Saturday, February 27, 2021

Melanie Phillips: A perfect storm of weather, wrongheadedness and wishful thinking

The recent snow storm in Texas and other states, which resulted in catastrophic power outages during a period of intensely cold weather, gave rise to a further blizzard of blame and finger-pointing over the cause.

Climate change zealots, stung by the charge (as I reported here) that the icing up of Texas’s wind turbines had played a significant role in causing the breakdown in the power supply, responded that this wasn’t true, that the outages were all the fault of a breakdown in natural gas supplies (boo, hiss) and that the attack on sanctified wind power was just Republican climate-change-denial propaganda.

But of course.

Gerry Eckhoff: Local Government Reform

A great truism which has come down the age can now be applied to the recent Government announcement that local government representation will consist of Maori wards. 

Many, if not most people recognize this quote: “Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation and every city or house divided against itself, will not stand.”

Abraham Lincoln used that biblical quote in his famous election speech against slavery. As Lincoln said when questioned about the propriety of using that quote in his speech, replied - “the proposition is indisputably true.” That was in 1858.

Fast forward 163 years later.

GWPF Newsletter: UN Security Council rejects climate alarmism


Russia and India reject attempts to turn global warming into a global security issue

In this newsletter:

1) UN Security Council rejects climate alarmism
Politico, 24 February 2021
2) China’s US coal imports jump 748% amid Australian trade dispute
S&P Global, 23 February 2021

Breaking Views Update: Week of 21.02.21

Saturday February 27, 2021 

Independence of Māori Health Authority paramount - Lady Tureiti Moxon

A prominent Māori health campaigner wants a commitment in writing that a new Māori Health Authority will be independent, with control over its own budget and power to commission its own services.

Health Minister Andrew Little said what power the authority would hold was still undecided.

Friday, February 26, 2021

Barry Soper: Labour denying democratic rights of ratepayers with Māori ward move


This was a sleight of hand by Labour. The party should have campaigned on Māori wards for the country's councils during the last election.

Just after the landslide they declared their hand on what is a significant change that shouldn't be underestimated. They’re removing the ratepayers’ right to instigate a binding referendum if they can drum up the support of five percent of their fellow voters to get it up and running.

Attempts in the past have shown there’s no ratepayer appetite for Māori wards.  Since the Helen Clark Government passed a law almost 20 years ago making provision for Māori wards, 24 councils have tried to put them in place.

Mike Hosking: It’s never been a better time to be the Opposition


I was slightly disturbed at reportage that Judith Collins was trying to bring Simon bridges into line over his Coster ‘wokester’ comments

I hope it’s not true, because what this country needs - all countries need - is strong opposition.

Not opposition for opposition’s sake, but well thought through critique.

The trick to good opposition is not just that the government are wrong, it’s why they are wrong and what is the alternative.  You have to give people an “out” or an “idea”.

Karl du Fresne: The right to say what you (and others) think

I got a text message from a friend yesterday morning to say she was sitting in a café in Christchurch reading The Star, that city’s free weekly paper. She thought I might be interested to know that there were 26 letters to the editor in response to the paper’s publication (with my permission) of my recent article from The Spectator Australia about the state of New Zealand politics.

Shortly after that text arrived, Barry Clarke from The Star emailed me to say that the letter-writers were overwhelmingly in agreement with me. The letters filled two pages of the paper and Barry said there were others that he couldn’t find room for.

Thursday, February 25, 2021

Bob Edlin: Oh dear – see who was offended when Goldsmith called for Kiwis to be treated equally in electoral arrangements

Debbie Ngarewa-Packer’s parents – according to a report in Stuff - delivered some strong mantra to live by. One of them: “Don’t accept, you push back, be provocative, but always be respectful.”

But what happens when political opponents don't accept, push back and - dare we suggest it? - are a mite provocative?

Why, you interrupt their speech and complain you have taken offence as tangata whenua.

Debbie Ngarewa-Packer, of course, is the Maori Party co-leader who now sits in Parliament promoting a political agenda that promotes the interests of Maori.

Peter Bacos: Marion Dufresne at the Bay of Islands 25 March – 12 June 1772

Marc-Joseph Marion Dufresne was baptised at St Malo, Brittany, 24 May 1724. He belonged to the upper bourgeoisie, and although he did not belong to the nobility by birth, by being appointed a Chevalier of the Order of St Louis later in life he acceded to it by military title. He added a territorial designation to his name, from the village in Brittany where his ancestors came from, Le Fresne, but this is not his surname which is Marion, and we will refer to him as such throughout this essay. 

He joined the merchant navy and went to see in 1741. In effect he was a corsair during the War of the Austrian Succession which put France at loggerheads with England. Ships lay in wait around the coast of Brittany and especially the narrow inlets of the Channel Islands to pounce on British ships returning from the West Indies or West Africa laden with precious metals, white wine, oranges, lemons, corn, and rye. Many of these hauls supplied all of France in foodstuffs and were lucrative for the mariners involved.

GWPF Newsletter: High electricity cost drives German high-tech industry to Asia


Chipmakers lament high taxes and green levies on electricity in Germany

In this newsletter:

1) High electricity cost drives German high-tech industry to Asia
Global Warming Policy Forum & Handelblatt, 23 February 2021
2) Chipmakers lament high taxes and green levies on electricity in Germany
Clean Energy Wire, 23 February 2021

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Mike Hosking: Labour's push to protect Māori wards political dishonesty


A good piece on Newsroom - What’s the rush? Law making in a hurry - deals with the governments use of urgency and specifically around the change to Māori wards for councils.

I am “for” the change only on the basis that it’s an anomaly. It’s the only thing a council does that you can rummage up some signatures by way of a petition and force a vote on their decision. The fact you have been able to, as it turns out, is very valuable - back to that in a moment.

But, given its unique, it’s therefore to some degree unfair, and that is the government’s argument for changing it.

It’s a dishonest argument of course even though it’s technically correct. It’s an argument of convenience.

Colin Rawle: The Decline of Western Consciousness - in NZ (how the West was lost)

"You are free and that is why you are lost"
- Franz Kafka.

Whatever lives in the hearts and minds of human beings sooner or later comes to expression in outer reality. Or, as an old aphorism has it, " The thought precedes the deed".

History demonstrates that in the case of New Zealand's relatively short civilised history, the aggregate content of what lived in the hearts and minds of the early explorers, missionaries, and settlers, was of sufficient worth to eventually pacify the Maoris and to establish the beginnings of a civilised society of great promise. None of the ills of the old countries were to be transplanted into these brave new Elysian fields - Oh no!

Bob Edlin: Nick Smith’s fairness questions spark call for reopening of submissions on bill

The New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union  has drawn attention to a significant constitutional issue regarding our right to be consulted fairly on laws which affect our voting rights.

It’s the suggestion (the union said “disclosure”) that Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahata gave local councils advance notice of her Māori wards legislation and the short time that would be allowed for public submissions. 

The Minister had given her allies a five-day head start to prepare submissions on the Bill to entrench Maori wards, union spokesman Jordan Williams contended.

Members of the public, on the other hand, were given just one day’s notice to prepare for “the disgracefully short two-day submission window.”

Matt Ridley: Did the Covid-19 Virus Really Escape from a Wuhan Lab?

This is a more detailed version of the long article co-written with Alina Chan on the origin of the virus causing the covid pandemic which was published in the Telegraph on 6 February.

The covid-19 pandemic has killed two million people and counting. It has created medical, social, psychological, and economic misery on a scale unprecedented in peacetime. So tracking down the origins of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes covid-19, is vital to prevent a recurrence.

Begin with a simple question: why Wuhan?

NZCPR Weekly: The Failed Ideology of Cultural Marxism

Dear NZCPR Reader,   

In this week’s NZCPR newsletter, we reveal how the separatists’ attacks on colonisation is underpinned by the failed ideology of Cultural Marxism and we outline the real cause of tribal disparity; our NZCPR Guest Commentator Professor Jeff Fynn-Paul of Leiden University provides a must-read analysis which proposes a new model for dealing with indigenous and post-indigenous difficulties based on human capital development; and our poll asks whether New Zealand needs a Race Relations Commissioner.

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

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

GWPF Newsletter: The good news about climate


Why Beijing Loves Biden and Paris

In this newsletter:

1) Andrew Montford: The good news on climate
The Spectator, 21 February 2021
2) Indur Goklany: Impacts of climate change - perception and reality
GWPF TV, February 2021

Monday, February 22, 2021

Heather du Plessis-Allan: PM should be bumped up the vaccine queue


Should the Prime Minister be among the very first Kiwis to get vaccinated? 

The question has come up because Scott Morrison over in Australia was among the first to get the jab yesterday.

Of course there were some who predictably questioned whether he’s jumping the queue, which is silly, but it presumably is the very reason that Jacinda Ardern hasn’t done exactly the same thing. 

She has been asked about it and says she’s “torn”. She realises that getting a jab could help to send a message that the vaccine is safe, but she also says she wants the border workers to get the jab first.

Kate Hawkesby: The shared community in Christchurch post-quakes is unmistakable


Today marks 10 years since the second Christchurch earthquake.

An unforgettable event for every Cantabrian and indeed many others connected to the Garden City: those with family there, those with students there, those who once called Christchurch home.

But it was most horrific for those in the centre of it.

My sister moved to Christchurch in 2010. In the earthquake 10 years ago today, she lost her roof. It collapsed into her two year old son's bedroom along with other damage to her house.

Hansard: Question 10 Wednesday 17 Feb 2021

QUESTION NO. 10 - Local Government

10. Hon Dr NICK SMITH (National) to the Minister of Local Government: 
Does she stand by her statement that "electoral law matters require thorough consultation"; if so, how is the public consultation process on her Local Electoral (Māori Wards and Māori Constituencies) Amendment Bill "thorough"?

Hon NANAIA MAHUTA (Minister of Local Government): Yes, and I want to thank the Māori Affairs Committee for the work they undertook during a truncated select committee process to engage the public. I'm informed that there were 12,508 written submissions, 9,703 of which were template style; and 2,805 unique submissions, two-thirds of which were supportive of the bill.

Sunday, February 21, 2021

Bruce Moon: An Open Letter to Arena Williams, MP for Manurewa

Dear Arena Williams,

In your “Conversations” column for 18 February 2021, you state that “in an age of misinformation online and social media noise” .. “learning our history ... teaches us to think critically”.  Yet you repeat one of the grossest lies which have ever been perpetrated about the history of New Zealand.  Yes, you repeat one of the most frequently chanted lies with which our history is sullied: that “Colonel Nixon was famous for razing unfortified Rangiaowhia while men, women and children burnt in their church.”  Not a word of this is true.

Saturday, February 20, 2021

Heather du Plessis-Allan: Is funding tampons more important than feeding our kids?


I am perplexed by our priorities. 

Today, the Prime Minister announced proudly that she is rolling out pads and tampons to all schools to deal with period poverty.

How is it that we have kids going to school without food and our priority is tampons? 

Let's look at the numbers to see if period poverty is actually a bigger problem than food poverty.

Breaking Views Update: Week of 14.02.21

'Saturday February 20, 2021 

Coastal land grab ignored burial history

Ngāti Awa is fighting the building of a subdivision on a spit of land between the Whakatāne River and the sea.

Whakatane District Council sold the Ōpihi block to developers who want to build 240 residential lots as well as a 250-unit retirement village.

Friday, February 19, 2021

Nick Smith: Alienating Readers



The article from Frank Newman on the Whangarei Community paper requires comment as it is a true indictment on how some publications have become irrelevant to those communities they serve.

I am happy to give my background within the newspaper industry prior to making comments on his article:

Clive Bibby: The fight we don’t want but need to have


This nation is in a battle for the hearts, minds and property of all freedom loving people who swear allegiance to our founding principles. It is not something we want to take part in or have personal responsibility for but the result of which is something that will determine the type of society we bequeath to future generations of New Zealanders.

It is a fight (whoops - got to be careful using that word these days. In some quarters it could get you strung up) that we must win.

Our opponents are those who are acting like the “colonialists” they claim to despise. They want to take from you your legitimate rights acquired by birth.

Karl du Fresne: New Zealand is being transformed, but not in a good way

[I wrote this piece for the latest edition of The Spectator Australia.]

Prime minister Jacinda Ardern promised, on the night of her general election triumph last October, to govern for all New Zealanders. But her Labour government is pursuing policies that will entrench racial separatism, undermine democracy, turbocharge the grievance culture and promote polarisation and divisiveness.

The immediate threats come from proposals to outlaw “hate speech”, however that may be defined, and bestow special privilege on people who identify as Maori by allowing city and district councils to create exclusively Maori wards. In the longer term, the government is likely to seize on climate change as justification for policies that could deliver a savage blow to the country’s most dynamic productive sector.

Oliver Hartwich: Mastering the art of Democracy

A couple of weeks ago, (see below *), I wrote about my humbling experience playing the new politics simulation Democracy 4. Running a country successfully and getting re-elected were near impossible tasks, I concluded.

Shortly after we published Insights, Twitter user @brijo247 sent this helpful hint:

“I’m yet to master Democracy 4, and as @oliverhartwich writes, it can be difficult. But my free tip for D3 is to slash superannuation, add a winter fuel subsidy and pump up tech spending. Works a treat.”

Frank Newman: The future of local government


The Local Electoral (Māori Wards and Māori Constituencies) Amendment Bill has not even passed into law yet and Māori are calling for the number of Māori seats on local councils to be increased.

The Northland Regional Council's Te Tai Tokerau Māori and Council Working Party says the Regional Council should not have not one but three seats on the Council, and that "would be a good start on a journey of incremental change", says the group co-chairman Pita Tipene as reported in the Northern Age (18 February). These are seats reserved for Māori, elected only by Māori.

If it is the start on a journey of incremental change then the Northland Regional Council should tell citizens where that journey will end. It's important, because the public should know, they deserve to know, and it's their right to know.

Barend Vlaardingerbroek: Did Trump ‘incite’ that crowd?

"You can’t incite what was already going to happen" - Trump defence attorney at the second impeachment trial

Q: Did Trump ‘incite’ the mob that trashed the Capitol on 6 January?

A: No or yes, depending on what you read into that word.

Turning to my computer thesaurus, ‘incite’ can mean, amongst other things, ‘stir up’ and ‘rouse’, or ‘bring about’ and ‘cause’. The first two of these distance Trump’s words that day from the specific outcome of the rally, viz the sacking of the Capitol; therefore, ‘no’. The second two forge a direct, causal connection between the words and that specific outcome; therefore, ‘yes’.

Bruce Moon: An Open Letter to Professor Paul Moon


An Open Letter to Professor Paul Moon

Dear Namesake-but-not-a-relation Paul Moon,

I have read with some amazement and incredulity your comments in “Stuff” about the Treaty of Waitangi, undated but apparently about 8th February.  How different it is from the model of rigorous investigation and plain speaking in your 2008 book, “This Horrid Practice” about Maori  cannibalism, its colossal scale and its enduring physical and psychological effects upon them!

GWPF Newsletter: China targets rare earth export curbs to hobble US & EU industries


Global carbon trade war looms

In this newsletter:

1) China targets rare earth export curbs to hobble US & EU industries
Financial Times, 16 February 2021
2) China’s threatened export ban on rare earths is an almighty own goal for the West
Harry De Quetteville, The Daily Telegraph, 16 February 2021

Thursday, February 18, 2021

Kate Hawkesby: Study shows cannabis legalisation leads to increase youth use


Imagine my surprise when (a) a new study published by the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs found cannabis legalisation leads to increased youth use, and (b) that the media didn’t report it. It’s justification that NZ made the right decision in voting No. It also flies in the face of what the Yes camp were saying – which was that legalising cannabis would not lead to any increase in use.

This new study looked at more than 3 million High Schoolers aged between 12 to 16.. and ‘found significant increases in lifetime and past-month marijuana use among almost all demographics’. “Of concern was relatively greater increases in the prevalence of cannabis use among younger adolescents...” the study said.

Mike Hosking: Latest lockdown is more than 'just three days' for businesses


The government has done the right thing in adjusting support for business yet again forced to close through no fault of their own.

They sadly - tragically in some cases - are the forgotten story of this latest level adjustment, for it is the same businesses getting smacked each time.

I still don’t think it’s enough support. The government has dropped the criteria or loosened the criteria to a 30 percent hit over seven days as opposed to 14.

What they might have worked out - remembering of course these are not business people , virtually none of them have ever owned  a restaurant or a café or a nail bar or a hair dressers - is that it’s not “just” three days.

Barry Soper: Scott Morrison seems determined to turn NZ into a penal colony


If you've ever wondered whether the commonly held belief that Australia's Prime Minister Scott Morrison was responsible for the slogan 100% Pure New Zealand, then forget it.

ScoMo did work for Tourism New Zealand in the late 90s when the slogan was conceived and has claimed credit for it but those of us who were around at the time knew it came from those whose job it was dream up slogans of that sort,  M&C Saatchi.

ScoMo was brought to Wellington by the former dark ops Tourism Minister Murray McCully but ended his contract a year early after a whispering campaign with his political boss got rid of the three top men at the organisation.

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

GWPF Newsletter - A Deep Green Freeze: An existential threat to America’s future


Frozen wind turbines, surging demand trigger Texas blackouts

In this newsletter:

1) Frozen wind turbines, surging demand trigger Texas blackouts
Austin American-Statesman, 15 February 2021
2) Frozen turbines and surging demand prompt rolling blackouts in Texas
The New York Times, 15 February 2021

NZCPR Weekly: The Climate Commission's Radical Plan

Dear NZCPR Reader,   

In this week’s NZCPR newsletter, we explain why the Climate Commission’s radical plan to transform New Zealand into a bureaucratically controlled and centrally planned economy is unnecessary – as well as recommending that anyone who is concerned send in a submission before March 14; our NZCPR Guest Commentator Barry Brill outlines why the Commission’s report is such a disappointment – and he provides two further articles, one with suggestions for submissions and the other with options for the future; and our poll asks whether you support the recommendations of the Climate Commission..

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

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Mike Hosking: Local government ineptitude has left the country broken


Let’s Get Wellington Moving might be the biggest oxymoron of the recent age.

A six and a half billion dollar dream that is in tatters, confirmed by the obligatory review that tells us such, as a result of the report out Friday everyone is now freaking out.

How is it this country, through local government ineptitude, has become so broken?

Clive Bibby: Cryonics or just a "Dead man walking!"

Since his inauguration, two weeks ago, we haven't seen a lot of evidence that the newly installed President of the United States is in fact the live option.

Sure, there have been the usual photo opportunities of a person sitting at the Oval Office desk putting his mark on a record number of executive orders aimed at overriding or rescinding authority given by the previous administration for some pretty significant developments that undoubtedly had been deemed at the time to be in the national interest.

Monday, February 15, 2021

Barry Brill: The Five Ws of Climate Policy

Despite its glossy 188 pages, the Climate Commission’s 2021 Draft Advice For Consultation provides precious few answers to the vexed questions that have bedevilled climate change policymakers, both here and around the world, for the last three decades.

The ancient Greeks held that a report can only be considered complete if it answers five questions (5W) – what, why, who, where and when?. Nowadays, we add H2 – how and how much?

Climate policy gives rise to endless sub-questions under most of these headings and I touch upon just a smattering of the questions that should be raised during the ‘consultation’ period which expires on 14 March 2021:

Barry Brill: What the Climate Commission Didn’t Tell Us

The Commission’s first report looks just like every report that ever comes out of the Ministry for the Environment.

It is firmly aligned with the loudest climate change activists. It never deviates from the ‘party line’ that 12.25°C was the perfect global average temperature and that changes in climate are all terrifying. It knows we can control future weather if only we are prepared to make sacrifices now.

Above all, the report assumes that there will be no significant changes in energy-related technologies[1] during our lifetimes. If they are wrong about that, then they are wrong about everything.

Sunday, February 14, 2021

Frank Newman: Maintaining high standards of local reporting


Let me talk you through the latest issue of the Whangarei Leader. It's Whangarei's only free community newspaper and part of the Stuff stable. It claims a readership of around 40,000.

This week there were 14 pages, plus a cover wrap - two pages advertising the Round the Bays fun run in Auckland.

Page 1. Article titled "The truth about Aotearoa's past".

Saturday, February 13, 2021

GWPF Newsletter: Russia will replace all the U.S. oil Biden wants to ban


State-owned fossil fuel firms' plan to invest $1.9tn could destroy climate hopes

In this newsletter:

1) Russia will replace all the U.S. oil Biden wants to ban
Bloomberg, 9 February 2021
2) Replacing the West, state-owned fossil fuel firms' plan to invest $1.9tn could destroy climate hopes
The Guardian, 9 February 2021

Breaking Views Update: Week of 7.02.21

Saturday February 13, 2021 

Flood of submissions on Maori seats bill

The Māori Affairs select committee will spend the weekend hearing submissions on the amendments to the Local Government Act so it can report back on Monday.

"You'd be surprised how many submissions have come in despite there only being a 48 hour window for people to write in. We have been flooded with submissions and so our clerks have been working after the submissions closed last night at 5pm, preparing them for a 9am start today,' he says.

Thursday, February 11, 2021

Garrick Tremain: The Birds

 Here is Garrick Tremain's latest cartoon commentary!

GWPF Newsletter: Rising superpower India to overtake EU as world’s third largest energy consumer by 2030


Paris Climate Agreement requires COVID-like lockdowns for decades, scientists warn

In this newsletter:

1) Rising superpower India to overtake EU as world’s third largest energy consumer by 2030
Press Trust of India, 9 February 2021
2) Paris Climate Agreement requires COVID-like lockdowns for decades, scientists warn
CNS News, 9 February 2021

Kate Hawkesby: Will new rental rules fix more problems than they create?


Today the new rules for landlords come in. It’s something they’ve had plenty of warning about, something tenants should also be across in term of understanding their new rights.

And it just makes me wonder how much smooth sailing we’re in for here versus choppy waters.

The tenancy tribunal must be bracing itself as I imagine there’ll be a raft of issues potentially being sheeted their way to be tested. Many landlords too will be holding their breath.

Will their tenant suddenly want to paint the walls? Hang pictures? Replace curtains? What sort of look will they be giving the landlord’s property?

Muriel Newman: NZCPR Submission - Local Electoral Maori Wards Amendment Bill

Submissions on the 
Local Electoral (Maori Wards and Maori Constituencies) Amendment Bill close on Thursday 11 February 2021 at 5pm. 

Here is the submission from the New Zealand Centre for Political Research. We would urge anyone who is concerned to send in a submission - details can be found HERE. 

SUBMISSION: Local Electoral (Maori Wards and Maori Constituencies) Amendment Bill

11 February 2021

Committee Secretariat
Maori Affairs Committee
Parliament Buildings

Dear Sir,

Thank you for providing the opportunity to make a submission on the Local Electoral (Maori Wards and Maori Constituencies) Amendment Bill.

This submission on is on behalf of New Zealand Centre for Political Research, a public policy think tank established in 2005.

The NZCPR opposes the Bill and asks the Select Committee to recommend that the Bill be withdrawn on the basis that it is anti-democratic and misleads the public of New Zealand. 

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Karl du Fresne: On Magic Talk and Maori wards

Where do I start? Okay, let’s begin with Sean Plunket.

Reports suggest the Magic Talk host has been, at the very least, put on gardening leave while his employers consider his future. This follows the sacking of John Banks for not challenging a caller who said Maori were a Stone Age people.

The self-anointed arbiters of what’s permissible on air, such as Duncan Greive of The Spinoff and Hayden Donnell of RNZ’s Mediawatch – both of whom are dancing, metaphorically speaking, on Banks’ grave – now assert the right to decide what line talkback hosts should take. Whatever this is, it’s not free speech.

Barry Soper: Failure to hold Trevor Mallard to account shows Labour's hypocrisy


Jacinda Ardern preaches about it time and again. How we should all be kind to each other and to look after our wellbeing.

Well, the Prime Minister's just lost all moral authority to preach to us about niceness, because on that score she's failed miserably and so have her Labour sheep in Parliament.

You just had to hear them bleating in Parliament's debating chamber as National's Chris Bishop attempted against all odds to move a vote of no confidence in Speaker Trevor Mallard.