Saturday, September 30, 2023

Caleb Anderson: Biculturalism - a promised land or a wilderness experience?

Some years back I read a comment by Jordan Peterson that biculturalism would never work.  He used Canada as an example and said it had not worked anywhere else.

At the time this seemed an extraordinary statement and I couldn't figure out his reasoning.  You do not spend more than thirty years in the New Zealand education sector without weathering relentless assertions of the bicultural promised land.  

From pre-service training, and throughout our education careers, biculturalism has been presented as step number one, and multiculturalism as step number two.  It was asserted that the former would naturally segue into the latter, in fact, it was a necessary prerequisite for the latter.  

No one dared to challenge the reasoning, or to ask for concrete and enduring examples as proof of this assumption.

Peter Wilson: The Week in Politics - Luxon likely to get what he doesn't want

Christopher Luxon's announcement that he'll work with Winston Peters after the election if he has to boosts NZ First's chances of getting back into Parliament; the latest polls show a three-way coalition is a likely outcome; and Chris Hipkins comes blasting back in the second leaders' debate.

National leader Christopher Luxon's announcement on Monday that he would work with NZ First after the election, if he had to, changed the dynamics of the campaign.

Jonathan Turley: Harvard's Jacinda Ardern calls on the United Nations to crack down on free speech as a weapon of war

Jacinda Ardern may no longer be Prime Minister of New Zealand, but she was back at the United Nations
continuing her call for international censorship. Ardern is now one of the leading anti-free speech figures in the world and continues to draw support from political and academic establishments. 

In her latest attack on free speech, Ardern declared free speech as a virtual weapon of war. She is demanding that the world join her in battling free speech as part of its own war against “misinformation” and “disinformation.” Her views, of course, were not only enthusiastically embraced by authoritarian countries, but the government and academic elite.

Breaking Views Update: Week of 24.09.23

Saturday September 30, 2023 

It’s time for Māori to do the leading, and for governments to walk alongside.

In the Far North, Labour leader Chris Hipkins told his audience that division had no place in New Zealand’s politics.

He pledged his continued support for Te Tiriti o Waitangi. “Any Government I lead will uphold it.”

Robin Grieve: Reimagining Educational Equity

In a recent report by Radio New Zealand, it was highlighted that universities face the challenge of setting deadlines to ensure the academic success of Maori and Pacific students is the same as that of white students. These deadlines are a mandate from the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC), which has been striving for over a decade to tackle the high dropout and course failure rates of Maori and Pacific students.

In the past academic year, universities reported an overall course pass rate of 88 percent for white students, while Maori students achieved an 80 percent pass rate, and Pacific students reached only 69 percent. Similarly, at polytechnics, European students achieved an 81 percent pass rate, with Maori and Pacific students achieving 72 percent and 70 percent, respectively. The success rates of Asian and other student groups were not addressed in RNZ's report.

Owen Jennings: Farmers Deserve Better

My first farm was mainly old sand dunes with thirty to fifty mm’s of good soil on the tops.  We farmed cows and pigs, collected the manure and spread it on the ridges.  Within a few years we built the soil humus to 200 to 300mm’s.  We called it humus or topsoil. Today, we call it “carbon”.

In fact, we built thousands of tonnes of carbon all taken from atmosphere.  It was a ratio of 8:1 – it took eight tonnes of CO2 from the atmosphere to build one tonne of carbon in the soil. We call it ‘sequestering’.  It all happens via photosynthesis and the carbon cycle you learnt at school.  CO2 in the atmosphere gets taken in by plants, animals eat plants and burp methane back into the atmosphere that eventually becomes CO2 that the next lot of plants need.

John Robinson: A positive future - to get the job done free from racial division

Division by race, along with co-governance, partnership and an insistence to follow a vague Maori way of organisation (tikanga, based on pre-1840 squabbling tribalism) is creating a confusion of sinecures, jobs for the boys, well-paid positions for relatives, for the folk of the whanau (whanaungatanga) – a great deal of empty effort that ensures that nothing gets done and problems continue to fester.  This time-wasting process is seen across the country, on the national level (such as with the failure of the dual health system) and locally.  One such example is a ‘new’ Maori way of managing the Wanganui River.[1]

There, “Iwi of the Whanganui River expect a new strategy will reform resource management in the catchment. … Te Heke Ngahuru ki Te Awa Tupua, which was unveiled on Friday, was released for consultation by Te Kopuka na Te Awa Tupua, a 17-member strategy group made up of iwi, central government, mayors and council leadership, and industry and sector interests. …

Lushington D. Brady: Are We Applying the One-Flag Rule, Still?

As New Zealand’s panjandrums of “combatting extremism” like to babble, “If there’s just one Nazi flag at your rally, it’s a Nazi rally”. Worse, we’re finger-wagged, “If nine people sit down at a table with one Nazi without protest, there are ten Nazis at the table”.

So, if one Communist joins your rally without protest, does that mean that there are now thousands of Communists at your rally? What does it mean if there’s a Communist flying a flag at your rally?

Bryce Wilkinson: Of deficits and debt

How big is the fiscal deficit problem and how long will it take for our governments to turn it around?

Do not be fooled by rosy scenarios of painless correction. They typically rest on two assumptions: 1) an implausible degree of future spending constraint and 2) continuing positive national income growth to lift tax revenues.

Kerre Woodham: We're in for a tough couple of years

I wanted to start by saying it is no secret that we're in the poo.

As a country economically, and in Auckland and Wellington's case, quite literally in the poo as aging infrastructure fails and stormwater and sewage pipes collapse. Right now, Auckland city engineers are battling to deal with a tennis court sized sinkhole and sewage flowing into Waitemata Harbour. The third sinkhole they've had to deal with in as many months and there will be many, many more to come.

Friday September 29, 2023 


Friday, September 29, 2023

Point of Order: Buzz from the Beehive - 29/9/23

“Racism” becomes a buzz word on the campaign trail – but our media watchdogs stay muzzled when the Māori Party offends

Oh, dear. We have nothing to report from the Beehive.

At least, we have nothing to report from the government’s official website.

But the drones have not gone silent. They are out on the election campaign trail, busy buzzing about this and that in the hope of winning media attention, and winning lots of headline when they are buzzing about racism.

Caleb Anderson: Anti-racist, Anti-democratic dogma dressed as virtue

There are many respects in which this election campaign has not been an edifying one.

Televised debates have been more about entertainment than policy, about one-upmanship, gotcha questions, and point scoring.  Media have been typically, and sometimes maliciously, partisan in their coverage of political matters, and their keenness to skew, distort, and relentlessly dig into candidates' past lives, does them no credit.  

All of this is leaving a bitter taste in the mouths of those old-fashioned enough to want balanced coverage and a deep and thoughtful policy analysis.

Garrick Tremain: Campaign trail

 Here is Garrick Tremain's cartoon commentary on the campaign trail with hysterical Hipkins! 

Mike Hosking: It's time to mix up the election debate format

Based on the premise that you learn from your mistakes and the general idea that you want to improve, the conclusion I have reached this week as another seven days in the campaign ends is we need to have a good long think about the debates.

I am not alone. Several pieces I have now read say essentially the same thing.

Michael Johnston: Now is the time to face up to our education challenges

In a recent survey[1], New Zealand voters were asked to nominate the issue of most importance to them in the forthcoming election. Unsurprisingly, hip-pocket matters topped the list, with the cost of living on 28% and the economy on 17%. The top-five list was rounded out with healthcare (14%), crime (9%) and the environment (8%). Education was in seventh-equal place, on 5%, alongside housing and government operations.

Capitalist: Could the Dam Be About to Break?

I remember a radio discussion a couple of weeks before the 2002 general election between the respective party Presidents – Mike Williams, and (You-Know-Who) for National. Williams delivered what probably turned out to be a king hit by lisping “National cannot win the election so supporting them is a wasted vote”: this when National was polling higher than Labour is today. I shall draw a polite veil over the embarrassing response from the National Party president.

Could the following scenario be about to occur? (Apologies in advance for the history lesson.)

Cam Slater: Media and Hipkins Handing Winston Free Hits

In the unseemly debate on Wednesday night Chris Hipkins used a quote from NZ First candidate Rob Ballantyne out of context. It allowed Winston Peters to have a free hit and get free publicity across all the media at once, hijacking the news cycle brilliantly.

Hanna Wilberg: Forcing people to repay welfare ‘loans’ traps them in a poverty cycle

The National Party’s pledge to apply sanctions to unemployed people receiving a welfare payment, if they are “persistently” failing to meet the criteria for receiving the benefit, has attracted plenty of comment and criticism.

Less talked about has been the party’s promise to index benefits to inflation to keep pace with the cost of living. This might at least provide some relief to those struggling to make ends meet on welfare, though is not clear how much difference it would make to the current system of indexing benefits to wages.

Clive Bibby: We need a government that is prepared to say NO!

Listening to the different political parties contest the right to occupy the treasury benches after the election campaign isn’t an exercise that instils confidence in the nation’s ability to extricate itself from the economic and social mess we are in.  

Admittedly, a decent chunk of the debt accumulated over the last three years has been money spent where the government had no choice.

And it is fair to say that the debate surrounding the accumulation of that debt should not be about whether the mostly borrowed money should have been spent but more precisely about how it was spent.