IRD Doesn’t Trust Labour with EFA

19/06/2008

Oh dear – even the IRD is wary  of Labour contravening the EFA.

Inland Revenue canned a KiwiSaver brochure because of fears it would be used for electioneering, despite at the time saying it was pulled for commercial reasons.

 National Party deputy leader Bill English tabled in Parliament today IRD emails that showed the brochures were pulled because they were deemed to be to political.

“I remain concerned that in the current environment it (the KiwiSaver brochure) leans too far towards the promotional,” one IRD adviser said in an email.

The emails show that officials were concerned about the possibility of politicians using IRD material for electioneering.

In response to questions from the media, IRD decided to say it was producing material as usual and to not reveal the reasons it had canned the brochure.

To add to Labour’s woes, the Electoral Commission is being asked whether press releases on the Beehive website contravene the EFA.

As No Minister  says: But what fun that such a dogs breakfast of an act is biting most the very people responsible for it!


Capital Idea to Shift South

11/06/2008

Bob Harvey wants the capital to move to Auckland but I’ve got a better idea – move it to Oamaru. Auckland doesn’t need more people or traffic and property is much cheaper down here.

There’s an historical precedent for shifting the seat of power south because our capital was originally in Russell. It then moved to Wellington so a second southward shuffle would simply be a continuation of a natural progression down the country.

It would also give Oamaru the city status for which it was destined in the 1800s until the gold ran out and land wars were settled which tempted people further north.

This capital transfer would have undoubted benefits for the locals. Thousands of people work in parliament and associated agencies. If the seat of government moved south, so presumably would the hangers-on and at least some of them would bring partners and families and this injection of people into Oamaru would increase job opportunites, property prices, facilities and services.

Some will question the wisdom of moving parliament down here when most MPs live in Auckland. But if their homes are up there then working down here would enable them to cover the country in a much more equitable fashion and reverse the problem caused the lack of geographical proportionality in our current representation.

There’d have to be something in the shift for the MPs and bureaucrats and there would be.

They’d get the satisfaction of knowing they had personally made a major contribution to regional development and there’d be lifestyle gains from exchanging the city rat race for the more sedate pace of provincial life.

If they’re concerned about leaving the beehive behind they could bring it with them and pop it down on the foreshore where it could provide nesting sites for the little blue penguins.

That way anyone who doubted the wisdom of the move would be able to wander down to see it and realise how much worse off they were in Wellington.


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