Tuesday, February 28, 2023
call from anti-poverty activists for the government to write off beneficiary debt which has grown to over 2.3 billion dollars.
Acquiescing to this demand would create an ever-growing snowball.
Next for consideration would be student debt; debt to the Ministry of Justice for unpaid fines; debt to IRD for unpaid child support payments; debt to Kaianga Ora for overdue rents and more.
Poet Tusiata Avia — with the help of Stuff’s editors — and Māori Party co-leader Rawiri Waititi have exposed the double standards of what is considered to be acceptable speech in New Zealand.
After Waititi recently posted an image of Captain James Cook being killed in Hawaii in 1779, Avia extended the celebration of his murder to killing his descendants.
Waititi wrote on his Facebook page on Valentine’s Day:
In this newsletter:
1) US-Europe trade tensions heat up over Biden's green subsidies
Financial Times, 27 February 2023
The health boss has published his strident views on the National Party and its leader, implying they are being racist. His partisan statement is a clear breach of the code of conduct for senior public servants like himself.
Julie Anne Genter, back in another Government when they gave her a portfolio, came up with the 'Road to Zero'.
That alone was one of the stupidest ideas going, for the simple reason that it set you up for immediate failure.
Look, it’s very tempting to have a laugh once again at Auckland Transport for once again, being rubbish at its job.
Monday, February 27, 2023
....and goes global with appeal for recovery funds
The cleanup after Cyclone Gabrielle continues to dominate the outflow of announcements from the Beehive.
Today’s news notably includes something that had been anticipated – the Census collection period will be extended in areas impacted by the Cyclone.
Ministers have announced –
Point of Order: Two views of how the war in the Ukraine is impacting on a small country in the PacificLabels: Point of Order, Russia, Ukraine, Ukraine war, United Nations
Last year, when she was still Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern described the state of world affairs as “bloody messy”. Since then there have been few, if any, signs of improvement. The war in Ukraine delivered an economic jolt to NZ, and its effects have barely dissipated. The war’s expansion would bring more pain for local business and consumers.
Without the military or economic scale to influence events directly, NZ relies on its voice and ability to persuade.
But by placing its faith in a rules-based order and United Nations processes, it also has to work with – and sometimes around – highly imperfect systems. In some areas of international law and policy, the machinery is failing. It’s unclear what the next best step might be.
the things that matter to New Zealand voters the most are: inflation/cost of living, housing costs, crime/law-and-order, and healthcare and hospitals.
To: The Hon. Prime Minister Chris Hipkins
Two publications by the Ministry of Health itself present evidence that within the government there is knowledge that the Pfizer mRNA Covid vaccine cannot be regarded as safe and effective. Therefore from this point in time forward, there is no credible legal defence that the government can advance to cover its failure to openly inform individuals and the public at large of the inherent health risks of Covid vaccines.
Kauri’s position on climate change is straightforward. Climate change is real and constant but the proportion of warming caused by increasing atmospheric CO2 is insignificant in the scale of earth processes. This paper summarises the evidence that led to this position and is intended for a non-technical audience; details, including references, can be found in the Kauri submission to the Climate Commission on the Kauri website.
The earth is not a static, stable, benign system and climate is continually changing, driven by large scale processes such as solar cycles, lunar cycles, orbital variations, volcanism, plate tectonics, ocean circulation, gravity variations etc. Our understanding of each of these processes individually is still far from complete, and we have a very poor knowledge of the complexities created by the interaction of these processes over different timeframes. The actual Climate Deniers are those who do not recognise the system is dynamic, and believe the climate should remain static, or that changes can be reversed. There is no climate crisis, just climate change - all measures of climate are varying within ranges that have been experienced even in the brief period of recorded human history. Kauri’s position is based on measured data and repeat observations; not modelling and assumptions.
However, there’s increasingly a public mood against the special pleading of such vested interests. This is evidenced in the criticisms now coming from across the political spectrum about the huge costs that New Zealand forestry businesses have been imposing on society, particularly with the multi-billion-dollar cost of “slash” debris that exacerbated or caused flood damage when Cyclone Gabrielle hit this month.
Readers who have had the benefit of a pre-decolonised education may recognise that line from George Orwell’s 1984. It was written by the protagonist, Winston Smith, as he struggles against the demands of the Party that two plus two could equal five.
In Orwell’s now iconic literary achievement, the threat against reason was coming from above. He did not contemplate that those who sought, and succeeded, in controlling how we think and talk could come from below. And yet, here we are.
The latest victim of our new Orwellian reality was Maureen Pugh.
Sunday, February 26, 2023
Scientists measure the force of eruptions using something called the Volcanic Explosivity Index, or VEI. (I learned about this from my teenage grandson, who has an encyclopaedic knowledge of volcanoes.)
The eruption of Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai had a VEI of 5 or 6, depending on which source you believe. According to NIWA, it was the biggest atmospheric explosion recorded in more than a century. As a point of comparison, the cataclysmic Oruanui (Lake Taupo) eruption about 26,500 years ago had a VEI of 8. Krakatoa (1883) scored a 6.
There are some who have lost their homes, and their livelihood, and it will be a mammoth undertaking to get them resettled and back on their feet again.
After an um and an ah, he said "We have Kawanatanga, Tino Rangatiratanga, and, actually no, I can't remember the other, sorry." (1)
Former Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern faced the same question in 2019 and could only say “kawanatanga”, and “tino rangatiratanga” after prompting from Labour MP Willie Jackson.
"Failure to understand and accept basic scientific facts raises serious questions about the judgment of prospective legislators."(1)Politicking by these two activists posing as journalists started on Tuesday night when Three News political editor Jenna Lynch reported on National Party MP Maureen Pugh uttering the "heresy" that the climate has always changed, but she was still awaiting evidence that humans are causing changes.
......(but have non-Maori been left out of her delegation?) while Luxon gushes about Nats’ Three Waters plans
Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta’s latest travel plans have been posted on the Beehive website today, advising she is packing her bags to travel to Japan and Singapore tomorrow “to strengthen Aotearoa New Zealand’s connections with Indo-Pacific partners”.
But it seems she is strengthening the connections only for some New Zealanders.
The press statement says:
Choose your Zelensky. He can be either saint or sinner. Either valiant repairer of the liberal international order or compliant puppet of the WEF. Either a one-man defender of liberal democracy or a stooge of nefarious globalists. These are the only two Zelenskys. There’s no in-between. He’s either a Guardian editorial made dashing flesh or the willing jester of Davos Man. Take your pick.
So it used to be with BusinessNZ’s annual ‘Back to Business’ function. In mid-February every year, the lobbying group would invite business and political leaders for drinks and canapes. And the Prime Minister would say a few inconsequential words, too.
That is how it would have been again this year if the Prime Minister had not changed. But with Chris Hipkins having only been in office for a month, the main event was him.
Thus, some two or three hundred guests eagerly anticipated Hipkins’ remarks. They were in for a surprise.
Roads, bridges and powerlines across large swathes of the North Island have been decimated. A substation has been flooded. And thousands of homes, farms and businesses lie caked in mud and silt.
Finance Minister Grant Robertson has suggested that the rebuild could cost $13 billion. That rivals the initial estimate for the 2011 Christchurch Earthquake.
And it means that the fallout from Gabrielle will be felt for many years to come. The government needs to get its response right.
Kate Hawkesby: In a first-world country we should be able to expect a decent health service, not 'adequate'Labels: Health Service, Health System crisis, Kate Hawkesby
As my son marched off for a lung X-ray for a chest infection yesterday, I wondered just how dire the health system was going to get this winter.
Saturday, February 25, 2023
In my entire adult life, I have yet to see a cabinet minister stand in front of the citizens of New Zealand trying to defend the indefensible which such feigned indignation.
Such was the performance of Stuart Nash, Minister for Forestry in PM Chris Hipkins’ Labour Government as the opening item on Thursdays’ TV One Network News.
....but Tirikatane reminds us what the Treaty is doing to this notion
BusinessNZ has welcomed the latest of a string of disaster-related initiatives from the Government, this one related to work visas to bring in workers to help with the recovery from Cyclone Gabrielle.
The new Recovery Visa is intended to cover the mix of workers needed for clean-up and recovery, including construction workers.
The key features are –
stuoud and intransigent politicians are called #LedByDonkeys. Now it seems that we need a similar campaign here in New Zealand, especially after Michael Wood decided to share with us all that his spirit animal is a donkey.
Peter Winsley: Defending New Zealand’s democracy, and why Shakespeare is Kryptonite to tribalists and ethno-nationalistsLabels: Democracy, Peter Winsley, The Treaty of Waitangi, Waitangi Tribunal
Saturday February 25, 2023
Law lecturer wins scholarship for Māori financial independence research
University of Canterbury (UC) law lecturer, Rachael Evans, has been awarded an $80,000 scholarship for PhD research investigating how iwi can exercise rangatiratanga (sovereignty or autonomy) through the development of fiscal authority.
“Before colonisation, iwi and hapū with tino rangatiratanga were active political and economic entities making their own decisions according to their tikanga (law) and kawa (rules). They engaged in different forms of economic activity including agriculture, trade and warfare, but were economically self-sustainable,” said Ms Evans.
Friday, February 24, 2023
We have just seen an example of what has happened all around the world when someone- usually a scientist, dared question the so called “settled science” that humans are responsible for climate change. By now, thousands of honest scientists have lost their jobs, been victimised, and bullied because they have dared to speak out. After Maureen Pugh wanted to see the evidence that humans were causing climate change, she received the same treatment from a range of Parliamentarians who haven’t an ounce of science between them. Then the science illiterate media got in on the act too. Sadly, Maureen, like Gallileo, a long time ago, had to retract.
I predicted this would happen. Cyclone Gabrielle would be used by the climate alarmists to further the cause of anthropogenic climate change.
My sense of this election year is that a lot more will be involved and keen to participate.
The most dangerous thing about a democracy is when people can't be bothered. I think the results in some local body contests is teaching us that.
Labour is very good with the political firefighting required to deal with such disasters – as they have shown in the past with their response to the Christchurch mosque attack, the Whakaari White Island eruption, and the initial stages of Covid.
And, in fact, the last National Government wasn’t too bad at crisis management either. John Key and Bill English received plaudits for the way they dealt with the global financial crisis, the Pike River disaster, and the Canterbury earthquakes.
Luxon has come out of it looking like a control freak, intolerant of any deviation from the party line.
This should surprise no one. He comes from a corporate background, and the corporate world values conformity above almost everything else. Original thinkers are seen as problematical and even threatening. Conventional men who play golf and wear suits are naturally most comfortable in the company of other conventional men who play golf and wear suits.
Even if Chris Hipkins is no longer the Prime Minister after October’s election, his legacy will be locked in for some time.
Chances are it won’t be on account of his role as Prime Minister over the next seven months — or his time as Minister of Police, Minister for Covid-19 Response, Minister for the Public Service, or his brief period as Minister of Health.
describes Christopher Luxon’s handling of the issue as “demeaning” and “all for show”.
Taking the meme ‘Everyone I Don’t Like Is Hitler’ to dizzying new heights, now we’re being told it’s far right to want to drive your car. Motorist and fascist, peas in a pod. Protesters against Low Traffic Neighbourhoods and so-called 15-minute cities – policies being adopted in various regions of the UK that will severely limit where and how often a person can drive his car – have been damned as hard-right loons. Who but a modern-day Brownshirt would bristle at eco-measures designed to save Mother Earth from car toxins? One author attended this month’s colourful protest against Oxford City Council’s anti-driving policies and decreed that this motley crew of car-lovers are on ‘the road to fascism’. Only they’ll never get there, presumably, given the elites’ penchant for road restrictions.
he NZ Herald notes that Term 3 NZ School attendance data has finally been released. It also notes that Jan Tinetti admitted deliberately sitting on it (and thus avoiding numerous OIA’s – I assume she blames the previous Minister) since December. They have become so transparent that people now see right through them.
From the Ministry of Education’s data branch (who are very good BTW) this graph is telling.
Thursday, February 23, 2023
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…”
TV3 made it a lead story, which was bad enough, given it wasn’t.
And they made it a lead story not only because Pugh is easy pickings, but because they so obviously and overtly and unprofessionally hate National, even when they keep telling us they are balanced.
Last weekend it was reported how books by the popular children’s book author, Roald Dahl, are now being republished after significant changes to the texts. According to The Guardian, the changes are only about removing “offensive language” from his books. The Roald Dahl Story Company says the changes are minor and only about making the text more accessible and “inclusive“ to modern readers.
There’s a big disconnect happening at the moment between government and locals in the Hawkes Bay area over what’s really going on.
Wednesday, February 22, 2023
PM is going to wash this plan right out of his hair (by sneakily giving it another name)
This update of governmental news gleaned from our Beehive monitoring owes plenty to Stuff and to Kiwiblog, who have highlighted news based on Chris Hipkins’ first speech to Parliament as Prime Minister.
We got the letter from the school yesterday about them clamping down on turning up.
You need notes and good reasons, which you have always officially needed, but it’s got lax over the years, as rules do. But they have clearly got the word from the Ministry so the emails get sent out.
Immediately after the initial shock, you go through a period of numbness that only recedes when help arrives in the form of those who genuinely want to provide the assistance in a form that could make a difference.
But sadly, experience tells us that too often the ones who have the capacity to help in a meaningful way are dismissive of the local advice from those best placed to make comparative assessments of the damage caused during each climate event but, more importantly, comparative assessments of the Local and Central Government responses after each disaster.