The Main Report (which publishes Trans Tasman) is carrying out what it calls a sacred cow survey.
It gets that name because it asks for views on issues the two bigger parties are usually reluctant to go near, although this year Labour is promoting the first and National the second.
The questions it’s seeking views on are:
1. Do you support a Capital Gains Tax for New Zealand?
2. Do you support a policy of partial asset sales?
3. Do you support MMP?
4. Do you support raising the retirement age (by which I presume they’re asking about eligibility for superannuation)?
5. Do you support the premise New Zealand needs more immigrants.
6. Do you support retaining the Maori seats.
7. Do you support the claim parliament has too many seats.
8. Do you support New Zealand becoming a republic?
9. Do you support a more interventionist Government stance on the economy?
10. Do you support foreigners being able to buy New Zealand land and rural assets?
Each question had five options from not at all through somewhat, neutral/not bothered either way, and in favour to strongly support.
My answers, from memory were:
1. Somewhat – only if it was simple, comprehensive and part of a total package which reduced taxes overall.
3. No – seats are too big geographically and the system gives poorer representation for people and too much power for parties.
4. Somewhat – I’d support a gradual increase in the age of eligibility for superannuation and/or choice of receiving a lower amount at an earlier age or delaying retirement and getting a higher amount.
5. Strongly – our natural population growth is too low to be sustainable. We need immigrants to do work locals won’t and for skilled positions where we have shortages. They also add to cultural diversity.
6. No, they are an historical anachronism, no longer needed and give poorer representation for Maori.
7. Not bothered either way – we’d have about 104 seats now if we’d stuck with FPP.
8. Not bothered – am republican in my head and monarchist in my heart.
9. No – governments should get the policy framework right and leave the rest to us.
10. Yes – they can’t take it with them, they have to abide by the same laws and regulations as we do and often pay more which benefits vendors who then have more to invest in other areas.