Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Point of Order: Govt curries favour with farmers with climate change investments....

.....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.

Mike Hosking: National will hope the current mood turns into votes

Our National Party got themselves some coverage in Australia yesterday because three of their senior players are over there campaigning.

The group is led by Chris Bishop and it shows a couple of things:

Cam Slater: How Did We Get from Never Telling Lies to Lying Constantly?

Remember the 2017 election when Patrick Gower asked, “Is it possible to survive in politics without lying?” Jacinda Ardern put on a huge, sincere, toothy grin and announced, “I believe that it is possible to exist in politics without lying and by telling the truth,” and went on to assure Gower that she’d “never told a lie in politics”. Which, of course, was a big fat lie. The problem is that Ardern almost certainly believes that bull dust.

Geoffrey Churchman: Chris Luxon needs to do more than just sleepwalk his way to victory

Today marks a year since Chris Luxon was voted leader of the National Party by its MPs, ousting Judith Collins. Although recent opinion polls have shown National has a comfortable margin ahead of Labour — high 30’s versus low 30’s — many feel that National should by now be in the high 40’s, the same as the Jacinda Party was getting prior to the 2020 election. That it isn’t getting that level of support is an indicator of problems that Luxon and his colleagues and advisors need to address.

To any objective outside observer, this government has been handing (potential) support for National and ACT to them on a plate: among other things:

Kate Hawkesby: The PM's post-Cab chat yesterday was stomach churning


The PM’s post-cabinet chat yesterday was stomach churning in so many ways.

The lies, the disingenuousness of it all, the theatrics and the pretence that they’ve actually been active as a government on crime. Embarrassing. No one’s buying it.

This new fog canon measure is too late – they know it, we know it.

Worse yet, the PM tried to deflect all blame from her Government by saying that there’d be a delay on said fog cannons – due to a global shortage. This turns out to be an outright lie.

Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Point of Order: Govt has a busy day dishing out funding to causes it deems appropriate.....

....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

Bob Jones: The wonderful Qatar World Cup

In the months leading up to the World Cup the print media world-wide hammered their readers with attacks on the host nation.

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.

Mike Hosking: Government response to retail crime is soft

Some fog cannons and a council initiative.

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.

Graeme Edgeler on Three Waters & the entrenched legislation

Graeme Edgeler chats to Sean Plunket on The Platform about entrenching legislation

Garrick Tremain: Three Waters submissions

 Here is Garrick Tremain's cartoon commentary on Three Waters submissions ignored ! 

Kate Hawkesby: They commit crimes because they know they can get away with it


So today Cabinet meets looking to “discuss what more can be done to combat crime,” according to the Prime Minister.

Sadly she’s a bit late with that statement. The irony being that her government has been inundated with people asking them to toughen up on crime for ages... they did nothing. Poto Williams, in her capacity as Police Minster dropped the ball so badly she was moved on and replaced with Chris Hipkins. There were hopes he would toughen up on crime, but sadly under his watch it’s only gotten worse.

Point of Order: Despite Labour polling below 30%, party strategists believe it can win Hamilton West...

....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

Andrew Geddis: What happens when MPs ‘entrench’ legislation, and why does it matter?

A newly added provision to the three waters bill is a potentially momentous change to how law is made, explains Andrew Geddis.

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.

Rachel Smalley: Three Waters - Overturning 'entrenched' laws is much harder to do

Three Waters – it's never far from the headlines, and it reared its head again over the weekend with some of our learned legal brains raising concerns about a constitutional issue that flew under the radar at parliament last week.

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.

Point of Order: Too much fun is coming out of Otago.... 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.

Peter Jackson: National’s boot camp plan promising start to solution

Education the long term answer to poverty

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.

Net Zero Watch: After 30 years of climate hysteria, Europe is frozen out


In this newsletter:

1) Germany sets windfall tax at 90% for clean power generators
Bloomberg, 24 November 2022
2) Europe’s energy crisis set to linger for years, industry warns
Financial Times, 24 November 2022

Garrick Tremain: The Challenger

Here is Garrick Tremain's cartoon commentary on where is the opposition?

Bob Jones: Discriminatory Laws

The Supreme Court’s ruling that the voting age of 18 is discriminatory, is simply stating the obvious. All laws are discriminatory.

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.

Bryce Edwards: The Misuse of power to entrench Three Waters legislation

When governments become tired and lose their popularity – usually in their third term – they often become desperate to get their way and prone to misusing their power.

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.

Mike Hosking: Will government ineptitude over crime change today?

So the cabinet will today discuss the criteria for the business support package and by this afternoon the list of excuses will be well honed and some adjustments to the abject failure of a policy will be rolled out.

The simple question is this - why are they discussing and changing it?

The answer is because a person is dead.

Sunday, November 27, 2022

Chris Trotter: A Strange Hill To Die On.

Curia Research recently conducted a poll in the Napier electorate. Bad news for Stuart Nash, the Labour incumbent, whose chances of holding the seat are currently fluctuating between slim and none. Bad news, too, for the Labour Government as a whole, because the issue of most concern to local voters, by a Hawke’s Bay country-mile, is Three Waters. Around a third of the voters polled put the controversial water project at the top of their list of concerns. That’s nearly twice as many as the next most pressing concern for Napier voters – the parlous state of our health system.

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!

Guy Hatchard: A Nation of Sheep Will Beget a Government of Wolves

I owe the title of today’s writing to Edward R. Morrow, a revered American journalist who reported the issues of the common folk and championed the need for commonsense in the public interest.

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?

Rodney Hide: Reflecting on five years under Ardern

The column below, The Limits of Cleverness versus Capitalism, appeared in The NATIONAL BUSINESS REVIEW, October 27th, 2017. It is followed by a postscript.

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.

Clive Bibby: The betrayal with consequences

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.

Martin Hanson: Slavery - should we apologise for what our ancestors did?

“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.

NZCPR Newsletter: Tribal Control of Water

New Zealanders have been well and truly duped by Labour over Three Waters.

From the outset, the primary objective has always been to deliver control of water to the Maori tribal elite. It is only through lies and manipulation, a compliant media, and an absolute majority in the House that Labour – or more accurately the Minister of Local Government Nanaia Mahuta – has been able to progress the reforms to where they are now.

Three key changes have been introduced to give control of water to iwi.

Saturday, November 26, 2022

Cam Slater: Ardern Shies Away from Playing Dress Ups

Jacinda Ardern normally rushes for the costume shop as she seeks to curry favour in the aftermath of a tragedy. But after the cruel slaying of an Indian dairy worker, all of a sudden she seems rather coy about playing dress-ups and 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.

David Seymour chats to Moana Maniapoto about co-governance, colonialism and crime

David Seymour says he is not playing dog whistle or apartheid style politics - and he’s not a useless Māori. 

No holding back in this discussion. Here's the full interview.

Breaking Views Update: Week of 20.11.22

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.

Roger Partridge: Bill of Rights contortions

A funny thing happened in the Supreme Court this week. The Court found that the Bill of Rights breached… the Bill of Rights. Only Justice Kos dissented.

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.

Oliver Hartwich: It's cruel only to sound kind

Is it enough to have good intentions? Or is it better to focus on the outcomes of one’s actions?

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.

Michael Johnston: Free speech and the decline of religious war

History is replete with war motivated by religious disagreement. One example is the centuries-long clash between the Catholic and Protestant variants of Christianity.

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.

Roger Partridge: New planning regime worse monster than RMA

According to Greek legend, the Chimera was a monstrous fire-breathing creature with three heads. It is usually depicted as a lion with the head of a goat protruding from its back and a tail with the head of a snake.

“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.

Graeme Reeves: Water Services Entities Bill – Breaches New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990

On the 25th of May 2022, the Attorney-General of New Zealand (Hon David Parker) received legal advice from the Ministry of Justice (LPA 01 01 24) entitled “Consistency with the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990: Water Services Entities Bill.”

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

Michael Bassett: Jacinda's twaddle about holding parents to account

When I was young, kids appeared before a magistrate (a District Court Judge before 1978) sufficiently rarely that questions were raised about the young person’s family, and inadequate parental supervision. Sometimes the magistrate would rebuke the parents if a child had been wagging school, or had been out late and was unsupervised. Remedial action was usually fairly swift: parents took steps to look after their children lest there was further police action.

Graham Adams: We need to talk about Jacinda….

The Prime Minister’s willingness to gaslight the nation about Five Waters is disturbing.

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.

Rob Paterson: Regaining a nation; equality and democracy

This is yet another excellent effort by John Robinson, following on from his recent noteworthy books on culture and recent developments in New Zealand namely Dividing a Nation -The Return to Tikanga (2019) and He Puapua -Blueprint for Breaking up New Zealand (2021).

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.

Mike Hosking: Dairy worker death is a tipping point for Government

The death at the dairy in Sandringham in Auckland on Wednesday was always going to be the tipping point in some way shape or form.

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.

Cam Slater: FFS! Why Don’t You Take Some Responsibility, for Once?

Chris Hipkins shamelessly tried to blame the National Party in Parliament yesterday

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.

Bryce Edwards: Why Labour capitulated on hate speech laws

The Labour Government is currently fighting on multiple fronts that threaten its popularity in the run-up to next year’s election. Therefore, when a call had to be made about whether to push through divisive and poorly-designed hate speech laws, there really was no decision for Justice Minister Kiri Allan to make – the reforms had to be severely watered down.

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.

Josh Van Veen: Wayne Brown’s first month

Wayne Brown has been Mayor for a month, and already he has done more to change Auckland than Phil Goff did in six years. The changes began even before Brown was sworn in. Only hours after the election results were announced on 8 October, the Chair of Auckland Transport Adrienne Young-Cooper resigned. It set in motion a radical change of direction at the Council-Controlled Organisation (CCO), encouraged by an open letter from the Mayor-elect.

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).

Heather du Plessis-Allan: The Sandringham stabbing reflects badly on the Government


Well, I suspect many of us would’ve had the same reaction when we saw the news alerts on our phones last night.

That a retailer had been stabbed to death in a store. And that was thinking, we knew this was going to happen. Because we did, didn’t we? 

With all those ram raids, daylight robberies, tobacco thefts, we could see this coming. 

I’m not going to lay blame on anyone for this other the person who did it. Because no one put the knife in their hand. They did it, it’s their fault.

But I’m talking about the politics of this.

Barbara McKenzie: NZ Children Can’t Read or Write, So Let Them Vote

The New Zealand Supreme Court has ruled 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

Point of Order: Bitter medicine for NZ economy..... 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.

Point of Order: While the PM and O’Connor were announcing VIP visits......

......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.

Garrick Tremain: Doctors

 Here is Garrick Tremain's cartoon commentary on the pressure our doctors are under! 

Ian Bradford: Is there anything good about wind farms?

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. 

Cam Slater: Now We Get To See Who’s Been Swimming with No Undies On

Yesterday the Reserve Bank Governor, Adrian Orr, shattered Kiwis’ Christmas dreams delivering 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:

Darroch Ball: Will They Lower the ‘Youth Court’ Age?

The ‘Make It 16’ campaign has recently had a decision by the courts go their way in seeking the voting age be lowered to 16. The issue has been around for some time, but for some reason it has now taken a new step with the campaign going through the courts.

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.

Bryce Edwards: Politicians and the Reserve Bank are being blamed for an escalating economic crisis

Will the looming economic recession kill off Labour’s re-election chances? Is the Reserve Bank making things worse? And could a National Government do any better? These are some of the big political questions floating around after the full extent of the economy’s plight was made clear by the Reserve Bank yesterday.

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.

Mike Hosking: Road to Zero another in a long list of government failures

Hard to believe, but in Waka Kotahi's annual report, the famed Julie Anne Genter piece of genius, Road to Zero has failed.

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.