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The Government now faces the music over its Budget priorities, and the consequences both intended and unintended.

Many will wonder, what of the promises laboured during the campaign?

What of the promises of the "no new taxes"? Yet the intended consequence of fuel tax, regional fuel tax, GST tax on online goods and a few other taxing matters and moments?

What of Winston's $900 million win of diplomats over the universal cheaper doctors' visits? Intended or not?

This Budget has a few contenders for the top Tui ad - "Yeah, right!" That good ole Kiwi-ism "Yeah-Nah!" also comes to mind.

For those of us who use social media online, please check out and follow the progress of political commentary and tid-bits on my Facebook page - Harete Hipango MP.

The activities of Parliament are available and accessible to the public. House sitting is televised, so people can watch the hollering and happenings live - lively debate indeed.

Since 2016, live captioning makes the speeches easier to follow and accessible for the hearing impaired. During May there is also New Zealand sign language with interpretation at question time.

Here is the link to Parliamentary TV (and business) online https://www.parliament.nz/en/watch-parliament/

In 2015, the Virtual House App was released, while the Parliament website was relaunched in June 2016 with an easy-access design.

In 2017, Hansard, a written record of word-for-word what has been said by members of Parliament, was digitised. People can access 150 years of Parliament online.

The buildings of Parliament are also accessible.

There is a team designated to guide visitors around the buildings and provide a commentary on the history of Parliament, the buildings, and workings of our democratic system.

In the 2016-17 year, 81,000 people visited Parliament on a tour or education visit.

The members of Parliament are accessible. Electorate and List MPs have offices all over the country within their electorates where the public can go to access information and advocacy.

With the evolution of social media all MPs have a webpage and social media accounts where people can contact them. Mine is https://haretehipango.national.org.nz/

Our New Zealand Parliament has an international reputation for being one of the best designed systems in the world.

New Zealand's democracy and its Parliament are looked upon by many countries as having policies and practices that are useful models for their own countries, such as our select committee system and our innovative approaches to indigenous issues and gender equality.

Parliament is able to promote New Zealand practices and policies in a positive and effective way, and advance the collective national interest.

These characteristics are the same regardless of who is in Government, and regardless of Budget decisions. With fewer unintended consequences.

 

 

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