Labour sips Greens policy

By Kathryn Powley

Brendon Burns says New Zealand's future depends on improving current water policy.
Photo / Supplied
Brendon Burns says New Zealand's future depends on improving current water policy. Photo / Supplied

The election is nigh and it's time for you to complete this sentence: "New Zealand's future depends on ...". Keeping up with Australia? Greater GDP? A world class health system? Law'n'order?

Chances are you didn't say "Improving current water quality." Yet that's exactly what Brendon Burns, Labour's "water spokesperson" said when releasing the party's first water policy last week. Who knew? Labour is promising to work with farmers to encourage wise use of water through a charging system. Cleaning waterways already forms a big part of the Greens' platform.

But if you want to know what the Maori Party stands for, look no further than the policy section of its website - entitled "Election Policy 2008".

The Mana Party has launched its "economic justice policy" pledging to abolish GST and stop taxing the first $27,000 of income. The party's Manukau East candidate, John Minto, said it would pay for this through a "Hone Heke" tax on financial transactions.

Meanwhile the Nats are promising to "extend" free doctor visits for children aged under 6 to after-hours visits, which must seem curious to those parents of the 13 per cent of under 6s whose GPs charge them.

Health Minister Tony Ryall promises to restore Plunketline. Sounds good - except Plunketline is already running. Just dial 0800 933 922.

kathryn.powley@hos.co.nz

- Herald on Sunday

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