Thursday, June 30, 2022

Don Brash: The serious challenges facing local government

An address to the Omokoroa Residents & Ratepayers Association AGM

29 June 2022

Ladies and gentlemen,

There are a great many serious challenges facing New Zealand at the present time but most of them – like our falling literacy rates, like the prospect of a very serious increase in government debt over the next few decades as a result of the ageing of our population and the failure of either National-led or Labour-led Governments to do anything about it, like our depressingly slow rate of productivity growth compared with other countries, like our shocking levels of welfare dependency – lie well outside the scope of local government, and should remain outside that scope. These are problems which only central government can effectively deal with.

Garrick Tremain: Jacinda leaves it all behind

 Here is Garrick Tremain's cartoon commentary on the relief of getting away from it all.

Mike Hosking: The pay rises are fine, until the economic reality comes

At PWC in Britain, the pay rise coming is 9 percent. They employ about 20,000 locally. Some pay rises will be as high as 10 percent . The chairman says you can't ignore reality, which is true.

Given the job market, if you are not offering the 9 percent, someone is. And that person will be hoovering up the scare resource that makes up today's labour market.

Locally, Air New Zealand is offering in house bonuses to those who nominate people who can be hired. They currently have about 1100 jobs up for grabs. I was shown an ad last week for a job at TVNZ, they are offering five weeks leave. And it's not just for the job ad I saw, but it seemed all jobs advertised.

Point of Order: PM condemns disinformation and upholds democracy in speech in Madrid – now let’s see what happens back in NZ

Legislation to tighten things, legislation to relax things and a speech which reminds us of threats to our democracy – from the PM, we are delighted to note – feature in the latest posts on the Beehive website.

Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister David Clark has had a busy day, announcing two lots of legislation.

Melanie Phillips: A referendum should be for the whole nation


The Scots have no right to amputate the UK

Once again, Scottish nationalism is on the march.

The Scottish National Party wants another referendum on independence from the rest of the UK. A referendum on this was held in 2014, when on a turnout of more than 84 per cent more than 55 per cent of voters said “no” and almost 45 per cent said “yes”. 

Melissa Lee: On Government Media funding

Melissa Lee chats to Sean Plunket on The Platform about the Government's controversial Media funding

HDPA: Andrew Little is having a laugh pretending he didn't know about health system woes


Andrew Little has got to be having a laugh if he’s trying to pretend he didn’t know our health system was going to melt down like it is at the moment.

Because that’s essentially what his office is trying to do. 

They’re claiming they didn’t know about a letter that was sent a year ago warning of exactly this.

In that letter, the DHBs asked the Government to fix the immigration system so they could get overseas workers in and so they wouldn’t lose migrant staff back overseas.

Guy Hatchard: Jacinda Ardern Leads the Way With Disinformation

Jacinda Ardern, who has escaped the continuing restrictions in New Zealand to visit Europe and speak at NATO, has met with her counterparts in France and Spain to suggest a global alliance to combat disinformation.

Ardern spoke to them about the New Zealand capital grounds riot and played to her gullible audience by suggesting the threat to social cohesion and public health in New Zealand society was originating in Russia and might result in war.

Ardern has had talks with President Macron which reportedly included disinformation. I am not sure that the events in Wellington would have qualified as a riot in France.

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Garrick Tremain: Sitting on the Fence!

Here is Garrick Tremain's latest cartoon commentary on the National leader's political strategy! 

Mike Hosking: Free speech must be protected, even if you don't agree with what is being said

For me, the more interesting aspect of our Roe v Wade reaction is the intolerance of so many in a country that would argue the opposite.

We love free speech, we love freedom of thought, and we love our ‘rights’, all of our ‘rights’, until of course it affects us or affronts us.

Then we go nuts.

I got a lot of reaction to the Simon O’Connor post on Roe v Wade, National had just lost half their votes was a theme.

The attacks on Christopher Luxon were another.

Such an extreme reaction to something that has literally no impact in this country whatsoever.

John Franklin: “Stand for Equal Rights”

When I consider the current political landscape, I involuntarily shake my head and ask how on earth did we get here? Some of the rhetoric coming from politicians, the government and the agencies they run is so wayward that it borders on lunacy. And I can’t escape the conclusion that much of it contradicts the foundational rights underpinning our society’s civil liberties that previous generations fought to protect.

We are seeing the introduction of several new policies that are biased towards certain ethnic groups, so we no longer have a society where all ethnicities can expect to be treated equally. We are also seeing the introduction of new gender-biased policies despite decades of work to stamp out gender prejudice, notably from the suffrage movement.

Net Zero Watch: Net Zero red tape to be ditched as Britain returns to coal


In this newsletter:

1) Net Zero red tape to be ditched as Britain returns to coal
The Daily Telegraph, 27 June 2022
2) Nine out of 10 households plan to cut back on energy this winter 
The Mirror, 28 June 2022

Kate Hawkesby: I've seen first hand how swamped our health system is


Like a lot of parents I imagine at the moment, I got the call up to the school sick bay yesterday to collect my daughter. Not another respiratory virus thank goodness, but a shoulder injury. School suggested I take her to A&E or a doctor to check it out.

Now anyone who has been sick lately, or paying attention to the news, knows that now is not the time to try to see a doctor or try to get into an ED. So I waited to lay eyes on my daughter to see how bad it was, because if we could avoid attempting to see a health professional at the moment that'd be preferable. But as soon as I saw my daughter with her arm in a sling and the state of her pain, I knew we needed to get an expert opinion and possibly an ultrasound or X-ray. 

Point of Order: Yes, the speed limit (on one stretch of our roads) has been lifted but Wood must do much more to rate with Bob Semple

Transport Minister Michael Wood has been busy beating his drum over the move to lift the speed limit on the Waikato Expressway to 110km/h, between Hampton Downs and Tamahere.

He points out that the Waikato Expressway is a key transport route for the Waikato region, connecting Auckland to the agricultural and business centres of the central North Island. The features making it safer for travelling at higher speeds include having at least two lanes in each direction, a central median barrier, and no significant curves.

His press statement was among those to flow from the Beehive since Point of Order’s previous Buzz, including news of further support for Ukraine:

Eric Crampton: If Medsafe won't lead, it needs to get out of the way

On Friday, June 17, the United States Food and Drug Administration approved the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines for children over the age of 6 months. The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention recommended the vaccines the next day. And vaccination of under-5s began last week.

Vaccination for under 5s is not likely to start in New Zealand for months. Our regulatory systems are failing us.

And it matters.

Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Dr Hylton Le Grice: I am simply a New Zealand citizen

The position in New Zealand is really quite simple.

‘Māori’ are said to be 16% of the population, but this is entirely incorrect because, most of those people who say they are ‘Māori’ have less than 50% Māori genetic background. However, let’s be generous here and say that perhaps one eighth of these people have more 50% or more Māori genes in their makeup.

That means that only 2% of our population, about 100,000, have the technical right to call themselves Māori. The other 14% illogically deny the majority of their genetic background. This is simply irrational and could not stand up in a balanced debate.

Mike Hosking: Higher education can't just be given away

Part of the reason we started student loans is before that it was all funded by the taxpayer.

So, like when anything is free, people just wandered off to university to see what it was all about, to see if there was anything they liked, and to just generally “discover themselves.“

That led to a tremendous number of people never completing anything, as they worked out tertiary study wasn’t for them. You are either on a path to university or you aren't.

Garrick Tremain: Jacinda with the minders at customs

Jacinda keeps 'mum' before the election

Garrick Tremain is one of New Zealand's best known artists and political cartoonists. With a background in farming and advertising, he has a wonderful ability to capture in images exactly what people are thinking in a way that makes us laugh. You can see his more of his work on his website HERE.

Point of Order: Oops – our well-being is likely to be bruised as NZ slips down international rankings and we slump on economic performance

For long enough New Zealanders have liked to think they enjoyed one of the highest living standards in the world. More recently those familiar with what is happening in those countries which are leading the world have understood NZ has been slipping down the ladder.

Under a Labour-led government, the slide has accelerated. Now as inflation surges, and recession is looming on the horizon, new questions are being asked about the economic stewardship of the Ardern government.

Has too much been left to the Finance Minister Grant Robertson? How has he done in his fiscal management?. Why is inflation burning so fiercely? What has happened with his concept of “well-being”?

Guy Hatchard: The New Covid Democracy—Don’t Ask, Whatever You Think, It Isn’t True Unless I Told You So

It was not a triumph of democracy, as some people seemed to think last week, when a majority succeeded in imposing their views on a minority through the passing of restrictive legislation.

Modern democracy is supposed to protect the rights of minorities and a plurality of opinion and options.

The main point of our opposition to vaccine mandates has been to protect our right to freely choose medical interventions. This is not limited to Covid vaccination alone.

Clive Bibby: When all else fails, bail out while you're ahead.

When reading the latest news about the war in Ukraine, I couldn't help noticing the contrasting leadership styles of the main participants.

It doesn't require a military strategist to work out the main contributing factors to either success or failure on the battlefield.

But we need to understand the ramifications of domestic policies in the respective countries before we rush to judgement on which side holds the upper hand and who has the most to lose.

Graham Adams: More on the Mahuta mess

A ministry investigation shows that concerns about perceived conflicts of interest are not going away — no matter what the mainstream media says.

History is littered with confident assessments that made people look extremely foolish soon afterwards. A famous example came just before the 1929 sharemarket crash when economist Irving Fisher proclaimed: “Stock prices have reached what looks like a permanently high plateau.”

Watching Newshub’s Isobel Ewing effectively advise the nation last week there’s “nothing to see here” in the gathering storm over Nanaia Mahuta’s apparent conflicts of interest made it difficult not to think of Fisher and other short-sighted sages.

Ewing’s rush to judgment seemed, at best, premature. She was reporting on Environment Minister David Parker’s announcement that the ministry would hold an internal inquiry into the appointment of Nanaia Mahuta’s husband and two members of her extended family to a five-member, public-sector working group in waste management.

Monday, June 27, 2022

Denis Hall: Renaming New Zealand's modern cities

The modern cities of Auckland - - Hamilton and Wellington - Christchurch and Dunedin - and the smaller ones of - Napier Hastings - New Plymouth - Palmerston North - Nelson - do not owe their existence in any way to Maori or Maori culture.

They - like so many smaller towns in New Zealand are representative of - and at the most fundamental level - entirely the product of the European culture and enterprise and investment and work ethic and technology and tradition and plain hard work - that took more than - in some places - two hundred years to build.

European culture, hard work and enterprise created them - with no cultural help from anywhere.

Point of Order: Kiri warms towards tougher party funding restrictions (perhaps encouraged by the Nats warning of the “chilling effect”)

The National Party’s strong objection to plans to overhaul New Zealand’s political donations regime, expressed in submissions on the Government’s proposed sweeping changes to electoral law, were reported in a Stuff report last week.

The changes would include lowering the threshold for political parties to disclose donors from $15,000 to $1500 and require political parties to make public their annual financial statements 

This would have a “chilling effect” on democracy, the Nats contended.

The Ardern government isn’t too fussed about protecting the country’s democratic electoral arrangements nowadays, of course, as has become glaringly obvious over the past year or so (see here, here and here for evidence)

Net Zero Watch - It's all over: Climate pledges abandoned as Putin sparks global coal crunch


In this newsletter:

1) Climate pledges abandoned as Putin sparks global coal crunch
The Daily Telegraph, 25 June 2022
2) Coal makes unwelcome return as energy crisis engulfs Germany and Europe
The Sunday Times, 26 June 2022

Garrick Tremain: Jacinda's travel itinerary

Palming Trevor Mallard off to the Irish

Garrick Tremain is one of New Zealand's best known artists and political cartoonists. With a background in farming and advertising, he has a wonderful ability to capture in images exactly what people are thinking in a way that makes us laugh. You can see his more of his work on his website HERE.

Geoffrey Miller: Can Jacinda Ardern’s starpower save New Zealand’s free trade deal with the EU?

Jacinda Ardern will need to deploy every aspect of her starpower if she is to have any hope of rescuing New Zealand’s faltering free trade negotiations with the European Union (EU).

The Prime Minister has branded each of her four foreign trips so far this year as ‘trade missions’ – and the labelling will certainly ring true on her visit to Brussels this week.

On Thursday, Ardern will hold direct talks with Ursula von der Leyen, the President of the European Commission. The former German defence minister has become a familiar face on New Zealand television screens over the past few months, thanks to her repeated announcements on the EU’s support for Ukraine.

Mike Hosking: About time there was an investigation into the Mahuta contracts

As if the Government didn’t have enough credibility issues, the inevitable Mahuta investigation has begun against the backdrop of the Prime Minister saying she had her full confidence.

There is something not right about the whole Mahuta thing. The Foreign Affairs appointment came so far out of left field it made the Poto Williams appointment look like a stroke of genius.

A person who hates flying but is Foreign Affairs Minister. A person who has barely travelled post Covid, telling us the Pacific is fine and we can wait until the Pacific Leaders Forum next month while the Chinese park themselves locally aiming to achieve God knows what, and Penny Wong on a plane most days to try and mop up the potential damage.

There is a power struggle between the Prime Minister and the Māori caucus. There can be no other explanation for the ridiculous defence over a Minister who is low profile, work shy, and letting her portfolios down.

Sunday, June 26, 2022

Point of Order: Academics announce new Centre of Indigenous Science – and now (it seems) they will find out what they should be teaching

Any notion that “the science is settled” is (or should be) anathema to good scientists.

There is always more to learn

“… because the scientific method never provides absolute conclusions. It’s always possible that the next observation will contradict the current consensus.”

But in this country the fundamental matter of defining science and determining what should be taught to science studies in our universities has become more unsettling than unsettled.

“Indigenous knowledge” has become “indigenous science”, overriding the conventional view that science is colour blind and culturally neutral – that science is science is science.

Roger Childs: Dispelling appalling lies

Setting the Record Straight on Rangiaowhia 1864

On 21 February 1864, 1000 British troops marched into the tiny, defenceless village of Rangiaowhia and wantonly slaughtered a hundred women and children. Or did they?
- Piers Seed

There is no way that General Cameron, the chivalrous Commander of the Colonial troops in the Waikato War, would contemplate the killing of women and children. He had criticized Kingite general, Wiremu Tamihana, for having women in the front lines at the earlier Battle of Rangariri.

Cameron did want to occupy Rangiaowhia, because it was the major source of food for the Kingite forces, notably at the powerful set of forts at Paterangi. To get to the village he had cleverly by-passed these fortifications in the dead of night to avoid casualties.

NZCPR Newsletter: The Revolution Within

“The liberty of a democracy is not safe if private power becomes stronger than the democratic state itself. That in its essence is fascism: ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or any controlling private power.”

― President Franklin D. Roosevelt

In April last year, Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta announced a review of local government: “They are now facing a wave of reforms that will significantly affect their traditional roles and functions… This offers an important opportunity to embody the Treaty partnership through the role and representation of iwi/Maori in local government.”

She was referring to Labour’s planned removal of two core roles and sources of funding from councils, namely the provision of water services and Resource Management Act consenting.

Michael Bassett: Jacinda’s government, mainstream media and public interest journalism

Have you been wondering why there is so little debate about co-governance in the daily papers, on television and on Radio New Zealand? I’m talking about the schemes that are being hatched by Maori radicals in the Beehive with support elsewhere for giving Maori extra votes in local government, a controlling power in the new public health structure and in Nanaia Mahuta’s radical restructuring of fresh water, drainage and sewerage. In effect, an end to the principle of one person-one vote enshrined in our central and local government structure since women got the vote in 1893. Why are articles and press releases being sent by distinguished New Zealanders, ordinary individuals and members of Parliament to the mainstream media (MSM) questioning co-governance, going straight into the waste-paper buckets in editorial rooms? And while this happens, Mahuta and her Cabinet colleagues, Willie Jackson and Health Minister Andrew Little, push ahead with legislation destroying democracy as we have known it? What is happening to the media that were once the bulwarks of fair debate?

Saturday, June 25, 2022

Lindsay Mitchell: The Flaw in PM's Plan

In April this year the Prime Minister laid out the progress she has made towards child poverty reduction since taking office. She said her government has "lifted tens of thousands of children from poverty and improved the lives of many others."

She makes one specific comparison over the time frame since becoming Prime Minister - a "30% reduction in children aged 0-17 who live in low-income households after housing costs, over three years (from 2017/18)."

This was achieved primarily by lifting benefits and family tax credits - and in particular introducing a $60 weekly child payment called Best Start.

She failed to mention she has also overseen thousands more children becoming dependent on benefits.

Garrick Tremain: Labour Party in Damage Control

Here is Garrick Tremain's cartoon commentary on Labour in damage control as Jacinda Ardern becomes a liability at home! 


Point of Order: It’s Matariki (if you hadn’t noticed) but we are being urged to celebrate the occasion and not try to commercialise it

Fresh news – since our previous Buzz – comes from Oceans and Fisheries Minister David Parker. He has announced he will represent New Zealand at the second United Nations (UN) Ocean Conference in Lisbon, Portugal, which runs from 27 June to 1 July.

Other ministers presumably have gone home for the long weekend to celebrate the nation’s first authentically Māori public holiday, Matariki

Consistent with the Government’s enthusiasm for mobilising the media and commandeering the airwaves to broadcast Matariki-focused mass programming, we imagined they all would be pitching in with press statements to promote Matariki or instruct us about its cultural significance.

Not so. We found only a speech from the PM and one press statement in the names of the PM, Kelvin Davis and Kiri Allan.

Ross Meurant: Māori myth is not science

Various academics of Māori lineage collectively seem to hold the view “Māori don’t need Western science to endorse or authenticate our knowledge systems.” (1)

The problem with this is perhaps exposed by the following claim:

“A new paper by the University of Otago combines literature and oral histories, and concludes that Māori, the indigenous people of Aotearoa New Zealand, were likely the first people to explore Antarctica’s surrounding waters, and possibly the continent in the distance. They write that Māori and Polynesian journeys to the deep south have been occurring for a long time, perhaps as far back as the seventh century, and are recorded in a variety of oral traditions. According to the oral histories of Māori tribal groups Ngāti Rārua and Te Āti Awa, the first human to travel to the Antarctic was the Polynesian explorer, Hui Te Rangiora.” (2)

For an ethic group that had no written language to record events, passage of time erodes accuracy. As a former detective I learned well that a week’s delay in recording evidence, let alone a year or 1200 years, makes a big difference. Oral transfer of past events gets distorted, exaggerated and invariably is a bare resemblance to what actually happened.

Bryce Edwards: Wealthy can buy access to power – and politicians don’t want this changed

The current New Zealand First Foundation trial in the High Court continues to show why reform is required when it comes to money in politics. The juicy details coming out each day show private wealth being funnelled into some peculiar schemes in an attempt to circumvent the Electoral Act.

Yet they’re not the only ones doing this. The major political parties are currently in full fundraising mode – seeking large donations from the wealthy. And they’re doing so in a way that often gets around disclosure laws or is allowed by the Cabinet Manual.

Both Labour and National are currently using their controversial “cash for access” schemes, in which a large financial contribution can secure you a meeting with the Prime Minister or the Leader of the Opposition.

Breaking Views Update: Week of 19.6.22

Saturday June 25, 2022 

PM hails 'first authentically Māori public holiday

The prime minister said the public holiday should not divide us by Maori ancestry or other, rather "it unites us under the stars of Aotearoa".

In a separate statement she said: "This is a special day not only for Aotearoa but globally as we celebrate our first authentically Māori public holiday, which has been met with overwhelming support.

Friday, June 24, 2022

Point of Order: How we are suckling the sheep-milk industry – Govt invests $7.97m in partnership which involves state-owned Landcorp

Damien O’Connor scored twice – he issued one statement as Minister of Trade and another as Minister of Agriculture – while rookie Emergency Relief Minister Kieran McNulty broke his duck, announcing flood relief for the West Coast.

Covid-19 Response Minister Ayesha Verrall put more runs on the board, too, with a statement about Government work to combat new and more dangerous variants of COVID-19.

In his trade job, O’Connor declared he was pleased with the quick progress of the United Kingdom Free Trade Agreement Legislation Bill that was introduced to the House yesterday.

It would enable New Zealand to implement its obligations under the FTA and was necessary to bring the FTA into force, he explained.

Derek Mackie: Making the most of Matariki

Another public holiday - who doesn’t love one of those? 
Well for starters, your employer probably, who has to pay you for another day of no work. Or in the case of our burgeoning public sector workforce, all of us who have to pay taxes to give them another day off. 

 But I don’t want to be a killjoy. Public holidays are a welcome break to spend time with your loved ones - that is, if you haven’t seen enough of them over the past couple of years in lockdown. 
So, I thought I should learn a bit more about Matariki and the customs surrounding our newest public holiday. Where better to go than OneNews Online for some inspiration [1]. 

Eric Crampton: Expecting better

In February, New Zealand’s PCR Covid testing system fell apart.

The Ministry of Health, the Director-General of Health, and the Ministers should have known it would happen. They repeatedly asserted it would not.

Last week, the government released Allen + Clarke’s rapid review of the failure.

The Report had a few conclusions. The most troubling is this:

Oliver Hartwich: The jury is out

I always believed that Magna Carta left us with a most valuable inheritance: the right to trial by jury. Even after learning that legal historians now regard this assertion as fiction, I did so.

But my unbridled enthusiasm for jury trials is struggling to survive a personal encounter with the jury system.

Last week, I was summoned to serve as a juror in the Wellington High Court. I was excited. Finally, I could fulfil my civic duty, make use of my legal training, and help justice prevail.

Well, if only.

Bryce Wilkinson: New Zealand’s economy a shadow of its former self

Paul Bloxham, HSBC’s chief economist, once described New Zealand as a “rockstar economy”.

That was back in January 2014.

Today, there is nothing “rockstar” left about the New Zealand economy, unless you have Ozzy Osbourne in mind.

For more than three decades, the Swiss Institute for Management and Development (IMD) has compiled annual rankings of competitiveness for 63 of the world’s most important countries. It makes for sobering reading for New Zealanders.

Heather du Plessis-Allan: Are we running this country on Blu-Tack and paperclips?


Are we running this country on Blu-Tack and paperclips?

We almost had power cuts again this morning and apparently we need to get used to it because this is just the way our winters are going to be from now on.

So what happened was that Transpower issued a grid emergency just before 8am warning that we might not have enough electricity to power the country.

Reporters were on the radio telling people to delay charging laptops and cell phones and consider turning off unnecessary lights.

John MacDonald: Christmas sales yes. Matariki sales no. Why?

Memo to Elton John: Sorry is no longer the hardest word.

Because it seems we have apologies coming out of our ears at the moment. The latest one is from retailer Babycity.

It's saying sorry for promoting a Matariki sale. Matariki, of course, is the Māori New Year which we are celebrating with the public holiday tomorrow - the first time there's ever been a Matariki holiday.

But Babycity is in hot water because it decided to have a sale and promoted it as its Matariki Sale. Not allowed - it seems.

Thursday, June 23, 2022

Graeme Reeves: Report of the Attorney General on the Rotorua Council Bill

Report of the Attorney General of 21 April 2022 Under the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990 on the Rotorua District Council (Representation Arrangements ) Bill (A.G.)

The Rotorua District Council (Representation Arrangements) Bill (the Bill) seeks to override the provisions of the Local Electoral Act 2001 (LEA) by substituting the formula set out in the LEA by another formula which would allow for Council representation to be over represented by Maori.

The A.G sets out in clauses 10 to 13 the following analysis of the effect of the proposed representation arrangements in answer to the question, “Does the legislation draw a distinction on one of the prohibited grounds of discrimination?”

Jon Miltimore: Why It Matters That Fauci Got COVID-19

I recently returned from a week-long vacation in the north woods of Wisconsin. We played beach volleyball, went fishing and boating, had a lively game of Wiffle Ball with the kids, and swam until our skin was prune-like.

Even without a cell phone, I managed to stumble on a bit of breaking news from an unusual source: television. (It was virtually the only media I had up there.) Naturally, I had to share this bit of news.

“Fauci has Covid,” I told some of my companions, stuffing beer into coolers.

A discussion quickly broke out over whether the news was relevant.

Mike Hosking: What's wrong with living in the real world?

As I understand the metaverse it will eventually be a place where you live that’s so real you may not know where you are, here or the metaverse.

At the moment, as I understand, the metaverse it's just a bunch of avatars, like avatars on games. In fact, the metaverse as I understand it right now just looks like a cheap game.

Some are starting to take it seriously. A Minister from a Middle Eastern government the other day called for the United Nations to be involved in the metaverse to oversee crime. It's a fair question. If crime is committed in the metaverse, which it will be, under whose jurisdiction is it policed? Who is charged? And where and what are the penalties?

Money is already being used in the metaverse, so does a financial crime get caught up by a police force somewhere?

Point of Order: When all that money is being pumped into health (as the PM insists), we may wonder why the system is so badly strained

Opposition Leader Christopher Luxon has shown he is a fast learner. Where earlier he often ended on the receiving end in exchanges with the Prime Minister in Parliament, now it is the Prime Minister who who can be seen back-pedalling,

Take, for example, pressures in the health system which are causing so much anguish to New Zealanders.

The National Party has turned the spotlight on emergency departments which are facing high demand and staff shortages, with at least one district health board delaying planned surgeries for weeks.

Luxon had laid the groundwork for his questions with an earlier statement that he would commit to delivering and improving health outcomes.