Monday, May 27, 2024

NZCPR Submission: Local Government Maori Ward Bill

Submissions on the Local Government (Electoral Legislation and Maori Wards and Maori Constituencies) Amendment Bill close on Wednesday 29 May at 11.59pm. 

This is the Bill that reintroduces petition rights for Maori wards, to enable voters to call for a referendum so the community can decide whether they want their councils divided along racial lines.

This democratic right was, of course, abolished by the Labour Government in 2021. Through this Bill, the Coalition Government is restoring local democracy. 

We would urge anyone who supports the Bill to send in a submission saying so. Full details can be found by clicking HERE

Since the NZCPR strongly supports the Bill and has sent in a submission that includes two suggestions to improve the Bill, we are sharing those details below.

Damien Grant: What to do with a problem like Kāinga Ora

I do like a good governmental annual report. They are interchangeable for the most part; shining faces smiling at other shining faces, all with wonderful teeth and enjoying a wonderful life thanks to the honest hard work of the Ministry for Administrative Development.

Mostly the faces are brown. It isn’t clear why but I suspect that many Wellington civil servants believe brown people would be living in cardboard huts and eating boiled cabbage without government assistance.

Frank Newman: The Letter from Mayors & Chairs

Earlier this week Local Government NZ sent a letter to the leaders of the coalition parties and Ministers Simeon Brown and Tama Potaka. It was signed by 52 local government leaders (see list appended).

The essence of the letter is this:

Our position…is that Māori wards and constituencies should be treated like all other wards and that decisions should be made at the council level. Polls aren’t required on any other wards or constituencies, and requiring them will add increased costs to councils.

Polls are not required where ward boundaries are changed, created or consolidated, because it does not change the electoral system.

That petition right was first introduced in 2001 when STV was introduced as an alternative to FPP for the 2004 and subsequent local body elections. That petition right remains today.

Breaking Views Update: Week of 26.5.24

Monday May 27, 2024 

Major Govt agency fails to pay bills, faces huge funding shortfall

The Office of Māori Crown Relations, also known as Te Arawhiti, oversees and supports Māori seeking customary rights over the foreshore and seabed.

Under the Marine and Coastal Area Act, Māori can apply for Customary Marine Title or Protected Customary Rights through the High Court or directly to the Crown.

Kevin: Hope for School Kids and Our Future

The Teaching Council wants to overhaul how teachers are taught and have higher entry requirements for the profession.

JC: The Left Are Showing Their True Colours

The headline above is intended to highlight their behaviour but, unsurprisingly, it all also reflects the colours of their parties. I discovered this when researching the colours of the Maori Party. I came across the relevant information on a site called ‘The Fount’. The Fount is a team of designers with skills in the area of branding, web and graphic design. Before starting on the article proper it is worth noting how the party colour reflects the characteristics of the MPs who belong to it.

John MacDonald: Shane Jones' billion dollar opportunity

Mining is on the way back.

That’s the message today from Regional Development and Resources Minister Shane Jones who is on the West coast to announce the Government's proposal to double mining exports (which are already worth $1 billion) by allowing mining in some conservation areas - not just for coal, but other minerals too.

Sunday May 26, 2024 


Sunday, May 26, 2024

Michael Reddell: Excess demand and the Reserve Bank

After my post yesterday I had a few people get in touch, spanning the positions from what one might call extremely dovish to extremely hawkish. My key chart in that post was this one.

Dr Bryce Wilkinson: Housing mess laid bare - mediocre Wellington does not know best

The Independent Review of Kāinga Ora – Homes and Communities lays bare New Zealand’s housing mess.

Decent housing is fundamental to wellbeing. Yet successive governments have created an artificial scarcity through restrictive land use policies.

Ele Ludemann: Tax Freedom Day

Criticism of the government’s plan to allow us to keep a little more of our own money abound.

What most ignore is the impact of inflation and the failure to adjust tax brackets to account for it.

This point is made in an email from the Taxpayer’s Union to mark tax freedom day:

Professor Robert MacCulloch: Budget 2024

What to expect in the Bill English-John Key (oops, sorry) I meant Chris Luxon-Nicola Willis budget this week.

The title of this Blog says it all. It's been a struggle to do commentary on economics under the new Coalition, since there's so little new and creative, there's not much to talk about. How come? The National Party under Chris Luxon is a photocopy of National under John Key when it comes to economics. Could the following facts be the reason why?

David Farrar: Mayors think they should decide, not the public

1 News reports:

More than 50 mayors and regional council chairpersons have penned a letter to the Government, criticising their bill that would require councils to hold referendums on Māori wards established without a local poll.

Professor John Raine: Shifting Investment towards High-Productivity Industry

Over the last couple of weeks, several posts have had a common factor - New Zealand’s low productivity - indicative of increasing concern over an issue which is critical if the country is to pay down debt, and invest in infrastructure, health, welfare and education at the level needed.

Don Brash reminded us again in his 12th May 2024 article [1] that New Zealand has a high ratio of median house price-to-income. The highly productive USA economy has a house price-to-income ratio of only 4.1. At a ratio of 10.5, NZ ranks 47th out of 104 countries in the Numbeo statistics [2]. Successful economies like Singapore (14.9) and Switzerland (11.1) are higher, but New Zealand has a low-income economy, and high house prices mean less discretionary investment capability to support the productive sector.

Dr James Kierstead: New Caledonia's troubles

White sand beaches. Palm trees waving in a gentle breeze. Seas of turquoise and ultramarine, cobalt and denim stretching out as far as the eye can see.

Such is the view of New Caledonia that you get on travel websites. And it’s not an entirely misleading one. Tensions between the white population (the Caldoches) and the native Kanaks have long simmered under this calmest of surfaces, though.

Michael Reddell: A puzzle

The Reserve Bank’s Monetary Policy Statement yesterday seems to have caught the market on the hop. Such things would be less likely if (a) we had a better MPC, and (b) they actually communicated (speeches and the like). A steady flow of supporting empirical research might help as well. But immediate market surprises aren’t really my prime focus or interest.

Saturday May 25, 2024 


Saturday, May 25, 2024

Dr Oliver Hartwich: Bridges Burned - Former Minister's need for speed exposed

In a shocking turn of events that has rocked the nation to its core, it has been revealed that Simon Bridges, the former minister and newly appointed chairman of the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA), received a speeding ticket in 2018.

This earth-shattering news has sent shockwaves through the country, leaving citizens wondering whether the very fabric of our society is falling apart.

Brendan O'Neill: Populism ain’t dead yet

Nigel Farage is too hasty to abandon Brexit Britain for Trumpist America.

If there were an award for brass neck, Britain’s chattering class would win it every time. For years these folk devoted every ounce of their energy to making Britain a hostile place for populism, and yet now they’re having a good old chuckle at Nigel Farage for buggering off to America. ‘Some patriot!’, they’re yelling in their online echo chambers in response to Farage’s announcement that he won’t be standing in the General Election and instead will be crossing the pond to help Donald Trump get back into the White House. The front! They all but criminalise populism in the UK and then mock populists for going elsewhere.

Dr Guy Hatchard: One Last Throw of The Dice For Humanity

Professor Michael Plank of Covid-19 Aotearoa Modelling and Te Punaha Matatini is a mathematical biologist and epidemiologist commissioned by the New Zealand government to deliver mathematical modelling of COVID-19 in support of the pandemic response.

Today, he advised us all to roll the genetic dice one more time and get another COVID-19 mRNA vaccine to avoid winter illness. Is he up to date on the risks for the individual and humanity? Let’s find out.