Come on, Hone – show just a twinge of concern for all those non-Maori deaths from tobacco-related diseases

April 29, 2010

Dunno if the newspapers are mentioning it today, but Alf was among the great majority of MPs who voted to raise the tax on tobacco.

He did this because he believes making tobacco more expensive is an effective way of discouraging its use and reducing the huge death toll from tobacco-related illnesses.

He is a caring bloke, your Alf, keen to reduce rates of preventable disease among all New Zealanders.

All New Zealanders, he emphasises. Not just some.

Alf was dismayed to read a media statement from Hone Harawira, apparently spelling out the Maori Party’s position.

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Pointers to a bleak but not black Budget

May 8, 2009

Those who like sniffing out clues to what will be in the Budget would have learned nothing significant from The Boss yesterday, when he talked to Business New Zealand in Wellington.

Essentially, he destroyed any illusions about it being a generous budget that might have survived the release of the crown accounts for the nine months to March.

The accounts showed there ain’t much scope for extra spending without borrowing, and John Key and Bill English are reluctant borrowers.

On the other hand, Key (the previous day) was trying to disabuse us of the idea it will be black budget.

“I wouldn’t describe it as black, in fact we are spending a lot of extra money on health and education, but beyond that there is not a lot more to go around,” said Key.

Finance Minister Bill English said he would be scaling back some of the spending promises made by Labour, but there would still be increases.

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It’s a bit late now for Labour’s needle

April 4, 2009

A tiresome Labour threesome, Annette King, Grant Roberston and Ruth Dyson, apparently had nothing better to do yesterday than attempt to embarrass National (or try to) for consequences of the Clark Government’s shortcomings.

They are howling for Health Minister Tony Ryall to “urgently investigate what’s gone wrong with child cancer services at Wellington Hospital, and reassure parents that systems are in place to ensure the service works for the region’s children.”

Their howls were prompted – just a few months into the first term of the Key Government – by two child cancer oncologists quitting from jobs at Wellington Hospital to take up jobs in North America.
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Rongoa spending is wrongoa

January 20, 2009

I’ll be dropping in on Health Minister Tony Ryall, when next in Wellington, to demand an amputation: especially at a time when government budgets are being cut, he must cut off the supply of $1.9 million of public money to Maori traditional healers through the Ministry of Health.

According to a report in The Press, these healers are the only alternative-treatment providers directly receiving public health dollars.

In other words, our policy on alternative treatments is race-based. Read the rest of this entry »