing
what committed and creative principals can do to lift standards.
ACT’s education policy for 2014
“With Partnership Schools, we have already made a step in the right direction.
Most importantly, their funding depends on how many students they attract. Their fortunes depend on the decisions of
their pupils’ parents.
The answer is to give all state schools the option of become partnership schools. School boards should be allowed to opt
out of control by the Ministry of Education, and be bulk-funded according to the number of students they can attract.
This policy entails no additional government spending.
Just more freedom for teachers to adapt their methods to their students.
More freedom for schools to innovate.
More choice for parents and students.”
ACT has the best leader
“When I took over the leadership of ACT, some commentators portrayed me as a new captain on the Titanic after it had
been holed by an iceberg. ACT is not a ship. It is a torch for an idea. I am proud to have picked up that torch. For the
idea is the most powerful idea, the most beautiful idea in the history of human affairs. It is the idea of freedom.”
The full speech which is the best given by any politician this year is on www.act.org.nz