Tuesday, October 31, 2023

Chris Trotter: The Demographic Fix.

It could not be recorded today, let alone top the charts. Blue Mink’s anthemic “Melting Pot”, released in 1969, was a product of that brief sunny moment in history when people genuinely believed the world would be a better place if all of its peoples could “just get together in a lovin’ machine” that turned out “coffee-coloured people by the score”.

The problem was that, by 1969, the world had already moved on from the idea of a single human family. Dr Martin Luther King’s self-sacrificial creed of non-violent civil disobedience had died even before he did, replaced with the “Burn, Baby, Burn!” of ghetto insurrectionists and Black nationalists. In New Zealand, too, the rise of Nga Tamatoa and the Polynesian Panthers offered a strong challenge to the 1960 Hunn Report’s policy of integration.

Point of Order: Buzz from the Beehive - 31/10/23

Chippie prepares to sign off as PM – but his future as party leader is not so clear

The PM has delivered some news about what’s going on in The Beehive, but he has not posted it on the government’s official website.

Indeed, nothing has been posted there since October 29, when the PM and his sports minister congratulated the All Blacks after they finished runners up at Rugby World Cup 2023.

But Chris Hipkins has been busy. Busy packing is bags.

Eric Crampton: The approach to heritage preservation needs a fundamental overhaul

“There is no alternative” is a powerful framing if you want your alternative to prevail – even more so when regulations make it too easy for other options to be far too hard. Wellington’s Council got a dose of it over the past week. But similar stories play out across the country as deadlines for earthquake strengthening on listed buildings come due.

Creating some alternatives may be a good idea.

Mike Hosking: Supie's fall means a lot of questions for the market

It's always a sad, old business when a half-decent idea doesn’t quite work out.

That's how it appears with Supie, the company and the start-up designed to shake up the supermarket game.

Now, it's important to remember we don’t know why they have gone into liquidation. Even if a business fails, it may say nothing about the economic environment, it may say nothing about the specific sector it operated in, or then again it may say a lot.

Cam Slater: Tau Henare Spits the Dummy

Brown-mail and intimidation seems to have become the Maori way

We are seeing a sea change in our democracy, and it is being done right before our very noses, with nary a peep from a complicit media. That sea change is the wholesale abandonment, by Maori, of democracy in favour of threats, bullying, intimidation and outright brown-mail if they don’t get their own way.

Andrew Dickens: Enjoy this respite from criticism of New Zealand, it won't last

This is my first ZB shift since the election brought in our new Government-to-be.

And I must say it’s been the most fantastic fortnight, until we lost the Rugby World Cup final due to first half sloppiness and a trigger-happy TMO.

But we had our chances. We can’t complain. You have to play to the rules.

But really, it’s been 2 weeks of calm and confidence and a feeling of recovery and renewal after the election

Robert MacCulloch: OneNews turns partisan, labels Peters & Seymour as "populist".

Luxon is there also, alongside Putin.

Today OneNews report, not as opinion, but as "fact", the following:

"Should the final count erode their slim majority, waiting in the wings is Peters' populist NZ First party".

A few weeks ago, OneNews' John Campbell stated:

Michael Johnston: Briefing for the incoming education minister

The teaching profession is in crisis

New Zealand’s teachers are operating under a lot of pressure.

Our schools face an acute shortage of teaching staff, especially in specialist areas like secondary mathematics and science. Earlier this year, the Post-Primary Teachers Association reported that a third of advertised teaching positions in secondary schools attract no applicants trained in New Zealand. One in seven attract no applicants at all. A third of advertised positions cannot be filled.

JC: Mike Munro Writes ‘Didn’t They Do Well?’

Well, not in those exact words. What he did say in the headline to his opinion piece in the Weekend Herald was “Full credit to the Labour team – they deserve it”. A more appropriate headline might have been ‘No credit to the Labour team – they didn’t deserve it’. They deserved what they got, which was a good old-fashioned ‘first past the post’ spanking. The electorate scoreboard reads something like National 45, Labour 17. They were well and truly penalised for being offside with the voters.

Bryce Edwards: New Zealand needs a more working-class Parliament

In recent decades the New Zealand Parliament has become more representative of some of the historically neglected demographics in our society. As I told TVNZ’s Q+A programme in the weekend, it’s become browner, younger, more female and more gay, and this is good progress – see: New MP intake heavy on farmers, light on unionists.

But at the same time as Parliament has become more diverse in terms of gender, ethnicity, age, and sexuality, it has become significantly narrower in terms of socioeconomics, occupation, or social class. Ordinary working-class people have been squeezed out of politics.

Monday October 30, 2023 


Monday, October 30, 2023

Point of Order: Buzz from the Beehive - 30/10/23

What in the world would prompt another press statement from our rejected government? No, it was not the catastrophe in Gaza

It must be a measure of something – but what, exactly? – that only four media statements have emerged from the Beehive since Election Day.

The four statements have addressed just two issues, neither of which is susceptible to the influence either of the just-defeated Labour government or the soon-to-be-installed National-led coalition.

Robert MacCulloch: Does our New Government want to take us back to 1989?

This blog disagrees with ACT leader's David Seymour's views on the Reserve Bank. Has he just come in fresh from a talk with Don Brash? And together concluded that the whole show should be returned to what was in place when the Reserve Bank of NZ Act was passed in 1989? Maybe Don Brash could apply to be the new governor to implement Seymour's new legislation when Adrian Orr's tenure comes to an end? Give us a break.

Peter Winsley: The great soul of the Russian people will always outlive those who seek to destroy it

The Russian symbolist poet Osip Mandelstam once said that Russia is the only country that takes poetry seriously – it gets people killed. In Stalin’s time some Russian poets were victimised and silenced, some were protected. Stalin admired Pasternak’s translations of Georgian poetry into Russian. He wrote a curt note to the NKVD telling it to “leave this cloud dweller alone.”

Roger Childs: Now the Wellington Regional Council adopts apartheid representation

In response to this GWRC media release, Roger Childs comments:

It is such a pity that most of the Maori élites, politicians and academics, and their fellow travellers, regard themselves as a separate people. All Maori have more settler/colonist blood than Polynesian. They are fundamentally New Zealanders and have the same needs and interests as other Kiwis. I’m sure most New Zealanders with some Maori blood think the same. Governments both central and local, have looked after “Maori” excessively for decades and sadly this had led to separatism, tribalism and division.

Brendan O'Neill: Racism in the mask of anti-imperialism

Across the West, ‘Marches for Palestine’ have given cover to some of the vilest anti-Semitism we’ve seen in decades.

Yesterday in London the left marched alongside a mob that was celebrating the mass murder of Jews. They came in from their gentrified suburbs, macchiato in hand, and mingled with keffiyeh-wearing bigots who were using a megaphone to taunt Jews with stories of their annihilation. These lowlifes hollered the Arabic battle cry, ‘Khaybar, Khaybar, oh Jews, the army of Muhammad will return!’. That’s a reference to the 7th-century Battle of Khaybar that took place in what is now Saudi Arabia, when Muhammad and his henchmen slaughtered Jews, including women and children, for their ‘treachery’. To hear this vile cry on the streets of London in 2023 is an outrage against our nation. Jew hate is an emergency now.

JC: Labour were Never Going to Win

Three words beginning with the letter M – mindset, media and Maori – combined to ensure the demise of the Labour Government. These three entities, representing the political apparatus required for Labour to win an election, all let them down. In those three words Labour should have had the winning of the election. The reality as it turned out was that, in different ways, all three ended up conspiring against Labour.

Sunday October 29, 2023 


Sunday, October 29, 2023

David Lillis: The Dust Has Settled – where to now?

Focus on a Positive Future

The 2023 election returned a new Government to New Zealand. After several years that have usually, but not always, provided constructive criticism of the previous Government’s delivery, the time has arrived for positive reinforcement of our new Government’s agendas in all domains of public and national interest with which we agree, including education and science. Knowing little of economics, social policy and other domains, we confine our comments and expectations mainly to those areas in which we have professional experience - indeed, including education and science.

Capitalist: Politicians Who Think They Can Buy Your Vote

Acurious myth sprang up ‘back in the day’, whereby politicians thought they could buy votes and emerge as a permanent government. They believed the man in the street was that stupid; believed people were so feckless and devoid of aspiration and self-reliance that a handout in return for a vote was a possibility.

Michael Johnston: Education under the coming coalition

In a week from now, when the special votes have finally been counted, coalition negotiations will begin in earnest. National, ACT and, probably, New Zealand First will get into horse-trading over policy and Ministerial posts. Some policy areas will be difficult. One that should not pose too many obstacles, though, is education.

All three potential coalition partners agree that our school system is in a parlous state. While they differ in emphasis, many of their positions are complimentary rather than in conflict.

Chris Trotter: Reaping The Whirlwind.

Had it not been for the intervention of the Queen Mother, Arthur “Bomber” Harris would never have got his statue. While all the other great British commanders of the Second World War were showered with honours and had their likenesses cast in bronze, Air Marshall Harris became someone the British Establishment found it expedient to overlook. Why? Because Harris was responsible – at least in terms of his strategic decision-making – for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of civilians.

Dennis Wesselbaum: Learning about inflation

Common advice to public speakers is to start with a joke. So perhaps outgoing Prime Minister Chris Hipkins was only joking when he kept saying, “We are winning the battle against inflation”. Cost of living crisis – what crisis?

Labour defended high inflation rates by referencing other countries’ poor records – the “global inflation shock”. Meanwhile, countries like Switzerland, Indonesia, South Korea and Japan maintained lower inflation rates than New Zealand.

Saturday October 28, 2023 


Saturday, October 28, 2023

Jeffrey A. Tucker: This Vote Should Give You Hope

Did you see much about the vote in Australia in the past few days? It was an important one, and the results were extremely revealing. I’ve not seen much mainstream coverage of it at all. In fact, most coverage stopped weeks ago, once it became rather obvious which way the vote would run.

The question concerned a referendum that would have ended a key Western pillar of social and political law, the idea of equal application of the law. It proposed the addition of a new arm of Parliament supposedly to represent the interests of the indigenous people—not the actual people of course, but those claiming to represent them. The way to be admitted to the group is genetic, which is to say a biological test for political power.

Benjamin Macintyre: Census trouble

Hey, you. Yeah, you. Did you fill out your census form? I expect you did.

Everyone fills out their census form. It is our sacred duty as proud New Zealanders to inform the government of our address, occupation, and favourite colour.

I expect you did your duty? Of course you did.

What was that sorry? You… didn’t? WHAT?

Brian Easton: How Much Influence Do Governments Have?

The more informed an economist is, the more they keep their head down during elections.

Elections are not a time to talk about economics in a serious way. Sure, politicians talk about the economy and what they will do to it, with promises soon forgotten when they take power. Elections are timely reminders of how shallow and poor quality our public discussion on the economy is. (You won’t be able to infer how I voted from this column. Economic issues were not a major determinant.)

Breaking Views Update: Week of 22.10.23

Saturday October 28, 2023 

Restoring land to mana whenua to create new homes

Returning paper roads to a Western Bay of Plenty marae is “partially undoing a significant wrong”.

Four paper roads owned by the Western Bay of Plenty District Council were given back to the Tawhitinui Marae in Whakamārama at a council meeting on Thursday.

NZCPR Newsletter: Court of Appeal Opens Coast to Maori Ownership

A Court of Appeal
 decision was released last week that will have a profound influence on the future of New Zealand. Poor drafting and a radical application of ‘tikanga’ by the judiciary has delivered the exact opposite outcome from what the public was promised.

The law in question is the Marine and Coastal Area Act (MACA). It was introduced by John Key’s National Government back in 2011 as part of their coalition agreement with the Maori Party. The new law repealed Crown ownership of the foreshore and seabed and opened up the coast for tribal claims.

Peter Wilson: The Week in Politics - 'Eerie silence' surrounds coalition negotiations

Negotiations to form a new government between National, ACT and NZ First were taking place this week - in Auckland at an unknown venue and with very little known about what was going on between the three parties.

Newshub's Lloyd Burr said incoming prime minister Christopher Luxon was attempting to control media coverage, and the best way to do that was to hold them in a city without a political press gallery.

After previous MMP elections, negotiations have been mostly held in Parliament.

JC: Getting the Country Back on Track

Getting the country back on track’ was the National Party’s election slogan: a good one, bearing in mind the perilous economic situation we find ourselves in. Achieving it means some slash and burn is required. This will include promises made prior to the election. The Public Service will be trimmed and in some cases will revert to its previous model, as in Health by dismantling the Maori Health Authority.

Francesca Rudkin: We need to be better with infrastructure

A very simple headline grabbed me this morning: ‘We Need to get Better at Building Stuff’.

Man, do we ever!

It was the headline of an opinion piece by Josie Pagani in The Post about getting infrastructure moving in New Zealand. At the heart of her piece was a new report by Infrastructure New Zealand that looked at the quantifiable costs associated with around the timing, scope, and funding for New Zealand's infrastructure pipeline, and how a more certain pipeline might benefit the infrastructure sector.

Bob McCoskrie: Pressure to push gender ideology on preschoolers

When I recently spoke to a large group of parents who had invited me to speak about the radical gender and sexuality ideology being rammed down in schools, (and we’ve been doing lots of meetings like this around the country recently) a parent who is also an ECE (early childhood education) teacher told me quietly that there is pressure on ECE centres to push this ideology also on pre-schoolers.

Friday October 27, 2023 


Friday, October 27, 2023

Viv Forbes: How the Big End of Town Gambled and Lost

Australia’s Big End of Town gambled heavily in the Voice referendum - and lost.

Only the Nanny “State” (Canberra) voted “Yes”. But their horse ran last in every other state and territory and now has to be put down.

This costly ($400M) and divisive exercise showed that Australians do not want politicians meddling with their federal constitution. We have learned to distrust proposals supported by big government, big business, trade unions, woke celebrities and the ABC. And the more we heard of this racist proposal, the less we liked it.

Point of Order: Buzz from the Beehive - 27/10/23

Oh, look- the founder of the Maori Party has expressed support for the Nats on the health issue

It’s all quiet – yet again – on the Beehive front.

Nothing has been posted on the government’s official website since Grant Robertson (performing his duties as Minister of Sport and Recreation rather than Minister of Finance) announced his travel plans under the heading Sport Minister to represent Govt at RWC final.

Clive Bibby: Where have all the Labour voters gone

I hope l have not besmirched the memory of Peter, Paul and Mary’s beautiful song that asked a similar question but of a world wide audience.

I have purposely done so, simply because there is no other question that needs to be asked of the kiwi voters who have shown their disdain for Labour’s, soon to be in opposition, remaining rump.

As the Israel-Gaza crisis worsens and the UN remains impotent, what are NZ’s diplomatic options?

Global security involves managing a complex combination of law, ethics and politics. No situation exemplifies this more than what is happening now in Israel and Gaza.

When United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres coupled an unequivocal condemnation of the October 7 Hamas terror attacks with the observation that they “did not happen in a vacuum”, Israel was quick to react.

Cam Slater: Auckland Council Says No to Maori Seats

Some sanity seems to have returned to politics in New Zealand after the rejection of the woke and divisive policies of the past six years. Auckland Council (eleven of the councillors, at least), seem to have read the room.

Point of Order: Rawiri Waititi and gangs

Rawiri Waititi is the MP with a gripe about police powers to crack down on guns and gangs (but perhaps there are others)

The headline on a One News report – Police use new powers to hit gangs, but not all MPs happy – alerted the public to political concerns about search powers granted to the police to crack down on gangs.

Actually, it was an RNZ report but One News has republished it, and it kicked off:

Caleb Anderson: Can Luxon Avoid the Ideological Quicksand?

Chris Luxon's determination that coalition discussions will not mirror the customary circus has set the media in a spin.  There is a real sense in which the media lost the election (not the political left), and they are palpably angry.

To his credit, Mr Luxon has maintained a consistent line that it is in New Zealand's best interests that this process continues with some decorum.  He has asserted that trust between the negotiating parties is critical to satisfactory outcomes.

Oliver Hartwich: Localism - The common thread in New Zealand's emerging coalition

New Zealand politics is in limbo right now. Special votes are being counted. Many MPs are taking a break after a long campaign. Official coalition negotiations have not even begun.

On the plus side, that gives us time to ponder how well the three parties most likely to form government suit each other.

Brendan O'Neill: The Hamas pogrom and the nadir of journalism

The Western media’s coverage of Hamas’s barbarism has been utterly lacking in depth and morality.

I’ve seen some mad media corrections in my time, but the one from the BBC this week was on an entirely new level. It wasn’t a correction as such, it was an ‘update’. ‘This post replaces an earlier story which has been updated’, said a tweet from BBC News. It concerned the story of Yocheved Lifschitz, the 85-year-old Israeli woman who was seized by Hamas during its genocidal pogrom in southern Israel on 7 October. Mrs Lifschitz was released on Monday evening. ‘Released Israeli hostage shakes her captor’s hand’, gushed the BBC, encouraging us to think this elderly lady must have got on pretty well with her Hamas keepers. Then came the new post, the updated one, the correction, the truth. ‘I went through hell, says 85-year-old hostage released by Hamas’, it said.

Kate Hawkesby: Taxpayers deserve better than this wasteful spending

You’ve got to think there’s something very rotten in the state of the public service in this country that they’re carrying on —in some quarters where they know full well they’re getting cancelled— that they’re carrying on hiring people, working on projects, spending money, commissioning work.  

Why? They’re not going anywhere. Three Waters, light rail, Let’s get Wellington Moving... why are people on these projects persevering when they must know it’s over? They’re gone, surely the spending stops. It’s reckless and wasteful, and smacks of a deluded sense of entitlement that they can carry on in the false belief —or maybe just arrogance— that wasting taxpayers' money on contracts and outlay trumps the reality, which is they’re toast.

Boy's underachievement at school is a problem for everyone

As we digest the results of the election and contemplate the future, it is an opportune time to shine a light on an educational and social timebomb that was completely ignored during the campaign.

Young men, many of them barely literate, fill our prisons and dominate our suicide statistics. At the same time, in our schools and communities, there is growing evidence that increasing numbers of boys and young men are turning to misogynist influencers such as Andrew Tate.

John MacDonald: Gaza- NZ has a voice and should use it

I’ve been keeping an eye on all the international news networks, just in case there’s breaking news about something.

Of course, there’s breaking news about all sorts of stuff. But not the breaking news I’ve been looking out for.

Francesca Rudkin: Are we as savvy as we should be with KiwiSaver?

How proactive are you with your KiwiSaver?

Do you call your provider to have a conversation about whether you're in the right fund for you at that moment in time? Do you get independent advice as to whether you're in the right fund? Do you have a number, the amount you would like to have to live your life on in retirement? Do you keep your eye on your fund and how your savings are progressing?

Or have you, like me, signed up, made the contribution, thought good on me, I'm saving for my retirement! Then put your head in the sand and got on with life.

Capitalist: India Is a Land of Opportunity

One of the forgotten wars in history is the Spanish Civil War. It occurred in the mid to late 1930s, and was to some extent the Vietnam of its day; then immediately got overshadowed by World War II and more or less forgotten, as nobody could quite recall what it was all about. In New Zealand, there was a surprising level of discussion about the Spanish Civil War in 1936/37: check the newspaper archives.

Thursday October 26, 2023 


Thursday, October 26, 2023

Point of Order: Buzz from the Beehive - 26/10/23

Red-carded by voters – but Grant Robertson will be in Paris for the cup final while Scott Robertson is sidelined in NZ

When we learned that Robertson will be in Paris for the Rugby World Cup final at the weekend, the Point of Order team wondered: which one?

The answer is Robertson, the about-to-be-replaced Labour Minister of Sport and Recreation, not Robertson, the next head coach of the All Blacks.

Graham Adams: Does learning te reo make you virtuous?

A week before election day, TVNZ’s John Campbell went to a polling station in Ōtara, South Auckland, to lie in wait for voters.

When he encountered a young Māori woman who was about to vote for the first time, his trademark gushiness was unleashed:

“Mere is nineteen. She speaks fluent te reo Māori and English. She’s one of those young people whose sense of self sparkles. Her bilingualism must be such an affront to those of us so insecure we paint out the word ‘rāpihi’ on a rubbish bin. That strange, mean, brittle fear, that makes being enriched feel like being diminished.”

Mike Hosking: Our water problem should be easier to sort

Aside from the ongoing scandal at Three Waters headquarters that we talked about yesterday, is the news from ratings agency S&P, who tell us the real issue around water and what to do about infrastructure is not Government debt but local council debt.

Now at this point Labour will yell "I told you so".

Robert MacCulloch: Will Chief Executive Officer Chris Luxon successfully transition into Prime Minister Chris Luxon?

Newshub and other Mainstream Media outlets are back trying to brew up trouble for the incoming PM - the angle they seem to be developing now is that Luxon is going to try running NZ like a company. A panelist on the AM Show said, "However, some of the language that Chris Luxon is using around Parliament, I can't help but listen to him and hear him talking like he's managing a company rather than a country and rather than a Parliament and that scares me a little bit. [It] doesn't sit quite right with me."

It's actually an old question, having been hugely debated when Donald Trump went from being a CEO to a President. The heavy hitters weighed in on the pros and cons of such a transition - and they're worth listening to.

Too many products are easier to throw away than fix – NZ consumers deserve a ‘right to repair’

There was time when the family washing machine would last decades, with each breakdown fixed by the friendly local repairman. But those days are long gone.

Today, it is often faster, easier and cheaper to replace household items, even when they are meant to be repairable.

This is not just a consumer issue. Only about 2% of New Zealand’s e-waste is recycled, meaning most of our electrical goods are ending up in landfills.

Peter Dunne: Let’s Get Wellington Moving

The essence of politics is often described as about the contest of ideas. But really the political process is primarily about the pursuit and retention of power. Without power, it is very difficult to promote, let alone implement, ideas, no matter how worthy they might be.

A good example of this occurred in Wellington last week when a high-level meeting was convened to consider the future of “Let’s Get Wellington Moving” (LGWM), a “vibrant plan” conceived in 2014 to “transform” Wellington’s transport future.