web analytics

Interview the leaders IV: ACT

Written By: - Date published: 3:06 pm, April 14th, 2008 - 33 comments
Categories: act, helen clark, interview, labour - Tags: , , ,

leaders450.jpg

A big thanks to Greens’ co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimmons for participating in our ‘Interview the leaders’ series. Her answers provided an insight into how the Greens view themselves as influencing political culture as much as promoting specific policies. Our next leader is Prime Minister Helen Clark of Labour.

The general question remains:

Of which of your achievements in politics are you most proud?

For the two other questions we’ve gone with Matthew Pilott’s question:

Do you think the introduction of MMP has strengthened or weakened New Zealand’s Democracy?

and Andrew E’s question:

I’ve always voted Labour (was even a member of the party) but this year I’m planning on voting National as I’m very concerned by the erosions in our freedoms that have happened under your watch. Why am I wrong?

While we haven’t been able to cover everything you asked we have emailed Clark a link to the questions post so she can have a look at your issues. We’re expecting to post her answers on Monday April 21.

In the meantime, our next leader is ACT’s Rodney Hide. You can place your questions for him in the comments section of this post. Reminder: tough but fair.

33 comments on “Interview the leaders IV: ACT”

  1. gobsmacked 1

    Question to Rodney:

    In TVNZ’s “Kingmaker” debate you said that in post-election negotiations, a “bottom line” would be the removal of the top tax rate of 39 cents.

    Do you mean “removal” or “reduction”? And if it is a “bottom line”, does that mean you would vote against either National or Labour if they do not agree?

  2. Steve Pierson 2

    Given that you oppose Working for Families, what do you say to the 70% of families with dependent children who get a tax credit through the scheme, including those that pay no net tax as a result?

  3. WendyC 3

    Would you insist on asset sales as part of a National-led Government?

    or, what will your bottom lines be in any post-election talks with National?

  4. r0b 4

    (1) If the next election produces a National / ACT government, what do you think that government should try and accomplish in its first term?

    (2) Do you believe that the Earth’s climate is warming? If it is, is the warming dangerous? if it is dangerous, what does ACT believe we should do about it?

    (3) If America invades Iran, should New Zealand send combat troops?

    (4) Which state assets should be sold? Are there any assets that should not be sold to overseas buyers?

    (5) Why does ACT poll so appallingly badly?

  5. Rebel Heart 5

    What do you think Heather Roy’s chances are against Stephen Franks in WC?

  6. Phil 6

    Maybe it’s just me, but those questions to HC are a bit, well, mild. While the others have challenged leaders to defend their position in a direct manner, these are wishy-washy and bland. Part of me supects this was intentional on your part, but I would like to hear more about your selection criteria…

    For instance, own r0b came up with four much better ones in the very first post.

  7. Robinsod 7

    Rodney – should we realy be asking Roger these questions?

  8. Rebel Heart 8

    (3) If America invades Iran, should New Zealand send combat troops?

    Don’t bother asking this one, Rodney was on Radio Live a few weeks ago and I called up asking him whether ACT’s position was still the same as in 2003 – he replied that ACT have retracted from that stance and admitted that Clark’s decision not to support the war back then was right.

  9. Phil 9

    Q’s for Roddy

    1) How do you react to criticism that this parliamentary term has seen you focus more on dancing than politics?

    2) What does Roger Douglas actually bring to the ACT party?

    3) Poll results suggest that more than one minor party is likely to be required for either National or Labour to govern. Assuming ACT sides with National, which otehr parties do you feel you can work most constructively with?

  10. Ohh – good questions Phil. Especially the last one.

  11. Tane 11

    Phil, in answer to your query, we wanted the questions to be topical and to speak to a broader issue. They also have to be questions that one could give a reasonable and intelligent answer to.

    The question about erosion of freedoms fits this category because it speaks to the EFA, the section 59 debate, smoking in bars etc. It’s a major and topical issue that will impact on the election, and I’d be interested to hear what Clark has to say about it. It’s hardly a patsy.

    The MMP question is also topical, given the disquiet from the recent disquiet from the right on the issue, and I think it’ll generate an interesting answer.

    While we all have our biases, we will endeavor to make sure all the leaders interviewed are treated fairly.

  12. Millsy 12

    My question:

    To achieve your ‘bottom line’ of a removal of the top tax rate, what cuts to social services, (health, education, welfare, state housing) will you make to pay for this?

    (BTW: Nice blog!)

  13. Matthew Pilott 13

    What would your ideal government look like, and how is this reflected in your policies? To what degree do you feel political pragmatism is required to help ACT appeal to voters?

  14. AndrewE 14

    I’ll release my question for any of Robs! They were much better than mine.

  15. MikeE 15

    Reminder: tough but fair.

    Would be nice if the left wing politicians had this requirement rather than the patsy ones.

    I think this would give the standard much more credibility on this series (which I think is a good idea, providing all the leaders are aksed the hard questions).

  16. AncientGeek 16

    The MMP question is also topical, given the disquiet from the recent disquiet from the right on the issue, and I think it’ll generate an interesting answer.

    Especially since Helen (from memory) was against MMP in 1993. I was as well – but I’ve come to rather like its peculiar charms. It seems to have made an almost eternal political conversation starter at dinner parties. It is the political equivalent of who is going to sleep with whom… 🙂

  17. r0b 17

    I’d say ask your questions AndrewE. I tend to think other people’s questions are much better than mine – I think we all do that. Let the editors decide – they need plenty to choose from!

  18. Phil 18

    Tane,

    Thanks for the clarification. I think my concern is mainly the “why am I wrong?” element of the question. Maybe all it needed was a bit of rewording?

    Regardless, i’m still eager to see the response

    =)

  19. Steve Pierson 19

    The wording of questions isn’t always optimal but we wouldn’t change them because that would juat get attacks from the right too.

    We aim to have one question from the right and one from the left. They have to be answerable (not just attacks or patsys), and not answerable in one-word. we also look for topical ones.

  20. pixie66 20

    Imagine Act finds itself in a coalition which also includes the Greens. Where, if anywhere, would you find the common ground between the two parties?

  21. Mr Hide…

    “What right does the government have to tell a private shareholder who they can or cannot sell their shares to? and “Do you think the government decision will give New Zealanders second thoughts about investing in the stock market?

  22. Matthew Pilott 22

    Brett, I thought we weren’t after patsy questions – would you be volunteering to give Hide a back rub after asking this one? 😉

  23. Steve Pierson 23

    Brett. Why don’t you ask, ‘what is the place of government in the marketplace?’ or ‘what would be your priorities in government in terms of commerical regulation’

    those are rightwing questions, he’ll give you the kind of answer you’re looking for but it’s not a patsy.As your question standas, you’ve practically written the answer for him in the question and just plain given him a stick to beat the government. we’re looking for more interesting questions than that.

  24. Freelander 24

    Do you consider yourself a libertarian? If not, why not? If so, why do you not work more closely with the Libertarianz?

  25. MikeE 25

    Another question for the standard – have any of the leaders actually been asked about this? or is the standard just making a represeantion that the party leaders are all on side with the “interviews”

    [we contacted about half the leaders’ offices before launching the series so we knew we would have responses. Our email to the leaders with the questions also explains the series and links to the interviews, so they have time to learn about it and ask us any questions before supplying their responses, which are due a week later. We never made a “represeantion that the party leaders are all on side with the “interviews”” but we believe all leaders will respond, and if they don’t their responses will be published blank. why such a grump, mike? SP]

  26. Jum 26

    Rodney,

    With Roger Douglas on board, will you be implementing his – and Act’s? – intention (written in one of his books) to close down women’s refuges, if you get into government?

    (I can supply the title and the page number if necessary).

  27. burt 27

    Question for Rodney

    Would ACT implement tax deductibility for private health and education fees in recognition that by purchasing these services privately tax payers are funding a system that they do not use?

    [lprent: perhaps you should rephrase that sentence – I’m pretty sure that you have achieved the exact opposite of what you intended.]

  28. burt 28

    Steve P

    Actually it might be a good idea to couch that question to Rodney in the context of a school voucher system. School zones and classroom sizes are a natural compliment to that discussion. I’d be interested to know if Rodney supported current classroom sizes as acceptable and if he thought teachers should be paid a lot more to stop them leaving NZ.

  29. burt 29

    lpren

    Would ACT implement tax deductibility for private health and education fees in recognition that by purchasing these services privately tax payers are funding the public system that they do not use.

    These tax payers are already providing capacity for others who are not paying their full share of social policy costs so do ACT think it’s fair to let them deduct additional health/education expenses from their gross income.

    To be fair the question was worded poorly. It’s a question to see how well thought out ACT policy is on creating some equity in the govt funder/provider split. How committed they are to move away from the current system where everybody pays for it, not all use it. People who do use it (less people than pay for it) are meet with long waiting lists/large classroom sizes. Meanwhile people who can afford to pay for private services pay the additional costs using tax paid money.

  30. lprent 30

    I know. Just thought I’d better point out the wording before someone else did.

    The origional wording implied that you were paying for private health insurance and education fees without using them.

  31. Gooner 31

    Rodney, if you had to vote in favour of one policy you were stridently against in order to get one of your policies implemented, could you do it, and if so how would you sell that pragmatism to your supporters.

  32. Rodney – given you are an advocate of user pays health and education but having been in receipt of both yourself will you be writing a cheque to the state to cover these costs any time soon? And if not why not?

  33. Tane 33

    MikeE – all you’ve done on this thread is bitch and moan. Why not be constructive and ask a question?

Links to post

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Saudi sheep deal still stinks
    Documents released today confirm Treasury were not aware of any threat of legal action from a Saudi businessman to justify the Government handing over millions of dollars in taxpayers’ money, Labour MP David Parker says. “Almost $12 million has been ...
    8 hours ago
  • Assaults up over the past year
    The Government needs to take a good look at the latest statistics  out today from the Statistics Department that shows there were 3,000 more assaults in 2015-16 than the previous year, says Labour’s Police spokesperson Stuart Nash.  “That  is a ...
    9 hours ago
  • More last minute policy from a Government with no housing plan
    Paula Bennett’s policy to fund $9 million worth of support services is much-needed help for the homeless but smacks of yet another last minute, short-sighted and piecemeal decision, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. “Funding services for two years ...
    13 hours ago
  • SFO given more info on ex Ministry staffer
    More information on the background and past activities of a former senior Ministry of Transport manager, being investigated for alleged fraud, is coming to light, Labour’s Transport Spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “Today, I have ensured that information on Joanne Harrison’s ...
    15 hours ago
  • Petition for free vote on Shop Trading Hours Bill
    “Labour is petitioning the Government to allow National Party MPs to have a free vote over Easter shop trading legislation, says Pacific Island Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio.  “The Bill which allows shop trading on Easter Sundays has just had ...
    1 day ago
  • Council must build on heritage, not destroy it
    Auckland Council must move to ensure there are heritage protections in place following recommendations that demolition restrictions be tossed out, Labour’s Arts, Culture and Heritage spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. The panel considering the Unitary Plan has recommended removing partial protections ...
    1 day ago
  • Numbers of Māori waiting for homes grows
    With the number of Māori households waiting for homes increasing by more than 20 per cent in the past year, it’s time the Māori Party admits its support of the Government’s state house sell-off has made life worse for whānau, ...
    1 day ago
  • Children’s ministry, but only for some
    The Government is stigmatising a whole cohort of young New Zealanders while leaving others behind with its creation of a Ministry for Vulnerable Children, Labour’s Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. “Confirmation of the move by Hekia Parata, an acting Minister, ...
    2 days ago
  • QUESTIONS FOR (ORAL) ANSWER – Thursday 28TH OF JULY
    While Parliament might be in recess, there are still plenty of things that Ministers need to answer for. So the Labour team has put together six of the best questions that the Government should be answering today (plus a special ...
    2 days ago
  • Fee fi fo fum…tax swindle comes undone
    At the same time the Government is looking to pump more cash into private schools the IRD is investigating several over a tax swindle which allows parents to falsely claim private school fees as donations and claim a rebate, Labour’s ...
    2 days ago
  • Government scuppers affordability requirements
    The Government must explain why the panel considering Auckland’s unitary plan removed affordability requirements at the behest of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and Housing NZ, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. “Labour welcomes the Independent Hearing ...
    2 days ago
  • National pushes on with failed state house sell-off
    Merchant bankers, overseas companies and property developers will be lining up to buy 364 state houses in Horowhenua during two days of “market sounding” meetings starting tomorrow, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. “Despite a housing crisis and families ...
    3 days ago
  • QUESTIONS FOR (ORAL) ANSWER- WEDNESDAY 27TH OF JULY
    While Parliament might be in recess, there are still plenty of things that Ministers need to answer for. So the Labour team has put together six of the best questions that the Government should be answering today (plus a special ...
    3 days ago
  • Andrew Little’s International Affairs Speech
    Tena Koutou Katoa Can I begin by acknowledging: Sir Doug Kidd, President, NZ Institute of International Affairs Maty Nikkhou-O’Brien, Executive Director, who did all the organising for today’s event. Labour’s foreign affairs spokesperson David Shearer. Victoria University of Wellington law ...
    3 days ago
  • Inquiry into surgical mesh needed now
    The Government must urgently launch a Ministerial inquiry into surgical mesh after more than 500 patients have lodged claims of complications with the ACC, say Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King.  “This is the most widespread crisis involving surgical devices in ...
    3 days ago
  • Crime on the increase yet again
    Police Minister Judith Collins’ contention that crime is falling has proven to be wrong yet again, with latest Police statistics showing an increase in most crimes, Labour’s Police spokesperson Stuart Nash says. “Figures for June 2016 show an increase in ...
    3 days ago
  • Major reform of careers and apprenticeships to meet Future of Work
    The next Labour Government will transform careers advice in high schools to ensure every student has a personalised career plan, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. “Today I am announcing the next Labour Government will commit to a major ...
    3 days ago
  • DOC struggles on the pest front undermine Nats’ predator-free promise
    The Government’s planned predator-free initiative comes at the same time as the Department of Conservation is facing major challenges to keep pest numbers down, says Labour’s Conservation spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta.  “DOC’s annual report shows it failed on 5 out of ...
    3 days ago
  • QUESTIONS FOR (ORAL) ANSWER- TUESDAY 26TH OF JULY
    While Parliament might be in recess, there are still plenty of things that Ministers need to answer for. So the Labour team has put together six of the best questions that the Government should be answering today (plus a special ...
    4 days ago
  • Unfunded CYF a ticking time bomb
    The Ministry of Social Development is sitting on a ticking time bomb with Child, Youth and Family out of pocket by $56 million despite increased demand for its services, Labour’s Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. “The new entity that’s replacing ...
    4 days ago
  • Lack of any real funding in predator free proposal
    Predator Free New Zealand is a laudable idea but the Government has not committed any real money into killing New Zealand’s pests, says Labour’s Conservation spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta.  “The $28 million earmarked for this project is just to set up ...
    4 days ago
  • Andrew Little Speech to LGNZ Conference
    Thank you for having me here today. Local Government New Zealand’s work of advocating for New Zealand’s 78 local councils is critical as we upgrade New Zealand’s economy, and make sure it’s delivering for all our people. Whether in Auckland, ...
    4 days ago
  • John Key must sack out-of-depth Trade Minister
    The Prime Minister must sack Todd McClay for failing to do his job as Trade Minister and be on top of a significant potential threat to some of our biggest exporters, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “Todd McClay is clearly ...
    4 days ago
  • 45,000 Kiwis sent back to their GPs
    Last year nearly 45,000 Kiwis were sent back to their GPs without getting to see specialists they were referred to, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King. “This is a shocking figure and underlines how far the cut of $1.7 billion ...
    4 days ago
  • Half a million smells like pure cronyism
    The National/ACT Government’s decision to pump hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars into a new lobby group to advocate for charter schools shows just how much of a failure their ideological experiment has become, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. ...
    5 days ago
  • Select committee changes Kermadec/Rangitāhua Ocean Sanctuary Bill
    Photo by Tom Hitchon Parliament’s Local Government and Environment Committee has made many changes to the Kermadec/Rangitāhua Ocean Sanctuary Bill in response to public submissions, particularly submissions from iwi authorities and Te Ohu Kaimoana.   Read the amended Bill and the ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage
    6 days ago
  • Housing map a hit as crisis spreads across NZ
    More than 55,000 New Zealanders have used Labour’s interactive housing map in its first week to see how the housing crisis is affecting their local community, Labour Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “Our innovative map shows the housing crisis is ...
    1 week ago
  • Bridges must come clean about fraud within transport
    Hundreds of thousands of dollars of public money have gone missing and  the Minister of Transport, Simon Bridges must come clean after the Labour party revealed that a senior manager is being investigated for serious fraud, says Labour’s Transport Spokesperson ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour supports Spencer victory
    Labour congratulates Margaret Spencer for her tireless efforts in challenging the Government over family carer rights, says Labour’s Deputy Leader Annette King. ...
    1 week ago
  • US Warship visit welcomed by Labour
    Labour sees the United States warship visit as a red letter day for New Zealand’s non-nuclear status, which is core to our identity and has defined us a nation for 30 years, says Labour’s Deputy Leader Annette King. ...
    1 week ago
  • Time for honest dairy sector conversation
    ...
    1 week ago
  • What next? Dog kennels?
    Social Housing Minister Paula Bennett needs to explain why the Government thinks it is acceptable for it to refer families to live in garages and sheds, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “This is a new low, just when you ...
    1 week ago
  • Banks bust a move, Government possum in the headlights
    Three of the big four banks have acted responsibly by bringing the shutters down on property speculators earlier than required by the Reserve Bank, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “It’s a shame the Government isn’t as motivated to act ...
    1 week ago
  • Latest OECD dairy forecast raises serious questions for economy
    The latest global dairy price forecast shows that New Zealand dairy farmers will not reach a break-even payout before 2019 at the earliest, and will not reach the dairy price factored into this year’s Budget until after 2025, Labour’s Finance spokesperson ...
    1 week ago
  • National’s reckless, out of touch approach to economy exposed
    Today’s economic assessment from the Reserve Bank highlights the danger to the New Zealand economy from a National government that is recklessly complacent in the face of a housing crisis and a struggling export sector, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. ...
    1 week ago
  • GP’s visits get more expensive
      Visiting the GP is set to become more expensive after the Government ignored warnings that people were not receiving access to affordable  healthcare, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King.  “Over 400,000 New Zealanders who should be able to access ...
    1 week ago
  • Farm prices bear brunt of dairy downturn
    The slump in dairy prices that has seen farm prices drop to their lowest level since 2012 and down a third from their peak in 2014 will be of concern to farmers, banks and our overall financial stability, Labour’s Finance ...
    1 week ago
  • Reserve Bank “gets on with it”, National carries on in denial
    The proposal by the Reserve Bank to tighten loan to value ratios for investors shows they are prepared to do their bit to crack down on speculators, while National is still stuck in denial mode, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Housing crisis holds up interest rate cuts
    The housing crisis that National still wants to deny is stifling the New Zealand economy, says Labour’s Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson. “The latest Consumers Price Index shows that all prices excluding housing and household utilities decreased 0.5 per cent – ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Housing crisis holds up interest rate cuts
    The housing crisis that National still wants to deny is stifling the New Zealand economy, says Labour’s Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson. “The latest Consumers Price Index shows that all prices excluding housing and household utilities decreased 0.5 per cent – ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Govt’s state house sell-off ramping up
    Government plans to ramp up the state house sell-off by selling another 1000 houses in 2016/17 will mean more families in need missing out, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. “New figures show the Government plans to sell 1000 ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Govt’s state house sell-off ramping up
    Government plans to ramp up the state house sell-off by selling another 1000 houses in 2016/17 will mean more families in need missing out, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. “New figures show the Government plans to sell 1000 ...
    2 weeks ago
  • National must reassure exporters on dumping case
        The National Government needs to show our key exporters that they are in control of any anti-dumping case against China before it damages some of our most important industries, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says.     ...
    2 weeks ago
  • National must reassure exporters on dumping case
        The National Government needs to show our key exporters that they are in control of any anti-dumping case against China before it damages some of our most important industries, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says.     ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Papers describe litany of incredulity
    Treasury documents which slate the Government’s plans for a national bowel screening programme confirm the proposal was nothing more than a political stunt to cover up underfunding of the health sector, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette Kings says.  The papers were ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Effect of rampant house prices widens
    The latest house price figures from REINZ show the housing crisis expanding throughout the country, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “We are seeing steep increases in median house prices in Central Otago Lakes – up 42.4% in the last ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Public invited to have say on homelessness
    People who are homeless, those who were once homeless, those working with the homeless and concerned New Zealanders are being asked to share their experiences and solutions to this growing issue with the Cross-Party Homelessness Inquiry. This inquiry was launched ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Sorry seems to be the hardest word
    An apology from Hekia Parata to the people of Christchurch is long overdue, Labour's Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. "As if the earthquakes weren't traumatic enough, Hekia Parata and the Ministry of Education then attacked the one thing that had ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Housing crisis affecting more than 98 per cent of NZ
    Labour’s new housing map shows the housing crisis is now affecting more than 98 per cent of New Zealand, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. “Housing pressures have seen house prices rise faster than wages in all but four ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Uber might not be a taxi firm but it must pay tax
    Uber needs to explain how it paid only $9000 in tax when it earned $1m in revenue and is one of the fastest growing companies in the country, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Uber New Zealand appears to be ...
    2 weeks ago

Public service advertisements by The Standard

Current CO2 level in the atmosphere