Monday, August 20, 2018

Mole News

Kupe Scholarships encourage Māori and Pacific students into teaching
Thirty highly-accomplished Māori and Pasifika student teachers have been awarded prestigious Kupe Scholarships.

The Scholarships aim to attract Māori and Pasifika high achievers to the teaching profession and support them to become inspiring teachers and role models in early childhood, primary and secondary education.

Friday, August 17, 2018

Frank Newman: Unlocking leasehold land

This week, a bouquet for the Napier City Council (NCC). It has decided to sell it's industrial leasehold land. It is doing so because of its concerns the leasehold land is holding back development. Those concerns are not unique to Napier. They apply to most provincial cities, including Whangarei.

Most of the ground leases around the country are legacy properties created by local councils or state owned organisation in days long ago, usually through land reclamation.

The NCC owns 74 leasehold properties, worth about $34 million. That portfolio generates about $1.6m a year in rental income a year.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Nicholas Kerr: Socialism’s apologists ignore Venezuela’s human tragedy

Supporters of socialism have taken to suggesting that the human tragedy unfolding in Venezuela has nothing to do with socialism, rather it’s the result of the dictatorships of former President Hugo Chavez and his successor Nicolas Maduro. In their view, dictatorships lead to the deprivation we’re witnessing, not socialism. They’re confusing types of government and economic theories.

Dictatorships or authoritarian regimes don’t always lead to economic misery. We only have to look to Venezuela’s south to see that’s true. Chile was under a dictatorship for 17 years, yet President Pinochet pursued free market economic policies that, in spite of the (inexcusable) tyranny and unchecked power, lifted huge numbers of Chileans out of poverty, the exact opposite of what is taking place under Maduro.

Viv Forbes: Drought Proofing a Dry Continent

Earth is a blue watery planet.

70% of its surface is covered by oceans of salt water, some of which are extremely deep. These oceans contain about 97% of Earth’s water. Another 2% is locked up in snow, ice caps and glaciers. That leaves just 1% of Earth’s surface water in inland seas, lakes, rivers and dams. We have plenty of water, but not much to drink.

In addition to these vast surface water supplies, water vapour is the fourth most abundant gas in the atmosphere, after nitrogen (76%), oxygen (21%) and Argon (1%). Moisture in the atmosphere varies from almost zero over deserts and ice caps up to 4% over the wet tropics. (Carbon dioxide is a miniscule 0.04%).

GWPF Newsletter: Aussie Climate Wars Escalate As Rebels Challenge Turnbull

Brazil: Presidential Frontrunner Promises To Quit Paris Climate Deal

In this newsletter:

1) Aussie Climate Wars Escalate As Rebels Challenge Turnbull
The Australian, 15 August 2018 
2) Climate Wars 2.0 Threatening To Engulf Australia’s Green Prime Minister
Dennis Shanahan, The Australian, 15 August 2018 

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Karl du Fresne: I'm a bit happier now than I was a few weeks ago

So where are we, after a month of fervid debate about freedom of speech?

Call me a pollyanna, but I reckon we’re in a slightly better place than before.

I didn’t feel so optimistic when Lauren Southern and Stefan Molyneux were barred from speaking in Auckland Council-owned venues, and even less so when the owners of the Powerstation in Ponsonby were intimidated into reneging on an earlier agreement to host the Canadians.

Lindsay Mitchell: Not naming fathers a "rort"

MSD Minister Carmel Sepuloni, and Green Party MP Jan Logie are promulgating misinformation about sanctioning mothers who won't name the fathers of their children.

The sanction, which takes around $28 from beneficiary mothers who do not provide the name of the father, is neither cruel nor excessive. If the mother fears risk of violence from a named father, Work and Income already provides an exemption. 

NZCPR Weekly: Grow a Spine or Resign

Dear NZCPR Reader,   

This week we look at the growing threat to free speech in New Zealand, our NZCPR Guest Commentator Dr Don Brash discusses his recent ban from speaking at Massey University and he shares his Auckland University speech on whether the PC culture is undermining free speech, and our poll asks whether you would support a call for the separation of the State and Culture in New Zealand.

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

GWPF Newsletter: Musk's Oil Conspiracy Against Tesla Ends With Saudi’s Oil Billions

U.S. Democrats Lift Ban On Donations From Fossil Fuel Companies

In this newsletter:

1) Elon Musk's Oil Conspiracy Against Tesla Ends With Saudi’s Oil Billions
Bloomberg, 14 August 2018 
2) More Green Hypocrisy: U.S. Democrats Lift Ban On Donations From Fossil Fuel Companies
Independent Journal Review, 12 August 2018  

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

GWPF Newsletter: Study Finds Conservatives Are ‘Right To Be Skeptical Of Scientists’

Breaking The Climate Spell

In this newsletter:

1) Study Finds Conservatives Are ‘Right To Be Skeptical Of Scientists’
Toni Airaksinen, Campus Reform, 6 August 2018
2) Welcome To Dark Age Britain: Anti-Frackers Demand Research Ban On Shale Gas
Global Warming Policy Forum, 12 August 2018 

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Clive Bibby: The Moral Authority To Govern

Legitimacy should be based on more than wining an election

The legitimacy of this government will continue to be debated until the dodgy deals that were the basis for its formation are overtaken by a public acceptance that the coalition is indeed working in our best interests by trying to keep us safe.

No amount of posturing on the world stage will convince those of us at home that this mob is any better at honouring that commitment than any previous government if the evidence suggests they are simply on a mission to satisfy the hunger pangs of their own narrow ideology.

Friday, August 10, 2018

GWPF Newsletter: Popular Climate Myth In Doubt

ONS: Fewer Deaths This Summer, Despite Heatwave

In this newsletter:

1) Popular Climate Myth In Doubt
South China Morning Post, 8 August 2018
2) New Study Reveals Declining Risk & Increasing Resilience To Extreme Weather In France
Weather and Climate Extremes, 28 July 2018

Frank Newman: Another block in the wall

It seemed like a simple enough job - building a block retaining nine metres long and rising to about two metres high at its tallest point. The wall was to tidy up a crumbling bank that had been excavated to give site access for house repairs after the Christchurch earthquakes.

Well, it seems that these days, nothing to do with building and local councils is easy. Everything  is complicated by layers of rules and regulations that create obstacles and costs - even simple jobs like retaining walls (and  a kids tree house for that matter).

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Karl du Fresne: Arthur Miller's epigram no longer holds true

One of the most striking points to emerge from the free-speech furore has been the failure of the media to reflect public opinion.

In my column in the Dominion Post today, I noted that a Newshub poll – not a scientific opinion sample, but still an indication of what the public was thinking – showed that 78 percent of New Zealanders thought Lauren Southern and Stefan Molyneux should be allowed into the country. (This was when their immigration status was still in doubt.)

It can be inferred from this that the majority of people believed the Canadians should be allowed to speak here – and more to the point, that we should be allowed to hear what they had to say so that we could make up our own minds about whether their views were harmful or hateful.

Brian Giesbrecht: You are on Home Land of the Metis Nation

I have recently been paying attention to public event openings announcing that we are now on treaty land. Perhaps the most unusual is the one advising people that they are now on the home land of the Metis Nation.
Consider this: Does an acknowledgement that one is on Metis treaty land not imply that the Metis were the first people to occupy the land in question, or at least that they acquired it lawfully from the previous owners? If so, this is clearly not the case.

GWPF Newsletter: Satellites Reveal China Is Quietly Building Many New Coal Power Plants

Pakistan To Kick-Start New Coal Boom

In this newsletter:

1) Satellites Reveal China Is Quietly Building Many New Coal Power Plants
China Dialogue, 3 August 2018 

2) Pakistan To Kick-Start New Coal Boom
Financial Times, 31 July 2018 

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

NZCPR Weekly: Time for More Action on FASD

Dear NZCPR Reader,   

This week we look at the huge problem that is being caused to children and society when women who are pregnant drink alcohol, our NZCPR Guest Commentator former Canadian Judge Brian Giesbrecht shares his thoughts on some of the devastating consequences of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder in Canada, and our poll asks whether you believe enough is being done in New Zealand to warn women about the dangers of drinking alcohol while pregnant.

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

GWPF Newsletter: What Is Behind The Latest Climate Doomsday Scare?

'Only Global Socialism Can Save Us From Climate Apocalypse', Radical Scientists Claim

In this newsletter:

1) New Doomsday Paper: Only Worldwide Socialism Can Save The Planet From The Climate Apocalypse
GWPF, 7 August 2018 

2) Hothouse Earth: It’s Extremely Dodgy
GWPF Observatory, 7 August 2018

Monday, August 6, 2018

Jarrett Stepman: As Venezuela Collapses, Inflation Careers Toward 1 Million Percent

Venezuela’s inflation may hit 1 million percent by the end of the year, the International Monetary Fund announced on Monday.

This incredible hyperinflation is reminiscent of Weimar Germany during the years immediately after World War I, in which wheelbarrows full of cash were required to buy bare essential items, like a loaf of bread.

Friday, August 3, 2018

David Skilling: Keep calm and carry on

Trade tensions rumble on, with whiplash-inducing tweets from the White House: from ‘tariffs are the greatest’ to we are ‘believers in no tariffs, no barriers and no subsidies’ within 24 hours.  And although there was good news as well – the EU/US truce (for now) and the EU/Japan FTA – the global trade system faces deep challenges.  Unfortunately, the emerging global trade tensions are unlikely to be resolved quickly.

A cottage industry has emerged to identify those economies that are most exposed to trade conflict.  One of the common themes is that small economies are particularly exposed.

Bryce Edwards: Political Roundup - is the National Party changing enough?

Having been turfed out of government last year, the National Party is doing what all parties do when dealing with failure – re-evaluating what they are doing wrong and making some necessary changes. 

During their annual conference some new directions were signalled, but are the changes enough? 

Political commentators are divided about whether the conference heralded the beginnings of a bold new future for National, or whether it was just more of the same.

GWPF Newsletter: Canada Scales Back Carbon-Tax Plans

Trump’s Tax Cuts, Tariffs Force Trudeau To Retreat On Carbon Tax

In this newsletter:

1) Canada Scales Back Carbon-Tax Plans
The Wall Street Journal, 2 August 2018
2) Trump’s Tax Cuts, Tariffs Force Trudeau To Retreat On Carbon Tax
Michael Bastasch, The Daily Caller, 1 August 2018

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Barend Vlaardingerbroek: ‘Affirmative action’ – an obstacle for some ‘minorities’

Donald Trump is in trouble again with the PC crowd for fingering affirmative action (AA) as his next target. The more I see of this guy, the more I like him!

AA is both sex-based and race-based. 

The former is not the issue it was a few years back, although it remains a thorn in the side for many a man sidelined for appointment or promotion because he had the misfortune to be up against a woman and thus the cards were stacked against him whatever his credentials. But it is race-based AA that is under the spotlight not because it has trodden on the toes of any nebulous ‘majority’ but rather those of some ‘minorities’.

John Samples: Some Reasons to Trust Mark Zuckerberg with Freedom of Speech

Last week Mark Zuckerberg gave an interview to Recode. He talked about many topics including Holocaust denial. His remarks on that topic fostered much commentary and not a little criticism. Zuckerberg appeared to say that some people did not intentionally deny the Holocaust. 

Later, he clarified his views: “I personally find Holocaust denial deeply offensive, and I absolutely didn’t intend to defend the intent of people who deny that.” This post will not be about that aspect of the interview.

Let’s recall why Mark Zuckerberg’s views about politics and other things matter more than the views of the average highly successful businessman. 

Peter Van Doren: Is Green Energy Competitive?

The declining cost of solar panels and the widespread adoption of rooftop solar in California lead to many cocktail party discussions about the competitiveness of green energy. 

While at first glance it may seem that solar power and other renewable energy sources are able to compete with conventional resources, a closer examination of the characteristics and costs of electricity systems demonstrates that current renewable technologies are not economically competitive.

GWPF Newsletter: Most King Penguin Populations Have Been Increasing, Not Declining

Most King Penguin Populations Have Been Increasing, Not Declining
"Numbers of king penguins have increased throughout the Southern Ocean over the past 50 years"

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Matt Ridley: The European Union Rejected Genome Edited Crops

The European Court of Justice has just delivered a scientifically absurd ruling, in defiance of advice from its advocate general, but egged on by Jean-Claude Juncker’s allies. It will ensure that more pesticides are used in Britain, our farmers will be less competitive and researchers will leave for North America. Thanks a bunch, your honours.

By saying that genome-edited crops must be treated to expensive and uncertain regulation, it has pandered to the views of a handful of misguided extremists, who no longer have popular support in this country.

NZCPR Weekly: Court Hearings for Tribal Claims Edge Closer

Dear NZCPR Reader,   

This week we outline new developments from the High Court regarding the coastal claims process, and we call for an inquiry into the evidence behind Ngati Porou’s claim to the coast, our NZCPR Guest Commentator Hugh Barr shares details of some of the submissions on the Ngati Porou Bill and raises concerns about the wider claims process, and our poll asks whether you would support an official inquiry into the legitimacy of the evidence on which Ngati Porou’s claim for the coast is based.

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

GWPF Newsletter: 2018 Weather-Related Disaster Losses At Record Low (So Far)

Climate Alarmists Burned By Studies Showing Destructive Wildfires In Decline

In this newsletter:

1) 2018  Weather-Related Disaster Losses At Record Low (So Far)
Roger Pielke Jr., 30 July 2018 

2) Climate Alarmists Burned By Studies Showing Destructive Wildfires In Decline
Valerie Richardson, The Washington Times, 31 July 2018 

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Jim Rose: Zero-carbon economy may not be worth the cost

Before we decide if a zero-carbon economy by 2050 is worth the cost, we must know what the damage to our economy from global warming will be if we do nothing. Only then will we know how important and urgent action on global warming really is.

Estimates of the cost of global warming as a percentage of GDP to New Zealand are elusive. I drew a nil response when I asked for that information from James Shaw, the Minister for Climate Change, and from the Ministry for the Environment. Both said such an estimate was too hard to calculate.

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Frank Newman: Modular homes and mod' cons

One would think prefabricated home-building companies would be inundated with orders and have a bulging bottom line. That's why the collapse of Matrix Homes, one of New Zealand's largest modular home builders, has raised eyebrows.

The company's factory in Lower Hutt was opened in February 2015 by the then Finance Minister Bill English.  At the time Matrix said it would be different from other companies because, "we're turning fully finished houses with code compliance certificates".

Jarrett Stepman: How Big-Government Housing Policies Made San Francisco Unaffordable for All but the Rich

The San Francisco Bay Area is a booming locale, and certainly one of the most naturally beautiful. It should be a fantastically desirable place to live.

Yet, according to a recent poll, nearly half of San Francisco residents say they want to leave the Bay Area entirely.

A study from the Bay Area Council, a public policy organization, found that 46 percent of San Francisco residents have plans to move out of the area, a jump of 12 percent since 2016. Of those who participated in the survey, 61 percent said they planned to leave the state, with Texas being a primary destination.

GWPF Newsletter: EU Abandons Climate Stance In Trade Sop To Trump

Trump and Juncker Agree To Boost US Shale Gas Exports To Anti-Fracking Europe

In this newsletter:

1) EU Abandons Climate Stance In Trade Sop To Trump
EurActiv, 27 July 2018
2) Trump and Juncker Agree To Boost US Shale Gas Exports To Anti-Fracking Europe
CNBC, 26 July 2018

Friday, July 27, 2018

GWPF Newsletter: Arson, Not Climate Change, Suspected In Devastating Wildfires In Greece

Global Wildfires Are Declining, Royal Society Study Finds

In this newsletter:

1) Arson, Not Climate Change, Suspected In Devastating Wildfires In Greece
ABC News, 25 July 2018
2) New Study: Decline In Heat-Related Deaths In Spain – Despite Rising Summer Temps
Barcelona Institute for Global Health, 24 July 2018

Thursday, July 26, 2018

GWPF Newsletter: UK Government Finally Gives Green Light To Fracking Shale Gas

UK Government Axes Subsidies For Solar Panels 

In this newsletter:

1) British Government Finally Gives Green Light To Fracking Shale Gas
Reuters, 24 July 2018 
2) It’s All Over: UK Government Axes Subsidies For Solar Panels 
The Guardian, 20 July 2018

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Nicholas Kerr: Seattle’s homeless contradictions

Seattle’s ongoing homeless crisis is surrounded by an absurd number of contradictions that if not addressed will only result in a continuation of this human tragedy. 

Leaders and supporters of the city’s current approach claim compassion, but have delivered heartlessness. When residents have been asked for and given more tax dollars, the result is only ever more homeless on the streets. 

Our city council continues with the same failed policies, yet anticipates different results. We elect the same politicians or ones cut from the same cloth, yet expect them to solve something they’ve failed at or made worse. And our councilors say they want more low cost housing, but adopt policies that only increase prices. This city needs change for our homeless to have hope.

NZCPR Weekly: Swimming With the Tide of Political Opinion

Dear NZCPR Reader,   

This week we discuss the need for truth, not propaganda, in the public policy arena, our NZCPR Guest Commentator Bryan Leyland raises concerns about advisers who tell the Government what they want to hear rather than telling them the truth, and our poll asks whether you think there should be more honesty and less political spin in public policy debates.

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

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Matt Ridley: The Secret Lives of Seabirds

Two fine new books on the journeys of birds and the first ornithologist.

This is recent Times feature article I wrote on the incredible new discoveries of what seabirds get up to far from land, and on the man who first visited seabird colonies with a scientific eye in the 1660s. 

It's sometimes still possible to write this kind of discursive essay! 

This one is about two of my friends from the same research group at Oxford.

GWPF Newsletter: Carbon Tax May Bring Down Canadian PM Justin Trudeau

Gallup Poll: Americans No Longer Regard Global Warming As A Main Problem

In this newsletter:

1) Carbon Tax May Bring Down Canadian PM Justin Trudeau
National Post, 21 July 2018

2) Gallup Poll: Americans No Longer Regard Global Warming As A Main Problem
Breitbart, 22 July 2018

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Frank Newman: Exempt building projects

It became national news when the Dunedin City Council required a tree house to be removed because it did not meet the Building Code.  

Essentially the problem was that council staff were covering their own butts by applying their regulatory powers rather than going out on a limb and making a common sense decision to apply the exemptions available in Schedule 1 of the Building Code.

Part 1 of Schedule 1 of the Building Act list those items that can be done without a building consent.  It's a long list with lots of ifs, buts, and maybes, but here's a rough summary.

GWPF Newsletter: Climate Campaigners Suffer Multiple Defeats

U.S. House Of Representatives Passes Anti-Carbon Tax Resolution

In this newsletter:

1) Climate Campaigners Lose High Court Battle Over CO2 Target
Belfast Telegraph, 20 July 2018
2) Climate Lawfare Suffers Another Defeat 
Energy In Depth, 19 July 2018

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Clive Bibby: "Please Explain"

While the world is running around like headless chooks reacting to the Trump phenomenon, most Western World democracies are dealing with another single issue at home which has far greater implications for each economy than anything the US President could have dreamed up.

It is the question of how to react to the climate change threat as it is being promoted by those who slavishly adhere to the Greens mantra of cause and effect.

In countries like ours, where the Greens have a disproportionate influence over Government policy, the economy is in the process of being transformed into something we may not recognise in the future and regret ever having allowed to happen.

Daniel J. Mitchell: Marginal Tax Rates Matter

Three years ago, I shared two videos explaining taxation and deadweight loss (i.e., why high tax burdens are bad for prosperity).

Today, I have one video on another important principle of taxation. To set the stage for this discussion, here are two simple definitions:
  • The “average tax rate” is the share of your income taken by government. If you earn $50,000 and your total tax bill is $10,000, then your average tax rate is 20 percent.
  • The “marginal tax rate” is the amount of money the government takes if you earn more income. In other words, the additional amount government would take if your income rose from $50,000 to $51,000.

Friday, July 20, 2018

Viv Forbes: Time to Drain the Energy Swamp

The Australian electricity market has become a stinking swamp covered with a tangled net of treaties, laws, rules, obligations, prohibitions, targets, taxes and subsidies. The swamp conceals the rubble of demolished coal generators; another plant destined for destruction (Liddell) is gradually sinking in the green ooze.

The swamp is slowly claiming paddocks of subsidised solar panels that, at best, only work for six hours per sunny day. The scene is uglified by spec-built regiments of ailing wind turbines that are often idle, but sometimes whirling madly. To distract the gullible media from this mess, big diesel generators charge a gigantic battery which pumps water uphill and then lets it run down again. A garbage dump of dead lithium batteries fills a nearby gully and the swamp is fenced by locked green gates.

Karl du Fresne: I tell you, it's a minefield out there

We lead sheltered lives out here in the provinces. Until recently, for example, I’d never heard of a terf.

You hadn’t either? Allow me to explain. A terf is a trans-exclusionary radical feminist.We have TVNZ’s excellent Q+A programme to thank for bringing us up to speed with this latest acronym from the culture wars.

Q+A ran a fascinating item two Sundays ago about a trans-gender person from Wellington who identifies as a woman but was denied membership of a women-only gym because the gym insisted on proof  of gender re-assignment surgery.

Tony Orman: Book review - another miscarriage of justice?

In recent decades the justice system has looked increasingly fragile with court cases such as of Arthur Allan Thomas and David Bain who were convicted then cleared of blame. 

Then there was the David Tamihere case where perjury abounded and the convicted was released after serving 20 years of a life imprisonment sentence. And there’s the oft-debate about whether convicted Scott Watson is guilty or not.

Justice is not always served.