Sunday, January 31, 2021

GWPF Newsletter: China nixes US climate appeal over Uighur genocide claims


John Kerry promises US won't cave to China to save climate agenda

In this newsletter:

1) China nixes US climate appeal over Uighur genocide claims
New York Post, 28 January 2021
2) Chinese warplanes simulated attacking US carrier near Taiwan
Financial Times, 29 January 2021

Saturday, January 30, 2021

Richard Epstein: Biden Goes Deep Green

It is amazing the difference that four years can make in environmental policy.  On January 24, 2017, at the outset of his presidency, Donald Trump issued an executive order that salvaged the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) from the Obama administration’s planned obstructionism. Obama had sought to upset the string of administrative approvals that the project obtained at both the federal and state levels. 

DAPL runs about 1,100 miles from the Bakken and Three Forks oil fields in North Dakota to Patoka, Illinois, where it is able to carry, far below ground, about 500,000 barrels of crude oil per day. Trump’s action allowed Congress to vote on whether to grant the last federal easement needed for the pipeline to proceed.

Stirling Burnett: Biden’s Efforts Will Harm the US and Do Nothing to Prevent Climate Change—and His Team Knows It

Before the federal government undertakes any law, policy, or regulation, it should ask a few critical questions, the answers to which should determine whether it acts at all and, if so, what course of action to take. 

The first set of questions are, is there a serious problem to be addressed, is it a problem that can by be remedied by domestic action, and if so, is the federal government constitutionally delegated and legally empowered to address it? 

Only if the answers to these three questions are Yes, Yes, and Yes should the government then proceed to ask what level of government is best situated to address the problem.

Breaking Views Update: Week of 24.01.21

Saturday January 30, 2021 

Tauranga Māori wards proposal to go to referendum

The proposed introduction of Māori wards at Tauranga City Council will go to a referendum after a petition calling for a community vote met a necessary threshold.

In August last year, councillors voted to introduce wards in the district where nearly 20 percent of the population is Māori.

Friday, January 29, 2021

Bob Edlin: Children’s Minister explains expectations of all-Maori advisory team

Children’s Minister Kelvin Davis believes the Crown should maintain responsibility for the care and protection of at-risk and vulnerable children, regardless of their race.

Moreover, he is confident his all-Maori  team of advisers will not be taking race into account as they help to improve Oranga Tamariki’s care and protection of children.

Whether all members of the team got this message is another matter.

Matthew Tukaki (the bloke who sees nothing amiss in deriding MPs who raise questions that vex him as “baboons”) is chair of the new ministerial advisory group on Oranga Tamariki.

Karl du Fresne: In New Zealand today

■ Susie Ferguson is a disgrace.
Interviewing Hone Harawira on Morning Report this morning about the police decision to shut down iwi checkpoints on highways in the Far North, she seemed at pains to avoid even the remotest hint that the checkpoints weren’t legitimate in the first place.

I would have been content if she had asked Harawira just one crucial question – namely, by what authority did he and his fellow activists set up the checkpoints? Harawira holds no public office and is accountable to no one. He has no public mandate. On the contrary, Maori voters in Te Tai Tokerau rejected him in the 2014 and 2017 general elections. He leads a far-left political splinter group called the Mana Movement, which won a resounding 0.1 per cent of the party vote in the last election it contested. So who or what gives Harawira the right to stop traffic on public roads?

Barry Soper: Why Kiwi taxpayers are paying Covid wage subsidy in Cook Islands


What's so special about businesses in the Cook Islands?

Well, they must have something worth preserving that our businesses here don't have. Their Prime Minister, Mark Brown, told Heather du Plessis-Allan on Newstalk ZB Drive last night that kind donors from this country are paying the Covid wage subsidy through until the end of March with support packages being planned by the Government there to go through until the end of June.

The kind donors are of course New Zealand taxpayers.

Thursday, January 28, 2021

GWPF Newsletter: As Biden bans fracking, Putin finishes Russian-German gas pipeline


India to cut taxes to boost domestic fracking and oil drilling  

In this newsletter:

1) Defying US sanctions and EU lawmakers, Russian ship lays Nord Stream 2 pipe in Danish Waters
New Europe, 26 January 2021 
2) Biden bans new permits for drilling on federal lands, waters for one year
Fox News, 27 January 2021

Mike Hosking: MIQ is poorly run - here are my ideas to improve it


A few ideas on how MIQ should be working. Currently, not only is it run badly, it’s not run to its full potential.

It’s run with fear as a driving force and fear limits your ability to think, excel and expand.

Firstly, the experts the Bakers and the Gormans are right. The fact they are virtually all in major centres is insanity, especially with the new strains.

Kate Hawkesby: Are heating and cooling standards for landlords over the top?


Well we might have some cities like Christchurch basking in 35-degree heat today, but it's not quite the 40 degrees that some Sydneysiders are baking in.

Some NSW homes so hot, residents can barely cool them down, especially those on low incomes.

One resident was quoted as saying she ‘dreaded summer’ and had to wrap herself in a damp towel with ice cubes just to cool down. Which made me think about our new ventilation and insulation rules coming in here shortly for landlords.

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Josh Van Veen: A Modest defence of Chris Liddell

Is it possible to live and let live in the post-Trump era? The online campaign to vilify Christopher Liddell, ex-White House Deputy Chief of Staff and Assistant to Trump, makes for an interesting case study. Liddell is a New Zealander whose illustrious career in corporate America once earned him plaudits back home. 

Five years ago, the New Zealand Government recognised the multi-millionaire for his ‘services to business and philanthropy’. But some activists are now urging New Zealanders to ‘#ShunLiddell’. In response, politicians are distancing themselves and the media has turned negative.

The mastermind of this campaign is Phil Quin, a New Zealand writer and ex-Labour Party staffer with links to the U.S. Democratic Party. 

Melanie Phillips: No, this is not "getting back to normal"

The extinction of reason, justice and freedom on campus is now to be institutionalised as American government policy?

Has there ever been such a profound and jarring disconnect between a new American president’s words and actions on his very first day in office?

In his inauguration speech, President Joe Biden hymned unity. America, he said, must “stop the shouting, and lower the temperature”. It must put behind it “anger, resentment, hatred, extremism, lawlessness, violence, disease, joblessness and hopelessness” and reaffirm “history, faith and reason”.

Yet within hours of that speech, Biden signed a slew of executive orders to set America on a path of anger, resentment, hatred, division, lawlessness and joblessness and which undermine history, faith and reason.

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Michael Bassett: New Zealand's Modern Cultural Cringe

A bizarre craze seems to be sweeping New Zealand right now. All things derived from Europe except our creature comforts must be set aside as we are expected to embrace all things Maori. It’s racism on a grand scale.

No longer do our television stations refer to New Zealand. In fact, we are lucky if its Aotearoa-New Zealand. No reference to the fact that, as Michael King shows, Maori didn’t have a name for these lands, and only came to accept “Aotearoa” in relatively recent times. Several newspapers are falling into line and are now calling our country Aotearoa, a name unknown to most people beyond our shores. No public debate. We are expected to acquiesce. 

GWPF Newsletter: European Union plans to tax developing nations to fund its Green Deal


COP26 in trouble as Boris Johnson's government split over new coal mine

In this newsletter:

1) European Union plans to tax developing nations to fund its Green Deal 
EurActiv, 25 January 2021
2) Macron demands Biden respect 'EU sovereignty' as bloc panics ahead of climate summit
Daily Express, 25 January 2021

NZCPR Weekly: Controlling Covid

Dear NZCPR Reader,   

In this week’s NZCPR newsletter, we look into the Government’s management of Covid-19, our NZCPR Guest Commentator Dr Eric Crampton shares recommendations for improvement being made by medical professionals, and our poll asks whether you agree that the Covid-19 vaccine rollout should be prioritised on the basis of race.

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

Kate Hawkesby: We can't drop the ball now on our Covid-19 response


I was talking to my brother last night. He was about to board his flight from LA to Auckland, he had his negative Covid test in his hot little hand, he sent me pictures of the airport all closed off. Red tape everywhere, barriers, closed doors, the Koru lounge closed, all the shops closed, even the travelators were cordoned off.

He said there was a mix of people in masks casually pulling them up and down to eat or use their phones, and others in full Hazmat suits. He was relieved he had his Covid test result back in time, and that it was negative.

Mike Hosking: Rio Tinto's relationship with Govt feels like a hostage negotiation

 I think we can all agree that Tiwai going nowhere is a good thing. But that’s not the real story - or at least it shouldn’t be.

Tiwai is a lesson in why this country in parts needs to get its act together.

The clue here is the balance of power - no pun intended.

Does Tiwai need Southland or New Zealand? No. Does Southland and/or New Zealand need Tiwai? Yes.

And in that is the clue as to why they’re not going anywhere.

Saturday, January 23, 2021

Melanie Phillips: The new administration's words fit awkwardly with its roll-call of Obama retreads

Can leopards change their spots? Or to be more pertinent, can those who put Israel, the west and the world in such danger through the Obama administration’s 2015 nuclear deal with the Iranian regime now accept that what they did was catastrophically wrong?

Can such people, who at best never understood what Israel needed to ensure its security or, at worst, actually supported those bent on its annihilation, stop speaking simultaneously out of both sides of their mouths, accept the need to treat Israel as a valuable ally and finally do what is actually needed to keep it safe?

GWPF Newsletter: EU sees carbon border tax as ‘matter of survival’ for Europe's industry


German agriculture ministry wants EU carbon border tax for farming imports

In this newsletter:

1) EU sees carbon border tax as ‘matter of survival’ for Europe's industry
EurActiv & Reuters, 19 January 2021
2) Green Fortress Europe: German agriculture ministry wants EU carbon border tax for farming imports
Clean Energy Wire, 20 January 2021

Louis Houlbrooke: Why We Won’t Stop Calling It ‘Taxpayer Money’

Jonathan Barrett, a taxation lecturer at Victoria University, wants New Zealanders and the media to stop talking about “taxpayer money”.

He makes the bland observation that when the government takes our money, that money legally becomes government property, and therefore the government can spend it however it likes. That’s all correct in a semantic kind of way, but pointless for policy debate – legality does not equal morality, and might does not make right.

Thursday, January 21, 2021

Clive Bibby: Oversight and Control are Not the Same Thing


As we enter the New Year, while basking in the sun on the beach and listening to our cricket team laying waste to all comers (unfortunately that is the only way to follow our heroes for most of the populace - unbelievably bad decision by NZ Cricket), at a time when most would want to forget the horrors of 2020, it is non-the-less appropriate that we spend some time taking stock of the things we should have learned from those debilitating 12 months.

For most of us, just surviving the virus would seem an achievement in itself and for that the Government can take credit - after all, that is the number one responsibility of any government when its people are under threat. But that responsibility is not a singular requirement of those who occupy the treasury benches - the other equally important role is to manage any crisis in a way that keeps us safe economically as well.

Breaking Views Update: Week of 17.01.21

Thursday January 21, 2021 

Junior doctors get immersed in Māori culture

Six junior doctors were immersed in Māori culture on Monday at the Arowhenua Marae near Temuka to help inform their practice.

“At Otago University they cover a multicultural part for their exams and this rounds it off as they get to know local iwi and rūnanga.

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Kate Hawkesby: I’m not surprised analysis shows media bias for the cannabis referendum


'Significant Media Bias During Cannabis Referendum’, imagine my surprise in seeing that headline after new analysis was carried out on how the media covered the lead up to the cannabis and euthanasia referendums.

A clear bias emerged in the coverage of the cannabis debate.

No kidding.

I was saying that all along, and it felt like I was talking to a brick wall. The media had an agenda and ran with it, and the worst part of that was the pretence that they were impartial, neutral, not taking a position. What a crock.

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Jeff Fynn-Paul: Is it Racist to Disagree with a Person of Colour?


1. White Fragility?

According to social media, the current zeitgeist, and the author of the runaway bestseller White Fragility, it absolutely is.[1]  If you are “white,” and you disagree on any political issue with any person of colour, this is a sure sign that you are a “racist.” 

Ok, then.  Let’s take that same logic and apply it to other common situations:  

Is it sexist for a man to disagree with a woman?  Is it sexist every time a husband disagrees with his wife? 

Richard Epstein: The Trial That Should Not Be

Last week, the House of Representatives voted to impeach Donald Trump for “incitement of insurrection,” stemming chiefly from his remarks before a large crowd near the White House on January 6. As I have previously written, serious questions still remain as to whether those charges are valid as a matter of fact and law. But assuming they are, the question is what comes next.

Press coverage is mostly limited to tactical and political issues. 

Mike Hosking: Govt can't, and won't, do anything about the housing market


You might have noted over the holiday period one of the flags we raised before Christmas was not to get sucked in by the government who were, once again, playing us for fools when the heat in the housing market spilled over to the political world.

The politicians got embarrassed over the fact they'd banged on endlessly about affordable housing while in opposition, but in government and had done nothing about it apart from watch the prices go up, and up, and up.

So as a pre-Christmas distraction Grant Robertson wrote to the Reserve Bank Governor and made some noise about prices, in the vein hope that we'd all think that actually meant something.

Kate Hawkesby: It's a fine line between being grateful and complacent for our freedom


I thought a lot over summer – as I’m sure many of us did, just how lucky we are to be able to get out and about, attend concerts and festivals, mingle with each other, travel around the place, eat out, conduct our normal lives.

I don’t think we take that for granted.

Especially when we see the pictures from overseas where countries still ravaged by Covid are locked down, shut, excluding people from daily activities.

But it’s a fine line isn’t it, between being grateful and aware of our privilege here, and being complacent.

Matt Ridley: Bio-Britain is Leading the World in the Science of Covid

The list of our achievements in biology is extraordinary for a country with just one per cent of the world's population. Here is my latest article, for The Telegraph:

Britain probably leads the world in self-criticism. So maybe we don’t always notice when the country leads the world in something a bit more useful. During the pandemic a lot has been done badly here – the modelling, testing and lockdown policies have been harmful, clumsy, and chaotic – but it’s worth reflecting on what we have done well, especially in science.

NZCPR Weekly: Apartheid New Zealand

Dear NZCPR Reader,   

Happy New Year! In this week’s NZCPR newsletter, we investigate New Zealand’s dangerous drift towards separatism, our NZCPR Guest Commentator the economic historian Professor Jeff Fynn-Paul outlines why standing up to racist attacks strengthens democracy, and our poll asks whether you believe the petition rights enabling citizens to challenge local councils when they change the voting system should remain.

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

GWPF Newsletter: China’s economy expands at faster rate than before coronavirus


China’s 2020 coal output rises to highest since 2015, undermining climate pledges

In this newsletter:

1) China’s 2020 coal output rises to highest since 2015, undermining climate pledges
Reuters, 18 January 2021
2) China’s economy expands at faster rate than before coronavirus 
Financial Times, 18 January 2021

Friday, January 15, 2021

GWPF Newsletter: African nations planning 1250 new coal and gas power plants, new study reveals


India to invest $55 billion in clean coal 'to become $5-trillion economy'

In this newsletter:

1) African nations planning 1250 new coal and gas power plants, new study reveals
GWPF & Power Engineering International, 13 January 2021

2) Lack of reliable electricity threatens Africans’ future
GWPF -- Energy Justice

Thursday, January 14, 2021

Breaking Views Update: Week of 10.01.21

Thursday January 14, 2021 

Taranaki mayoral forum goes in to bat for Māori ward law change
Taranaki’s three mayors and the chair of the regional council have written to the prime minister calling for a change to the law around Māori wards.

A letter from the Taranaki Mayoral Forum to Jacinda Ardern and Minister of Local Government Nanaia Mahuta calls for changing the Local Amendment Act to remove the clauses that allow a poll to overturn a council’s decision to establish a Māori ward.

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Bob Edlin: Is the right medicine for NZ Pharmac’s ethnic mix or their pharmaceutical expertise?


Stuff delivered another woke-up call to its readers this morning with a report which presses Pharmac to hire more Maori.

There’s nothing in the article to convincingly explain how current staff ratios adversely affect Pharmac’s job of buying medicines or how they actually undermine the nation’s health.

The drug-purchasing agency’s “appalling” shortcomings instead relate to concerns about cultural inadequacies, systemic racism and a failure to meet Treaty of Waitangi obligations.

GWPF Newsletter: Hundreds of Pacific Islands are getting bigger despite global warming


Is John Kerry setting up Boris Johnson for COP26 flop?

In this newsletter:

1) Hundreds of Pacific Islands are getting bigger despite global warming
ABC News, 8 January 2021

2) Deutsche Bank: EU Green Deal can only succeed with “a certain degree of eco-dictatorship”
GWPF & Deutsche Bank Research, 10 January 2021

Sunday, January 10, 2021

Henry Armstrong: Waikeria Prison Riots - New Year 2021

The paucity of any political news over the holiday period suddenly ended with the development of a serious prisoner riot at Waikeria prison in the Waikato. A small group of inmates decided to spit the dummy and trash the prison, causing millions of dollars in damage - the cost of which will, of course, if remedied, be borne by the New Zealand taxpayer. Their “protest” was ostensibly concerning “poor conditions” at the prison, not enough exercise or washing facilities, and issues around drinking water.

Oh dear! Are we seriously required to now believe that in 2021 New Zealand, our “guests” of Her Majesty in prison can demand conditions to their liking?

Friday, January 8, 2021

Karl du Fresne: If it's a hate crime, where does the hate start?

Stuff reports today that someone damaged the Hatupatu rock, beside State Highway 1 near Atiamuri, with a sledgehammer. This could have been simply a mindless act of vandalism (God knows they’re common enough), but predictably, someone has suggested it was a hate crime.

I know the Hatupatu rock; I remember stopping there when our kids were little. They were familiar with the legend of Hatupatu, and how he hid in a cavity in the rock to escape Kurangaituku, the terrifying Bird Woman, because I had read them the story many times.

GWPF Newsletter: Control of US Senate allows Democrats to act on Biden’s climate agenda


Senate Democrats eye quick repeal of Trump rules

In this newsletter:

1) Control of US Senate allows Democrats to act on Biden’s climate agenda
CNBC, 6 January 2021
2) Senate Democrats eye quick repeal of Trump rules
E&E News, 6 January 2021

Thursday, January 7, 2021

GWPF Newsletter: Ten million jobs at risk due to Govt's Net Zero, research reveals


UK climate targets threaten up to 10 million jobs

In this newsletter:

1) Ten million jobs at risk due to Boris Johnson's Net Zero pledge, research reveals
2) Surprising discovery: Drylands are not getting drier, climate models wrong

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

Breaking Views Update: Week of 3.01.21

Wednesday January 6, 2021 

The Kaupapa Ward
In 1914 traditional medicines and practices were used by Māori to treat illness, and they were cared for in their homes. Today, Māori have both clinical and cultural support in a dedicated Kaupapa Ward, the only one of its kind in New Zealand.

Ward 2A at Tauranga Hospital is the Kaupapa Ward, which was established in 1990 to meet the clinical and cultural needs of Māori patients. It is an acute ward for medical, respiratory, diabetes and cardiac care.

Tuesday, January 5, 2021

GWPF Newsletter: European satellites reveal global wildfires declining since 2003


Global hurricane activity trending downward over the last 30 years

In this newsletter:

1) European satellites reveal global wildfires declining since 2003
Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service (CAMS)

2) Global hurricane activity trending downward over the last 30 years
Perspecta Weather, 31 December 2020

Sunday, January 3, 2021

Clive Bibby: The Empress has no clothes

When l finally got to read the deliberately delayed Simpson report of the Government’s handling of the pandemic, l could understand why it wasn’t released until well after the general election.

Even the most loyal Labour supporter would have to admit it paints a very different picture of the Prime Minister and her bunch of sycophants than the one available to voters of this mythical “Mother Teresa” when they entered the ballot boxes last year. 

The report in fact shows her to be the “Empress with no clothes” .

Barend Vlaardingerbroek: ‘Ethics’ strangle social science research

The field of Education is an eclectic one encompassing not only teacher training and in-service provision but also interdisciplinary research which places it within the social sciences.

Since entering tertiary education over 30 years ago, I have been active in both, but have veered more towards the latter activity, as a glance at the Publications section of my CV bears witness to.  

My approach to research stresses the ‘science’ in ‘social science’: I treat social science research as an exercise in applied science – scientific methodology applied to social issues. This involves the collection of ‘hard’ quantitative data mostly directly from research subjects and processing it using analytical statistics.

Friday, January 1, 2021