Policy.net.nz - Political Policy Online
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Who we are, and why we have done this …
How the pages have been developed …

Who we are, and why we have done this …

We take our responsibility to participate in our democracy seriously. Part of that responsibility is to make a reasoned decision about who to vote for. But often voting day comes around and we don't know a lot more than when the election campaigns started.

This inadequacy is not due to the political parties - they produce volumes of policy, and mountains of explanation. In fact, almost all the detail you could ever want is freely available on their websites. We have found, however, that much of this detail takes some considerable effort to find, and even more to distil into a useable form. And then we only had the views of one party. The effort to do this for the six main parties is daunting. And all for the one issue we started out being interested in. That done, we then realised we were interested in a handful of more issues! It dawned on us then, that something like this site was needed.

We have rarely trusted the professional media commentators to do this - they feed on conflicts, and often serve up a cynical perspective. What we wanted was the original references, so we could make our own conclusions. We feel democracy is better served when voters make decisions with good comparative information.

This site is owned by David Chaston trading as JDJL, not a group, or political association. The key reason the site is owned by an individual, is to keep the commitment to independence and objectivity away from the risks other structures have. We do not want the original purpose of this site to get compromised, or captured by a special interest.

David Chaston has been interested in how public policy is formulated in a democracy for over twenty years, and has observed or participated in minor ways in Australia, California, and New Zealand. An interest in public policy is clearly something few citizens take up - maybe they should, but it is unlikely. For those of us who are interested, no matter what shade suits us, we should do so from a reasoned base. Healthy debate of issues, and development of alternatives is an essential prerequisite for a healthy democracy. Otherwise, elections become merely choices between personalities, and democracy will suffer. Those of us who are interested have a responsibility to be principled.

You can contact us either by using the FEEDBACK button above, or emailing us directly at info@policy.net.nz

How the pages have been developed …

The research for each page may be done by a volunteer.

Their task is to find the maximum of five essential elements that best describes a party's policy position on an issue. Each of these five elements must be summarised in text no longer than 15 - 20 words.

Each element must be in the exact words used by the party for that policy issue. And, a URL reference must be available for that text, and linked to that element. Statements by MPs or party officials do not qualify for our pages. Only party policy posted to the party website will be used. Also note that this site will not republish 'government policy' or link to government websites. Our's is a service comparing political party policy. We are not comparing some political party positions with coalition government website content.

If you note that a page of ours need updating, we would be appreciative of hearing the details from you by email.

It is expected that the political parties will have a considerable interest in what is presented on these pages. They are encouraged to submit text and URL links.

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