Friday, September 30, 2022

Ian Bradford: Is carbon dioxide really causing global warming?


It is generally agreed that there has been a global temperature rise of just 1 Deg C since the Industrial Revolution 170 years ago.

Various scientists have done research on how this 1 deg C rise has occurred by studying ice cores. Syun-Ichi Akasofu from the International Arctic Centre at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, found that there seems to be an approximately linear increase in temperature since about 1800 to the present.  Naturally, there will be fluctuations of temperature with some periods of warming and some of cooling during that time, but mathematicians can fit a straight line graph to the values. In other words, there is no general upwards trend nor any general downwards trend in temperatures. Akasofu’s research was supported by further studies by Frizsche et al in 2006 , Polyakov et al, Burroughs, and Tarrand and Nordli.

Chris Trotter: Worse Crimes.

It really doesn't matter what the Police statisticians and the criminologists say about crime, all that matters is public perception. Crime statistics the world over may be declining. The young people of today may actually be more law-abiding than their parents and grandparents. But, when people see the consequences of a ram-raid; when they witness hooded figures helping themselves to other people’s property in broad daylight; well, then facts cease to matter. They’re alarmed. They’re angry. They want something done.
The problem, of course, is that those whose responsibility it is to do something, aren’t at all sure what can – or should – be done.

Karl du Fresne: When political journalism morphs into crude emotional blackmail

Broadcaster Sean Plunket might have been taken aback to discover he was the subject of the second item on Newshub’s 6pm news bulletin a few nights ago. Then again maybe it was no surprise, given that few people are more keenly aware than Plunket of the mainstream media’s eagerness to marginalise – even demonise – anyone who challenges ideological orthodoxy. His key purpose in setting up his online site The Platform, after all, was to counter the ceaseless barrage of woke indoctrination from media outlets that have abandoned journalism for activism.

Bryce Edwards: Political Roundup: Te Pāti Māori and vested interests

Controversial Māori politician and president of Te Pāti Māori, John Tamihere, is in hot water over large financial donations relating to his 2019 Auckland Mayoral campaign and Te Pāti Māori’s 2020 election campaign. For him and his supporters, the allegations are “inherently racist”. For others, they illustrate that there are a lot of vested interests and wealth in te ao Māori, and this influence has the potential to have a strong impact on government decisions.

Derek Mackie: It's only racism if you're white

Good evening. I’m Hugh Jego and welcome to Now You’re Really Taking the Piss. 

 This is the part of our show where we aim to shine a stadium of floodlights on MPs who exhibit classic symptoms of stupidity and hypocrisy. Spoilt for choice, I hear you say. 
But tonight’s example is not only ridiculous in its assertion, it is also deeply troubling that one of our elected parliamentarians should openly espouse this view, while at the same time claiming to be a stalwart in defending against it. 

 I’m talking Racism, people. 
The real thing is mercifully rare these days but that doesn’t stop the term being thrown around with abandon and often little or no justification. It’s typically deployed by people whose arguments are too weak and unsubstantiated to withstand debate, so they revert to a strategy of abusive name calling. 
It goes without saying that this only works if your opponent is white, otherwise it can back-fire badly on you. 

Point of Order: Govt (through the PGF) poured $3.79m into a wine research centre but it has torpedoed the businesses of livestock shippers

While the PM was pumping up the prospects of wine producers – and, presumably, their potential for export growth – Trade Minister Damien O’Connor was scuttling shipments of livestock by sea.

Jacinda Ardern has officially opened the New Zealand Wine Centre in Blenheim, saying investments like these give us cause for optimism for the future.

Mike Hosking: The education sector issues go back decades

We are underway at our house with NCEA. The nerves are high, and the memories have come flooding back.

History is one subject being undertaken and sadly it doesn’t appear to have changed a lot since I took it for the first time in, what was then, sixth form. I had failed School Certificate Music in fifth form and needed a new subject.

I liked and like history, but what the subject did that put me off, is have an obsession about dates. We studied World War One. To me what was important about the war was why it started, who was involved, why they were involved, and what were the consequences and ongoing effects of a world war.

Garrick Tremain: Trauma

 Here is Garrick Tremain's cartoon commentary on the long lasting effects of trauma! 

Cam Slater: Maori Genetic Makeup Is Stronger than Others?

According to the Maori Party it is a known fact!

Could you imagine the outcry if a political party had on their website in clear and concise language the statement, “It is a known fact that European genetic makeup is stronger than others. When there is commitment, dedication, and great support around Europeans to achieve a high standard in sport, it is guaranteed that Europeans will thrive”?

There would be a Twitter mob claiming that any party that said that was exhibiting “white supremacy” and perpetrating colonialism, and was a far-right manifestation, while demanding that they should be de-platformed, shunned, demonised and destroyed as a cancer on the body politics.

Thursday, September 29, 2022

Kate Hawkesby: There is a disturbing entrenchment happening in regard to benefits


A landlord wrote to me the other day saying how many more tenants these days are applying for rentals, and on the application form are putting under proof of income, ‘WINZ’.

Her point was, since when was a WINZ benefit, which is supposed to be a short term solution for people in difficult circumstances, since when has that become an income?

Point of Order: Why keeping tabs on Tata suggests O’Connor should be quickening the pace in push for an FTA with India

Among the many issues related to the performance of the export sector and how the Government might further help it is the case for negotiating a trade deal with India.

Australia has secured a free trade deal with what is the planet’s fifth-biggest economy.

In contrast, Agriculture and Trade Minister Damien O’Connor says concluding a free trade agreement between NZ and India “is not a realistic short-term prospect”.

Bryce Edwards: Public sector bosses must be held accountable for undermining transparency

Public service bosses earn mega-salaries, yet oversee bureaucracies that frequently undermine transparency and frustrate public and media scrutiny. The obvious answer is to start docking the pay of chief executives for the failures of their agencies.

This is the upshot of an investigation by the Chief Ombudsman’s Office into the performance of government departments in releasing public information under the Official Information Act (OIA). The Chief Ombudsman, Peter Boshier, found that although there are some things to celebrate about how agencies are fulfilling their obligations under the OIA, there are also very concerning ways information is being illegally buried or constrained.

Graeme Edgeler: The Periodic Review of the Intelligence and Security Act 2017

When the Intelligence and Security Act was passed in 2017, it required that every five to seven years, that the Intelligence Agencies and the Act itself be reviewed. Following from the Report of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the terrorist attack on Christchurch masjidain, the review was moved up.

The Royal Commission made a number of recommendations, including proposing the creation of a third intelligence and security agency to work alongside the NZSIS and GSCB, with overall responsibility for strategic intelligence and security issues and with responsibility for counterterrorism.

John Porter: I Was Beaten for Speaking Maori!

During the recent Maori Language Week, I noted that many prominent Maori spoke about their beatings for speaking Maori.

Dover Samuels gave evidence to the Waitangi Tribunal in 2015 about the beatings he endured as a small boy for speaking Maori at school but who had only ever spoken Maori at home.

But as with so much Maori and colonisation debate we need to look at both sides of the story.

Mike Hosking: Media merger another example of failed ideology

Submissions continue today over the Government's plan to merge TVNZ with Radio NZ.

The process, like most submission processes is a scam. It’s a nod to some sort of democracy, but in reality, the Government of the day pretend they are listening and carry on anyway.

This Government is no better or worse than other governments. They all do it and they would be way better saving the time and money and avoiding the whole process.

Garrick Tremain: Gambling

 Here is Garrick Tremain's cartoon commentary on the odds of beating your addiction! 

Denis Hall: The "Far" Right - or the "Rabid" Left?

You choose.

Right - as in okay! Is it okay to say ‘right’ now - or will they make that a swear word?

And I’m not going to hold back today.

As you read this - remember - that it wasn’t me who invoked Mussolini or the Fascists - it was the leftist New Zealand and Global News Media that did that - and I’m just responding.

Ask yourself! New Aotearoa’s Media! Are they crazy - or cunning and deceptive like the rats we think they are - jumping into the Government’s pocket to ensure their position of power inside the Government in our coming totalitarian future?

Peter Dunne: Education of our children must become a top priority for all politicians

Now that New Zealand has started to move on from the unrelenting emphasis of the last two and a half years on dealing with the pandemic, focus is beginning to return to other important aspects of national life.

We are all familiar with the mounting cost-of-living and the impact it is having on household budgets. We will all have our views about how much of this is due to the recognisable international factors that the government is blaming, saying it has no real control over them, and how much of it is due to domestic circumstances, far more clearly the government’s responsibility.

Cam Slater: Why Won’t Labour Withdraw the Whip from Kelvin Davis?

In the UK Labour MP Rupa Huq has been forced to apologise to Kwasi Kwarteng after being suspended from the party for describing him as “superficially” black during a fringe meeting at a conference. Meanwhile, in New Zealand, the deputy leader of the Labour Party, Kelvin Davis, has used his own casual racism to abuse a Maori MP who was asking him a legitimate question in the house. When will Labour withdraw the whip from Kelvin Davis?

David Seymour: Racial Discrimination By Te Pāti Māori Must Stop

Te Pati Maori has been engaging in racial discrimination on its website with claims of genetic superiority, but when notified, New Zealand’s Race Relations Commissioner Meng Foon refused to publicly stand up to it.

Te Pati Maori’s sports policy on its website makes the following claim:

“It is a known fact that Maori genetic makeup is stronger than others.”

The notion that some racial groups are superior or inferior has been discredited, used to justify racial discrimination and, when taken to its extreme, resulted in some of history’s worst crimes. It is deeply concerning that a sitting New Zealand political party is promoting such a divisive idea.

Wednesday, September 28, 2022

NZCPR Newsletter: Questions Over Our Future

The outpouring of emotion over the death of Queen Elizabeth II came as a surprise to many. Hundreds of thousands of people lined the streets in Scotland and England in tribute, as they witnessed the magnificent pageantry of the meticulously planned transfer of Queen Elizabeth from her Balmoral sanctuary to her final resting place in Windsor Castle’s St George’s Chapel, next to her beloved husband, Prince Philip.

Over a quarter of a million people queued for up to 30 hours to pay their respects to the Queen as she lay in State in Westminster Hall. More than four billion watched her funeral, televised live around the world.

Mike Hosking: Poll still shows change is coming

I think the biggest loser out of last night's TVNZ poll is TVNZ who spent a decent chunk of money on a poll that essentially told us nothing happened.

National and ACT still form a government and the current Government are out of office.

It shows, I suspect, a malaise we are currently in. We're a year out from a vote, and not everyone is gripped by the minutiae of politics.

Cam Slater: Government Spending More than RNZ and TVNZ Are Worth

Melissa Lee asked a good question in Parliament about the more than $300 million spending on the merger of Radio New Zealand and TVNZ. It turns out that the Government is planning on spending more on the merger than the combined value of what both companies are worth.

Worse still, Willie Jackson just doesn’t care, and is hell-bent on ramming the merger through because it is not about money, he says, rather it is about controlling the narrative and messaging as they seek to exert even more state control over media in New Zealand.

Garrick Tremain: Choices

 Here is Garrick Tremain's cartoon commentary on choices available to today's young! 

Kate Hawkesby: Who is going to take this smash and grab wave seriously?


I think they’re going to have to start offering danger money to work in a jewellery store these days.

These clowns in hoods and masks, they’re probably just teenagers trying it on, but they’re armed, they’re yelling at people as they smash up glass cases and demand jewellery, and that must be terrifying if you’re working in a mall not knowing how it could all end up.

Hamilton shoppers witnessed not just one, but two smash and grabs in one day at the weekend. Broad daylight, busy shopping areas, armed robbers these days do not care.

Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Guy Hatchard: A Timely Message for the Vaccinated

Pandemic policy is slowly changing in response to health data. Is it changing fast enough and is it changing in the right direction?

From the beginning, there were concerns about the long term outcomes following both covid infection and vaccination. At this point, these are becoming more clearly appreciated.

Neither the dire predictions of widespread Covid severity nor the protection of Covid vaccination have eventuated as initially promised.

Graham Adams: The smoking gun in the Mahuta saga

Long-time Queensland Premier Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen once memorably described news conferences as “feeding the chooks”.

It was hard not to think of that quip by the Dannevirke-born politician who dominated Queensland’s politics for decades when Nanaia Mahuta bustled towards a gaggle of press gallery journalists at Parliament last Wednesday.

“I know what everyone wants to ask!” she announced presumptuously, before launching into a breathy spiel without a single question having been put to her:

Michael Bassett: Jacinda force feeds us Te ao Maori

Are you, like me, getting sick and tired of being told that everything about our culture is inferior to Maori, and that we should learn to live with a constant diet of Te Reo? Turn on Radio New Zealand in the morning and Susie Fergusson, Guyon Espiner and even Corin Dann do the news introductions in Maori. Try Midday Report and you get Mani Dunlop showering us with untranslated Maori phrases. “Aotearoa”, we keep being told, wrongly, is “the original name for New Zealand” when it wasn’t. As an historian who spent a decade on the Waitangi Tribunal, I abhor such crass ignorance.

Point of Order: The PM has basked in the glow of approving publicity overseas

But the dollar’s dive should bring her back to earth

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has won lots of favourable publicity, while attending the Queen’s funeral in London and the UN General Assembly in New York.

It was a sombre mission in London, less so but no less tiring in New York (although the nuclear threat from Russia was sobering).

On both occasions, Ardern has represented the country so outstandingly that New Zealanders for a week or two might have overlooked how poorly the government has been performing at home.

Garrick Tremain: Parents and youth

 Here is Garrick Tremain's cartoon commentary on parents and youth of today! 

Ross Meurant: To Hold A Pen Is To Be At War

Along with other former Members of Parliament including Hon Michael Bassett, Dr Don Brash, Dr Muriel Newman, Hon John Banks, Graeme Reeves, Hon Richard Prebble to name some, I have taken the up the cudgel by pen, to fight against the blatant racist policies of this Labour government.  My days of a sword in hand as a police enforcer are past as it is between tending the roses that I pick up my feathered quill.

But as Voltaire once said: “To hold a pen is to be at war”.

In my view, and as other commentators including left leaning Chris Trotter (1) also now begin to suggest, an emerging outcome of Labour’s racially divisive policies will result in violence on a different scale to 1981 Springbok protests.

Visible protest in the streets, can be handled. (2) The danger is, if the perpetrators of violence, go “invisible” i.e., “underground”. 

Mike Hosking: Time for the Government to clean up the Rotorua mess

A forgotten part of the Rotorua mess are the tourism operators. They have this week, quite rightly, charged the Government with wrecking their town and its reputation.

The Government will try and tell you that Rotorua and its mess is really just confined to Fenton Street. But as anyone who knows anything about brand reputation will tell you, a reputation is hard won and easily lost.

What's so sad and tragic about the Rotorua story is all of this has been beyond the operators’ control.

Geoffrey Miller: Jacinda Ardern’s tilt towards the West continues at the UN

Jacinda Ardern intends to continue a more pro-Western foreign policy strategy, if her agenda from a hectic week of diplomacy is anything to go by.

New Zealand’s Prime Minister met with four G7 leaders – Liz Truss, Joe Biden, Justin Trudeau and Emmanuel Macron – in various settings while she was at the Queen’s funeral in London and at the United Nations in New York.

Monday, September 26, 2022

Point of Order: “Voodoo economics” is among Seymour’s objections to public holiday – Waititi’s grouches are rooted in a sovereignty challenge

Have all members of Parliament taken the day off, on this Queen Elizabeth II Memorial Day?

We ask because there were some objections to the Queen Elizabeth II Memorial Day Bill, when all stages were passed under urgency into law last Tuesday.

The legislation created a one-off public holiday to mark the end of the 70-year reign of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

Garrick Tremain: The tide going out

 Here is Garrick Tremain's cartoon commentary on one standard of citizenship going out with the tide! 

Sunday, September 25, 2022

Stuart Smith: Check Your Candidates’ Three Waters Stance

There is growing public concern with the Government’s Three Waters legislation that will take council drinking, storm and wastewater assets and place them in a convoluted governance arrangement. The concern has grown to anger as the public realise that the select committee process is a sham, with government members merely going through the motions. Most of the submitters have given up their time to give evidence to the select committee in the hope of their council retaining ownership and control of their Three Waters assets. And yet we now know that the government are already advertising for staff to run the new bureaucracy.

Darroch Ball: Youth Crime and Manipulation of the Stats

There have been comments from the Minister of Justice, and repeated in the media, about the recent youth crime wave being a so called ‘spike’. What they want is to create a message that it is ‘short term’, ‘fixable’, and ‘unexpected’. All of which are not true.

They say there has been a ‘spike’ in gang tensions, in youth crime, in ram raids, in violence, and in shootings. Don’t for one second think this is true. Moreover, don’t think this trend in the increase in all of these things hasn’t been totally predicted or forewarned. This is not a ‘spike’. It is the beginning of a new upward trend.

Point of Order: Ukraine war to end – but what then?

With every pause in the Ukrainian counteroffensive, talk of stalemate pops up. But pay more attention to the currents, than the surface froth.

So nice to get some quality thinking in the Hoover Institution’s Strategika publication. First, Niall Ferguson with a typically thought-provoking insight into war as a continuation of economics by other means.

He argues that Russia is just too poor to overwhelm a Ukraine backed by the rich West.

S.T. Karnick: Court’s Big Tech Censorship Ruling Is an Exemplary Judgment

Last week’s Fifth Circuit Court decision upholding Texas’ law against Big Tech censorship is a welcome judgment that is worth considering for what it says about our constitutional order and the very purpose of government.

In September 2021, Texas enacted a law that prohibits social media platforms with more than 50 million monthly U.S. users from censoring people based on their viewpoints, requires transparency of companies’ user content policies and their application, and allows individuals to seek compensation for viewpoint discrimination.

Point of Order: Mahuta’s husband and the Public Service Commission inquiry

How Chris Hipkins ineptly played the race card

We intended alerting our readers (if they had not already noticed) to how Public Service Minister Chris Hipkins played the race card in the matter of the Public Service Commission deciding to look into the propriety of government contracts awarded to Nanaia Mahuta’s husband.

We have taken a short cut and will draw attention, instead, to this post on Kiwiblog by David Farrar under the heading Hipkins apologises for smearing English.

Saturday, September 24, 2022

Roger Partridge: Productive land hocus-pocus


Nobel laureate Paul Krugman once quipped that David Ricardo’s theory of comparative advantage defined who counts as an economist. Because every economist understands comparative advantage and its related notion of “opportunity cost” and practically nobody else does.

With that in mind, we must assume that no economists were involved in the drafting of the Government’s new National Policy Statement for Highly Productive Land.

If anyone needed a textbook example for ignoring opportunity cost as a factor for analysing choices between different options for production, the Government has just delivered it. It shows the pitfalls of making policy that ignores basic economic insights.

Bryce Edwards: The Political mood of the business elite

The New Zealand Herald has released the results of its annual “Mood of the Boardroom” survey today. Should we care what businesses think of politics, the economy and society? There’s a good argument that we should be more concerned with the “Mood of the Foodbank” or “Mood of the workers”.

Nonetheless, it’s always interesting to see what the Establishment thinks, and what issues businesses are likely to pressure government decision-makers on in future. Readers can also take into account the obvious business bias when interpreting what the results mean.

Grant Duncan: Remote Control

With local body elections currently underway, democracy makes its triennial appearance in New Zealand’s towns and cities once again. But elections alone don’t automatically make for democratic governance at street level. And this is particularly true of Auckland.

Since the unification of regional, city and district councils in 2010, the so-called “super city” has been run by a single Auckland Council.

Cam Slater: Making a Mockery of Kindness

The latest Mood of the Boardroom has been released by the NZ Herald, and that mood can only really be described as surly. Jacinda Ardern has plummeted in the rankings and one of those surveyed says the Government’s actions during Covid were making “a mockery of kindness”.

Denis Hall: A crime against our culture and language

It is in fact - a crime against humanity and culture to deliberately set out to use the instruments of government to modify a culture and its language against the will of the people - and forcibly introduce words of another language into it - and it is a crime against your children’s future for you to allow it.

It has always been expected - throughout our history as New Zealand - that when a government had enough seats to govern alone - that they would exercise restraint - and show at least a little consideration and respect for the views of those that lost this time - but would likely win next time.

Governments - both left and right - always tried to strike a balance.

Those days are gone.

Oliver Hartwich: A conference nightmare

Having attended too many public policy conferences, it was only a matter of time until they started haunting me in my sleep.

So, one night, I woke up from a nightmare.

I was in this big multifunctional hall. The atmosphere was airconditioned. There were mints, notepads and cheap plastic pens on the many round tables. And above the wide stage, a big screen showed a fancy slideshow on endless loop.

Michael Johnston: Education in an evidence-free environment

In 2011 the Ministry of Education initiated a new school property strategy. Its aim was to replace New Zealand’s classrooms with ‘Modern Learning Environments’ (MLEs). For readers unfamiliar with the term, MLEs are large, open plan classrooms.

The MLE strategy was about more than new classrooms though. MLEs come with a whole new approach to education called ‘self-directed learning’. Instead of teachers imparting knowledge to children, it is expected that children will discover it for themselves.

This week, the New Zealand Initiative has released a report on the MLE strategy. Among other things, the report examines the assumption that self-directed learning is effective. (Spoiler: It isn’t.)

Breaking Views Update: Week of 18.9.22

Saturday September 24, 2022 

Māori leaders celebrate Sealord Deal 30 years on, warn of complacency

Thirty years to the day of one of the first major treaty settlements, those involved have gathered to take stock of what has become a billion dollar industry, but also the challenges ahead.

The Treaty of Waitangi fisheries settlement, popularly known as the Sealord Deal, was signed between Māori leaders and the Crown on 23 September 1992.

Friday, September 23, 2022

Cam Slater: It’s Ok When the Left Does It

Remember when the left thought chucking lamingtons at politicians was funny? I do.

Grant Robertson has decided to hold a pity party over the amount of abuse Labour politicians are copping when they dare to saunter arrogantly outside of the Wellington Beltway. He has complained that some protestors called him mean things and one had a lamington that may or may not possibly have been used as a projectile. He’s upset about it but forgets when the left did similar things. Apparently, it’s ok when the left does it.

Point of Order: Latest from the Beehive 23/9/22

The Government opened up a great career opportunity yesterday at much the same time as it announced an initiative to protect – within limits – our savings.

The job opportunity (which excited us here, at Point of Order, until we were alerted to the age limit likely to be applied) is to become a judge.

Attorney-General David Parker has called for nominations and expressions of interest in appointment to the High Court Bench.

On the savings front, under legislation introduced in Parliament yesterday, New Zealanders will have up to $100,000 of their deposits in any eligible institution guaranteed in the event the institution fails.