OPINION: Desperate and disappointing


By Melissa Hu, Member of the Young Nats and Northern Young Nats Executive

I’m not sure if you saw Andrew Little, Phil Twyford and the New Zealand Labour Party hit a disappointing and desperate new low yesterday.

They blamed the challenge of housing affordability on whether your name sounds Chinese or not. 

I was born here, I study here, I work here and I’m a New Zealand citizen but because my last name sounds Chinese I’m apparently a big part of the housing affordability problem – (I’m actually of Mongolian descent but would Labour care about that?)

Labour chose to make racially inflammatory comments based on half-baked data from an anonymous real estate agent in Auckland. They chose to say that there are too many Chinese buyers in the Auckland housing market based on whether your last name was Wang, Lee – or even like mine.

The problem is, this data doesn’t actually prove whether the buyers are foreigners or not. Even NZIER’s Principal Economist said Labour’s comments were “very damaging for a multi-cultural, welcoming place like New Zealand”.

I’ve lived here all my life, and I’m proud to call myself Kiwi. Young New Zealanders like me are ambitious, excited and open about New Zealand’s future. I don’t think my last name, or yours, has anything to do with trying to buy a house.

We need to be encouraging all Kiwis – young, old, European, Maori, Chinese, whatever – to aim high, work hard, create wealth and continue to raise our living standards. We also need the Government to keep taking common sense steps with councils to make more land available for housing. That’s why I support National- they know there’s a problem and they have a real plan to fix it.

We don’t need to start a “pick on the Chinese” attitude which could create more problems than it solves. Auckland’s housing problem is a supply issue – not a Chinese issue. We’re a multicultural, ambitious and prosperous country – I hope we stay that way.

Notice of SGM of the CW Young Nats

Notice of SGM

Special General Meeting (SGM) of the Canterbury-Westland Young Nats for the purposes of electing a Deputy Regional Chair. The SGM will take place at 7:00pm on Tuesday 14thJuly, 2015 in Room KB05, Kirkwood Village, University of Canterbury, Christchurch, and all current financial members of the Young Nats in the region as at 5:00pm Monday 13th July will be eligible to attend and vote.

Some important information for you is:

Apologies must be emailed to Regional Coordinator, Viki Moore (Victoria.moore@national.org.nz) before 5:00pm on Friday 10th July.

Nominations to be a candidate for election as CWYN Deputy Regional Chair must be emailed, including the name of your mover and seconder, to Regional Coordinator, Viki Moore (Victoria.moore@national.org.nz) before 5:00pm on Monday 13th July. NB: You and your nominators must be current financial members of the CW Young Nats to be eligible for election, with voting taking place at the SGM.

Nominations to be a candidate for election as a voting delegate to represent CWYN at the 2015 NZYN AGM in Auckland on 26th July, 2015 must be emailed to Regional Coordinator, Viki Moore (Victoria.moore@national.org.nz) before 5:00pm on Monday 13th July. NB: You must be current financial members of the CW Young Nats at 5:00pm on Monday 13th July to be eligible for selection. You do not need a mover and seconder to have your name considered, but you must submit your name to be considered as a candidate, with the executive voting to select the final delegates for the AGM.

If you have any questions about this meeting, please contact our Regional Coordinator, Viki Moore(Victoria.moore@national.org.nz), and I look forward to seeing you on July 14th.


Boyd Becker

CWYN Regional Chair

Conference 2015

New Zealand Young Nationals

Notice of Annual General Meeting

Sunday, 26th July 2015

8:50am for a 9:00am start

This is to give notice that the New Zealand Young Nationals Annual General Meeting will take place on Sunday 26th July 2015 at Sky City Convention Centre in Auckland.

As per the Constitution and Rules of the New Zealand National Party, nominations for the National Executive must be supplied in writing by each region to the Secretary of the NZ Young Nationals, by 9:00am, Sunday 12th July 2015. Regions are required to accompany those nominations with their most recent AGM and SGM minutes, which also verify the nominations.

Nominations for the following elected positions on the National Executive are open: President, Vice President, Treasurer, Secretary, Policy Officer, Projects Co-ordinator and Grassroots Co-ordinator.

Adam Roland

New Zealand Young Nationals

PR: Young Nats call for Govt to back Med Students

The Young Nats support the New Zealand Medical Students Association’s campaign to exempt medical students from the seven year equivalent full time study cap on borrowing for course costs, and want the cap extended to nine years for this group of students.

“The seven year cap makes sense for most students because most courses don’t require study beyond seven years. We know the obvious exception to this is medical graduates who need to acquire essential skills through postgraduate study” Young Nats President, Sean Topham says.

Medical students are in short-supply and are arguably our hardest working. Making it harder for them could put further pressure on the health system in the long-term.

When the cap takes effect in six months, many students close to graduating will find it difficult to finance additional costs of around $15,000, possibly forcing them to delay their study or quit altogether.

“We back students undertaking postgraduate courses, but a system where specialising in philosophy is supported and specialising in medicine is not supported needs to be fixed. Qualified doctors are essential to the quality of our health system”.

Most postgraduate medical students take eight years to complete their degree, meaning that the current cap will leave them one year short. However a smaller group of around 40 per year have done a 4 year undergraduate degree and thus will need a 2 year extension. 

“Our position is that a two year extension on student loan borrowing is reasonable and will cover the vast majority of postgraduate med students” says Topham.

Meet the Candidate: Mark Osborne


Mark Osborne is National’s candidate for the Northland by-election. He lives in Taipa, in the Far North with his wife Jodi. Mark and Jodi own a successful beauty spa, and Mark has worked for the Far North District Council, while being active in the community. But we had a few more questions for him:

Why do Northlanders need to vote for you?

Northlanders should vote for me because I am the only candidate who will be a strong voice for the region in a National Government that is delivering for Northland.

If anyone else wins it would dramatically slow down National’s programme for Northland, and the Government would be more reliant on United Future and the Maori Party for votes in Parliament.

I’m a proud local, living and working in the north. My wife Jodi and I run a successful small business in Northland and our two girls go to school locally. I’m involved in many aspects of local life, from volunteering for the Coastguard to helping organise the Mangonui waterfront festival. I have a stake in Northland and I care about its future.

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

I am a competitive power lifter and have a couple of Northland records. I can bench press 200kgs.

Why are you a member of the National Party?

Because I believe in people getting ahead under their own steam. People want to make decisions for themselves, their businesses, and their families. They don’t want to be told what to do by government.

While other parties believe that simply throwing money at society’s problems is the way to fix them, I support National because they actually want to spend taxpayers hard-earned dollars in targeted ways that get results. Plus, being a member of National is a lot of fun – I’ve met so many interesting people and made some lifelong friends.

If you were inviting John and Bronagh Key to your place, what would you cook for them, and why?

Sous vide locally raised dry aged black angus scotch fillet finished over locally produced olive wood charcoal. Because it is the best.

OPINION: Why Saving Uber Matters

by Joel Rowan, NZ Young Nats Digital Director


Those of us who weren’t on a beach or at Rhythm this summer, might well have been getting around Auckland or Wellington in an Uber. If you didn’t already know, Uber is a service that lets you order and pay for a car ride across town from your smartphone. It’s safe, it’s cheaper than regular cabs, it’s growing every day, and it is revolutionising access to taxi rides.

While Uber was growing, the Police were wasting resources enforcing a trivial regulation that forbids Uber as a “private vehicle hire service” from using a “taxi meter” to measure fares. The argument goes that the smartphones used by Uber drivers are “taxi meters” in the eye of the law. In other words Uber drivers are illegally charging for their trips when they use their phones’ GPS technology to work out the cost of your journey.

Of course Uber must comply with the law, but our government really needs to make sure that what’s on the books keeps up with innovators and doesn’t lock them out. The government has yet to move on changing the regulations, but they should. The status quo protects the outdated business models of old-style taxi companies, and shuts out innovators and entrepreneurs. This is the economic intervention we would expect from Labour or NZ First, not the open market and competitive environment we support.

I could just talk about Uber’s benefits, but I trust you can try it for yourself. It’s coming to Christchurch and Queenstown later this year. What I’m more concerned about is being a member of a party that promotes enterprise and competition – and views industry regulation with skepticism, at least.

We campaigned hard for this government to be re-elected but now we have to remind them to support innovative, new, digital-era businesses, not let them be stifled by regulation and big government.

I’ll be encouraging our MPs to change the regulations and I hope you will too. Just because we’ve been in government for a few years doesn’t mean there’s no red tape left to cut. Our party and the Young Nats need to keep flying the flag for freedom and smaller government.

The Answers to All Your Security Council Questions

John Key

John Key Addresses the UN General Assembly

New Zealand has been elected as a member of the United Nations Security Council for a 2015-16 term. The campaign for this election began in 2004 under the leadership of then Prime Minister Helen Clark, and has been a bipartisan effort. The lobbying our representatives have put in, and our independent reputation has seen us elected with a strong majority by the UN member states.

What is the Security Council?

The Security Council is the body of the United Nations which has primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security, so it has the power to authorise peacekeeping missions, military action and international sanctions. The UN Charter gives the Security Council the sole power to approve military action.

Security Council Chamber

The Security Council Chamber

How do you get elected to the Security Council?

There are five permanent members of the Council: China, France, Russia, the United States and the United Kingdom. Another ten members are elected for two-year terms with rolling elections each year. The non-permanent members are elected on a regional basis (from the UN’s five regions). New Zealand forms a part of the “Western European and Others” (WEOG) group, which gets two seats, up for election when the term starts in an odd-numbered year.

Voting at the UN General Assembly

Voting at the UN General Assembly

New Zealand was up against Turkey and Spain for the two seats allocated to WEOG. To be elected, a two-thirds majority of the 193-member UN General Assembly was required. On the first round, New Zealand received more than needed – 145 votes. After a second round of voting, neither Spain nor Turkey had the two-thirds required. On the third round, Spain recieved 130 votes and was elected.

Angola, Malaysia and Venezuela were elected representing the African, Asian and Latin American groups for the 2015-16 term.

What happens now?

Jim McLay, a former Deputy Prime Minister, Attorney-General and National Party leader is New Zealand’s Ambassador to the United Nations, so he takes the primary responsibility for representing New Zealand on the Security Council, though the Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign affairs may attend for major decisions or ceremonial occasions.

The Security Council will have to face issues like the threat of ISIS, the Ebola epidemic and others as they arise.

Jim McLay

Jim McLay – NZ’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations

Seven Things You Need to Know about the new Cabinet

This morning, John Key announced his cabinet for the upcoming term. There are some big changes in the portfolio allocations, with fresh faces in Cabinet and on the Front Bench. Some portfolios have been renamed – for example, the Minister of Women’s Affairs is now simply the Minister of Women.  Here’s what you need to know:

1. Maggie Barry is in Cabinet.


Maggie Barry has been promoted into Cabinet. First elected in 2011, she has risen quickly. She is now Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage; Minister of Conservation and Minister for Senior Citizens.

2. Amy Adams is Minister of Justice.

Amy Adams is the new Minister of Justice. Adams is a qualified lawyer, and served as Minister for the Environment in the last term of Parliament,  which has been taken over by Dr. Nick Smith. Amy is on the Front Bench, also holding the Courts, Broadcasting and Communications portfolios.

3. Paula Bennett has new responsibilities.


Paula Bennett is now ranked Number 5 in Cabinet. She is Minister of Local Government; State Services; and Social Housing. She is also Associate Minister of Finance, giving her input into shaping the Budget for the next three years. She is no longer Minister of Social Development, with Anne Tolley taking over that role.

4. Jonathan Coleman takes over from Tony Ryall. The Health portfolio was left by Tony Ryall, who retired at the election. Jonathan Coleman, formerly Minister of Defence steps into his shoes. Gerry Brownlee has taken up the reins at Defence.

5. Nikki Kaye has been promoted.

Nikki Kaye

Nikki Kaye has been promoted  – she now serves as Minister for ACC, retaining her responsibilities as Minister of Youth, Minister of Civil Defence and Associate Minister of Education.

6. Some Ministers have new portfolios. Simon Bridges gets a promotion as Minister of Transport. He stays on as Minister of Energy and Resources. Sam Lotu-Iiga is now the Minister of Corrections, and is the Minister for Pacific Peoples (formerly Pacific Island Affairs). Michael Woodhouse becomes Minister of Police.

7. There are new Ministers Outside Cabinet.


Paul Goldsmith, who chaired the Finance and Expenditure Committee is now Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs. Louise Upston, formerly the Government’s Senior Whip, is promoted to the Ministry as Minister for Land Information and Minister for Women. Te Ururoa Flavell of the Maori Party is Minister of Maori Development, and Peter Dunne of UnitedFuture is Minister of Internal Affairs.

For the full Cabinet list: http://nzyn.at/nzcabinet14

Four Things Labour Left in a Mess

Helen and David

This election is about who has a track record of delivering the results that matter to New Zealanders. Labour couldn’t do it when they were last in government, and they haven’t changed.

1. The Economy

The global economy boomed in the early 2000s. Despite that, in 2008 Labour left nothing in the kitty, and Treasury was forecasting massive increases in debt, and a decade of government deficits. New Zealand was consuming far more in imports than we produced in exports, with a trade deficit of $5.6 billion. Labour didn’t control government spending, so consumer price inflation was high, causing the cost of living to rapidly rise.

2. Health

While Labour was in charge, health services went to ruin. Between 2003 and 2008 waiting time for heart surgery in Auckland more than doubled. Overcrowding and delays in care caused as many deaths as the entire road toll. Hospitals were allowed to be on “code red” with more patients than they could handle.

3. Unsafe Communities

Labour left a legacy of crime and unsafe communities. They gave up, and admitted defeat in the war on P. Youth crime, and violent youth crime was rising. More people were being killed and injured in stabbings on our streets. Murders, youth violence and domestic assaults were increasing year on year. Prisons were places where inmates ran riot.

4. Education

Under Labour thousands of kids were allowed to leave school with no qualifications or prospects for a better life. A 2008 report showed that 150,000 pupils were failing at school, whilst thousands of teachers lacked necessary skills. In 2007, a third of students left without NCEA Level 2, and a fifth did not even get NCEA Level 1. Violence in schools was rampant. Businesses were not getting the skilled workers they needed out of the education system.

Last Night’s Debate: The Facts

John TV3

Yesterday’s debate was more fact heavy than the last two, so now the smoke has cleared we thought we would give you some more detailed (and verified) information about the issues that were discussed.

Minimum wage and employment

National has focused on creating jobs, and New Zealand has done remarkably well by any international measure in weathering the biggest global economic shock since the Great Depression. There are over 127,000 more people in work since National took office (between September 08 and December 13 quarters).

David Cunliffe believes you can artificially raise wages without effecting employment, he said that there was no evidence that raising the minimum wage increases unemployment, based on US studies.

The problem for Cunliffe is that the minimum wage in the US is much lower than New Zealand’s at $7.25 per hour. New Zealand’s is $14.25. Labour wants to increase it to $16.25 and the Greens will go all the way to $18.00.

Probably the best measure of how high the minimum wage is relative to our capacity to afford it is how high the minimum wage is as a percentage of the median wage. New Zealand does very well on that score with the minimum wage being the 3rd highest as a percentage of the median wage in the OECD (paragraph 19). That suggests that our minimum wage workers do very well comparatively, but also that if we radically raised the minimum wage it would place us in unchartered waters. That’s why the Department of Labour said that raising the minimum wage all the way to the living wage would cost 24,000 jobs (table 1). Treasury actually recommended that National not raise the minimum wage in 2014. National went against that advice by raising it by 50c.


Housing is a complex issue, but generally we know the reasons why house prices are increasing from the Productivity Commission report on Housing Affordability published in April 2012.

The first thing we know is that the tax structure is NOT a factor. The Commission concluded that the tax advantage of property speculators is “much smaller than often suggested”. This tells us that a Capital Gains Tax is unlikely to make housing more affordable.

What did the Commission suggest are the drivers? A lack of land for development, and a difficult consenting process were major factors. That’s why National has worked with local government to release land to build 18,000 houses in Auckland and redevelop or build 5,700 in Canterbury. National has also worked hard on RMA reform (which Labour played politics over and the Greens opposed) and has reduced the cost of building materials by eliminating tarrifs.

The problem with Labour’s ‘Kiwibuild’ Policy to build 100,000 houses (a big round number which works well in a headline, but isn’t realistically how development works) is that it’s a poorly targeted policy doesn’t address the actual supply constraints which experts have identified. As former World Bank principal planner Alain Bertaud said in Christchurch recently: “The solution is to increase the supply of land. I would not bother so much on the construction of the housing itself, I think that can be taken care of fairly easily by the private sector”.


You often hear David Cunliffe talk about the ‘haves and the have nots’, implying that inequality is increasing under National. Put simply, it hasn’t. Brian Perry at MSD is New Zealand’s leading expert on inequality. Here is Brian in his own words. The full report is here:

“There is as yet no evidence of any rising or falling trend in the Gini [coefficient] in recent years.”

“The impact on incomes of the GFC and the associated downturn and recovery has led to some volatility in the index between the 2009 to 2012 HES. It will take another survey or two before the post-crisis inequality level becomes clear.”