Saturday, December 31, 2022

Bruce Moon: Research in New Zealand Universities – a case study

It is a rather curious feature of New Zealand universities today that they swarm with quite a lot of part-Maoris who share a set of common practices somewhat at variance with the free and open exchange of accurately established knowledge.  Whatever the reason, many of these practitioners are women.

 “If I lose mine honour, I lose myself:” Shakespeare, “Antony and Cleopatra": Act 3 Scene 4

So consider the words being spouted by those in New Zealand who should, as a matter of academic integrity, know better.

1.  Curiously they describe our country by the fake name of “Aotearoa”:  We note:

a.    It is essentially a confection of two colonials of English descent. (WP Reeves and SP Smith)

b.   It does not appear anywhere in the Treaty of Waitangi – where the Williams would certainly have used it in their translation had it been Maori usage but simply, it was not!  “Few Maori opted for Aotearoa”[i]

c.    It is a mark of disrespect to the Maori chiefs and representatives who signed the Treaty of Waitangi wherein the country was called Niu Tirani. 

Friday, December 30, 2022

Peter Winsley: Science, mātauranga Māori, and the national curriculum

The biggest problems in New Zealand’s schooling system are poor literacy and numeracy. This results from factors such as too little direct instruction as compared to child-led learning, inadequate use of phonics, and “fads” such as modern learning environments. We also lack a knowledge-rich national curriculum that gives all New Zealand students a good educational start in life, and with this a basis for democracy and civil society. The evidence is that socio-economic background is the main determinant of differences between Māori and non-Māori educational achievement.

Given all this, it is surprising how much emphasis the Ministry of Education (MoE) is giving to race as a key variable in education. MoE seems more focused on promoting Māori racial and cultural identity than, for example, professional identities. “Māori succeeding as Māori” is a recurring trope. A wisely sardonic Māori kuia once said to me that New Zealand has too few Māori in the professions and too many professional Māoris (sic). This was decades ago, and she spoke in a whisper. By now the prevailing zeitgeist will have silenced her completely.

Bryce Edwards: Labour’s terrible 2022 has been National’s opportunity

Political commentators and journalists have nominated their politicians of the year, and it’s telling that the three main nominees are all from the political right: Christopher Luxon, Nicola Willis, and David Seymour. The brickbats, in contrast, are almost universally for Labour Government Ministers – especially Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, deputy Grant Robertson, Nanaia Mahuta, Willie Jackson, and Andrew Little.

Whether this indicates that the media and commentariat have turned against Labour is an interesting point. But it certainly does reflect that it’s been an awful political year for the incumbents, and an encouraging turning point for the Opposition.

Chris Trotter: Annus Horribilis.

As thus terrrible year, this annus horribilis, draws to a close, we must all hope that 2023 brings us happier days.

As we watch the Chinese Government transition from its old, hardline, Covid-19 elimination strategy, characterised by long and uncompromising lockdowns, to a new, laissez-faire, wide open borders (and bugger the health system) strategy, uncannily like our own, we have confirmation that not even the totalitarian regime of Xi Jinping’s Communist Party can operate indefinitely without a social licence.

Not that our own government is returning the compliment by acknowledging the lack of genuine social licences for its own flagship policies – and changing them. There is more than a whiff of totalitarian indifference to public opinion in the Labour Caucus’s blunt refusal to change course on Nanaia Mahuta’s Three Waters project.

Breaking Views Update: Week of 25.12.22

Friday December 30, 2022 

Study to investigate importance of Mātauranga Māori in biosecurity

A study in mid-2023 is exploring the biosecurity decision-making processes aligned with Te Tiriti o Waitangi principles, cultural values and mātauranga.

The study’s findings will be used to consider ways to improve cultural decision making so that “Māori values and mātauranga can be carefully implemented in a robust, consistent and meaningful way”, says University of Canterbury senior lecturer Sascha Mueller.

Thursday, December 29, 2022

Karl du Fresne: The cautionary tale of the Woodville Wire

Ever heard of the Woodville Wire? No, I hadn’t either, until a couple of days ago. It’s a newsletter that publishes community news and comment on local issues in a southern Hawke’s Bay town where nothing much happens (at least, not usually).

I'm guessing the Wire’s readership would be counted in the hundreds, at most, yet this very modest news sheet has unexpectedly been pitched headlong into the culture wars. What follows is a cautionary tale about the febrile state of Maori-Pakeha relations and the precariousness of free speech in a climate of state-sanctioned authoritarian orthodoxy.

Clive Bibby: You can't fool all of the people all of the time

As an elitist parting shot prior to the Christmas break, the Editor of the Gisborne Herald chose the moment as a good time to establish himself as, not only the true authority on climate change science in our region but also, in the process, to belittle all those intelligent people who just happen to have a dramatically different opinion of what this country needs to do when dealing with the problem.

It is just another example of intellectual snobbery that is arguably the number one limiting factor to finding solutions that will work for everyone.

In this climate of false narratives being promoted for selective audiences, it is no surprise that those who expect only one side to do the heavy lifting are finding it difficult to convince the bulk of kiwis that theirs is the only way to the promised land.

Guy Hatchard: How Far Down the Road to Tyranny Have We Come....

.....and Why Are We Still Travelling Along It?

An emotionally moving short film released this week, “Silent No More,” documents attempts by Covid vaccine-injured people in New Zealand to obtain recognition of their injuries, treatment, compensation, and a halt to the mRNA vaccine rollout. This factual and simple documentary of personal experiences was banned by YouTube before it was even released. Why?

This is a deep question that encompasses what is so challenging about the pandemic response around the world:
  • Why has scientific debate been censored and cancelled by the media sources that the general public view?
  • Why have scientists asking questions been cancelled?
  • Why are so many concerned professionals still remaining silent?

Net Zero Watch - 2022: The year ESG fell to Earth


In this newsletter:

1) 2022: The year ESG fell to Earth
Real Clear Energy, 27 December 2022
2) Russia bans sales of oil to countries imposing price cap
The Wall Street Journal, 28 December 2022

Tony Orman: the Environmental Disaster of carbon farming

… about 72 per cent of pine forests were foreign-owned, with United States companies owning about 35 per cent and Asian companies about 12 per cent. –Keith Woodford, Professor of Farm Management and Agribusiness at Lincoln University, 2010

Rivers drying up

In April last year, I went trout fishing to a stream that is a tributary of the Wairau River. It is also an important spawning stream for both brown trout and probably some salmon. It is also a habitat for native fish.

At the road bridge just above its confluence with the parent river, it was a mere trickle. A couple of kilometres upstream it was dry river bed, whereas in previous decades it always had a healthy year-round flow.

The reason was not hard to identify.

Wednesday, December 28, 2022

Bruce Moon: Satire - A great opportunity to do some real science!!

Thoughtful readers will be delighted, I am sure, to know that after many months of arduous preparation, I am about to submit to the Marsden Fund my application for $720,000 for a study entitled “The Social, Environmental and Sexual Impact of the Unicorn in the Southern Hemisphere.” This will be, I am sure, groundbreaking research in a wholly new field and I am confident that its impact will be dramatic. Moreover, I am excited to announce that I have the full backing of Father Christmas who is considering unicorns as successors to his ageing team of reindeer.

There will inevitably be those dismal characters, as in any field of human endeavour, who suggest that that is a considerable sum and who ask why I consider it appropriate. My answer is of course, that grants from the Marsden are subject to the highest scrutiny and applications subjected to intense competition from those so-called scientists who, reactionary though it may be, continue to follow the decadent, racist, colonialist practices of so-called “Western” science.

Tuesday, December 27, 2022

Brendan O'Neill: The year we finally rose up against the pyjama classes

From Canadian truckers to Dutch farmers, working people have had enough of the laptop elites.

The laptop elites. The pyjama classes. It’s hard to know what to call the new establishment. Those upper-middle-class graduates who make up the knowledge economy. Who think tweeting is a job. Who have faithfully imbibed every woke mantra, from ‘Trans women are women’ to ‘Wear your mask!’. Who are waited on hand and foot by the precariat of Deliveroo and Amazon. Who loathe the old economy – the one that actually makes things – for its unsightly footprint on the planet. And who loved lockdown. Six months making sourdough bread for your Instagram Stories while still getting paid for whatever it is you do for a job? What’s not to like?

Saturday, December 24, 2022

NZCPR Newsletter: Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Dear NZCPR Reader,

On behalf of the New Zealand Centre for Political Research I would like to say a huge thank you for your on-going interest and wonderful support over the last 12 months – and wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas and a happy and healthy New Year!

Without a doubt, 2022 has been a most challenging year. Covid, the economy, the gross incompetence of the current government, and the co-governance agenda, have cast a long shadow over our country.

John Franklin: “One People, One Language”

Recently I learnt that Te Reo Māori and Sign Language are the only Official languages of New Zealand.

That’s despite over 95% of the population using English in their everyday lives, compared with Māori (4.1%) and New Zealand Sign Language (0.5%).

Like many New Zealanders, I was under the false impression that both English and Te Reo Māori were official NZ languages, but English is only the “De facto” language.

That means that Te Reo Maori is the only “Official” spoken language of New Zealand.

John Robinson: Escape the guilt trap - who really broke the Treaty?

Three Waters and separate government: the elephant in the room

Many councils have spoken out against the Three Waters proposal, with most focussing on the high cost and the taking of ownership and control by a new national organisation. The public organisation Democracy Action has spoken against the proposal, “since the undemocratic co-governance provisions will bring more complexity, more bureaucracy, more costs – and a whole lot less democratic accountability”. The Taxpayers’ Union has pointed to “the lies about ‘ownership’, the unsuccessful buy off of the local government sector, and the parliamentary skullduggery”.

There was considerable publicity when a group of law academics (professors and PhDs), publicised their opinion that the development of Three Waters raised constitutional concerns, because an entrenched privatisation provision (which was dropped following widespread condemnation) “creates a dangerous precedent”. That provision was a last-minute amendment that the Green Party had insisted on, in order to block possible future privatisation.

The claim that the Greens are opposed to privatisation is smoke and mirrors, a diversion and a con designed to misdirect public attention, away from what is going on. The Three Waters legislation takes all those resources out of public control and gives effective control, that key feature of ownership, to an undefined Maori organisation. That is privatisation in all but name.

Sarah Taylor: A wolf in sheep’s clothing - disastrous ramifications of new Bill

A wolf in sheep’s clothing: potentially disastrous ramifications of Bill amending Directors Duties recognising Treaty, environment and equity factors

If you need any more proof that the Ardern Labour government is out of control, then look no further than MP Duncan Webb’s Private Members’ Bill[i] that seeks to inject its woke socialist agenda into corporate governance with possibly disastrous long term ramifications for shareholders, investors and the wider economy.

Guy Hatchard: New Zealand Government Report Admits You May Die or Fall Ill After Pfizer mRNA Vaccination.....

......but Advises People Not to Worry

Time series analysis of New Zealand data supports a relationship between mRNA vaccination and death that is consistent with a German autopsy study.

On 14th December 2022, Medsafe (NZ Medicines and Medical Devices Safety Authority) released its 46th report into the safety of Covid vaccines entitled “Adverse events following immunisation with COVID-19 vaccines”. The report covered safety signals up to 30th November 2022.

This report contained new advice about the risk of death following mRNA vaccination. Medsafe’s assessment began as follows:

Breaking Views Update: Week of 18.12.22

Saturday December 24, 2022 

Tears of joy, sadness, over 'groundbreaking' Waitangi Tribunal report

The Waitangi Tribunal has reported back about one of the largest Treaty claims ever heard - a document described as "groundbreaking", and "defining" for Māori in Te Tai Tokerau.

It said the Crown repeatedly overstepped its authority to govern, leading to a widespread erosion of rangatiratanga as well as warfare and extensive loss of land.

Friday, December 23, 2022

Denis Hall: I can tell already - this is going to morph into something different.

I just read an essay - in a “Life Magazine” book of essays - - or call it an article if you like - by a very famous American lady Journalist and celebrity from the war years and after. Her name was Clare Booth Luce - and for some reason she was a favorite of my father - Sid Hall - and his mentioning of that name back in the forties somehow resonated in my child’s brain.

Yes - the forties - like last century - some of us really are still alive - but sadly - not for much longer.

But to cut to the chase - Clare Booth Luce, American Journalist extraordinaire - whom I have never heard called anything other than “Clare Booth Luce” - was around of course in 1940 - writing from Paris during that famous “Phony War” - when all the idiot politicians were waiting about - wetting their pants - in a state of total indecision - for Hitler’s next move.

Chris Trotter: Making All Kinds Of Assumptions.

One of the most disturbing aspects of race-based politics is the difficulty many citizens have in taking racially-driven change seriously. This is particularly the case when the manner in which racial matters have been defined and discussed changes abruptly. Assumptions upon which people have come to rely are deemed mistaken, even dangerous, and they are required to embrace a whole new set of assumptions.

Unsurprisingly, the ethnic groups targeted by these new assumptions will be profoundly affected by such dramatic shifts in moral and political judgement. If it is an ethnic minority being singled-out, then many of its members will become fearful. But, if the assumptions of the majority are being challenged, then many of its members will become extremely angry. Most citizens, however, will struggle to take such shifts seriously. Those making them will be branded extremists, and dismissed accordingly.

Point of Order: Another Green MP to retire next year: but how will the achievements be measured......

........Will democracy be better off?

Green MP and former Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage will not be standing at next year’s election.

By then she will have served 12 years as a Green MP.

She is the second serving Green MP who has decided she has come to the end of the parliamentary road.

Thursday, December 22, 2022

John Porter: Labour’s Court Jester Is Willie Jackson

We all know, only too well, that Jacinda Ardern is spoilt for choice when it comes to blunderers, incompetents and wastrels to staff her cabinet. In fact, you could say, “Her cup runneth over!”

Today is the last broadcast for 2022, I want to take a bit of an irreverent look at one of Ardern’s ministers who seems to go out of his way to confirm his “competence”!

And that’s the one whom I would call Labour’s Court Jester, none other than Willie Jackson!

Bob Jones: Years of shame

Periodically, following an accident, we read of someone falling into a coma then coming out of it a year or so later. Imagine such a Rip Van Winkle situation now with someone who say fell into a coma in mid 2020 and waking today.

When this hypothetical R.V.W lost consciousness the nation was under a Stalinist totalitarian control with daily Great Leader TV broadcasts, infantile nonsense about the team of 5 million, a cringing fat woman ringing her hands on television urging us to be kind, all socialising, working (unless a critical service), public gatherings, sport playing and watching, swimming, restaurant patronising, etc, etc, etc, forbidden; in total an unbelievable Orwellian situation enforced on a compliant public at a level not even attained in war-time.

Reynold Macpherson: Why Scepticism Greets the Rotorua Housing Accord



The content of the Rotorua Housing Accord prepared for signing on 9 December is different than the uncritical reports published at various news outlets. It suggests that the articles were based on the press releases provided by the Ministers and our Mayor and were intended to spin the intended outcomes of the Accord, rather than clarify the substance and implications of the Accord. When the limitations of the Accord are added to the legacy of distrust created by the previous Council, it is understandable why residents and ratepayers remain sceptical. 


In 2017, Human Rights organisation Amnesty produced a report into Cobalt mining in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It found that there were children as young as seven, working in dangerous conditions. 

Cobalt is a vital component of Lithium- ion batteries used in electric vehicles, and of course such things as cell phones.  DRC produces around 70% of the world’s cobalt. Miners working in the mines face long term health problems including lung disease, and risk fatal accidents. Between Sept 2014 and Dec 2015 it is claimed at least 80 miners had died underground in southern DRC. 

Wednesday, December 21, 2022

Mike Butler: Prosecutorial sin and Titford

Publicity about prosecutorial wrongdoing in the Alan Hall miscarriage of justice is an opportunity to look at what happened in the trial of Allan Titford. I wrote two books about Titford’s situation, about when he was forced off his Northland farm by tribal activists, and when he was tried on 53 charges. (1)

Alan Hall, who was convicted in 1986 of murdering Arthur Easton, spent 19 years in jail.

The conviction was quashed last June after a four-years of work by investigator Tim McKinnel and an appeal to the Supreme Court. (2)

Allan Titford, who was convicted in 2013 on 39 counts that included three of allegedly raping his wife, is 10 years into a 24-year jail term.

Chris Trotter: A New Government, But No Change, In 2023.

With the end of the year racing towards us, the temptation is strong to review the twelve months just gone. Some political journalists even go as far as issuing awards for the best and the worst of the nation’s political players. Others channel their inner schoolmarm and award grades, or marks out of ten. Away with all such malarky! What most interests the politically aware is not the past, but the future. Never is this more true that when the new year fast approaching is an election year.

I would be remiss, however, not to reference to the most jarring political event experienced by New Zealanders in 2022 – the occupation of Parliament Grounds. The full significance of this episode has only become clear with the benefit of hindsight. It intensified a prejudice against ordinary New Zealanders that, already strong, has since become a badge-of-honour among a distressingly large percentage of the political class. Before the Occupation, ignoring the wishes of the Great Unwashed could still elicit feelings of unease among “progressive” MPs. After the Occupation it became a positive duty.

Net Zero Watch: Europe's energy crisis may be even worse in coming years


In this newsletter:

1) Europe's energy crisis may be even worse in coming years 
Reuters, 19 December 2022
2) Europe's energy crisis is just getting started, 19 December 2022 

Bob Jones: Fashionable silliness

In a mindbogglingly inane contributory NZ Herald article Rob Campbell, chairman of Auckland’s casino (among other sinecures) asks, “Who on earth is being hurt by co-governance?”. I’ll answer that by stating the obvious. We all are.

In a democracy the underlying principle is an equal value vote accorded every citizen, regardless of their intellectual differences, contribution to society, ethnicity, and so on.

Cam Slater: I Thought Maori Invented Swimming?

Apparently, too many Maori are drowning, and it’s all the fault of colonialism. If only we could approach water safety the Maori way it could solve this problem. Well, that’s what the woke Wombles at Water Safety NZ have decided:

Bryce Edwards: Threats to politicians and co-governance could be big themes of 2023

It has been reported that Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern will not host her centrepiece Waitangi Day breakfast next year. According to reports by the Guardian and Australian Associated Press, the decision was due to increased fears for Ardern’s safety at the Upper Treaty Grounds.

Although the Waitangi National Trust announcement has not been confirmed by the Beehive, it does raise several important issues relating to the coming election year.

Threats of violence and nastiness against politicians

Government politicians have been reporting increased hostility, harassment, and threats of violence this year. And anyone who closely watches politics will be aware of rising levels of toxicity and nastiness in political debate. Of course, some of it comes from the politicians themselves.

Tuesday, December 20, 2022

Point of Order: Hipkins enthuses about the Fourth National Action Plan......

.....but who remembers the first three?

Just two statements had been posted on the Beehive website, when we made our daily check this morning. This suggested the PM and her ministers were easing up on their workloads as Christmas Day nears.

But two more statements have been posted since then, one of them grandly headlined:

Graham Adams: Mainstream journalists smell blood in the water

2023 looks like it will be brutal for Labour

Cynics have cruelly likened journalists to mercenaries watching a battle from a safe position above the fray and only venturing down to the plains when it is clear who the victors are — and then bayoneting the wounded.

As 2022 draws to a close, it appears that the media has identified Jacinda Ardern’s government as critically injured and are sharpening their steel for slaughter in election year.

Heather du Plessis Allan has never been one to hold back but her interview last week on Newstalk ZB with Michael Wood was an extraordinary exhibition of disdain, if not contempt, towards a Cabinet minister. If it presages a growing trend of similar forthrightness by journalists in 2023, it will prove extremely difficult for the Labour Party in its election campaign.

Point of Order: Secrecy shrouds details of RNZAF planes being intercepted while flying on missions overseas

The disclosure that 92 missions flown by RNZAF P3 Orions have been intercepted by the jets of foreign powers is sending shock waves through the broader defence community.

Details of the incidents, including the identity of the foreign powers and the exact locations of the interceptions, were withheld on national security grounds under the Official Information Act.

The NZ Herald broke the story after it had been withheld on national security grounds.

John Robinson: Escaping the guilt trap: who really broke the Treaty

Three Waters and separate government: the elephant in the room

Many councils have spoken out against the Three Waters proposal, with most focussing on the high cost and the taking of ownership and control by a new centralised national organisation. The public organisation Democracy Action has spoken against the proposal, “since the undemocratic co-governance provisions will bring more complexity, more bureaucracy, more costs – and a whole lot less democratic accountability”. The Taxpayers’ Union has pointed to “the lies about ‘ownership’, the unsuccessful buy off of the local government sector, and the parliamentary skullduggery”.

There was considerable publicity when a group of law academics (professors and PhDs), publicised their opinion that the development of Three Waters raised constitutional concerns, because an entrenched privatisation provision (which was dropped following widespread condemnation) “creates a dangerous precedent”. That provision was a last-minute amendment that the Green Party had insisted on, supposedly in order to block possible future privatisation.

Monday, December 19, 2022

Don Brash chats to Sean Plunket on the banning of karakias in council meetings on That Platform

Point of Order: Govt serves good news by helping shoppers gauge whether this item – or that one – provides the better bang for our bucks

Good Christmas news for shoppers came in the form of the Government announcing it is working on a set of rules intended to help consumers compare the prices of grocery products at supermarkets.

They can do that now, of course, although the procedure is exhausting: shoppers hoping to get the best bang for their bucks can visit every supermarket within a comfortable travelling distance, then walk down the aisles with their shopping lists and take copious notes of who is selling what for how much.

Shoppers furthermore can calculate whether a 150-gram tin of sardines (or whatever) is a better deal than the 150-gram tin of sardines on the same shelf.

Bruce Moon: Challenging Charters

Associate Professor Claire Charters in full flight; the need to clip her wings!  Or, to change our metaphor slightly, yet another bright star in the New Zealand firmament is one Claire Charters, Associate Professor of Law at the University of Auckland.  It is she who has said that the (rat-eaten) “Treaty of Waitangi” “must continue to be the lighthouse on the shore guiding our way.”[i]

It was the said Ms Charters who had the privilege of delivering the Bruce Jesson Memorial Lecture on 27 September 2022, having chaired the working group that produced the 2019 report “He Puapua”!

She is also director of the so-called “Aotearoa New Zealand Centre for Indigenous Peoples and the Law."

H’m!  All that sounds interesting.  We’d better have a good look at the report of that lecture. 

Garrick Tremain: Weapons training

 Here is Garrick Tremain's cartoon commentary on the training required for owning a dairy! 

Sunday, December 18, 2022

Lindsay Mitchell: NZ's rarely-reported plummeting prison population

Appalling crime story after appalling crime story gets reported.

But media rarely report on the big decline in New Zealand's prison population.

Mike Butler: $681m for Waikato, meter running

The Waikato-Tainui tribe has managed to extract $681-million from the government in treaty settlements since 1995 and the meter is still running. I notice this because I spent years working in a newsroom and remember the day the teleprinter told me that then Justice Minister Geoffrey Palmer of the Fourth Labour Government had enabled the investigation of grievances back to 1840. Subsequently, I researched treaty settlements. (1)

On Friday, Stuff reported that Waikato-Tainui Treaty had just received a further $101.5-million relativity payment and declared that the payment takes the total the iwi has gained including its original $170 million in 1995 to $390 million. (2)

The Stuff report didn’t mention the latest relativity payment of $96.5m to South Island tribe Ngai Tahu which is also entitled to top-ups. (3) It also missed a number of payments to Waikato-Tainui. A more complete list of post-1995 treaty settlement payments to Waikato-Tainui shows:

Net Zero Watch: 21st century warming may not be due to greenhouse gasses, leading climate scientists say


In this newsletter:

1) 21st century warming may not be due to greenhouse gasses, leading climate scientists say
Net Zero Watch, 16 December 2022
2) Final 2022 hurricane season results disappoint NOAA’s gloomy forecast
CNS News, 14 December 2022

Guy Hatchard: The Political Science of the Unbelievable

Yesterday I was enjoying a cup of tea with Gary Moller overlooking Wellington Hospital. Over the course of an hour, there were six flights of rescue helicopters presumably ferrying injured or sick people for emergency treatment. Gary tells me the current frequency of these flights is very often at a rate unprecedented over the many years he has lived there. At night we hear the wailing of ambulance sirens.

Wellington is the seat of government. I wonder if our politicians have noticed? Or are they just putting a brave face on the carnage? When they read the international papers, do they wonder about people collapsing or dropping dead suddenly? Are they concerned about the record levels of excess mortality? As very few of them answer the concerned emails of their constituents, we can only guess what they are thinking. We have entered the political era of the unbelievable. Don’t ask, don’t answer, and talk about something inconsequential.

Saturday, December 17, 2022

Oliver Hartwich: The most exciting breakthrough of 2022

As the year comes to a close, it is natural to reflect on both the good and the bad of the past twelve months.

This year has been tough, with wars, inflation, and the fallout from the pandemic.

But I do not want to dwell on the negatives. Instead, I want to focus on the one thing that truly stood out to me this year: the incredible advances in artificial intelligence (AI).

The Platform: Former Prime Minister Jim Bolger talks to Sean Plunket about co-governance.

Former Prime Minister Jim Bolger talks to Sean Plunket about co-governance.

Breaking Views Update: Week of 11.12.22

Saturday December 17, 2022 

A 16m-high tribute to ancient waka takes its place beside the Waikato Expressway

A new piece of art now adorns the Waikato Expressway in the form of a 16m-high sculpture just north of Hamilton.

The artwork tells the story of the Tainui waka – which came from a tree planted on the grave of Tainui, who was the son of a chief Tinirau and his wife Hinerau in Hawaiki.

Friday, December 16, 2022

Point of Order: Greens are cheered by renewable energy news and exploration pause.....

........but overseas coal exporters will be delighted, too

The Point of Order team will be keeping an eye on how coal imports are affected by one of the latest Beehive announcements. We share ACT’s belief that global coal exporters will be delighted by the news.

The announcement – from Energy and Resources Minister Megan Woods – is that the government is stalling on the granting of further petroleum exploration permits, beyond the work already underway, until early in the next Parliamentary term.

So what’s the link between this announcement and the graph above, showing a burgeoning of coal imports in recent years.

Graham Adams: Report into Mahuta family contracts leaves questions unanswered

It is ironic that the release of the long-awaited report into government contracts awarded to Nanaia Mahuta’s family has been overshadowed by an even bigger controversy over her role in a secretive attempt to entrench an anti-privatisation clause in the Three Waters legislation.

The publication of the review by Public Service Commissioner Peter Hughes on Tuesday must have come as a profound relief to the embattled Minister of Local Government.

Mahuta particularly welcomed the statement that Hughes had found “no evidence of favouritism, bias, or undue influence over agency decisions in relation to KAS (Ka Awatea Services) or KC [Kawai Catalyst] due to the connections with the minister”.

Garrick Tremain: Obedience

 Here is Garrick Tremain's cartoon commentary on training the media! 

Mike Butler: Common sense on emergency motels

Two official responses to complaints from people in emergency motels shine a light on the issues and prompt common sense suggestions.

My day job is owning and managing rooms, flats, and houses, and I have done this for more than 30 years. I don’t do emergency housing because I don’t want the problems, the filth, and the damage.

The Chief Human Rights Commissioner Paul Hunt spent months listening to complaints from aggrieved people who had been in emergency accommodation.

The Ministry of Housing and Urban Development, the Ministry responsible for the current housing shambles, created its own response.

Cam Slater: Three Waters Flushing Millions Down the Dunny

The Government touted Three Waters as a way to save ratepayers and taxpayers money but within a week of them ramming the bill through parliament we find out that the cost of the new IT system, to replace IT systems councils already have in place to manage water, has ballooned out to $659 million. It was originally estimated at between $300-500 million. And you may be sure it’ll actually cost far more than that.

Bryce Edwards: National is failing to inspire voters

Labour’s Hamilton West by-election loss at the weekend has been widely described as a disaster for the party, illustrating just how much the tide has turned on the Government.

But what did the by-election result say about the state of the National Party? Tama Potaka’s win was a vote of confidence in him as a candidate and for the party as a whole. Winning 46 per cent of the vote was a strong performance, easily beating the Labour candidate’s 30 per cent support.