Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Stephanie Perrin: Keeping an eye on Asian politics

Investors are keenly watching for any political changes or policies that may affect markets as well as specific industries or companies. Whilst domestically, the focus has been firmly on New Zealand politics over the last few months, the Milford investment team have also been following political events in the wider Asia Pacific region.

Having recently returned from a research trip to Hong Kong and Tokyo, and with the recent week-long Congress of the Communist Party of China and Japan’s snap election, I thought it timely to share some thoughts on the two countries. Despite being at opposite ends of the economic growth spectrum, both China and Japan have their sights set firmly on growth, albeit implementing pro-growth policy in slightly different ways.

GWPF Newsletter: The Rise of Red-Green Fascism

British Universities May Censor Student Reading

In this newsletter:

1) The Rise Of Red-Green Fascism: British Universities May Censor Student Reading
The Sunday Times, 29 October 2017 

2) Welcome To The New Age Of Academic Fascism & Mob Rule
The Chronicle of Higher Education, 7 October 2017

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Frank Newman: Council Matters - Notable Trees and a Careful Deconstruction

Notable Trees

The WDC is currently going through what it calls a pre-consultation stage of a plan change regarding the management of protected trees in the district. They say, "Pre-consultation represents a great opportunity for you or your organisation to make a meaningful contribution in formulating provisions that work for everyone involved”.

By way of preamble, the policy states, "Trees provide a significant contribution to the amenity, historical, ecological and cultural values of the District. This is particularly so in urban areas where the ongoing demand for land development can threaten the existence of established trees…Individual trees and groups of trees that are considered to be among the most significant trees…are scheduled in this chapter in order to protect the benefits they provide for current and future generations."

Stephen Franks: Common sense we may not see in New Zealand for long three years

Allison Pearson in the Telegraph has a blistering response to the UK Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation‘s urging that the UK should welcome back young jihadists for integration. Entitled “How do you solve a problem like returning jihadis? I’ve got a pretty good idea” she excoriates Max Hill QC’s naivete.

Allison celebrates instead the refreshing bluntness of the UK Minister for International Development, Rory Stewart. who told BBC Radio Five Live that British Isil fghters should be killed in Syria, rather than be allowed to return to the UK.

NZCPR Weekly: Capitalism Under Scrutiny

Dear NZCPR Reader,   

In this week’s newsletter we look into the claims by the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister that free market capitalism is failing New Zealand, our NZCPR Guest Commentator Professor James Allan shares his analysis of the election result and the failings of MMP, and in this week’s poll we ask whether you believe intergenerational welfare dependency is a market failure – as alleged by the Prime Minister – or a failure of government policy.

*To read the newsletter click HERE.
*To register for the NZCPR Weekly mailing list, click HERE.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

GWPF Newsletter: Massive New Coal Boom To Fuel Southeast Asia's Booming Economies

Climate & Coal Threaten To Crash German Coalition Negotiations

In this newsletter:

1) Massive New Coal Boom To Fuel Southeast Asia's Booming Economies
Power Magazine, 27 October 2017

2) Climate & Coal Threaten To Crash German Coalition Negotiations 
Spiegel Online, 26 October 2017

Thursday, October 26, 2017

GWPF Newsletter: The BBC's Green Journalism

BBC Is Accused Of Being A 'Left-Wing Mouthpiece' After Grovelling Apology For Lawson Interview

In this newsletter:

1) BBC Is Accused Of Being A ‘Left-Wing Mouthpiece’ After Grovelling Apology For Lawson Interview
James Tapsfield, Mail Online, 25 October 2017 
2) BBC Wrong To Not Challenge Climate Sceptic Lord Lawson
BBC News, 25 October 2017

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

GWPF Newsletter: War Against Chemicals Is A Shame On Science

Glyphosate Showdown In Europe This Week

In this newsletter:

1) Glyphosate Showdown In Europe This Week
Agriland, 23 October 2017
2) Matt Ridley: War Against Chemicals Is A Shame On Science
The Times, 23 October 2017

Monday, October 23, 2017

Kevin Donnelly: Barbarians at the door after the left’s long march

The Institute of Public Affairs’ forensic analysis of how history is now taught in our universities proves, once again, that the cultural left now controls the academy. And as I argued in Why Our Schools Are Failing, the left’s long march has been ongoing for years.
University humanities departments once were committed to a liberal view of education, one described by TS Eliot as involving the “preservation of learning, the pursuit of truth, and in so far as men are capable of it, the attainment of wisdom”.

GWPF Newsletter: Scientific Establishment Rocked By New Science Scandal

WHO Cancer Agency Edits Out 'Non-Carcinogenic' Findings

In this newsletter:

1) Scientific Establishment Rocked By New Science Scandal
Reuters, 19 October 2017
2) Green Energy Campaigners May Kill The World’s Biggest Science Project
Bloomberg, 20 October 2017

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Brian Giesbrecht: The “60’s Scoop” Continues

The federal government has reached an agreement in principle to settle outstanding class-action lawsuits relating to what has come to be called the “60’s Scoop”. Eight hundred million dollars will be set aside to settle claims of First Nations and Inuit children who were removed from their homes – “and lost their cultural identity” – between 1951 and 1991.

This settlement represents the claims for cultural loss by status Indians and Inuit only. Metis and non-status claims remain outstanding, as do claims for other types of loss. The final bill is sure to be in the billions. A national inquiry on the issue is almost certainly being planned – to begin once the inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls has issued its report.

Victor Davis Hanson: Trump’s Constructive Chaos

Almost daily, President Trump manages to incense the media, alarm the world abroad, and enrage his Democratic opposition. Not since Ronald Reagan’s first year in office has change and disruption come so fast from the White House.

Let’s consider foreign affairs first. In response to North Korea’s nuclear threats to hit the American West coast, Trump promised Kim Jung-un utter destruction.  And for sport he ridicules him as “rocket man.” 

ISIS is now on the run. The terrorist group has given up on its once-promised caliphate—in part because Trump changed the rules of engagement and allowed American generals at the front to use their own judgment and discretion on how best to destroy their enemies. 

Brian Gaynor: Miner’s end leaves taxpayers in a hole

The sale of Solid Energy’s remaining operating coalmines terminates the Crown’s 114-year involvement in the coal industry.

The sale has been greeted positively by the company, with its press release noting that participating creditors “should see a return of approximately 60 cents in the dollar compared to the estimated 20 cents that creditors would have received if the company had gone into liquidation in September 2015”.

This is an incredibly positive spin on the woeful performance of the company over the past five years. Its disclosure has also been inadequate; taxpayers are entitled to far more information on the company’s asset sale process, particularly the price it received for its mines.

NZCPR Weekly: Losers Take Power

Dear NZCPR Reader,   

In this week’s newsletter we reflect on the news that New Zealand’s new Government is made up of a coalition of the losing parties in the election, our NZCPR Guest Commentator Frank Newman examines the impact on the property and business sectors, and in this week’s poll we ask whether it should be the party with the most votes that is given the opportunity to form a new government, rather than the party that holds the balance of power.

*To read the newsletter click HERE.
*To register for the NZCPR Weekly mailing list, click HERE.

Matt Ridley: Montesquieu's "sweet commerce" and Cobden's "God's diplomacy"

The “ultimatum game” is a fiendish invention of economists to test people’s selfishness. One player is asked to share a windfall of cash with another player, but the entire windfall is cancelled if the second player rejects the offer. How much should you share? 

When people from the Machiguenga tribe in Peru were asked to play this game, they behaved selfishly, wanting to share little of the windfall. Not far away, the Achuar in Ecuador were much more generous, offering almost half the money to the other player — which is roughly how people in the developed world react.

What explains the difference? 

Saturday, October 21, 2017

GWPF Newsletter - World’s First Offshore Wind Farm Retires: A Post-Mortem

GWPF Report Rocks World Bank Meeting

In this newsletter:

1) World’s First Offshore Wind Farm Retires: A Post-Mortem
GWPF Energy, 18 October 2017
2) Norway Seeks $9,000 ‘Tesla Tax’ On Electric Cars
The Local Norway, 14 October 2017

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

GWPF Newsletter - Tony Abbott’s Victory: Australian Govt Dumps Green Energy Target

Labor Party Accuses Turnbull Of Capitulating To Abbott

In this newsletter:

1) Tony Abbott’s Victory As Australian Govt Dumps Green Energy Target
ABC News, 17 October 2017

2) Labor Party Accuses Prime Minister Turnbull Of Capitulating To Tony Abbott
The Advertiser, 16 October 2017

Monday, October 16, 2017

GWPF Newsletter: World Bank "Abandons The Poor"

Climate Science Has Become Non-Popperian

In this newsletter:

1) New GWPF Report: World Bank "Abandons The Poor"

Globe Newswire, 14 October 2017

A new report: 'The Anti-Development Bank: The World Bank's Regressive Energy Policies' by the London-based Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF) finds that the World Bank has abdicated its primary mission of tackling poverty in the developing world.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Karl du Fresne: Licensing trusts - a great social experiment that mostly failed

It probably comes as a surprise to many people to learn there are still places in New Zealand where it’s not possible to buy wine or beer in a supermarket. Invercargill is one such place. West Auckland is another.

These are not “dry” areas, where local voters have chosen to remain liquor-free. New Zealand lost the last of those (two in Auckland, one in Wellington) in 1999.

Frank Newman: October crashes

“October: This is one of the peculiarly dangerous months to speculate in stocks. The others are July, January, September, April, November, May, March, June, December, August and February.” (Mark Twain.)

It's thirty years since the 1987 sharemarket crash - Monday the 19th of October 1987 (US time) to be precise. Wall Street had its biggest one-day fall in the history of the stock exchange, down 22 percent.

Murray Reid: Rangiaowhia Affair

Two years ago, I learnt that my grandsons are direct descendants of Thomas Power and Rahapa te Hauata. Until then I was ignorant of the history of the settlement at Rangiaowhia. To improve my knowledge, I visited the site and the Te Awamutu Museum. The museum has an impressive display of the locality and holds the Taonga of Mrs. Power, gifted to the museum by the West family. I then did follow up research on the genealogy of the couple and read up on what I could find.

A few weeks later at a historical group meeting I mentioned my family’s connection to Rangiaowhia to be told by a Kaumatua of a NE Waikato Iwi that “that was where the British locked over 100 Maori men, women and children in the church and burnt them to death.”

NZCPR Weekly: Creating a Legacy for Growth

Dear NZCPR Reader,   

In this week’s newsletter we look at how New Zealand First’s election promise to reduce company tax could create a legacy of growth for New Zealand – if it is part of a coalition deal; our NZCPR Guest Commentator Professor Richard Epstein reviews the latest US tax reform plans to reduce corporate tax from 35 percent to 20 percent; and in this week’s poll we ask whether you would like to see New Zealand’s 28 percent company tax rate reduced as part of a coalition deal.

*To read the newsletter click HERE.
*To register for the NZCPR Weekly mailing list, click HERE.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

GWPF Newsletter: Tony Abbott's GWPF Lecture Makes Waves Down Under

Under Growing Pressure, Australian Government Ditches Green Energy Target

In this newsletter:

1) Tony Abbott Calls For Climate Pushback As CET Goes Cold
The Australian, 10 October 2017 
2) On Eve Of Tony Abbott’s GWPF Lecture, Australian Government Ditches Green Energy Target
The Courier & Mail, 9 October 2017 

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Lee Harding: Taking the Air out of Airbnb

In Canada, Airbnb is getting…well…deflated. The ironic reason is that it has become too popular.

Airbnb is an online service for “Air bed and breakfast.” It’s for guests who want a cheap place to stay the night, even if it’s on an air mattress. Since its 2008 launch in San Francisco, Airbnb has exploded in popularity, boasting a net worth of $31 billion, having hosted more than 200 million guests in over 65,000 cities and 191 countries.

Melanie Phillips: The Vanishing Conservative Party

You really do have to feel for Theresa May over her catastrophic party conference speech. With a heckler who got far too close, a prolonged coughing fit and a visibly disintegrating party slogan backdrop, this concatenation of calamities would have shaken the hardiest of performers. Someone reportedly as shy as Mrs May must be in agony over the whole thing.
Cruelly, the debacle is being portrayed as a metaphor for Mrs May’s premiership. Her grip on power is supposedly melting away, just as her speech evaporated under the merciless heat of exposure. Accordingly, it is being widely reported that she is now done for and this weekend the plotters will seize their opportunity finally to lever her out of office.

NZCPR Weekly: Proportional Representation – Disproportional Influence

Dear NZCPR Reader,   

In this week’s newsletter we reflect on the final election result, coalition formation, and the demise of the Maori Party, our NZCPR Guest Commentator Karl du Fresne looks at the perversities of MMP, and in this week’s poll we ask which electoral system you prefer – MMP or First Past the Post.

*To read the newsletter click HERE.
*To register for the NZCPR Weekly mailing list, click HERE.

Frank Newman: Creaming it

A few weeks back Fonterra disclosed that its chief executive received remuneration of $8.3m in the year ended July 2017, making him New Zealand's highest paid chief executive. That payment includes base salary, bonuses and other benefits and works out to be about $4,150 an hour!

By way of comparison, the average hourly rate for a heavy truck driver is in the region of $20 to $25, and the average income in New Zealand is about $30 an hour. The Prime Minister receives about $460,000 a year, or $230 an hour, assuming an average working week which his is not.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Thursday, October 5, 2017

GWPF Newsletter - New Study: Global Warming Standstill Confirmed, Climate Models Wrong

EPA Takes First Steps To Repeal Obama’s Climate Regulation

In this newsletter:

1) New Study: Global Warming Standstill Confirmed, Climate Models Wrong
GWPF Science, 3 October 2017 
2) EPA Takes First Steps To Repeal Obama’s Climate Regulation
Reuters, 4 October 2017

Mole News

Business embrace of kaupapa Māori is real
Many companies have been incorporating Māori initiatives into their advertising and making themselves more kaupapa Māori-friendly.

Spark launched its first Te Reo Māori narrated advertising, Vodafone released its Say it Tika app with Google to help correct the pronunciation of Māori place names, and Stuff introduced macrons for Māori words on its site and in newspapers.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Karl du Fresne: Post-election hiatus illustrates the perversity of MMP

The only thing that can be said with any certainty about the next New Zealand government is that it will look very different from the last one.

National party prime minister Bill English won an emphatic 13-seat majority over the opposition Labour party at the weekend in an election result that defied the pattern of history. But the vagaries of New Zealand’s mixed-member proportional electoral system mean it could be weeks before the shape of the new government is finalised, and no one can be sure what form it will take. Paradoxically, it may not include the National party.

GWPF Newsletter: Climate Scientists Mislead The World About Great Barrier Reef

Chief Science Adviser Attacks Scientists’ Political ‘Arrogance’

In this newsletter:

1) How Climate Scientists Mislead The World About The Great Barrier Reef
GWPF Science, 1 October 2017
2) Reminder: Activist Scientists ‘Exaggerated’ Coral Bleaching
GWPF Science 4 June 2016 

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Matt Ridley: Robot farming will bring great benefits to all

If you will forgive the outburst of alliteration, the harvesting of a “hands-free hectare” at Harper Adams University has made headlines all around the world, in the technology press as well as the farming press. A crop of Shropshire barley was sown, fertilised, sprayed and harvested by robot tractors, drones and a robot combine harvester, without a human being setting foot in the field.

The yield was low and the cost was high, but the point was made. The mechanisation of agriculture is progressing rapidly towards the point that some crops can be grown with almost no labour. 

Brian Gaynor: Many twists left yet on road to Brexit

Brexit is the main topic of conversation in British and Irish business circles at present. The focus is on the controversial divorce between two economic entities that appeared to have a good, albeit imperfect, relationship.

The United Kingdom wants to have its cake and eat it too, as it has decided to leave the European Union but wishes to hold on to many of its membership benefits. The EU cannot allow the UK to leave and continue to trade with EU countries under the same free trade agreements as it has had over the past 44 years.

GWPF Newsletter: Could Germany’s Green Energy Disaster Bring Down Angela Merkel?

Germany’s Energiewende Blowin’ In The Wind

In this newsletter:

1) Could Germany’s Green Energy Disaster Bring Down Angela Merkel?
P Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, 29 September 2017
2) Germany’s Energiewende Blowin’ In The Wind
Petroleum Economist, 29 September 2017

Monday, October 2, 2017

Barend Vlaardingerbroek: A treaty for the Australian Aboriginal?

Treaties are accepted around the world as a way of reaching a settlement between Indigenous people and those who have colonised their lands. New Zealand, for example, has the Treaty of Waitangi, an agreement signed in 1840 between the British Crown and over 500 Maori chiefs, while Canada and the United States have hundreds of treaties dating back as far as the 1600s…

A treaty could provide, among other things:
- a symbolic recognition of Indigenous sovereignty and prior occupation of this land…
- a basis for regional self-government guidelines for local or regional treaties…

GWPF Newsletter: Climate Change Predictions: What Went Wrong?

In this newsletter:

1) Climate Change Predictions: What Went Wrong?
Nigel Hawkes, The Sunday Times, 24 September 2017

2) New Boost For Healthy Climate Scepticism
Graham Lloyd, The Australian, 23 September 2017

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Rob Ogilvie: Why just Kingmaker? Why not King?

Like many I lazily assumed National had it in the bag until their recent press conferences.  Then the faces showed they have had their “Oh Sh-t” moment.  To woo the elusive Mr Peters Mr English has already told David Seymour to scram, and both Ms Bennett (National) and Mr Davis (Labour) have offered to step aside from deputy leadership. Mr Joyce has said he really can be best friends, honest.  Both parties have made it clear that cherished policies are up for grabs.  Have whatever cabinet seats you like.  And that is just their opening positions.  The negotiations apparently haven’t even started.

The art and science of negotiation means Winston could be our next PM, or at least a newly constructed position more influential than Deputy PM.  If he really wants the job.