Saturday, February 29, 2020

Mike Hosking: Now is not the time for benefit increases

Quietly unveiled at the end of Jacinda Ardern's post-Cabinet press conference on Monday was confirmation of benefit increases based on wage increases, not the consumer price index, as has traditionally been the case.

It was a change made in the 'Wellbeing Budget' and this ironically is in part why the books aren't what they were, or indeed should be. The books were talked of in the same conference by Finance Minister Grant Robertson, who assured us all that we are busy working on three separate coronavirus plans, and we are in good shape to deal with all three.

GWPF Newsletter: Paris Agreement & Climate Lawfare Threaten British Economy

China & India To Build 320 New Airports

In this newsletter:

1) Britain's Road, Air And Energy Plans At Risk As Heathrow Runway Bid Rejected Over Paris Agreement
The Times, 28 February 2020

2) China To Build 216 New Airports By 2035
Airport Technology, 12 December 2019

Friday, February 28, 2020

Breaking Views Update: Week of 23.02.20

Friday February 28, 2020

Bias In Policing Shows Urgent Need For Justice Transformation In NZ, New Research Finds
New research from justice advocacy group JustSpeak released today shows that structural bias in policing continues to disproportionately harm Māori and demonstrates the urgent need for transformative change across our justice system.

“Government must fund programs that divert young people away from being needlessly sucked through the justice system into prison. Te Pae Oranga iwi justice panels should be expanded across Aotearoa, with more funding for the community services that panels refer people to."

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Heather du Plessis-Allan: Child poverty figures shows PM is not helping those she promised to

It’s convenient that the Prime Minister is out of the country today, because it’s probably too embarrassing to front up on those child poverty figures released this morning.

They have barely moved during her Government’s term.

Remember all the promises? Remember when Jacinda Ardern said "My goal is to eradicate child poverty in New Zealand"? Remember when she promised to lift 100,000 children out of poverty by 2020

Well, it’s 2020, that is so far from happening… it’s just gutting.

GWPF Newsletter: Teenage 'Anti-Greta' To Confront Climate Activists At Conference In America

Naomi Seibt: ‘I Don’t Want You To Panic. I Want You To Think’

In this newsletter:

1) Teenage 'Anti-Greta' To Confront Climate Activists At Conference In America
The Daily Telegraph, 24 February 2020
2) Naomi Seibt: ‘I Don’t Want You To Panic. I Want You To Think’
The Heartland Institute, February 2020

Stephen Franks: Why practical Police will not use a gun register

I’m often asked why licensed firearms owners like me are so worried about the government’s phase 2 gun law changes, even if we supported the original announcement to ban semi-automatics.
The registry is just one part of abandoning our world-envied mutual trust basis of cooperation between police and citizen. Police HQ want the register despite having starved and mis-managed the arms registry we’ve had for 30 years for pistols and MSSAs. They let it become notoriously unreliable despite having all the powers they needed to ensure it functioned pretty much as the registry they now want to make universal.
But I don’t blame them for that dereliction. The existing registry was just not useful enough to justify much expense. Registry uselessness was most dramatically shown in Canada’s abandonment of their registry after spending more than C$1bn on it.

Melanie Phillips: “I need to check your thinking” said the English police officer

At long last, an English court has struck a blow against the cultural tyranny of thought-crime and in support of freedom of speech, reason and sanity.

In the High Court, Mr Justice Julian Knowles ruled that the police had been disproportionate in the action they took against Harry Miller, a former police officer and a shareholder in a plant and machinery company in Lincolnshire, when they recorded as a “non crime hate incident” a series of disobliging comments he had tweeted about transgender issues.

It’s worth reading the judgment in full here, not just for the judge’s full-throated defence of freedom of expression, nor his often sardonic turns of phrase, but to understand the jaw-dropping and terrifying state of authoritarian imbecility to which our once-robust culture has descended.

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

NZCPR Weekly: Election Year – a quick glimpse ahead

Dear NZCPR Reader,   

This week we look ahead to the election and touch on some of the key issues that could affect the outcome, our NZCPR Guest Commentator Dr Edward Hudson outlines why New Zealand has a housing affordability crisis, and our poll asks whether you think New Zealand First will be back in Parliament after the election.

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

Sunday, February 23, 2020

GWPF Newsletter - Boris Beware: Tory MPs Threaten To Rebel If Fuel Duty Is Raised In The Budget

Boris Johnson Risks Betraying The Very Voters Who Trusted The Conservatives

In this newsletter:

1) Boris Beware: Tory MPs Threaten To Rebel If Fuel Duty Is Raised In The Budget, Warning It Would Hurt Northern Voters
Daily Mail, 21 February 2020

2) Meddling in Domestic Heating is Foolish: Increasing Fuel Duty is a Blunder
Global Warming Policy Forum, 21 February 2020

Saturday, February 22, 2020

Karl du Fresne: Not before time, an English judge upholds the right to free speech

Until a few days ago, I hadn’t heard of Mr Justice Julian Knowles. Neither, I daresay, had many other people. But we owe Mr Justice Julian Knowles a debt of gratitude for driving a long-overdue stake into the ground in defence of free speech.

Knowles, a judge of England’s High Court, presided over a case in which a man named Harry Miller challenged the legality of police action taken against him over comments he had made on Twitter relating to trans-gender women.

Miller opposes planned law changes that would make it easier for people to legally change their gender. Along with many British feminists, he’s concerned that this would allow traditionally female spaces – for example, women’s changing rooms, women’s gyms and women’s refuges – to be invaded by people who are biologically male but identify as female.

Breaking Views Update: Week of 16.02.20

Saturday February 22, 2020

Pou ‘creates a sense of place’
A new pou was unveiled and blessed yesterday at the Motu Bridge.

Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency and Te Aitanga a Mahaki yesterday celebrated the unveiling of Hinetapuarau, a seven-metre-tall steel pou installed at the State Highway 2/Te Wera Road intersection just north of Matawai.

Friday, February 21, 2020

GWPF Newsletter: Will A Green Boris Face Macron’s Fate?

10 Downing Street Pushes To Hike Fuel Duty ‘So That Boris Will Look Good For UN Climate Conference’

In this newsletter:

1) Dominic Cummings Pushes To Hike Fuel Duty ‘So That Boris Will Look Good For UN Climate Conference’
The Sun, 20 February 2020
2) Read My Lips: Boris Explicitly Told Voters He Had No Intention Of Raiding Fuel Duty
Guido Fawkes, 20 February 2020

Eric Crampton: Where do we go from here?

The government this week extended the COVID-19 (coronavirus) travel ban barring foreign nationals from arriving in New Zealand from mainland China and suggesting self-quarantine for Kiwis returning.

The continued ban feels like the right decision for a highly contagious disease with mortality rates that appear to be around twenty times higher than the seasonal flu. But feels are a poor basis for policy.

The disease has some very worrying features.

Bob Edlin: How the management of monetary policy and other RBNZ activities are being steeped in Maori mythology

Acculturation – the cultural modification of an individual, group, or people by adapting to or borrowing traits from another culture or a merging of cultures – is increasingly evident in this country’s public agencies.

The Reserve Bank of New Zealand has not escaped the process.  In July 2018, soon after Adrian Orr became the governor, the Otago Daily Times reported the new  head of the country’s august central bank was planning to shift the mindset of the institution towards better embracing the rich cultural diversity of the country.
Since he had taken up the post (the ODT reported)
… phrases like tikanga Maori and te reo have begun to feature prominently on its priority list.

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Viv Forbes: The Looming Collision between Electric Vehicles and Green Energy

Two green-dream fantasies are heading for a massive and costly collision.

Firstly they dream of generating all grid power from wind/solar propped up by battery storage (such as lots of giant Tesla batteries and pumped hydro).

Secondly they dream of replacing all petrol/diesel/gas cars, trucks and buses with electric vehicles, powered by more batteries.

But wind farms do well if they can average about 35% of their rated capacity with low predictability, while solar panels average just 25% of their capacity, produced intermittently. To generate zero emissions energy for Australia, we would need hills covered with turbines, flats covered with solar panels, the countryside spider-webbed with access roads and transmission lines, and much more hydro.

GWPF Newsletter: Europe’s Anti-Science Plague Descends On Africa

The Radical Greens’ Role In Africa’s Locusts Crisis

In this newsletter:

1) Europe’s Anti-Science Plague Descends On Africa
James Njoroge, European Scientist, 17 February 2020
2) The Radical Greens’ Role In Africa’s Locusts Crisis
Richard Tren and Jasson Urbach, CapX, 28 February 2020

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Karl du Fresne: The new ruling class

Politics in the 21st century is often characterised as a contest between the elites and the populists.

The elites – often referred to as the metropolitan or inner-city elites – are Leftist idealists who prefer to describe themselves as “progressive”. Leading global figureheads include the two HCs, Hillary Clinton and Helen Clark.

You could almost call the elites the new ruling class, since they have power and influence far beyond their numbers. They predominate in the universities, the media, the arts, schools, the churches, the public service and the not-for-profit sector – that vast and perpetually busy plethora of organisations, mostly taxpayer-subsidised, that lobby for politically correct causes.

Marco Navarro-Genie: Want to Help Harry and Meghan? Leave Them Be.

Personal autonomy and the exercise of individual conscience are cornerstones of western civilization. We expect mature individuals to accept that personal autonomy includes embracing the consequences of independent decisions. We have entrenched these values in the canon, from Magna Carta (1215) to Canada’s Constitution Act (1982). 

So, when Harry and Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, announced they no longer wish to have official royal duties, our generous inclination is to support their desire for greater autonomy. 
Plenty of ink is being dedicated to the Sussexes, but little has focused on an important consequence of their decision: they have renounced their public duty. 

Mike Hosking: The political money fight is on

Do you feel $4000 worse off?

If Simon Bridges' numbers are to be believed, that's his claim, on average after all the new taxes, fees, and compliance under the Labour/New Zealand First/Green Government we are about $4000 a year worse off.

Median rent is up over $2500 a year. That will come as no surprise if you've looked for a place to rent as our family has. Queues are long, competition is intense, choice is small, and the quality at times is frightening.

Petrol taxes $200 a year, tax cuts you never got $1000 a year, and so it goes.

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

NZCPR Weekly: Judicial Activism

Dear NZCPR Reader,   

This week we look into the disastrous impact the former Chief Justice’s judicial activism has had on the country as the first of 200 tribal claims to the coast reach High Court hearings this year; our NZCPR Guest Commentator British journalist Melanie Phillips outlines the positive change that is occurring in the UK now that they have a conservative Judge as their Chief Justice, and our poll asks whether you support introducing Maori tikanga into the law.

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

Sunday, February 16, 2020

Matt Ridley: Britain needs to rediscover failure if it wants to prosper

What was Brexit for? After finally taking Britain out of the European Union, the Prime Minister can now start to give us his answer — and the opportunity in front of him is pretty clear. He could speed up, perhaps double, the rate of economic growth by unleashing innovation. After leaving the slow steaming European convoy, Britain must not chug along but go full speed ahead. That means rediscovering trial and error, serendipity and swiftness — the mechanisms by which the market finds out what the consumer wants next.
The stifling of innovation by vested interests in the corridors of Brussels has held Britain back for too long — but it is not the only reason for our sluggish innovation capacity. We can also blame creaky infrastructure, neglect of the north, a glacial-speed planning system, the temptations of a speculative property market, low research and development spending, and a chronic inability to turn good ideas into big businesses.

Bryce Edwards: Political Roundup - Is Government policy for sale in New Zealand?

Does money buy policy in New Zealand politics and government? Based on the ongoing political finance scandal involving New Zealand First, which comes hot on the heels of the Serious Fraud Office charging four people in relation to donations to the National Party, New Zealanders have every reason to doubt the integrity of the electoral process. It’s no wonder there are growing calls for reform of a broken political finance system.

The ongoing leaks about the donations received by NZ First, and what look like attempts to at least circumvent political finance laws, saw the Electoral Commission refer the matter to the Police, who have now passed the scandal onto the Serious Fraud Office for investigation. At question is the role of the NZ First Foundation, which Winston Peters argues is separate from the party, but which appears to have been used to collect the donations in a highly questionable way.

Saturday, February 15, 2020

GWPF Newsletter: Arctic Sea Ice Much More Resilient Than Thought

Unknown UK Politician Appointed President Of COP26 Climate Summit

In this newsletter:

1) Arctic Sea Ice Much More Resilient Than Thought
Meteorologist Paul Dorian, Perspecta, Inc., 12 February 2020
2) We Have A Winner: Tallest Climate Tale of 2019
Global Warming Policy Forum, 12 February 2020

Breaking Views Update: Week of 9.02.20

Saturday February 15, 2020

Moriori Treaty Settlement to be signed: 'It's been a long wait'
More than a 100 years since Moriori were slaughtered, enslaved and falsely classified as extinct, a true account of their story is about to be entrenched in the law.

Moriori descendants and representatives of the Crown will meet in Rēkohu, or the Chatham Islands, today for the signing of the Moriori Treaty Settlement.

Friday, February 14, 2020

Mike Hosking: Is coronavirus exposing NZ's over reliance on China?

The obligatory commentary has already started on whether we should continue to be doing business, or the amount of business, we do with China.

The racism is already well entrenched all over the world as Asian restaurants empty out.
It's a funny thing isn't it? For the most part we celebrate our globalness, our connectedness, the fact we are all a village, until it doesn’t suit us or it momentarily appears to get a bit awkward.

The chances of you ordering a dumpling soup and getting coronavirus is, of course, a lot less than it is you getting run over by a car or bus on the way home. But logic it, would appear, has been suspended.

Thursday, February 13, 2020

GWPF Newsletter - New Survey: Climate Is One Of The Lowest Priorities For Americans

How To Turn COP26 Into Another Flop

In this newsletter:

1) New Survey Confirms: Climate Is One Of The Lowest Priorities For Americans
Donna Laframboise, No Frakking Consensus

2) End Of A Giant Con Trick: Wind Giants In Germany No Longer Keen On Market Rates
Bloomberg, 10 February 2020

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Karl du Fresne: On moral panic and the Doomsday Clock

There are two types of panic. There’s ordinary, everyday panic, and then there’s moral panic. 

The first is the type that happens when you look out the window of your plane while flying at 30,000 feet and notice the wing has fallen off.

With this type of panic you either quickly recover once the danger has passed, or you face a genuine risk of death. If the wing of your plane has fallen off, it’s likely to be the latter.

The other type of panic, moral panic, is a socio-political phenomenon. It’s defined as a contagious fear that some hazard threatens social wellbeing.

GWPF Newsletter: EU Threatens Carbon Tariffs In Climate Trade War Warning Shot To Brexit Britain

Political Suicide Note: UK Government Considers Banning Gas Heating & Cooking

In this newsletter:

1) EU Threatens Carbon Tariffs In Climate Trade War Warning Shot To Brexit Britain
The Sunday Telegraph, 9 February 2020
2) Political Suicide Note: UK Government Considers Banning Gas Heating & Cooking
The Sunday Telegraph, 9 February 2020

Mike Hosking: Māori Party has no chance of getting back into Parliament

The Māori Party are unlikely to go with National, they tell us.

Here’s the bigger issue: the Māori Party most likely won’t get the chance given they won’t get a seat or five percent.

Which is a shame because MMP requires choice, it’s very invention was designed to bring to life an array of smaller concepts and ideas encapsulated in minor type parties,

Sadly, its heyday is over. The United Party, Alliance, the Christians, they’ve all come and gone, along with a variety of other pretenders who were deceived by the MMP proponents into thinking that this was a democratic utopia where all minor players would have the chance of flourishing and we’d all be better off for it.

Fat chance.

NZCPR Weekly: The Dangers of Tribalism

Dear NZCPR Reader,   

This week we look into the dangers of tribalism and we outline the campaign that’s being run to resurrect the Maori Party; our NZCPR Guest Commentator former Canadian Judge Brian Giesbrecht warns of disastrous developments in tribal control of child welfare; and our poll asks whether you believe the care and protection of children in New Zealand should be based on race.

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

Sunday, February 9, 2020

Ross Mckitrick: Fight climate extremists before they upend society

Last year was the year the climate issue took a sharp turn towards extremism. Let’s hope 2020 is the year sanity makes a comeback. 

There have long been three groups occupying the climate issue. To avoid pejoratives, I will call them A, B and C.

The A group are the doubters. They don’t believe greenhouse gases (GHGs) do much harm and they don’t support expensive climate-policy interventions. If we must choose between climate policy and the continued use of inexpensive fossil energy, they readily choose the latter.

The C group think the opposite; they fear a climate catastrophe, they foresee a crisis and they want urgent action, regardless of cost, to stop it.

The B group are in the middle. They believe, or say they believe, that GHG emissions are a problem and must be reduced. They are vague on the question of how much and when, but in general they try to balance environmental goals with the provision of inexpensive energy and robust economic growth.

Friday, February 7, 2020

Breaking Views Update: Week of 2.02.20

Friday February 7, 2020

Waitangi Day 2020: 'Give us the courage to walk comfortably in each other's shoes' - PM
More than 2500 people gathered this morning at Waitangi to commemorate the 180th anniversary of the Treaty.

Among those offering their prayers were Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, Police Commissioner Mike Bush, Race Relations Commissioner Meng Foon, Waitangi National Trust Chairperson Pita Tipene and chairperson of the Rūnanga a Iwi o Ngāpuhi, Mere Mangu.

Barend Vlaardingerbroek: Those who play with fire

The old saying about people playing with fire burning their fingers comes down to the commonsense observation that if you knowingly and willingly expose yourself to danger, you should not be surprised when adverse consequences arise – and by implication, you have only yourself to blame.

Let me tell you a really daft story. One night, as a dare, I walk on my lonesome down dimly-lit streets in a seedy part of town with $50 and $100 banknotes protruding from gaps in my clothing. Surprise, surprise, I get mugged and robbed. I go to the police, where, instead of sympathy, I get a flea in my ear about my grossly irresponsible behaviour. “You were asking for it,” the officer on duty says sternly. “But I had a right to be there!” I protest. “And I didn’t go there wanting to be robbed! Those muggers didn’t have the right to rob me!” I leave the cop shop mumbling about ‘victim blaming’.

Clive Bibby: Negotiations over water rights at Waitangi

It would be interesting to be a fly on the wall of the participant's changing rooms as they each prepare for the next round of talks at Waitangi between the Crown and Iwi leadership regarding this hardy annual issue of rights to the nation's fresh water resources. 

Back here in the provinces we are watching with baited breath for any announcement of a breakthrough but are, as always, reliant on the news media for reports of progress. 

Unfortunately that usually means we will be subjected to the individual commentator's spin on the issue that will inevitably reflect their version of who holds the moral high ground during these discussions. 

Thursday, February 6, 2020

Bob Edlin: NZ First pumps PGF millions into Maori projects in Northland – then accuses Bridges of politicking at Waitangi

No-one  should have been astonished to learn from a Newsroom headline that  Political sparks fly at Waitangi as PM promises ‘more mahi’
The report began by noting
There was a sharper, election-year edge to proceedings at this year’s Waitangi pōwhiri. Simon Bridges and Winston Peters clashed, while Jacinda Ardern made the case for why Māori should have patience with her Government
The report observed that National leader Simon Bridges’ speech seemed to be addressed not to those on the paepae, but for the New Zealanders who would be following events at Waitangi from home.

GWPF Newsletter - Brussels Tells UK: Report To Us On Climate Change Or Forget Brexit Trade Deal

Boris In A Pickle Over Toxic UN Climate Conference

In this newsletter:

1) Brussels Tells UK: Report To Us On Climate Change Or Forget Brexit Trade Deal
The Daily Telegraph, 4 February 2020
2) Poisoned Chalice: Green Tories Decline Invitation To Chair Toxic UN Climate Conference
The Times, 5 February 2020

Mike Hosking: Race-based solutions asking for trouble

So these past couple of weeks we have seen the concerted effort to convince us that Whanau Ora is off track and being deliberately sabotaged by the government.

And we have seen and heard the claims and report that Oranga Tamariki is a phenomenal cock up, young mothers are being targeted by dawn raid type police squads, and having their kids taken off them for no good reason.

The question is, do you believe it? I don't.

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

GWPF Newsletter: Scientists Divided Over Impact Of Solar Minimum On Global Temperatures

UK Car Industry Slams Ban On Petrol, Diesel And Hybrids As ‘Unworkable’

In this newsletter:

1) Scientists Divided Over Impact Of Solar Minimum On Global Temperatures
The Sun, 2 February 2020
2) EU Lawmakers Concerned About Economic Cost Of Climate Targets
Bloomberg, 4 February 2020

Monday, February 3, 2020

Bryce Edwards: Political Roundup - The big implications of National ruling out NZ First

The National Party’s chance of taking power this year now hinges on Winston Peters’ downfall. Conversely, Peters’ options for staying in government mean sticking with a Labour coalition. This situation was clarified yesterday when National leader Simon Bridges announced he was ruling out forming any sort of government with New Zealand First.

Bridges stated that he doesn’t trust Peters and his party, and will therefore not be open to any post-election negotiations with them. While National and some commentators are pointing to a loss of trust between the two parties, in fact the decision is really all about electoral strategy for National and Bridges. They have calculated that the party’s only real pathway to power involves killing off NZ First.

NZCPR Weekly: New Zealand Day

Dear NZCPR Reader,   

This week we review the history of Waitangi Day and outline the danger to society posed by cultural fundamentalists, our NZCPR Guest Commentator Anthony Willy looks back at the founding of New Zealand and calls for an end to separatism, and our poll asks whether you would support a return to New Zealand Day on February 6th to celebrate Prime Minister Norman Kirk’s vision of ‘one nation, many people, equal rights’.

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

Sunday, February 2, 2020

GWPF Newsletter: Boris Johnson Takes On The BBC

EU Could Use Carbon Border Tax Against Brexit Britain, MEP Warns

In this newsletter:

1) Boris Johnson Takes On The BBC, Moves To Decriminalise Licence Fee Evasion
Financial Times, 31 January 2020

2) Climate War? EU Could Use Carbon Border Tax Against Brexit Britain, Warns MEP
EurActiv, 28 January 2020

Saturday, February 1, 2020

Melanie Phillips: Goodbye to the demoralised past. Hello, world

At 11 pm this evening, the United Kingdom will have left the European Union. 

These are words that, throughout the nightmare of the past three and a half years, those of us who were solid Brexiteers feared we might never be able to say.

From the moment in 2016 that Britain voted by 52-48 per cent to leave the EU, the political, intellectual and media Remainer establishment threw everything they had into stopping Brexit and reversing that people’s vote.

Karl du Fresne: The absolutism of climate-change ideologues

Letter-writers attacking me in The Dominion Post over the past few days have obligingly confirmed everything I’ve been saying about the climate-change zealots’ aggressive intolerance of dissent. 

I said in my Dom Post column last Thursday (reproduced on this blog) that the ideology surrounding climate change was capable of being every bit as dogmatic and authoritarian as religious indoctrination, and my critics have done me the great favour of proving me right.

GWPF Newsletter: UK Farmers' Union Attacks BBC’s Climate & Anti-Meat Bias

BBC ‘Faces Existential Threat’ As It Slashes 450 Jobs

In this newsletter:

1) UK Farmers' Union Attacks BBC’s Climate & Anti-Meat Bias
Farmers Guardian, 29 January 2020

2) More On The NFU’s Battle Against BBC Bias

Breaking Views Update: Week of 26.01.20

Saturday February 1, 2020

New grapes prompt plans for Ihumātao-style occupation in Marlborough
Rangitāne members in Marlborough are threatening an Ihumātao-style occupation near 'the birthplace of Aotearoa' to protest what they believe are new grapevines planted over an archaeological site.

Rangitāne o Wairau member Keelan Walker claims the new grapes are in a "red zone", set out by Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga, and he believes owner Montford Corporation does not have permission to disturb the site, known as Kowhai Pā.