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Minister Welcomes Report On Role Of Local Government

Posted on 27 Nov 2008

Local Government Minster Rodney Hide today welcomed a report on the core role of local government released today by the Local Government Forum.

"The report identifies the core 'public good' activities that Councils need to focus on, and examines the way in which Councils have in recent years steadily expanded their role - at great expense to ratepayers - well beyond these core activities," Mr Hide said.

"The report reflects my view that Councils should stick to doing the basics well, and giving good value and service to ratepayers.

"While this was the view of successive governments over many years, the last government promoted a much more expansive view of Councils' activities by giving them wider purposes and a power of general competence.

"In many cases this has contributed to huge increases in spending and rates, which the government is determined to rein in to reduce the burden on households and businesses.

"I will be looking at ways of achieving this goal and I welcome constructive ideas. The Local Government Forum's report is an excellent contribution and I commend it to all interested parties in the local government sector," Mr Hide said.

ENDS

National And ACT's Victory For Democracy

Posted on 16 Nov 2008

National-ACT Confidence & Supply Agreement announcement; Parliament, Wellington; Sunday, November 16 2008

I see National and ACT's Confidence and Supply Agreement as a victory for democracy.
A week ago New Zealand voted for a Centre-Right government and today, with this historic agreement, we have one.

Agreement was achieved at an unbelievably quick pace. Tremendous ground was covered as a result - and only because - of the tremendous spirit of good faith and trust built up between my self and John Key during his time as Leader of the Opposition, and throughout the past week when he gained enormous respect from me with his openness and willingness to see the other's point of view.

All our discussions this week indicate we have the basis for a long-lasting and fruitful relationship based on that mutual respect.

This isn't an agreement cobbled together out of self-interest, but one developed through our shared vision to create a better and brighter future for New Zealand.

John Key and I have set the big goal of New Zealand closing the income gap with Australia by 2025. We aim to catch and match Australia. That's a stretch. It's what we need to do to bring our kids home.

We share the view of the need to make New Zealand safer. That's why ACT's 'Three strikes and You're Out' Law & Order policy for violent offenders will have National's support to a Select Committee. We look forward to New Zealanders getting behind this measure that will save lives.

On Climate Change we will review New Zealand's response with agreed draft terms of reference. The implementation of the Emissions Trading Scheme will be delayed until the review is completed, and the thermal generation ban will be repealed.

On spending, we will establish a series of task forces to undertake a fundamental review of base government spending in identified sectors. Capping core government spending will receive Select Committee consideration.

We have set a medium-term goal of setting the top rate of tax at 30 percent. In doing so, we have made the clear statement that New Zealand now has a government that will reward and celebrate success - not punish it.

National and ACT are committed to combating the red tape that's tying New Zealanders in knots, with John Key appointing me Minister of Regulatory Reform. We will establish a task force to carry forward work on the Regulatory Responsibility Bill, and we will explore the concept of a New Zealand Productivity Commission.

We have also agreed to take a long hard look at the Resource Management Act. Enough said: you'll find the details in our agreement.

On Education, school choice is on the new government's agenda.

I have mentioned but a few of the extraordinary joint initiatives that flow from our agreement today - initiatives that, I must stress, have only come to fruition through the good faith in which these discussions have taken place.

Last Saturday night I repeated to our next Prime Minister John Key my pre-election assurance of Confidence and Supply. Many commentators expressed the view that ACT had given away its bargaining power. Far from it.

We have found National to be respectful of our commitment to stable government. That has allowed us to produce and sign a document that I believe will allow John Key to lead a team - to which ACT will contribute - that will provide a clear direction for New Zealand through the challenging times ahead with a consistent and constant focus on the need to build the safer and more prosperous country that we all so desperately yearn for.

Thank you.

ENDS

ACT Congratulates Labour Leadership

Posted on 11 Nov 2008

ACT Leader Rodney Hide today congratulated the Hon Phil Goff on his appointment as Leader of the Labour Party, and the Hon Annette King as Deputy Leader.

"I would also like to recognise the extraordinary service that the Rt Hon Helen Clark and the Hon Dr Michael Cullen provided to the Labour Party and New Zealand," Mr Hide said.

"As Prime Minister, Helen Clark showed unfailing commitment to New Zealand and its people.

"Phil Goff and Annette King are politicians who clearly have the qualities required to lead the Labour Party. They are well respected, and we look forward to working with them for the good of our country.

"We don’t always agree, but I know Phil Goff and Annette King put their country first," Mr Hide said.

ENDS

Cash For Consulship

Posted on 29 Oct 2008

TVNZ's latest revelations of Winston Peters fishing for a consulship for Owen Glenn show all of New Zealand why Helen Clark and Winston Peters have to go, ACT Leader Rodney Hide said today.

"Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters vigorously denied receiving $100,000 from Owen Glenn. He then said he had, but didn't know about it. Parliament found that he did know. That he knew all along," Mr Hide said.

"He then vigorously denied ever seeking a consulship for Owen Glenn, which we now know to also have been untrue.

"Helen Clark has stood Winston down from his job but is still defending his baubles. The cash for consulship scandal doesn't appear to faze her. For Helen Clark now, it is power at all costs.

"Winston Peters is a disgrace and, tragically, he has dragged Helen Clark down into the gutter with him. It is time for both to go," Mr Hide said.

ENDS

Save The Farmers; Scrap The ETS

Posted on 24 Oct 2008

ACT Leader Rodney Hide today launched a scathing attack on the Emissions Trading scheme, vowing to have it scrapped and to pull New Zealand out of Kyoto Agreement.

"The scheme involves strict penalties on New Zealand businesses and farmers who allow Co2 emissions - which includes farm animals belching," Mr Hide said.

"Today we held a piece of street theatre in Auckland's Cornwall Park involving an unfortunate farmer being whipped by a broom-wielding witch as he hauled a trailer bearing a cheque for $5 billion dollars made out to Russians and signed by Helen Clark on behalf of New Zealand taxpayers.

"That's the ETS money that will be sent to the UN - which will, in turn, pay it to the Russians because they have large forests. New Zealand farmers alone will pay $1,200 million into the scheme.

"This is sheer lunacy - New Zealand emits 0.02 percent of world Co2 emissions. Nothing we do will change the world's weather.

"The ETS scheme will cost the nation tens of millions of dollars, cost 22,000 Kiwis their jobs and not do anything to mitigate global warming.

"We need smart green policies, not this madness. The Germans and Canada have said they will not wreck their economies to meet Kyoto obligations, and nor should we.

"We need to grow our economy - not shrink it with this nonsense. Only a country with a strong economy can engage in smart green polices to protect our environment. ACT will scrap both ETS and Kyoto," Mr Hide said.

ENDS

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