As a first-time Act candidate in Wairarapa, Simon Casey is keen to make his mark with some bold statements about the changes he and his party would like to bring about.
Asked about financial inequality in society, Casey notes that “one of the things we want to do is get rid of welfare dependency. That doesn’t mean we just stop providing assistance to where it is needed, but what we have to do is encourage people to get into work.”
Casey also feels there needs to be tighter control of the public purse strings.
“We see the government as obese. It just primarily comes down to control of government expenditure and not spending more than we are earning – and we have to get inflation under control.”
Regarding bullying in schools, Casey suggests bringing back charter schools that aren’t under the direct authority of the Ministry of Education “because the teacher’s unions didn’t like the fact that they could not control what was happening in those schools”.
“Schools definitely need the ability to suspend or even expel in some cases, and charter schools will be given a special agenda to be able to help difficult children,” Casey adds.
This will break the cycle of bullying, Casey believes, “because often it’s peer pressure that causes the problem in the first place and specially trained teachers will be able to assist where the state schools clearly can’t”.