Sunday, June 26, 2022

Point of Order: Academics announce new Centre of Indigenous Science – and now (it seems) they will find out what they should be teaching

Any notion that “the science is settled” is (or should be) anathema to good scientists.

There is always more to learn

“… because the scientific method never provides absolute conclusions. It’s always possible that the next observation will contradict the current consensus.”

But in this country the fundamental matter of defining science and determining what should be taught to science studies in our universities has become more unsettling than unsettled.

“Indigenous knowledge” has become “indigenous science”, overriding the conventional view that science is colour blind and culturally neutral – that science is science is science.

Roger Childs: Dispelling appalling lies

Setting the Record Straight on Rangiaowhia 1864

On 21 February 1864, 1000 British troops marched into the tiny, defenceless village of Rangiaowhia and wantonly slaughtered a hundred women and children. Or did they?
- Piers Seed

There is no way that General Cameron, the chivalrous Commander of the Colonial troops in the Waikato War, would contemplate the killing of women and children. He had criticized Kingite general, Wiremu Tamihana, for having women in the front lines at the earlier Battle of Rangariri.

Cameron did want to occupy Rangiaowhia, because it was the major source of food for the Kingite forces, notably at the powerful set of forts at Paterangi. To get to the village he had cleverly by-passed these fortifications in the dead of night to avoid casualties.

NZCPR Newsletter: The Revolution Within

“The liberty of a democracy is not safe if private power becomes stronger than the democratic state itself. That in its essence is fascism: ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or any controlling private power.”

― President Franklin D. Roosevelt

In April last year, Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta announced a review of local government: “They are now facing a wave of reforms that will significantly affect their traditional roles and functions… This offers an important opportunity to embody the Treaty partnership through the role and representation of iwi/Maori in local government.”

She was referring to Labour’s planned removal of two core roles and sources of funding from councils, namely the provision of water services and Resource Management Act consenting.

Michael Bassett: Jacinda’s government, mainstream media and public interest journalism

Have you been wondering why there is so little debate about co-governance in the daily papers, on television and on Radio New Zealand? I’m talking about the schemes that are being hatched by Maori radicals in the Beehive with support elsewhere for giving Maori extra votes in local government, a controlling power in the new public health structure and in Nanaia Mahuta’s radical restructuring of fresh water, drainage and sewerage. In effect, an end to the principle of one person-one vote enshrined in our central and local government structure since women got the vote in 1893. Why are articles and press releases being sent by distinguished New Zealanders, ordinary individuals and members of Parliament to the mainstream media (MSM) questioning co-governance, going straight into the waste-paper buckets in editorial rooms? And while this happens, Mahuta and her Cabinet colleagues, Willie Jackson and Health Minister Andrew Little, push ahead with legislation destroying democracy as we have known it? What is happening to the media that were once the bulwarks of fair debate?

Breaking Views Update: Week of 26.6.22

Sunday June 26, 2022 

Pou unveiled to mark significance of Takapūneke near Akaroa
A pou has been unveiled at dawn on the Banks Peninsula this morning to mark a new phase for a historically significant site.

"The opening of the first stage of Takapūneke Reserve and the blessing of Pou Tū te Raki o Te Maiharanui is significant and represents an expression of our relationship to this whenua."

Saturday, June 25, 2022

Lindsay Mitchell: The Flaw in PM's Plan

In April this year the Prime Minister laid out the progress she has made towards child poverty reduction since taking office. She said her government has "lifted tens of thousands of children from poverty and improved the lives of many others."

She makes one specific comparison over the time frame since becoming Prime Minister - a "30% reduction in children aged 0-17 who live in low-income households after housing costs, over three years (from 2017/18)."

This was achieved primarily by lifting benefits and family tax credits - and in particular introducing a $60 weekly child payment called Best Start.

She failed to mention she has also overseen thousands more children becoming dependent on benefits.

Garrick Tremain: Labour Party in Damage Control

Here is Garrick Tremain's cartoon commentary on Labour in damage control as Jacinda Ardern becomes a liability at home! 


Point of Order: It’s Matariki (if you hadn’t noticed) but we are being urged to celebrate the occasion and not try to commercialise it

Fresh news – since our previous Buzz – comes from Oceans and Fisheries Minister David Parker. He has announced he will represent New Zealand at the second United Nations (UN) Ocean Conference in Lisbon, Portugal, which runs from 27 June to 1 July.

Other ministers presumably have gone home for the long weekend to celebrate the nation’s first authentically Māori public holiday, Matariki

Consistent with the Government’s enthusiasm for mobilising the media and commandeering the airwaves to broadcast Matariki-focused mass programming, we imagined they all would be pitching in with press statements to promote Matariki or instruct us about its cultural significance.

Not so. We found only a speech from the PM and one press statement in the names of the PM, Kelvin Davis and Kiri Allan.

Ross Meurant: Māori myth is not science

Various academics of Māori lineage collectively seem to hold the view “Māori don’t need Western science to endorse or authenticate our knowledge systems.” (1)

The problem with this is perhaps exposed by the following claim:

“A new paper by the University of Otago combines literature and oral histories, and concludes that Māori, the indigenous people of Aotearoa New Zealand, were likely the first people to explore Antarctica’s surrounding waters, and possibly the continent in the distance. They write that Māori and Polynesian journeys to the deep south have been occurring for a long time, perhaps as far back as the seventh century, and are recorded in a variety of oral traditions. According to the oral histories of Māori tribal groups Ngāti Rārua and Te Āti Awa, the first human to travel to the Antarctic was the Polynesian explorer, Hui Te Rangiora.” (2)

For an ethic group that had no written language to record events, passage of time erodes accuracy. As a former detective I learned well that a week’s delay in recording evidence, let alone a year or 1200 years, makes a big difference. Oral transfer of past events gets distorted, exaggerated and invariably is a bare resemblance to what actually happened.

Bryce Edwards: Wealthy can buy access to power – and politicians don’t want this changed

The current New Zealand First Foundation trial in the High Court continues to show why reform is required when it comes to money in politics. The juicy details coming out each day show private wealth being funnelled into some peculiar schemes in an attempt to circumvent the Electoral Act.

Yet they’re not the only ones doing this. The major political parties are currently in full fundraising mode – seeking large donations from the wealthy. And they’re doing so in a way that often gets around disclosure laws or is allowed by the Cabinet Manual.

Both Labour and National are currently using their controversial “cash for access” schemes, in which a large financial contribution can secure you a meeting with the Prime Minister or the Leader of the Opposition.

Breaking Views Update: Week of 19.6.22

Saturday June 25, 2022 

PM hails 'first authentically Māori public holiday

The prime minister said the public holiday should not divide us by Maori ancestry or other, rather "it unites us under the stars of Aotearoa".

In a separate statement she said: "This is a special day not only for Aotearoa but globally as we celebrate our first authentically Māori public holiday, which has been met with overwhelming support.

Friday, June 24, 2022

Point of Order: How we are suckling the sheep-milk industry – Govt invests $7.97m in partnership which involves state-owned Landcorp

Damien O’Connor scored twice – he issued one statement as Minister of Trade and another as Minister of Agriculture – while rookie Emergency Relief Minister Kieran McNulty broke his duck, announcing flood relief for the West Coast.

Covid-19 Response Minister Ayesha Verrall put more runs on the board, too, with a statement about Government work to combat new and more dangerous variants of COVID-19.

In his trade job, O’Connor declared he was pleased with the quick progress of the United Kingdom Free Trade Agreement Legislation Bill that was introduced to the House yesterday.

It would enable New Zealand to implement its obligations under the FTA and was necessary to bring the FTA into force, he explained.

Derek Mackie: Making the most of Matariki

Another public holiday - who doesn’t love one of those? 
Well for starters, your employer probably, who has to pay you for another day of no work. Or in the case of our burgeoning public sector workforce, all of us who have to pay taxes to give them another day off. 

 But I don’t want to be a killjoy. Public holidays are a welcome break to spend time with your loved ones - that is, if you haven’t seen enough of them over the past couple of years in lockdown. 
So, I thought I should learn a bit more about Matariki and the customs surrounding our newest public holiday. Where better to go than OneNews Online for some inspiration [1]. 

Eric Crampton: Expecting better

In February, New Zealand’s PCR Covid testing system fell apart.

The Ministry of Health, the Director-General of Health, and the Ministers should have known it would happen. They repeatedly asserted it would not.

Last week, the government released Allen + Clarke’s rapid review of the failure.

The Report had a few conclusions. The most troubling is this:

Oliver Hartwich: The jury is out

I always believed that Magna Carta left us with a most valuable inheritance: the right to trial by jury. Even after learning that legal historians now regard this assertion as fiction, I did so.

But my unbridled enthusiasm for jury trials is struggling to survive a personal encounter with the jury system.

Last week, I was summoned to serve as a juror in the Wellington High Court. I was excited. Finally, I could fulfil my civic duty, make use of my legal training, and help justice prevail.

Well, if only.

Bryce Wilkinson: New Zealand’s economy a shadow of its former self

Paul Bloxham, HSBC’s chief economist, once described New Zealand as a “rockstar economy”.

That was back in January 2014.

Today, there is nothing “rockstar” left about the New Zealand economy, unless you have Ozzy Osbourne in mind.

For more than three decades, the Swiss Institute for Management and Development (IMD) has compiled annual rankings of competitiveness for 63 of the world’s most important countries. It makes for sobering reading for New Zealanders.

Heather du Plessis-Allan: Are we running this country on Blu-Tack and paperclips?


Are we running this country on Blu-Tack and paperclips?

We almost had power cuts again this morning and apparently we need to get used to it because this is just the way our winters are going to be from now on.

So what happened was that Transpower issued a grid emergency just before 8am warning that we might not have enough electricity to power the country.

Reporters were on the radio telling people to delay charging laptops and cell phones and consider turning off unnecessary lights.

John MacDonald: Christmas sales yes. Matariki sales no. Why?

Memo to Elton John: Sorry is no longer the hardest word.

Because it seems we have apologies coming out of our ears at the moment. The latest one is from retailer Babycity.

It's saying sorry for promoting a Matariki sale. Matariki, of course, is the Māori New Year which we are celebrating with the public holiday tomorrow - the first time there's ever been a Matariki holiday.

But Babycity is in hot water because it decided to have a sale and promoted it as its Matariki Sale. Not allowed - it seems.

Thursday, June 23, 2022

Graeme Reeves: Report of the Attorney General on the Rotorua Council Bill

Report of the Attorney General of 21 April 2022 Under the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990 on the Rotorua District Council (Representation Arrangements ) Bill (A.G.)

The Rotorua District Council (Representation Arrangements) Bill (the Bill) seeks to override the provisions of the Local Electoral Act 2001 (LEA) by substituting the formula set out in the LEA by another formula which would allow for Council representation to be over represented by Maori.

The A.G sets out in clauses 10 to 13 the following analysis of the effect of the proposed representation arrangements in answer to the question, “Does the legislation draw a distinction on one of the prohibited grounds of discrimination?”

Jon Miltimore: Why It Matters That Fauci Got COVID-19

I recently returned from a week-long vacation in the north woods of Wisconsin. We played beach volleyball, went fishing and boating, had a lively game of Wiffle Ball with the kids, and swam until our skin was prune-like.

Even without a cell phone, I managed to stumble on a bit of breaking news from an unusual source: television. (It was virtually the only media I had up there.) Naturally, I had to share this bit of news.

“Fauci has Covid,” I told some of my companions, stuffing beer into coolers.

A discussion quickly broke out over whether the news was relevant.