Tuesday, May 31, 2022

Guy Hatchard: Covid Vaccination Injury Gag Orders Are Denying the Public Informed Consent

We are just now becoming more aware of gag orders affecting reporting of adverse effects following vaccination.

Apparently, hospital administrators are keen to avoid any publicity that might suggest an increased incidence of cardiac events and other common Covid vaccine side effects.

Their motivations for this are unclear, but we have previously noted a lack of New Zealand data for specific conditions. I have received a number of anecdotal reports from hospital staff and patients around the country concerning high rates of hospitalisation and death attributable to vaccine injury.

Point of Order: Megan Woods signals no retreat from plans to incorporate mātauranga Māori in NZ science system

The news media have made much of the government’s firing a shot across the bows of the supermarket duopoly.

The Government has put supermarkets on notice that they must change at pace to increase competition and be prepared for regulation.

It will introduce an industry regulator, a mandatory code of conduct, compulsory unit pricing on groceries and more transparent loyalty schemes.

Guy Hatchard: The Necessity of Kindness

This morning Jacinda Ardern received an honorary doctorate from Harvard University, hitting out in her acceptance speech against keyboard warriors spreading disinformation:

“When facts are turned into fiction, and fiction turned into fact, you stop debating ideas and you start debating conspiracy.”

Was she echoing Orwell’s 1984?

Net Zero Watch: Green Britain's Road to Hell


In this newsletter:

1) Millions warned of power cuts and energy rationing this winter
The Times, 29 May 2022

2) Britain's National Grid told to prepare for coal this winter
The Daily Telegraph, 27 May 2022

Kate Hawkesby: Welcome to Auckland, city of crime and opportunists


For those of you who don’t live in Auckland, I’ll just paint a picture of my weekend so you get the gist.

Saturday we go to lunch at a suburban café, sitting outside, minding our own business, eating lunch, and this extremely large woman – I’m telling you about her size because it’s significant in terms of what she said. She’s extremely large, and she walks slowly and unevenly - seemingly struggling to carry her own weight. And she comes right up to our table, leans in close to us, interrupts and says: “Can you help me?” 

Monday, May 30, 2022

Roger Childs: ‘The Kohimarama Conference 1860’

When the Governor came here, he brought with him the Word of God by which we live; and it is, through the teaching of that Word, that we are able to meet together this day, under one roof. Therefore, I say, I know no Sovereign but the Queen, and I never shall know any other. I am walking by the side of the Pakeha. – Distinguished Ngapuhi chief, Tamati Waka Nene

In recent times Waikanae-based Dr John Robinson has been writing a book a year, often on topics that other better-known historians have avoided.

John Robinson, however, is prepared to boldly and honestly take on some of the tougher topics of New Zealand history and politics such as the truth about the Treaty of Waitangi, tikanga in the modern era, Unrestrained Slaughter on the inter-tribal wars and He Puapua on the Maori elites program for co-governance. His latest book is on the important Kohimarama Conference where 162 years ago more than 100 chiefs endorsed their support for the colonial government and the changes it was implementing.

Mike Hosking: New Zealand's tall poppy syndrome as worse as ever

Depressing, and yet encouraging as well.

Lani Fogelberg, a young entrepreneur, serves it up the way it is in the Herald on Saturday. It's a must-read, if you missed it.

Depressing because it’s a realistic take on the country as it currently sits. But encouraging because we are seeing, at long last, an increasing series of people speak out on the way we are being led and why we are where we are.

Fogelberg talks of the celebration of the Lotto winner and yet the dissection of the person who grafted for their two million but is suddenly a tall poppy. Free money is good, money worked for is to be taxed and you are to be brought down.

Geoffrey Miller: Nanaia Mahuta under pressure as Pacific’s geopolitical Great Game heats up

As a new ‘Great Game’ for control of the Pacific escalates, New Zealand’s foreign minister is coming under pressure from all sides.

For those keeping score, China has now signed co-operation agreements with Samoa and Kiribati, while the US has convinced Fiji to join its new Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity (IPEF).

Most details of China’s new agreements have yet to be released, but they reportedly focus on economics and development – rather than hard security. But like the rather vague and weak IPEF on the Western side, the mere existence of the agreements is currently what counts.

As geopolitical competition and polarisation continue to deepen, timing and symbolism have been everything over the past week.

Sunday, May 29, 2022

Garrick Tremain: Comedy Series

 Here is Garrick Tremain's cartoon commentary on Jacinda Ardern's US speeches! 


Point of Order: Mainstream media may be checking claims about the Mahuta family – or maybe they hope MPs will raise the matter in Parliament

The latest post by my friend and former colleague, Karl du Fresne, draws attention to the paucity of mainstream media coverage of questions raised about an array of posts filled by members of the Mahuta family and payments made to companies with which family members are associated.

The Platform – for example – recently reported:

More questions are raised after two payments come to light from Ministry for the Environment to companies owned by Nanaia Mahuta’s family members for their roles in expert group

Owen Jennings: Critical questions

A number of critically important questions have been raised in recent discussions I have had with farmers about their greenhouse gas emissions. They deserve answers. The mainstream media ignore them preferring to bag the farming community saying they are getting off lightly and are not meeting their responsibilities.

Question 1. Why is Article 2 (b) of the Paris Agreement ignored when it states clearly that countries should not reduce food production in their pursuit of emission goals? Proposals that will reduce production by 15% or more violate the Agreement.

Point of Order: The PM goes batting for democracy while her Maori ministers announce more Budget boosts

Oh, look. More goodies from the government.

Today we learn of a $10 million boost for landowners, a $27.6 million investment over the next four years in research and innovation and a $30 million investment for primary and community health care providers. Budget 2022 is the budget that just keeps on giving.

But those announcements are competing for media attention with news that an independent assessment of stewardship land on the West Coast is delivering recommendations for revised land classifications.

Michael Johnston: Maori knowledge and science? don’t mix chalk and cheese

In July last year a furore erupted when seven eminent professors from the University of Auckland published a letter in the New Zealand Listener. They wrote to criticise Ministry of Education plans to include mātauranga Māori (traditional Māori knowledge) in the science curriculum for schools.

The letter drew fire from many quarters. The Vice Chancellor of Auckland University, the Tertiary Education Union and the Royal Society Te Apārangi all piled on. The professors were accused of causing “hurt and dismay” and told that their letter was “offensive” and “racist”. They were denounced in an open letter signed by more than two thousand university staff.

Three of the professors were investigated by the Royal Society, a process that could have led to their expulsion. Eventually the investigation was called off after the Society was taken to task by international giants Richard Dawkins and Jerry Coyne. Sadly, one of the three, Michael Corballis, died before his name was cleared.

Roger Partridge: Picking off poorly performing regulators

The GFC had many casualties. In New Zealand, one was the former Securities Commission. A 2009 independent review of the Commission’s role in the collapse of the finance company sector signed the regulator’s death warrant.

Out of the Securities Commission’s ashes rose the Financial Markets Authority. Its modern ‘board governance’ arrangements separated the chair and CEO functions that had been combined in the former Securities Commission’s ‘chair’ role. The review identified benefits from “the checks and balances that accompany a split between governance and management.”

Nearly a decade after the Securities Commission’s demise, research from The New Zealand Initiative reveals strong evidence for a similar governance makeover at the Commerce Commission.

Bryce Wilkinson: “Grant Robertson” defends Budget 2022

Fevered with Covid and isolated in a Te Anau motel, I imagined the following interview.

Q: Finance Ministers traditionally urge people to be prudent – not to borrow to invest in shares. Instead, use savings to reduce mortgage or credit card debt. What is your take on that Grant?

A. Absolutely, the right advice. To borrow to invest in risky assets is gambling. Add tax to the equation and it makes even less sense. Thanks to our extremely astute government, rental income is taxable, but borrowing costs are not. We want landlords to sell their houses to first home buyers. Our tax system helps.

Saturday, May 28, 2022

Derek Mackie: Be very afraid - California and NZ sign pledge to fight climate change

Our Prime Minister, on her much heralded tour of the US, found time to visit Gavin Newsom, the governor of California and fellow smart-suited eco-warrior. 
She wasn’t just there to trade the latest woke gossip or discuss who has the whitest set of ivories. Newsom, who looks like a cross between an ageing Hollywood soap star and a celebrity lawyer, could certainly give Jacinda a run for her money in that department, especially contrasted against his flawless tan. 

 The visit culminated with California and New Zealand’s leading politicians signing a pledge agreeing to share ideas and practices that help fight climate change. 
I’m sure those of a bright green persuasion are feeling all warm and fuzzy inside at this news. After all, California does have a reputation of innovation, creativity and success. It has led from the front on climate change action and the UNIPCC Assessment Reports are worshipped on the same pedestal as the Constitution of the United States. 

 Surely, New Zealand can only benefit from such cooperation and experience. Or can it? 
California has a population of about 40 million, eight times that of ours. Its GDP is about 17 times that of New Zealand, or in other words it has roughly double the GDP per capita we have. Combine all that wealth with the brightest minds that California allegedly attracts and you should get some cutting edge solutions to climate change. 

Point of Order: Censorship on campus – academic freedom bill is voted down by MPs who fear exposure to some ideas can be damaging to our health

Labour MP Jo Luxton – in a Parliamentary speech about academic freedom in this country – referred to the recent shooting in the United States by a young person who had been “radicalised and emboldened” by the mosque attacks in Christchurch a few years ago.

These were actions based on hate for someone of a different race or religion.

She referred, too, to the 23-day occupation of the grounds of Parliament by protesters earlier this year.

Oliver Hartwich: How central banking lost its way

Three bits of news from the world of finance and central banking this week:

* The Reserve Bank increased the cash rate by 50 basis points.

* A HSBC manager in Britain has been suspended for criticising climate-based financial regulations at a conference.

* And in Switzerland, the Neue Zürcher Zeitung (NZZ) newspaper claimed that central banks worldwide have gone “woke”.

These stories fit well together. Each of them is part of the global puzzle explaining why many economies suffer from inflation today – and why many central banks seem unable to restore price stability.

Bryce Edwards: Was the Government’s climate plan watered down by lobbying?

Was last week’s major climate change announcement a case of vested interests getting their way? The sweet deal that agriculture and dairying got from the Green Party Minister for Climate Change certainly struck many as extraordinary.

Writing today in the Herald, lobbyist and commentator Matthew Hooton reflects on the Government’s Emissions Reduction Plan, and says the industry-friendly announcement was the result of extraordinarily powerful lobbying. He says that corporate lobbyists managed to assert their clients’ interests with the Greens: “New Zealand farmers are the world’s best but their lobbyists are even better. While it’s not true today’s Green Party is a wholly owned subsidiary of Fonterra, it’s understandable some environmental activists are starting to think so.”

Karl du Fresne: Nanaia Mahuta and the smell test

The mainstream media have been trying desperately hard to ignore profoundly disturbing questions about the appearance of conflicts of interest involving members of Nanaia Mahuta’s family.

The scandal has reached a point where media credibility, along with that of Mahuta, is on the line. That is, if it hasn’t been shredded beyond repair already.

Revelations about government jobs and contracts awarded to Mahuta’s family connections first emerged on The Daily Examiner website on May 22, illustrating the point that it’s often online platforms, rather than ethically compromised mainstream media, that break important stories – especially those that show the government in a poor light.

Michael Bassett: Lots of incompetence and Labour’s naive plans for co-governance

Yesterday someone sent me a spoof of Dad’s Army with Jacinda holding a rifle and looking goofy, Andrew Little and Grant Robertson equally gormless at her elbows, and the sinister Nanaia Mahuta close by. Each was appropriately dressed in military fatigues and it was labelled “Dud’s Army”. It was a celebration, if that’s the word, of the most incompetent government New Zealand has endured for more than 70 years. 

The best example is Robertson’s spendthrift recent budget stoking inflation, while the Reserve Bank has to push interest rates higher to bring that universal thief called inflation under control. 

Breaking Views Update: Week of 22.5.22

Saturday May 28, 2022 

Kaumātua calls for return of Hickford Park land

Peter Moeahu says part of Hickford Park was wrongly taken from Puketapu hapū and should be returned by New Plymouth District Council.

NPDC predecessor the Taranaki County Council took the Bell Block land, known as the Mangati E Māori Reserve, in 1968 under the Public Works Act.

Friday, May 27, 2022

Caleb Anderson: The Emergence of a State Religion

In recent years karakia (Maori prayers or chants) have become relatively standard at special (and even not so special) events. I know of an incident recently when a visiting departmental head preceded and finished a regional visit with a karakia, even when politely asked beforehand that a karakia not be performed.

Government documents, press releases, and news reports, sometimes contain allusions to pantheism, and associations to things mystical. 

Government buildings are being adorned with spiritualistic images (including of ancient gods and even taniwha) and incantations to past gods and ancestors are commonplace. 

A fifty-meter-high statue was proposed at the entrance to the Waitemata Harbour in honour of the Maori Earth Mother. 

Even the treaty is considered to be a mystical, spiritualistic, and evolving document ... something other-worldly.

Warren Sanderson: City Rail Link Stations - or Mythical Symbolism to Excess

I read that the City Rail Link's Manu Whenua Forum which would appear to be a Maori Tribal Group have “gifted” to Auckland names for the two new stations and the two existing stations on the CRL.

This “gift” should be politely declined by the New Zealand Geographic Board and here is the reason why. Let’s take each station in turn:

1.    AOTEAThe proposed new name is Te Wai Horotiu. 

Firstly, for moderately mature Aucklanders this name suggests a meatworks situated just north of Hamilton, which is not a good start. It is stated that the name is from the stream that ran down the Queen Street valley to the harbour. In reality this muddy stream that ran down the valley to the harbour was not a pleasant feature of early Auckland and the street  was certainly improved for both pedestrians and horse traffic when piped underground.

Clive Bibby: The New Christchurch Stadium - simple arithmetic

Most kiwis are like me when it comes to sport. It is the panacea that provides relief from the daily drudgery that is modern survival It is also the one thing that binds us as an ethnically diverse nation more than any other and there are reasons for that.

First up, our athletes across the board, compete successfully at the highest international level which provides inspirational diversions at a time when we most need them. It is no surprise then, that our greatest sports men and women receive the highest honours when it comes time to reward those who have made our mundane lives that much more enjoyable. We can all share in their achievements, no matter what our position on the social ladder or status in the community. For an hour or so, we are as one.

Fortunately, unlike some other countries where “woke” philosophy is destroying the non political aspect of world sport, we seem to be able to keep a lid on the politics. But  unfortunately, we may not be able to withstand the pressure for too much longer as the international governing sporting bodies rush to adopt laws that are the antithesis of competitions based on equality.

Mike Hosking: If you look hard enough, you'll find deals on the supermarket shelves

The Herald focus team did what we should all be doing. They worked out exactly how much you can save at a supermarket if you want to.

Complaining about the price of things is easy. And when the two major players got into the game of making a contribution towards savings and price cuts, most people viewed it through a very cynical eye.

But what I have been trying to argue is that although there is no escaping price rises, inflation, and all the other issues the economy faces, it doesn’t have to be as hard as some make it out to be.

Graham Adams: Mahuta’s serious credibility problem

A response emailed from Nanaia Mahuta’s office to The Platform on Tuesday made it impossible not to think of the cynical quip reputedly made by German Chancellor Otto von Bismarck: “Never believe anything in politics until it has been officially denied.”

On Tuesday, in a four-point response, Mahuta’s office denied she had any conflict of interest over the appointment of members of her family to government roles.

The first point was unequivocal:

Andrew Bolt: New Zealand to teach Maori knowledge as science equivalent

Sky News host Andrew Bolt says New Zealand has “a new green paper to supposedly decolonise” the education curriculum to teach traditional Maori knowledge as the equivalent of science.

Point of Order: Budget announcements are still flowing but criminals will pay for Poto’s new law and order initiative

Ministers continue to beat the drum for the goodies dispensed in the Budget, a week after Finance Minister Grant Robertson delivered his Budget speech and the Government published a raft of documents and press statements to tell the nation who got how much.

Some of the ministerial post-Budget announcements relate to services that are being provided for all who need them. Or rather, all who need them until the money runs out, presumably.

In addition to the $15.5 million spent each year to help people battling with eating disorders, for example, $3.9 million in extra funding over four years has been secured as part of Budget 2022.

Thursday, May 26, 2022

Bryce Edwards: Major shakeup of electoral rules could be coming

Get ready for a big debate on how to improve democracy in New Zealand. On Tuesday, Justice Minister Kris Faafoi announced the review panel that will oversee a once-in-a-generation overhaul of electoral rules, including how political parties are funded. The announcement contained details of some significant changes to elections and Parliament to be considered.

The review is welcome news, as there is significant room for improvement in how New Zealand politics works. And the Minister’s reform process looks fairly sensible.

As well as dealing with the crucial issue of money in politics, the new review will consider other highly contentious electoral issues: lowering the voting age, reducing the 5% MMP threshold, abolishing the coat-tailing rule, lengthening the parliamentary term, and increasing the ability to move on and off the Māori electoral roll.

Chris Milne: A Tale of Two Cities

A great mystery of 2022 is how it came to be that the Upper Hutt and Lower Hutt Mayors formed polar opposite views on Three Waters.

The two cities share the same water collection and treatment system, the same water management (Wellington Water), occupy the same valley and share the same cost structures.
Three public opinion polls in the two cities have revealed strong resident opposition to the Labour Government’s centralisation of water management, including 50% iwi control through co-governance.
So how is it that, despite public opposition in both cities, Mayor Wayne Guppy of Upper Hutt is opposed but Mayor Campbell Barry is not?
The answer is pretty straight-forward. In 2019 Cr Campbell Barry campaigned for the Hutt City mayoralty under a Labour ticket. What the public were never told is that the Labour Party exacts a high price from candidates who use their trademark.

Mike Hosking: The rise of the lazy politician is detestable

The great tragedy, or sadness, for me out of the Nanaia Mahuta revelation is that we are being let down so badly by hopeless people.

Forget politics and your personal view of the world, surely what you want in the leadership of your country is enquiring minds, experience, and institutional knowledge. You want people, who even though you may not agree with, at least you can see what they are trying to do and why.

One of the great privileges of this job has been to meet everyone who has run this place for the past 40 years, basically from David Lange on.

The Platform on Co-Governance: the Crown and the Mahuta Dynasty

In this explosive interview on The Platform, Sean Plunket interviews Ani O’Brien to discuss the influence of Minister Nanaia Mahuta's family throughout central and local Government - especially in relation to co-governance.

Heather du Plessis-Allan: Can we all accept now that Nanaia Mahuta is not great at her job?

Can we all accept now that Nanaia Mahuta is not great at her job?

It is astounding that she hasn’t once spoken to our ambassador in Russia since the start of the invasion.

Never mind the fact that – apart from one letter – she also hasn’t been in contact with our diplomats in the Solmons since its pact with China.

That’s pretty bad as well.

But not speaking to our woman in Russia is astounding given the magnitude of the invasion of Ukraine and the impact it’s having on everything from food prices, fuel prices, the security of Europe through to the possibility it emboldens China.

Hilary Calvert: Government must come clean about its goals

Democracy fails when a government is not honest about what it believes are the issues, why they want change and what they propose to do.

Honesty in the issues is a vital first step.

Instead, the Government leapfrogs this and moves straight into expensive and incoherent advertising spending.

Without a clear idea of what the Government wants to say, the ads vary from childish through unbelievable to what a load of rubbish.

Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Point of Order: Mortgage holders will wince as RBNZ takes another shot at bringing inflation back into the target zone

The Reserve Bank has raised the official cash rate to 2% – but will that slay the inflationary beast roaming the countryside.?

Point of Order doesn’t think so.

Reserve Bank governor Adrian Orr made the right belligerent noises as he fired the bullet today but he needed a fiscal -policy volley from Finance Minister Grant Robertson to demolish the monster.

Inflation, according to Robertson, is all due to overseas factors — the war in the Ukraine, supply chain congestion, China’s economic problems, you name it — but little has been done to contain it in the term of the Ardern government.

Simon O'Connor on free speech

Is Simon O'Connor the conservative that New Zealand has been waiting for?

Simon O'Connor was speaking in Parliament in the first reading of the Education and Training (Freedom of Expression) Amendment Bill

Eric Crampton: Why I don’t like the Ministry For The Environment’s reboot of Seinfeld

The ministry's proposed plan to impose a 20-cent deposit on almost every beverage container sold doesn't add up, and with a 10c bottle deposit difference between Australia and NZ, we'll be making smuggling great again too

There were a lot of truly classic episodes of Seinfeld, but among the very best, at least for economists, was “The Bottle Deposit”.

And we may be in for a repeat if the Ministry for the Environment has anything to say about it.

In the Seinfeld episode, Newman, a postman, tries to figure out how to profit from the five-cent difference in the can and bottle deposit between New York and Michigan. Truck rental fees, tolls, and fuel for the thousand-kilometre trip seemed to make it impossible – until Newman figures out a way of using a postal service truck to make the run.

But trans-Tasman container shipping is a lot more cost-effective, per tonne, than freight hauling across the United States.

And the Ministry for the Environment has just closed off submissions on a proposed container deposit return scheme that, among other problems, would set a 20-cent deposit on beverage containers. Australia’s deposit is 10 cents. And it could well be viable to send a container of crushed cans across the Tasman for fun, profit, and a Seinfeld reboot.

We will come back to some rough numbers on the Ministry for the Environment’s attempt to Make Smuggling (and Seinfeld) Great Again.

But first, the scheme.

Roger Partridge: Time is up for Commerce Commission

Commercial regulatory agencies wield enormous power. They can take away a business’s licence to operate. They can impose restrictions on how firms operate. And they have enforcement powers the police can only dream of. 

How they exercise their powers really matters. A good regulator can make sense of bad regulation. A bad regulator can make good regulation senseless. Poor regulatory decision-making can be disastrous for commerce. It can stifle innovation, add cost and reduce efficiency. And ultimately, it is consumers who pay the price. 

Consequently, it should be of great concern to politicians and the public alike that respect for New Zealand’s commercial regulators has declined over the past four years.

Mike Hosking: Hermit Kingdom attitude is now haunting us

It's coming home to roost a bit, isn't it?

What we have learned this week, whether it be the construction company now in Britain looking to fill the jobs here that pay over $100,000, the university students that haven't come back despite the door being open, the manufacturers who told us the job queue is non-existent because reputation is an issue, or the apple orchards that have left over $100 million worth of fruit on the trees, there is a theme.

The theme is we stayed closed too long.

The line that the best economic response was our health response is now being shown to be the utterly dishonest nonsense it always was.

Point of Order: Lots of spending, some foreign affairs initiatives and (be nervous, readers) a review of our electoral laws

Just in case the affected voters and constituencies haven’t bothered to check how much funding they are being given in Budget 2022 (or how much they have lost in some cases), ministers have been letting them know in post-Budget press statements.

At least, they have been letting them know when the sums have been increased. They tend not to draw attention to budgets that have been cut.

Today we learn that –

Bryce Edwards: Grant Robertson’s “sweet moderation”

Grant Robertson is a big fan of British socialist folk-punk singer Billy Bragg. The finance minister even wrote an opinion column last year that started and ended with lyrics from Bragg’s iconic song “Between the Wars”, with its key line “Sweet moderation; Heart of this nation”. Robertson titled his column, “We can be a nation of sweet moderation – but only if we keep working at it”.

The Finance Minister and Deputy Prime Minister appropriated Bragg’s “sweet moderation” line as a justification in the face of criticisms that his government had become moderate rather than “transformational”. In fact, his column sought to paint rising political discontent and anger as being dangerous and something for all to condemn. In contrast to radicalism, he claimed that his type of “sweet moderation” was all about “giving everyone a fair suck of the sav” – i.e. a very down-to-earth way of signalling a vague sense of egalitarianism.

What Robertson misses about Bragg’s song is that it’s actually a critique of politicians like Robertson, who fail to side with the poor. Bragg’s song calls for a proper welfare state “from the cradle to the grave”, and it criticises governments who deny workers “a living wage”. The character in the song recalls: “As times got harder; I looked to the government to help the working man”, but the Government failed to help the poor and instead helped the wealthy.

Tuesday, May 24, 2022

NZCPR Newsletter: Splashing the Cash

On Saturday, Australians voted for change.

While some claim the electorate had become tired of a three-term government and others believe there was a pro-climate change aspect to the vote, what was evident was a growing disenchantment with ‘establishment’ parties and a shift towards alternatives.

The same patterns of disenchantment is evident here. There is no doubt that an “anyone but Jacinda” groundswell has emerged and is gaining momentum. The question is can the Ardern Labour Government reverse the sentiment for change before the next election? With eighteen months to go, they have time on their side, but the two major announcements they made last week reinforce doubts about their competence to rescue their sinking ship.

Helen Egmont: Everyone Knows

“It is better to debate a question without settling it than to settle a question without debating it.” Joseph Joubert

Everyone knows:
  • We must be open to debate on important issues
  • If we do not debate then we will be unaware of potential issues.
  • Not questioning rules has had huge negative consequences all throughout history
  • We are vulnerable to influence and must have checks and balances in place at all levels of society
It is important that New Zealanders understand that the covid vaccine still being used here is now significantly “out of date”. The covid variant it worked best against is long gone. And it is never coming back.

Point of Order: Why exporters should consider decoupling from China and focus more on opportunities provided by India’s growth

Not many New Zealanders may have noticed what is happening in China or India – but their economies appear to be tracking in opposite directions. Those movements could have a powerful impact in turn on NZ’s economic fortunes.

Point of Order is indebted to two remarkable pieces of journalism for insights that give context to these issues. One report appeared in the Guardian Weekly, the other in The Economist.

The first, by Larry Elliott, was headed “Stifled dragon: No-one should take delight in Beijing’s economic woes” and argues a full-blown economic crash would be as damaging to the world as the US sub-prime mortgage crisis was.

The report in The Economist focused on India’s economy which, it said, is likely to be the world’s fastest-growing big economy this year. The details prompted The Economist to editorialise that the Indian economy is being rewired.

“The opportunity is immense— and so are the stakes”.

Mike Hosking: Govt's overseas trips have to achieve something tangible

The almost universal review card of the Prime Minister's much-hyped first trade trip was that it ended up light on detail.

It was to Singapore and Japan, where we got a visa adjustment that allowed 300 instead of 200 people with certain skills into the country. Whether any of them come is another matter, of course, as raised by the Employers and Manufacturers Association yesterday.

There were a couple of Toyotas powered by hydrogen that are going to part of some trial here in a bid to boost hydrogen use.

Monday, May 23, 2022

Point of Order: Aussie election result result opens the way for a revitalisation of the Anzac partnership

Australia’s election, thrusting the ALP and its leader Anthony Albanese back into a governing role, offers the Ardern government a fresh opportunity to blow the cobwebs off the Anzac partnership.

During the last years of the Liberal era, the once-strong Trans-Tasman relationship appeared to cool. Australia’s deportation policy under the notorious 501 provision of its immigration law has become a sore point and the Liberal government under Scott Morrison planned to increase the flow of Kiwi deportees, much to Wellington’s chagrin.

Australia and NZ share similar goals in trade and defence, but these, too, need a fresh polish. The world during the Covid era has been changing rapidly, and now the Russian invasion of Ukraine has created a deep tension in global relationships.

Mike Hosking: Job numbers are the last economic domino to fall

The saving grace, they say, as we plummet towards who knows where economically, is that we all have jobs.

Growth might be slow or non-existent, the cost of living may well be going through the roof, the debt may be piling up, and the mood may be sour, but we all have jobs. It's a global phenomenon. As bad as it is, or might yet be, we are in work.

But you might have noticed Netflix laid some people off the other day. They got rid of 150 people. They have 11,000 workers, so not exactly a massive broom through the place, but nevertheless it is the start of something.

It is the night follows day part of the equation that makes up a recession.

Graham Adams: Simon Henry’s “fair criticism” gets overlooked

On Friday, My Food Bag announced its results for the year ending March 31. The meal-kit provider had increased its profit and declared a four-cents-per-share dividend.

On the back of this excellent news, its shares rose six cents from Thursday’s close of 79 cents to 85 cents at the end of Friday trading.

However, anyone who bought shares in My Food Bag’s public float on the Australian and New Zealand share markets in March 2021 might not have hurried to break out the champagne to celebrate their good fortune just yet.

It’s a melancholy fact that the shares are still 54 per cent below their listing price of $1.85 in the company’s Initial Public Offering.

Meanwhile, the shares of DGL Group — the chemicals company headed by the notorious Simon Henry — rose 14 cents on Friday from $3.36 to $3.50.

Despite the fallout from the severe and relentless beating he has taken in the media over the past fortnight for his “Eurasian fluff” comments about My Food Bag’s ambassador and co-founder Nadia Lim, he and his board have delivered a 240 per cent rise for investors who bought shares in DGL Group’s public float last May.

Geoffrey Miller: Albanese’s Australian election victory and Biden’s trip to Asia set the scene for Ardern’s US trip

Jacinda Ardern’s trip to the United States this week has been months in the making.

A stop in Washington DC is already locked in, but the Prime Minister’s recent positive test for Covid-19 has delayed the official announcement of a meeting with President Joe Biden. Reports now suggest Ardern is likely to call at the White House next week.

New Zealand’s breakdown in relations with the US in the 1980s over Labour’s nuclear-free policy – which led to Washington suspending its obligations to Wellington under the ANZUS defence alliance in 1986 – means that any top-level engagement carries particular significance.

A visit to the home of the Oval Office is a symbolic carrot like no other.

Sunday, May 22, 2022

Bruce Moon: Our UnIversities were Centres of Excellence - once upon a time!

It has been said that half the truth is sometimes worse than a lie.

Thus we have Joanna Kidman, professor of Maori Education at Victoria University of Wellington, a prolific author with a PhD in sociology from Australian National University.  Her photograph in ‘stuff’ for 15 May 2022 accompanies an article which identifies her as “Ngāti Maniapoto, Ngāti Raukawa”!  There is no mention of the other most clearly obvious and evidently European components of her heritage.  Well, why should this be?  Can we really be expected to take seriously the personal identification of anybody so glaringly out of kilter with the whole truth, no matter what academic distinctions she happens to have?

Clive Bibby: The disinformation (misinformation) debate is becoming a war we can’t afford to lose

I want to congratulate Caleb Anderson on his well-researched assessment of where this country is heading but at the same time feel the need to put it a bit more bluntly.

I don’t do “nice” anymore and being “kind” doesn’t cut it either.

The devil lies within. Our opponents in this battle are those who share our privileges but not our respect for the rights of our fellow citizens. We are at war in a battle of ideas.

It is becoming clear that the greatest threat to our membership of the alliance of “Free” societies is our indoctrination by those who currently control our thoughts.