Guyon Espiner’s interview with Metiria Turei on Q&A provided the following reasons not to vote Green:
1. The public transport mantra:
By investing in public transport for example, we not only build a comprehensive public transport system for all communities across the country, but we help to mitigate the impact of the importation of oil into this country. . .
Public transport isn’t necessarily the answers in cities and its definitely not the answer in small towns and rural areas.
2. The opposition to free trade:
Well our position is that you need to have systems of fair trade, that make sure that New Zealand can retain its economic sovereignty, and free trade deals tend to undermine the economic sovereignty.
The only fair trade is free trade.
Oh no, we are not extremists like some others might be, where free trade is the only option for New Zealand which tends to be the kind of ACT National kind of extreme. We prefer a model that deals with these issues in a sensible rational way, making sure that New Zealand retains the highest level of economic sovereignty, to make the best decisions for its own people while being engaged with the global trade movement, which is very important, particularly when you’re dealing with under developed countries for example who need support.
The only sustainable support for developing countries is trade.
3. They won’t accept that a stock take of mineral resources on public land is sensible and that the economic and social benefits from mining land with low conservation values could be done without degrading the environment.
Now we don’t want the government, we’re very fearful that the government will rip out our national parks just to find coal and petrol, so we would like to make sure that the national parks and marine reserves and wetlands for example are kept free form threats of mining.
This view is based on blind ignorance. No-one is suggesting ripping out national parks.
4. They overcharged on a flat rented by their MPs but owned by their super fund:
Earlier this year we did – those went out of whack, between February and March of 2009 one of the houses, MPs were claiming over the market value, we fixed that valuation in June to make sure they’re only being asked to pay under market value, and last week we refunded that over claim. So we made a mistake and we fixed it.
They repaid the excess claimed – about $6000. But no mention was made of the fact they get more by renting from their super scheme than if they owned the flats themselves.
Kiwiblog has calculated that over the eight years they have owned the property they would have only been able to claim rent of $116,000 instead of $192,000.
GUYON . . . you have been telling other MPs and other political parties that you’re the moral compass of parliament, yet you’ve been ripping the taxpayer off.
The panel responding to this interview was political commentator Dr. Therese Arseneau, former National MP Paul East and former Labour president Mike Williams.