By Geoffrey Churchman
Although she has been a supporter of my council election bids since the 2015 Waikanae by-election, the first time I chatted with Amanda in person was outside the American Embassy in Thorndon a year ago where we were both protesting the treatment given to Wikileaks founder Julian Assange by the British Government at the behest of the federal government in Washington DC. Like me she thinks America should stop being the world’s self-appointed policeman with constant interference in other countries’ affairs.
She lives on a half-acre section with her husband and two teenage boys in the Hill Zone and her love of trees and animals is evident. As a trained veterinarian she worked extensively in the UK with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, helping to eradicate swine fever and foot and mouth disease, before returning to New Zealand in 2003.
On Monday her candidacy for the Otaki parliamentary seat at the September elections was officially announced by Social Credit of which she is deputy leader.
Older readers will remember the Social Credit Political League which was a feature of New Zealand politics from the 1954 General Election to the 1987 one when its then two MPs lost their seats. The Social Credit identity was then submerged and largely invisible.
This election Social Credit is back with the traditional message of using Reserve Bank credit rather than private banks to finance government programs. In the last few weeks full page newspaper ads have appeared outlining its monetary reform and other principles.
“The massive debt the government has taken on in the past few weeks will be used as another excuse for necessary things not to happen, but that need not be a barrier to a sensible funding arrangement to get them done” she says.
Rather than repeat the essentials of the Party’s financial polices here, I recommend readers go to the Party’s website.
Amanda appreciates that monetary reform isn’t itself enough to excite voters, who want to know what else the Party wants to see happen in the country. She has plenty of views on a range of central and local government issues, the most significant of which that we have in common are an end to Globalism which is the doctrine of PM Jacinda (and Labourites generally), replaced instead with nationalism with the objective of improving the lives of our citizens first before any migrants from the Third World. That includes ending the objectionable Trans-Pacific Partnership and all international arrangements that benefit global oligarchs rather than ordinary people. “The TPP agreement will provide miniscule benefit to New Zealand in comparison to the negatives of allowing even more of our land and businesses to be sold to overseas buyers and gives us reduced ability to control our own destiny as a country,” she says.
She also supports the right of Free Speech and deplores the government’s attacks on anti-establishment voices over the last 14 months as well as on law abiding firearms owners who were made the scapegoats for Police incompetence.
Unsurprisingly, as a vet and animal carer she is opposed to the use of 1080 eco-poison.
Perhaps most importantly, she agrees that NZ has an infrastructure crisis which has developed under successive Labour and National governments – in Kapiti, for example, we badly need a hospital, more schools and the extension of fast, comfortable electric commuter trains northwards.
She appreciates that the Party’s minimal presence in the media, which is dominated by Jacinda-Mania, will make it difficult for Social Credit to achieve elected MPs in the next Parliament, but she and leader Chris Leitch of Whangarei are going to work hard in the next 4 months to overcome that.