Government Continues To Ignore The Human Rights Commission

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Over the last week I have run an advertising campaign in seven major daily newspapers.   I have sought to highlight three major areas where the government, assisted by the Greens, NZ First and UnitedFuture continues to ignore and defy our Human Rights Commission.

The government continues to ignore the issues I am raising.

Instead, firstly the Greens, and then yesterday, the Labour Party, tried to suggest there may be some link between my membership of ACT and the Business Roundtable and the issues I am raising. Nothing could be further from the truth.  I initially ignored the Green Party’s Dr Russel Norman’s statement, however, following Michael Cullen’s comments yesterday I believe it is important to clarify the following facts:

  1. My campaign is a personal campaign.  I am not acting on behalf of ACT or the Business Roundtable.  However, as I have previously disclosed, I have had support from the Sensible Sentencing Trust, Family First and some individual members of Grey Power’s national executive.
  2. I have been an Associate Member of the Business Roundtable since July 2007 (five months).
  3. I have received no money whatsoever from the Business Roundtable. It has not been involved in the campaign against the bill.
  4. I have never donated any money to the Waitemata Trust or any trust associated with the National Party.
  5. I have made it clear that there are aspects of the current government’s policy platform that I support strongly. For example, I have been a strong supporter of compulsory superannuation since I first joined the ACT party in 1994 and I support the principles underlying KiwiSaver.  This fact is well known to the Prime Minister as I wrote to her personally on the 14th November to acknowledge a number of things that she and her government had done that I totally supported, including KiwiSaver.  I repeated these sentiments in my speech following the 5000 strong march in Auckland last Saturday.  Sadly, the ACT party no longer supports compulsory superannuation.
  6. I joined the Business Roundtable because I wanted to see New Zealand become more prosperous and have the highest possible standards of education and health services.  Membership provides an environment in which I can debate these and other issues of public policy with business leaders.
  7. Members of the Business Roundtable are not required to personally support or agree on all policy positions promoted by the organisation. While all support the broad mission to promote better public policy for New Zealand , individual members are free to hold their own views.
  8. The great irony of Mr Cullen’s comments yesterday is that my membership of the Business Roundtable will give me opportunities to discuss my support of compulsory superannuation and his KiwiSaver, which I hope one day will become compulsory, with other business leaders.
  9. While my own campaign on the Electoral Finance Bill has nothing whatsoever to do with Business Roundtable, I hope that by Labour and the Greens raising it in the way that they did, the New Zealand public will see that I support the Human Rights Commission submission so strongly that I am prepared to spend considerable time and financial resources trying to hold the government accountable over it.  I know I am not alone in the business community in this regard.
  10. I last held a post within the ACT organisation in March 2006 over eighteen months ago, when I stood down as the party’s fundraiser.  Additional details of my political and community involvement and support of other Labour party policies can be found in my supplementary submission to the select committee on the Electoral Finance Bill dated 28 September on parliament’s website.  Alternatively, contact me and I can email you a copy.
  11. Now that I have dealt with the issues raised by the Green and Labour parties against me personally over the last two days, I hope they, along with NZ First and UnitedFuture will now have the courage to tell all New Zealanders why they continue to ignore and defy their our own Human Rights Commission on the subject of the Electoral Finance Bill.