Well this is it. Wednesday night will be the last episode of Back Benches as we have grown to know it and love. I hope you’ll all watch it.
Thanks so much to the production team led by Maryanne Ahern, Caroline Bruner, presenters Wallace Chapman, Damian Christie and the rest of the team.
You’ve been provocotive, challenging, quirky, funny, outrageous, thoughtful and you’ve pushed us politicians to reveal ourselves. You’ve allowed the NZ public to participate in politics in new ways. Above all, you’ve belonged to all of us. Thanks.
THIS WEEK ON BACK BENCHES: Watch Wallace Chapman, Damian Christie, the Back Benches Panel debate the big issues on our final episode of “Back Benches.”
THE ECONOMY: When Back Benches began in April 2008, we were in the first few months of the Global Financial Crises—which has been at the centre of the New Zealand and World economies ever since. So, where are we today? Are we better off than we were four years ago? How have we fared compared to other nations? What impact have decisions over the last four years meant to our financial footing? And when will the years of austerity be over?
EDUCATION: We have talked about Education many times on Back Benches—Early Childhood, Primary-High School, Adult Education and University. In April 2010, we headed South to Dunedin to discuss University Life—from fees to paying back student loans. Now, in 2012—what’s the state of University Education? How are students affording Uni? Are they paying back their loans any faster or at all?
BINGING & BOOZING: One of the topics we have discussed more than any other is alcohol. The irony is not lost this pub politics programme. In 2009—the law commission released an issues paper on our liquor laws. While, the final report was to be published nearly a year later but we had our panel weigh in. Now, in 2012, Parliament is near deciding which of the 153 recommendations it will adopt. Will there be an increase in the purchase age? Will there be new sale restrictions? Minimum pricing? And will any of these changes actually make a dent in our binge drinking culture?
Join us for a night of LIVE pub politics from the Shepherds Arms Hotel & Speights Ale House on Tinakori Road: Wednesday, 27th of June. Our Panel: Green Party Co-Leader Metiria Turei, Labour MP Jacinda Ardern, Mana Party Leader Hone Harawira, National MP Chester Borrows, and United Future Leader Peter Dunne.