by Simon O’Connor, National MP
By now, you will all hopefully know about the government forcing through its changed to Three Waters and to the RMA. Last week, Labour moved the parliament into Urgency to ram through is very contentious Three Waters legislation. While they have made a few changes, these do not take away form the core problems of the law which is creating a highly bureaucratic system and one divided by race. The good news is that National will repeal within the first 100 days of winning the election.
The same is true around the Resource Management Act (RMA) changes. Labour has passed two laws to replace the RMA. All this will do is make an already grindingly slow system, stall. So many new, quasi-spiritual concepts, are introduced that is going to take courts, developers, home owners, and you and me years and lots of money to work through. Again, National will repeal within the first 100 days, returning to the old RMA and then working on a few fit for purpose set of laws.
Alongside this, Labour have also announced two other crazy policies and ideas. One is around reducing the voting age (in council elections) to 16 and other around a 12 cents a litre fuel tax. The proposed legislation around 16 year olds voting in council elections was dropped late on Thursday last week, with no press release or anything. It won’t surprise you that I don’t support the idea for many reasons, but the key take away is a government that is clearly now paranoid and desperate. If Labour was confident of its ideas, then why try and slip the law into Parliament without comment? Put another way, why is this “most open and transparent government ever” so secretive?
As for the new twelve cents a litre tax on fuel, this is based on Labour’s new transport policies. As you will anticipate, the new tax is to pay for their proposals. But as we know, Labour hasn’t and cannot deliver anything. If we take just transport, they have talked big about the light rail to the airport or a cycleway over the Harbour Bridge and yet done absolutely nothing — other than spend millions on consultants.
In contrast, and as I write, National has just announced it will fund thirteen new pharmaceuticals for cancer treatment. New Zealand is already way behind when it comes to other countries in this space, so this is a really positive step forward. You can read more at www.national.org.nz/cancer