Joe Hendren

[ Home ] [ Articles ] [ Blog Home ] [ Travel ] [ Links] [About Me]

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Young Jon Hunt retires from Parliament

As a way of marking the retirement of Jonathon Hunt from the house I thought I would share a speech Young Jon Hunt made as a first term MP in 1968. I came across this speech quite by accident, while researching some background for a submission on the Overseas Investment Bill.

On the 20th of November 1968, Young Jon Hunt made a fiery contribution to parliamentary debate on the Land and Income Tax Bill (No. 3). With the passing of nearly 40 years, this speech now contains some lovely ironies!

“"I thought I that I might, as the youngest member [he is now the oldest], reflect for a couple of minutes on this system of social security tax which tonight is going out after 30 years of existence".” The Land and Income Tax Amendment Bill (No. 3) removed the social security tax implemented by the first Labour Government in 1938.

Hunt defended the need for an equitable tax system and criticised National for giving greater tax cuts to the wealthy.
“"Why did the Labour Government in 1938 initiate the legislation which this bill is removing? It was initiated to provide a more equitable basis for taxation in New Zealand…...more importantly it was to offer that great levelling point, that equity of opportunity which is the basis of the Labour party’s philosophy.”"
Hunt criticised the bill for imposing “"extra indirect taxation on the young people, who marry when they are 21 or 22, without giving them an equivalent reduction elsewhere is merely to discourage them, to force them overseas, and to force them into unfair debt.”"

Later in his career Hunt was a minister in a Government that bought in student fees and planned to bring in a student loans scheme.

In the same speech Hunt also warned about the dangers of Government by Executive, yet later in his career was a minister in the Forth Labour Government, which probably still remains as the most infamous recent example of a Government dominated by the agenda of the cabinet.

The speech also included this gem.
"Presumably the member for Waipara would not know how to speak to a young person if he met one. He would be jealous if he was twice my age."
I doubt Jon Hunt continues to claim others are jealous of his age, as anyone twice his current age would be dead :)

While our former speaker is now widely respected for his encyclopaedic knowledge of parliamentary protocols, during his fiery speech in 1968 the Young Jon Hunt was pulled up by the Speaker more than once for breaching standing orders -– once for making a reference to past debates, and secondly for suggesting that other members of the house were trying to mislead. For the later parliamentary ‘crime’ Jon Hunt was forced to withdraw. But even in his first term Jon Hunt was not adverse to ‘helping the speaker’ 'interpret standing orders', so perhaps this impertinence lead to the day Hunt sat in the Speakers chair.

Labels: , , , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home