• Booze Industry win, means youth suffer, by Sue Kedgley

    Booze Industry win, means youth suffer, by Sue Kedgley

    So the Government has capitulated to lobbying by the alcohol industry, and will no longer set limits on the amount of alcohol in alcopops or Ready to Drinks, as they are called in the trade. I feared this would happen when, 18 months ago, a smooth talking Australian lawyer representing Independent Liquor flew in from Sydney to speak to the select committee that was hearing submissions on the Alcohol Reform Bill.

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  • Is agriculture NZ's golden goose?

    Is agriculture NZ's golden goose?

    The Government appears to have quietly added "the intensification of agriculture" to its list of contentious policies it believes will bring new jobs, and economic growth, to New Zealand. Its master strategist, Steven Joyce, signalled this in a speech to the National Party conference. "If New Zealanders want more jobs," he warned, "they should stop being fearful of foreign investment, accept the intensification of agriculture, not forgo oil and mineral exploration ... and do a few things that might make us uncomfortable."

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  • Select committees need more independence

    Select committees need more independence

    Mr Mallard argues that this committee is too important to be a political plaything, and that someone who is more independent, and not beholden to ministers, should chair it. This is an excellent idea. But why just the finance committee? All of Parliament's select committees are important, and they all need more autonomy. Select committees are supposed to be the engine room of Parliament.

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  • Update on Hen Code of Welfare

    Update on Hen Code of Welfare

    We are still waiting, a year later, for the Minister of Agriculture to announce a new Code of Welfare to Hens. I predict that he will ignore the vast majority of submitters who called for an end to the cruel practice of keeping hens in cages, and will instead approve a new code that says hens can be kept indefinitely in ‘colony’ cages –cages that sound a bit better than a battery hen cage, but which still give a hen around the size of an A-4 sheet of paper in usable space.

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    Sue's Valedictory Speech in Parliament, 2011

    Sue delivers her valedictory speech in the New Zealand House of Representatives in 2011. She speaks on a range of topics including parliamentary reform. Includes video and transcript.

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    Time for an Independent Review of Parliament

    */ All around the world people are questioning the relevance of political institutions, and public cynicism is growing, not only with politicians, but with the whole political system. In America, the Occupy Wall Street movement is calling for a clean-up of the American political system, which they say is corrupted by lobbyists and by dysfunctional and bitter partisanship.

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