Monday, October 31, 2022
But let’s see what happens to the Nats’ support in future polling
After five years of Jacinda Ardern as Prime Minister, a nostalgia for politicians of another era is breaking to the surface. The Dominion-Post, for example, rushed on to the front page a news item headlined “The return of the Kingmaker”, while the NZ Herald featured a learned piece by Dr Jarrod Gilbert headed “Why I’d be pleased to shout Bill English a beer”.
And there’s seldom a week when John Key or Helen Clark don’t get a mention, either to recall their deeds or tap into their political skills.
So who’s “the kingmaker” the Dom-Post thinks is on the way back?
WHERE DOES HE LIVE? Measuring Father Absence in New Zealand - finds little change since Children's Commissioner Laurie O'Reilly described fatherless families as the 'greatest social challenge facing New Zealanders' in 1998.
Report author Lindsay Mitchell says, "Last year one in twenty births had no father registered; one in six did not have a father living at the same address as the mother and almost one in five had parents with no stated legal relationship.”
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It is not a frivolous question, as anyone who can remember the events of 2002 will attest. That year, work on the Waikato expressway, near Meremere, was halted and plans modified after Ngati Naho hapū claimed it was traversing the territory of a one-eyed taniwha, Karu Tahi.
An integral part of matauranga Māori (Māori knowledge), taniwha are mythical creatures said to live in or near lakes, rivers and the sea.
As has been reported recently, a Panel set up by the government to review local government, called Future for Local Government (FFLG), has released its DRAFT report. The full report may be seen here >>>The report is not government policy and is not about to be passed into law anytime soon - certainly not before next year's general election.
The DRAFT report is the second of three reports to be released by the working group. The INTERIM report was released in September 2021. The third and FINAL report will be released in June 2023, following a public submissions process which will close on 28 February 2023.
called climate change ‘my generation’s nuclear-free moment’.
But perhaps surprisingly, Ardern has not attended a UN climate change conference since she became New Zealand’s Prime Minister in 2017.
Had New Zealand’s Covid-19 situation allowed for it, Ardern would have almost certainly joined the many other world leaders who went to COP26 in Glasgow last year.
The pall of pessimism which has settled over those who still believe in the possibilities of public broadcasting has not been lifted by vague references to the need for a reliable source of public information. Citing the growing strength of the purveyors of misinformation and disinformation on social media, government mouthpieces have presented the new “entity” as the place where New Zealanders anxious to learn what’s really going on can go to for “the facts”. They are being encouraged to think of the new entity as a sort of beefed-up version of the Prime Minister’s infamous “podium of truth” during Covid.
That this grim historical detail should be recalled more than thirty years after the collapse of the Soviet Union is due to Ao Mai te Rā | The Anti-Racism Kaupapa a document which first saw the light of day back in August 2022 under the rubric of the Ministry of Health. Subtitled “Combatting racism in the health and disability system”, Ao Mai te Rā boldly declares:
Associate professor Ella Henry’s response to Oxford University’s Richard Dawkins, one the world’s leading public intellectuals, to the teaching of Maori mythology as science in New Zealand.
Dawkin’s view is that if Maori mythology is true science then it should be taught in every country on the grounds that science is global whereas mythologies are culturally specific and should be taught in mythology classes separately where those mythologies have agency but not in science classes.
Henry’s response published by Newshub was, “let’s remember that 3000 years before Dawkins’ ancestors dipped their toes in the North Atlantic, mine were traversing the biggest ocean on the planet using nothing more than Polynesian science.”
3000 years ago Henry’s other ancestors were experiencing the early stages of the Bronze Age. Bronze is made from an amalgamation of tin and copper. The process is scientific and represented a great advancement in western civilisation.
Maori by contrast remained in the Stone Age until they came into contact with Europeans with their metal implements and weapons.
One of the reasons the other side is winning the culture wars – and no one should be in any doubt that they are – is that too few conservatives and genuine liberals (as opposed to authoritarian neo-Marxists who have hijacked the term) have the guts to stand up and declare themselves.
Look at the comments on this blog and others such as Bassett, Brash and Hide or Muriel Newman’s Breaking Views.
The people who comment know what’s going on. They realise that liberal democracy and capitalism are under unprecedented attack. They are thoughtful and perceptive in identifying the threats posed by the cult of identity politics and they know what’s necessary to counter it.
Sunday, October 30, 2022
There has been a notable swing to the right in recent European elections, with the mainstream media apoplectic that right-leaning Giorgia Meloni and her Brothers of Italy won their recent election. Italians have grown tired of interference from unelected officials in Brussels, however, and voted for the Italy-first stance that Meloni and the Brothers of Italy campaigned on.
The fourth year of the pandemic has already started, and we are still left wondering about the whys and hows.
We could easily be participating in a medical psychological drama on Netflix entitled ‘LIFE’ with a very uncertain outcome and lots of anxious episodes.
Saturday, October 29, 2022
Point of Order: Review team which favours privileges for mana whenua is doing what local govt wants, says Mahuta (who lauds democracy)Labels: Local government, Maori Housing, Point of Order, Tourist industry, Treaty of Waitangi, Treaty settlements, water quality
Hurrah. Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta did get around to recognising the draft report on the future of local government from a review team whose membership and mission she announced in April last year.
The team’s proposals include the creation of a Kiwi version of Animal Farm in which all citizens are equal, but some (depending on genealogy) are more equal than others.
Point of Order had been keen to learn what Mahuta thought of the draft report, but Opposition reactions reached us first.
called for a radical re-think. Chance’d be a fine thing.
Just 44 days into the job, Liz Truss was forced into a humiliating resignation. After the markets balked at her not-so-mini budget, the Economist quipped that her authority had enjoyed “roughly the shelf-life of a lettuce.”
The good people at the Daily Star took the jibe a step further by launching a competition to see if she could survive longer than a 60p iceberg lettuce from Tesco. A webcam streamed the action to all and sundry. The lettuce won.
In July of this year, the New Zealand Initiative published a Policy Note titled, A Way Ahead for Literacy and Numeracy. We reported on a 2021 trial of new assessments for literacy and numeracy, scheduled to become corequisites for NCEA in 2024. The results of a new pilot of these assessments have now been published.
So what does she make of further dismantling of our democracy?
The news we expected to hear from Nanaia Mahuta, as Minister of Local Government, was not to be found on the Beehive website when we checked around noon.
We refer to the far-from-surprising but nevertheless deeply disturbing news that the Government-appointed review of local government is recommending the further dismantling of democratic governance in New Zealand
Saturday October 29, 2022
Professor Rangi Mātāmua appointed as Government's chief advisor on Matariki
Professor Rangi Mātāmua is a Māori has a new role - chief advisor to the government on Matariki, the Māori New Year.
The newly created role sees Mātāmua ensuring authenticity in all the Government's Matariki initiatives, and assisting its promotion through funding, events, resources, and knowledge.
Friday, October 28, 2022
Christopher Luxon being interviewed by Mani Dunlop on Morning Report. It was profoundly depressing.
Dunlop introduced the item by saying that with a by-election approaching in Hamilton West, the National Party was under pressure – she didn’t say from whom, but we can assume she meant media commentators – to “add diversity” to a “largely male” caucus.
RNZ had done the sums and calculated that National’s caucus was 33 percent female, 6 percent Maori, 3 percent Asian and “zero percent” Pasifika – a statistical breakdown that would have looked pretty good a few years ago, but which clearly doesn’t meet RNZ’s diversity threshold.
This is what makes Statistics New Zealand’s latest data so remarkable. Because New Zealand now bucks that trend.
In the past two years, New Zealand’s cities have lost population while the country as a whole has grown.
Point of Order: ANZ (while chalking up a $2bn net profit) says it is helping build future prosperity and security for AotearoaLabels: ANZ bank, Housing Market, Point of Order, Profit
Australian banks aren’t popular in NZ, right?
They make huge profits, then ship the booty back to the greedy shareholders across the ditch.
That’s the refrain from many straitened Kiwis who nevertheless are disinclined to switch to using NZ-owned banks.
There are other New Zealanders who find the services of Australian banks quite satisfactory, and see the scale of their businesses as a reassuring haven for their savings.
It turns out he's rich. And when it turns out someone is rich we need to make a thing of it.
We made a thing of it when Sir John Key got the top job as well. Chris Luxon got a bit of a left-wing going over because he was, God forbid, successful too, and with more than one house.
Sunak it has been proclaimed, about 100 times over, is richer than King Charles, as though that’s any sort of comparison to make.
Problem is, I don't think Kelvin is the only Labour minister who thinks what he said. The others might be smarter at hiding it, but they also worship identity politics.
They believe that who you are can matter more than what you do or say. How do I know this? That attitude is all through the policies they promote. Oranga Tamariki, the area I was asking Kelvin about when he made his comments, is just one example.
Thursday, October 27, 2022
It's sort of like the media merger. You might not think much of it but you are not going to protest or swap your vote because of it. It's no Three Waters.
And to be fair to the government, it is the sort of thing you would expect them to do. They're promoting unions and unionisation is a very Labour pastime.
Whatever prompted Justice Minister Kiri Allan to publicly refer to the tens of millions of dollars owed to victims of crime by way of court-ordered reparation last week, she wasn’t responding to a new phenomenon. People have been promising to pay reparation, then not paying it, for many years, and however aggrieved Allan might be at the injustice of that, she is unlikely to change it.
Those who have never sat in court might not be aware that a reparation order cannot be imposed without the offender’s agreement. Generally speaking they are happy to say they will pay to make amends for whatever it was they did; in many cases it is an all but assured means of avoiding a prison term.
The Maori Party’s Debbie Ngarewa-Packer said an agriculture emissions pricing system disadvantages Maori-owned beef and sheep farms.
Why, Debbie? Are Maori farmers the only farmers going to be negatively impacted by an agriculture emissions pricing system? Are Maori farmers the only farmers practising regenerative and value-add farming?
Our politicians continue to parrot the fallacy that livestock emissions contribute “nearly half” of the global warming that New Zealand supposedly causes each and every year.
This estimate is, of course, based on several erroneous assumptions – one of which is that each herd of cattle keeps adding more methane to the atmosphere every year.
The reality is that a ‘steady-state’ herd produces steady state methane. For every new molecule it emits an older molecule expires, and there is no increase at all.
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Wednesday, October 26, 2022
Point of Order: BCG report throws light on how we might avoid the power-price shocks that Aussies are facingLabels: Electricity prices, Point of Order
Retail electricity prices in Australia are expected to rise by 50% over the next two years, with Federal Treasurer Jim Chalmers said to be weighing up market intervention to stop those costs spiralling further.
The Australian Treasury has assumed in the federal budget presented in Canberra last night that retail power prices will increase by an average of 20% nationally in late 2022 and a further 30% in 2023/24.
These startling rises stem from Australia’s drive to decarbonise its electricity supplies. After enjoying a long run of cheap electricity, Australian consumers are now facing what will be a severe attack on household budgets.
By comparison, with 80% of our electricity already coming from renewable sources, New Zealand may escape such rises.
Speculation is intensifying that she will stand aside before the next election. One commentator has suggested she will be gone by the end of the year – others say her departure will be early next year, before Parliament resumes. All agree on one point, though – that the Prime Minister’s high point was the 2020 election triumph, and that it has been all been downhill from there, so, why would she stick around for an election in 2023 that polls currently suggest she will lose?
We are seeing huge changes to our government and its services under false claims about what the Treaty of Waitangi said, even assuming it's at all sensible to engage in the mental gymnastics required to apply any such treaty to circumstances far removed from the era for which it was designed. Let’s look at some of what's happening to our administration under our noses.
According to its new logo, our government now calls itself 'Te Kawanatanga O Aotearoa' with 'New Zealand Government' as a deliberately lesser postscript underneath. There appears to have been no warning about this, no opportunity for the public to consider it. It wasn't mentioned at all in Labour's election campaign. "Big deal, it's just a Maori name for government" some might say, but it's a lot more than that. It's not just adding a Maori name, it's prioritizimg that name and essentially renaming our government.
The Plain Language Bill 2021 – It’s a race to the bottom, folks…
It is something of a perplexing juxtaposition to see recent reports that “streaming in schools” is discriminatory and racist and yet, surely, The Plain Language Bill is much the same. It is implicitly assuming the hearer/reader lacks a certain level of intelligence or education.
Policy-makers are now planning a monumental makeover for the legalese inherent in public documents that interface We, The People and Them, The Red Tape Brigade. To create a new “plain language” framework in the simplest possible terms.
But underlying the verdict which had legal complications due to time lapses and Ellis being dead, was a truly alarming action by the Court’s judges.
This was their illegal introduction of maori customary law (tikanga), used in this case to overcome a technical difficulty.
I won’t trouble you with the details other than to say that what it amounted to was the judges making law. That’s not their bloody role. Laws should only be made by Parliament, or, in other words the people’s representatives and not by self-appointed legislators.
The claim is she has been terrorised.
These stories aren't new. Earlier this year we got the revelation that the agency had not evicted anyone despite behaviour no normal person would even come close to tolerating.
If this Government has one major issue next year in the election, beyond the policy specific issues they already face like lack of delivery, Three Waters, co-governance, and an economy in recession, it is their inexplicable acceptance, if not encouragement, of people who refuse to conform, behave, to be normal, or just be decent human beings.
One might ask what qualifies me to comment about this most sensitive issue - particularly when you see the results for those who have done so in the current Woke environment that seeks to determine the parameters of free speech in this country.
I don’t claim to be any braver than the average citizen but it does require a certain amount of courage if you decide that some subjects are unavoidable when debating the issues that affect us all and choose to include them in the conversation.
And how are they justifying these radical changes?
Our Prime Minister, as the poster child of modern-day socialism, wants to once again boast on the world stage that she’s taking the lead in climate policy - this time by introducing a price on agricultural emissions of greenhouse gases.
Tuesday, October 25, 2022
Point of Order: Hamilton West – a raft of issues will be aired during the byelection Ardern did not wantLabels: Hamilton West by-election, Point of Order
Nominations for Labour and National for the Hamilton West byelection close tomorrow and – while the rest of New Zealand was slumbering, politically, over Labour weekend – hopeful new members of Parliament were busy sounding out their prospects to win their party’s nomination.
National will be breathing a sigh of relief that this time round there is more diversity in the lineup than for Tauranga.
It’s fitting then that Rachel Boyack’s Plain Language Bill keeps up this ironic trend- a piece of Government writing filled with lots of big words about why they need to employ people to make sure their writing has small words. And yes, you’d think that government would already be writing in a way so that the people they represent can understand. But, well, there’s that irony again. As the Shadow Attorney-General, Chris Penk, claimed as simply as possible ‘this Bill is not good. In fact, it is bad.’
A week back as a research exercise, with one mate driving and a senior professional and me observing, we drove 60 miles up the new state highway, turning back once we’d recorded 70 alleged “workmen”. Here are our factual findings.
Tomorrow it will be five years since Ardern was sworn in as Prime Minister. At that time she was incredibly popular, and her support kept rising, hitting its heights in 2020.
That tide has certainly turned in recent months, and there are signs that Ardern is headed for a very difficult time as Prime Minister in the near future. Economic and social factors may get much worse. And the prospect of Labour’s popularity declining further is possible, especially as difficult reforms throw up problems. Re-election in 2023 has never seemed more in doubt.
Monday, October 24, 2022
"We've lifted about 66,000 kids out of poverty in the past few years ..."
What he neglects to add is they have also consigned about 37,000 more to life on a benefit bringing the total to over 209,000.
news headlines tell us all of an out of control crime wave that is growing to tsunami-sized proportions. Instead of law and order, we’ve got chaos and mayhem. The problem has only gotten worse under new Police Minister Chris Hipkins.
Non-plussed, Jackson asked the plan’s authors: unidentified representatives of Te Puni Kokiri, Pou Tikanga (Iwi Leaders Group) and the Human Rights Commission; to present a revised document for Cabinet’s consideration by July. With November fast approaching, the document’s authors have yet to respond. It is difficult to interpret this tardiness as anything other than a deliberate effort to run down the clock on Jackson. The Declaration Plan’s authors appear confident that their failure to adhere to the Minister’s consultative timetable will make it virtually impossible to organise an effective public response prior to the 2023 General Election.
Sunday, October 23, 2022
Frank Newman. Straight talk: Mahuta and Three Waters racism, PM says no to joint press conference, and not all quiet on the Western front.Labels: Frank Newman, Labour, Three Waters
Nanaia Mahuta and Three Waters
When speaking to Waatea News this week about Three Waters, Nanaia Mahuta said, "some of the opposition seemed to be driven not about economics or effectiveness but racist tropes about co-governance."
The Minister may be right, but in a wrong way. Right that Three Waters is being driven by racist tropes, but wrong about who the racists really are. Perhaps the racists are a small trope of privileged people at the top echelons of Māori society who are using racial privilege to gain control of immense resources for their own benefit.
I started thinking back about whether New Zealand had had anything in our recent political history to compare with the current British farce. The answer is we haven’t had anything on the scale of four prime ministers in six years within the governing party. Here is our nearest equivalent:
In 1963 philosopher Hannah Arendt published Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil. Adolf Eichmann was a senior Nazi bureaucrat, responsible for the deportation of Jews and others deemed undesirable by Hitler’s regime, to concentration camps.
In 1960 he was captured by Israeli secret services in Argentina. He was put on trial in Jerusalem, which is where Arendt encountered him.