As I write this edition of Goldsmith Update, I'm still in shock from last week's announcement from Labour and the Greens that if elected they would force all electricity producers to sell their power to a state agency for a 'fair' price.
Up until last week I had thought that since the mid-1980s a rough consensus existed between New Zealand's two major parties, National and Labour, that central planning of the economy and heavy-handed regulation from Wellington had failed; that the economy worked better if consumers were empowered through choice, in a competitive market.
Sure, there's been debate about how much regulation should remain. (And no one suggests that there should be no regulation, such as against anti-competitive behaviour). But, even during the Helen Clark era, the basic ingredients of a competitive and open economy were retained.
That is now all up in the air and the potential consequences for New Zealand are deeply worrying.
Clearly, the Greens, who are implacably opposed to markets, to free-trade, to economic growth are driving the agenda.
Where will it end? If the state can set a 'fair' price for power, why not petrol, butter, rent, concrete?
Don't be surprised if some businesspeople support a return to heavy-handed regulation. A regulated state is great for the privileged few who have the ear of government - just see how it works in most of Latin America or India. It is easier to fool a regulator as to what is a fair return than it is to fool thousands of free consumers who have a real choice.
In 2014 the choice will be between sticking with economic policies that have served this country well in the past two decades or retreat to the failed policies of the Bill Rowling and Rob Muldoon eras.
On a more positive note, I joined the Prime Minister John Key in the Epsom electorate this week to visit Gameloft, a successful Parnell business, to celebrate their 3rd birthday.
The French company Gameloft established a studio in Auckland three years ago and last year it produced three blockbuster games: My little Pony, with around 10 million players worldwide; Littlest Pet shop, with around 9 million, and Wonder Zoo.
My children know all these games well, and I was amazed to discover they were produced down the road. Now there are 85 highly skilled men and women working away down there on new projects. Gameloft is in Auckland because we produce skilled workers, the local wages are good, but we haven't priced ourselves out of the market, the taxes are relatively light, the research sector is supportive and because Auckland is an easy place to set up a new business, people enjoy living here and so it's not difficult to attract people to stay. Long may such enterprise continue.
Richard Wagner of Gameloft demonstrates their latest games to John Key and myself.
Congratulations also to Cornwall Park District School. The annual fair last weekend was another great community occasion. Sam Lotu-Iiga and I took a keen interest in the food.
The House returns in May for a session which includes this year's budget. I'm sure it will show good progress on the important issues. In the last session I talked about the broader economic challenges facing New Zealand in the General Debate. It can be viewed at http://paulgoldsmith.co.nz
Finally, Anzac Day continues to grow as a national day, when we consider those timeless values of service and sacrifice. I joined the crowds at the dawn service at the Auckland War Memorial, then at Auckland Grammar School, then at Mt Eden War Memorial.
In the National-led Government, List MP Paul Goldsmith is Deputy Chair of the Finance & Expenditure Select Committee and a member of the Local Government & Environment Select Committee.This website is funded by Parliamentary Services and authorised by Paul Goldsmith MP, 107 Great South Rd, Epsom.