Friday, April 19, 2024

Peter Dunne: Media students and jobs

There has been a positive but restrained response to the deal announced between Stuff and Warner Brothers Discovery to “save” TV3’s six o’clock nightly news bulletin, currently screened under the Newshub label. According to Stuff, the deal will mean that around 40 of the jobs involved can also be saved.

Thursday April 18, 2024 


Thursday, April 18, 2024

Point of Order: Buzz from the Beehive - 18/4/24

Jones finds $410,000 to help the government muscle in on a spat project

Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones relishes spatting and eagerly takes issue with environmentalists who criticise his enthusiasm for resource development.

He relishes helping the fishing industry too.

Cam Slater: 1000 Jobs Cut in a Single Day

The Government is swinging the axe hard, cutting more than 1000 state sector jobs in a single day yesterday. Even with these cuts, the state sector will still be larger than in 2017 when Labour took office. The Government should, and indeed must, cut more:

David Farrar: We still have an inflation problem

The drop in overall inflation to 4% is welcome, but it masks we still have a real problem.

The graph below shows the annual inflation rate for both tradable and non-tradable inflation. Most of the tradable sector is international, so we have benefited from the trend there. But non-tradable (generally domestic) inflation remains very high at 5.8% and has barely come down from its peak.

Lindsay Mitchell: Babies and benefits - no good news

Ten years ago, I wrote the following in a Listener column:

Every year around one in five new-born babies will be reliant on their caregivers benefit by Christmas. This pattern has persisted from at least 1993. For Maori the number jumps to over one in three. Add to this Treasury's advice to the Ministerial Committee on Child Poverty,

"...around 1 in 5 children will spend more than half of their first 14 years in household supported by main benefit. This group is at the highest risk of material hardship and poor outcomes across a range of dimensions”.

I am reflecting on this as I receive the latest update in an OIA response from MSD.

Mike's Minute: Coal is a return to the real world

More from our common sense file.

Resources Minister Shane Jones has had a good week and I'm increasingly falling in love with him.

He turned on the country's only electric digger. This is a big mother and may well be the future of heavy industrial work.

Clive Bibby: Time for the US to Lead

No one watching the escalation in the Middle East war between Israel and Iran (let’s stop suggesting it is anything else) would expect Israel to refrain from responding to the recent massive Iranian attack in a way that could have disastrous consequences for both sides. However, it would be wise to consider the wider implications of doing so.

In order to understand the serious nature of this escalation, we need to look at what is at stake here and the implications of a wider conflict that could lead to WW3.

Bruce Moon: About the Real Treaty Story

I could a tale unfold whose lightest word would harrow up thy soul”
William Shakespeare,”Hamlet”, Act 1, scene 5 

Amongst those individuals bestowed on Captain Hobson by his superior, Governor Gipps of New South Wales, keen to be rid of them, and “selected for their known incompetency”[i] was one JS Freeman who was to be Hobson’s personal secretary.

Signing the Treaty “Ja Stuart Freeman Gentleman”[ii], Freeman was a product of Eton and Oxford with his head full of the “royal style” jargon used in treaties with European nations and, to put it bluntly, a snob.  This style he was determined to use in an English draft of a treaty with Maori chiefs and in sharp contrast to the plain and straightforward style of naval officer Hobson, accustomed to plain speaking at sea to men of little education, sometimes with their very lives at risk.

Geoff Parker: Josie Pagani's Maori Ward & General Propaganda

In her disjointed article Josie Pagani promotes the dark forces that strive to undermine New Zealand’s precious democracy.

In my view Pagani pins her argument for Maori wards or ‘power-sharing’ on the Treaty of Waitangi, but the fact is that there is nothing in the Treaty (any version or translation) that speaks of separate racial representation in governing bodies.

The Treaty was a simple 3 clause document which simply said:

Breaking Views Update: Week of 14.4.24

Thursday April 18, 2024 

Letter From Te Hunga Roia Maori o Aotearoa / NZ Maori Law Society Re Cabinet Breach

1. Te Hunga Roia Māori o Aotearoa | the New Zealand Māori Law Society are concerned about recent comments made by Minister Shane Jones in respect of the Waitangi Tribunal. We consider that his comments breach the principle of the separation of powers and the Cabinet Manual.

Sir Bob Jones: Racist advertising

Over the last six months it’s become fashionable for our advertising agencies to use maoris in their television advertisements.

With only a single exception, they are always portrayed as obese simpering simpletons.

On the other hand European models in these adverts are usually physically attractive.

Dr Guy Hatchard: The Hollow Heart of Personalised Genetic Medicine

A recent article entitled “Using ChatGPT to predict the future of personalized medicine” in the prestigious journal Nature offers the following outlook:

“Personalised medicine is a novel frontier in health care that is based on each person’s unique genetic makeup. It represents an exciting opportunity to improve the future of individualised health care for all individuals.”

Alwyn Poole: Ministry of Education Cuts in Perspective.

NZH reports 565 positions to go.

4,509 – 565 = 3,944 remaining employed.

3,944 – 2,700 (in 2017) = 1,244 to get back to pre-Labour (Hipkins) level.

While it is hard for people to lose positions many of the new roles since 2017 have done little or nothing to help the children of NZ get a better education. If fact – the attendance and success of those students – has moved inversely to the willy-nilly employment strategies of Iona Holstead and her Deputy Secretaries.

Kerre Woodham: Beggars used to be part of the community, what changed?

Back in the day when I lived in Ponsonby and it was only just starting to evolve as a shopping and cafe destination, we didn't have beggars per say. More, they were people who were living in community houses who would walk up and down the street, and they were simply absorbed into the community.

Capitalist: You Only Have Rights if Left-Wingers Agree with You

Many years ago at the ripe old age of eight years, I decided to live forever. Apart from an incurable blood disorder (haemophilia), and a rather unfortunate mistake by a pissed surgeon during an operation in 2000 which took three years to recover from, my plan is working quite well.

With eternity in mind; last year I bought Nufarm Finance bonds and today is the date for the latest ‘vig’ payment (which has indeed sailed into the bank whilst I’ve been writing this article). These bonds have a “maturity” date of January 1st 3000 and pay an interest rate of 8.3% – which works out over 977 years to $6.874609890631472e+40 (whatever that means!).

Wednesday April 17, 2024 


Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Point of Order: Buzz from the Beehive - 17/4/24

What’s the outfit you can hear going down the gurgler? Probably it’s David Parker’s Oceans Secretariat

Point of Order first heard of the Oceans Secretariat in June 2021, when David Parker (remember him?) announced a multi-agency approach to protecting New Zealand’s marine ecosystems and fisheries.

Parker (holding the Environment, and Oceans and Fisheries portfolios) broke the news at the annual Forest & Bird NZ conference that year:

Professor Robert MacCulloch: Labour turned NZ into the Worst Performing Economy in Asia-Pacific

It's Official: Labour turned NZ into the Worst Performing Economy in Asia-Pacific. Does that mean the Covid Royal Commission will investigate itself?

Our former Finance Minister, Grant Robertson, was hired by Otago University to help sort out its finances. Good luck to them. Let's see how he did sorting out NZ's finances. The IMF released its April 2024 World Economic Update yesterday. Our Main Stream Media - Stuff, NZ Herald, and the bankrupting Newshub - won't dare blare the headline:

Dr Oliver Hartwich: Swiss climate ruling full of holes

Once upon a time, it was the role of parliaments to make laws, governments to execute them, and the role of courts to uphold them. Civil Law jurisdictions, such as those in Europe, do not share the Anglosphere’s tradition of judge-made law (known as the ‘Common Law’). In these jurisdictions the role of courts has been circumscribed even more clearly.

But the democratic climate is changing. The change is driven by the issue of our time: climate change.

Mike's Minute: Questions around the TV3/Stuff deal

You can ask a lot of questions about the TV3 deal with Stuff.

Do Stuff know how to make television? How many people will they actually hire as opposed to re-purposing the staff they already have? Does the programme draw an audience? Will it look anything like what we are used to?

Most importantly, does it solve a problem for TV, the media, and Warner Bros. Discovery?

Heather du Plessis-Allan: TV3's 6pm bulletin is saved - for now

So, the 6pm bulletin on TV3 is saved after all.

It's been announced this afternoon that that Stuff is going to make the bulletin for the owners of TV3, Warner Brothers Discovery.

If you’re a fan of Newshub and this news gives you hope, I would very much urge you to temper that expectation. Because this is not going to be what you are used to.

Cam Slater: Stuff to Rescue Newshub?

Apparently, Stuff has come riding to the rescue of Newshub, inking a deal to produce news for the failing network. Presumably, Sinead Boucher came riding in on a dead horse:

Ele Ludemann: Horse back in front

The government is making it less difficult to undertake coal mining:

Resources Minister Shane Jones has announced changes to coal mine consenting he says will reduce barriers to extraction and bring it into line with other types of mining.

The government’s first Resource Management Amendment Bill, to be introduced next month, will make changes to the Resource Management Act, freshwater environmental standards, and the National Policy Statements for Freshwater Management and Biodiversity.

Caleb Anderson: Breakdown of our schools - a generation in freefall

Recent research indicating that New Zealand school students are among the most disrespectful, violent and poorly behaved students in the OECD will have come as no surprise to many.  

While there is never a single cause of anything, I am going to suggest two causative factors that I believe are the primary contributors to this shocking situation  ...  the absence of the teaching of a coherent set of values is the first, and the willingness (in fact keenness) of the state to fill the void is the second.

Bruce Cotterill: A matter of trust - this government promised us tax cuts so they must deliver them

There is plenty of noise coming from commentators and observers alike, suggesting that the Government should abandon their tax reduction programme.

They make a fair point. The Government has given us some dark financial and economic news over the last six months as they have sought to get to the bottom of the financial woes they inherited. We have been living well and truly outside our means and since they were sworn in in November, Prime Minister Christopher Luxon, Finance Minister Nicola Willis and co have tried to be upfront about the state of the books in an effort to have Kiwis understand that we’ve run out of financial lifelines.

Dr Eric Crampton: Clarifying the absurdity

A couple days ago I pointed to NZIER's figures on the case for strengthening the Christchurch cathedral.

I think it's better to view this whole exercise as making clear what we'd need to believe if we wanted to believe that the regulatory apparatus surrounding the cathedral since 2011 is other than massively value destroying.

Andrew Dickens: The media model is broken because of fear

Since we were last together, the collapse of television news and current affairs has continued.

And with it, we have been subjected to a lot of highfalutin thinking about the metaphysical and cultural reasons why linear TV is dying.

You know - go woke go broke. Or- this is because nobody trusts you, because you're all raving lefties.

Bryce Edwards: Will politicians let democracy die in the darkness?

Politicians across the political spectrum are implicated in the New Zealand media’s failing health. Either through neglect or incompetent interventions, successive governments have failed to regulate, foster, and allow a healthy Fourth Estate that can adequately hold politicians and the powerful to account. Our political system is suffering from the actions and inactions of governments, which means that citizens have less information about public life. Therefore, to draw on the famous Washington Post tagline, New Zealand politicians are guilty of allowing democracy to die in the darkness.

Kerre Woodham: ACC needs accountability

When I broke my arm just before the end of the year, I was very grateful to our health system for picking up the pieces, quite literally. They found a bit that was missing at the top of my arm that they weren't expecting, and put me back together again, and it's pretty much back to normal.

Sir Bob Jones: The death of democracy

Unmitigated tosh was talked by diverse commentators, mostly with a personal employment interest in the matter, with advice that TV3 is to close its spasmodic news service, plus the ending of some TVNZ shows such as “Fair Go”. The death of democracy was the ridiculous common theme.

The cold hard fact is these closures originated from a single cause, namely the commercially inadequate, steadily decreasing audience they were attracting. For example, I’m a life-long news hog to a degree unmatched by anyone I’m aware of and I never watched these shows.

Tuesday April 16, 2024 


NZCPR Newsletter: Coalition Promises


The Coalition Government says it is moving with speed to deliver campaign promises and reverse the damage done by Labour.

One of their key commitments is to “defend the principle that New Zealanders are equal before the law.” To achieve this, they have pledged they “will not advance policies that seek to ascribe different rights and responsibilities to New Zealanders on the basis of their race or ancestry.”

Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Dr Peter Winsley: New Zealand’s democracy, Te Tiriti and the Marine and Coastal Area Act

New Zealand is a democracy that is being challenged by race and tribal-based activism. A democracy implies universal suffrage, one person/one vote, votes being of equal value, the rule of law, and an open and educated society with freedom of speech.

New Zealand is still a well-functioning democracy compared, for example, with the United States. However, voters are not all treated equally. The Canterbury Regional Council (Ngāi Tahu Representation) Act 2022 empowers Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu to appoint up to two members of the Environment Canterbury Council with full decision-making powers. These members are unelected appointees. This sets an undemocratic precedent for the future.

Mike Yardley: Time to review ECan’s Ngāi Tahu-appointed councillors

Consultation has just closed on Environment Canterbury’s (ECan’s) draft long-term plan, which has copped considerable public flak for proposing an eye-watering 24% annual rates rise.

Much of the explosion in spending is entirely discretionary, with the consultation document freely trumpeting, “we have made the bold decision to do more for our environment and do it faster”.

Point of Order: Buzz from the Beehive - 16/4/24

Seymour is chuffed about cutting early-learning red tape – but we hear, too, that Jones has loosened our coal-mining rules

David Seymour and Winston Peters today signaled that at least two ministers of the Crown might be in Wellington today.

Seymour (as Associate Minister of Education) announced the removal of more red tape, this time to make it easier for new early learning services to be established and for existing services to operate.

Mike's Minute: The Waitangi Tribunal review into Oranga Tamariki is a waste of time

The Waitangi Tribunal are at it again.

This time it's with another of their “urgent reviews”. This particular one is into the approach the new Government is taking to Oranga Tamariki.

Karen Chhour, who is the Minister for Oranga Tamariki, would be as invested and experienced in the matter as any politician before her.

Derek Mackie: Labour - the song remains the same

 Today’s castaway on Desert Island Discs is NZ Labour Party leader, Chris Hipkins. 
He's on a flying visit to the UK to pick up some tips from his British counterpart, Keir Starmer, on how to make Labour great again. 

Welcome Chris. Thanks for joining us. 
That must have been a very short meeting with Keir. I hope you got some shopping in to make up for coming all this way. 
Actually, we had a very fruitful discussion and shared some ideas that both of us found enlightening. 

Karl du Fresne: Howling at the Moon

There’s a crisis in the news media and the media are blaming it on everyone except themselves. Culpability is being deflected elsewhere – mainly to the hapless Minister of Communications, Melissa Lee, and the big social media platforms that are accused of hoovering up advertising revenue that would otherwise go to traditional mainstream media companies.

But while it has been clear for a long time that Lee is out of her depth, she’s not responsible for the media’s collapse and it’s not exactly clear what her media tormentors expect her to do about it. Bail it out with government money, presumably. But the proposition that the government should prop up news media that are openly hostile to it makes about as much sense as Israel providing arms and ammunition to Hamas. In any case, why should the long-suffering taxpayer be made to pay for the media’s manifest failings?

Cam Slater: I Would Have Thought There Were More Important Things to Do

Yesterday the Government announced a vitally important policy…a policy that is needed before any other policies or law changes…a policy to allow renters to have pets. Seriously, that’s exactly what Chris Bishop and David Seymour think is vitally important legislation, right now!

Guest Post: Whats the Politics of Israel’s attack on the Iran ‘consulate in Syria?

A guest post by John Stringer on Kiwiblog:

I teach WWI, WWII and the Cold War. As an historian and classicist, I follow war, both historic and contemporary, with interest.

Motivations for the Iranian ‘consulate’ attack in Syria by Israel this week, might include:

Professor Robert MacCulloch: NZ's Media Just Got More Biased - The Stuff Monster Grows Tentacles

To all Fat Cats - you Missed the Chance to Buy Newshub for $1 & re-balance the news

The Newshub saga is still rolling on as a developing story with further announcements due. It appears that Stuff may be taking over Newshub's TV3 News - which means a left-wing media monster is in the process of growing tentacles & getting bigger. 

Heather du Plessis-Allan: It's time to punish protestors properly

Turns out, the person who painted over the rainbow crossing on Auckland's K road 3 weeks ago is related to Brian Tamaki by marriage - what a surprise.

He is married to Brian Tamaki’s granddaughter and is the father of, I think four, of Tamaki's great-grand kids. The reason I'm not surprised is - of course Destiny Church was doing this with the rainbow crossings in Gisborne earlier.

Anyway, today he appeared in court and pleaded guilty - and was convicted, discharged and fined $16,000.

Now as far as I can tell,  this is the toughest sentence given in recent times to a protestor who caused damage, but is it really tough?

Brendan O'Neill: How woke leftists became cheerleaders for Iran

We can now see the anti-Israel bigotry behind their phoney pacifism.

How quickly the ‘Ceasefire Now!’ lobby turned into frothing warmongers. No sooner had Iran began its criminal bombardment of Israel than these phoney peaceniks were leaping up and down with delight. This is ‘true solidarity’, said one ‘pro-Palestine’ group in response to Iran’s raining down of missiles on the Jewish State. We can now glimpse the truth behind their fake pacifism. We can see their yearning for war on Israel that they cynically dress up as a campaign for peace in Palestine. It’s not a ceasefire woke Westerners want – it’s the humiliation and taming of the Jewish nation.

Peter Williams: The changing face of New Zealand

Latest immigration stats are staggering

In case you hadn’t noticed, the makeup of the New Zealand population is changing significantly every day, every month, and every year.

The most recent numbers from Stats NZ are simply mind boggling.

In the year to February, more than a quarter of a million people arrived here to live. Nearly 51,000 were citizens of India, there were 35,000 Filipinos, and 29,000 held a Chinese passport.

Dr Eric Crampton: Net tax

Stuff's Federico Magrin does a whip-round on the updated Treasury estimates of net fiscal impact by income decile.

An early version of that paper had been presented at a workshop last year January or February, but for whatever reason wasn't able to be released until after the election. Bit of a shame where there were a lot of claims floating around about who was paying how much.

The work uses 2018/19 tax and income data. Key charts:

John MacDonald: Should begging be banned?

It seems to me that the rough sleepers are back on Colombo Street, outside Ballantynes.

I went past this morning on the way in and there were a few of them there in the doorway. They were there last week, too. After what seems like ages.

Kerre Woodham: Shock and pain... where do we go from here?

As police in NSW work to establish the motives behind the knife attack at Sydney's Westfield Mall, that left six people dead, 12 in hospital, spare a thought for the families of the victims who were receiving texts up to minutes before all of a sudden, randomly, without any warning or notice their lives were gone. And spare thought too for the family of Joel Cauchi - because they have been left reeling too.

JC: Journos Find They Are Not Immune

I have some empathy for the journalists who have lost their jobs, but no more than for a tradie or a staffer in the back office of a government department. Having worked in the media for a lengthy period, I can understand the disappointment and no doubt frustration they are feeling.

Capitalist: Faking It as a Substitute for Talent

A curious thing emerged during the 1980s that has continued through to the present day. In popular music, Whitney Houston’s “Saving All My Love for You”, started the trend of yodelling. You can hear them all doing it if you listen closely. In acting, Michael J Fox in Back to the Future, and most notably in his film Casualties Of War, started the trend of seemingly endless heavy breathing for no apparent reason.

Monday April 15, 2024 


Monday, April 15, 2024

Point of Order: Buzz from the Beehive - 15/4/24

Govt’s Wellington tunnel vision aims to ease the way to the airport (but zealous promoters of cycling will be riled)

A pet project and governmental tunnel vision jump out from the latest batch of ministerial announcements.

The government is keen to assure us of its concern for the wellbeing of our pets.

David Farrar: Was Hawkesby entirely wrong?

The BAS ruled:

Comments by radio host Kate Hawkesby suggesting Māori and Pacific patients were being prioritised for surgery due to their ethnicity were misleading and discriminatory, the Broadcasting Standards Authority has found.

It is a fact such patients are prioritised. The exacts words Hawkesby used were not correct, but the fact there is prioritisation was correct.

Damien Grant: Housing market so tightly regulated we’ve created landed gentry

Did you know it costs 50% more to build a house here than it does in Australia? I didn’t, and was surprised to see Chris Luxon promising to do something about it last week.

I mean, I know his party campaigned on housing affordability, but many of his supporters own property and if he does something about high house prices not everyone is going to be pleased.

Cam Slater: Editorial Brays at Labour to Stand Up

The NZ Herald had an editorial over the weekend that read like a desperate plea for Labour to come and assist them in opposing the Government. It really is quite strange but then again, after the Trust Survey revealed that no one trusts them anymore mainly because they’ve become left-wing shills, it really isn’t surprising that they are now calling for Labour to take up arms against the Government so they can pivot to giving us news again.