Back Benches 9 May 2012

THIS WEEK ON : Watch Wallace Chapman, Damian Christie, the Back Benches Panel and special guests discuss the week’s hottest topics!

FOR SALE: Last Friday, a hikoi of 5000 marched to Parliament to protest the Government’s plan to sell state assets. The vote in Parliament will be close. Which way will the small parties fall? Did the 2011 election give the Government have a mandate for a mixed ownership model? Was the prospect of asset sales not scary enough to voters? Why do we need to own these assets? Is privatisation a dirty word?

GIMME A LOAN: The zero budget has brought big changes to the student loan scheme. Students will have to pay back their loans more quickly. While access to student allowances is tightened. Are these changes unfair to the youth of NZ? Are the students of tomorrow paying the prices for the students of yesterday who haven’t paid their loans? The money will be reinvested in tertiary education—so isn’t this a good thing?

PLAYING POSSUM: Playing possum, the NZ drinking game, which has some Dunedin students boozing until they fall out of trees has made international headlines. So, perhaps a good sign we’ve got a bit of an issue with the drink? Here are some proposals from the Alcohol Reform Bill—split purchase age, sales ban between 4am-7am, and parental permission for under-18s to drink at a party. Will these changes do the trick? Do they go far enough? Or are we over-reacting to a few stupid apples who ruin the cider for the rest of us?

Join us for a night of LIVE pub politics from the Backbencher Pub: Wednesday, 9th of May. Our Panel: Green Party MP Catherine Delahunty, Labour MP Shane Jones, New Zealand First MP Brendan Horan and National MP Mark Mitchell.    Wednesday at 9.05pm and Saturday at 10.05pm | TVNZ 7

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