Friday, December 2, 2022

Jonathan Ayling: Worlds of Journalism Study shows concerning trend, but without free speech there is no free press

The third survey of journalists undertaken by the Worlds of Journalism Study was recently released, providing valuable insights into journalists’ perspectives in our country. Free speech is the foundation of freedom of the press. Along with the right to information, it is crucial in ensuring a transparent democratic society.

The data tells an interesting story regarding journalists' motivation in New Zealand. When asked how important different roles of journalists are in their work, after listing educate the audience at 3.99 (on a scale of 1, unimportant, to 5, extremely important), the second highest rated role of journalists was to counteract disinformation at 3.95. This role, which did not feature at all in the 2015 survey, has quickly become a central part of the perceived purpose of journalism to Kiwi journalists.

Chris Trotter: Parliament’s Collective Failure To Defend The Constitution.

While we may be reasonably confident that the attack on New Zealand’s constitution will be repelled, it should never have happened. That it was legal scholars who sounded the alarm over the entrenchment of a section of the Three Waters legislation, should cause all 120 of our parliamentarians to hang their heads in shame. Their collective failure to grasp what Green MP Eugenie Sage was doing points to a woeful lack of political and constitutional awareness among those whose first and most important duty is to protect the integrity of our democratic system.

Dick Reaney: It's madness, madness, madness, there is no climate emergency

Climate Change is normal and natural and has gone on for millions of years without any help from the human race.  The scaremongering now going on by the media, politicians and climate alarmists, is so utterly misguided to be nothing but tragic. That we have an End of the World scenario is even more ridiculous. It is a regress back to the past and has the stamp of Dark Age soothsayers and witchcraft on it.

Bryce Edwards: Clawing back $7bn of corporate welfare

The taxpayer is short of billions of dollars that were overpaid to businesses during Covid according to Christchurch philanthropists Grant and Marilyn Nelson. They are taking legal action against state agencies to push them to recoup up to $7bn that was wrongly paid out to wealthy employers who didn’t need it or use it for its intended purpose.

A Judicial Review is being sought in the Wellington High Court against the Auditor General, who has decided not to force businesses to repay the billions of dollars.

Mike Hosking: Evidence that those in power, shouldn't be

The Reserve Bank's Governor of Australia Philip Lowe reminded me of Eugenie Sage this week.

Or maybe it was the other way round? Either way, it’s about power and influence.

The Sage defence of the cluster that has been this astonishing attempt to upend democracy in this country with the entrenchment debacle is all the evidence you need to know that not all people in power, should be.

Garrick Tremain: Too hard basket

 Here is Garrick Tremain's cartoon commentary on empathising with victims priority! 

Gerry Eckhoff: Boot Camps

It would seem that concept of boot camps –  no doubt modified from past attempts to change the behaviour and attitude way of a small percentage of wayward youth, has not found  favour with society's professional apologists.  

Apparently past experience has shown that around 15% of attendees benefit from boot camps which is good if you were to be one of their victims.  

Editorials attacked the National party’s resurrection of military style “boot camps” as one way of combatting ram raids and some youths’ contemptuous attitude to all norms of societal behaviour. 

Currently neither the media nor the Labour Government have published any meaningful response to the out-of-control behaviour of youth who have unlikely ever experienced any kind of sanction for their –“we don’t give a dam” behaviour. Rather perversely the Government is saying that the ram raids are diminishing as police catch the offenders - so we mustn’t overreact.  That’s a bit like saying the road toll dropped this week so we don’t really have a problem with road fatalities.   

Bruce Moon: Reflections - a Memoir

Step out of your comfort zone and the world may surprise you!

Margaret, my dear late wife, had been working with patients that afternoon at the Tibetan Delek Hospital at Gangkyi and had accepted a lift up the hill to our residence from some workmen in a utility van.  

I had been halfway down the hill to collect our laundry from the devoted little Indian who did it for us and I had set off up the hill with my load when a van drove up with a Tibetan driver and Margaret in the passenger seat.  Of course it stopped so I clambered into the back with a couple of Tibetan workmen and their shovels.

Alwyn Poole: Forced Absenteeism in our Schools and the Impact on Learning and Families

The attendance data that Associate Minister of Education, Jan Tinetti, stated was the most important in terms of policy impact was the Term 2 data this year.

Regular attendance measures the percentage of students who have attended more than 90 percent of the term.

Results for regular attendance in term two were:

Kate Hawkesby: It's not right that we have to stop and think about what healthcare is available to us


I think one of the great travesties of this Government, when we eventually look back on their long line of failures, will be what happened to mental health.

Don’t get me wrong, no government from what I can see, has ever got mental health right, it’s forever been a sector in dire straits, under resourced and woefully misunderstood.

But mental health itself has only become bigger and worse as the years has gone by, and arguably peaking as a real crisis now, post the pandemic.

Breaking Views Update: Week of 27.11.22

Friday December 2, 2022 

Te Whakatōhea is leading the way in mussel aquaculture
The mussel factory finally opened in 2021, offering 107 jobs in that year alone The factory a is top-of-the-line building, with a skywalk throughout the factory which allows whānau to view the processing of the plant.

Now Whakatohea is producing top-quality mussels, not just on the national market but internationally.

Thursday, December 1, 2022

Point of Order: Govt moves to modernise control of our meds......

.......but wait: Māori healers can bring the Treaty (signed in 1840) into the mix

Conflicts between Treaty of Waitangi demands to protect Māori healing methods and the influence of medical science on health regulators have been anticipated, as the Government introduces the Therapeutic Products Bill in Parliament.

The Bill, aimed at modernising the way medicines, medical devices and natural health products are regulated, replaces the Medicines Act 1981 and Dietary Supplements Regulations 1985 with a comprehensive regulatory regime “that is fit for the future”.

But the Treaty-twitchy government is eager to avoid the conflict that seems inevitable when modernising the regulatory regime – to provide all New Zealanders with health products and services that are safe, high-quality, and effective – rubs up against obligations to preserve the Maori way of doing things.

Lindsay Mitchell: New Zealand - No longer a secular state

An ODT opinion piece recently parodied the rapid adoption of Māori names for government departments. It drew attention to the renaming of the Earthquake Commission as Toka Tū Ake EQC which apparently "reflects the whakapapa of our nation." The name-change decision was made by the Minister and cabinet.

The Commission site contains a section about their new Māori name.

John Porter: Co-governance Is a Con Job

Today I’m advocating that Co-governance is nothing but a huge confidence trick being played on New Zealand by Maori activists and skillfully validated by Ardern’s treacherous Government.

Co-governance is most definitely not Maori activists’ goal: Maori sovereignty is the objective!

Co-governance is merely a stepping stone. The previous stepping stone was Co-management.

Bryce Edwards: Nicky Hager strikes a win for media freedom and democracy

Do New Zealand state spies unlawfully surveil the government’s political critics? Do they spy on critical journalists? Unfortunately, the answer is yes. And yesterday the government domestic security agency was forced to apologise for one instance when they were caught spying on investigative journalist Nicky Hager.

The New Zealand Security Intelligence Service (SIS) has paid Hager $66,400 in compensation and legal fees for breaching his privacy, and made an extraordinary apology to him. In return, Hager has agreed not to take the Government to court.

Mike Hosking: Michael Wood is the biggest danger to our economy

With the news that the Government are yet again messing with immigration settings and partners are now no longer allowed an open visa unless you are on the famed, but hopelessly inadequate, green list - let me ask you this question.

Who is doing the most damage to the economy?

Is it Grant Robertson with the printing, spending, cost of living crisis and upcoming recession?

Or is it Michael Wood with his refusal to supply the country with an amount of labour to actually meet demand?

Peter Dunne: Labour's entrenchment tangle

Last week, as Parliament sat under Extended Hours to pass the Committee of the Whole stage of the controversial Water Services Entities Bill, the Greens moved an amendment requiring that the support of a minimum of 60% of a future Parliament would be required for any proposal to privatise water entities or assets to succeed. With the support of Labour, the amendment was passed.

No-one seemed too excited at the time, with Leader of the House Hipkins admitting later that he had not even read the amendment fully before committing Labour’s support to it. As no political party is currently proposing or has previously proposed the privatisation of water assets, the Greens’ amendment seemed arcane and not worth worrying about.

Things changed over the next couple of days, however, with the country’s constitutional lawyers and academics quickly shouting “constitutional outrage” in the loudest terms. The outrage was directed not so much at the issue of water privatisation but at the fact that the long-standing principle, arising from the supremacy of Parliament, that in general one Parliament cannot bind its successor was being breached.

Cam Slater: They’ve Got Nothing to Campaign On

Richard Prebble explains why it is that Labour has reverted to their Nasty Party schtick and have started attacking Christopher Luxon personally, aided and abetted by the Media Party in their roles as a paid propaganda press for the regime.

Garrick Tremain: New age kids

 Here is Garrick Tremain's cartoon commentary on new age kids! 

Chris Trotter: Has Labour Become A Co-Governed Party?

The more the voters discover about Labour’s Three Waters, the less they like it. No matter, this Government has clearly decided that, if it is to be destroyed, then Three Waters is the hill upon which it will die. That being the case – and the still-unfolding Entrenchment Crisis leaves little room for doubt – then the only real question to be answered is: Why? What is it about the Three Waters project that renders it impervious to rational reconsideration?

When a group of people refuse to accept they have made a poor choice – even as it threatens to destroy them – then it is a reasonably safe bet that they are in the grip of dangerously delusional thinking. Cult-like thinking, some might even suggest. But is it credible to suggest that a mainstream political party could fall victim to delusional thinking on such a scale? Is Labour really crazy enough to put its long-term survival at risk?

Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Point of Order: Govt curries favour with farmers with climate change investments....

.....but a collaborative strategy (don’t forget) led to Five Waters

Governmental news for the farm and forestry sectors flowed too fast from the Beehive for your Point of Order team to quickly grasp all the implications.

At first blush, we are tempted to wonder if something that looks like good news for farmers has been deftly released to camouflage the not-so-good news buried in these announcements or in some yet to be released.

Mike Hosking: National will hope the current mood turns into votes

Our National Party got themselves some coverage in Australia yesterday because three of their senior players are over there campaigning.

The group is led by Chris Bishop and it shows a couple of things:

Cam Slater: How Did We Get from Never Telling Lies to Lying Constantly?

Remember the 2017 election when Patrick Gower asked, “Is it possible to survive in politics without lying?” Jacinda Ardern put on a huge, sincere, toothy grin and announced, “I believe that it is possible to exist in politics without lying and by telling the truth,” and went on to assure Gower that she’d “never told a lie in politics”. Which, of course, was a big fat lie. The problem is that Ardern almost certainly believes that bull dust.

Geoffrey Churchman: Chris Luxon needs to do more than just sleepwalk his way to victory

Today marks a year since Chris Luxon was voted leader of the National Party by its MPs, ousting Judith Collins. Although recent opinion polls have shown National has a comfortable margin ahead of Labour — high 30’s versus low 30’s — many feel that National should by now be in the high 40’s, the same as the Jacinda Party was getting prior to the 2020 election. That it isn’t getting that level of support is an indicator of problems that Luxon and his colleagues and advisors need to address.

To any objective outside observer, this government has been handing (potential) support for National and ACT to them on a plate: among other things:

Kate Hawkesby: The PM's post-Cab chat yesterday was stomach churning


The PM’s post-cabinet chat yesterday was stomach churning in so many ways.

The lies, the disingenuousness of it all, the theatrics and the pretence that they’ve actually been active as a government on crime. Embarrassing. No one’s buying it.

This new fog canon measure is too late – they know it, we know it.

Worse yet, the PM tried to deflect all blame from her Government by saying that there’d be a delay on said fog cannons – due to a global shortage. This turns out to be an outright lie.

Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Point of Order: Govt has a busy day dishing out funding to causes it deems appropriate.....

....but a fog shrouds crime-fighting costs

Biggish lumps of money featured in each of four announcements posted on the Beehive website, since Point of Order last checked on what our hard-working and big-spending ministers are doing.

The government will spend

Bob Jones: The wonderful Qatar World Cup

In the months leading up to the World Cup the print media world-wide hammered their readers with attacks on the host nation.

Specifically, the hosting selection was condemned, (rightly) re the bribes which secured it the Games. But that was ancient history and it was too late to undo.

Much more, we were constantly promised a fiasco because of an intolerable climate for both players and spectators, that no-one would come because of the Islamic requirement for good behaviour, modest attire and alcohol restraints, plus much more.

So how has it panned out? In my view it’s been the most joyous major sporting spectacle in history.

Mike Hosking: Government response to retail crime is soft

Some fog cannons and a council initiative.

That’s your cabinet response to a death at a Sandringham dairy.

The suggestion from the Prime Minister was that Cabinet had been speaking for some weeks about the so-called business crime package.

It is an odd clam to make, given when Chris Hipkins, the architect of the package, was peppered about it in the house last week he never mentioned it was being discussed.

Graeme Edgeler on Three Waters & the entrenched legislation

Graeme Edgeler chats to Sean Plunket on The Platform about entrenching legislation

Garrick Tremain: Three Waters submissions

 Here is Garrick Tremain's cartoon commentary on Three Waters submissions ignored ! 

Kate Hawkesby: They commit crimes because they know they can get away with it


So today Cabinet meets looking to “discuss what more can be done to combat crime,” according to the Prime Minister.

Sadly she’s a bit late with that statement. The irony being that her government has been inundated with people asking them to toughen up on crime for ages... they did nothing. Poto Williams, in her capacity as Police Minster dropped the ball so badly she was moved on and replaced with Chris Hipkins. There were hopes he would toughen up on crime, but sadly under his watch it’s only gotten worse.

Point of Order: Despite Labour polling below 30%, party strategists believe it can win Hamilton West...

....and general election next year

Although recent opinion polls have shown Labour’s support dropping below 30%, suggesting it is now the underdog going into election year, party strategists still nourish the belief the Ardern government may emerge from the general election able with allied parties to hold on to office.

They are convinced the National Party has not won back the degree of support that would indicate it is a shoo-in at next year’s poll. This, they believe, will become clear after votes are counted in the Hamilton West by-election on December 10.

Monday, November 28, 2022

Andrew Geddis: What happens when MPs ‘entrench’ legislation, and why does it matter?

A newly added provision to the three waters bill is a potentially momentous change to how law is made, explains Andrew Geddis.

On Wednesday night last week, something very unusual happened while parliament was busy making law. MPs from the Green and Labour parties banded together to make it much more difficult for a part of the government’s controversial “three waters” policy to ever be changed, or even removed altogether. Should future MPs want to smooth the way towards privatising the government’s new bodies for managing our water resources, they’ll have to get 60% support in parliament to do so.

Rachel Smalley: Three Waters - Overturning 'entrenched' laws is much harder to do

Three Waters – it's never far from the headlines, and it reared its head again over the weekend with some of our learned legal brains raising concerns about a constitutional issue that flew under the radar at parliament last week.

And that issue is the Government seeking to entrench a provision in the legislation that would make it difficult for any future government to overturn an aspect of these water reforms.

Point of Order: Too much fun is coming out of Otago.... the govt has put $2.25m into a trough for other regions to have a lick

It’s a toss-up to decide which is more unnecessary – the investment of $2.25 million of public money in an industry which has almost doubled its revenue over the past year or the drafting and legislating of a bill to have things done that could be done without a statute.

The investment is in the rapidly growing game development sector. The latest data from the New Zealand Game Developers Association shows the total revenue for the industry is $407 million, compared to $276 million a year ago.

Peter Jackson: National’s boot camp plan promising start to solution

Education the long term answer to poverty

We’re told that the fundamental problem is poverty. Well guess what? The only sure path out of poverty begins with education. Lotto isn’t going to do it, and nor is social welfare.

I understand that some of us ordinary folk might have difficulty with the extraordinarily complex idea (not!) of taking kids out of a toxic environment and giving them a chance to learn skills and develop attitudes that will change their lives for the better. The media, though, has no excuse.

Net Zero Watch: After 30 years of climate hysteria, Europe is frozen out


In this newsletter:

1) Germany sets windfall tax at 90% for clean power generators
Bloomberg, 24 November 2022
2) Europe’s energy crisis set to linger for years, industry warns
Financial Times, 24 November 2022

Garrick Tremain: The Challenger

Here is Garrick Tremain's cartoon commentary on where is the opposition?

Bob Jones: Discriminatory Laws

The Supreme Court’s ruling that the voting age of 18 is discriminatory, is simply stating the obvious. All laws are discriminatory.

For example: the law requiring drivers to drive on the left discriminates against those who would prefer driving on the right. That’s not being silly. Doubtless numerous tourists and migrants would favour a shift to right-hand driving.

Bryce Edwards: The Misuse of power to entrench Three Waters legislation

When governments become tired and lose their popularity – usually in their third term – they often become desperate to get their way and prone to misusing their power.

This is currently in evidence with the Labour Government’s push to lock in elements of their Three Waters reform programme by sneaking in a rule that says a future Parliament would need 60 per cent of MPs to vote to change the ownership of the new water services. Constitutional legal experts are outraged by a move they say is unparalleled and sets a dangerous new precedent for how governments make law.

Mike Hosking: Will government ineptitude over crime change today?

So the cabinet will today discuss the criteria for the business support package and by this afternoon the list of excuses will be well honed and some adjustments to the abject failure of a policy will be rolled out.

The simple question is this - why are they discussing and changing it?

The answer is because a person is dead.

Sunday, November 27, 2022

Chris Trotter: A Strange Hill To Die On.

Curia Research recently conducted a poll in the Napier electorate. Bad news for Stuart Nash, the Labour incumbent, whose chances of holding the seat are currently fluctuating between slim and none. Bad news, too, for the Labour Government as a whole, because the issue of most concern to local voters, by a Hawke’s Bay country-mile, is Three Waters. Around a third of the voters polled put the controversial water project at the top of their list of concerns. That’s nearly twice as many as the next most pressing concern for Napier voters – the parlous state of our health system.

One has to go back a long way to find a government so willing to press on with a policy so roundly rejected by the electorate. It is more than thirty years since Richard Prebble, confronted with the evidence that close to 90 percent of New Zealanders opposed the sale of Telecom, responded with the observation that Kiwis should be proud to have a government with the guts to face down such a powerful pressure-group!

Guy Hatchard: A Nation of Sheep Will Beget a Government of Wolves

I owe the title of today’s writing to Edward R. Morrow, a revered American journalist who reported the issues of the common folk and championed the need for commonsense in the public interest.

The reserve bank hiked the cash rate by 0.75% this week, which is set to drive up mortgage rates and send many already beleaguered homeowners to their bank manager cap in hand. Default and repossession loom for many next year.

The reserve bank says it is anxious to bring inflation under control. So how does pandemic inflation work, and will high interest rates solve the problem?

Rodney Hide: Reflecting on five years under Ardern

The column below, The Limits of Cleverness versus Capitalism, appeared in The NATIONAL BUSINESS REVIEW, October 27th, 2017. It is followed by a postscript.

I have concluded our new prime minister Jacinda Ardern is clever stupid.

She's quick, has good analytical skills and communicates well. There's no doubt she's clever.

But she's stupid on how the world works and lacks thought-through principles and values. She bobs along on feelings and sounding good and thereby perfectly in tune with a media that emotes rather than reports and analyses.

Clive Bibby: The betrayal with consequences

Although it is not surprising that the Queenmaker now says he regrets anointing the Empress who turned out to have no clothes, l must say it is somewhat unexpected from a politician who has made a very successful career out of picking which way the wind is blowing.  

But that is Winston and because of that fact alone, we must prepare for the unexpected even though the odds are surely stacked against him in 2023.

I say that because, in my humble opinion, this latest decision will almost certainly mean the end of a career with more resurrections than Lazarus could conjure up.

Martin Hanson: Slavery - should we apologise for what our ancestors did?

“We seem to be getting closer and closer to a situation where nobody is responsible for what they did but we are all responsible for what somebody else did.” Thomas Sowell

The toppling of statues of historical figures by Black Lives Matter has brought into focus the issue of slavery.

While nobody questions the horrors of the transatlantic slave trade, slavery is presented in schools and media and as an extreme form of racism, with white people enslaving black people. This highly selective, distorted view of history has fostered a sense of guilt among European descendants of the enslavers, leading to calls for apologies and reparations.

NZCPR Newsletter: Tribal Control of Water

New Zealanders have been well and truly duped by Labour over Three Waters.

From the outset, the primary objective has always been to deliver control of water to the Maori tribal elite. It is only through lies and manipulation, a compliant media, and an absolute majority in the House that Labour – or more accurately the Minister of Local Government Nanaia Mahuta – has been able to progress the reforms to where they are now.

Three key changes have been introduced to give control of water to iwi.

Saturday, November 26, 2022

Cam Slater: Ardern Shies Away from Playing Dress Ups

Jacinda Ardern normally rushes for the costume shop as she seeks to curry favour in the aftermath of a tragedy. But after the cruel slaying of an Indian dairy worker, all of a sudden she seems rather coy about playing dress-ups and rushed off to the Chatham Islands on Air Horse One so that she could pander to Maori interests.

Normally she rushes headlong towards a photo opportunity in the aftermath of a tragedy. Strangely, this time she’s bolted for a remote island far, far away.

David Seymour chats to Moana Maniapoto about co-governance, colonialism and crime

David Seymour says he is not playing dog whistle or apartheid style politics - and he’s not a useless Māori. 

No holding back in this discussion. Here's the full interview.

Breaking Views Update: Week of 20.11.22

Saturday November 26, 2022 

Māori academics compare notes on constitution change

The organiser of Constitutional Korero 2022 says constitutional change for Māori won’t happen overnight.

Auckland associate law professor Claire Charters says she’d like to see a formal constitution based on Te Tiriti o Waitangi, but it may take some time to get the support of the rest of Aotearoa.

Roger Partridge: Bill of Rights contortions

A funny thing happened in the Supreme Court this week. The Court found that the Bill of Rights breached… the Bill of Rights. Only Justice Kos dissented.

The majority decision did not quite put it that way. But perhaps the judges were blind to the implications of their views.

The perplexing case concerned arguments that 16-year-olds should have the right to vote.

The Court’s decision to hear the case was controversial enough.

But its finding that 16-year-olds suffer unjustified discrimination breaching the Bill of Rights has been met with widespread disbelief.

Oliver Hartwich: It's cruel only to sound kind

Is it enough to have good intentions? Or is it better to focus on the outcomes of one’s actions?

A century ago, Max Weber, the founder of modern sociology, made this distinction.

I thought of Weber as Newshub broke an outrageous story on Tuesday. There are still the same number of mental health beds as there were in 2019.

Despite numerous speeches and pledges. Despite billions of dollars spent. And despite years of government activism.

Mental health patients sleep on mattresses on the floors of our hospitals. Those in the greatest need and desperation have not even the dignity of a bed.