Monday, August 31, 2020

Mike's Minute: Was a level 3 lockdown ever actually needed?

So lessons from level 3 and 2. 

Firstly, only Auckland is different today, the rest of the country is still held captive in a state many can still not fully explain. No cases, nothing close to cases, and yet limited in operation and movement through nothing more than deep conservatism and ideology.

Auckland is down to 2, and what we ask is, what's different this morning as opposed to yesterday, the day before, or any day over the past two and a half weeks?

We still have cases; they're still linked to the original cluster. There's the odd case where the immediate connection isn't instantly linked, but I think the vast majority of us have concluded this is a border leak not a community problem. Therefore we have trouble because we learned little if anything from last time.

Barend Vlaardingerbroek: Musings from Beirut – paying $35 for a pound of butter

The catastrophic loss of the value of a currency is not an unknown phenomenon in world history.

The Chinese experienced a period of hyperinflation when they first started printing money. People taking bag-fulls of near-worthless money to buy essential groceries in 1920s Germany is legendary. The Zimbabwe Dollar went the same way many years later – the Reserve Bank stopped calculating the inflation rate once it topped 250 million percent.

The Lebanese Lira, or Lebanese Pound (international code ‘LBP’, local abbreviation ‘LL’) first ran into big trouble during the civil war when it plummeted from LL4 to the US dollar to, eventually, around LL4,000. Colleagues here have told me how they literally saw 99.9% of their savings being wiped out. It explains why so many of them stayed on after retirement age.

Garrick Tremain: Irony!

Here is Garrick Tremain's latest cartoon commentary!

Sunday, August 30, 2020

GWPF Newsletter: UN-Backed Climate Fund Faces Wave Of Abuse Allegations From Staff


New Decarbonisation Policy Scandal That Could Bankrupt A Generation

In this newsletter:

1) UN-Backed Climate Fund Faces Wave Of Abuse Allegations From Staff
Financial Times, 26 August 2020
2) UK Government Bracing For Extinction Rebellion Cyber Attacks 
Gaia Fawkes, 28 August 2020

Saturday, August 29, 2020

Karl du Fresne: I despair for Wellington

I have a lot of affection for Wellington. I spent most of my working life there. Two of my children were born there. Many of my oldest and closest friends live there still.

It’s a place full of pleasant memories for me. I enjoyed my first non-European meal at the Shanghai restaurant in Manners St. I had my first under-age beer in the infamous Bistro Bar at the Royal Oak Hotel. I met the woman who became my wife in The Beachcomber at Oriental Bay. I knew most of Wellington’s pubs and I played in bands in its bars, cabarets and dance halls. In later years I spent many pleasurable hours exploring the city’s nooks and crannies on my mountain bike or on foot with our dog.

NZCPR Weekly: Political Agenda Endangers Lives

Dear NZCPR Reader,   

In this week’s NZCPR-Weekly newsletter, we investigate the dangerous separatist agenda that claims institutional racism and colonisation are to blame for Maori child abuse and highlight the real problem, our NZCPR Guest Commentator former Judge Brian Giesbrecht shares his first-hand experience of the disastrous impact on children when Canada allowed tribal authorities to gain control of child protection services, and our poll asks whether you believe priority status on hospital waiting lists should be based on clinical needs or race.

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

Friday, August 28, 2020

Barry Soper - What has New Zealand Government learnt from virus?

Five months ago we were all beginning to hunker down, to stay at home, to only venture out for the vital necessities of life like food.

For all of us it's been a long, hard slog - particularly for Auckland, which by Sunday night will have been in lockdown for a total of nine weeks.

Well we've learnt to be obedient, to stay at home, to wash our hands, to be kind and from next week to accept that we'll be wearing masks when we climb on public transport.

But what have they learnt, those who call the shots that we are all ordered to follow. Well, the answer is surely bugger all.

Breaking Views Update: Week of 23.08.20

Friday August 28, 2020

Matakana Island proposal: Panepane Point plan prompts encouraging level of interest

The proposal to return part of Matakana Island to Māori has already prompted an encouraging level of interest from people keen to have their say.

On July 28, Western Bay of Plenty District Council voted to consult on a proposal to return Panepane Point, also known as Purakau, to five Ngai te Rangi hapū. Like Mauao, the land will remain open to public access.

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Peter Kurti: Beware the sinister dangers of cancel culture

First they came for the cheese. Last month, Canadian company Saputo agreed to change the name of its Coon brand of cheese. Indigenous rights activist Stephen Hagan quickly claimed victory in his long-running battle against the food brand.

Even though the cheese – named after American cheese maker Edward William Coon, who patented the ripening process involved in its manufacture in 1926 – had been on sale in Australia since 1935, Hagan insisted the name had racist connotations. So now it’s gone.

Next they came for the milk. 

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Clive Bibby: Are you sitting down!

We sold most of the farm to our Iwi neighbours some time ago. Failing health and an interest in our colourful heritage combined to point what we retained of the farming partnership in a new direction.

We had to do something and here's why!

While we are greatful for the fortnightly New Zealand Superannuation payments, it is difficult to imagine people our age (76 this year) surviving on it alone - even if the home is mortgage free. So, for those of us who have (for whatever reason) not planned well enough for these twilight years, the prospects are not good - especially when something as disruptive as Covid 19 suddenly controls what happens to us all.

GWPF Newsletter: 'Green Recovery' Flops


ESG Investment Performed Worse Than Overall Market During Covid Recovery, Study Warns

In this newsletter:

1) ‘Green Recovery’ Flops: ESG Investment Performed Worse Than Overall Market During Covid Recovery, Study Warns
Institutional Investor, 20 August 2020

2) Eurozone Industry Fears EU's 'Green Recovery' Will Be Shortlived
Financial Times, 24 August 2020

Sunday, August 23, 2020

Joseph D'Aleo: Climate Alarmist Claim Rebuttals

Alarmist Claim Rebuttal Overview - with updates through 08/04/20.
Below are a series of rebuttals of the 11 most common climate alarmists’ claims such as those made in the recently released Fourth National Climate Assessment Report. The authors of these rebuttals are all recognized experts in the relevant fields.

Saturday, August 22, 2020

Guy Steward: The Mask Debate

The talk ramping up over the possible mandating in New Zealand of face masks in indoor environments from Alert Level 2 up, in order to prevent transmission of COVID19, is of more than passing interest to us laypeople. There’s debate worldwide about their effectiveness – maybe they are, maybe they aren’t – and even expert opinion has been far from settled.

Some, such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (April, 2020), and #MASKS4ALL believe that everyone should use them.

There are others, focusing on handwashing and isolation, who maintain that the aerosol particles are too fine to be blocked by most masks and the virus is mostly spread through skin contact.

And there are those well qualified who are uncertain about it (e.g., Paul Glasziou, Professor of Medicine, Bond University and Chris Del Mar, Professor of Public Health, Bond University, Science Alert, April, 2020).

Breaking Views Update: Week of 16.08.20

Saturday August 22, 2020

Māori framework sets ground rules for council

Auckland Council has adopted an Outcomes for Māori Framework, five years after a treaty audit recommended such a framework be an urgent priority.

Councillor Angela Dalton, who heads the Māori portfolio, says the CCO Review spelled out again how the council was not delivering for Māori.

Henry Armstrong: You Cannot Unhappen History

The recent excitement  prompting many New Zealanders to do away with statues and place names connected to our national history, raises a huge question about who we are as a nation and what our young people are to be instructed in regarding our “emerging national identity”--  a phrase used by our  exalted leader in her comments about the compulsory teaching of New Zealand history in our schools from 2020.

I cannot believe that in New Zealand in the 21st century, there are so many whose understanding of our history, (if indeed they have any knowledge of or interest in it) is so shallow. But such shallowness can be exploited by our government and a pathetically incompetent, totally biased, politicised media, as a portent to teaching New Zealand history to the next generation of school children. And I am appalled that so many of our educators seem to be supportive of a potentially revised, sanitised, selective and in places, untruthful presentation of New Zealand’s history. 

Friday, August 21, 2020

NZCPR Weekly: Important Developments

Dear NZCPR Reader,   

In this week’s NZCPR-Weekly newsletter, we look into some important new developments – the announcement of a new election date, the start of the first High Court case for claims under the Marine and Coastal Area Act, and the High Court decision on the legitimacy of the Alert Level 4 lockdown, our NZCPR Guest Commentator Karl du Fresne explains why the Government’s border management is a fiasco, and our poll asks whether you agree with Minister Chris Hipkins that his Government is “the one source of truth”.

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

GWPF Newsletter: California Doomed to Frequent Blackouts Due To Battery Shortage


Is California’s Heatwave Really So Hot?

In this newsletter:

1) California Doomed to Frequent Blackouts Due To Battery Shortage
Bloomberg, 19 August 2020
2) Q&A: Why California Is Facing Power Outages, Rolling Blackouts Yet Again
Associated Press, 19 August 2020

Thursday, August 20, 2020

Barry Soper: Government will struggle to justify unlawful lockdown

Hats off to Andrew Borrowdale. Who is he, your may well ask? He's a Wellington lawyer - in fact he used to write laws for Parliament.

He was so agitated about the lack of legal grunt behind the country being locked down on March 26 that he took a case to the High Court to challenge it - and today he won.

Borrowdale didn't argue about the wisdom of people staying at home, but he did argue about the Government's right to order them to do so.

His view was reinforced by a Crown Law Office opinion, that he didn't see before mounting his challenge, circulated to interested parties. The police top brass saw it and warned its officers that if they arrested people for being out and about during the first nine days of the lockdown they could be skating on thin ice.

GWPF Newsletter: California Declares State of Emergency As Blackouts Loom


Californians Face Dark, Hot Summer As Green Energy Is Sapped

In this newsletter:

1) California Declares State of Emergency As Blackouts Loom
Deadline, 18 August 2020

2) Californians Face Dark, Hot Summer As Green Energy Is Sapped
Financial Times, 18 August 2020

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

GWPF Newsletter: California's Green Suicide?


California Blackouts Expose Problems In Transition To Green Energy

In this newsletter:

1) California Blackouts Expose Problems In Transition To Green Energy
East Bay Times, 17 August 2020

2) California’s Blackout Warning
Editorial, The Wall Street Journal, 17 August 2020

Monday, August 17, 2020

Kate Hawkesby: Combating Covid 19 requires competence

The danger the complacent Government is walking into right now is believing its own hype. 

It seems to be taking to heart the groundswell of staunch and active support it has across social media at the moment. The left have mobilised into a tribe of such determined one-eyed acolytes that their entire focus right now is to hunt down anyone daring to question the Prime Minister's moves or decisions, and basically to eviscerate them.

Questioning the Government makes you either a hater; a conspiracy theorist; a troll; or, quite simply, unpatriotic. 

This venomous lobby group includes many across social media but most of the mainstream media has fallen under the spell too. You'd think the media and Government had almost forgotten about the existence of the silent majority.

Saturday, August 15, 2020

Ryan Bridge: The team of five million is splintering

The team of five million is splintering and there are early signs Jacinda Ardern’s campaign that wasn’t a campaign for re-election is wobbling.

It’s becoming abundantly clear the Prime Minister’s sworn mission of stamping Covid-19 out of New Zealand is neither sustainable nor the right thing, morally, to do.

I’ve had business owners call me this week in tears at the fact their enterprise is again on skid row. Queenstown Mayor Jim Boult told me businesses there will fold because the resort town’s largest source of domestic tourists, Aucklanders, can’t leave the house let alone attempt a day’s skiing. A call from Kaikoura confirmed people were chanting “f**k the lockdown” in unison and spontaneously while queuing in a local store following Ardern’s Tuesday press conference.

The evidence has been just as damning.

Viv Forbes: Lock-ups and Shake-downs

Politicians have given Australia an impossible task - fight a Covid Lock-up while also enduring a Green Energy Shake-down.
A Covid Depression is already locked in. Recovery dictates that we must reverse the lockdown and also rid our weakened economy of the Green parasites forever sucking our energy.
Australia seems to specialize in political stupidity.
Victoria’s Scorched Earth policy has wrecked its economy. Despite this damage, they dream of replacing their nation-building brown coal electricity with unreliable wind and solar toys. Their once-free people cower in their homes while police and troops detain peaceful folk and demand papers. Covid will only decline when populations develop immunity. Lock-ups ensure that community immunity develops slowly.

Breaking Views Update: Week of 9.08.20

Saturday August 15, 2020

Democracy and the petition on New Plymouth's Māori ward

Most New Zealanders do not want local government defined by race. Our goal by using the provisions of the binding referendum process is to allow our citizens to express what they want to see happen.

If councillors believe that they are not able to represent all of their community fairly, regardless of ethnicity, then they should not be holding their positions.

Friday, August 14, 2020

Jeffrey A. Tucker: Authoritarianism in Auckland

For months we’ve heard the cry: oh how wonderfully New Zealand dealt with the Coronavirus! They did the tightest lockdown in the world! The coronavirus – no doubt astonished by the decisiveness and ferocity of prime minister Jacinda Ardern, the heroine of all media – just decided not to make this wonderful country a home. The virus was bested by political wit! 
Oh what a fantasy it was all along, as Oxford’s Sunetra Gupta pointed out from the beginning. What was actually happening in New Zealand was delaying the inevitable. In the modern world, there is no chance for a developed society to replicate the experience of a primitive tribe with naive immune systems living in isolation. 
You wouldn’t want to do that anyway because you make the whole population of your tribe fatally vulnerable to the next bug that comes along. In Gupta’s view, New Zealand’s “success” wouldn’t be that at all. 

Clive Bibby: A poem for the times

The opening couple of lines from Rudyard Kipling's famous poem "If" says it all.

It has an Orwellian ring to it that is both prophetic and a common sense observation of our modern society - particularly with reference to those who are in leadership positions upon whom we depend.

Here it is: "If you can keep your head when all about you are loosing theirs and blaming it all on you,...."

I reckon those words are perhaps Kipling's greatest legacy to a world he would have trouble recognising, not so much the failure of mankind to learn from past mistakes but more about our rush to act precipitately during times when cool heads should prevail.

NZCPR Weekly: Covid Disruptions

Dear NZCPR Reader,   

In this week’s NZCPR-Weekly newsletter, we raise concerns about the new Covid-19 outbreak including disturbing revelations about border security, our NZCPR Guest Commentator Professor Andrew Geddis explains the process by which a New Zealand General Election can be re-scheduled, and our poll asks whether you think the election should go ahead on September 19 or be delayed.

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

GWPF Newsletter: China To Expand Its Influence In The Middle East With Major Oil Deal


Fierce Competition Starts Between US, China For Energy Corridors in Central Asia

In this newsletter:

1) China To Expand Its Influence In The Middle East With Major Oil Deal, 11 August 2020
2) Fierce Competition Starts Between US, China For Energy Corridors in Central Asia
Times of India, 3 August 2020

Bob Edlin: Biodiversity, Science and a Maori World View

It looks like science has come off second best in government considerations during the development of Te Mana o te Taiao, the Aotearoa New Zealand Biodiversity Strategy, which envisions New Zealand as a place where ecosystems are healthy and resilient, and people embrace the natural world.

The press statement announcing the strategy says the Science Reference Group provided information that underpins many of the key decisions about the way forward for prioritising the recovery of biodiversity. But it also says:

The Te Ao Māori Reference Group was responsible for getting a Māori world view to form the basis of the strategy structure.

Brian Giesbrecht: Hydroxychloroquine -The Political Drug

There’s a long-standing convention that applies to the use of all medical drugs: A person considering the use of a drug for medical or prophylactic purposes is advised to consult with his or her physician about its possible use.

It’s assumed that the physician is up to date on current treatments and effective medicinal drugs. The physician is also familiar with the physical condition of his or her client. All drug advertisements end with the advice that a person considering the use of the drug advertised should consult with his or her physician about its possible use.

There has never been a time when either politicians, the mainstream media, or social media vehicles attempted to interfere in that vitally important relationship between physician and client and the use of prescription drugs.

Until now, that is. And that drug is hydroxychloroquine.

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

GWPF Newsletter - Exclusive Poll: Amid Covid-19, Americans Don’t Care About Climate Change Anymore

Waning Attention To Climate Change Amid Pandemic Could Have Lasting Effects

In this newsletter:

1) Exclusive Poll: Amid Covid-19, Americans Don’t Care About Climate Change Anymore
Will Johnson, Fortune, 10 August 2020
2) Gallup Poll: Most Americans Rank Climate Change As Least Important Issue
Climate Change Dispatch, 7 August 2020

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

GWPF Newsletter: China’s Emerging Middle Eastern Kingdom


Biden vs. Trump: The Battle Over US Energy Policy And Its Geopolitical Consequences

In this newsletter:

1) China’s Emerging Middle Eastern Kingdom
Michael Doran and Peter Rough, Tablet Magazine, 3 August 2020
2) China's New Coal Plants Account For 90% Of Global Total In First Half Of 2020 
Reuters, 3 August 2020

Monday, August 10, 2020

Grant Duncan: Election countdown – can Collins crush the ‘Jacinda effect’?

The starting gates in New Zealand’s September 19 election race are finally full. Labour’s prime minister Jacinda Ardern is the bookies’ favourite and the opposition took a long time to settle.

All the same, punters may still want to hedge their bets. While the National Party’s internal disarray has made it look easy for Ardern, with a tough contender in new opposition leader Judith Collins the race for the prime-ministership could be more gruelling than the earlier odds suggested.

Sunday, August 9, 2020

Point of Order: Govt books won’t be affected by new reading ambassador

The public debt is among the victims of the Covid-19 epidemic. 

According to the 2020 Budget Economic and Fiscal Update, in the current year and the next two fiscal years, operating deficits (operating balance before gains and losses) average around $28 billion while net core Crown debt is expected to increase on average by around $35 billion a year. Net core Crown debt is expected to reach 53.6% of GDP by the end of the forecast period, in June 2024.

The government – accordingly – is being very careful about its spending.  Isn’t it?

Karl du Fresne: Institutional overkill? The case of Deborah Hugill

I wonder if anyone else felt uneasy reading the story on Stuff - see HERE - about a Taranaki nurse, Deborah Hugill, who was deregistered by the Health Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal for making racist comments.

Hugill was held to be guilty of professional misconduct after a social media post – prompted by a news report about the absence of Maori voices from a mental health and addictions inquiry – in which she described Maori nurses as lazy, cunning and underhanded [sic]. She also said they got a lot of unfair handouts and spent too much time eating and going to meetings.

Saturday, August 8, 2020

Viv Forbes: Pure and Sterile

Queensland’s Great Barrier Reef is once again the excuse for extending Green control of all land and waters. Their current scare concerns the quality of water draining into the Coral Sea.
Their hidden agenda is to eliminate coastal agriculture, mining and commercial fishing. They would surrender the land to kangaroos, cassowaries, lantana, cane toads, wild cats and feral pigs and the seas to marauding sharks, cruising whales and aboriginal fishermen.
Reef Warriors will never be satisfied until pure water drains from farms, mines, ports and rivers along the Queensland coast. This is an impossible and misguided dream. Pure water is sterile and nothing flourishes in it.

GWPF Newsletter: EU's 'Climate Funding' Con Revealed


British Government Delays Carbon Neutral Homes Until 2050 To Boost Housebuilding

In this newsletter:

1) Half Of The EU’s ‘Climate Budget’ Will Be Handouts To Farmers, Critics Warn
Deutsche Press Agentur, 6 August 2020

2) Excellent News: British Government Delays Net Zero Homes Until 2050 To Boost Housebuilding
The Independent, 6 August 2020

Breaking Views Update: Week of 2.08.20

Saturday August 8, 2020

Christchurch's Guy Fawkes display moves to July to celebrate Matariki

Christchurch’s public Guy Fawkes display is being canned after 23 years, in favour of a July celebration to mark Matariki.

The move, which is part of a new-look Christchurch City Council events programme, is being applauded by the Māori community and Fire and Emergency New Zealand (Fenz).

Friday, August 7, 2020

NZCPR Weekly: The Key Election Issue

Dear NZCPR Reader,   

In this week’s NZCPR-Weekly newsletter, we investigate the current crisis facing New Zealand and ask whether a Labour-led Government or a National-led Government will best manage the country going forward, our NZCPR Guest Commentator Professor Barend Vlaardingerbroek shares his experience of how Covid-19 is forcing his university to adopt e-learning, and our poll asks whether you think it’s possible for New Zealand to fully eliminate Covid-19 in the long-term.

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

Thursday, August 6, 2020

Clive Bibby: The Age of the Appeasers

The last decade of human existence has seen the emergence of regional leadership vacuums throughout what is left of the "Free World" that have been filled by political power blocs that owe allegiance to no one and are contemptuous of any counter force that tries to slow their momentum.

And their greatest ally in this naked grab for power is the "appeaser" who is ready to offer them the keys to what has been, at least since the end of WW 2, the only thing that has kept us safe from this type of open aggression.

This re-writing of the international landscape is the result of democratically elected governments (not just in the US) abandoning those who are defenceless against such malevolent actions.

Here at home the outlook is also grim although the "aggressor" comes from within.

Heather du Plessis-Allan: Labour's hiding away this election

Labour’s election strategy is becoming obvious: they’re going to try to do a Joe Biden.

If you’ve been following what’s going on in the US, you’ll know what I mean. Joe Biden seems to poll better when he’s invisible. The idea of him is better than the reality of him. The less he’s in the media, the better he does.

It’s looking like Labour might try to pull the same thing here. They’re running an invisible campaign: hardly any policy, hardly any typical campaign media stuff, almost trying to pretend the campaign isn’t happening.

GWPF Newsletter: The Global Battle For Freedom Of Speech Intensifies

After Purging Mainstream Media, Climate Extremists Attempt To Censor Social Media

In this newsletter:

1) After Purging Mainstream Media, Climate Extremists Attempt To Censor Social Media
Brian Maloney, Real Clear Energy, 4 August 2020
2) Salman Rushdie Warns That Left-wing ‘Cancel Culture’ Is A Threat To Literature And Freedom Of Speech
Daily Mail, 4 August 2020

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Point of Order: Robertson chirpy while business leaders anxious about economic outlook

As Auckland business leaders and the city’s economic development agency hold a day-long summit to thrash out a Covid-19 economic recovery plan, Finance Minister  Grant Robertson is singing from a different song- book.

Brian Giesbrecht: Systemic Racism

The current Prime Minister recently publicly contradicted RCMP Commissioner, Brenda Lucki, for saying there is no systemic racism within the RCMP. Actually, Lucki said she didn’t know what “systemic racism” is.

In her words, “I have to admit, I really struggle with the term ‘systemic racism’. I have heard about five or ten definitions on TV. I think that if systemic racism is entrenched in our police and our procedures we don’t have systemic racism”.

Kate Hawkesby: Legalising cannabis - why would we be so dumb?

I was pleased to see some sense finally reported on the comparison between harm caused by alcohol versus that by cannabis.

A Professor of Psychiatric Epidemiology and Youth Mental Health, from the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, Dr Mary Cannon pointed out the argument - that alcohol is legal and more harmful to people than cannabis, therefore cannabis should be legal too - is redundant.

Or as the professor describes it, "a spurious argument along the lines of 'would you rather be run over by a truck or a bus'."

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

GWPF Newsletter: Labor Party Splits Emerge Over Costly Green Energy Down Under

Climate Activist James Murdoch Steps Down From News Corp

In this newsletter:

1) Labor Party Splits Emerge Over Costly Green Energy Down Under
Stop These Things, 3 August 2020
2) Climate Activist James Murdoch Steps Down From News Corp
Daily Mail, 31 July 2020