Battle Royale

By Sam Stead, Lower North Island Chair

Being a Kiwi-American it’s safe to say a lot of my time and attention – probably too much in all honesty – has been spent watching the 2016 United States election. It is a clash of two titan parties, and their nominees, to take on one of the world’s most demanding and pressure-driven jobs: The Presidency of the United States.

The US primary system is an intriguing one and here’s my take on this cycle’s primaries:
For the Democrats, a majority of the Party base was happy with the Obama administration and their establishment’s vision. They wanted a continuation of this, and as such, picked the ex-Cabinet and establishment member that is Hillary Clinton.

The Republicans are another story. As the opposition for 8 years, their base is fired up and angry, demanding change. This sentiment gave rise to candidates such as Cruz and Carson with the ultimate outsider, Donald Trump, clinching the nomination with increased voter turnout. Many disenfranchised Americans wanted change and they viewed Trump as the means to that end.

Since the primaries, scandal has plagued both nominees. For Trump, a failure to release tax returns has spurred allegations of dodgy dealings and tax avoidance, and the leaking of a ‘hot mic’ recording put his treatment of women under the spotlight.

In Clinton’s case, an ongoing probe into Benghazi, the Clinton Foundation, and the sending of sensitive emails from non-secured servers has led to investigation from the FBI and calls for a wider investigation from various political leaders.

Although often sensationalised in the media, regardless of Party, these scandals have driven the election towards one of personality politics, not one which is policy or vision-driven. This is arguably not new in America, with Romney’s “47%” gaffe and Obama’s “you didn’t build that” mistake playing major roles in the 2012 election. That said, this is arguably the most scandal centred election America has seen in recent memory.

To me this is a real flaw of this election as both candidates, regardless of their views, do have comprehensive plans for America. They both have a vision and an idea on how to implement it, yet we rarely hear about their detailed platforms and have an increased focus on ‘he said-she said’ type politics. It creates an environment where voters don’t know what they’re getting at the ballot box and spurs even more political apathy.

This type of politics and electioneering has fuelled an oddly negative election; instead of voting for their favourite candidate, many Americans were voting for the candidate they disliked the least, or they believed would do the least harm.

This view has given oxygen to third party candidates across the country. With particular reference to Johnson and McMullin, some looked within striking distance of winning a State’s Electoral College votes for the first time since the 1960s. To me, this shows two things: one, a mistrust placed in the mainstream candidates; and two, a willingness to look elsewhere. From a political junkie’s view, this is an exciting break with the historically two horse race of American politics.

Predictions? I’d say it’s still too close to call. Early voting suggests a tighter race than commentators have suggested, and the Electoral College can give rise to unforeseen outcomes. Who knows, we may see a landslide victory or a repeat of Bush vs Gore 2000.

I’m a National Party member, but my views don’t line up perfectly with either party in the US, and this election has just solidified that. The broad-church nature of National exposes me to a range of political view points and allows me to see where I stand, all under the same roof. This election has, if anything, just renewed my belief in the stability and direction of the John Key led government that makes New Zealand a pearl on the world stage.

Commitment to Building Safer Communities, Not Building More Crime

By Shelley Addison-Bell, Northern Young Nats Central Rep

Crime is an issue for people and communities. When individuals commit a crime, they are taking away from every New Zealander’s contribution to keeping New Zealand safe. Whether it is your neighbour getting burgled, or your local shop owner’s property being damaged, it affects the way you feel about your own and New Zealand’s safety.

I am a New Zealander, and I have also been exposed to the vulnerabilities of families to crime; whether it was my experience as a child woken up by a police officer in the middle of the night, or my brother’s prison sentence, at the same age I am now.

When I think about why or how a person would get to the stage they would commit a crime, I think about the importance of crime prevention, disruption of crime cycles, visibility of our law enforcement, and most significantly, how we can better deliver our public services. I am proud of our justice system and our current focus in these areas, as well as our approach to addressing underlying issues surrounding crime. Unlike Labour, I think it’s about more than New Zealanders ‘deserving’ to feel safe in their homes and neighbourhoods. It’s also more than ‘restoring’ safety. It’s about being a world leader in the way we deal with crime.

I believe National is setting the benchmark in connecting all sectors to address crime. National is targeting areas which are complex, often too complex for previous governments to address, namely family violence, child youth and family, emergency housing, victims support and restorative justice. You would have seen in the media last week about the increase in prison capacity by 1800, an investment of a further $1bn. I think this is a responsible measure in the best interests of those inside prisons. Upgraded prisons mean a higher standard of facilities, and additional prison beds mean more inmates can be closer to their families and their local community. It is also for the benefit of those outside prison, with increased capacity meaning more choice around remanding alleged offenders, especially when violence is the top offence.

If you are still questioning National’s purpose, this government set the target for all prisons in New Zealand to be working prisons. Working Prisons, alongside online learning, prepare inmates for the realities of reintegration, and show inmates they can still have a chance to contribute to society once again.

Our justice system is growing from strength and strength and this is another step towards a better New Zealand.


Migration to NZ; What a New Kiwi Says

By Ariyan von Wittmann, a member of the Southern Young Nats.

Since its birth as a nation, New Zealand has benefited from a responsible immigration policy which ensures migrants arriving in New Zealand will benefit both themselves and their new home. My family and I are some of the countless migrants who have successfully migrated to New Zealand, accepted through the University of Otago’s grant of a scholarship to my mum for her to do her PhD here, instead of elsewhere.

My parents decided to stay in New Zealand after mum had finished her PhD for multiple reasons, not least of which was a world class education system. For my parents, New Zealand has an atmosphere which is much calmer than what they had lived through in Iran.

To gain permanent residency, we proved our health and employment; my father had a permanent, skilled and shortage-listed job, while mum finished her PhD sooner than predicted and started on her new job as a lecturer in the university. I believe we have become giving citizens; paying taxes and contributing to the community through volunteering where we can. Through this, we began to give back to New Zealand in return for what it had given us.

I think my family and I are the result of the responsible and sustainable immigration policy which we have in New Zealand. Candidates are prioritised based on their skills and abilities and are monitored to ensure that they will benefit New Zealand as much as New Zealand benefits them.

As a young person having lived here for almost half of my life, I started to develop political ideas of my own and gravitated towards National because I came to understand the economy as being the backbone of prosperity in any nation, beliefs I share with my family. It seems obvious to me that in this too, National has proven its worth through consistently strong growth and declining unemployment figures. When you look at the alternative: parties that would make it harder for families like mine to settle in New Zealand, get a job in New Zealand, and even buy a house in New Zealand, it’s easy to see why I’m backing National.

PR: NZ Young Nats Welcome Support for Med Students

The Young Nats welcome the announcement by Hon Steven Joyce that the Government will extend the seven year cap on student loan borrowing to eight years for postgraduate medical students.

“We’ve backed the NZMSA’s campaign since May, because it just makes sense. Medical students need more time in full-time study to acquire the essential skills that our health system needs.” Young Nats President, Joel Rowan said.

“I’m pleased that the Minister has listened to the voice of students and recognised that this is a valuable investment. Medical students should be able to finish their degrees with the same support as students who get qualifications in other subjects.”

“New Zealand’s health system needs more doctors. The Young Nats welcome the news that the Government is supporting the students who are working hard to qualify.”

“Student support should not be unlimited, nor should it come with no obligations, but the policy announced today makes access fairer for postgraduate med students.”

Previously, the cap would have left postgraduate med students short by one or two years. Now, those students who take eight years to complete their study will be able to graduate without the need to self-fund their final year.

OPINION: Son of a Dairy Farmer


By Joel Rowan, NZ Young Nats President

For generations, the Rowans have produced milk in Taranaki, Whanganui, Manawatu and Southland. My father is a dairy farmer. His father was a dairy farmer, and so on. So although I’m not a farmer, it’s clearly in my DNA.

Last night I watched the Sunday programme’s piece on bobby calves and the “cruelty” that underpins the New Zealand dairy industry. I watched as the people from SAFE threatened to broadcast their illegally-obtained footage internationally, to inflict damage on the reputation of New Zealand farming.

Some of what I saw was clearly malpractice in a small number of suppliers in industries that serve farmers. But I don’t believe that that paints a fair picture of New Zealand dairying as a whole.

New Zealand is ranked 1st equal for animal welfare (with the United Kingdom, Switzerland and Austria) by Animal Protection International.

Dairy NZ is the industry body for dairy farmers and it produces pretty clear expectations for farmers and farm-related service providers when it comes to animal welfare. The treatment and slaughter of calves is expected to be humane.

The New Zealand dairy industry isn’t perfect, but its environmental and welfare record is improving every year. Farmers are getting serious about protecting water quality by fencing and planting alongside streams and rivers, and are ending cruel practises like short docking of cows’ tails.

There will always be bad players in any industry or profession, and they deserve to be punished. We can’t let the proponents of a meat-free and milk-free ideology threaten New Zealand’s prosperity using cherry-picked footage of dairy farming’s worst operators. They are doing wilful damage to New Zealand’s dairy trade, which will hurt the progress of our entire nation.

I won’t buy into the guilt-trip from dairy farming’s opponents. All of the dairy farmers I know feel a sense of responsibility and genuine care for their animals. They know that cruelty is bad for business. They uphold the highest welfare standards, and they expect their neighbours to do the same.

OPINION: Don’t Save Me a Seat

Opinion – Katy Hendrikse Young Nats Vice-President

Last week the Green Party decided, in their infinite wisdom, that because I am a woman I couldn’t possibly be capable of earning a place in cabinet on my own merit. I feel so lucky to have a big strong man like James Shaw there to look out for me, and make sure that we can point to a Greens Cabinet and say we are doing well as a country because half of them are women.

Controversially, I prefer that we can point to our Cabinet and be proud of the hard-working, qualified men and women who are working to make New Zealand the best it can be. That the Ministers running our country are chosen on their merits and experience, rather than whether or not they have a penis. That we judge them based on the results they produce rather than their gender.

To have a man say that we need a gender quota to achieve an even gender split in Cabinet is condescending and insulting. I am confident that we will have increasing numbers of female Ministers, but it won’t be because we have been gifted these spots by men. It will be because we have plenty of driven, qualified women in Parliament, and beyond, who are perfectly capable of beating a man for a position.

Under our human rights law, I have the same protection as every other person. The law prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender, amongst other things. I do not need my hand held, to get to achieve the same things as a man achieves. Gender quotas only encourage the outdated perception that women are less valuable employees than men. If we want to reduce the gender pay gap, encouraging this perception is not the way to do it. The women we have in Cabinet today have proven that they are every bit as hard-working and skilled as the men in Cabinet – and they didn’t need a gender quota to get there.

James Shaw, I don’t need your condescension or your hand-outs. I am a strong, independent woman who doesn’t need a man to save me a spot in Cabinet, or anywhere else – I’d rather earn it for myself.

We’d like your opinion for our blog. You can email one to us here.

OPINION: Desperate and disappointing


By Melissa Hu, Member of the Young Nats and Northern Young Nats Executive

I’m not sure if you saw Andrew Little, Phil Twyford and the New Zealand Labour Party hit a disappointing and desperate new low yesterday.

They blamed the challenge of housing affordability on whether your name sounds Chinese or not. 

I was born here, I study here, I work here and I’m a New Zealand citizen but because my last name sounds Chinese I’m apparently a big part of the housing affordability problem – (I’m actually of Mongolian descent but would Labour care about that?)

Labour chose to make racially inflammatory comments based on half-baked data from an anonymous real estate agent in Auckland. They chose to say that there are too many Chinese buyers in the Auckland housing market based on whether your last name was Wang, Lee – or even like mine.

The problem is, this data doesn’t actually prove whether the buyers are foreigners or not. Even NZIER’s Principal Economist said Labour’s comments were “very damaging for a multi-cultural, welcoming place like New Zealand”.

I’ve lived here all my life, and I’m proud to call myself Kiwi. Young New Zealanders like me are ambitious, excited and open about New Zealand’s future. I don’t think my last name, or yours, has anything to do with trying to buy a house.

We need to be encouraging all Kiwis – young, old, European, Maori, Chinese, whatever – to aim high, work hard, create wealth and continue to raise our living standards. We also need the Government to keep taking common sense steps with councils to make more land available for housing. That’s why I support National- they know there’s a problem and they have a real plan to fix it.

We don’t need to start a “pick on the Chinese” attitude which could create more problems than it solves. Auckland’s housing problem is a supply issue – not a Chinese issue. We’re a multicultural, ambitious and prosperous country – I hope we stay that way.

Notice of SGM of the CW Young Nats

Notice of SGM

Special General Meeting (SGM) of the Canterbury-Westland Young Nats for the purposes of electing a Deputy Regional Chair. The SGM will take place at 7:00pm on Tuesday 14thJuly, 2015 in Room KB05, Kirkwood Village, University of Canterbury, Christchurch, and all current financial members of the Young Nats in the region as at 5:00pm Monday 13th July will be eligible to attend and vote.

Some important information for you is:

Apologies must be emailed to Regional Coordinator, Viki Moore ( before 5:00pm on Friday 10th July.

Nominations to be a candidate for election as CWYN Deputy Regional Chair must be emailed, including the name of your mover and seconder, to Regional Coordinator, Viki Moore ( before 5:00pm on Monday 13th July. NB: You and your nominators must be current financial members of the CW Young Nats to be eligible for election, with voting taking place at the SGM.

Nominations to be a candidate for election as a voting delegate to represent CWYN at the 2015 NZYN AGM in Auckland on 26th July, 2015 must be emailed to Regional Coordinator, Viki Moore ( before 5:00pm on Monday 13th July. NB: You must be current financial members of the CW Young Nats at 5:00pm on Monday 13th July to be eligible for selection. You do not need a mover and seconder to have your name considered, but you must submit your name to be considered as a candidate, with the executive voting to select the final delegates for the AGM.

If you have any questions about this meeting, please contact our Regional Coordinator, Viki Moore(, and I look forward to seeing you on July 14th.


Boyd Becker

CWYN Regional Chair

Conference 2015

New Zealand Young Nationals

Notice of Annual General Meeting

Sunday, 26th July 2015

8:50am for a 9:00am start

This is to give notice that the New Zealand Young Nationals Annual General Meeting will take place on Sunday 26th July 2015 at Sky City Convention Centre in Auckland.

As per the Constitution and Rules of the New Zealand National Party, nominations for the National Executive must be supplied in writing by each region to the Secretary of the NZ Young Nationals, by 9:00am, Sunday 12th July 2015. Regions are required to accompany those nominations with their most recent AGM and SGM minutes, which also verify the nominations.

Nominations for the following elected positions on the National Executive are open: President, Vice President, Treasurer, Secretary, Policy Officer, Projects Co-ordinator and Grassroots Co-ordinator.

Adam Roland

New Zealand Young Nationals

PR: Young Nats call for Govt to back Med Students

The Young Nats support the New Zealand Medical Students Association’s campaign to exempt medical students from the seven year equivalent full time study cap on borrowing for course costs, and want the cap extended to nine years for this group of students.

“The seven year cap makes sense for most students because most courses don’t require study beyond seven years. We know the obvious exception to this is medical graduates who need to acquire essential skills through postgraduate study” Young Nats President, Sean Topham says.

Medical students are in short-supply and are arguably our hardest working. Making it harder for them could put further pressure on the health system in the long-term.

When the cap takes effect in six months, many students close to graduating will find it difficult to finance additional costs of around $15,000, possibly forcing them to delay their study or quit altogether.

“We back students undertaking postgraduate courses, but a system where specialising in philosophy is supported and specialising in medicine is not supported needs to be fixed. Qualified doctors are essential to the quality of our health system”.

Most postgraduate medical students take eight years to complete their degree, meaning that the current cap will leave them one year short. However a smaller group of around 40 per year have done a 4 year undergraduate degree and thus will need a 2 year extension. 

“Our position is that a two year extension on student loan borrowing is reasonable and will cover the vast majority of postgraduate med students” says Topham.