Saturday, October 23, 2021

Breaking Views Update: Week of 17.10.21

Saturday October 23, 2021 

New fund to accelerate Māori vaccinations

The Government has established a $120 million fund to accelerate Māori vaccination rates and support communities to prepare for the implementation of the new COVID-19 Protection Framework.

The new Māori Communities COVID-19 Fund will directly fund Māori, Iwi, community organisations and providers to deliver local vaccination initiatives for whānau, and support Māori and communities to prepare for the new protection framework.

Friday, October 22, 2021

Lindsay Mitchell: MSD stocktake - "not yet following the desired direction of travel..."

The Ministry of Social Development, Carmel Sepuloni's portfolio, has just released its annual report. 

Here are some of the indicators of their 'progress':

Average future years on a benefit:

Net Zero Watch: Nations to accelerate oil, coal and gas production over the next decade, UN discovers


In this newsletter:

1) Nations to accelerate oil, coal and gas production over the next decade, UN discovers
The Times, 20 October 2021


2) Why COP26 will flop: Coal continues to dominate global energy mix and will do so for decades to come
Bloomberg, 20 October 2021 

Mike Hosking: UK Free Trade deal a rare bright spot


Yet another reason to thank Boris Johnson and be grateful that there remain a few visionaries about the place that want us to prosper and succeed. 

By all accounts, our free trade deal with the UK is a winner. It's open and truly free, the hurdles remain few and far between. The gains we stand to make are enormous. 

It's a tangible example of what we envisaged when we entered into the world of free trading all those years ago under the previous Labour govt of David Lange and Sir Roger Douglas. We are the free trade pioneers and we deserve this level of success. 

Karl du Fresne: The cabal that controls the national conversation

Cabal (noun): 1. A secret intrigue. 2. A political clique or faction.

These are the two main definitions in my Oxford Dictionary. There’s a third, historical one which reveals that the word originated under King Charles II, who had a committee of five ministers whose surnames happened to begin with the letters C, A, B, A and L (who knew?).

But it’s the modern understanding of the word that I’m concerned with, because in many ways “cabal” seems an apt description of how New Zealand is being run in 2021.

Okay, cabal implies a small, secretive group, which is not what I’m talking about here. The cabal I’m talking about is neither small nor secretive. On the contrary, it’s big and far-reaching, with an agenda that’s very much out in the open. It’s a cabal so supremely confident about its power that it feels no need to be furtive.

Roger Childs: “Loaded” draft for consultation

No Significant Change Expected in the History Curriculum

There will not be any radical changes to the content and any additional content will be in line with what currently exists. Ministry of Education Report on the submissions to the Draft Curriculum for Year 1-10 students

The History Draft for Year 1-10 students came out in February and almost four months was allowed for submissions. But unfortunately this has proved to be a case of paying lip service to the process of public consultation, with no intention of making any significant adjustments to the document.

The draft, as many submitters and critics pointed out, was a highly flawed, uneven proposal riddled with factual errors and saturated with references to Maori history, heritage, tradition and knowledge. There were also serious omissions in the content, skills and understandings to be covered. But the Ministry didn’t want to know.

Bob Edlin: Oh dear – ECan to spare Ngai Tahu the bother of winning votes at the ballot box

Oh dear – ECan has dug up a bad Bill (that was buried in 2019) to spare Ngai Tahu the bother of winning votes at the ballot box.

Legislation to entrench Ngai Tahu representatives on Environment Canterbury – these would be  guaranteed appointments, to spare them the bother of pitching for popular support – failed to pass its first reading in Parliament in 2019.

On that occasion,  New Zealand First’s Shane Jones featured in scuttling a bill which would have entitled Ngai Tahu to appoint two representatives to sit with elected councillors after the local elections later that year.

It seemed that was the end of a bad Bill – but hey:  a few weeks ago the regional council announced it was again promoting a Bill that will provide “for mana whenua representation around the Council table”, by empowering Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu to appoint up to two members of the Council. This will be in addition to the elected members.

Thursday, October 21, 2021

Gerrard Eckhoff: Murky Waters

Nanaia Mahuta is quite correct to state that the three water reforms are not about shifting ownership of council assets to Government control. Ownership of assets is not needed as the Government seems to regard ownership as a very fleeting thing. The three waters reforms are obviously about the redistribution and control of those vital assets to a new entity made up entirely of Ministerial appointments. 

Ownership, even by councils is now far from essential if a government can legislate to subjugate ownership of land and water use rights to political control for political advantage. By applying this understanding, the once murky three waters rationale becomes crystal clear. 

The current government three waters reform is more about locking in the Government’s Maori caucus, the Maori Party, and the Green Party as we move towards co -governance of New Zealand. Readers will also be aware of claims to fresh water filed with the courts by Maori interests. The back door is now wide open for the stalking horse of re-distribution to co-governance. (see Maori Health Authority /demise of DHBs/ separate tax system/ renaming of New Zealand)

Ross Meurant: Perils of Abandoning Philosophy

National’s decision to support Labour’s left-wing policies (1) is tantamount to abandoning a long-standing core National Party philosophy: “Reap the Rewards of your Efforts and Enterprise”.

Judith Collins now emerges as a prime candidate to lead a new party which advocates equality, not of ethnicity (for maori are now being accorded special rights which Collins does not appear to dispute), but predicated on tangible assets.

Until now, tangible assets have invariably been a reflection of how hard an individual has applied themselves to study, work and prudent behaviour.  The accumulation of asset wealth has been the, “reaped reward”.

Net Zero Watch: COP26 faces debacle as China & developing nations demand $trillions


In this newsletter:

1) To strike a climate deal, poor nations demand $trillions from rich ones
The Wall Street Journal, 18 October 2021 
2) China's COP26 strategy: Western countries 'shoulder responsibility for climate change and need to pay up'
ITV News, 19 October 2021

Hugh Perrett: Open letter to Government and the Prime Minister

Open letter to Government and the Prime Minister on the Mandatory teaching and learning of Maori and other major “Maorification” related agenda issues.

Prime Minister, I must take strong issue with Government’s well publicised agenda and action to make the teaching and learning of Maori language mandatory in our schools and the learning/speaking of Maori a precondition to working for the Government Service (arguably to facilitate “stacking” the Public Service with activists keen to reinforce and support Government’s Maorification agendas).  

Latin has recently been deleted from school syllabuses because it no longer has utility as a language and would therefore be wasting some 15/20percent of time available to students for educational options much more relevant, useful and beneficial to their future lives.

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Mike Hosking: Refreshing to see political unity over housing


Surely in these dark and troubled times, a level of cooperation from unlikely foes has to be welcomed. 

The deal done between the Government and National over housing at last addresses, at least in part, one of the biggest obstacles to supply. The councils. 

We have, for years, argued around all the other issues that prevent supply growth in housing. That includes labour, materials, and interest rates. But above and beyond it all, is the councils and their determination to hang onto to land come hell or high water, or at least make the process so difficult people simply give up. 

Net Zero Watch: Biden's climate agenda dead in the water


In this newsletter:

1) Biden’s climate agenda likely to be cut because of Joe Manchin's opposition
The New York Times, 16 October 2021
2) Marc Thiessen: It’s the 1970s all over again, and Joe Biden is the new Jimmy Carter
The Washington Post, 15 October 2021

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Kate Hawkesby: Yesterday's press conference was disingenuous and plain cruel


You knew when the PM started selling the idea that we should be so grateful not to be going into level 4, that the mind games were on, and she was going to make Level 3 sound like a picnic. 

And picnics as it turns out, is all we got. Two more weeks of them. 

I could not have called this more wrong. Yesterday, I optimistically said they’d definitely free up some restrictions. I thought a zoo or a museum or the odd library may get thrown a bone. 

How wrong I was. Two more weeks at Level 3 for Auckland, and the announcement that a slew of announcements will be dripfed over the coming week. If we thought we were living week by week on dripfed news by the Government, it just got worse. It’s now day by day. We are being dictated our terms, and our lives, in 24-hour cycles. 

Lindsay Mitchell: No jab, no unemployment benefit

As this country inches closer to a 'no vaccination, no job' scenario, the question on my mind - one I'm sure must have crossed others - is, will vaccinations be mandated for receipt of an unemployment (or other) benefit?

The 2011 welfare working group set up under National (not to be confused with the Labour's WEAG headed by Cindy Kiro, about to be sworn in as new GG) considered whether benefits could be used to compel parents to immunise their children. The idea was never implemented. A condition of receiving the Young Parent Payment for 16-19 year-olds stopped at, "you must also enrol your child (or children) at a medical centre or with a doctor."

Australia financially penalises parents who fail to immunse their child through reducing family benefit. That began under the Howard government. So there is a sort of precedent for linking vaccination to benefit receipt.

Hugh Perrett: Distorted governance perspective

Prime Minister I believe I am speaking for the vast majority of New Zealanders (90percent plus)  in expressing  major concern at the seriously out of balance governance perspective your Government is continuing to pursue in line with your hugely distorted ideological bias, as reflected in your Maorification agendas. 

This distortion clearly reflects the lack of balance in your caucus in favour of its Maori activist members. 

It seems clear that this strongly out of balance bias reflects a deliberate structuring to pursue an ideological obsession favouring your Maori activist caucus members and their personal ambitions for self-enrichment, power and control - observably all strongly endorsed and supported by you. 

Monday, October 18, 2021

Net Zero Watch: China snubs COP26


In this newsletter:

1) Chinese president to snub UN climate summit
The Times, 15 October 2021

2) Hopes of an ambitious climate deal hit after China and Saudi Arabia fail to make written commitments
iNews, 15 October 2021

Bob Edlin: Waste Management Consultation – segregated and iwi come first

We can discuss waste management as one people – but consultation on indigenous rights is segregated (and iwi come first).
- first published 15 October. 

Latest from the Beehive –

The last item we recorded after monitoring the Beehive website yesterday was headed E whakarite ana Te Kāwanatanga i ngā tūāpapa mō tewhakamaumahara ki Te Petihana Reo Māori ka tū ā tērā tau.  The accompanying news dealt with a government decision to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the presentation of the Māori language petition and Māori Language Day as a major anniversary next year:

Lindsay Mitchell: MSD - "What's happening to the number of sole parents on a benefit?"

Until the welfare reforms of 2013 most sole parents on a benefit relied on the DPB - not exclusively but mainly.

Since the introduction of the Sole Parent Support (SPS) benefit, which sole parents only qualify for until their youngest child turns 14, it's been harder to track how many sole parents are actually reliant on welfare. Far more are now receiving Jobseeker support.

Usefully MSD released some research in September, "What's happening to the number of sole parents on a benefit?" Numbers have been increasing - in part due to the economic effect of lock downs  - and they wanted to predict whether the growth trend will continue. More on that later.

John Porter: An Open Letter to the Prime Minister

Dear Prime Minister,

I am writing on behalf of, what I believe to be, many, many thousands of concerned New Zealanders.

New Zealanders who now feel disenchanted, disenfranchised and apprehensive about where your government is leading New Zealand.

In New Zealand we are so fortunate to live in a country where we can enjoy not only quality of life but also equality of life.

Sadly, we now consider that quality of life and, most definitely, equality of life is under serious threat.