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Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Breaking Views Update: Week of 7.8.22







Wednesday August 10, 2022 

New:
New proposals call for an overhaul of our conservation estate, placing partnership with tangata whenua front and centre.

Some fear this change will weaken environmental protections. Iwi say it will end being excluded from ancestral relationships with the whenua.

Lindsay Mitchell: Prison population levels off


Labour's policy was to drive down the prison population. And they have.

But since March 2022 the population has levelled off. 2022 looks different to 2020 and 2021.

A change in policy? Time for a cup of tea? Something has changed.

Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Point of Order: Why the government should be working on a hydrogen strategy



Point of Order a week ago was serving up some commentary on the news that the Tiwai Point aluminium smelter will not shut down in 2024 — and could have a long-term future.

The question now is whether Meridian Energy, which supplies the bulk of Tiwai Point’s electricity from the big Manapouri station, will be willing to do so without a price hike. The last price negotiation was difficult, with Rio Tinto using the threat of closure to screw the price down.

Kate Hawkesby: Hard working David Seymour is hitting all the right notes

 

The big winner out of last night’s One News Kantar poll is David Seymour.

While the two main parties both went down two points, Act went up by four.

And the good thing for them about that is, that while the Nats dropped two, they're still on 37 which means add in Act's 11 percent support, and the right block on those numbers, would have enough to govern. 

Bob Jones: Amusing nonsense from Shane Te Pou


Labour insider zealot Shane Te Pou writes regular Labour wonderfulness stories in the NZ Herald. I’m astonished the paper runs them as they’re so nonsensical and predictable. Then again, given the government is a source of so much mug taxpayer revenue in ridiculous full page adverts and payments to the media in various guises, I shouldn’t be surprised. But I laughed when I read the heading on Shane’s latest effort, specifically, “It’s increasingly evident Luxon is not up to the job.”

If Shane really believed that he’d shut up about it so as not to deter the Nats rolling Luxon.

Mike Hosking: We need more than talk over the rampaging crime spree


I note the some of the media have reacquainted themselves with crime.

The Government to their credit managed to quieten the whole mess down for a while by disposing of Poto Williams who, although spectacularly useless, was really just a sacrificial lamb to get the heat off the Government over an issue they have been woefully found wanting on.

Chris Hipkins announced he would visit every police district in the country. We had the Police Association on telling us they liked Hipkins and he had read his briefing papers, so things were looking up.

Meantime the ram-raids, abuse, violence, and lawlessness rolled on given thugs aren't really interested in political appointments.

Kerre Woodham: What was National's selection panel thinking keeping this quiet?


On a day when National should be soaring, and scoring all sorts of points with the latest political poll giving National and ACT enough votes to form a Government and Labour at its lowest since 2017.

When Andrew Little has had to concede that just nine nurses have applied to come to New Zealand when he said look, there's thousands. We don't need to change anything around immediate residency because we've got thousands of nurses who want to come here - so far, just nine.

And when the office of the Auditor-General has delivered what the opposition calls a scathing indictment of the Three Water’s proposal. A damning analysis of the overlap of proposed governance structures, lack of access to information by the public to scrutinise the proposed water entities, a lack of performance measures and a lack of integration with other reforms and local planning.

Roger Childs: New Zealand’s appalling record on dyslexia

 

People with dyslexia exist across genders, socioeconomic statuses, races, ethnicities, and intelligence levels. White Paper produced for the Government of California

About 10% of the world’s population have dyslexia

If 500,000 Kiwis had Monkeypox that would be big news in the mainstream media. How about the reality of half a million New Zealanders with dyslexia?

Mike Yardley: Bolder changes needed to tackle 'welfarism' across age groups


Proud of his Christchurch upbringing, it was apt that the National Party leader delivered his first major speech to the party faithful in his hometown, at Te Pae Convention Centre. And what a coup for Te Pae to have its world-class hosting credentials lustily on display, via the extensive media coverage of National’s big bash.

I’m sure it wasn’t deliberate, but what is it with Sir John Key “gate-crashing” the news agenda, on the same day his political protégé is gearing up for a set-piece speech?

Sir John’s excoriation of US Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s trip to Taiwan as “reckless, provocative and dangerous” will have been music to Beijing’s ears, but he also ran the risk of upstaging Luxon’s big moment.

Guy Hatchard: The Dead Do Not Have a Voice, but They Are Entitled to Justice


Last week a school child died of a sudden medical event in New Zealand while running, and 12 thousand miles away, the 24 year old captain of a hurling team in Ireland collapsed mid game and died soon after.

The New Zealand school principal said:

Bryce Edwards: Luxon’s “New National”


Back in the 1990s, Tony Blair rebranded The British Labour Party as “New Labour”, to try and draw a line under past failures. It’s as if Christopher Luxon is attempting to follow suit, and launch “New National” at the moment – a party that’s fresh-looking, has made some big breaks from the past, but is still recognisably conservative.

The National Party’s weekend conference – the first with Luxon as leader – was relatively successful in breaking with the past and modernising. But there were still plenty of recycled policies on show.

Monday, August 8, 2022

Bob Jones: Madness


In the USA in 2021 over 45,000 citizens were killed by gunshots, including over 1,500 children.

In total there were 692 mass shootings in supermarkets and the like (defined as 4 or more victims).

Yet here’s the madness. Current polling shows only a tiny majority of Americans favour gun restrictions, albeit the trend is rising from 20% in favour three decades back. Ironically, but perhaps understandably, every fresh mass shooting, on average one every 4 days, sees a surge in gun sales with people viewing them as essential protection.

Derek Mackie: I can't catch Covid - I'm inside, sitting down and eating!


I’ve been trying to fathom one of life’s great modern mysteries. 
Not quite up there with “Is there a God?” or “What happens when I die?” or even “Is the Universe infinite?”, it is nonetheless a contemporary enigma that needs solving, in my opinion. 

 Why can’t you catch Covid, sitting down, without a mask, in a public eating place? 

 I only ask because many months of observation has confirmed that people who religiously wear face-masks everywhere, outside and in, standing or walking, alone or in a crowd, are perfectly happy to whip them off when seated in public eating places. 
I’m principally talking about cafes and restaurants here, which seem just as busy as ever, even though current daily case numbers are hitting the 10,000+ mark and deaths have never been higher. 

Mike Hosking: The political choices are becoming clearer, let's see who wins


The chunk of the media who are still in love with the Labour Party are on some sort of campaign right now to undermine Chris Luxon.

They have taken two events they perceive to be major issues and tried to turn them into even more major issues.

One was the Te Puke post. Two, was the tax policy confusion. Neither are big deals; both are beltway only of interest to those obsessed with the Wellington political environment.

Guy Hatchard: Mainstream Media Stokes the Fear Factor


Our Covid-19 infection rate is declining, but the New Zealand Herald continues to stoke the fear factor.

They lead today with “Analysis: Covid-19 now one of NZ’s biggest killers” by ‘Science’ Reporter Jamie Morton. Statisticians are probably laughing into their coffee cups, and school teachers wondering whether to use it as an example of how to misuse statistics.

The Herald reports that Covid is causing 1 in 7 deaths (week ending July 17th). Their greatest fear is that we are becoming indifferent to the ‘dangers’.

Let’s fact check their figures:

Chris Trotter: We Are All Maori – With a Small ‘M’


Something very strange has happened on the left of New Zealand politics. This past week, Dame Anne Salmond has been derided on Twitter as a racist. To appreciate just how astonishing that is, it helps to know that Salmond was one of the three experts who advised the Waitangi Tribunal that the Maori chiefs gathered at Waitangi on 6 February 1840 did not concede sovereignty to the British. Politically, this makes her one of the key contributors to the currently dominant left-wing discourse of “co-governance”. What can she possibly have done to warrant the abuse to which she is now being subjected?

In a nutshell, she has argued (anne-salmond-time-to-unteach-race?) that the Treaty document itself is not a “racial” document, but a blueprint for how “ordinary people” – be they native born, or hailing from other parts of the world – can rub along together in these islands without pissing each other off too much. By pointing out that the concept of “race” is absent from both the Maori and English texts of the Treaty, however, Salmond has thrown a very large and inconvenient cat among the “co-governance” and “partnership” pigeons.

Guy Hatchard: Detailed Investigation of Spike Protein Action Suggests Mechanisms for Adverse Effect Generation


Some of the research work concerning Covid and Covid vaccination is centered around understanding why the spike protein is toxic and exactly how it affects elements of physiological systems.

Some of the published papers involve complex investigation of physiological mechanisms with implications beyond the background of a lay person.

A paper published on 14 June 2022 in Cells journal examines lipid toxicity. Another paper published earlier on 3 May 2021 studied a possible effect of the spike protein causing excessive immunoreactivity of brain pericytes.

Sunday, August 7, 2022

John Porter: Ministry of Truth Happy to Hire an Anti-White Bigot


“Settler/Coloniser, we are your worst nightmare. And we are coming to a university near you!” So tweeted one Professor Joanna Kidman, who has recently been appointed a director of the newly launched Centre of Research Excellence for Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism.

Or the Ministry of Truth as it is being referred to on social media.

The appointment of Kidman suggests that Ardern’s Government is comfortable and even agrees with the prejudiced views that Kidman expresses.

So who exactly is Professor Joanna Kidman?

Clive Bibby: A Scientific Own Goal


The fact that Peter Ridd has been proven right for his lone stance on the health of the Great Barrier Reef will go nowhere as compensation for the humiliation, lost employment opportunities and reputation suffered as a result of the pack attack led by his own scientific and academic peers.

I doubt that we will ever see a more damning episode involving a group of scientists so wedded to the IPCC mantra regarding the cause and effects of this cycle of climate change.

Garrick Tremain: Knockout

 Here is Garrick Tremain's cartoon commentary on Jacinda's knockout of democracy! 



Point of Order: More money for musicians (but Sepuloni isn’t saying how much) because they say the last lot was successfully spent



Ministers were dishing out money to musicians and Māori farmers over the past day or so while also announcing awards for women and – in the case of our Minister of Defence – travel plans for a a trip to the Solomon Islands.

The announcement of goodies for musicians was warbled by Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Carmel Sepuloni under the heading The beat goes on as Government renews support for musicians:

The Government is hitting a high note, with the extension of the successful Aotearoa Touring Programme which will further support the recovery of Aotearoa’s music industry.

The key points are –

Geoffrey Churchman: The definition of ‘Maori’ in NZ legislation needs looking at


With all the new major institutions that the Jacinda government has been creating for people with some Maori descent (even if it’s minimal) with special privileges and veto power over everyone else, one glaringly obvious question that needs to be addressed properly is the definition of who a Maori is.

Nearly 750 Acts of Parliament contain provisions relating to Maori issues, and the sole Interpretation for the term is:

Maori means a person of the Maori race of New Zealand; and includes a descendant of any such person

Net Zero Watch: UK businesses likely to see energy bills increase fivefold

 





In this newsletter:

1) Net Zero economy: UK businesses likely to see energy bills increase fivefold in October
Energy Live News, 4 August 2022
 
2) Energy bills could double to £4,200 a year under new cap
The Times, 5 August 2022

The Platform: Paul Goldsmith on the ECan legislation and democracy.

Sean Plunket speaks with Paul Goldsmith on the ECan legislation and democracy.

Michael Johnston: Tertiary education who should pay?


Our young adults are having a rough time of it at the moment.

They have, perhaps more than any other age demographic, been impacted by COVID lockdowns. Instead of establishing their independence, travelling the world and meeting people, they’ve been grounded.

Ministry of Health data show a sharp uptick in depression for 15–24-year-olds in 2020 and 2021, greater than for any other age group. It’s not only COVID though – the trend has been upward for a decade.

Young people are doing it tough financially too. A decade of monetary and fiscal policy has fuelled asset inflation, making millionaires of homeowners. Meanwhile, young people have largely been locked out.

Matthew Birchall: Applied history


Historians can be a tedious bunch. As someone who frequently hijacks dinner parties with history lectures, I would know. It turns out that there is less popular appetite for lengthy forays into imperial history than I imagined.

But do historians make good public policy analysts? There are two reasons to suggest they do.

Most important is the premium that the discipline places on evidence-based reasoning. Too many of the ideas that currently inform policy in New Zealand seem to be built upon shoddy intellectual foundations.

Eric Crampton: The Commerce Commission's new lamp post


We all know the old joke that an economist would look for his keys under a lamp post not because that’s where he’d dropped them, but because that’s where the light is.

But sometimes new lamp posts add the necessary extra bit of illumination.

When the government proposed market studies powers for the Commerce Commission, it is fair to say that we at the Initiative were sceptical.

Cam Slater: More Flip Flops than an Aussie Beach


Christopher Luxon is showing us all what many of us already knew: That he is far from the smartest man in the room and certainly isn’t a shadow of John Key. God knows why Key has been promoting Luxon, especially when his policy positions show that he has more flip flops than an Aussie beach.

Yesterday we were met with the headlines that National and Luxon had welched on their tax cut package, under pressure from Labour, friendly fire from Act and the mewling of the Media Party:

Saturday, August 6, 2022

Guy Hatchard: A Global Biotechnology System Designed to Mislead You and Me


Professor Jeffrey Sachs has been chair of the COVID-19 commission for leading medical journal the Lancet. Through his investigations, Prof. Sachs has come to the conclusion that there is extremely dangerous biotechnology research being kept from public view.

Read an in depth interview here:
Why the Chair of the Lancet’s COVID-19 Commission Thinks The US Government Is Preventing a Real Investigation Into the Pandemic

Professor Sachs believes that “our lives are being put at risk”, while authorities and some research scientists with vested interests are blocking further assessment of biotech safety. Our government and newspapers are going along for the ride, promoting articles containing useless and misleading public assurances of safety.

Frank Chung: Pauline Hanson slams voice to parliament as ‘Australia’s version of apartheid’


One Nation leader Pauline Hanson has blasted Prime Minister Anthony Albanese’s “Indigenous voice” proposal as “Australia’s version of apartheid”.

Speaking to a nearly empty Senate chamber on Wednesday, Ms Hanson delivered her most strident attack to date on what she dubbed the “racist” referendum proposal, while praising fellow Senator Jacinta Price, the lone Indigenous MP who opposes the advisory body.

The five-minute speech came a week after she dramatically stormed out of the Senate during the routine morning “acknowledgement of country”.

Sharon Brettkelly: Why are we suspicious of centralisation?


Merging our local services into one big national hub is being sold as a logical move and a cost-saver. When we centralise, what do we gain - and what do we lose?

New Zealand is in the midst of major structural change when it comes to the bodies that rule our lives.

Polytechnics, water, the health system, the public service, and the ongoing push to amalgamate local councils.

Kate Hawkesby: Price of food's getting so high, I might bake my own bread

 

With the price of food the way it is, lest we forget we are in a ‘cost of living crisis’, I have become hyper-alert at the supermarket these days in terms of what I’m paying. And it seems I’m not the only one.

Headlines these days say shoppers are fed up and looking to go elsewhere than a supermarket. It used to be, back in the good old days, that the supermarket was the best deal for food.

You’d be mad to buy cereal or butter at the local dairy because it was smaller scale so sold at a premium, you could guarantee back then it would always be the more expensive option. 

Breaking Views Update: Week of 31.7.22







Saturday August 6, 2022 

News:
Iwi leaders push resource co-governance

An iwi leader says there’s a prospect of real progress on water and resource management reform if the Government is serious about co-governance.

He says there was support for the three waters reform, but iwi also wants their rights and interests in water defined as part of the process.

Point of Order: The PM is telling us power resides in the ownership of water assets.



So we shouldn’t fret about how much muscle Maori can flex

It sounded curiously like something out of a Marxist textbook – the notion that power sits with ownership.

The relationship between ownership and power – it seems – should be more important to us than the issue of representation in the country’s democratic institutions or the concept of one person, one vote.

The Prime Minister might try explaining her ideas to the good people of Canterbury, after her government’s MPs enthusiastically voted in support of legislation which ends equality of suffrage in procedures for electing councillors to the Canterbury Regional Council. All residents will get to vote for the elected councillors (so far, so good), but residents who belong to the Ngai Tahu tribe get two more councillors, appointed by tribal leaders, for reasons that boil down to ancestry.

Denis Hall: Left and Right!


Politics - has become a dirty word. It was supposed to be a place where we could discuss the pros and cons of the governmental systems we live by - and by and large it had been agreed that the overarching thing that ruled us all - despite political parties attempts to modify it - was/is Democracy - with a capital D.

DEMOCRACY!

Why Democracy? Simple answer - one man one vote regardless of who we might be. Rich man poor man - each gets only one vote. Each man or woman gets their say. Brown man white man - each gets only one vote - man or woman - all at an age of maturity - all get one vote.

Garrick Tremain: Cost of living payments

 Here is Garrick Tremain's cartoon commentary on cost of living payment issue! 



Mike Hosking: Tax cuts can make some good economic sense


The critical part missed yesterday in the great National tax scandal debate is not whether tax cuts are inflationary; it's the right of people to hold onto their money.

You can also add it was a storm in a tea cup, given it's not election year. Until it is, opposition parties shouldn't really be in the business of announcing policy because not all of us are engaged.

So, here’s some simple economics on tax. If you cut tax is all that money spent? No. A lot of it is saved.

John Robinson: Survey on ‘Three Waters’ by Kapiti Mayoral candidate is misleading


Information provided within the Three Waters survey, organised by mayoral candidate Rob McCann, at surveymonkey.com/r/TKBC9WC, is incomplete and misleading. It fails to accurately describe the basic structure proposed. Here are a few key features of the proposal.

Now, the people and our Kapiti Council own and control the water. The only part allowed the KCDC in the proposed system would be to meet with the 20 other regional councils in this central region to choose six people for half of a “regional representative group”. But councils only provide half of these ‘regional representatives – the other six will be “mana whenua representatives”.

Friday, August 5, 2022

Dave Witherow: Here Is The News


Doctor Bloomfield, our Voice of Science, has announced he is retiring.

The job as been onerous, he says, and he is looking forward to a more relaxing life and fresh opportunities as an “influencer”.

 Some of us – a small, warped, scientifically-illiterate minority, no doubt – tend to think that Dr Bloomfield has done more than enough influencing already. And not just influencing, which, after all, leaves a bit of wiggle-room for the poor sod being influenced. Coercing, actually, would be a more accurate word for what Dr Bloomfield has been up to. Get injected, show your papers – Herr Doktor Bloomfeld knows all about that.

Point of Order: Whoa there, before saluting the Ardern government for keeping so many people in work



Stats NZ figures this week indicated the country’s unemployment was 3.3% of the workforce in the June quarter, or 0.1% less than in the March quarter.

So should we give three cheers to the Ardern government for sustaining employment at such a high level through the Covid pandemic?

Given how wages have increased – for example, in the manufacturing sector by 8% over the past year – surely you have to concede the economy is ticking along very nicely under this government?

First, let’s check out the number drawing benefits.

Ross Meurant: Mathew 10.36


A Pagan though I now be, I once upon a time grew up in rural NZ under the cloak of Christianity and I do recall a few lessons from Sunday School.

One was:  Mathew 10.36.  ‘A man's enemies will be the members of his own household.’

Lieutenant Breaker Murant reverted to this lament at his execution by firing squad for obeying Lord Kitchener’s commands – “Show no mercy”.

As I take a look at National’s performance, I wonder how applicable might be this Script  to the very concerning atrophy of this once great Political Party.

Viv Forbes: Volcanoes, Oceans and Weather


Despite Green/ABC propaganda, recent Australian floods were not caused by coal, cattle or cars. Weather is driven by winds; solar energy powers the winds and draws moisture for them from the oceans. These eternal natural rain-making processes have been aided recently by two extra factors. 

 

Firstly a big La Nina weather event in the Pacific Ocean has left warmer water closer to Australia. 

 

Secondly, there is increased underwater volcanism in this region as evidenced by the volcanic eruptions near Vanuatu. 

Clive Bibby: Cost benefit analysis of lockdowns

 

My research during this pandemic has usually led me to be sceptical about recommendations offered to the world by heads of the different UN departments - especially WHO. 


The reason for my scepticism is not unlike my distrust of other UN agencies who are charged with oversight of the world’s problems. 

Lindsay Mitchell: Unemployment drops by a third - benefit numbers rise by a quarter


Unemployment drops by a third - benefit numbers rise by a quarter.

That's what's happened during (almost) five years under a Labour government.

The June 2022 unemployment rate has just been released. It's 3.3 percent. In June 2017 the rate was 4.8 percent so has fallen by nearly a third.

But in that same five-year period the total number on benefits increased by 25 percent - or 276,333 to 344,642.

Garrick Tremain: Labour on blocks


Here is Garrick Tremain's cartoon commentary on going backwards!



Rodney Hide & Alwyn Poole on the state of education


Rodney Hide speaks with Alwyn Poole on the state of education from the front line.


Point of Order: Ngai Tahu are given governance privileges in Canterbury and Willie Jackson gives us a rundown on “the new democracy”



Concerns about the constitutional implications of the Canterbury Regional Council (Ngāi Tahu Representation) Bill were overwhelmed by a tsunami of Labour hubris and ballyhoo in Parliament yesterday. The weight of numbers against upholding liberal democratic values in the governance of our local authorities resulted in the Bill being supported by 77 votes (Labour 65; Green Party 10; Māori Party 2) to 43 (National 33; ACT 10).

And so – because a highly contentious interpretation of the Treaty of Waitangi has been deemed to over-ride the notion that all citizens should have equal rights – one group of people in Canterbury will be spared the need to campaign for electoral support and can simply appoint representatives to two permanent seats on the Canterbury Regional Council.

Thursday, August 4, 2022

John Porter: Employing a Fox to Guard the Henhouse!


Appointing Willie Jackson as Minister of Broadcasting is akin to employing a fox to guard the henhouse!

Early in July legislation to create a new public media entity was introduced into Parliament by the recently-appointed Minister of Broadcasting and Media, Willie Jackson.

It is the Aotearoa New Zealand Public Media Bill.

If the bill passes, the Government’s new public media entity will replace RNZ and TVNZ next year. It will become an Autonomous Crown Entity.

The Government’s already committed $327 million to part-fund it.

Cam Slater: The Peter Principle - A NZ Case Study


You may not have heard of the Peter Principle which is a concept of management developed by Laurence J. Peter, which observes that people in a hierarchy tend to rise to “a level of respective incompetence”. In other words, employees are promoted based on their success in previous jobs until they reach a level at which they are no longer competent, as skills in one job do not necessarily translate to another.

I would suggest to you that the advent of MMP has led to all political parties gradually developing a culture of incompetence, where useless people are rewarded for their ability to look and sound good rather than any demonstrable ability in any chosen field.

Before we get into the current Government and their distinct incompetence it would do well to look at our past, particularly since the advent of MMP.

Mike Hosking: How can you not have a job when there are jobs all around you?


Does a rise in unemployment mean Adrian Orr had a good day?

Did he say to himself the rate rises are working, this thing might not be as big a cluster as we had imagined.

Or, did he look at those wage increases and freak out and think, ‘My god the cash rate can’t top out at 3.9’?

Explain to me how there are more unemployed people, how did that happen?

Kate Hawkesby: There is no need for a vaccine mandate on health workers anymore

 

I’m pleased midwives are asking for justification of the ongoing Covid vaccine mandate, surely we need to let it go by now.

Surely it’s not even relevant anymore, in a world where we are learning to live with Covid, where we are gaining herd immunity anyway, and where the evolution of the virus is such that keeping up with never ending variants and relevant vaccines is going to become impossible to patrol.

Let’s be honest, how many of us are going to keep up with all the new vaccines that may be available over time against all the new evolving variants?

The Platform: Truly Tolerant Campaigning Guidelines


Last week, Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ), in association with Race Relations Commissioner Meng Foon released their Inclusive Campaigning Guidelines, a series of recommendations on how local government candidates are expected to conduct themselves during upcoming local elections.

On its surface, it would appear to carry good intentions, promoting principles such as inclusion, diversity, and respectful debate. However, under closer scrutiny the façade crumbles and the guidelines reveal themselves for what they really are: an attempt to suppress debate around crucial issues.