Posts Tagged ‘People’

Larry Baldock: “You will not drown out the voice of the people”

Monday, July 7th, 2008

Kiwi Party singles out drugs, booze

By GRANT MILLER – Manawatu Standard | Monday, 07 July 2008

Random drug-testing in schools, violent criminals losing any right to parole and increasing the penalty for class A drug manufacture and distribution to the same as murder are the planks of a hardline law and order policy from the Kiwi Party.

“Those profiting from the manufacture and sale of class A drugs are murderers in my opinion,” party leader Larry Baldock said at a regional conference in Palmerston North.

The maximum penalty for importing, manufacturing or supplying class A drugs is already life imprisonment, however.

Conspiring to supply class A drugs carries a maximum penalty of 14 years’ imprisonment.

Mr Baldock said drug and alcohol abuse was at the root of much of the nation’s crime.

“Our young people need a strong message to encourage them to make the right choices with regards to binge drinking and drug usage,” he said.

“Random testing would help identify those in need of help and make it clear that we do not intend to stand idly by while they waste their youth and potential. . .”

A World Health Organisation report found that 42 percent of New Zealanders had used cannabis.

Mr Baldock, who had himself used cannabis, said it nearly ruined him.

Lowering the drinking age from 20 to 18 was a mistake, he said.

People alleged to have committed violent offences should not be eligible for bail and violent criminals would not get parole or home detention.

Hail pelted the region in the hours before the conference and the weather was freezing throughout the day.

“For hardy folk like yourselves, it’s a summer’s day really, isn’t it?” party president and emcee Frank Naea joked at the Palmerston North Convention Centre.

Mr Baldock, who led efforts to bring about a referendum on smacking, said the Kiwi Party was not a single-issue party, though repealing anti-smacking legislation had been its top priority.

“Parents should be able to raise their children without the fear of the police turning up at the door,” he said.

“Helen Clark, Sue Bradford, Peter Dunne, John Key – you will not drown out the voice of the people.”

The Christian-based party played clips from the Amazing Grace movie, which depicted anti-slavery campaigner William Wilberforce presenting 390,000 signatures – roughly the same number collected against anti-smacking legislation.

Mr Baldock was frosty about the prime minister’s record of “social engineering”.

He said Miss Clark’s agenda of “humanism, socialism and secularism” undermined traditional Kiwi values exemplified by Sir Edmund Hillary.

The Kiwi Party hoped anger over anti-smacking legislation would translate into votes for the party at this year’s election.

Mr Baldock said he believed the party could cross the 5 percent threshold needed to earn representation in Parliament – or that he could win the Tauranga electorate.

If successful, the party would not support Labour.

It would also “make sure National does not return to the harsh social policies of the 1990s”.

People wanted to get rid of Labour but they were “not really that stoked about National”.