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No More Buy Elections

Posted on 05 May 2009

ACT New Zealand Mt Albert Candidate John Boscawen today urged National to complete the South-Western motorway and ensure that the proposed Waterview connection is built above ground - rather than as a tunnel that the nation cannot afford in the current economic climate.

"New Zealand is currently in the grip of a recession and cannot afford to spend more than $3 billion on a tunnel in Mt Albert when the surface route alternative is estimated to be $2 billion cheaper," Mr Boscawen said.

"The interest alone on borrowing a further $2 billion would be more then enough to double the number of cataract, hip replacement and coronary bypass operations performed each year.

"The Mt Albert contest is a by-election, not a BUY-election - any Party advocating the proposed Waterview tunnel is simply trying to buy votes without a thought for fiscal responsibility.

"ACT is the only Party willing to tell it like it is: no matter who is elected, the Waterview motorway will be above ground. The costings show that there is simply no other way.

"New Zealand's current troubles stem from both Labour and National Governments overspending - rising from around $12,000 per person to $18,800 in real terms in just 13 years. We are the third most indebted country in the world and this problem will not be solved by spending even more on a tunnel when there are cheaper alternatives.

"That's why I'm calling on National's Melissa Lee to front up and be honest with Mt Albert residents about National's intentions.

"The by-election gives the voters of Mt Albert a chance to send a message to Wellington that they have had enough of the high spenders.

"It's time for the Government to bring spending under control and help ACT ensure that our future generations are not burdened by the millstone of ever-increasing and insurmountable debt," Mr Boscawen said.


Strong Message Is Needed For Change

Posted on 02 May 2009

Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen,

It is a great privilege and a real challenge to be selected as ACT's candidate to contest the Mt Albert by-election.

I have a personal family link to the electorate that goes back over a century.

My great-grandfather, Hugh Boscawen, was aide de compe to five Governors-General.

He was also an early surveyor in the Department of Lands, and Boscawen Street in Pt Chevalier - in the northern part of the electorate - is named after him.

Let me say from the outset that the result of this by-election will not result in a change of Government. However the by-election represents a unique opportunity for its residents to send those in Wellington a clear message of what is important.

I believe the most important issue facing the residents of Mt Albert today - and indeed all New Zealanders - is that we live in a country that is facing falling living standards, rising debt levels and declining productivity.

If this is allowed to continue we run the risk of even greater numbers of New Zealanders leaving for Australia - and farther afield - while those who remain will endure an ever decreasing standard of living.

We also have a health system that struggles to cope, a lack of parental choice in education, and increasing crime and violence on our streets.

This is despite the fact that, over the past 13 years, we have seen a massive increase in real per capita government spending.

This has occurred under both National and Labour governments. In fact, one has been as bad as the other.

For example: over the 13-year period 1996-2009, total per capita government expenditure (expressed in 2009 dollars) rose from $11,300 to $18,800 per person.

This represents a massive increase of $7,500 for every man, woman and child in the country and occurred despite the fact that in the 10 years prior to 1996 total real per capita Government spending actually decreased.

Over the next six weeks I will be asking the people of Mt Albert what they could have done with this money had they been able to spend it themselves.

Mt Albert - like most New Zealand communities - suffers from rising crime and violence.

If ever there was a time to pass ACT's 'Three Strikes' Law - it is now.

ACT wants to protect New Zealanders from the most violent and repeat serious offenders and I will be asking the people of Mt Albert for their support to ensure that this law is passed.

While there are some in the National Government who back ACT on this issue, there are others who are yet to be convinced. I will ask the voters of Mt Albert to show their support for 'Three Strikes' by voting for John Boscawen on June 13 2009.

Ladies and gentlemen make no mistake I would be delighted to represent the people of Mt Albert in Parliament. It would be a real privilege.

However I realise it will not be easy.

I will need all the help and support I can muster over the next six weeks.

The challenges facing this country are huge.

However the problems we are facing are man made.

We have brought them on ourselves and only we have the power to make the changes needed to correct them.

Far too much money has been wasted, and far too many opportunities have been squandered over the last 13 years for it to continue.

I want to be the MP for Mt Albert in order to make these changes, and over the next 6 weeks I will ask the residents of Mt Albert to vote for John Boscawen to send a strong message that these lost opportunities cannot continue.


ACT Welcomes Inquiry Support

Posted on 26 Mar 2009

ACT New Zealand MP John Boscawen today praised the announcement from Commerce Minister Simon Power that he would welcome a Select Committee inquiry into the failure of finance companies - some of which had been a blight on the national economy and on New Zealand's ‘mum and dad' investors.

"This is an issue that I raised with some Select Committee members late last year, and I have been publicly calling for an inquiry for the past two weeks" Mr Boscawen said.

"I was pleased to gain the early support of Labour's Lianne Dalziel - who indicated that Labour members of the Committee may be sympathetic to an inquiry provided the terms of reference could be agreed.

"Yesterday I was pleased to hear that Mr Power would also welcome an inquiry should the Commerce Committee decide to proceed.

"Mr Power stated his support would be conditional on carefully considered terms of reference, and provided that it did not cut across civil and criminal proceedings currently undertaken by regulatory authorities.

"To that end, I am continuing to talk with some of those involved in the finance industry - including lawyers, commentators, regulators and representatives of professional bodies. Identifying the key issues will help ensure that correct terms of reference can be framed.

"The need for an inquiry is further highlighted by Companies Office registrar Neville Harris' recent report on finance company collapses. I would like to hear personally from anyone who feels they could contribute to an inquiry," Mr Boscawen said.


Amendment To Fix Broken Anti-Smacking Law

Posted on 19 Mar 2009

ACT New Zealand MP John Boscawen today announced that he will introduce a Private Member's Bill to amend the controversial Anti-Smacking law inflicted on New Zealanders by Labour and the Greens in 2007.

"My announcement coincides with yesterday's release of a poll that shows widespread support for the law to be altered," Mr Boscawen said.

"This poll, commissioned by Family First NZ and conducted by Curia Market Research, surveyed the views of 1,000 everyday New Zealanders - 83 percent of whom felt the law should be changed, with a total 77 percent of respondents believing the law would not help reduce our child abuse rates.

"While addressing the concerns of those who felt that the original section 59 of the Crimes Act was too vague, my amendment to the law will protect from criminalisation those parents who use a light smack for the purpose of correction.

"The amendment will change the Act so that: it is no longer a crime for parents or guardians to use reasonable force to correct children; there are clear statutory limits on what constitutes reasonable force; parents and guardians have certainty about what the law permits; it is no longer reliant on police discretion for the law to be practical and workable.

"In an attempt to curb child abuse, this law has simply criminalised law-abiding parents and removed their freedom to decide how best to raise their children - something that ACT has consistently opposed.

"The Labour we know best' Government is out and National is now in. Perhaps we will now begin to see an end to the madness of the past nine years - where politicians saw fit to tell New Zealanders how to live their lives," Mr Boscawen said.


The Safety Of Your Savings

Posted on 14 Mar 2009

John Boscawen MP Speech to ACT Annual Conference 2009; Raye Freedman Centre, Epsom Girls' Grammar, Silver Rd, Epsom, Auckland; Saturday, March 14 2009

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I have attended and spoken at many ACT conferences over the past 13 years - but this is my first as an ACT MP.

I would like to start - as I did at the recent ACT Hui - by saying how humbled and privileged I feel to have been elected to Parliament as an ACT MP.

Thank you most sincerely for the effort and sacrifices you made to, first, elect five ACT MPs into Parliament and Government; and second, to thank you for electing me personally.

I want to acknowledge everyone here today - particularly those who have travelled from afar.

One of the key policies that first attracted me to ACT in 1995 was its policy on superannuation. I referred to this specifically in my maiden speech, and the issue of saving and savers is one of the key topics I intend to focus on during my first term in Parliament.

Of particular concern to me is the fact that, over the past two years, some $6 billion has been lost - or is now tide up - in moratoriums and receiverships of finance companies.

This money has been lost by savers and - in large part - the elderly, who having worked most of their lives to raise families. They now face the prospect of losing some - or all - of their life's savings. The impact on many thousands has been huge and traumatic.

Not only have these losses directly impacted on the lives of the people involved but, also, they have a huge impact on the economy and have obviously contributed to the recession New Zealand now faces. Money that the elderly had planned to spend in their retirement will no longer be spent - directly impacting on their quality of life, health and well-being.

It also concerns me that, in part, some of these losses appear to be the result of fraud - with some company directors already facing criminal charges.

The issues that have contributed to the receiverships of now some 46 finance companies need to be examined by Parliament, with a view to looking at the level of protections available to investors and what can be done to ensure that such massive losses do not happen again.

I am a member of the Commerce Select Committee and, earlier this week, called for a Committee enquiry into these issues. I am pleased to report that I already have early support from the Committee's Labour and Maori members, and Committee Chair Lianne Dalziel has offered to work with me in drafting terms of reference for that enquiry to present to the committee when it meets in the coming Parliamentary recess. I hope to also obtain a National Party support to make that vote unanimous.

The need for an enquiry was further emphasised when Securities Commission Chair Jane Diplock appeared before the Committee as part of its annual review of the Securities Commission. She raised a number of issues for concern and highlighted that, in approving a finance company's prospectus, the Commission is not endorsing it to prospective investors and nor can it ensure that funds will ultimately be invested in the manner originally laid out in the prospectus.

She also highlighted the potential conflicts between:

1. Trustee companies who supervise finance companies to ensure Trust Deeds are complied with.

2. The shareholders and directors of those finance companies.

3. Any receiver ultimately appointed to a finance company.

She also advised that the Securities Commission has no formal role in supervising finance companies now trading under moratoria, and this is particularly concerning as the directors who were responsible for the company who got it into difficulty are now responsible for trading it out.

The Commissioner highlighted the fact that many of the shareholders who voted in favour of the moratorium were essentially clutching at straws in not wanting to recognise the real losses they had incurred and were unlikely to recover.

This entire issue is one that must be addressed urgently by Parliament and cannot simply be swept under the carpet. As the year progresses, I look forward to raising other issues relating to saving and savers.