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.

OPINION: Desperate and disappointing

houses

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 (Victoria.moore@national.org.nz) 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 (Victoria.moore@national.org.nz) 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 (Victoria.moore@national.org.nz) 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(Victoria.moore@national.org.nz), and I look forward to seeing you on July 14th.

Cheers,

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

Secretary
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.

Guest Post: Hon. Chris Tremain

Chris Tremain

Hon. Chris Tremain is the MP for Napier, a former Cabinet Minister, and big supporter of the Young Nats. He has written us this guest post about renewable energy in New Zealand.

A couple of weeks ago Russell Norman went on twitter to laud the United States for their investment in solar projects.

Putting aside for a minute the fact that Russell Norman’ standard modus operandi is to criticise the Americans it is this kind of one sided communication from the Greens that I want to discuss in this blog today.

Following my initial response to the Tweet I then went and did a bit of research and came up with this little gem from the US Energy Information Administration so tweeted it back, renewable energy only accounts for 9% of US energy consumption.

The point I wanted to make was that while the US may be doing well in solar energy New Zealand is so far ahead in terms of renewable energy generation that we are on a different planet. It is this fact that the Greens deliberately ignore in any speech or public commentary on renewable energy. The fact is that New Zealand is a world leader, far from the environmental monster the Greens want to paint our country. It is these facts that we need to constantly remind young people about and where you as Young Nats can play a huge role. You can help us to call the Greens out every time they demand more renewables, more clean energy, more solar power. Here’s just a few of my own tweets that came from the recent Financial Review of Mighty River Power where Doug Heffernan and Joan Whithers took us through the numbers.

 

 

 

 

So as you can see NZ has an amazing record in renewable energy of which we should be very proud. As Young Nats and Supporters you can play a huge role in the tweet and blogosphere every time one of the Greens try to make New Zealand out to be an international pariah in the Clean Energy space. It’s just bollocks.

Opinion: The case for smaller University Councils

The Hunter Building at Victoria University of Wellingon

You’d be forgiven for thinking the sky was falling in by the reaction of student unions to the Education Amendment Bill, currently before Parliament. Last year the Minister of Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment, Hon Steven Joyce, released a series of proposed changes to universities’ governance structures, and we haven’t heard the end of it since.

Their argument is basically this – Steven Joyce is “stealing [the student] voice”. Let’s test that claim for a moment.

The key changes are these: removing mandatory student representation from university councils, reducing the size of those councils from 12 – 20 members to 8 – 12 members, and requiring Ministry appointments to Councils to have governance capabilities and more specific duties and accountabilities.

Student union campaigns have conveniently ignored the fact that the proposal doesn’t remove the student voice. In fact, the proposal just relaxes the requirement to have it. It will be up to individual councils to decide for themselves whether they have students participating at the governance level. The Victoria University of Wellington Council (to name just one) is unanimous in their belief that students ought to be represented. So, in Victoria’s case, students will be represented, bill or no bill.

Why should Parliament decide what’s best for each university on a blanket basis, as under the status quo? There might be situations where student representation might hinder good governance – for example, if no students ran for election one year. If students genuinely didn’t care whether they were represented, why should universities fish out someone unqualified to govern them? Joyce’s solution is to leave this choice to the university – effectively meaning that where student representation is worthwhile, it’ll continue.

The second change, reducing the size of the councils, is proposed to make councils more effective. The idea is that small councils are more nimble, and can make governance decisions without undue delay. In fact, reducing the size of the university council could even increase student representation, proportionally-speaking. If student unions wanted to have a greater say, they’d be better off supporting the bill, and spending their time lobbying their own councils to retain the same number of seats.

Finally, the bill proposes having the same number (in most cases, four) Ministry-appointed council members. The argument here is that the government funds most of the university’s activities, and should therefore have a decent-sized contingent on each council (and rightly so). Crucially, these people will be required to have proper governance experience, as befits the role. The role of a university council is to govern – chiefly, setting performance indicators for management staff and ensuring the financial stability of the university. It is not the domain of the unqualified, nor should it micro-manage. In a way, it’s the least appropriate organ for engaging the broader academic community. There are better ways to get involved in university management – at the faculty level, for example.

Finally, it’s worth being wary of these kinds of student union campaigns. Typically, those that run them have vested interests – for some, student representation is their job. In most cases, their own political views obscure the pragmatic course of action. Students would be better served if the careerist politicians among us swam with the current.

September 20 – Election 2014

Young Nats Campaign

Yesterday John Key announced that this year’s general election will be held on Saturday, September 20th. That’s about six months from today. For us that means we have about six months to prepare and carry out a campaign for National to win a third term in government. Young Nats across the country will be knocking on doors, ringing phones and posting leaflets. More importantly we will be letting friends and family know that our party has the vision to continue to lead for another three years.

You only have to look at the policy wins the Young Nats have had in the last three years to see how highly valued our efforts have been so far. You can start with the Prime Minister’s Youth Mental Health Initiative – a policy backed by the Young Nats. On recent conscience issues, the lobbying of Young Nats helped secure National MPs’ votes for Keep It 18 and Marriage Equality. Our voices are being heard in the halls of Parliament.

We are taking important stands on issues that matter to young New Zealanders, but we need the support of as many young people as possible. That’s what will make the politicians and MPs take notice. Campaign season will be hard work, but will also be a lot of fun. I urge everyone to get involved this election year. Go to the events your local Young Nats committee is putting on. Find out how you can contribute, and get amongst it. We will make a difference over the next six months.

Joel Rowan – Victoria University Young Nats Chair

Opinion: Asset Sales

MRP

by Sam Franklin, Treasurer of the Northern Young Nats

With the partial sell down of State Owned Enterprises well underway, the Labour-led debate over the costs and benefits still rages. The opposition has declared that the National Government is, among other things, “selling young New Zealanders down the river.” This rhetoric suggests that Labour and the Greens are either being deliberately misleading, or are so blinded by political ideology that they are incapable of unbiased economic judgment. Instead of adding to the debate, it may be useful to take a look at the facts of the situation, from the perspective of “young New Zealanders.”

Continue reading

Big plans for University of Canterbury

Chch Rebuild

John Key and Steven Joyce have committed $260 million to the planned $1 billion upgrade and development of the University of Canterbury, with an emphasis on the science and engineering facilities.

Here’s some more info from the announcement:

The Government has agreed to provide up to $260 million to the University of Canterbury to support its rebuild programme following the destructive Canterbury earthquakes.

“The Government’s contribution will fund a new science centre and expanded and upgraded engineering facilities. These will provide modern teaching and research facilities and cater for more students,” Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment, Steven Joyce says.

“This is a very significant investment by the Government in both the future of the University, and the wider Canterbury recovery.

“The 2010 and 2011 earthquakes have had a major impact on the University, with all of its buildings and facilities affected. As a result of the earthquakes, student numbers were down 15 per cent in 2012 compared to the previous three-year average.”

“While generally the Government expects tertiary education institutions to fund their own capital investment from their balance sheets, Canterbury institutions are dealing with a unique set of challenges. The blunt reality is that Canterbury University would find it very difficult to recover without this support.”

The University of Canterbury has developed a campus wide redevelopment programme to refresh and modernise its campus and supporting infrastructure. The total programme is costed at $1.1 billion over a period of 10 years.

“I am encouraged to see positive progressive planning by Canterbury University. Their campus-wide programme of restoration and improvement will provide modern, world-leading facilities. The Government’s contribution to this programme will be an integral part of the transformation,” Mr Joyce says.

“The work programme will be a major contributor to the Canterbury recovery, and will be one of the largest building projects in New Zealand.  The University estimates that it will spend approximately $4 billion in capital and operating expenditure in the local economy over the next 10 years, as well as bringing an additional 3,000 domestic and international students into the region.”