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Dr Muriel Newman

Christmas 2008

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I would like to take this opportunity to wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. I have greatly appreciated your interest in the work of the New Zealand Centre for Political Research and your loyal support over the last year.

A special thanks to those of you who have taken the time to share your views with me. Your contribution in feedback and commentary on the weekly polls and newsletters has ensured that a wealth of opinion on the important political and policy issues of our time is in the public domain.

I am writing this last newsletter of the year in an email text format to make sure that it is safely delivered to those of you who have had difficulties receiving the NZCPR Weekly newsletters. If you haven’t heard from me for a while it is because your Internet Service Provider’s security systems are blocking the NZCPR newsletter format. If you are in that position, please let me know so that we can sort it out.

As the good cheer of the Christmas Season descends, it is reassuring to look forward to 2009, a period during which New Zealand will emerge from the shadow of almost a decade of creeping socialism.

The 2008 general election signalled a change in direction for the country, from an era of big, intrusive government, to a three year period during which the focus will be on economic growth. As stated in the ‘Speech from the Throne’, delivered at the State Opening of Parliament by the Governor General, “The driving goal of the new Government will be to grow the New Zealand economy in order to deliver greater prosperity, security and opportunities to all New Zealanders. It will be going for growth because it believes in the power of economic growth to deliver higher incomes, better living conditions and, ultimately, a stronger society for New Zealanders. In pursuing this goal of economic growth my Government will be guided by the principle of individual freedom and a belief in the capacity and right of individuals to shape and improve their own lives”. Prime Minister John Key’s Speech from the Throne, which outlines the new government’s policy agenda, is this week’s NZCPR Guest Commentary – it can be read on the NZCPR Homepage.

But those looking forward to a brighter future, should be mindful that there are strong forces entrenched deep within New Zealand’s social framework and state bureaucracy that will fight such change every step of the way. The fact is that over the last nine years, the radical left has infiltrated the establishment in New Zealand. Well organized and well funded – often by the government – they are committed to delivering social justice through the mechanisms of the state.

Just think back over the last few weeks since the election and reflect on the chorus of protests mounted by a range of diverse groups all unified in opposition to the policy platform of the new government. So strong is their influence that National has already backed down on at least one of their election pledges – to halt the building of new state houses – even though building more state houses will not only increase the level of state dependency in this country, but will not solve the poorly defined housing problem either.

Radical socialists groups have sprung up everywhere. Some, like the Trade Union movement, the activist arm of the Labour Party, have grown powerful over the last nine years through the enacting of more than 100 laws that affect employment relations – at the expense of the right of employers to best manage and run their own businesses. The Unions took the lead in vehemently opposing the introduction of the government’s 90-day probationary period for new small business employees – even though they themselves use a 180-day probationary period for new employees. Incredibly, they seem blind to their own hypocrisy!

The environmental movement has also established an extremely strong power base over the last nine years to the point where the concept of “sustainability” has become a central consideration in the policy development process. The problem is that rather than being conservationists, committed Kiwi-style environmentalists are deeply socialist, driven by irrational fears of overpopulation and the damage that human activity will cause to the planet. Their creed of sustainable development is a euphemism for a policy agenda that seeks to halt centuries of human progress.

What all of this means is that the need for cheerleaders for the centre-right has never been greater. That puts the onus on the New Zealand Centre for Political Research to relentlessly advocate for the policy direction signaled at the election. That means not only promoting freedom, liberty and greater personal responsibility, but also policies to reduce the role of the state in our lives, and to advance economic growth.

To take on this important challenge, the NZCPR needs to be strong. And, that’s why, more than ever before, I need your help.

Funding for the NZCPR comes directly from you, the readers of the weekly newsletters. While our electronic database is one of the biggest in the country, with the newsletters being read by tens of thousands of people each week – including growing numbers from all around the world – only a small minority of readers have ever been prepared to provide a financial contribution. With finding support having become even more difficult over the last few months, I’m asking you to consider giving a special end-of-year contribution to the NZCPR.

The NZCPR has a major influence on the policy debate in New Zealand, and our research based publications empower thousands of New Zealanders to speak out and take action. If you have enjoyed receiving our weekly newsletters and value of the work of the NZCPR, then please visit our donation page – https://www.nzcpr.com/support.htm – and choose your level of support. In return, I provide electronic books, DVDs, and access to the website General Debate Forum – depending on your support level – as a token of my appreciation for your kindness and generosity. Supporters will also receive a special compendium of summer reading within in the next few days.

2009 promises to be an eventful year. We already have some great guest contributors lined up and some exciting new projects. Over the Christmas period I will be publishing the maiden speeches of the new government MPs. If you visit our website you will be able to read the first two of these outstanding speeches.

Please don’t forget that I am more than happy to publish opinion piece contributions from readers on our website Soapbox Series, and, if you find you need a daily dose of politics over the summer break, please visit the NZCPR General Debate Forum where, thanks to the regular contributors who do a wonderful job, you will find lively debate on topical political issues, as well as up-to-the minute news and information.

Thanks again for your interest in the work of the NZCPR – I really appreciate your suggestions, feedback and encouragement. In the place of a poll over the Christmas period, I have set up a suggestion box for your ideas of topics to research, guests to invite and ways to improve our operation and service.

I do hope that you manage to get some time to relax and replenish your batteries over the summer – and best wishes for the year ahead.

Warmest regards,
Dr Muriel Newman
New Zealand Centre for Political Research
PO Box 984