Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Baby Bonus Bidders

The bidding to entice voters in NZ has begun. Few people would disagree with the motivation of Labour's plans to give young parents assistance to raise their children - especially those on benefits and the thousands more  described as the working poor. However, it remains to be seen if any policies also come to light which will raise real incomes from work for low income earners and allow a parent to stay at home if they choose to.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

International Cricket Buyout Attempt

Australia, the U.K. and India are hatching plans to take over the International Cricket Council and no doubt this will have a detrimental effect on smaller countries like New Zealand. This strategy will also do little to spread and increase the popularity of the sport across the World in my opinion, as the big three cement in their current status in international Cricket.

Small, new and prospective cricket playing countries will struggle to attract players if this comes to pass, which is a shame and I suspect commercial interests are driving the changes. Cricket is a sport after all and not primarily a commercial enterprise. The big three cricketing countries just might bowl over the goose that lays the golden egg and there are no winners if cricket suffers a decline elsewhere because that is where the future of the sport's survival will be decided in the long run.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Queensland Fruit Fly Found In NZ

The recent trapping of one male Queensland Fruit Fly in Whangarei has caused a lot of anxiety in NZ. The insects have the potential to devastate our horticultural crops and home orchards. This fly munches its way thru' fresh fruit and if more are found, then the whole of Whangarei will be quarantined and sprayed with insecticide by  air.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Cunliffe Makes Pragmatic Changes

David Cunliffe is starting to get rid of the impractical parts of the old Labour policies that the public never really took a shine to. I did this cartoon in 2010 when Phil Goff (the Labour Party Leader at that time) battled on with a collection of misguided and stifled politicians pushing unattractive policies. I felt at the time that David Cunliffe was very uncomfortable with these, but he remained loyal - and yet his body language appeared to tell quite a different story. In the cartoon he is seen holding the billboard.

His State Of The Nation speech as the new Labour leader will be keenly anticipated by those who want attractive and needed changes in NZ. Ditching the policy of removing the Goods and Services Tax on fruit and vegetables will be a good start, because it would have been very difficult and expensive to impose and police. Next up is the proposed shifting of the retirement age to 67. This is an election plank disaster. There are much better ways to acknowledge the fact that Kiwis are living and working longer. The Government obviously needs to lower the increasing cost of paying  superannuation to people over 65 who also earn wages - some right into their eighties. However, there are also many who are exhausted by age 65 and deserve support after working at hard physical jobs most of their lives. Forming policies with the right balance and electoral appeal will be crucial to Labour's election chances.