Saturday, May 30, 2020

Frank Newman: Straight Talk: It's getting ridiculous

Things are now getting ridiculous. It's time for She-Who-Shall-Be-Obeyed to look beyond her own stage performance and remove all COVID-19 restrictions that apply to internal work and travel.

There is only one case in New Zealand. One case!

Many people are being more sensible than the Prime Minister and behaving as though no restrictions exist. Unfortunately, there are still quite a lot of dimwits who need politicians to do their thinking for them. These are the people that scream "social distancing" when a shopping trolley passes within spittle distance. And then there are the businesses that must behave according to the government's definition of "responsible" because if they don't they will get dobbed in by the busy-bodies and end up with Mr Plod knocking on their door.  

Breaking Views Update: Week of 24.05.20

Saturday May 30, 2020

Review Of Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park Management Plan To Restart

The Department of Conservation (DOC) and Ngāi Tahu in consultation with the Canterbury Aoraki Conservation Board have agreed to start a new review of the Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park Management Plan.

The process for reviewing both the Aoraki/Mount Cook and the Westland Tai Poutini plans was paused while DOC and Ngāi Tahu worked through the wider implications of the Supreme Court’s decision on the Ngāi Tai ki Tamaki case.

Friday, May 29, 2020

Point of Order: Poll finds a growing public appreciation of NZ’s primary exports

NZ’s primary exports held up well in April, again proving the country’s farming industries are sustaining the economy despite many sectors being stricken by the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Almost coincidentally, a UMR probe of public opinion about farming revealed a sharp swing in perception. Instead of the negativity that had been undermining morale – particularly in the dairy industry, triggered by anti-farming lobby groups which conjured up the slogan “dirty dairying” to turn urban opinion against the industry – the UMR polling showed attitudes have tilted deeper into positive territory.

Karl du Fresne: Redefining racism in 21st-century New Zealand

Trevor Richards, once famous as the driving force behind Halt All Racist Tours (HART), recently wrote an essay in which he reflected on the history of New Zealand race relations. 

He recalled growing up in a country where history was viewed entirely through a Pakeha lens and the notion of racism was hardly acknowledged.

I grew up in the same era and recognised the country he described. We learned little about Maori history or culture at school and the Maori world only occasionally overlapped with that of white New Zealand. Racism was something I associated with America’s Deep South.

NZCPR Weekly: Democracy Under Threat

Dear NZCPR Reader,   

This week, we investigate how the Government’s race-based Treaty partnership agenda is fracturing society and undermining democracy, our NZCPR Guest Commentator Michael Coote explains why an independent inquiry is needed into tribal roadblocks and those who condoned them, and our poll asks whether you support a race-based health system.

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

Thursday, May 28, 2020

GWPF Newsletter: Green Recovery Deal In Doubt As EU Divisions Deepen

Advantage Germany: No Climate Strings Attached In Lufthansa’s Bailout

In this newsletter:

1) European Commission's Green Recovery Plan In Doubt As EU Splits Deepen
Deutsche Welle, 27 May 2020

2) Competitive Advantage Germany: No Climate Strings Attached In Lufthansa’s Bailout
Bloomberg, 26 May 2020

Clive Bibby: The race to the bottom

As the hysteria that has occupied many media outlets during the lockdown subsides and people who still have a job go back to work, it is worthwhile taking time to get our heads around the various proposals for recovery (if any) that are on offer.

In this country at least, it would appear we will have a choice between two dramatically different plans and our votes at the general election will determine which one gets the green light.

Having said that, it is probably a gross misrepresentation to call the Government's proposals anything approaching a credible "plan" - more like a desperate phone call to The Reserve Bank and Treasury instructing them to "borrow and hope", while placing all our faith in the abilities of Mother Teresa to guide us to the promised land.

Karl du Fresne: Muller could take a lesson from BoJo

A bit of free media advice to Todd Muller and Nikki Kaye (and I’d happily offer the same advice to Labour politicians): don’t allow yourself to be manipulated into playing the media’s game. 

There are journalists in the parliamentary press gallery (and I’m sorry, but the name Tova O’Brien springs to mind again) whose modus operandi is to probe constantly for any sign of weakness, conflict or contradiction, and to pounce triumphantly when they uncover anything that looks remotely capable of being blown into a scandal. They then sanctimoniously editorialise about it to an audience that often can’t see what the fuss is about and probably couldn’t care less.

Sunday, May 24, 2020

Matt Ridley: The growing evidence on vitamin D and Covid

The argument that vitamin D deficiency may contribute to more severe cases of Covid is gaining ground. It is now reaching the point where it is surprising that we are not hearing from leading medical officials and politicians that people should consider taking supplements to ensure they have sufficient vitamin D.

This is not the same as arguing that vitamin D is a magic bullet that will cure the disease. Vitamins are not medication, the taking of which will have positive effects on everybody. They are top-ups: things that hurt you when you don’t have enough of them in your system but do no extra good when you have enough. Indeed, with many vitamins, including D, taking too much can be toxic.

Saturday, May 23, 2020

Frank Newman: Straight Talk - Muller and Kaye

Muller and Kaye. That was the choice. It was the wrong choice in my view. 

That's not to say Muller does not have positives, and I have to say his "maiden" speech as National's leader hit the right notes and his personality showed signs of life, which is encouraging. That speech promised a strategy that targeted Labour's weaknesses. It's not rocket science but something National has not done well of late. 

Muller acknowledged Labour's strengths (Ardern and Robertson primarily) which portrayed a sense of realism and it avoided picking an argument with those who think Arden in particular has done a good job during the crisis, which is most people. The strategy will instead focus on the many weak-links in the Labour line-up and focus on their track record of promising big and delivering little.

Yoram Lass: ‘Nothing can justify this destruction of people’s lives’

Dr Yoram Lass, the former director of Israel’s Health Ministry, is interviewed by Fraser Myers from spiked on the hysteria around Covid-19. 

Countries across the world have been in lockdown for months in response to the coronavirus pandemic. The costs of the policy are enormous – in terms of life, liberty and the economy. But is it worth it to save lives? Yoram Lass was once the director-general of Israel’s Ministry of Health. Lass is a staunch critic of the lockdown policy adopted in his native Israel and around the world. He has described our response to Covid-19 as a form of hysteria. spiked caught up with him to find out more.

spiked: You have described the global response to coronavirus as hysteria. Can you explain that?

Yoram Lass: It is the first epidemic in history which is accompanied by another epidemic – the virus of the social networks. These new media have brainwashed entire populations. What you get is fear and anxiety, and an inability to look at real data. And therefore you have all the ingredients for monstrous hysteria.

Dr Steve Elers: News turns fake when facts give way to untruths, hyperbole

On Monday this week Newshub’s Tova O’Brien was quick to announce the results of the Newshub/Reid-Research poll of 1000 people with her statement: “It’s official: Jacinda Ardern is New Zealand’s most popular Prime Minister in a century and Simon Bridges is hurtling into political oblivion.”

OK, one out of two isn’t bad, but now I’m starting to realise why — according to a recent Stuff report — O’Brien has been copping a lot of abuse on social media.

I’ve already addressed in an earlier column how political journalists’ questioning of the prime minister during the daily briefings were disappointing, so let’s not revisit that.

Instead, let’s focus on this fake news that Ardern is the “most popular Prime Minister in a century”, which was also picked up by other news media in New Zealand and overseas.

Mike Hosking: Just what is the government's plan?

The unions are telling the government they need to move faster on infrastructure. When the unions are telling Labour to hurry up, you know this is not a government of action. And isn't that their real reputation? The government of announcements.

We've got $15 billion for shovel ready projects, and the crickets are chirping.

The Prime Minister's own handpicked advisory board in their final letter before being disbanded for the election are telling her Australia is beating us, and they're doing it better than us.

It is one thing to write cheques having borrowed or printed the money, but that is not delivery, and it's not a plan. Announcing the spending of other peoples money isn't even a skill. So just what is it we are doing? And is any one actually asking?

Dr Sterling Burnett: Shameless Alarmists Spread Climate Change Cancer Horror Story

Over the years I’ve become almost inured to the crazy claims various climate alarmists have made. They have tried to link almost every bad thing that happens in the world to climate change, from psychiatric disorders to violent crime, from the end of winter sports to reduced milk production, from hair loss to the loss of one’s sex drive. And no, in case you are wondering, I’m not making these examples up: you can find the articles yourselves by typing the terms into your favorite search engine.

None of these claims, nor any of the myriad other loony links alarmists have tried to establish between human fossil fuel use and bad outcomes, have any basis in facts or hard data. 

Now, adding insult to injury, an article in the journal CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians, irresponsibly hyped by CNBC, is falsely claiming “[c]limate change has triggered more frequent weather disasters like hurricanes and wildfires, … lower[ing] cancer survival rate[s] and threaten[ing] prevention.”

GWPF Newsletter: Carmakers Set To Desert Climate-Obsessed Europe

Energy-Intensive Industries Warn Against Green Deal Burden

In this newsletter:

1) Carmakers Set To Desert Climate-Obsessed Europe: France Warns 'Renault Could Disappear'
Daily Express, 22 May 2020
2) EU Commission's 'Green Recovery' Will Only Support 'Clean' Cars 
Deutsche Welle, 20 May 2020

Breaking Views Update: Week of 17.05.20

Saturday May 23, 2020

Gen Zero critical of council’s relationship with iwi

Generation Zero believes the Otago Regional Council have treated Kai Tahu like a stakeholder rather than a partner.

The national, youth-led climate organisation told ORC councillors during annual plan hearings conducted via video conferencing yesterday that local iwi’s voice had been diminished, among other stakeholders.

Friday, May 22, 2020

Dr Steven Phillips: The pandemic winner - will It be Sweden or New Zealand?

The world has never conducted a human-centered natural experiment of a biological threat of this scope before. Three billion people in over 80 countries (including UK, France, and most U.S. states, among many others) are in some form of lockdown with over 185 countries having reported three million-plus Covid-19 cases.

Yet in countries such as Sweden, elementary schools, businesses, and restaurants are open, and in Belarus, the president is seen at hockey games and declares business-as-usual.

To paraphrase Deng Xiaoping’s formulation from the 1980s, we see the spread of “one virus and at least two systems.”

Governments everywhere are facing a stark “jobs vs. deaths” Hobbesian choice.

NZCPR Weekly: Modern Socialism

Dear NZCPR Reader,   

This week, we reveal how Budget 2020 signals a Government ‘reset’ – a radical plan to transform New Zealand into a socialist state, our NZCPR Guest Commentator Dr Bryce Wilkinson explains why Government-led economic recoveries don’t work, and our poll asks whether you feel confident about New Zealand’s economic future.

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

Thursday, May 21, 2020

GWPF Newsletter: Lockdown Kills California’s Green New Deal

Europe's Green Deal Could Increase CO2 Emissions In The Rest Of The World, New Study Warns

In this newsletter:

1) Lockdown Kills California’s Green New Deal: Gov. Cancels $Billions In Climate Spending
KTLA News, 17 May 2020

2) Davos Green Men: Coronavirus Threatens 'Years Of Progress' On Climate Issues
Associated Press, 19 May 2020

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Frank Newman: Straight Talk - National is its own worst enemy

Labour's cleverly orchestrated campaign to undermine National's leadership is now gaining traction within the National caucus. 

A challenge to the leadership of Simon Bridges will be held on Friday (22 May).  

That campaign went up a notch today when former National Prime Minister Jim Bolger publicly backed Todd Muller to replace Simon Bridges. It was a direct swipe at Judith Collins, the other frontrunner for the top job.

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Clive Bibby: The government's plans post Covid 19 are not what they seem

A weekend article written by Steve Elers of Massey University's School of Communications includes some interesting observations of the Prime Ministers character. I would recommend it to anybody who is concerned about the prospects for this nation as we try to reassert ourselves post Covid 19.

Elers attempts (successfully in my opinion) to establish a link between the ideological beliefs that formed the basis of the Prime Ministers former career (pre parliamentary politics) and those that drive her in her current position as Leader of this country.

He suggests that it is impossible for "the leopard to change its spots" and that the position she held on most issues and advocated for pre 2008 would most likely be the same today as it was then.

Sunday, May 17, 2020

GWPF Newsletter: Covid-19 Lockdown Modelling Accused Of 'Most Devastating Coding Mistake in History'

Modelling That Led To Lockdown Was ‘Totally Unreliable’ And A ‘Buggy Mess’, Say Experts

Full details:

1) Modelling That Led To Lockdown Was ‘Totally Unreliable’ And A ‘Buggy Mess’, Say Experts
The Daily Telegraph, 16 May 2020
The code, written by Professor Neil Ferguson and his team at Imperial College London, was impossible to read, scientists claim

Saturday, May 16, 2020

GWPF Newsletter: The Sun Has Entered ‘Very Deep’ Solar Minimum

Is Global CO2 Fertilisation Slowing Global Warming?

In this newsletter:

1) The Sun Has Entered ‘Very Deep’ Solar Minimum
Unilad, 15 May 2020
2) Is Global CO2 Fertilisation Slowing Global Warming? 
Patrick J Michaels, Climate Etc., 14 May 2020

Breaking Views Update: Week of 10.05.20

Saturday May 16, 2020

Court split on Nelson land sale
Te Tau Ihu kaumatua Rore Pat Stafford has failed in an appeal against the Accident Compensation Corporation’s sale of a Nelson property.

Mr Stafford, who was a claimant in the Wakatu Claim over the crown’s failure to reserve 15,000 acres of land for the benefit of Nelson’s customary owners, tried to place a caveat on the basis it was crown land which should be held in trust for those owners.

Friday, May 15, 2020

Karl du Fresne: The Covid-19 pandemic came at a good time for Winston Peters

The coronavirus crisis has been very good for Winston Peters.

He came back from his Northland lockdown firing on all cylinders. If you wanted confirmation that this is an election year, there it was.

Perhaps he needed that spell of seclusion to recuperate from the bruising effects of a court case that blew up in his face and a donations scandal that refuses to go away.

Oliver Hartwich: An election year budget

Watching Budget 2020 delivered yesterday was a surreal experience. It was two things at once.

On one hand, the forecasts for economic activity, unemployment and public debt were gruesome. On the other, they appeared way too optimistic.

Take unemployment. It is predicted to peak at 9.6% before neatly falling back to just 4.2% within the space of only two years.

But how realistic is that? Even on the budget’s own assumptions, economic growth will remain negative until June 2022.

GWPF Newsletter: Angela Merkel Caves In After Her MPs Climate Rebellion

German Chancellor Calls For EU Re-Negotiations Over Costly Climate Targets

In this newsletter:

1) Angela Merkel Caves In: German Chancellor Calls For EU Re-Negotiations Over Costly Climate Targets
Clear Energy Wire, 14 May 2020

2) Coalition Partner, Greens Accuse Merkel's MPs Of 'Stabbing Her In The Back'
EurActiv, 14 May 2020

Thursday, May 14, 2020

Bob Edlin: Race-based Aging Policy

We are all getting older, but some of us (according to the Minister of Health) are getting older much faster than others.
“Older” New Zealanders have been defined for policy purposes in a press statement that emerged from the office of Health Minister David Clark at the weekend.
And guess what?  Being “older” depends not on when you were born but on your  ethnicity, which is something we define for ourselves.
A distinction between “older” Maori and Pacific people, compared with the rest of the country’s “older” people,  was drawn at much the same time as the government was affirming its  funding of another race-based programme.

Matt Ridley: Is the chilling truth that the decision to impose lockdown was based on crude mathematical guesswork?

Professor Neil Ferguson of Imperial College “stepped back” from the Sage group advising ministers when his lockdown-busting romantic trysts were exposed. Perhaps he should have been dropped for a more consequential misstep. 

Details of the model his team built to predict the epidemic are emerging and they are not pretty. In the respective words of four experienced modellers, the code is “deeply riddled” with bugs, “a fairly arbitrary Heath Robinson machine”, has “huge blocks of code – bad practice” and is “quite possibly the worst production code I have ever seen”.

Henry Armstrong: Covid 19 – a Masterclass in Obfuscation?

The New Zealand government’s response to the COVID19 pandemic is being hailed around the world as “a masterclass in communication”. Much of this adulation is being heaped upon our Prime Minister, who, we keep being reminded by our sychophantic media, actually holds a university degree in communication. 

How justified are these accolades, now that COVID19 appears to be under control?

NZCPR Weekly: Politics of Fear

Dear NZCPR Reader,   

This week, we investigate how fear has been used in the Government’s response to the virus crisis, our NZCPR Guest Commentator Sir Roger Douglas explains that fundamental policy reform is needed if New Zealand is to prosper, and our poll asks whether you agree with the Prime Minister that the Government doesn’t need to defend their COVID-19 strategy.

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

GWPF Newsletter: It Is Time To Adopt A ‘Red Team’ Approach In Science

European Commission Rejects ‘Climate-Related Conditions’ For Covid-19 Recovery Aid

In this newsletter:

1) Benny Peiser: It Is Time To Adopt A ‘Red Team’ Approach In Science
Global Warming Policy Forum , 13 May 2020

2) Daniël Lakens: Pandemic Researchers — Recruit Your Own Best Critics
Nature, 11 May 2020

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Bryan Leyland: “Things you know that ain't so" - Covid-19

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.” 

“Our government is a world leader in coping with Covid-19

No. When collateral damage is taken into account, the social and economic cost of the shutdown is huge. Thousands of lives have been put at risk because of delayed operations, treatment, and diagnosis. Many people have suffered from depression and domestic violence. The education of our children – particularly those from deprived families – has been seriously compromised.

GWPF Newsletter: Angela Merkel’s MPs Rebel Against EU Climate Plans

New Survey: Most Young Europeans Believe Dictatorships Better At Tackling Climate Change Than Democracies

In this newsletter:

1) Angela Merkel’s MPs Rebel Against EU Climate Plans
AFP, 9 May 2020

2) EU Faces Existential Crisis Over German Opposition To Multi-Trillion Coronavirus Recovery Funding
Bloomberg, 11 May 2020

Saturday, May 9, 2020

Brian Giesbrecht: The only thing we have to fear is fear Itself

“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” Those were the famous words of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, spoken at his first inauguration on March 4, 1933, at the height of the Great Depression.

Unemployment had hit 25 percent and there was panic in the land. Roosevelt was the epitome of calm and reassurance. He told the American people truthfully that they must not give in to “nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror.” Roosevelt was speaking to a people demoralized and thoroughly spooked by a crushing depression and a loss of confidence in the institutions that had seemed unassailable only a short time before.

The rest, as they say, “is history.” Although difficult years lay ahead, Roosevelt proved to be exactly the president the American people needed, and he led them out of that very deep and dark place.

Dr Sterling Burnett: Leftists Turn on Film Maker Michael Moore

Socialist radical environmentalists are repeating history again, eating one of their own, in this case far-left filmmaker and Bernie Sanders supporter Michael Moore. They are trying to destroy the progressive documentarian for honestly pointing out the hypocrisy and lies behind the push for green energy.

Even though America’s free-market economy has made him a multimillionaire, Moore is a longtime critic of capitalism and the United States and is a leader of the Progressive movement intent on replacing capitalism with socialism. Now his socialist fellow travelers say Moore is a friend no more, having committed apostasy by turning his critical lens on the green energy movement. 

Planet of the Humans, produced by Moore and directed and narrated by his longtime collaborator Jeff Gibbs, released on YouTube for free viewing on the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, shows green energy can’t prevent climate change and efforts to promote it are nothing more than crony capitalism disguised as concern for the Earth.

Breaking Views Update: Week of 3.05.20

Saturday May 9, 2020

Controversial iwi checkpoints to end at alert level 2
The controversial iwi checkpoints will not continue under coronavirus alert level two, as rules are relaxed about where people can travel.

But new random checkpoints run by police and iwi, and police reassurance patrols, will continue as long as needed, Far North area commander Inspector Riki Whiu said.

Friday, May 8, 2020

Matt Ridley: Vitamin D and Covid-19

There has long been evidence that a sufficiency of vitamin D protects against viruses
A suggestive set of numbers was published online in April by a medical scientist in the Philippines, Dr Mark Alipio. Of 49 patients with mild symptoms of Covid-19 in three hospitals in southern Asian countries, only two had low levels of vitamin D; of 104 patients with critical or severe symptoms, only four did not have low levels of vitamin D. 

The more severe the symptoms, the more likely a patient was to be not just low but deficient in the vitamin. Could vitamin D deficiency make the difference between getting very ill or not?

Clive Bibby: Fiddling While Rome Burns

In our rush to join the latest version of the "Me too" movement which is the "canonisation" of the Prime Minister, we are overlooking our responsibilities to current and future generations that should be demanding action on much more urgent matters.

While l get no pleasure in pointing this out to a populace that is frustrated from living under martial law for the last six weeks, someone has to do it.

NZCPR Weekly: New Zealand at a Crossroads

Dear NZCPR Reader,   

This week, in considering the economic crisis created by the Government’s over-reaction to the pandemic, we question whether our future will embrace freedom and liberty or increasing State control, our NZCPR Guest Commentator Sir Roger Douglas shares his plan for ensuring New Zealand emerges from this crisis as a stronger and richer society, and our poll asks whether you want the Government to be more or less active in the long term management of the economy.

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

GWPF Newsletter: EU & Britain Clash As Climate Conditions Threaten Post-Brexit Trade Deal

Net-Zero and Extinction Capitalism

In this newsletter:

1) EU & Britain Clash As Climate Conditions Threaten Post-Brexit Trade Deal 
Financial Times, 6 May 2020
2) Green Madness: Europe's Biofuel Makers Fear Cheap Biofuel Influx From the U.S. And Brazil
Reuters, 6 May 2020

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Henry Armstrong: Politics and the Pandemic - who to believe?

The worst possible crime one can commit in New Zealand today is to in any way criticize or challenge the government’s response to the Covid19 pandemic. 

Our government, according to a range of adulating media sources, shows outstanding leadership verging on the sublime and supreme-no mistakes or cock-ups; daily confidence-building briefings complete with melodramatic performances to assure us that “we are all in this together”. 

To “politicise” the pandemic is anathema, a crime of the utmost disgust-how dare anyone challenge what our government is doing? And social media seems to be at the forefront of this adulation campaign, with thousands of posts condemning anyone who dares to question the government’s actions or omissions.

GWPF Newsletter: German Govt Split Over Post-Pandemic Climate Policies

Net Zero Mania Threatens To Derail Lockdown Recovery

In this newsletter:

1) German Coalition Govt Divided Over Post-Pandemic Energy And Climate Ambitions
Green Energy Wire, 5 May 2020

2) German Car Industry Faces Existential Crisis
The Wall Street Journal, 5 May 2020

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

GWPF Newsletter: EU Declares Oil And Gas Are No Longer ‘Fossil Fuels’

It’s All Over For Angela Merkel’s Climate Agenda

In this newsletter:

1) Facing Economic Disaster, EU Declares Oil And Gas Are No Longer ‘Fossil Fuels’
Financial Times, 3 May 2020

As Europe faces economic catastrophe due to the shutdown of most of its businesses and industries, EU officials have decided to protect cheap oil and gas from green campaigners who are trying to shut down all industries that continue to use fossil fuels (Net Zero).

Monday, May 4, 2020

Mike Hosking: Why are we accepting these 'checkpoints?'

So the fundamental dishonesty continues. It seems the most remarkable thing to think you can set yourself up a roadblock, pretend to call it a checkpoint, and get approval from the Prime Minister and the Police Commissioner. 
As we found out over the weekend from a NZME journalist who arrived at the Ngataki in the Far North, there wasn’t a police person in sight. Locals had already talked of friction at the sight, as people try and access beaches, something perfectly acceptable in level three.

Saturday, May 2, 2020

GWPF Newsletter - UN Chief: Only Green Companies Should Be Saved

China Accelerates Coal-Fuelled Recovery

In this newsletter:

1) UN Chief: Only Green Companies Should Be Saved
The Guardian, 29 April 2020
2) China's Cheap Energy Recovery: The Greens' Favourite Nation Fires Up Coal Power Plant Construction
Caixin Global, 24 April 2020