Horowhenua Mail : November 24th 2011
6 THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 24, 2011 OPINION 135 Kapiti Rd Paraparaumu Ph 04 296 6440 email@example.com Monday - Friday: 7am - 6pm Saturday - Sunday: 8am - 6pm If you find a lower price on an identically stocked product locally we will beat it by 15% If you find the same product cheaper from another Mitre 10 store or Mitre 10 Website well match that price. Excludes trade and special quotes, stock liquidation and commercial quantities. The in- store price may be lower than that advertised. OnGas BOTTLE SWAP RIGHT TOOLS RIGHT PRICE RIGHT ADVICE QUALCUT PETROL CHAINSAW 42CC MISTRAL TIMBER SETTING 4PCS PET GROOMING KIT 7 PCS CONTEMPO 4 BURNER BBQ DEAL SOLAGARD SELF PRIMING EXTERIOR PAINT 8 LITRES 3899890AS SKU168552* SKU16 56 20 SKU103879* SKU126135* SKU267441* SKU131806* SKU166557* MAKITA 13MM ELECTRIC HAMMER DRILL 710W DEAL $119 DEAL $139 DEAL $149 DEAL $699 DEAL $9998 DEAL $449 usually $1998 DEAL $15 SEE OUR PLUNKET PLAYHOUSE AUCTION IN STORE NOW KAPITI OWNED AND OPERATED usually $149 usually $179 usually $179 usually $999 $ PET GR 165620* PROCUT ELECTRIC LAWNMOWER 1200W SKU366190* ALL PURPOSE PAINT BRUSH SET 5 PCS usually $1498 DEAL $10 SKU1398822* DEAL $1298 OFFERS VALID UNTIL SUNDAY 27 NOVEMBER 2011. ONLY WHILE STOCKS LAST. *LIMITED QUANTITIES. RESULTS BLOOD & BONE 5KG BAG LETTERS RULES We welcome letters to the editor but they must contain the writer's name, address and phone number. We reserve the right to edit for brevity or sense. Send to: Editor, Horowhenua Mail and Kapiti Observer, Box 110 Paraparaumu, fax 298 2073 or email firstname.lastname@example.org EKERS' VIEW MPs' conditions 'attractive' It would appear that irrespective of whether Parliament is in recess or actually sitting, the members of Parliament still receive full pay and allowances plus backdated salary increases. At a time when the country s finances are under pressure from both outside and inside New Zealand, the Remuneration Authority recently granted MPs a salary increase of 1.5 per cent plus a $5000 payment to make up for the loss of the international travel allowance, quite generous to say the least with the salary increase being backdated to July 1. Wage and salary earners, particularly those on the minimum wage, must wonder when the gap between high earners and low wage earners will be shortened and a realistic minimum wage level be approved by the Government. It s hardly surprising that the majority of sitting MPs, are standing for re-election together with a considerable number of would be MPs. With a base salary of $141,800 for a back- bencher, the incentive to serve in Parliament is somewhat attractive. Bill Stirling Levin Thanks to unknown family for help To the family enjoying their lunch up trig (behind Levin) last Saturday, we would like to extend a huge thank you for your quick thinking and assistance during Lissy s sudden epileptic fit. Thanks for the father s strength holding her off the gravel, she is far less bruised then she otherwise would have been, and thanks for the lady s nurse training she was quickly refreshed, and thanks for the bike ride we were able to transport her out quickly when she was tired. Thank you so much, it was greatly appreciated. Sarah Dyson, Felicity Boyce Waitarere Beach Where will the jobs come from? With reference to Elaine Craddock s letter (Letters, November 17) I suggest she go to the Labour Party website and check out the policy for Age Care and Health, or ring the Labour office in Levin. As for the young people being able to work and earn I would ask you to contact Nathan Guy and ask him where these jobs are coming from? You say the oldies have done their bit, well there are still a lot of them working in voluntary jobs in the community and supporting service groups. It was only the older people marching that saved the hospital beds in Levin. National are building more prisons and also wasting money on roads people can t afford to drive on. And you call Labour reckless. Katy Harding Levin Where is the serious discussion? TALKING POLITICS GORDON CAMPBELL During three out of the past four elections, the official campaign has been disrupted by issues utterly removed from the policies on offer. Each time these sideshow issues have derailed the cam- paign, there have been allegations of cover-ups, political subterfuge and question marks over the media s behaviour. The Epsom cafe saga has been no exception. In 2002, the election campaign was overtaken by the Corngate story, about genetically modified seeds. This led to an epic TV3 confron- tation between Prime Minister Helen Clark and interviewer John Campbell, with Clark calling Campbell a little creep for his interview tactics. In 2005, the big distraction was the Exclusive Brethren s funding of anti-Green pamphlets -- appar- ently to get around the limits on campaign spending, and allegedly with some tacit support from Don Brash and the National Party strategy team. By contrast, the 2008 election campaign was a fairly straightfor- ward affair. This year has reverted to type, however. The circus in Epsom has done nothing to improve the public s low opinion of politicians (they ve got no respect for truth) or of journalists either (they ve got no respect for privacy). In effect, the public has been made into onlookers during much of this campaign, while the politicians, legal experts and media commentators argued with each other about the ethics and legality of the theatrics in Epsom. Longer term, the politicians should be worried. The brand images of Clark and Brash never recovered from the damage done to them during these diversions, during which they were widely seen to have behaved badly under pressure. Similarly, John Key s benign image may prove hard to resur- rect in the wake of the Epsom shenanigans. As these political sideshows have become the norm, more sub- stantive issues have been neglected. The logic of the asset sales pro- gramme and the dubious spending plans of both major parties, for example, have received only cur- sory media attention. In addition, there has been a noticeable lack of credible discussion about how to reduce child poverty, income inequality or youth unemployment. Nor has there been much of a public debate about the voting system referendum. None of this can be blamed on the Epsom cafe tape. Most people derive their news from television and long ago public television gave into the financial pressure to promote style over substance. On the voting referendum, pub- lic television has been missing in action entirely. At best, it has merely described the mechanics of each option, but without shedding any light on the sort of democratic outcomes likely under the alternatives on offer. In that respect, we have gone backwards. Some 25 years ago, the Royal Commission had no hesitation in recommending MMP as superior in terms of democratic outcomes, to the FPP, SM or STV systems. Ultimately, this year s election seems likely to hinge on three related factors: whether National can win an absolute majority, whether New Zealand First exceeds the 5 per cent threshold and -- especially -- whether the Greens get more than 10 per cent of the vote. If they do, the main focus of attention next week after the votes are counted will be the Government s negotiations with the Greens, and any mutual goals they can pursue through an enhanced memo of understanding. That s when substance, not style, will finally have its day.
November 17th 2011
December 1st 2011