Thursday, October 18, 2018

Frank Newman: Another day. Another inquiry.

Last week the Prime Minister talked tough about petrol prices. She quite earnestly said, "I am hugely concerned at the level of price that consumers are currently paying at the pump for fuel" and that motorists were being "fleeced" at the pump.

The bottom line is that the Government intends to rush through changes to the Commerce Act to allow the competition watchdog to investigate the margins on fuel. The findings will be reported back to the government next year and the PM has assured motorists that she will "prioritise a response to it".

I don't disagree that motorists are being "fleeced", but it’s not by service stations. The PM's tough talk comes just days after central government imposed a new excise tax adding another 4 cents onto the price of petrol.

Melanie Phillips: The Democrats' Proposed Banana Republic

I wrote here that the American Democratic party had become the party of hate. Subsequent events have not only amply confirmed that view but further suggest that the Democrats now pose a real threat to America, in terms of both physical violence and a threat to due process and the US constitution.
Two days after the Senate confirmed Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s appointment to the Supreme Court, Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell told a press conference that GOP senators were “literally under assault” during the confirmation process.
“These demonstrators, I’m sure some of them were well-meaning citizens. But many of them were obviously trying to get in our faces, to go to our homes. Basically almost attack us in the halls of the capitol. There was a full-scale effort to intimidate.”

NZCPR Weekly: The Dangers of Judicial Activism

Dear NZCPR Reader,   

This week we examine judicial activism and the problems it causes society, our NZCPR Guest Commentator Anthony Willy outlines the constraints on judges and explains why a recent speech given by a sitting Judge is in breach of the judicial conduct guidelines, and our poll asks whether you believe judicial activism should be subjected to a public complaint and censure process..

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

Mole News

Coca-cola hits sour note with te reo faux pas
It seems drink company Coca-Cola's effort to "turn up the fizz" on te reo Māori has hit a sour note, but they say no disrespect was intended.

One tweet on the company's latest marketing campaign has raised eyebrows across Aotearoa and abroad on their te reo Māori faux pas.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

GWPF Newsletter: UK Govt Axes Electric Cars Subsidies

Richard Lindzen: ‘Warming Of Any Significance Ceased 20 Years Ago’

In this newsletter:

1) British Government Axes Electric Cars Subsidies
Huffington Post, 13 October 2018

2) Richard Lindzen: ‘Warming Of Any Significance Ceased 20 Years Ago’
Alison Bevege, Daily Mail, 12 October 2018

Monday, October 15, 2018

Frank Newman: Loan sharks and shady operators

Last week the Government announced it is going to get tough on loan sharks and truck shops.

The proposed changes include payday loan companies who provide short-term unsecured loans of small amounts intended to get the borrower though to the next payday. While they generally have a maximum term of a month or two, these small sums can become very large amounts very quickly.

Alan Davidson: How does Putin see the World?

              Why is Russia our enemy?   Why is Russia America’s enemy?   We know how America sees the world;   but how does Russia see the world?  

              Winston Churchill:   “I cannot forecast to you the action of Russia.   It is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma;   but perhaps there is a key.

              “That key is Russian national interest.   It cannot be in accordance with the interest of the safety of Russia that Germany should plant itself upon the shores of the Black Sea, or that it should overrun the Balkan States, and subjugate the Slavonic peoples of south eastern Europe.   That would be contrary to the historic life-interests of Russia.”

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Clive Bibby: In defence of men and the rule of law

I wonder how many blokes are getting a bit tired of having to justify their very existence every time they come within screaming distance of members of the "MeToo" movement.

What can we do to avert this mindless mis-characterisation of the innocent?

Bob Edlin: The climate change challenge - leading the charge has cost-of-living implications

Climate change zealots who press for New Zealand to lead the charge globally in reaching a zero carbon target appear to be not too bothered by the cuts in living standards New Zealanders would have to absorb.

According to the most optimistic technology scenario used by the NZIER, there would be a $6.7bn reduction in annual GDP – and if lower levels of innovation are achieved, in areas such as forestry planting, methane vaccines for livestock and mass electricification of transport and industry, the annual loss rises to $26.6bn.

And what if the sacrifices made by NZ – that is, the reduction made in domestic emissions – are counteracted by a rise in emissions elsewhere as domestic product is replaced by imports?

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Melanie Phillips: Gay cake crumbles in rare win for liberal values

I have often criticised Britain’s senior judges in general, and the president of the Supreme Court Lady Hale in particular, for “liberal” partisanship and allowing ideology to influence their rulings. 

Today, however, Lady Hale and her Supreme Court colleagues have bravely gone against fashionable ideology in a ruling which actually upholds liberalism, rationality and law. The judges have ruled unanimously that the Christian owners of Ashers bakery in Belfast did not act in a discriminatory manner when they refused to bake a cake iced with the message “Support Gay Marriage”.

GWPF Newsletter: Denying Nature

IPCC Now Claims All Warming Since End Of Little Ice Age Is Man-Made

In this newsletter:

1) Denying Nature: IPCC Now Claims All Warming Since End Of Little Ice Age Is Man-Made
Climate Scepticism, 9 October 2018
2) Australia Rejects IPCC Energy Policy Prescriptions
The Australian, 9 October 2018

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

NZCPR Weekly: Time To Have A Say On Entrenching The Maori Seats

Dear NZCPR Reader,   

This week we outline Labour’s plan to entrench the Maori seats and we call on readers to help encourage everyone who has a view on the future of the Maori seats to put in a submission, our NZCPR Guest Commentator Barry Soper explains why the Maori seats should be abolished, and our poll asks, if a referendum on the future of the Maori seats was to be held, would you support abolishing them or entrenching them.

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

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

GWPF Newsletter: IPCC Turns Green Energy Lobby

Climate Scientists Call For $2.4 Trillion Per Year For Shift To Renewables

In this newsletter:

1) IPCC Turns Green Energy Lobby: Climate Scientists Call For $2.4 Trillion Per Year For Shift To Renewables
Bloomberg, 8 October 2018
2) Most UK Newspapers Ignore IPCC Report On Their Frontpages
Global Warming Policy Forum, 8 October 2018

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Mike Butler: Why extra standards for rentals?

Few could argue against the value of warm and dry housing but many could criticise the way the Peters-Ardern Government is imposing extra standards on rental property.

Housing and Urban Development Minister Phil Twyford is about to require owners of rental property to install expensive heaters, add an extra layer of insulation, require extractor fans in kitchens and bathrooms, a polythene sheet under the floor to stop rising damp, and draught-stopping tape around windows and doors.

Saturday, October 6, 2018

GWPF Newsletter: Global Temperatures Keep Falling

Leaked US Critique  Of IPCC Report  Sets Stage For Political Showdown

In this newsletter:

1) Global Temperatures Keep Falling
GWPF Observatory, 3 October 2018
2) Arctic Sea Ice Rebounds
Paul Homewood, Not A Lot Of People Know That, 2 October 2018

Friday, October 5, 2018

Barend Vlaardingerbroek: A critical appraisal of the Novichok incident narrative

What we have here, it seems to me, is an attempt by the UK to limit the damage to its own reputation – damage perhaps it never envisaged, because it assumed everyone would “buy” the “wicked Russia” story. - Mary Dejevsky in The Independent, 24 May

The murky world of secret operations by State intelligence units is one that we seldom get much of a look into – well, if we did, it wouldn’t be ‘secret’ anymore, would it? – but enough transpires to give us considerable insight into its workings.

When it comes to awarding first prize for clandestine operations aimed at liquidating individuals they don’t like, the Russian secret service would have to be the front-runner. For the past three quarters of a century, these furtive characters have built up a reputation for slick, targeted assassinations outside their own territory. 

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Karl du Fresne: An enemy of free speech and a dissembler too

It’s taken a while, but the speech wars have reached New Zealand – and an Australian is in the thick of the strife. Problem is, she’s on the wrong side.

Jan Thomas, the vice-chancellor of Massey University, recently banned Don Brash, a former leader of the centre-right National party, from speaking at a campus event organised by a student politics society. It was the first occurrence at a New Zealand university of the ugly phenomenon known as no-platforming. Now Thomas, who came to New Zealand from the University of Southern Queensland, has been exposed not just as an enemy of free speech, but as a dissembler who was less than honest about her motives.

Frank Newman: When a capital gain is income

The interim report recently published by the government's Tax Working Group had a handy summary of the current law regarding taxing gains in the value of investment assets. Here are the relevant extracts from their report.

Gains on the sale of land are taxable if the land was bought with a purpose or intention of resale, even if resale was not the only or dominant purpose or intention of the purchase. Capital losses are generally not deductible unless a gain on the sale of the property would be taxable.

Bryan Leyland: Why electricity prices have increased

The Electricity Price Review has revealed that residential electricity prices have increased by about 80% above inflation since 1990. Why did this happen? We were promised that privatisation and the electricity market would reduce power prices.

An objective examination of the whole electricity industry and the effect of the reforms leads to some interesting conclusions.

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Owen Young: The new ‘received pronunciation’

When I was a wee boy, and that’s many years ago, radio broadcasting in New Zealand was dominated by the state.  The announcers were required to speak with ‘received pronunciation’, which is an accent endemic to parts of southern England.  It was how educated, cultured people were supposed to speak.  Too bad if you spoke with your New Zealand accent.  Announcing was not for you.  That barrier to freedom has been largely, but not completely, overcome and I think we are prouder and happier for it.

However, that cultural domination is being replaced by another, this time based on ethnicity, not perceived social class.  I refer to the pronunciation of Maori place names.  

NZCPR Weekly: De-Industrialising Our Economy

Dear NZCPR Reader,   

This week we look into factors influencing the rising price of petrol – including the Government’s climate change agenda, our NZCPR Guest Commentator Bryan Leyland explains how New Zealand will face blackout if the Government closes down the Huntly coal and gas fired power station, and our poll asks whether you think Labour should put a halt on its plans to add more excise taxes onto the price of petrol.

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

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

NZ Climate Science Coalition: An Open Letter to the Council of the Royal Society of New Zealand

3 October 2018

An Open Letter to the Council of the Royal Society of New Zealand

The debate on man-made global warming.

Over the last year a series of exchanges between the Royal Society of New Zealand (RSNZ) and the New Zealand Climate Science Coalition have revealed the following:

Monday, October 1, 2018

GWPF Newsletter: EU Abandons New 2030 Climate Target

EU Commission Fears Job Losses In Car Industry

In this newsletter:

1) EU Abandons New 2030 Climate Target
Deutsche Press Agentur, 28 September 2018 
2) Climate Target Are Too Strict: EU Commission Fears Job Losses In Car Industry
Handelsblatt, 26 September 2018 

Sunday, September 30, 2018

GWPF Newsletter: Germany Struggles To End Coal Power - Populist AfD Challenges Green Consensus

France To Cut Renewable Energy Growth

In this newsletter:

1) Germany Struggles To End Coal Power As Populist AfD Challenges Green Consensus
Bloomberg, 27 September 2018 
2) Green No More: Germany’s SPD Rejects Premature Date For Coal Exit
Deutsche Presse Agentur, 25 September 2018 

Saturday, September 29, 2018

Melanie Phillips: America’s Revolutionary Moment

Finally – finally! – a Republican has expressed appropriate fury, disgust and contempt for the way in which the Democratic Party turned Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court into a political lynching.

Christine Blasey Ford had accused Kavanaugh of having sexually assaulted her when they were both teenagers in high school. She had taken her allegation, made for the first time after 36 years, to Senator Dianne Feinstein, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee. Feinstein sat on it for six weeks until virtually the last moment in the Senate’s consideration of Kavanaugh’s nomination.

Friday, September 28, 2018

Brian Giesbrecht: Canada's Apartheid Regime

Former Prime Minister Jean Chrétien was interviewed on CBC Radio on May 31, 2018. Although he is now 84 years old, he sounds today just like the feisty, former street fighter he was. From a very young backbencher, through many cabinet posts, and finally to a Prime Minister who only seemed to know how to win majority governments, he is a true legend. He helped us keep this country together, and then navigate through the difficult reconciliation with Quebec. As a finale, he very wisely kept us out of America’s ill-conceived, and disastrous war in Iraq. Jean Chrétien is probably Canada’s most underrated prime minister, and will probably be rightly viewed in the future as one of our greatest leaders.

But, as a cabinet minister in the government of Pierre Elliott Trudeau that he took one of the biggest gambles of his political career. As Minister of Indian Affairs that he tried – but failed – to end Canada’s apartheid regime.

GWPF Newsletter: China's Coal Secret Revealed

China Is Building Hundreds of New Coal Power Plants

In this newsletter:

1) China Coal Power Building Boom Sparks Climate Warning
BBC News, 26 September 2018 
2) New Coal War: China And Japan Compete For Hundreds Of New Coal Plants In Southeast Asia
Frederick Kuo, South China Morning Post, April 2018

Thursday, September 27, 2018

GWPF Newsletter: How ‘Green’ China Fooled The World As New Coal Boom Continues

Angela Merkel Warns Against Tougher EU CO2 Limits On Cars, Vans

In this newsletter:

1) How ‘Green’ China Fooled The World As New Coal Boom Continues
Michael Bastasch, The Daily Caller, 24 September 2018 
2) Germany’s Merkel Warns Against Tougher EU CO2 Limits On Cars, Vans
Reuters, 25 September 2018

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Bob Edlin: Govt rejects MBIE costings of oil decision

The Ardern government’s ban  on new oil and gas  exploration could cost the country  from $1.2bn  to $23.5bn  in foregone revenue, according to official advice from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and  Employment.  The MBIE  modelling, quality-checked  by Treasury,  points to lost oil company profits falling within a range of $199m and $7.3bn, with a calculated mid-point of $2.1bn.
Energy and Resources  Minister Megan  Woods says the government disputes  the figures— but doesn’t  offer  its own estimate. She  has introduced  to  Parliament the Crown Minerals Amendment Bill, which will legislate  officially  to stop new offshore oil and gas exploration permits.

Brian Gaynor: What Fonterra needs — radical reform

When will New Zealand dairy farmers wake up and realise that Fonterra Co-operative Group needs a massive shake-up?

When will farmers grasp that the group’s poor performance has a massive impact on their pockets, with this column estimating that the average NZ dairy farmer has missed out on over $1.5 million of tax-free capital gains over the past nine years?

The most depressing section of Fonterra’s recently released annual report is the historical financial summary on page 62. This shows that the farmgate milk price has fallen 20.4 per cent since 2014, the co-op’s dividend is the same as 2014 and its shares have a dividend yield of only 1.7 per cent.

NZCPR Weekly: Capital Gains Tax Edges Closer

Dear NZCPR Reader,   

This week we examine some of the proposals outlined in the Tax Working Group’s interim report and urge anyone concerned about the prospect of a 33 percent Capital Gains Tax to send in a submission, our NZCPR Guest Commentator Frank Newman shares his analysis of tax changes proposed by the Working Group, and our poll asks whether you think the Capital Gains Tax as outlined by the Tax Working Group will be good for New Zealand or bad.

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

GWPF Newsletter: Arctic Sea Ice Much More Stable Than Thought

BBC’s Climate Change ‘Facts’ Are Fiction

In this newsletter:

1) Arctic Sea Ice Much More Stable Than Thought
Ron Clutz, Science Matters, 22 September 2018
2) 30 Years Ago Officials Predicted The Maldives Would Be Swallowed By The Sea. It Didn’t Happen
Michael Bastasch, The Daily Caller, 21 September 2018 

Monday, September 24, 2018

Clive Bibby: “Hang on a minute mate” - Half time in the Provinces.

I hope the late Barry Crump won't be too concerned if l flog the title of one of his best works. It seemed like an apt description of the current political scenario in this country.

Last week's public demonstration of unity (or lack of it) within the governing coalition gave indications of what we might expect during the remainder of this parliamentary term.

Most experienced political observers will say that the chaos was bound to occur given the lack of experience amongst those chosen to be in cabinet although they might have been surprised at how quickly the incompetency of some was exposed.

Hans Bader: How a Minimum Wage Hike Wiped Out 40% of Venezuela's Stores

A large minimum wage increase in Venezuela has dealt a “fatal blow to 40% of Venezuelan stores,” reports the Miami Herald. The increase has closed many stores and left employees jobless. Venezuela’s government ignored the most basic law of economics in raising the minimum wage: the law of supply and demand. But laws don’t go away just because you ignore them.

The job losses will rise in the coming weeks because even “some of the stores that did [remain] open are simply liquidating their merchandise and plan to close definitively when that’s done.”

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Bob Edlin: Mystery still shrouds ‘incident’ that sparked latest ministerial sacking

Boom!  There  goes another  minister…
PM  Jacinda  Ardern  wasted little time  in firing  Meka  Whaitiri  as  Minister  of Customs after   receiving a  report  into  an  “incident”  in Gisborne  on  August  27   involving Whaitiri and one of her staff.
Ardern said she no longer had confidence Meka Whaitiri as a minister.
That is why I have taken the action I have.  I’ve made the decision solely on this incident. I’m confident in the decision I have made.”
No  mucking about this time, as there was  over the  Curran  affair.  Yet there  are  still elements of  mystery  over precisely  what  happened  in that  Gisborne  “incident”.

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Melanie Phillips: The Leverage for Britain in the Art of the No Deal

The quartet, said to comprise two Brexiteers, Michael Gove and Dominic Raab, and two Remainers, Sajid Javid and Matt Hancock, have reportedly formed a “pragmatic” alliance to “get Brexit over the line”.
Apparently, these four ministers will seek to hose down both ultra-Remainers and ultra-Brexiteers who are all likely to object to the final terms of the deal.

GWPF Newsletter: One-Third Of US Households Struggle To Pay Energy Bills

Ontario Government Moves To Scrap Green Energy Act

In this newsletter:

1) One-Third Of US Households Struggle To Pay Energy Bills
Associated Press, 20 September 2018
2) One In Three U.S. Households Faces A Challenge In Meeting Energy Needs
U.S. Energy Information Administration, 19 September 2018

Karl du Fresne: My shameful confession

I have a shameful confession to make.

On a gorgeous spring afternoon in 2017, I drove to Fernridge School, just west of Masterton, and cast my vote in the general election.

Virtually until the moment I entered the polling booth, I remained an undecided voter.

My electorate vote was straightforward enough. It went to Labour’s Wairarapa candidate Kieran McAnulty – mainly because I thought Alastair Scott, the sitting National MP, had done bugger-all in his first term other than turn up for photo opportunities, and therefore didn’t deserve to be re-elected.

Friday, September 21, 2018

GWPF Newsletter: Europe's Business Lobby Finally Fights EU's Unilateral Climate Policy

Release Of New Climategate Emails Imminent

In this newsletter:

1) Europe’s Business Lobby Prepares Pushback Against EU’s New Climate Goals
EurActiv, 19 September 2018
2) Climategate Continues: Release Of University Of Arizona Climate Emails Imminent
Watts Up With That, 19 September 2018

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

NZCPR Weekly: Cultural Indoctrination Week

Dear NZCPR Reader,   

This week we reveal the radical race-based agenda that Labour is progressing – including their just-announced plan to pass responsibility for some of the Marine and Coastal Area claims to a new powerful Maori Agency, our NZCPR Guest Commentator Michael Coote shares his analysis of the Government’s Maori language strategy and urges readers to make submissions, and our poll asks whether you support the Government’s Maori language revitalisation strategy.

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

GWPF Newsletter: Arctic Ice Growing Again

Computer Climate Simulations Just Crashed

In this newsletter:

1) Arctic Ice Growing Again
Ron Clutz, Science Matters, 16 September 2018
2) Harry Wilkinson: Arctic Sea Ice Just Won’t Play The Game
The Conservative Woman, 7 September 2018

Monday, September 17, 2018

Bryan Leyland: “Things you know that ain't so" - fossil fuels

As the American humorist Will Rogers said: “It’s not what we don’t know that gives us trouble, it’s what we know that ain’t so.” 

“We can have a reliable and economic supply of electricity without burning fossil fuels”


Blackouts are inevitable if we do not have sufficient energy in reserve to make up for the loss of hydro generation in a dry year. In a 1:20 dry year the shortfall amounts to 10% of annual consumption.

To make up for the shortfall we need to have an energy store that can be converted into electricity over the four month dry period. Ever since Meremere power station was commissioned in the 1950s, we have relied on coal-fired stations supplemented by gas and oil to provide the dry year reserve.

Matthew Lau: Federal Government’s “Eat the Rich” Plan Backfires

A few years ago, the federal Liberals told Canadians that they would help the middle class by raising taxes on the rich. According to the early evidence, the plan has flopped. This was entirely predictable. Indeed, in 2015, the C.D. Howe Institute (formerly chaired by the current federal finance minister) called the policy a “losing proposition.” However, the federal finance minister and federal government forged ahead anyway.

The data so far suggests that the federal government’s tax hike on top earners was so economically damaging that it actually reduced federal tax revenues. The Globe and Mail recently reported that the “Liberal government’s tax on Canada’s top 1 per cent failed to produce the promised billions in new revenue in its first year, as high-income earners actually paid $4.6-billion less in federal taxes.”

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Mike Butler: Gate Pa and the need to look ahead

Gate Pa and Te Ranga – the full story seeks to put fighting that took place in Tauranga in 1864 within a wide historical narrative that includes Maori history back 360 years, the impact of British settlement in the 19th century, and the reaction to that settlement.

The Battle of Gate Pa on April 29, 1864, has been described as a humiliating defeat for the British although the Battle of Te Ranga seven weeks later resulted in Maori defenders being routed and their commander killed.

At Gate Pa, 31 Government troops were killed and 80 wounded despite vastly outnumbering the rebels. At Te Ranga, more than 80 rebels were killed or fatally wounded. The book corrects a few myths:

GWPF Newsletter: Out-Trumping Trump

European Nations Urge Subsidy Extension For Coal Plants Beyond 2030

In this newsletter:

1) Out-Trumping Trump: European Nations Urge Subsidy Extension For Coal Plants Beyond 2030
Montel, 14 September 2018
2) Green No More: Germany Is Razing A 12,000-Year-Old Forest To Make Way For A Coal Mine
Quartz, 13 September 2018