Show us some re­spect, if it’s not too much trou­ble

The Wellingtonian - - Front Page - GOR­DON CAMP­BELL

As the re­cently re­leased reg­is­ter of MPS pe­cu­niary in­ter­ests has shown, our elected representatives live a long way away from Strug­gle Street. Hous­ing policy has left home own­er­ship sim­ply un­af­ford­able for many New Zealan­ders. Cur­rently, our rates of homeownership sit at their low­est level since the early 1950s, but the MPS them­selves seem to be do­ing al­right.

Ac­cord­ing to the reg­is­ter, Na­tional’s 57 MPS col­lec­tively own 135 res­i­den­tial prop­er­ties – or 2.2 homes each, on av­er­age - and seven out of 29 Labour MPS own rental prop­er­ties.

On for­eign policy, we ap­pear to be do­ing no bet­ter at pro­tect­ing the in­ter­ests of Ki­wis abroad. By cour­tesy of the Aus­tralians, hun­dreds of New Zealan­ders have been penned in dire con­di­tions on Christ­mas Is­land. Ki­wis who’ve lived in Aus­tralia for decades – and fam­i­lies whose kids have known no other home – have been up­rooted and sent back to New Zealand. The protes­ta­tions by our po­lit­i­cal lead­ers have been po­litely ex­pressed – with no hint of tit-for-tat mea­sures - and blithely ig­nored. Mean­while, Aus­tralians con­tinue to have ac­cess here to wel­fare as­sis­tance de­nied (for al­most two decades) to con­tinue to ex­tend spe­cial con­ces­sions to young Aussies study­ing here. Prime Min­is­ter Bill English pro­fessed him­self ‘‘pretty un­happy’’ at this policy change. Why, only the pre­vi­ous week, English had been dis­cussing is­sues con­cern­ing New Zealan­ders liv­ing in Aus­tralia, yet Aussie Pm­mal­colm Turn­bull hadn’t breathed a word about the up­com­ing policy shift in ed­u­ca­tion.

For­eign Min­is­ter Gerry

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