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

  • How many victims missing out on protection?
    Hundreds of domestic abuse victims could be missing out on getting protection orders because they are unable to get legal aid, Labour’s Justice spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.“In the last two years some 351 people who applied for legal aid for… ...
    23 hours ago
  • Government kicks hardworking whanau
    A major incentive to help young Kiwis and people on low incomes to start saving has been kicked out from under them with the National-led Government ramming through short-sighted legislation under Urgency today, Labour’s Maori Development Spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta says.… ...
    23 hours ago
  • Speculator tax political stunt gone wrong
    Bill English’s admission he doesn’t know whether National’s new speculator tax will have any effect shows last weekend’s announcement by the Prime Minister was a desperate political stunt, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “This Government is so desperate to… ...
    1 day ago
  • The value of parenting
    This week, as part of the Budget, the government introduced a bill to address child poverty. This bill will require parents receiving income support to look for part-time work once their youngest child is three years of age rather than… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    1 day ago
  • Another new tax, another broken promise
    National has unveiled yet another new tax in this budget – a rural broadband levy that will almost certainly result in an immediate price hike for internet and telephone connections across New Zealand, Labour’s ICT spokesperson Clare Curran said “The… ...
    2 days ago
  • Anniversary of Sri Lankan Tamil Massacre
    This is not going to be a happy story but if the Green Party of Aotearoa doesn’t want to know who else will? May 18th marks the anniversary of what is known as the ‘Mullivaikal massacre’ of Tamils in 2009 at… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    2 days ago
  • Labour MPs join youth to take part in 40 hour famine
    A team of Labour MPs took part in the 2015 World Vision 40 hour famine and we were told by World Vision and the young people, that it was the first time MPs had joined them and how appreciative they… ...
    2 days ago
  • Rodeo: ‘Family entertainment’ or animal abuse?
    Recently  TVNZ ran a story with confronting footage showing rodeo animals being punched, repeatedly shocked with electronic prods and having their tails violently twisted over their backs. It was clear that significant force was being used behind the scenes to make… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers MP
    2 days ago
  • Budget puts the squeeze on police
    The Government has cut funding to the New Zealand police force in the latest Budget, says Labour’s Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “The reduction is a whopping $15.3 million that could put front line officers at risk. ...
    2 days ago
  • Crucial social services take another hit
    The Government looks set to slash half a million dollars of funding for critical social services, including Women’s Refuge and Barnados, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni “Taking $500,000 from organisations aimed at improving the lives of vulnerable families… ...
    2 days ago
  • Saying it Loud on Climate in Christchurch
    The Government’s Christchurch consultation meeting on New Zealand’s emission targets was inspiring – not for what was in the Ministry for the Environment’s (MFE’s) defeatist video about the obstacles to changing to a low carbon future, but for what the… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    2 days ago
  • Budget silent on small business
    The Government has completely ignored one of the most important sectors of the economy – small and medium-sized enterprises – in Budget 2015, Labour’s Small Business spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. "A stunning 41 per cent of jobs were created by… ...
    2 days ago
  • Thank you John, it’s been bloody marvellous
    The departure of John Campbell is a blow to current affairs investigative journalism, Labour’s Broadcasting Spokesperson Clare Curran says. “Campbell Live stood out in its field. Its axing comes as local broadcasting in New Zealand remains in a state of… ...
    2 days ago
  • KiwiSaver cut shows no long-term plan
    National’s cutting of the KiwiSaver kickstart is incredibly short-term thinking, typical of a Budget that is woefully short on ideas to generate wealth and opportunity, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “New Zealand’s savings rate is far too low. KiwiSaver… ...
    2 days ago
  • National hits the panic button for its 7th Budget
    National has hit the panic button for its 7th Budget in a desperate attempt to look like they’re taking action to reduce our shameful child poverty rates, but they are giving with one hand and taking with the other, Opposition… ...
    3 days ago
  • Panic and back-flips can’t hide twin deficits
    National’s token measures to fight fires they have left burning for seven long years can’t hide a Budget that is long on broken promises, short on vision and fails to reach surplus, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “After being… ...
    3 days ago
  • Auckland land measure seven years too late
    National are so desperate to look like they are doing something about the Auckland housing crisis they have dusted off Labour’s 2008 inventory of government land available for housing and re-announced it, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Despite National… ...
    3 days ago
  • Access to gender reassignment surgery essential
    I was frankly disgusted to hear the Minister for Health say that funding gender reassignment surgeries is a “nutty idea”. A recent study found that in New Zealand 1% of young people identified themselves as transgender, and 3% were unsure… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    4 days ago
  • Global milk prices now lowest in 6 years
    The latest fall in the global dairy price has brought it to the lowest level in six years and shows there must be meaningful action in tomorrow’s Budget to diversify the economy, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Dairy prices… ...
    4 days ago
  • Big risks as CYF checks stopped
    Revelations that Child, Youth and Family is no longer assisting home-based early childhood educators by vetting potential employees should set alarm bells ringing, Labour Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. “Doing away with an extra mechanism for checking potential new employees… ...
    5 days ago
  • Housing crisis about real people not numbers
    The Government’s continued failure to tackle the housing crisis is seeing thousands of vulnerable Kiwis being kept off social housing waiting lists, while others, who are on the list, are being forced to live in cars and garages, says Labour’s… ...
    5 days ago
  • Housing crisis about real people not numbers
    The Government’s continued failure to tackle the housing crisis is seeing thousands of vulnerable Kiwis being kept off social housing waiting lists, while others, who are on the list, are being forced to live in cars and garages, says Labour’s… ...
    5 days ago
  • State of origin
    Kiwis are increasingly concerned about the food they give their families. New Zealand consumers have the right to know where their food has come from, particularly when it involves animals, and should be able to expect our Government to label… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    5 days ago
  • Relationships Aotearoa
    It is disturbing that Relationships Aotearoa, a voluntary organisation set up in 1949 to help couples struggling with their relationships following the upheavals of World War II, may be forced to close, says Acting Spokesperson for the Voluntary and Community… ...
    5 days ago
  • An economy that is just working for some is an economy that is not working
    The National Party presents itself as a great manager of the economy, but if the economy is only working for some we really need to question that assertion. Alongside the perpetually elusive surplus, the levels of risk in our economy are… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    5 days ago
  • An economy that is just working for some is an economy that is not working
    The National Party presents itself as a great manager of the economy, but if the economy is only working for some we really need to question that assertion. Alongside the perpetually elusive surplus, the levels of risk in our economy are… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    5 days ago
  • House prices to a crack $1 million in 17 months
    The average Auckland home is on track to cost $1 million in 17 months’ time if nothing substantial is done to rein in soaring price rises, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “Auckland’s house prices have skyrocketed 63 per cent… ...
    5 days ago
  • Vital support services can’t be left in lurch
    The National Government has big questions to answer about how a provider of services to thousands of vulnerable New Zealanders is set to fold, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. Relationships Aotearoa which provides support and counselling to families, individuals… ...
    6 days ago
  • Treasury and IRD on a capital gains tax
    Both the Treasury and IRD have been advising the National Government on the benefits of a capital gains tax. Documents released to the Green Party under an Official Information Act request show that John Key has been selective with the… ...
    GreensBy Russel Norman MP
    6 days ago
  • Charity legislation needs review
    It is unacceptable that the big corporate based charities claim  millions in annual income tax exemptions, while small community based and operated non-profit organisations  struggle to gain official charity status, Labour’s acting spokesperson for the Voluntary and Community Sector Louisa… ...
    6 days ago
  • John’s panic-Key response to housing crisis
    John Key needs to tell New Zealanders what caused his sudden change of heart that led to the Government’s scrambled and last-minute housing measures, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “The Prime Minister’s sudden rush of blood to his head followed… ...
    6 days ago
  • Keep our Assets Christchurch Campaign: An update
    I recently presented my submission to keep Christchurch Council assets at the Christchurch City Council’s public hearings on its 10 year plan on 13 May. The hearings are live-streamed and recorded so you can watch them on www.ccc.govt.nz. The Council’s… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    6 days ago
  • John Key finally admits there’s a housing crisis
    John Key’s weak measures to rein in the astronomical profits property speculators are making are an admission – finally – that there is a housing crisis, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “But yet again National is tinkering with the housing… ...
    1 week ago
  • Government stifles voices in CYFs review
    The Government’s exclusion of the Māori Women’s Welfare League in a panel on the future of CYFs is a cynical ploy to stifle views, says Labour’s Māori Development Spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta. “It's unbelievable that a significant review on the future… ...
    1 week ago
  • Speech to the Otago Chamber of Commerce
    Thank you very much for the opportunity to be here today. It’s a pleasure as always to be back in the town that raised me. Growing up in St Kilda meant that there was one thing that was a big… ...
    1 week ago
  • Key can’t just be Prime Minister for Parnell
    John Key must show New Zealanders in next week’s Budget that he is more than the Prime Minister for Parnell, and is also the Prime Minister for Pine Hill, Putararu and Palmerston North, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. In… ...
    1 week ago
  • Stop the conversions
    This week, some Waikato locals took me and intrepid photographer Amanda Rogers on a tour of some  lakes and waterways in their region, and up to the massive dairy conversions in the upper catchment of the Waikato River. It… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    1 week ago
  • More regional jobs go in Corrections reshape
    News that 194 Corrections staff are to lose their jobs will have ramifications not only for them and their families but for the wider community, Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. Prison units at Waikeria, Tongariro and Rimutaka face closure… ...
    1 week ago
  • Government’s climate meetings off to a bumpy start
    On Wednesday, I attended a hui and an evening meeting that the Government had organised in Nelson as part of its climate change consultation tour, to support the Nelson community telling the Government to take meaningful action on climate change.… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    1 week ago
  • Taxpayers the only ones left feeling blue
    Ministry of Social Development bosses could have saved themselves thousands of dollars in consultants’ fees by providing staff with rose-tinted spectacles, Labour’s State Services spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. A report out today reveals the Ministry is spending over half a… ...
    1 week ago
  • Why are the regions still facing restrictions?
    Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford is questioning why the regions should continue to be saddled with LVR lending restrictions announced by the Reserve Bank today. “Labour has been calling for the regions to be exempted from LVRs for the best… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • The high costs of weak environmental regulation
    Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere is described on the Department of Conservation website as “Canterbury’s largest and New Zealand’s fifth largest [lake], and an internationally important wildlife area.” But the lake is also polluted by nutrients leaching from farms in the catchment.… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Submissions to Wellington City Council on their Gambling Venues Policy
    Every three years Councils across the country are required to check that their gambling venue policies are still fit for purpose and they can choose to consult on their policy if they are thinking of making changes. Councils don’t have… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Reserve Bank action shows Govt out of touch and out of ideas
    The Reserve Bank’s unprecedented measures today show it understands the serious risks of the overheating housing market – in complete contrast to John Key’s refusal to acknowledge the crisis, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “The Bank is right to… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Send us your snaps: 25 Years of the Green Party
    This year we've hit a milestone. We're turning 25.To help celebrate a quarter of a century, please send us your photos from the last 25 years of the Green Party Aotearoa New Zealand! Note: Photos must be jpg, gif or… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • 25 Years of the Green Party
    This year the Green Party sends 25. To help us celebrate a quarter of a century please send us you photos of 25 years of the Green Party!Photos must be jpg,gif or png and smaller than 2MB. If you are… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Bay growth plan too little too late
    Today’s Bay of Plenty growth study from MBIE is another example of Government spin - lots of talk but little action, says Labour’s Regional Development spokesperson David Cunliffe.  “This is a region that desperately needs to develop the downstream processing… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government bows to ACC pressure
     The Government has finally buckled to pressure from Labour and the New Zealand public in making a half billion dollar cut to ACC levies, but the full benefits are two years away,” says Opposition Leader Andrew Little.  “$500 million over… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • False figures cloud Auckland transport facts
    The Prime Minister should apologise and issue a correction after both he and Transport Minister Simon Bridges have been caught out misrepresenting facts on Auckland’s transport spending, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. "Both John Key and Simon Bridges have… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Govt books confirm National can’t post surplus
    The last publication of the Government’s books before the budget shows National will break its promise of seven years and two election campaigns and fail to get the books in order, says Labour’s Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson. “The Government is… ...
    2 weeks ago

Public service advertisements by The Standard

Current CO2 level in the atmosphere