Friday, April 30, 2021

Mike's Minute: Time for climate realism


A headline caught my eye the other day.

A local site I will not name, but a site with a predilection for climate change coverage, had the headline "2021 is a make-or-break year; UN warns dramatic climate change action needed."

My first thought was just how many times has that warning been issued? And how many times does it get issued before it’s a cry wolf special and people roll their eyes? Or have they already cried wolf and we already are rolling our eyes?

That's before we get to that mad march last week as angsty teenagers yet again hit the streets to proclaim we are already at the exit, the last offramp, and it's already too late.

Derek Mackie: NZ Foreign Affairs or fairytales?

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade will likely be undergoing a name change soon to the Ministry of Myths, Monsters and Magic, based on recent comments by Foreign Minister Mahuta, in a speech to the New Zealand China Council, which sound like something out of Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings and the Chronicles of Narnia, all rolled into one.

What the Chinese made of the speech is anyone’s guess but I wouldn't be surprised if a call was placed to the Premier’s office in Beijing just after the meeting ended. I can imagine there being much laughter and rubbing of hands at the thought of negotiating with someone who appears to live in a fairytale. It opens up all sorts of opportunities for China in future trade dealings with New Zealand. Why offer money or trade concessions for NZ resources when “magic” beans - organic and GM-free obviously, or some “golden” geese would do just as well.

Matt Burgess: Oh good - rent control

It is now clear the government’s housing package was not a joke.

The government released the policy shortly before April Fools’ Day. At the time it seemed funny in a Rob Muldoon so-bad-it’s-good kind of way.

But Ministers have since clarified they are not making this up. The government’s housing affordability strategy really is to raise taxes on landlords.

The main item in the package took away landlords’ right to treat interest as a deductible tax expense. The government says these deductions are a loophole.

It turns out this loophole is a massive problem. For centuries, businesses everywhere have been exploiting this loophole by deducting expenses to avoid paying taxes. Something had to be done, obviously.

And landlords have no right to complain. They can still deduct other costs, like stationery.

Clive Bibby: Judged by Deeds Not Words

Quoting scripture isn’t something l dabble in mainly because l lay myself open to criticism as a religious bigot although l do acknowledge a personal faith that is part of who l am. I try not to impose my beliefs on others but am happy to share them.

Having said that, this article is based on one quote that l believe is appropriate in the circumstances. I must admit that l needed to research the line and just as well because it isn’t the one l thought l knew.

Anyway, it is from Mathew chapter 7, verse 20: “Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.”

Karl du Fresne: Kowtowing to censorious "stakeholders"

Oh, the irony.

The Featherston Booktown Festival, to be held on the weekend of May 6-9, will include a panel discussion on cancel culture, the anti-democratic phenomenon whereby ideas and opinions deemed heretical are silenced and suppressed to protect a small but noisy minority that claims to be harmed by them.

But oh, dear: the festival organisers have announced that they won’t be repeating a popular Harry Potter quiz, a feature of the last festival in 2019. The reason? The quiz might upset members of the so-called LGBT community, some of whom are offended by J K Rowling’s forthright opposition to the trans-gender lobby’s demands that trans people should be treated as authentic women, in denial of biological reality.

Garrick Tremain: Technicality!

Here is Garrick Tremain's latest cartoon commentary! 

Thursday, April 29, 2021

GWPF Newsletter: As US Democrats ban fracking in California, China's shale industry it taking off


Surprise: China doubles down on coal plants abroad despite carbon pledge at home

In this newsletter:

1) China doubles down on coal plants abroad despite carbon pledge at home
AFP, 27 April 2021

2) China’s shale industry is finally taking off, 17 April 2021

Derek Mackie: Democracy...mmm, I remember that!

The title "Democracy...mmm, I remember that!" is something I sincerely hope we’re NOT saying to each other in 2040. 

This may seem a far-fetched statement to make but our current government’s obsession with race-based separatism, as the foundation on which to build a future New Zealand, is setting us on a path to just that.

In the government’s mind - which must be a very strange and scary place to be - only one race is worthy of special attention.  By virtue of finding these islands of ours about 600 years before the rest of us, the 15% of New Zealanders that now identify as Maori, or more correctly part-Maori, are apparently entitled to be given rights, powers and legal protection far in excess of all other citizens.  Every other race is lumped together in a group, best called the vast majority.

Garrick Tremain: Equality

 Here is Garrick Tremain's latest cartoon commentary! 

NZCPR Weekly: Threatening Our Future

Dear NZCPR Reader,   

In this week’s NZCPR newsletter, we examine the implications of the extraordinary speech given by the Minister of Foreign Affairs Nanaia Mahuta last week, our NZCPR Guest Commentator Dr William Stoltz shares his analysis of the tension that exists between trade and security, and our poll asks whether you have confidence in Jacinda Ardern’s Labour Government.

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

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Mike's Minute: Will housing sink the government?


I just wonder if it might not be the complete and utter failure around emergency housing, social housing, or just housing in general that has finally got a bunch of the more apathetic among us sitting upright and paying attention at last.

The waiting list is at record levels, of course, and has been growing for the past several years. We are now spending $1 million a day on this mess with no sign it's getting any better.

This, after all, was the party that lambasted the last government and said they had answers. And they said motels were not an acceptable solution.

This week it appears, to some degree, to have come to a head.

Marama Davidson, one of the government's own, has told a sad and simple truth.

Andrew Bolt: Woke Culture Becomes a Security Threat


Andrew Bolt Transcript: Woke Culture Becomes a Security Threat 

There's a mind rot – this woke culture. In fact, being woke is now a national security threat. And to prove it let me introduce New Zealand’s foreign affairs minister Nania Mahuta – as woke as they come.

GWPF Newsletter: Why Net Zero won't happen


Eye-wateringly expensive, and promising unreliable energy, Net Zero is a dangerous daydream

In this newsletter:

1) Andrew Montford: Net Zero is a disaster waiting to happen
The Daily Telegraph, 26 April 2021
2) Benny Peiser: Why Net Zero won’t happen
TalkRadio, 7 April 2021

Monday, April 26, 2021

GWPF Newsletter: Why Biden's climate policy is almost certain to flop


Not a single G20 country is hitting Paris climate targets

In this newsletter:

1) Tracking progress towards President Biden's 2030 emissions reduction target
Roger Pielke Jr, 22 April 2021
2) Not a single G20 country is hitting Paris climate targets
BloombergNEF, 1 February 2021

Graham Adams: Seymour outflanks Ardern on hate speech

The Act leader reckons the Prime Minister is already backing away from a law change. Graham Adams reports from David Seymour’s national tour on the regulation of speech, and the possibility of a citizens-initiated referendum on the topic.

Former PM Rob Muldoon was fond of saying he was a “counter-puncher” who only attacked when provoked but David Seymour has obviously realised that when you’re dealing with a government with a penchant for passing laws under urgency and minimal consultation it’s best to get your retaliation in first.

Garrick Tremain: Who is Indigenous!

 Here is Garrick Tremain's latest cartoon commentary! 

Sunday, April 25, 2021

Melanie Phillips: Rationality fights back

Is the resistance to post-modern totalitarianism beginning to stir?

Might we be witnessing the beginnings of a revolt by the long-suffering centre-ground against the malign imbecilities of the age?

In America, ground-zero of identity politics, some intriguing straws in the wind are floating out from behind the entertainment and education barricades. Even in the world of apocalypse-now climate change, it’s possible to detect some slight movement towards sanity.

Saturday, April 24, 2021

Clive Bibby: Apartheid by another name


Although the Oxford dictionary specifically refers to the segregationist policies of former South African governments when describing the meaning of the word “apartheid”, that shouldn’t mean that those same policies should not fit the description when operated in counties like our own.

In fact, the worst aspect of the current tidal wave of legislation being rushed through the House is the attempt by our government to hoodwink all citizens into believing that we need to have separate development for some sections of society in order to achieve the aspirational goals of a minority.

It is plain bullshit and we should totally reject this “apartheid by stealth” before it becomes permanently cemented in the laws of our homeland.

Sterling Burnett: No Evidence of a Human-Induced Sea Level Increase

Environmental activists, mainstream media outlets, and many scientists routinely claim governments must take drastic action to transform the world’s economic system, including ending the use of fossil fuels, or island nations will disappear beneath the seas and low-lying coastal cities will be swamped, forcing a great migration of populations inland.

To back up their claims, they cite statements from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) asserting it is "very likely" sea level rise has accelerated since the middle of the twentieth century in response to warming caused by rising greenhouse gas emissions. The IPCC, however, bases its claim on computer model projections instead of measured, real-life data.

Breaking Views Update: Week of 18.04.21

Saturday April 24, 2021 

Kelvin Davis launches new Māori Pathways prisoner rehabilitation scheme

The Government is hoping "a for Māori, by Māori approach" will reduce reoffending and the over-representation of tangata whenua in prison.

Māori make up about 15 per cent of the general population but more than 50 per cent of the prison population in New Zealand.

Friday, April 23, 2021

GWPF Newsletter - Don’t tell China: US coal production set to rise


Global CO2 emissions set for their second-biggest increase in history

In this newsletter:

1) Don’t tell China: US coal production set to rise, in blow to Biden’s climate goals
S&P Global; E&E News, 20 April 2021
2) Global CO2 emissions set for their second-biggest increase in history

Barry Soper: Māori Health Authority not the right way to get a level playing field


If a government – it won't be this one – can say in 20 years Māori are on a level playing field when it comes to health outcomes, then you couldn't argue with what the Labour Government's planning to do with its health reforms.

But it'll take a lot more than a dedicated Māori Health Authority, with veto powers over decisions being made on behalf of the rest of us, through Health New Zealand to achieve that.

The District Health Boards were established with the best of intentions in 2000, aimed among many other things, at improving outcomes for Maori health with decisions being made by elected locals for locals.

Henry Armstrong: Fit to Govern?

When life-long, hard-line socialists like Chris Trotter raise important questions, on successive days, about the inaction or incompetence of the Ardern government on a whole host of issues, alarm bells should be ringing, loudly, across New Zealand. (See NZ Politics Daily, Bryce Edwards, VUW, 15/16 April 2021)

So, what is going so very wrong for the Ardern government?

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.

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.