Thursday, April 22, 2021

Garrick Tremain: Grave Diggers

 Here is Garrick Tremain's latest cartoon commentary!

The Darkening Clouds of Totalitarianism

Dear NZCPR Reader,   

In this week’s NZCPR newsletter, we examine the Government’s radical plan to criminalise free speech and regulate political opinion, our NZCPR Guest Commentator Chris Trotter questions the Government’s implementation of the recommendations of the Royal Commission on the Christchurch shooting, and our poll asks whether you support Jacinda Ardern’s plan to criminalise free speech.

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

Breaking Views Update: Week of 18.04.21

Thursday April 22, 2021 

DHBs scrapped and new Māori Health Authority announced

"The system must work in true partnership with Māori... Māori still suffer, on average, worse health than others."

There will also be a new Māori Health Authority, sitting alongside that, to both set policies for Māori health and to decide and fund those who will deliver services.

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Gerry Eckhoff: Golf Lessons

It’s often said that golf is merely a good walk spoiled yet there are so many life-lessons to be taken or just observed from the game of golf. 

The Masters golf tournament recently finished after four days of intense focus by lovers of the game who appear to value all the aspects of golf which are entwined in the game of life as well.  

That is – a skill set of determination, nerve, success, failure , respect, ability - not to mention all of the participants playing strictly by the rules. 

Golf is a sport where success is applauded even by the opposing side or player. 

Clive Bibby: Nothing surprises me anymore

I used to think and was led to believe by those who should know that we have nothing to fear from Maori moves towards greater involvement in how this country is run - especially in the control over the use of our natural resources.

Like most kiwis wanting a peaceful path towards reconciliation and meaningful compensation for past mistreatment of Maori by agencies representing the Crown, l have been proud of the settlements that in most cases appeared to be fair, recognising as we must, that nothing will ever truly compensate for some of the significant losses that have occurred.

It is clear that none of the settlements that have been negotiated would have happened without the large amount of goodwill contributed by Maoridom itself.

As a nation, the progress we have made towards reconciliation (which is light years ahead of any other county on the planet) is almost entirely due to the genuine desire by both parties for a shared future. Hopefully those aspirational attitudes will continue until we reach a stage where we can all claim that justice has finally been served.

Only then will we be free to move on towards a society that allows equal opportunity for all who would benefit from the egalitarian model that is within our grasp.

Unfortunately, recent events suggest we are fools if we think any of that is possible.

Monday, April 19, 2021

Heather du Plessis-Allan: Foreign Minister's speech suggests a move away from China


If you are a business exporting to China, you’ve just been given a warning: You need to start diversifying away from China. 

That’s the message came through loud and clear from foreign minister Nanaia Mahuta in her speech to the New Zealand China Council today.

She said: “In thinking about long-term economic resilience, we also understand that there is value in diversity.

"It is prudent not to put all eggs into a single basket". 

Karl du Fresne: Why we should be sceptical about Kris Faafoi's grand broadcasting project

In a previous life, I served for two years as a member of the Library and Information Advisory Commission (LIAC).

You’ve never heard of it? That’s hardly surprising. Not many people have. It was established by Helen Clark’s government for the purposes of, among other things, “maintaining a strategic overview of the library and information sectors” and “providing stakeholder perspectives on issues and proposals”. Make of that what you will.

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…