Wednesday, November 30, 2022
.....but a collaborative strategy (don’t forget) led to Five Waters
Governmental news for the farm and forestry sectors flowed too fast from the Beehive for your Point of Order team to quickly grasp all the implications.
At first blush, we are tempted to wonder if something that looks like good news for farmers has been deftly released to camouflage the not-so-good news buried in these announcements or in some yet to be released.
The group is led by Chris Bishop and it shows a couple of things:
To any objective outside observer, this government has been handing (potential) support for National and ACT to them on a plate: among other things:
Tuesday, November 29, 2022
....but a fog shrouds crime-fighting costs
Biggish lumps of money featured in each of four announcements posted on the Beehive website, since Point of Order last checked on what our hard-working and big-spending ministers are doing.
The government will spend
Specifically, the hosting selection was condemned, (rightly) re the bribes which secured it the Games. But that was ancient history and it was too late to undo.
Much more, we were constantly promised a fiasco because of an intolerable climate for both players and spectators, that no-one would come because of the Islamic requirement for good behaviour, modest attire and alcohol restraints, plus much more.
So how has it panned out? In my view it’s been the most joyous major sporting spectacle in history.
That’s your cabinet response to a death at a Sandringham dairy.
The suggestion from the Prime Minister was that Cabinet had been speaking for some weeks about the so-called business crime package.
It is an odd clam to make, given when Chris Hipkins, the architect of the package, was peppered about it in the house last week he never mentioned it was being discussed.
Point of Order: Despite Labour polling below 30%, party strategists believe it can win Hamilton West...Labels: 2023 Election, Act Party, Hamilton West by-election, Labour Party, National Party, Point of Order, TOP party
....and general election next year
Although recent opinion polls have shown Labour’s support dropping below 30%, suggesting it is now the underdog going into election year, party strategists still nourish the belief the Ardern government may emerge from the general election able with allied parties to hold on to office.
They are convinced the National Party has not won back the degree of support that would indicate it is a shoo-in at next year’s poll. This, they believe, will become clear after votes are counted in the Hamilton West by-election on December 10.
Monday, November 28, 2022
On Wednesday night last week, something very unusual happened while parliament was busy making law. MPs from the Green and Labour parties banded together to make it much more difficult for a part of the government’s controversial “three waters” policy to ever be changed, or even removed altogether. Should future MPs want to smooth the way towards privatising the government’s new bodies for managing our water resources, they’ll have to get 60% support in parliament to do so.
And that issue is the Government seeking to entrench a provision in the legislation that would make it difficult for any future government to overturn an aspect of these water reforms.
.....so the govt has put $2.25m into a trough for other regions to have a lick
It’s a toss-up to decide which is more unnecessary – the investment of $2.25 million of public money in an industry which has almost doubled its revenue over the past year or the drafting and legislating of a bill to have things done that could be done without a statute.
The investment is in the rapidly growing game development sector. The latest data from the New Zealand Game Developers Association shows the total revenue for the industry is $407 million, compared to $276 million a year ago.
We’re told that the fundamental problem is poverty. Well guess what? The only sure path out of poverty begins with education. Lotto isn’t going to do it, and nor is social welfare.
I understand that some of us ordinary folk might have difficulty with the extraordinarily complex idea (not!) of taking kids out of a toxic environment and giving them a chance to learn skills and develop attitudes that will change their lives for the better. The media, though, has no excuse.
In this newsletter:
For example: the law requiring drivers to drive on the left discriminates against those who would prefer driving on the right. That’s not being silly. Doubtless numerous tourists and migrants would favour a shift to right-hand driving.
This is currently in evidence with the Labour Government’s push to lock in elements of their Three Waters reform programme by sneaking in a rule that says a future Parliament would need 60 per cent of MPs to vote to change the ownership of the new water services. Constitutional legal experts are outraged by a move they say is unparalleled and sets a dangerous new precedent for how governments make law.
The simple question is this - why are they discussing and changing it?
The answer is because a person is dead.
Sunday, November 27, 2022
One has to go back a long way to find a government so willing to press on with a policy so roundly rejected by the electorate. It is more than thirty years since Richard Prebble, confronted with the evidence that close to 90 percent of New Zealanders opposed the sale of Telecom, responded with the observation that Kiwis should be proud to have a government with the guts to face down such a powerful pressure-group!
The reserve bank hiked the cash rate by 0.75% this week, which is set to drive up mortgage rates and send many already beleaguered homeowners to their bank manager cap in hand. Default and repossession loom for many next year.
The reserve bank says it is anxious to bring inflation under control. So how does pandemic inflation work, and will high interest rates solve the problem?
I have concluded our new prime minister Jacinda Ardern is clever stupid.
She's quick, has good analytical skills and communicates well. There's no doubt she's clever.
But she's stupid on how the world works and lacks thought-through principles and values. She bobs along on feelings and sounding good and thereby perfectly in tune with a media that emotes rather than reports and analyses.
Although it is not surprising that the Queenmaker now says he regrets anointing the Empress who turned out to have no clothes, l must say it is somewhat unexpected from a politician who has made a very successful career out of picking which way the wind is blowing.
But that is Winston and because of that fact alone, we must prepare for the unexpected even though the odds are surely stacked against him in 2023.
I say that because, in my humble opinion, this latest decision will almost certainly mean the end of a career with more resurrections than Lazarus could conjure up.
“We seem to be getting closer and closer to a situation where nobody is responsible for what they did but we are all responsible for what somebody else did.” Thomas Sowell
The toppling of statues of historical figures by Black Lives Matter has brought into focus the issue of slavery.
While nobody questions the horrors of the transatlantic slave trade, slavery is presented in schools and media and as an extreme form of racism, with white people enslaving black people. This highly selective, distorted view of history has fostered a sense of guilt among European descendants of the enslavers, leading to calls for apologies and reparations.
Saturday, November 26, 2022
rushed off to the Chatham Islands on Air Horse One so that she could pander to Maori interests.
Normally she rushes headlong towards a photo opportunity in the aftermath of a tragedy. Strangely, this time she’s bolted for a remote island far, far away.
Saturday November 26, 2022
Māori academics compare notes on constitution change
The organiser of Constitutional Korero 2022 says constitutional change for Māori won’t happen overnight.
Auckland associate law professor Claire Charters says she’d like to see a formal constitution based on Te Tiriti o Waitangi, but it may take some time to get the support of the rest of Aotearoa.
The majority decision did not quite put it that way. But perhaps the judges were blind to the implications of their views.
The perplexing case concerned arguments that 16-year-olds should have the right to vote.
The Court’s decision to hear the case was controversial enough.
But its finding that 16-year-olds suffer unjustified discrimination breaching the Bill of Rights has been met with widespread disbelief.
A century ago, Max Weber, the founder of modern sociology, made this distinction.
I thought of Weber as Newshub broke an outrageous story on Tuesday. There are still the same number of mental health beds as there were in 2019.
Despite numerous speeches and pledges. Despite billions of dollars spent. And despite years of government activism.
Mental health patients sleep on mattresses on the floors of our hospitals. Those in the greatest need and desperation have not even the dignity of a bed.
Religion remains a significant driver of conflict in some parts of the world today. But it seems that Catholics and Protestants, at least, have finally learned to live with one another.
Arguably, most westerners just don’t take religion seriously enough to kill and die for it anymore. But free speech may also have contributed to the truce.
“Chimeric” may prove an apt description for the trifecta of new statutes Environment Minister David Parker proposes as successors to the existing Resource Management Act.
Introduced into Parliament last week, the proposed new statutes are, respectively, a new 810-page Natural and Built Environment Act, a modest 46-page Spatial Planning Act, and a yet-to-be-released Climate Adaptation Act. These statutes will be supported by detailed National and Regional Plans that must comply with a yet-to-be-developed National Planning Framework.
The New Zealand Bill if of Rights Act 1990 (BORA) is an Act –
(a) To affirm, protect, and promote human rights and fundamental freedoms in New Zealand; and
(b) To affirm New Zealand’s commitment to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
Article 21 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states:
(1) Everyone has the right to take part in the government of his country, directly or through freely chosen representatives.
(2) Everyone has the right to equal access to public service in his country.
(3) The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government; this will shall be expressed in periodic and genuine elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret vote or by equivalent free voting procedures.”
In New Zealand we have one of the oldest representative democracies in the world. Our first general election was in 1853.
Friday, November 25, 2022
It takes a large dollop of brazenness — and perhaps desperation — to deny reality quite as readily as Jacinda Ardern was willing to do last Tuesday, but the Prime Minister did not resile from the task.
When Newstalk ZB’s Barry Soper asked her why the three waters (fresh water, storm water and waste water) had suddenly become five waters (with the late addition of coastal and geothermal water) in the amended Water Services Entities Bill, Ardern flatly denied that was the case.
John Robinson is a prolific and respected writer/commentator on New Zealand History and associated issues and the standard of his work is as always of the highest calibre, well researched and properly referenced.
This book is for every Kiwi who is concerned about the welfare and future wellbeing of New Zealand as a functioning nation. It’s the country in which we live and of which we should all be very proud of our past achievements, heritage, fairness and equality.
It was a death that was always coming.
It's not the first crime that has led to a death by any stretch of the imagination of course, but it is the first death in a specific crime pattern that has been building in this country all year.
This Goverment has a terrible trait of never taking responsibility for their own policies and actions. They always seek to blame others for their numerous failings. Remember Ardern chucking a KFC worker under the bus, also Americold for various Covid outbreaks? Then there were the three women they defamed and attacked for travelling to Northland from Auckland. It’s never their fault, always someone else’s. We also mustn’t forget the constant refrain of “nine years of neglect” that they still regularly trot out.
Yesterday in Parliament Chris Hipkins shamelessly tried to blame the Sandringham dairy worker’s death – at the hands of a knife-wielding criminal – on the National Party.
On Saturday Allan announced that the Government had decided to ditch the majority of its hate speech reforms. Of six proposed changes to the law, only one will proceed – adding the category of “religion” to groups currently protected under the Human Rights Act.
Much to the frustration of some, AT’s executive leadership has instructed staff to be less preoccupied with ‘active modes’ such as walking and cycling. In practice, this could make Goff’s Transport Emissions Reduction Pathway null and void. Under the Pathway, adopted by the Council in August, transport emissions must be reduced by 64% before the end of the decade. This ambitious target was always fanciful, given that emissions were forecast to go up by 6% under the current 10-year Regional Land Transport Plan (RLTP).
in favour of lowering the voting age to 16.
‘Justice France told the court it was inconsistent with the Bill of Rights to not allow 16-year-olds to vote, and the decision of the Court of Appeal was overturned.’
Jacinda Ardern announced the same day, 21 November, that the Cabinet had decided ‘to draft a piece of legislation with a proposal to lower the age to 16 for the whole of Parliament to consider’. While the required 75% majority makes its success unlikely, Labour’s present majority means this may be its best chance for a long time, and if the Bill does gets through, it will be very difficult to reverse. However it comes at an interesting time:
Thursday, November 24, 2022
......is it a poison pill for Ardern administration?
The cost-of-living crisis in NZ has become ugly. And it could get worse.
The Reserve Bank is telling us the country will dive into recession from the middle of next year and stay there for a year. Plus there will be 8% mortgage rates and 6% unemployment.
For Finance Minister Grant Robertson, it’s all turning to custard. He appeared to lose his cool in Parliament as the Reserve Bank in effect might have been writing a poison pill for the Ardern government to swallow.
......Mahuta was pouring out some thoughts on the wretched water bill
News of the government hoovering the red carpet for VIP visits and cleaning up the environment by advancing the green cause emerged from the Beehive yesterday, including another announcement of Māori mātauranga being to the fore in the government’s conservation programme.
And there was a speech from Nanaia Mahuta which affirmed the Water Services Entities Bill is a done deal and (she expects) the bosses of the four new co-governed water entities will be appointed before the end of the year.
Recently, there was a headline in a newspaper. It said: Wind Farm to be Built. The farm was to have 22 turbines and stretched an unbelievable 7.5 km along a ridge. The paper went on to say that the farm would generate 93 Megawatts when at full capacity. That would be enough to power 40,000 homes. The truth is it will hardly ever be at full capacity. In fact, most of the time it will be well below that. If the wind is too strong they will be disabled. If the wind doesn’t blow, then there will be no power. The supply will be very unreliable. Worldwide, the average output of a wind farm is just 25% of its theoretical capacity. So this particular wind farm will power 10,000 homes NOT 40,000 as stated.
a massive 75 basis point jump in the OCR, to 4.25 per cent. That is the highest rate since 2008. The news is bleak:
When the original campaign was launched in 2019, the then Children’s Commissioner Andrew Becroft and the likes of the Greens also joined the chorus commenting that if the voting age were lowered it would give youth a voice and increase civic participation and voter turnout. This argument makes no sense on so many levels it is pretty difficult to figure out where to begin.
Authorities are now clearly in the firing line for their handling of the economy and especially inflation. Politicians and officials are rightly being scrutinised because the public’s economic pain is worsening, and looks set to become more severe over the next three years.
It's failed before, of course. This is just the update confirming it's failed again this year as well.
Only one of six measures was met for the year.