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Upper Hutt Leader : November 23rd 2011
5 UPPER HUTT LEADER, NOVEMBER 23, 2011 NEWS 4200420AA Economical, compact and lightweight, ideal for all domestic applications around the home and garden. Powered by Briggs & Stratton Series 500 engine, 460mm heavy duty steel chassis. Upturn comfort grip handle. Quickcut blade system with swing back blades. Cut, Catch & Mulch. Stihl Shop Tinsleys Upper Hutt 04 526 9682 50 Montgomery Cres Upper Hutt Stihl Shop Tinsleys Hutt City 04 586 7139 423 Cuba St Lower Hutt Stihl Shop Tinsleys Wellington 04 387 4570 57 Kingsford Smith St Lyall Bay 4199137AA Goff's take on the issues Leader of the Opposition Phil Goff. Photo: FAIRFAX NZ The Upper Hutt Leader put to Labour leader Phil Goff the same questions that we asked Prime Minister John Key, including national education standards, child poverty and MMP. CONTINUED Page 7 Rimutaka Sitting Labour MP Chris Hip- kins will hold the electorate, he said. I think he has been a hugely energetic and very capable MP who is one of the rising stars in the New Zealand Parliament.'' Mr Goff has visited the elector- ate several times during the cam- paign and has heard that residents are most concerned about the rising cost of living and broken election undertakings. People being angry about being told that GST wouldn't be going up and it has. Then being told they would get a tax switch that would help everybody and it hasn't -- it has helped those that are most wealthy and it hasn't helped low to middle income earners. Unemployment has con- tinued to rise since National took office and the latest figures show 1000 people per month were joining dole queues, he said. National standards What we are talking about is not national standards but National Party standards. This was political ploy at the last elec- tion to say we're somehow going to improve the level of achieve- ment of kids at school'.'' The whole education policy is built around lifting children's achievement, but the Government has come up with something that more than 90 per cent of principals don't believe is effec- tive, he said. To ignore the people that are appointed by the parents of the schools through their board of trustees to run the schools -- ignoring their views as to what is helpful or not helpful is really stu- pid.'' Mr Goff said he believed in high education standards and good assessment methods. Labour Party policy would have schools reporting on all children's prog- ress every six months, using tried and proven assessment methods. Where the the child is not making satisfactory progress the school would need to set out the plan that it will put in place to lift that child's achievement. This one-size-fits-all model, that National has borrowed from overseas where it has been discredited, doesn't help our kids progress in education. It will simply waste resources and be totally unhelpful.'' Child poverty We do have overall very high educational achievement. We are in the top levels of the OECD but we have kids who are missing out.. Some kids are coming to school without breakfast and it's hard to learn on an empty stomach.'' Chil- dren need a stable, healthy, home environment and good pre-school education, he said. Obviously having enough money is fundamental but we we also need to be able to work with the parents of children who are at risk.'' Supercity Co-ordinated local planning makes sense and a Labour govern- ment would work with local gov- ernment to eliminate duplication or holes in the system., he said. But what Labour is not going to do is use the power of central government to impose solutions on local governments where those solution are not wanted by local people. This is not about the heavy hand of central government dic- tating to the people of Upper Hutt that they should be part of a broader Wellington City Council.'' MMP It's up to every individual to make their own decision. But my personal decision will be to vote for MMP.'' MMP is the fairest system, giv- ing parties Parliamentary seats in proportion to their popular vote, and making every vote count equally. But the system does need change and that's most obvious in the rort that National and ACT are trying to achieve in Epsom. Ninety nine point three per cent of of New Zealanders don't want ACT back into Parliament but John Key is gifting them a seat so that John Banks can smuggle other ACT MPs back into the house, even though they won't meet the five per cent threshold. That's distorting the system.'' Mr Key's symbolic cup of tea with ACT's Epsom candidate John Banks was tacit approval for National supporters to give their electorate vote to Mr Banks, potentially bringing ACT back into Parliament.
November 16th 2011
November 30th 2011