Meet the Candidate: Lewis Holden


Lewis Holden is National’s candidate in Rimutaka. He is one of National’s youngest candidates at 29 years of age, and is the former chair of the New Zealand Republican Movement. He went to Hutt International Boys’ School, and Victoria University. We asked him a bit more about himself: 

What is your biggest policy goal for your time in Parliament? 

I want to see small businesses, particularly those in the IT sector, grow substantially and earn NZ significant export dollars. My background has been in small business, which is very important to NZ’s economy – 97% of our businesses employ 20 or fewer staff, which makes up 30% of the workforce and 27% of GDP. It’s critical to our success as a country that small businesses prosper.

Who would you call your political inspiration or role-model? 

I’m inspired by many figures, but you can’t go past British Liberal PM William Gladstone. He was a pretty tough nut – pro-democracy and for lower taxes. His opponent was a character as well, Conservative leader and also PM Benjamin Disraeli. Both of them were pretty wily yet had a major impact on the UK at a time of unprecedented growth.

What is something we should know about you but don’t know already?

One of my hobbies is model-making. I’m really into making things with 3D printing these days, I’m pretty excited by what the technology can do.

If you were having John and Bronagh Key around for dinner, what would you cook for them?

I’m a pretty hopeless cook, as a student I could make a mean spag bol but I don’t think that would be to John and Bronagh’s taste! Most likely it would have to be a BBQ, because they’re hard to stuff up. And Jen, my wife, could hang out with Bronagh then…

PRESS RELEASE: Young Nats form new political party


Young Nats form new political party

The New Zealand Young Nats have announced that they will formally separate from the New Zealand National Party and contest the 2014 general election as the Young National Party.

“The Young National Party stands for building a younger future. We want young Kiwis to have a bigger seat at the table when it comes to the direction of our country and now is the time to do it,” said Party Leader Sean Topham.

“We also have a sitting Member of Parliament who will be joining us. I cannot reveal who that is, because…”

“We are aiming for 51% of the Party Vote and if we fall short of that goal we are confident that National would cross the 5% threshold to become a support partner,” said Deputy Leader Shaun Wallis.

“Our campaign launch is scheduled for this Saturday, 5th April at the Rendezvous Grand Hotel in Auckland and it is closed to the media” says Campaign Manager Brittany Raleigh.


Contact: No-one

Guest Post: Hon. Chris Tremain

Chris Tremain

Hon. Chris Tremain is the MP for Napier, a former Cabinet Minister, and big supporter of the Young Nats. He has written us this guest post about renewable energy in New Zealand.

A couple of weeks ago Russell Norman went on twitter to laud the United States for their investment in solar projects.

Putting aside for a minute the fact that Russell Norman’ standard modus operandi is to criticise the Americans it is this kind of one sided communication from the Greens that I want to discuss in this blog today.

Following my initial response to the Tweet I then went and did a bit of research and came up with this little gem from the US Energy Information Administration so tweeted it back, renewable energy only accounts for 9% of US energy consumption.

The point I wanted to make was that while the US may be doing well in solar energy New Zealand is so far ahead in terms of renewable energy generation that we are on a different planet. It is this fact that the Greens deliberately ignore in any speech or public commentary on renewable energy. The fact is that New Zealand is a world leader, far from the environmental monster the Greens want to paint our country. It is these facts that we need to constantly remind young people about and where you as Young Nats can play a huge role. You can help us to call the Greens out every time they demand more renewables, more clean energy, more solar power. Here’s just a few of my own tweets that came from the recent Financial Review of Mighty River Power where Doug Heffernan and Joan Whithers took us through the numbers.





So as you can see NZ has an amazing record in renewable energy of which we should be very proud. As Young Nats and Supporters you can play a huge role in the tweet and blogosphere every time one of the Greens try to make New Zealand out to be an international pariah in the Clean Energy space. It’s just bollocks.

Opinion: The case for smaller University Councils

The Hunter Building at Victoria University of Wellingon

by Harry Tothill, Victoria University Young Nats Treasurer. 

You’d be forgiven for thinking the sky was falling in by the reaction of student unions to the Education Amendment Bill, currently before Parliament. Last year the Minister of Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment, Hon Steven Joyce, released a series of proposed changes to universities’ governance structures, and we haven’t heard the end of it since.

Their argument is basically this – Steven Joyce is “stealing [the student] voice”. Let’s test that claim for a moment.

The key changes are these: removing mandatory student representation from university councils, reducing the size of those councils from 12 – 20 members to 8 – 12 members, and requiring Ministry appointments to Councils to have governance capabilities and more specific duties and accountabilities.

Student union campaigns have conveniently ignored the fact that the proposal doesn’t remove the student voice. In fact, the proposal just relaxes the requirement to have it. It will be up to individual councils to decide for themselves whether they have students participating at the governance level. The Victoria University of Wellington Council (to name just one) is unanimous in their belief that students ought to be represented. So, in Victoria’s case, students will be represented, bill or no bill.

Why should Parliament decide what’s best for each university on a blanket basis, as under the status quo? There might be situations where student representation might hinder good governance – for example, if no students ran for election one year. If students genuinely didn’t care whether they were represented, why should universities fish out someone unqualified to govern them? Joyce’s solution is to leave this choice to the university – effectively meaning that where student representation is worthwhile, it’ll continue.

The second change, reducing the size of the councils, is proposed to make councils more effective. The idea is that small councils are more nimble, and can make governance decisions without undue delay. In fact, reducing the size of the university council could even increase student representation, proportionally-speaking. If student unions wanted to have a greater say, they’d be better off supporting the bill, and spending their time lobbying their own councils to retain the same number of seats.

Finally, the bill proposes having the same number (in most cases, four) Ministry-appointed council members. The argument here is that the government funds most of the university’s activities, and should therefore have a decent-sized contingent on each council (and rightly so). Crucially, these people will be required to have proper governance experience, as befits the role. The role of a university council is to govern – chiefly, setting performance indicators for management staff and ensuring the financial stability of the university. It is not the domain of the unqualified, nor should it micro-manage. In a way, it’s the least appropriate organ for engaging the broader academic community. There are better ways to get involved in university management – at the faculty level, for example.

Finally, it’s worth being wary of these kinds of student union campaigns. Typically, those that run them have vested interests – for some, student representation is their job. In most cases, their own political views obscure the pragmatic course of action. Students would be better served if the careerist politicians among us swam with the current.

September 20 – Election 2014

Young Nats Campaign

Yesterday John Key announced that this year’s general election will be held on Saturday, September 20th. That’s about six months from today. For us that means we have about six months to prepare and carry out a campaign for National to win a third term in government. Young Nats across the country will be knocking on doors, ringing phones and posting leaflets. More importantly we will be letting friends and family know that our party has the vision to continue to lead for another three years.

You only have to look at the policy wins the Young Nats have had in the last three years to see how highly valued our efforts have been so far. You can start with the Prime Minister’s Youth Mental Health Initiative – a policy backed by the Young Nats. On recent conscience issues, the lobbying of Young Nats helped secure National MPs’ votes for Keep It 18 and Marriage Equality. Our voices are being heard in the halls of Parliament.

We are taking important stands on issues that matter to young New Zealanders, but we need the support of as many young people as possible. That’s what will make the politicians and MPs take notice. Campaign season will be hard work, but will also be a lot of fun. I urge everyone to get involved this election year. Go to the events your local Young Nats committee is putting on. Find out how you can contribute, and get amongst it. We will make a difference over the next six months.

Joel Rowan – Victoria University Young Nats Chair

Jo Hayes to enter Parliament


National Party President Peter Goodfellow has confirmed that Joanne Hayes will enter Parliament on the National Party List to fill the vacancy created by List MP Katrina Shanks who has announced she will resign in January next year.

“Katrina has made a real contribution to New Zealand and National over the past eight years,” Mr Goodfellow said.

“As a List MP, she has worked hard to provide an effective voice inside the National Caucus for constituents in Ohariu and the Hutt Valley, and been a strong advocate for Kiwi families.”

Mrs Shanks will resign to take up a new role as chief executive of the Funeral Directors Association of New Zealand.

Joanne Hayes contested the Dunedin South seat for National in 2011. Now based in the Manawatu, she is Director of Community Relations for UCOL Whanganui.

“Joanne brings a wealth of experience in Maori business, health, and education which will be a real asset to Parliament and our Caucus,” Mr Goodfellow said.

Mrs Hayes is of Ngati Porou, Ati Haunui A Paparangi, and Rangitane ki Wairarapa descent, and is married to Pat with two sons and two grandchildren.

“I believe my background in health, education, and community and economic development position me well to make a valuable contribution in Parliament,” Mrs Hayes said.

“I am looking forward to working under the leadership of our Prime Minister, Rt Hon John Key, and to enter Parliament alongside my National colleagues.”

Opinion: Asset Sales


by Sam Franklin, Treasurer of the Northern Young Nats

With the partial sell down of State Owned Enterprises well underway, the Labour-led debate over the costs and benefits still rages. The opposition has declared that the National Government is, among other things, “selling young New Zealanders down the river.” This rhetoric suggests that Labour and the Greens are either being deliberately misleading, or are so blinded by political ideology that they are incapable of unbiased economic judgment. Instead of adding to the debate, it may be useful to take a look at the facts of the situation, from the perspective of “young New Zealanders.”

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