Saturday, April 30, 2022

Denis Hall: Note to all political parties.

The Treaty of Waitangi: Isn’t it time we consigned it to the scrapheap of history.

The Treaty is a worn and tattered document from 182 years ago – nearly ten generations - and it’s relevance is long since gone. We – all of us – live in a completely different world now – and instead of two races living in this country – there are perhaps as many as a hundred. We all have to remember - there was a time when we cared so little about that Treaty document - that it was lost – and then found water damaged.

It doesn't really matter. All the people who wrote it and signed it are dead and gone at least 160 years ago. It was something to serve their purposes in 1840 – and a way to resolve differences and bring peace and security out of the vast cultural differences between one of the most advanced societies on the planet at the time – and one of the least advanced.

Yes I know – not politically correct to say stuff like that – but certainly factually correct.

Point of Order: The legality of the mayor’s secrecy motion has gone unquestioned

Malcolm Harbrow, an admirably dogged campaigner against governmental secrecy on his No Right Turn blog, has drawn attention to something the mainstream media missed.

He has focused on the legality of Rotorua mayor Steve Chadwick’s actions at a stormy meeting of the Rotorua Lakes Council.

RNZ is among the media which reported on the meeting, where a motion to move into confidential session over the controversial Rotorua District Council (Representation Arrangements) Bill triggered a a councillor’s immediate resignation.

No Right Turn has provided a link to the council’s livestream recording of the meeting (from 4:15 to 8:15), so we can see for ourselves what happened.

It then notes that RNZ‘s focus is on the resignation, but something has been missed – the mayor’s secrecy motion:

Net Zero Watch - SOS: UK Govt asks energy firms to keep burning coal as ministers fight to keep lights on


In this newsletter:

1) UK Govt asks energy firms to keep burning coal as ministers fight to keep lights on
The Daily Telegraph, 28 April 2022
2) Australia: Climate war erupts as Nationals MP Matt Canavan declares Net Zero is ‘dead’

Roger Partridge: A victory for democracy?

A week is not just a long time in politics. It is a long time for democracy.

Last Friday, Attorney-General David Parker released his advice on the Rotorua District Council’s proposals to rearrange local voting rights. The proposals found their way into a Government bill that passed its first reading earlier in the month.

To strengthen Māori representation on the Council, the bill proposes changes to the way the Council’s ten members are elected. Three would be voted for by voters on the general roll. Three would be elected by voters on the Māori roll. The remaining four would be voted for by all voters, whether on the Māori or general rolls.

However, there are only 21,700 voters on the Māori roll for the three Māori ward seats but 55,600 on the general roll for the three general ward seats. Consequently, voter representation under the proposed arrangements would not be proportional.

As Attorney-General, Parker was obliged to advise the Government on whether the bill is consistent with the rights and freedoms affirmed by the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990.

Not surprisingly, he concluded it was not.

Heather Du Plessis-Allan: The longer it goes on, the more it looks like it isn't really about cleaning up water

The Government is officially pushing on with its Maori co-governance plan for water.

Grant Robertson and Nanaia Mahuta today announced that they’re making some changes to the plan reform but they’re refusing to ditch their sacred cow of co-governance.

Iwi, under the plan as it stands, will still have 50 percent control in appointing water governance boards.

The longer this goes on, the more the Government refuses to budge on the co-governance aspect, the more it looks like this reform isn’t really about cleaning up your water at all, is it?

Breaking Views Update: Week of 24.4.22

Saturday April 30, 2022 

Police shut down follower criticising use of te reo Māori in Facebook post

A Facebook comment by NZ Police shutting down a person criticising their use of te reo in a post has gone viral.

One Facebook user, however, took exception to the fact that police included a Māori word in the post.

Friday, April 29, 2022

Point of Order: Mahuta and Robertson are flushed with enthusiasm as they pump revised Three Waters plans back into the political pipes

The Labour Government is again using a Friday while the Prime Minister is on leave to dump information, ACT Leader David Seymour claimed in a press statement today.

He referenced an announcement on Friday last week setting out the next steps on He Puapua, the government’s programme for extending the meaning of “Treaty partnership” and discriminating in favour of “indigenous” people as “special”.

Today, the government has released its decision on Three Waters.

Just one thing. Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta and Infrastructure Minister Grant Robertson certainly have announced the Government’s Three Waters plans.

But when Point of Order checked The Beehive website at 3.30pm – well, it still wasn’t there.

In his statement, David Seymour noted that Three Waters and He Puapua involve major constitutional reform.

Mike Hosking: We buy houses on emotion, not logic

The most common home loan these days is one that lasts for 30 years.

Think about it, chances are it's longer than you have been alive, given many of them go to first home buyers. If you're later in life, it could be longer than you have left on Earth.

That’s a lot of time owing a lot of money.

57 percent of mortgages this year so far are for 30 years. 66 percent of them in are Auckland, which shoots up to 83 percent if you're a first home buyer.

The trouble with 30-year loans is that you pay a fortune for them. The greatest gift a bank could give you is to print a spreadsheet of all your payments over 30 years and to split them into columns.

Thursday, April 28, 2022

Bryce Edwards: Could inflation lead to a voter backlash?

The current cost of living crisis in the New Zealand economy could yet have severe political consequences. Warning signs could be seen in Monday’s French presidential election result – in which the nationalist-populist Marine Le Pen upset the status quo by getting through to the second round and winning an incredible 42 per cent of the vote.

Rather than being a vote for her nationalism or rightwing politics, Le Pen’s stunning result was due to a campaign that targeted France’s cost of living crisis. Le Pen was able to leverage huge anger amongst those disadvantaged by quickly rising inflation and other assaults on ordinary people’s standard of living. Polling shows that Le Pen won the support of workers and those on low incomes, while the incumbent Emmanuel Macron won the votes of managers, professionals and the wealthy.

Could a similar revolt against Jacinda Ardern’s government happen here?

Derek Mackie: "Progressive" Pronouns

Pronouns are a wonderful thing. They come in many forms - personal subjective and objective, possessive, reflexive, reciprocal, relative, etc. I could go on but I appreciate grammar is not the most fascinating subject for most readers and I’ve probably lost a few already. 
Little words they may be, but they do streamline writing, slimming down sentences and avoiding tiresome repetition of names and objects. 

 And now, we have another brand new kind - the ‘progressive’ pronoun. I confess to making up this name, inspired by our current “progressive” socialist government who fully embrace issues like this. 
You won’t find these pronouns in any textbooks…yet! But they are becoming more popular and are starting to appear regularly in formal letters and emails. 
Their purpose is to advise the reader of the author’s gender, which these days is far from straightforward and should under no circumstances be confused with sex. No longer do you have a 50:50 chance of being correct.

 For most of my life, the job of clarifying gender, and female marital status, was assigned to titles - Mr, Mrs, Miss, and later on Ms. This system appeared to work very well but was clearly limited to just two genders. 
As society has become more “sophisticated” - a word much loved by our PM who uses it to describe the co-governance “tweaks” she intends to make to “enhance” our democratic system - many more genders have evolved and a new, more extensive nomenclature has been devised. 

Lindsay Mitchell: On Māori inter-marriage and future implications

The rates of partnering between Māori and non-Māori are high and always have been.


“Intermarriage with non-Maori contributed to the rapid growth of the Maori population in the post-war period. As at 2003, almost one-quarter of Maori children were born to non-Maori mothers, (Statistics New Zealand 2005).”

In 2013 fewer than half of Māori men had a Māori partner:

Heather du Plessis-Allan: The Government's MIQ story is falling apart


The news out this afternoon is that the Grounded Kiwis group has won its court battle against the Government over MIQ. 

The thing to take away from this is that the Government’s MIQ story is falling apart. 

It’s getting harder and harder to believe that MIQ was the right thing or the best thing for Kiwis. 

The High Court today hasn’t ruled that MIQ itself was unfair. 

Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Richard Prebble: Labour’s new kind of democracy

The Maori Affairs Select Committee is hearing evidence on why my vote in this year’s local election should be worth less than a vote in a Maori ward.

The Rotorua District Council (Representation Arrangement) Bill proposes, among other things, to create a Maori ward and a general ward both electing three councilors. There are 21,700 voters on the Maori roll and 55,600 voters on the general roll. My vote will be worth 39% of a vote in the Maori ward.

There are six provisions in our law that are so important for democracy that they can only be changed by the vote of 75 percent in parliament or by a majority in a referendum. One is clause 36 of the Electoral Act that guarantees everyone regardless of race has an equal vote.

John Porter: Jacinda Ardern and New World Order

I have, for quite some time, tried to pin a label on exactly where Jacinda Ardern’s ideology lies.

It is not an easy thing to do. Ardern has, variously, described herself as a social democrat, a progressive, a republican and a feminist.

When asked by reporters to comment on the 2021 Budget, Ardern stated: "I have always described myself as a Democratic Socialist.”

Democratic Socialist. Isn’t that a bit of a contradiction and maybe even an oxymoron?

Ross Meurant: War With China and Russia?

The trouble with Elections, is invariably they encourage utterances from some who want to be a political leader, to say pretty dumb things.

Boris Johnson and President Biden are classics- too many examples to bother reciting here but both, in my view, seek to deflect poor polling back home by promoting chaos in another country.

In the case of America, this model has also, long been adopted to ensure jobs back home within the Military Industrial Complex.

Australian Defence Minister Dutton’s recent, “Prepare for war with China and Russia”, also fits into this category – in my assessment.  Afterall, its looking to be a close election in Oz.

Perhaps if Aussie had paid more attention to Solomon Islands?  Too late now. 

Mike Hosking: More dangerous ideology from the Government

So, yet another red flag for you to be cognisant of.

If the co-governance scandal isn't bad enough, if He Puapua isn't bad enough, if the mess the economy is currently in due to absurd spending and the resulting inflation isn't bad enough, get your head around what David Parker has been up to.

He gave a speech yesterday about the inequity of the tax system. This comes off the back of him and his mates at the IRD ferreting around the dealings of the so-called wealthy. That was the special group set up to look at whatever they like under the guise that what they find won't be shared and all information gained will ultimately be destroyed. Whatever.

But having got that exercise underway, he is now introducing a new bit of legislation that will, of course, become law.

Point of Order: Under-taxing the wealthy is a challenge for our Revenue Minister – but evidence for a new policy will be destroyed

Having got things admirably correct with his opinion as Attorney-General on the wretched Rotorua local body bill being promoted by Tweaker Coffey, it looked like David Parker had stumbled as Revenue Minister

The impression of a stumble was given by a Stuff headline which read Revenue Minister David Parker lashes very wealthy for being undertaxed, calls for new tax principles

But if someone is being undertaxed, very wealthy or not, shouldn’t someone at the Inland Revenue Department be hauled into the Minister’s office to explain what’s going on?

Tuesday, April 26, 2022

Ani O'Brien: Is the woke reign of terror coming to an end?

The howls of protest can be heard reverberating around the echo chambers of the internet as the world’s second richest man confirmed his purchase of Twitter this morning. Reports from inside the company tell of chaotic discontent as those who have until now been tasked with censoring and banishing the Wrongthinkers™ from the site realise that their reign of terror may be coming to an end.

To paraphrase a tweet I read this morning: Twitter under Elon Musk will not be perfect and will no doubt come with its own issues, however, in my opinion, it is preferable to Twitter under the ideological San Fran stasi. If Musk remains committed to the free speech values he has thus far espoused we will be in a much better place.

Point of Order: Was it Winston Peters who last mentioned “democracy” in an Anzac Day speech?

It is a measure of the Government’s regard for the democracy that is being “tweaked” on her watch that Jacinda Ardern didn’t drop that word into her Speech to Mt Albert Anzac Day Service.

More than a century after the first Anzac Day commemorations were held in 1916 “in sober remembrance of those who had been involved in the Gallipoli campaign”, she said,.

“… this annual recognition of the service and sacrifice of New Zealanders in war remains equally significant, as we take pause to recognise all who have returned from service, and all who have been lost to us.”


“Anzac Day is a time to give thanks to today’s armed forces who strive to uphold the values we hold dear as they continue to serve in areas of conflict overseas.”

Point of Order delved back to 2019 to find mention of democracy in a ministerial speech on Anzac Day. On that occasion the speech was delivered by Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters at the Danish Institute of International Studies in Copenhagen.

Graham Adams: Attorney-General belatedly steps up to defend democracy

As the Labour Government continues its push to undermine democracy in favour of an ethno-nationalist state, it was heartening late last week to see one of its most experienced ministers stand up for democratic process — albeit belatedly.

David Parker — wearing his Attorney-General’s hat — issued his determination on the Rotorua District Council (Representation Arrangements) Bill on Friday, unfortunately after the Māori Affairs Committee had already begun hearing oral submissions.

Despite being unfashionably late to the party, Parker fulfilled his obligations by declaring the bill — which would allow 21,700 voters on the Māori roll to elect three ward councillors while 55,600 voters on the general roll would also elect three ward councillors — to be inconsistent with the Bill of Rights Act. He concluded the bill would limit the right to be free from discrimination and “cannot be justified”.

The Attorney-General has, as Crown Law describes it:

Mike Hosking: Inflation number paints a grim economic and political picture

Along with the number, came the commentary, and the commentary was the thing that clearly stung the most.

Our inflation number is a disaster. 6.9 percent is something we all see, feel, and fear. There was no escaping it, given it's a statistic. It's a number, and numbers don't lie.

But Adrian Orr's commentary to the International Monetary Fund is the bit that clearly got under the governments, and particularly Grant Robertson's skin.

Ian Powell: An unresponsive Prime Minister and Health Minister to a best endeavour

I have expressed my concerns in these postings and other media outlets about the Government’s decision, without mandate or engagement with the health sector, to abolish district health boards (DHBs) in Aotearoa New Zealand’s public health system (thereby abandoning the longstanding democratic principle of subsidiarity between central and local government).

I have also expressed concern about the Government’s increasing drift towards a laissez-faire pandemic response since last October.

On 2 February I blended both concerns together in an email to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern arguing that it was dangerous to disestablish DHBs in the midst of a pandemic. These concerns have subsequently greatly intensified with the onslaught of the highly transmissible Omicron variant.

In addition to throwing our health system, both community and hospital, into crisis it has led to a massive increase in mortalities; from around 50 prior to this year (over 21 months) to a further nearly additional 600 deaths to date this year.

Clive Bibby: Madness versus Common Sense

Whatever New Zealand does in isolation as its contribution to the world wide battle against climate change, it will have next to zero affect on whether or not we reach or even get close to the IPCC’s greenhouse gas emissions reductions that they say will be required to save the planet.

I can make that statement with confidence that l will be proved right simply because those key nations who have the capacity to collectively turn things around, with or without our help, are in fact increasing their use of fossil fuels at an alarming rate and as a result, increasing their emissions as if there was no tomorrow. In that context, our efforts, no matter how self sacrificial, will be like a blip on the radar as the rest of the world continues to condone the destructive activities of those who could and should be making a difference.

Our efforts will be a complete and utter waste of time.

Monday, April 25, 2022

Point of Order: Let’s recall how NZ was surprised by signing of indigenous rights declaration – and how Mahuta criticised the Key govt’s secrecy

Announcing the completion of the first stage of the two-step engagement process to develop “a Declaration Plan”, Willie Jackson acknowledged the work was being done through race-tinted glasses.

Almost 70 “targeted engagement workshops” had been held mainly online, the Minister for Māori Development said.

“Māori rōpū represented diverse groups ranging from iwi, hapū, tāngata whaikaha Māori (disability community) and rangatahi, to groups interested in health, education, and the environment.

“There were 12 key themes from the Māori targeted engagement covering areas such as rangatiratanga, participation in government, equity and fairness. It ran from Sept 2021 to Feb 2022 and some engagement is ongoing. You can read the full report and other resources here.”

The drafting of the Declaration Plan would now begin in partnership with the National Iwi Chairs Forum’s Pou Tikanga and the Human Rights Commission

“… before being shared for public consultation later this year”.

Under the Government’s discriminatory consultation timetable, and at long last…

“All New Zealanders will get the chance to comment on the range of actions proposed in the draft Declaration Plan.”

And so the leaders of one ethnic group representing 17 per cent of the population, have been enabled over several months to give the Government a wish list which now is being curated by officials before being presented for discussion by the whole population.

Garrick Tremain: More Tinkering

That this government spends record amounts of our money on political spin and social engineering is evident from propaganda campaigns to which we are subjected - none more reprehensible than the $5.3m commercial on the government’s 3 Waters intention.

Also frequently aired is a puerile presentation aimed at convincing us that a reduction in speed on our roads will increase our safety.

Our road toll statistics are about as bad, and sometimes worse, than they have ever been - this despite constant bleating to take care, drive to the conditions, etc, etc...

Elizabeth Rata: The Decolonisation of Education in New Zealand

Revolutionary moves to decolonise mainstream education are outlined in two Ministry of Education documents. 

‘Te Hurihanganui  A Blueprint for Transformative Systems Shift’ confidently asserts that ‘through decolonisation of the education system Māori potential will be realised’ while the Curriculum Refresh also prescribes a hearty dose of the same medicine.  

Decolonisation, according to Te Hurihanganui ‘means recognising white privilege, understanding racism, inequity faced by Māori and disrupting that status quo to strengthen equity’. There will be opportunities for an expansion of the decolonisation cadre as ‘Māori exercise authority and agency over their mātauranga, tikanga and taonga’. 

The Curriculum Refresh, meanwhile, proposes that ‘knowledge derived from Te Ao Māori will sit at the heart of each learning area, along with other knowledge-systems that reflect the cultural uniqueness of Aotearoa New Zealand.’

Damien Grant: The shaky claims and untested ideology underpinning Three Waters

I am not philosophically opposed to co-governance and I disagree with David Seymour’s campaign to have a referendum on the issue.

If Māori have a right to be treated as partners and are entitled under the Treaty to enjoy co-governance over an asset, then this right cannot be extinguished because the majority of non-Māori who make up the electorate declare it so.

Equally, if this right does not exist, then imposing it without obtaining the consent of those whose rights are being over-ridden is wrong.

When it comes to the Three Water reforms, it is subordinating the rights of ratepayers to the interests of local iwi, and doing so without consent or compensation.

ANZAC Day April 25th 2022


Sunday, April 24, 2022

NZCPR Newsletter: Manipulating the Truth

Earlier this month Elon Musk, the CEO-founder and Chief Engineer at SpaceX – and CEO and Product Architect of Tesla – made a full takeover offer to buy the social media giant Twitter after having purchased 9.2 percent just weeks before.

In a letter to Twitter’s Board, Musk explained, “I had invested in Twitter as I believe in its potential to be the platform for free speech around the globe, and I believe free speech is a societal imperative for a functioning democracy. However, since making my investment I now realize the company will neither thrive nor serve this societal imperative in its current form. Twitter needs to be transformed as a private company. Twitter has extraordinary potential. I will unlock it.”

Mike Butler: ‘Co-governance’ coup confirmed

Commentator Morgan Godfery has confirmed what the Government has been denying for the past year, that the He Puapua plan for two governments in New Zealand, one for Maori and one for everyone else, is under way and that the people of New Zealand will never have a referendum on it.

This confirmation came in an article by him that was published today in The Guardian, titled “In New Zealand, Maori co-governance is already underway – referendum or not”. (1)

The term “co-governance” is a weasel word, ambiguous and misleading and probably intended to be so. A Maori supremacist quite likely sees no “co” when “co-governance” is mentioned.

Saturday, April 23, 2022

Wendy Geus: Govt back down on veto roundly ignored by media

Wendy Geus: Dr Reti uncovers explosive Government backdown on Māori health veto & Andrew Little misleads the House and press gallery look the other way

On the Wednesday before Easter Dr Reti sneaked a question to Andrew Little at the end of one of his Government’s patsy questions in the House:

"Is the Māori veto still in place in the health restructure"?

Taken by surprise, Little actually answered the question but went on the attack:

"No and it never was".

At times it seems like I am the only person paying attention.

Breaking Views Update: Week of 17.4.22

Saturday April 23, 2022 

Maori reps fed-up with lacklustre engagement from Auckland Council

Auckland Council’s Independent Māori Statutory Board members have expressed growing frustration around Council’s lack of engagement with mana whenua.

The matter was raised at a Planning Committee held on March 31.

Friday, April 22, 2022

Bryce Edwards: A polarising co-governance decision for Parliament

Co-governance is currently the most polarising issue in New Zealand politics. There’s something of a culture war over the concept of giving Māori voters or leaders a mandated equal political influence in public affairs. It’s an issue that has the potential to be socially explosive as plans are being developed and debated for how far the co-governance concept should be introduced in different areas of public life.

The co-governance issue of the day is whether local government elections could be altered so voters on the Māori electoral roll have the power to elect exactly the same number of councillors as those on the general role. The council in question is the Rotorua District Council, which has asked Parliament to give it legislative permission to introduce a new system for this year’s elections, allowing voters on the Māori and general rolls to elect three councillors each.

Critics point out that there are 22,000 voters on the Māori roll in Rotorua and 56,000 voters on the general roll, and that means voters on the Māori roll will have 2.5 times the electoral power as voters on the general roll.

Point of Order: Overseas forces are to blame for the surge in our living costs? But non-tradables inflation (up 6 per cent) then must be explained…

In the wake of the latest inflation figures being published today, showing the consumers price index has risen at its fastest pace in some 30 years, the burning question is whether we have a cost of living crisis.

Opposition parties (inevitably) seized on the annual 6.9 per cent CPI increase to insist prices are out of control. National Party leader Christopher Luxon says prices are a “silent thief in your pocket”.

On the other side of the political fence, the Council of Trade Unions contends that inflation is being driven by the price of property and the price of fuel.

Dennis Gates: Plain Language or Manglish?

The Plain Language Bill currently before Parliament could well be a touchstone for a very divisive issue confronting New Zealand, namely the use of mixed languages. The submissions to the Bill fall into three main categories - those simplistically supporting/opposing it; those drawing attention to people with reading disabilities and those that are opposed to mixing up languages.

Of the latter group a few attack the intermingling of Maori and English. One from the New Zealand Law Society suggests less use of Latin phrases.

As I see it, all three groups miss the point of the Bill.

Net Zero Watch: Southeast Europe turns to coal as energy crisis trumps climate commitments


In this newsletter:

1) Southeast Europe turns to coal as energy crisis trumps climate commitments
Reuters, 19 April 2022
2) China doubles down on coal
The New York Times, 19 April 2022

Matt Ridley: The Madness Of Our Worship Of Wind

They despoil our glorious countryside, add £6 billion a year to our household bills and are arguably the most inefficient solution to our energy crisis. So why is the Government planning to make it even easier to build them?

Take a wild guess at how much of the UK’s total primary demand for energy was supplied by wind power in 2020.

Half? 30 per cent? No, in fact, it was less than 4 per cent.

That’s right, all those vast wind farms in the North Sea, or disfiguring the hills of Wales and Scotland, give us little more than one-thirtieth of the energy we need to light and heat our homes, power our businesses or move our cars and trains. Just think what this country and its seas would look like if we relied on wind for one-third or half of our energy needs.

Thursday, April 21, 2022

Roger Childs: Gallipoli - Myth and Reality

We were beaten by our own high command. Australian soldier Lucky Durham

A disastrous and wasteful military fiasco

Another Anzac Day is coming up. Around the country there will be the traditional dawn parades and other gatherings at local war memorials; the veterans along with current armed forces, police and other groups will march; the wreaths will be laid; flags will be lowered and raised; speeches will be delivered and the Last Post and Reveille will be played. We will also have the reminders: Lest we forget and We will remember them.

April 25 was the day in 1915 when our troops first landed at Gallipoli in World War One. But why do we give that disastrous campaign such importance? It is like the French celebrating the Battle of Waterloo, or the Germans regarding the Battle of Stalingrad as an important event in their history worth commemorating.

Richard Prebble: The world has got more dangerous. It is time to rejoin ANZUS

New Zealand is a partner of an Atlantic Defence treaty but apart from a pact with Australia this country has no defence treaty. New Zealand is a NATO partner, a nuclear alliance, but our membership of ANZUS is suspended.

Jacinda Ardern has explained New Zealand is sending troops to Europe because “Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is a violation of international law”. Russia’s “blatant attack on a country’s sovereignty is a threat to all of us”.

The PM is correct. Russia’s invasion is a threat to the international rules-based system that is fundamental to New Zealand’s national security.

All the political parties say the Pacific should be New Zealand’s focus but the actions do not match the words.

Karl du Fresne: Hallucinatory moments of optimism

Notwithstanding everything I wrote on this blog site yesterday about contemporary journalism (none of which I resile from), there are days when, in insane moments of giddy optimism, I imagine that the tide might be turning after years of largely sycophantic media coverage of the government.

Take last night’s edition of Newshub’s 6 o’clock news, in which the first item put the heat on the government over the alarming and apparently uncontrollable surge in inflation. Here was a news outlet doing exactly what the media are supposed to do in a liberal democracy: namely, report on issues that affect the community and hold those in power accountable.

That report was followed by politically damaging coverage of the government’s refusal to ease harsh MIQ requirements, with heartbreaking consequences for the thousands of people affected, even after Ministry of Health officials had advised that it was safe to do so.

Later came an item asking why the government was dragging the chain over the resumption of economically beneficial cruise ship visits when comparable countries, notably Australia, have given them the green light.

All this seemed to represent a striking change in tone from Newshub’s usual political coverage.

Wednesday, April 20, 2022

Graham Adams: Ardern struggles to defend unequal suffrage

It is hardly surprising that the question of equal political rights for all New Zealanders is becoming a very touchy subject for Jacinda Ardern. Mid-way through her second term, that question is becoming every bit as sensitive for the Prime Minister as mention of KiwiBuild or a capital gains tax was in her first.

A major difference, of course, is that KiwiBuild and a CGT were policies she openly promoted and campaigned on in 2017. However, a comprehensive and far-reaching co-governance project to give more political rights to unelected iwi members and Māori voters never featured in her campaign for 2020’s “Covid” election.

Unfortunately, the very first clause of the Labour Party constitution inconveniently speaks against such manoeuvres:

Tony Simpson: The damned curriculum: a camel with only one leg

A critique of the new history lessons

In the 1980s the Customs Department engaged my services. They were faced with new public service legislation which devolved many powers to them as an agency including some things they had never had to do before. These included a requirement to be aware of the implications of the Treaty of Waitangi and to have a staff sensitive to it in all their activities. After several false starts they asked me to see if I could come up with a solution. This was, in the event, a half-day small group seminar based on five segments which began with pre-European Māori culture and centred on the Treaty, bringing us up to the present day. It was really a crash course in New Zealand history. It set out the reasons why many Māori were very aggrieved at the position in which they found themselves. My seminar was predicated on the assumption that at the end of it Customs staff might not agree with the policy but at least they would be better informed. More than 600 Customs officers attended the courses; I truly believe that they mostly appreciated it.

Point of Order: Treaty settlements, environmental management and the insidious march from co-management to co-governance

We can’t be sure, here at Point of Order, about when “co-governance” was first introduced to this country’s political vocabulary. For some time before ministers were talking about co-governance, they had been talking about co-management.

There’s a difference. A big difference, when it comes to constitutional arrangements within public authorities.

According to one distinction we uncovered, “governance” is the strategic task of setting the organisation’s goals, direction, limitations and accountability frameworks. “Management” is the allocation of resources and overseeing the day-to-day operations of the organisation.

The first mention of co-governance we could find on the Beehive website – which records all ministerial statements and speeches and statements since 1993 – was made by John Luxton in May 1997. As Associate Minister of International Trade, addressing guests at a meat industry function, he talked about the meat industry’s movement into the next millennium.

Elizabeth Rata: The Road to He Puapua – Is there really a Treaty partnership?

The He Puapua Report proposes revolutionary change for New Zealand. The question of how we have arrived at a crossroads where New Zealanders will have to choose between an ethno-nationalist state — which He Puapua leads to — or a democratic-nationalist one has its origins in three events in 1985, 1986 and 1987.

It was in these years that the concept of a Treaty of Waitangi “partnership” was created. It is the foundational pillar for the Report’s goal of “transformative restructuring of governance to recognise rangatiratanga Māori”. Iwi self-determination includes the co-governance arrangements laid out in He Puapua. There is also the likelihood of claims for the ownership of up to 50 per cent of public assets such as water, sea territories, flora and fauna, and airwaves. Is this path to ethnic nationalism inevitable?

The first key partnership event is the 1985 Treaty of Waitangi Amendment Act. While the 1975 Treaty of Waitangi Act was about the settlement of historical grievances, the 1985 Amendment Act was a very different matter. The recognition of iwi-Māori rather than pan-Māori as the inheritors of Treaty settlements established the reviving tribe as both political player and economic corporation.

Tuesday, April 19, 2022

Geoffrey Miller: Jacinda Ardern’s trip to Japan and Singapore about more than just trade

International analyst Geoffrey Miller examines the motivations behind Jacinda Ardern’s first foreign trip since February 2020 – and says her tour of Japan and Singapore is about much more than trade

This is far from Jacinda Ardern’s first foreign trip – but it almost feels like one.

Ardern’s tour of Japan and Singapore this week is the first trip abroad by New Zealand’s Prime Minister in 781 days. Ardern has not travelled outside the country since February 2020.

The Government is calling the trip a ‘trade mission’ to show that ‘New Zealand is open for business’, given the phased removal of New Zealand’s Covid-19 border restrictions.

Point of Order: Megan Woods’ challenge – she has plenty of advice from champions of matauranga Maori

The Government received 901 submissions in response to its green paper on the future of the country’s research, science and innovation system – and the role to be played by matauranga Maori. can play a rolebe merged with it.

But for now, the submissions are being kept confidential because several submitters have requested anonymity. Submissions and submitter information are being reviewed against privacy and confidentiality obligations.

The Minister in charge of this reshaping of our science system is Dr Megan Woods, whose CV includes work for Crop & Food Research and Plant & Food Research. But she was a business manager, rather than a researcher, it seems. Her PhD is in history, obtained at the University of Canterbury with a thesis titled Integrating the nation: Gendering Maori urbanisation and integration, 1942–1969.

Whatever happened to the commas?

Monday, April 18, 2022

Bruce Moon: The truth must be told again!

When Hobson arrived in New Zealand on 29th January 1840, equipped with a 4200-word brief from Colonial Secretary Lord Normanby, he knew what he had to do.  If the Maori chiefs wanted the protection of the Queen they had one choice: to sign a document ceding all their rights of sovereignty, whatever they were, to the Queen.  

As Hobson took pains to explain to them in due course: “as the law of England gives no civil powers to Her Majesty out of her  dominions, her efforts to do you good will be futile unless you consent.”[1] Moreover, all Maoris were to be offered in due course by Article Third of the Treaty, all the rights and duties of the people of England; remarkable for its generosity in its day.  

Yet today we have Jacinta Ruru and Jacobi Kohu-Morris of the University of Otago talking of[2]  “concept(s) .. imposed over the top of existing indigenous nations and legal systems”, an extraordinary extrapolation from the actual articles of the treaty. The sheer absurdity of this sort of statement in the New Zealand context must surely be obvious to everybody except of course those who are determined not to see.  There was neither nation nor legal system nor anything indigenous in anything Maori.  They were a collection of independent tribes often in brutal conflict with each other.

Saturday, April 16, 2022

NZCPR Newsletter: Animal Farm Democracy

New Zealand is one of the oldest democracies in the world. This system of government ‘of the people, by the people, for the people’ – that treats all citizens as equals before the law – has been a liberating force of human endeavour throughout the ages. We have indeed been fortunate in New Zealand that successive governments have faithfully upheld policies to protect our democracy as sacrosanct.

That is, until now.

Friday, April 15, 2022

Point of Order: Local Govt Commission over-rides Rotorua’s undemocratic voting model – but what will Labour-majority Parliament do?

Kiwiblog today reports that the Local Government Commission has completed a determination for Rotorua which will result in three Māori Ward Councillors being elected, but without sacrificing equality of suffrage.

As Kiwiblog tells us, the commission favours –

* An urban general ward – 48,410 people elect six councillors – 8,068 population per councillor.
* A Māori ward – 21,700 people elect three councillors – 7,233 population per councillor

* A rural general ward – 7,200 people elect one councillor – 7,200 population per councillor.

This means the commission has rejected Rotorua Lakes Council’s model which comprised one Māori ward seat, one general ward seat and eight at-large seats.

To implement the council model, special legislation has been introduced to Parliament to over-ride requirements of the Local Elections Act.

Richard Prebble: We need to restore low inflation as the Reserve Bank’s sole remit

The Reserve Bank’s .5% increase in interest rates will have little impact on inflation. Inflation is over 7%. The real interest rate gap between the OCR and inflation is possibly 6%. A half a per cent rise is not going to reduce baked in inflationary expectations.

The half a per cent rise is an attempt to restore the Bank’s shattered reputation. The Bank’s wildly optimistic forecasts and its compromised independence have fatally damaged the Bank’s credibility.

Prior to the last election the bank sought and received an independence compromising taxpayer guarantee from the Finance Minister. Grant Robertson agreed to cover any losses from the bank continuing to print a billion dollars a week.