web analytics
The Standard

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

  • Housing crisis hurting export growth
    If Steven Joyce wants to revive his failing export growth target he needs to make sure the Government gets to grips with the housing crisis, says David Parker, Labour’s Export Growth and Trade spokesperson. “Our exporters are struggling to compete… ...
    2 days ago
  • Gallipoli’s lesson: never forget, never repeat
     A special monument to one of our greatest war heroes should be a priority for the new Pukeahu National War Memorial Park, Labour Leader Andrew Little says.  “This will honour the spirit of Lieutenant Colonel William Malone, who led 760… ...
    2 days ago
  • Minister for who? Women, or Team Key?
    Louise Upston yesterday broke her silence on John Key’s repeated unwanted touching of a woman who works at his local café, to jump to the defence of her Boss. Upston repeated Key’s apology but, according to media reports “she refused… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    2 days ago
  • Taxpayer bucks backing US billionaire
    Kiwis will be horrified to know they are backing a Team Oracle subsidiary owned by a US billionaire, Labour’s Sports and Recreation spokesperson Trevor Mallard says. It has been revealed today that a Warkworth boat building company, which is wholly… ...
    3 days ago
  • English’s sins of omission: ‘Nothing left to be done’ on housing
    When Bill English said ‘there is nothing left to be done’ on the Auckland housing crisis he had overlooked a few things – a few things, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says.  “He’s right if you ignore: ...
    3 days ago
  • Climate change now hurts Kiwis
    Kiwis have twice been given timely and grave warnings on how climate change will hit them in their hip pockets this week, says Climate Change spokesperson Megan Woods.  “The first is the closure of the Sanford mussel plant and the… ...
    3 days ago
  • Clean, green and chocolate!
    Like many people I absolutely love chocolate! But until recently I hadn’t given much thought to how it was grown and produced. Fair trade and ethical food production are core Green Party principles, so yesterday Steffan Browning and I were… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers MP
    3 days ago
  • National admits loan shark law not up to it
    National has admitted new laws to crack down on loan sharks, truck shops and dodgy credit merchants aren’t up to the task of protecting vulnerable consumers, Labour’s Commerce spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. “Paul Goldsmith has acknowledged the laws might just… ...
    3 days ago
  • Power and the Prime Minister
    I’d like to acknowledge the young woman* who has publically told her story. It was a very brave thing to do. She kept her story very simple and focussed on her experience of what happened. It told of unwanted attention… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    3 days ago
  • Extra holiday offers time to reflect
    The Mondayisation of Anzac Day provides New Zealanders with an opportunity to spend more time with their families and their communities, Dunedin North Labour MP David Clark says. “This is the first time legislation I introduced, to have Anzac and… ...
    3 days ago
  • More angst and anguish for red zone locals
    Local residents will be bitterly disappointed by the Government’s cherry picking of the Supreme Court’s decision regarding compensation for red zoned property owners, Labour Canterbury Earthquake Recovery spokesperson and Port Hills MP Ruth Dyson says. “Home owners have taken all… ...
    4 days ago
  • Australia shows why we need a sovereign wealth fund now
    Australia has not managed its great mining boom well, says HSBC’s chief economist for Australia and New Zealand, Paul Bloxham. When times are good, governments need to save for the bad times that will inevitably follow, and this can be… ...
    GreensBy Russel Norman MP
    4 days ago
  • Pure Water- pure rip off
    New Zealanders’ rights to fresh water must be protected before commercial allocations are given, but the Government is allowing resources to be taken, says Kelvin Davis MP for Te Tai Tokerau.  “The Government needs to resolve the issue of water… ...
    4 days ago
  • Cabinet paper reveals weak case for Iraq deployment
    A heavily redacted copy of a Cabinet paper on New Zealand’s military deployment to Iraq reveals how weak the case is for military involvement in that conflict, says Labour’s Defence spokesperson Phil Goff.  The paper warns that given the failure… ...
    4 days ago
  • Malaysia’s booty is Kiwis’ lost homeownership dream
    It’s unsurprising the Auckland property market is so overheated when Malaysians are being told they can live large on Kiwi’s hard-earned rent money, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “A Malaysian property website lists nearly 4000 New Zealand houses and… ...
    4 days ago
  • Ministry’s food safety resources slashed to the bone
    The Ministry for Primary Industries’ failure to monitor toxic and illegal chemicals in red meat is a dereliction of duty, Labour’s Primary Industries and Food Safety spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “MPI compliance officer Gary Orr today admitted National’s much-vaunted super… ...
    4 days ago
  • Ministry must protect organic food industry
    The Ministry for Primary Industries must take urgent action to protect New Zealand’s $150 million organic food and beverage industry by establishing a certification regime, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “Despite working with Organics Aotearoa on the issue… ...
    5 days ago
  • Tony Abbott, indigenous rights, and refugees
    This week, Tony Abbott has visited Aotearoa New Zealand, bringing with him his racist policies against indigenous Australians and his appalling record on refugee detention camps. Abbott has launched a policy “to close” remote aboriginal communities, which is about as… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    5 days ago
  • PM’s housing outburst bizarre
    Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford has described the Prime Minister’s latest comments on the Auckland housing crisis as bizarre. “John Key is deep in denial. He must be one of the only people left who are not concerned about the risk… ...
    6 days ago
  • Deflation: Another economic headache linked to housing crisis
    National’s housing crisis is causing even further damage with the second consecutive quarter of deflation a genuine concern the Reserve Bank can do little about, as it focusses on Auckland house prices, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “This is… ...
    6 days ago
  • Pot calling the kettle black over fossil fuel subsidies.
    Over the weekend alongside nine other countries the New Zealand Government has endorsed a statement that supports eliminating inefficient subsidies on fossil fuels. Fossil fuel subsidies are a big driver of increasing emissions. Good on the Government for working internationally… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
    6 days ago
  • At last – a common sense plan for Christchurch
    The Common Sense Plan for Christchurch released by The People’s Choice today is a welcome relief from the shallow debate about rates rises versus asset sales, Labour’s Christchurch MPs say. "Local residents – who have spent weeks trawling through the… ...
    1 week ago
  • National must lead by example on climate change
    The National Government must meet its own climate change obligations before it preaches to the rest of the world, Labour's Climate Change spokesperson Megan Woods says. "Calls today by Climate Change Minister Tim Groser for an end to fossil fuel… ...
    1 week ago
  • Biosecurity rethink a long time
    The Government has opened New Zealand’s borders to biosecurity risks and its rethinking of bag screening at airports is an admission of failure, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. Nathan Guy today announced a review of biosecurity systems in… ...
    1 week ago
  • Chinese rail workers must be paid minimum wage
    KiwiRail must immediately stop further Chinese engineers from working here until they can guarantee they are being paid the New Zealand minimum wage, Labour’s MP for Hutt South Trevor Mallard says. The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment today released… ...
    1 week ago
  • Better consultation needed on Christchurch asset sales
    The Christchurch City Council (CCC) should be promoting wide and genuine public consultation on its draft ten year budget and plan given the serious implications for the city’s future of its proposed asset sales, outlined in the plan. Instead, it… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    1 week ago
  • ‘Healthy Families’ a good start but not enough to tackle obesity relate...
    Today the Government is making a the meal out of the launch of its ‘Healthy Families’ package to promote ‘healthier decisions’ and ‘changing mindsets’ over nutrition, physical activity and obesity. Great! The programme is based on a successful model from… ...
    GreensBy Kevin Hague MP
    1 week ago
  • ‘Healthy Families’ a good start but not enough to tackle obesity relate...
    Today the Government is making a the meal out of the launch of its ‘Healthy Families’ package to promote ‘healthier decisions’ and ‘changing mindsets’ over nutrition, physical activity and obesity. Great! The programme is based on a successful model from… ...
    GreensBy Kevin Hague MP
    1 week ago
  • No more sweet talk on obesity
    The Government should be looking at broader measures to combat obesity rather than re-hashing pre-announced initiatives, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says.  “While it is encouraging to see the Government finally waking from its slumber and restoring a focus on… ...
    1 week ago
  • Government two-faced on zero-hour contracts
    The Government should look to ban zero-hour contracts in its own back yard before getting too high and mighty about other employers using them, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Information collated by Labour shows at least three district health… ...
    1 week ago
  • Scrutiny of battlefield deaths should continue
    As New Zealand troops head to Iraq under a shroud of secrecy, the Government is pushing ahead with legislation to remove independent scrutiny of incidents where Kiwi soldiers are killed in hostile action overseas, Labour’s Defence spokesperson Phil Goff says.… ...
    1 week ago
  • Damp-free homes a right for tenants
    Labour is urging tenants to use a little known rule which gives them the right to live in damp-free rental homes. Otago University researchers have today highlighted the Housing Improvement Regulations 1947 as a way tenants can force landlords to… ...
    1 week ago
  • National must take action on speculators
    The Government must take action on property speculators who are damaging the housing market and shutting families and young people out of the home ownership dream, Labour Leader Andrew Little says.  “There are a number of options the Government could… ...
    1 week ago
  • Milk price halves: A $7b economic black hole
    Global milk prices have halved since the peak last year, creating an economic black hole of almost $7 billion that will suck in regions reliant on dairy, crucial industries and the Government’s books, says Labour’s Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson. “The… ...
    1 week ago
  • Kitchen plan set to swallow up health boards’ funds
    The financial impacts of implementing a proposal to outsource hospital food, forced on them by a crown-owned company which is now facing an auditor-general’s inquiry, are being felt by district health boards across the country, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Reserve Bank scathing of Government
    The Reserve Bank’s most scathing critique to date of National’s inability to handle the housing crisis shows the Bank is sick of having to pick up the pieces, Labour Leader Andrew Little says.  “John Key continues to deny there is… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Time for McDonald’s to upsize work hours
    Labour is calling on McDonald’s to have more respect for their workers and offer them more guaranteed work hours. McDonald’s is proposing to guarantee its workers 80 per cent of their rostered hours, Labour’s spokesperson for Labour Issues Iain Lees-Galloway… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Brownlee misses the boat on asbestos
    Gerry Brownlee has once again missed an opportunity to improve the lives of Cantabrians post-earthquakes, Labour’s Canterbury Earthquake Recovery spokesperson Ruth Dyson says. A new report from the Royal Society of New Zealand and the Prime Minister’s Chief Science Adviser,… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government must come clean on troop deployment and protections
    New Zealanders deserve more than to hear about their troops’ deployment overseas from Australian media, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “News from Australia that Kiwi troops are on their way to Iraq this week is another example of the culture… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Cancer prevention calls gain momentum
    Research showing bowel cancer treatment sucks up more public health dollars than other cancers once again highlights the need for a national screening programme, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. A study by Otago University, which found colon cancer is… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Burger King shows zero-hour contracts not needed
    The abandonment of zero-hour contracts by Burger King is further evidence good employers do not need to use them, Labour’s spokesperson on Labour Issues Iain Lees-Galloway says. "Congratulations to the Unite Union and Burger King for settling an employment agreement… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Kiwis deserve more than reheats
    The Government looks set to rely on regurgitated announcements for this year’s Budget if today’s speech is anything to go by, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “National has been building up to this Budget for seven long years, promising a… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Landlords not cashing in on insulation schemes
    The fact so few landlords have taken up the generous taxpayer subsidy for retrofitting shows it is time to legislate minimum standards, says Labour’s Associate Housing spokesperson Poto Williams. “Many landlords aren’t using Government insulation schemes because they don’t want… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Zero excuses, end zero hour contracts now
    It’s time Workplace Relations Minister Michael Woodhouse cut the weasel words and banned zero hour contracts, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “Michael Woodhouse today acknowledged zero hour contracts are unfair. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • We’ve reached Peak Key with ‘artificial target’
    John Key’s attempt to redefine his cornerstone promise of two election campaigns as an artificial target suggests his other promises are works of fiction, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “For seven years and two election campaigns, John Key has… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Top 10 need to know facts on climate change
    All the numbers and stats around climate change can be confusing, so we’ve put together a handy list of the top 10 numbers about climate change that we should all know- and then do something about. You can sign up here to… ...
    GreensBy Frog
    2 weeks ago
  • Campbell Live a bastion of investigative journalism
    The announcement that current affairs programme Campbell Live is under review and may be axed has sparked outrage from the New Zealand public, for good reason, says Labour’s Broadcasting Spokesperson Clare Curran. “Investigative journalism is a precious resource in today’s… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Ground Zero for ‘disastrous’ contracts
    Yesterday the Green Party called on the Government to follow the leadership of Restaurant Brands and ditch zero-hour contracts. Currently it looks like the Government is a large part of the zero-hours problem. It allows these types of “non-jobs” to… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Trust in National will disappear with deficit
    Bill English is set to break his promise to get the books back in the black this year and lose the trust of Kiwis who have had to do it too hard for too long, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Dorothy Jelicich passes away
    It is with sincere sadness that the Labour Party conveys its sympathies and condolences to the bereaved family of Dorothy Jelicich who passed away last night at the age of 87 years, says the MP for Mangere, Su’a William Sio.… ...
    2 weeks ago

Public service advertisements by The Standard

Current CO2 level in the atmosphere