Matt Robson, Progressive list MP and candidate for Tamaki:
(Matt numbered his responses, so I've spliced the questions back in)
If you could ensure the passage of one act on one issue in the next Parliament, what would it be?
The cancellation of the student debt and the return to free tertiary education. Everyone requires a post-secondary school qualification. This step is good for our economic development, good for individuals, and it is just, in that irrespective of personal wealth the individual's talents can be developed.
What three other electoral candidates or sitting MPs do you think are most similar to you in their political views?
Jim Anderton - has commitment to a social wage for all new Zealanders
Keith Locke - on many, not all issues
Steve Maharey - if he could shrug off the careerism and opportunism of some of his colleagues
MMP is about coalitions: What sitting MP who is NOT in your party do you think is most similar to you in their political views?
immodestly foolishly? I can't think of many/any. But I can work issue by issue with many in Labour and in the Greens.
Do you support or oppose:
...raising the drinking age?
Raising the drinking age in tandem with controlling advertising, breaking the link with sport and enforcement of prohibition on supplying minors.
...legalising marijuana (or pharmaceuticals based on it) for medical use?
This is a perfectly legitimate use of marijuana as it is for many drugs that are banned for good use.
...decriminalising or legalising marijuana for recreational use?
No - the fact is that it is a "hard" not a "soft" drug, and such a step would be to forget its effect beyond the privileged classes.
...allowing same-sex couples to adopt children?
Of course - the criteria should be the happiness and welfare, primarily, of the children adopted.
...amending the Marriage Act to allow same-sex couples to marry?
I see it as a civil right.
...allowing voluntary euthanasia or physician assisted suicide?
Yes - with, of course, all the appropriate safeguards.
...state funding of integrated schools?
Yes, as with the current arrangement. But not at the expense of a total commitment to a free publicly funded school system.
...the retention of sedition as a crime in the Crimes Act?
No - this is a form of control and prevents free speech,
...the retention of blasphemous libel as a crime in the Crimes Act?
No - see 11.
...further restrictions on hate speech?
No - I think the answer to such speech directed at individuals, organisations and ethnic groups (in the main) is to allow the broadest use of democratic rights to rebut their propaganda.
...the use of indefinite detention without trial for those subject to a security risk certificate?
No - the state needs to have the onus of proof and to detain only for a specified crime on the state books
...restoring the death penalty for serious crime?
No - it is a state barbarism, whether it is "petty" or "serious" crime
...Georgina Beyer's Human Rights (Gender Identity) Amendment Bill?
Yes - it should be able to go to Select Committee. Human Rights should not/cannot be confined to "acceptable" groups.
...Gordon Copeland's New Zealand Bill of Rights (Private Property Rights) Amendment Bill?
No - property rights are protected. It is superfluous.
...entrenching the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act as supreme law?
I am in favour of a written constitution protecting the type of rights in the Bill of Rights. But these rights should be strengthened, such as complete protection of the right of habeas corpus, and to prevent the "detention without trial" scenario a la Ahmed Zaoui.
...New Zealand's participation in the International Criminal Court?
Yes - even though weakened by sabotage from the United States and other states, it sets norms and provides an avenue for ordinary people to pursue their persecutors.
...lowering MMP's threshold from the present 5%?
There is a case for not having such a high barrier.
With the benefit of hindsight, how should the government have handled the Ahmed Zaoui case?
Natural justice should have been applied throughout and the legislation which allowed for the national security certificate to be issued without normal legal safeguards should have been repealed.
As usual, Matt's opinions are his own, and do not necessarily represent those of the Progressive Party.