Monday, 13 October 2008

Election Survey: Colin du Plessis (Act)

I'd just like to clarify one issue before we press on with more survey responses - we have sought the responses of candidates as individuals, and as such their replies should be read as representing their thoughts and views. Sometimes these will differ from the policy of their party, (and it may be that we get party responses on some issues in future) so please bear in mind that not all candidates for Parliament are pumped out of a Candidate Making Machine (TM) at Party HQ.

This isn't in response to anything in the reply below (which I've only had time to skim) but due to a couple of other candidates who have responded pointing out that they are still individual human beings despite their party colours.

Right, onwards!

Below's response is from Colin du Plessis, who is the Act candidate for Ohariu and no. 9 on the Act party list.

The Questions & Answers
Question 1. What do you believe is currently the single biggest issue facing New Zealand women, and how would you like to address it if you are elected?
Alcohol dependence-I would be very keen on introducing a meaningful life skill component into the curriculum of school children from and early age. This would include a balanced view of alcohol and drug usage.

Question 2. New Zealand women are paid, on average, over $300 a week less than men, and the difference is worse for Maori and Pacific Island women. What do you propose as a first step towards closing the gender pay gap?
Equal pay for equal work irrespective of race, colour or creed. Enact equality of remuneration legislation including equal leave entitlement for males on maternity related needs.

Question 3. Do you think NZ's current approach to reproductive rights (abortion, contraception etc) is correct? (Yes or No or No Answer, please)
If not, what changes would you want to make?
As part of my previously mentioned life skills component in the education system I would introduce the concept of reproductive responsibility so that young people are equipped to understand the financial requirements of rearing a child. The ACT party, as a liberal institution would argue the all should have free access to abortion. I personally disagree with abortion as a freely available option to terminate unwanted pregnancy. Control of fertility should be available to all young people of legal age but more needs to be done to educate young people about the responsibilities, both financial and ethical, of bringing a new life into being.

Question 4. The police and the courts do not work in preventing violence against women. What other government actions would you take to ensure women can live without fear?
I would give tax incentives to Church and social organisations that house and council abused and battered men and women in order to increase the range of facilities available to such. However once again in the long term more needs to be done in the education of young people as to correct attitudes towards drugs, alcohol and violence.

Question 5. Those who do the caring work in our society, paid and unpaid, are often the least recognized and the lowest paid, and they work the longest hours. What do you see as the priority to address these issues for those caring for our sick, our elderly and our children?
I personally believe that older people should not be farmed off to retirement homes merely as a matter to convenience to the younger generation. Where it is unavoidable for people to go into care, the salaries of carers should be made up of a state as well as a family contribution and set at a level equivalent to nursing staff. The carers should then be subjected to a strict code of conduct and disciplinary code for misconduct.

Question 6. The Ministry of Health has recently launched a campaign to encourage breastfeeding and is now recommending that babies be breastfeed to at least one year old. What do you think the government could do to ensure that every woman who wants to breast feed can?
Educate all boys and girls as to the biological realities and requirements of human beings at school level. Educate at school as to the need to go home and breastfeed their babies when required.

Question 7. What single measure do you think our political organizations could take to better encourage young women to be involved and take on leadership positions in our communities?
Women appear to be far better socialised to do that at an early age. It is young boys that need the education to take their correct role in society, that of responsible fathers and husbands.

Question 8. Do you see domestic violence as an issue for women, for men, or for all New Zealanders? (Women, or Men, or all New Zealanders please)
If elected, what strategies would you like to pursue to eliminate domestic violence?
It is an isue for all. Our economic policy is designed to eliminate the poverty that leads ultimately to crime and violence.

Question 9. Successive governments have effectively cut the Domestic Purposes Benefit. Do you believe people raising children alone should have sufficient financial support from the state so that they do not need to go to work until they believe that is the best choice for their family? (Yes or No or No Answer, please)
Yes, but they should be educated as to their reproductive responsibilities. The DPB should be a hand up primarilly to serve the growing child's needs, not a lifestyle choice.

Question 10. Women do the vast majority of cooking and shopping, and increases in food prices are a burden borne disproportionately by women. What do you think our government can or should do to ensure that everyone has access to good food?
I disagree-in a balanced houshold both husband and wife contribute towards expenses. Food security is a function of economic security, something that a socilialist government is eternally unable to provide.

Question 11. Do you have any further comments that you wish to make about the role of women in our society? Please feel free to share your thoughts here.
It is a pity that orgnisations seek to highlight the incompatibilty of the sexes. More should be done to highlight the positive benefits and influence of stable relationships and marriages upon society.

29 comments:

Hugh said...

It's amazing how many times Du Plessis claims it's the role of the state to promote a certain ideology or view of the world in its citizens. 'Educate' is given as a solution four times. Given ACT's track record of vehemently opposing the use of taxpayer money for this sort of thing, I wonder how he envisages such education being achieved? Or is the finger-wagging nanny state only a problem if the finger isn't being wagged by right-wingers?

Colin said...

Silly 'ol crazy lefty Hugh. What I said was that it is our responsibility as adults to equip children with life skills. If parents are unwilling/unable to teach their children about cause and effect or personal freedom with responsibility then it is up to our schools to at lease have a crack at teaching these sorts of vital skills. When I hear from people like you who twist the words of others I would suggest you are a good example of the desirability of early termination!

JoyA said...

I think kids should not have the freedom to spend so much time with memebers of the opposite sex from an early age. What is wrong with parents actually parenting for a change. Why should the tax payer have to put up with all these unwanted babies?

Colin said...

Is that YOU Mum?? Really we are getting off the point here people!

Joanna said...

So women should "go home" to breast-feed? No incentives for workplaces to provide accommodation for breastfeeding? Or paid parental leave?

And why is a "balanced household" automatically a husband and wife?

alison said...

You don't say joanna. What with us needing to go home to breastfeed where people can't see our boobiez, and our overwhelming abuse of alcohol, it's no wonder our employers don't pay us equal wages.

alison said...

PS: [/sarcasm]

John said...

Joanna you can breast feed at work all you like-as long as as a male can get equivalent time off to look after his kids. CDP said that(if you care to read his response) that both parents should get paid parental leave.
Alison you really shouldn't be drinking and beast feeding! AND GET A HUSBAND to look after. You will be less cranky and less Lesbo...

Anna said...

John, making fun of people for being gay, irrespective of whether they are or not, isn't actually funny. It wasn't funny in fourth form, and it's not funny now. In fact, it's retarded. By all means engage in political debate here, but don't waste people's time by behaving like a toddler.

Anonymous said...

Anna, making fun of people for being retarded, irrespective of whether they are or not, isn't actually funny. It wasn't funny in fourth form, and it's not funny now.

Not cool.

Anna said...

Colin, thanks for your thoughtful answers. They didn't give me the willies as much as I expected! I was quite surprised that you see a role for regulation in certain areas, particularly vis a vis pay equity. Is that your personal view only, or is a direction the party has moved in to some degree?

Anna said...

Sorry, Anon. Also sorry to any toddlers I may have offended with that comparison.

alison said...

Thanks for your concern John. I've taken ownership of it by making it my facebook status, make of that what you will.

Joanna said...

Joanna you can breast feed at work all you like-as long as as a male can get equivalent time off to look after his kids. CDP said that(if you care to read his response) that both parents should get paid parental leave.

Well John, I read his response to the question about what the government should do in order to the government could do to ensure that every woman who wants to breast feed could, and his exact answer was
"Educate all boys and girls as to the biological realities and requirements of human beings at school level. Educate at school as to the need to go home and breastfeed their babies when required."

That doesn't seem to be have anything to do with providing space in workplaces for breastfeeding.So perhaps I can't breastfeed all I like at work after all.

ideologicallyimpure said...

I was so, so trying to give the guy a chance, and then he used "DPB" and "lifestyle choice" in the same sentence. Tell you what, Colin, YOU try raising children on your own on current benefits and see how much you like the "lifestyle".

Oh wait, women are irresponsible drunks, clearly any patently stupid "lifestyle choice" is quite within our means.

Colin said...

Anna the idea of legislating equal pay for equal work is not in conflict with our stated values at all. I cannot see why we should tolerate pay discrimination in the workplace any more than we should tolerate sexual harassment. I wish people would evaluate ACT policy in terms of the liberal party that we are, rather than measuring us through the filter of propaganda that the left throws at us.
In response to ideologicallyimpure, I agree the DPB certainly does not offer a life of luxury. You are using "lifestyle" in a colloquial sense. What I meant was that Labour has created an environment of dependency allowing people to choose to continue to live in a certain way. In fact Rodney Hide has said that the DPB should be much higher and that women should continue to receive this benefit for their first year back in the work force. However it has always been the ACT stance that any benefit should be a "hand up, not a hand out." So it is desirable to have a short term aid package, but short term only. It is naive of some here to imply that there is no purposeful abuse of the system.
As far as the alcohol abuse issue is concerned stop purposefully misinterpreting my words, I am not the only person to be concerned about alcohol abuse amongst women. Just watch TV and see some of the ads the Nanny State puts on. And of course we know they are never wrong.

Hugh said...

Colin, given you're standing for election as a member of parliament and not for head of a family unit, I presumed the solutions you were offering were things the government should do, not individual families should do.

Do you feel that schools currently don't teach life schools? If not, how would you equip them to do so? And how would these methods be consistent with your party's education policy, whose main idea is school vouchers?

As for your ad hominem attack on me, how about playing the ball, not the man?

Heine said...

Hugh, get your facts straight about ACTs policies. Since I joined in 96 ACT have always talked about putting more money and Govt action towards improving the output of the family unit. We figure that by ensuring all families have a good support network then it will contribute heavily towards less crime, stronger family units and a better society.

More money now means less in the future, so I think it's a great investment.

Anna said...

Heine, I seem to remember Richard Prebble using the phrase, 'You breed 'em, you feed 'em'. That sounds a lot to me like a laissez faire approach to the family, whereby the family is expected to take full responsibility for it's own wellbeing. It doesn't sound like 'a good support network', or indeed any network at all. Another family policy of ACT's which I recall is lowering the age of criminal responsibility to 12. This sounds like a punitive approach, not a supportive one.

Colin, legislating for pay equity sounds a whole lot like admitting the possibility of market failure. I can't reconcile that with ACT's principles at all. I seem to remember an ACT luminary (possibly Roger Douglas?) criticising Dick Hubbard in his pre-mayoral days for shouting his predominantly Samoan factory workers a weekend trip to Samoa. The gesture was Hubbard's way of recognising both the work of his employees and the racialised pattern of low-wage work which the market seems to produce. Fom memory, Douglas (?) called Hubbard 'immoral' for failing to recognise his primary duty to maximising shareholder profit. This seems a rather heavily pro-market stance to me. If he couldn't tolerate Hubbard's free choice to reward his workers, I don't imagine he would have (or would now) be accepting of legislation intervening to improve wages.

Anna said...

PS Colin - I'm not intending to snipe at a possible change of policies by ACT. Rather, I think it's a reflection of international trends over the last 10 years or so.

Anonymous said...

Clint, I am indeed ignorant about this aspect of ACT's policy and would like to thank you for filling me in.

However, I'm afraid this information only leads to more questions. What form would this money take? Direct subsidies? Vouchers? Would it be paid to a certain member of the family? How would a 'family' be defined as relates to this support - single mothers, gay couples, grandparents raising their grandchildren,etc etc?

Also, can you be specific with figures? How much more money would ACT put towards families?

Anonymous said...

I look forward to going back to work, then telling my employer, "sorry, i need to go home now and breastfeed, see you in an hour and a half" about 3 times a day.

Hugh said...

Anon of 10:18 was me. Don't know what happened there.

Joanna said...

Just watch TV and see some of the ads the Nanny State puts on. And of course we know they are never wrong.

You're going to say that on this website? Really? Really? Cos I'm pretty sure that the authors and most of the comments on the Hand Mirror are pretty clear about just how wrong we thing the 'nanny state' (or rather ALAC) is in their approach to this. Also, thanks for clarifying my questions about breastfeeding and why a balanced household is a man and woman, it'll really help me make my mind up on voting day.

Anna said...

I've only just properly registered the comment about educating women about the need to go home and breastfeed. Classic! What bit of the curriculum would it go in? I love the way education is supposed to fix everything, including the need to be in two places at once.

Hugh said...

I love the way education is supposed to fix everything

Unfortunately this is a tendency not limited to the political right.

Anna said...

That's true, Hugh, but I've never seen anyone else propose biological education as a solution to workplace breastfeeding. Most women don't need the fact that we have boobs drawn to our attention. That's not the issue.

Hugh said...

Perhaps he meant it was a matter of educating employers to make them more permissive?

Unfortunately, this takes the IMO rather idealistic view that employers are ignorant, rather than uncaring.

Emma said...

I would give tax incentives to Church and social organisations that house and council abused and battered men and women in order to increase the range of facilities available to such.

This would be after you make charitable organisations START paying tax, then? Anyone know what Women's Refuge's net profit was last year so we can work out how much this tax credit would net them?