Monday, April 19, 2021

Breaking Views Update: Week of 18.04.21

Monday April 19, 2021 

'More work to be done' just ahead of Māori Health Authority announcement - Associate Minister of Health Peeni Henare

Associate Minister of Health Peeni Henare says new details on how the Māori Health Authority will work, due out this Wednesday, will give tangata whenua a "sense of optimism".

Henare, who has responsibility for Māori health, said either way Māori will get a health system by and for them.

Saturday, April 17, 2021

Rodney Clifton: A Meaningful Job is the Only Way Forward for First Nations People

There is little doubt that the condition of Indigenous people is desperate in Canada, especially for those living in the 600 or so small isolated First Nations communities.

Most Canadians know some facts about the quality of lives of the people in these communities, but let’s refresh our minds with a few statistics. 

First Nations have the highest rates of incarceration, homelessness, poverty, and welfare dependency. They also have the highest rates of infant mortality, suicides, and the lowest life expectancy of any racial or ethnic group in Canada. As well, reserve communities have the highest rates of sexual abuse, single motherhood, and alcohol and drug abuse.1  

Breaking Views Update: Week of 11.04.21

Saturday April 17, 2021 

Taranaki te ao Māori advocates 'disappointed' with McDonald's over continued use of 'Naki' packaging

Te ao Māori advocates have called on burger giant McDonald’s to immediately stop using packaging containing an offensive abbreviation for Taranaki.

The company's Angus burger boxes contain a blurb about the beef it uses, and that it is made into patties in “The ‘Naki”.

Friday, April 16, 2021

Mike Hosking: How are officials this useless and still in work?


So the border worker didn’t get a jab despite missing two appointments – and now the border worker hadn't even been tested since last year.

It's good to know the Government and Health Ministry can still surprise us, even as a growing number of us thought the levels of ineptitude couldn't possibly get any worse.

Remember last year and the outrage over the port workers who weren't getting tested?

Remember the woman at the centre of the last lockdown, the border worker at Sky Chefs, who had missed her test?

Remember all the promises made about tightening things up - or as Bloomfield and Hipkins were so often heard to say - this is the system learning?

Learning what? How to out-do yourself in terms of incompetency?

Thursday, April 15, 2021

Francis Menton: Lessons In Woke "Science" - Covid-19 And Climate

Over time, I have had many posts on the scientific method, most recently in January 2021 here. You posit a falsifiable hypothesis. Then you collect and examine the evidence. If the evidence contradicts your hypothesis you must abandon it and move on. Really, that’s the whole thing.

Then there is woke “science,” most visible these days in the arenas of response to the Covid-19 virus and of climate change. Here the principles are a little different. In woke “science” there is no falsifiable hypothesis. In place of that, we have the official orthodox consensus view. The official orthodox consensus view has been arrived at by all the smartest people, because it just seems like it must be right. The official orthodox consensus view must not be contradicted, particularly by the little people like you. Based on the official orthodox consensus view, those in power can take away all your freedom (Covid) and/or transform the entire economy (climate). After all, it’s the “science.”

Bob Edlin: The rot of local government democracy

Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta’s intentions were plainly proclaimed soon after the Ardern Government began its second term.  She was determined to remove legislative machinery that enabled public polls to be conducted when councils attempted to create Māori wards.

The headline on an RNZ report summed up her commitment: Mahuta vows to clear obstacles to creating Māori council wards

She has been dismayingly successful, from the perspective of citizens anxious to buttress democratic electoral and governance arrangements against the fast-spreading erosion when special provisions for Maori are introduced.

Peter Williams: Plans for a co-governed New Zealand you should be concerned about

I want to talk about a very important issue. It’s called democracy.

As Winston Churchill once said, apparently, “no-one pretends democracy is perfect. In fact, it has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.”

But the question I think we should be asking in this country is this: is democracy under threat? 

Garrick Tremain: Waves

Here is Garrick Tremain's latest cartoon commentary!

NZCPR Newsletter: Defending Our Democracy

Dear NZCPR Reader,   

In this week’s NZCPR newsletter, we examine the implications of the Government’s plan to implement the UN’s Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples by 2040 and we re-launch our Declaration of Equality to defend New Zealand democracy, our NZCPR Guest Commentator Tony Sayers outlines the importance of pushing back against separatist control, and our poll asks whether you believe all race-based preferment be abolished from New Zealand Statutes.

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

GWPF Newsletter: COP Out? Boris Johnson battles to save COP26 climate conference


China, India & Brazil reluctant to cave in to US pressure on climate

In this newsletter:

1) COP Out? Boris Johnson battles to save COP26 climate conference
The Sun, 14 April 2021

2) China’s Xi Jinping has not committed to Biden’s climate summit. 
New York Post, 13 April 2021

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Matt Ridley: The Unexpected History and Miraculous Success of Vaccines

At a time when the miraculous success of vaccines against SARS-CoV-2 has transformed the battle against the pandemic, it is fitting to recall that the general idea behind vaccination was brought to the attention of the western world, not by brilliant and privileged professors, but by a black slave and a woman.

His name was Onesimus and he lived in Boston, as the property of Cotton Mather, a well-known puritan preacher. Her name was Lady Mary Wortley-Montagu, the literary wife of the British ambassador to Constantinople.

Some time around 1715 Onesimus seems to have told Mather that back in West Africa people were in the habit of deliberately infecting children with a drop of “juice of smallpox” from a survivor, thus making them immune. Mather then came across a report to the Royal Society in London from an Italian physician, Emmanuel Timoni, working in the Ottoman court in Constantinople, which described the same practice in combating smallpox. The Ottomans had got the idea from either China or Africa.

GWPF Newsletter: Emerging nations join forces to oppose ‘carbon border tax’


Why Net Zero won't happen

In this newsletter:

1) Emerging nations join forces to oppose ‘carbon border tax’
Times of India, 10 April 2021
2) Emerging economies share ‘grave concern’ over EU plans for a carbon border levy
EurActiv, 12 April 2021

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Barrie Saunders: Democracy or Partnership – what do we want?

The departure of Donald Trump from the White House was a victory for the US democratic system, which only just succeeded.   If then Vice President Mike Pence had wavered under enormous pressure from President Trump and his cult-like supporters, Joe Biden might not be in the White House and there would have been serious civil disorder.  The Republicans haven’t given up, they are now trying to make voting more difficult in several states.  

Democracy is a model under threat from many quarters, and losing around the world.

It is easy to forget how recently democracy has become mainstream.  In Britain women over the age of 21 only got the vote in 1928 and in the US, universal suffrage only became accessible to all Afro-Americans in the last 55 years, because, prior to the 1960s voting reforms, there was serious voter suppression in parts of the country.  Some former East European countries like Hungary have retreated from the democratic model and others like Greece and Italy have struggled to deal with major economic challenges. 

Monday, April 12, 2021

Mike Hosking: When it comes to the economy, none of this ends well


The government is lucky, as it turns out, that Covid is still front-and-centre because if it wasn’t - and it won't always be - a great deal more time would be currently spent on the economy.

Kiwibank tell us the sugar-rush of spending is over. That mad dash we made post-lockdown last year to buy anything and everything is now finished. The household spending tracker was down nine percent in the March quarter - that is a massive fall.

The March quarter, by the way, is January, February and March. When the GDP numbers come out for that quarter next month, it will almost certainly show we went backwards, which then means we were officially in recession. A double-dip recession. They’ve done it not once, but twice.

Bob Edlin: Capital thinking on decolonisation – give voting rights to tribal appointees on council committees and mute the voice of non-Maori

Eight Wellington City Councillors – given the critical constitutional choice of Treaty partnership or democracy – yesterday voted in favour of further undermining the council’s democratic election and decision-making structures by granting voting rights to the representatives appointed by Maori tribes to sit on council committees.

Only six councillors voted against an arrangement to allow one representative from each of Taranaki Whānui ki Te Upoko o Te Ika and Ngāti Toa Rangatira to sit on most council committees and subcommittees with full voting rights from 1 July.

The council will reimburse each tribe by paying an annual fee, equivalent to the remuneration of a full time elected member, which is currently $111,225.

Saturday, April 10, 2021

Matt Ridley: WHO Appeasement of China Makes Another Pandemic More Likely

The WHO has now wasted a year failing to investigate properly the origins of Covid-19 - first published 15 March, 2021 in The Telegraph HERE

It is a year ago last week since the World Health Organisation conceded, belatedly, that a pandemic was under way. The organisation’s decisions in early 2020 were undoubtedly influenced by the Chinese government. 

On 14 January, to widespread surprise, the WHO was still echoing China’s assurance that there was no evidence of person-to-person spread: “it is very clear right now that we have no sustained human-to-human transmission,” said an official that day. Within days even China conceded this was wrong.

GWPF Newsletter: RIP Prince Philip (1921 -2021)

It is with deep sadness that we learn of the death of HRH Prince Philip, who passed earlier today. The GWPF offers its condolences to Her Majesty the Queen and the Royal Family on the death of the Duke of Edinburgh. Prince Philip, an  environmental campaigner and fellow climate realist, will be profoundly missed. 

Breaking Views Update: Week of 4.04.21

Saturday April 10, 2021 

Kaumātua research drives $1.4m funding award

Te Arawa Whānau Ora (TAWO) are part of a research partnership that will receive over $1.4m to help support injury prevention and rehabilitation research for the region’s ageing Māori population. The research is funded by the Health Research Council of NZ, ACC and the Ageing Well National Science Challenge.

Thursday, April 8, 2021

Melanie Phillips: Challenging the falsehoods about white supremacism

One of the most striking features of today’s culture wars is that some victims of the cancel inquisition are nevertheless producing evidence which proves that their persecutors’ claims are the reverse of the truth.

Nigel Biggar, professor of moral and pastoral theology at Oxford university, has been venomously attacked for suggesting that the British empire was not all bad. Now, in a magisterial review for The Critic of Dan Hicks’s book Brutish Museums, Biggar has punctured the myth of “brutish” British colonialism by educating his readers in facts which are all the more startling for being almost never acknowledged in general debate.

Tony Orman: Book Review of Treaty of Waitangi book

“The Treaty – Basic Facts” by Mike Butler, published by Tross Publishing, Wellington . Price $25. Available in most book shops or through the website  HERE.

The Treaty of Waitangi is currently the subject of much discussion fuelled by demands from tribal elite. Open debate has largely been diminished by the tendency to term anyone who argues for a united “one New Zealand” to be shouted at hatefully with accusations of racism. 

Author Mike Butler is a brave man. He describes his book as “a timely reminder about the basic facts of the Treaty of Waitangi.”

Bryce Edwards: An overwhelming vote of no confidence in Labour’s mental health reforms

The area of mental health has been a key strength for Jacinda Ardern and her Labour Government over the last few years. They campaigned strongly in 2017 on fixing up the dysfunctional system, and initially they made some vital strides forward in reforming the sector. An in-depth inquiry was instigated and the Wellbeing Budget of 2019 pledged nearly $2bn. For a while, it looked like the one area in which the Government was achieving true transformation. 

This has all changed lately. An explosion of bad stories and complaints from the sector suggests that the Government has failed to deliver on this, and that the mental health system is now getting worse under Labour.

GWPF Newsletter: The Sun’s climate role confirmed


New study ties solar variability to the onset of decadal La Nina events

In this newsletter:

1) The Sun’s climate role confirmed
GWPF Observatory, 6 April 2021
2) New study ties solar variability to the onset of decadal La Nina events

NZCPR Weekly: The End of Democracy

Dear NZCPR Reader,   

In this week’s NZCPR newsletter, we outline what the full Government ‘roadmap’ to implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples by 2040 reveals, our NZCPR Guest Commentator Fiona Mackenzie shares concerns that Nania Mahuta’s Water Services Bill will result in freshwater being controlled by Maori tribal interests, and our poll asks whether you support the proposal to elevate the status of Maori to 50/50 co-governance.

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

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Kate Hawkesby: Now the bubble is open, who will take the risk?


Not that I want to gloat, again, OK I’m fully gloating, winning two bets in a row against my husband is just a little bit thrilling. The fact he misread the government not once but twice, is something I can’t just ignore. Especially when he bet against me, twice.

So we first of all had the announcement of the announcement as I bet there would be, then yesterday we had, as I rightfully bet again, a bubble opening on the 19th, just in time for school holidays. Two nil to me. I’m on a roll.

Saturday, April 3, 2021

GWPF Newsletter - India: Net Zero targets are ‘pie in the sky’


COP26 climate summit may have to be postponed again

In this newsletter:

1) 'Pie in the sky' - Net Zero agenda faltering
GWPF, 1 April 2021
2) India: Net zero targets are ‘pie in the sky’
BBC News, 1 April 2021

Kate Hawkesby: It’s time to turn back the clocks


As we slide into the Easter weekend, we mustn’t forget clocks go back an hour on Sunday. There goes the long lighter days, the BBQ’s and eating outside, the late night warm walks, as we head into the cooler months and darker evenings.

It’s controversial daylight saving, for many reasons. I like when it changes back personally, as an early shift worker who gets up in the dark anyway, it just means it’s darker earlier at night when we go to bed.

So it feels like night time comes around quicker. Long summer nights make it hard for early shift workers to tootle off to bed, you kind of feel cheated. Like you’re missing out on stuff. It’s also good for parents of small children too, the darker nights – in terms of settling littlies into bed and not having to worry about black out blinds or convincing them it’s night time when the sun’s still shining outside.

Breaking Views Update: Week of 28.03.21

Saturday April 3, 2021 

Health Minister Andrew Little praises new Māori-led service for at-risk mothers in Wanganui

The service aims to support young wāhine and their pēpi (children) through a mixture of both wānanga and mātauranga (Māori knowledge). The service specifically caters towards mothers who are battling substance abuse with alcohol or drugs, and are poorly connected to health and social service support.

Te Oranganui Mātaiwhetū/chief executive Wheturangi Walsh-Tapiata said the new service was a by-Māori-for-Māori approach, with a large focus on whānau and community.

Thursday, April 1, 2021

GWPF Newsletter: China warns Boris & Biden: Cave to our demands or forget about your climate agenda


In message to Joe Biden, India embarks on new coal boom

In this newsletter:

1) China warns Boris & Biden: Cave to our demands or forget about your climate agenda
GWPF & BBC News, 31 March 2021 

2) It's official: India won't bind itself to Net Zero emission target
Hindustan Times, 30 March 2021

Barend Vlaardingerbroek: Musings from Beirut 3 – growing weariness with the next lockdown/next surge cycle

Ask half a dozen Beirutis when the current lockdown is supposed to end or be modified and you’ll likely get half a dozen different answers.

The lockdown pattern here sees a lockdown (full or partial) being vigorously enforced for a few days and then a slacking off until you begin to wonder “What lockdown?”. Except for cafés and restaurants, everything seems to be working again.

The [near]-full lockdown of a couple of months back initially saw people having to flash a downloaded permit to get into the supermarkets on their phones before being allowed in. We were short of supplies that the smaller stores don’t stock, such as fresh meat and frozen chicken pieces, so I went to a large supermarket I often frequent. I don’t have one of those accursed ‘phone’ things so I asked to see a member of the managerial team whom I told that he was discriminating against me because I am a human being and not an android controlled by a little plastic and silicon box. He laughed and told me to wait a few minutes because there was a policeman hanging around ensuring that the rules were being observed, but once he was gone I would be OK to come in. “Ten minutes, alright?” Sure, mate. Half an hour later, loaded up with goodies…

Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Roger Partridge: Unbalanced compulsory NZ history curriculum lacks humanity

Eighteen months ago, the Government announced a curriculum change making it compulsory for all schools to teach “key aspects” of New Zealand history. The Ministry of Education was tasked with creating a new curriculum to “span the full range of New Zealanders’ experiences… with contemporary issues directly linked to major events of the past.”

Asking the Ministry of Education to draft a compulsory New Zealand History curriculum for school children was always fraught with risk. 

The Ministry has disavowed knowledge-based curricula – to the extent that the much-vaunted National Curriculum fits on a scanty 64 A4 pages. It covers the entire social sciences for years 1-13 in a single page.

Bob Edlin: May the force be with you – and it will be when tourist taskforce’s vision (influenced by Te Ao Māori) is turned into policy and practice

At a NetHui in Auckland in 2015, Māori discussed and shared their ideas about whether tikanga Māori crossed over to the internet.

A Lincoln University philosopher said it does, according to one report of the proceedings.

Indigenous Digital Philosopher, Karaitiana Taiuru says, “We’re kanohi ki te kanohi, you know their mauri, you can touch something and get the mauri and the internet, it’s nothing, it’s te kore and it’s hard to try and quantify that.  But if you use the internet for the right purposes then it will have mauri.”

Here at Point of Order we trust we are putting the internet to the right purpose by drawing attention to the cultural and spiritual thrust of the recently released Tourism Future Taskforce Interim Report. It says:

This is a taskforce and report that from day one has been inspired by the Te Ao Māori perspective.

The wisdom and guidance received from Māori leadership has been incredibly significant to the thinking along the journey towards these [the taskforce’s] recommendations

The concept of “mauri” looms large in the taskforce’s vision for the tourist industry. 

Henry Armstrong: How the Ardern Government and Its Allies are Dumping on Us Oldies

The Ardern government’s recently-announced housing and punitive tax policies will have a significant impact on New Zealand’s seniors and are clearly ageist in their outcomes. 

Anyone over the age of 70 years in New Zealand today (especially if you are male and of European descent), can be forgiven for feeling that somehow, after a lifetime of struggle, commitment to, and hard work in the interests of our country, New Zealand, we have suddenly become “the enemy”!

Green Party MPs, almost to a person, condemn “old white men” as somehow being responsible for all of the ills of modern-day New Zealand society. Julie-Ann Genter’s infamous statement to a class of school children in Christchurch (aged around 10 years) that “old white men” needed to move aside from their domination of boards (she did not specify which boards-charities, SOEs, closely- held family companies, Stock Exchange listings), as some kind of cleansing process after which organisations would be refreshed and renewed.

Peter Bacos: The Maori Language

I have become so sick and tired of the saturation of Maori on tv and radio that I’ve decided to make an effort to learn the language or the rudiments of it anyway. Instead of reacting with fury every time I hear a Maori word which makes the phrase unintelligible to me I’ve decided to teach myself. 

It’s remarkably simple; when you’re saturated by a language it’s very easy to learn it as you’re exposed to it all the time. I can see now how people become bi-lingual in countries which promote two languages. 

Did you know Te Papa was bi – lingual, or rather I should say it is Maori with English translation? On my walks along the waterfront I pop into it now and then and promise myself to learn 20 new words on each visit.

Kate Hawkesby: Anti-social behaviour's on the rise - where are the Police?


The Police are in the news at the moment for several reasons – one, they have new cars, and two, Napier’s Mayor fears they’re stretched to their limits in her region, weighed down with gang violence issues. She wants more Police for her area, and has written to the Police Minister to say so.

Good luck getting a response on that.

Hers is not the only region feeling short of a Police presence. Wellington, recently accused of becoming too dangerous to walk the streets of the CBD at night, is making moves to try to combat anti-social behaviour by committing to a ‘social contract’ and looking to take collective action.

NZCPR Weekly: Labour's Housing Bombshell

Dear NZCPR Reader,   

In this week’s NZCPR newsletter, we investigate the Government’s latest housing package and reveal that both Treasury and the IRD opposed the punitive changes imposed on rental housing providers, our NZCPR Guest Commentator Ashley Church shares his concerns that rather than fixing the housing market the Government is ‘punishing’ property investors, and our poll asks whether you think Labour’s recent housing package will solve the housing affordability crisis.

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

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Clive Bibby: “Slip slidin’ away!”

Those of you who are old enough to remember humming the chorus to this famous Simon and Garfunkel song may be taking time to revisit especially given its warning against complacency.

Another appropriate quote that could be added in today’s corrupt political climate is one used by JFK - “the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing!”

When these memorable lines are added together, they provide a powerful lesson for keeping us safe.

Make no mistake, l believe that evil does exist in our society, most of it in subtle forms that are too often overlooked because we are encouraged to accept an environment that peacefully co-exists with the consequences.

Let me explain.

Monday, March 29, 2021

Kate Hawkesby: Has NZ given up on ambition and accountability?

 I just wonder if, as a country, we’ve given up on any kind of ambition or accountability.  

The pace of the vaccine rollout, the privacy details of those being vaccinated getting breached, the MIQ fees that remain unpaid.

I mean, do we even care anymore or have we just given up?

We’ve been told a goal of 2 million New Zealanders vaccinated by the middle of the year. We know the speed of the global vaccine rollout is critical. We know NZ has secured 10 million doses - but how fast are we jabbing?

Sir Bob Jones: Time for a Change


Wellington MP Nicola Willis hit the news this week with her claim of feeling unsafe in Wellington’s CBD. I’ve heard this repeatedly in recent weeks. So what’s occurred to suddenly bring about this state of affairs? Nicola knows but being a typical kick for touch Nat’, wasn’t game to say for fear of the wearying racism charge.

What’s happened is this year the capital’s CBD has suddenly become an attractive destination for maori gangs. And why? Because the bloody unbelievably idiotic Welfare Department is putting them up at taxpayers expense in central city hotels. This is sheer madness.

This filth is now everywhere on our CBD streets, threatening pedestrians. I’ve heard numerous stories including incidents from my own staff.

Sunday, March 28, 2021

NZCPR: Submission on the Climate Change Commission’s Draft Emissions Budget


Climate Change Commission
PO Box 24448
Wellington 6142

New Zealand Centre for Political Research Submission on the Climate Change Commission’s Draft Emissions Budget

Dear Sir,

Thank you for providing the opportunity to submit on the Climate Change Commission’s draft emissions budget.

This submission is on behalf of the New Zealand Centre for Political Research, a public policy think tank established in 2005 by former Member of Parliament Dr Muriel Newman.

We propose to address three issues of major concern.

1. The emissions budgets are not evidence-based

Chris Trotter: Something Big

There are all kinds of political rumours, but they don’t get much bigger than: “The PM is about to resign.” 

When that rumour was relayed to me on Friday morning [19 March], my initial reaction was “Bullshit!” Wellington is a very intimate capital city, so the idea that such an important story could somehow be kept from the Parliamentary Press Gallery, struck me as fanciful. Were it not for the fact that my informant was “a usually reliable source”, I would have given the matter no more than a dismissive shake of the head. Instead, I decided to make some calls.

As I suspected, nothing remotely resembling a resignation rumour had been picked up by the Press Gallery. What I did hear, however, were concerns about “Jacinda”. The Prime Minister, I was told, was “out of sorts”, “morose”, “not her usual self”.

Saturday, March 27, 2021

Sterling Burnett: Paris Panic - Governments Fail to Meet Their Climate Commitments

Political leaders and media personalities are fond of saying climate change poses an existential threat to humans and the planet. The weight of scientific evidence doesn’t support this oft-made claim, and national governments around the globe seem to acknowledge this by their actions.

Despite what is reported almost daily in the mainstream media, data from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration show no increase in extreme weather events as the Earth has modestly warmed over the past 150 years. In fact, the IPCC and NOAA data show cases of extreme cold spells, droughts, floods, heat waves, hurricanes, tornadoes, and wildfires have all declined modestly or remained relatively stable since the late 1870s.

Despite these irrefutable facts, leaders from nations around the world have signed multiple international agreements, the latest being the 2015 Paris climate agreement, intended to avert a supposedly pending climate disaster.

Breaking Views Update: Week of 21.03.21

Saturday March 27, 2021 

Northland teaching student earns $22,000 Kupe scholarship

Now, a Kupe Scholarship worth more than $22,000 is helping the Tai Tokerau teaching student fulfil her ultimate goals - to bring te ao Māori into the mainstream curriculum and to find ways to best support kids from low socio-economic groups.

Friday, March 26, 2021

Leighton Smith Podcast: Muriel Newman on NZ's political and social landscape

This week Muriel Newman offers a critical analysis of the NZ political and social landscape. She accurately targets where we could be heading. 

We examine the Maori sovereignty movement’s power grab and the forthcoming criminalisation of free speech (based on the Royal Commission’s recommendations for new hate speech laws). 

And more, is democracy under threat in NZ.

Guy Steward: On Lockdowns

We’ve had a break from lockdowns in Auckland so we could deal with the more pressing matter of the America’s Cup. Even the virus took a break, and rightly so. I take my hat off to it for that. Well done, virus! You did your bit for the country!

We seem to be doing very well compared with the rest of the world. And that’s great. Perhaps we’ve really done the right thing with lockdowns, although I rather think the natural border and the border restrictions could be the more obvious factors keeping us out of trouble. But we’re all asking: How long can that continue?

Roger Childs: Are we a Single Nation or Two Peoples?

During the recent America’s Cup series the country was united behind the efforts of Team New Zealand. There was no concern about whether there were enough Maori members in the crew, or whether there was a Te Reo name on the big sail. Basically New Zealanders were barracking for the country’s sailors. It is the same where the Silver Ferns, All Blacks, Black Caps, White Ferns or Olympians compete, they are teams representing New Zealand and we support them regardless of our ethnicity.

This is the way we should approach all aspects of life in New Zealand – we have so much in common.

Thursday, March 25, 2021

Mike Hosking: Fluoride the latest example of local government weakness


Another example for you this morning on the weaknesses of democracy especially at local body level.

The Whangārei mayor is against fluoridation of water. Is the Whangārei mayor a medical professional? Looking her up, she appears not to be.

I’m not even sure she represents the view of the people who elected her.

But that’s democracy isn’t it? We appoint or anoint people with experience and skill in little if anything and expect them to run important stuff.

What makes her fluoridation objection so ironic is the fact she’s from Northland and it is Northland that would appear to have the disproportionate amount of trouble in the social areas - one of them being dental health.

Kate Hawkesby: The housing announcement will not help renters


The housing announcement yesterday, apart from being a total broken promise from the government in terms of the bright line test, is essentially penalising mum and dad investors. And those are the investors running the rental homes providing tenants with much needed accommodation.

And the concern here is that the costs go up for those tenants, and that due to the government pinging them if they sell within 10 years, that landlords will hold onto rental properties for longer. And when they do that, you don’t get a cooler housing market, you get fewer houses up for grabs. What’s galling here is the brazenness with which this government has back tracked.

The Prime Minister campaigned on not introducing a Capital Gains Tax.. she was adamant, it was one of her biggest election promises. Not on her watch, she said. Grant Robertson is on the record ruling it out, saying it would never come to pass. And yet, here it is. A Capital Gains Tax in all but name.