Tuesday, April 30, 2024

Clive Bibby: Time for the kaumatuas to speak up and be heard

I can’t remember a time when the wise counsel of those who have the mana needed to be heard in the corridors of power where decisions are being made that will affect us all.

The reason for this appeal is based on my concerns that government policy is being influenced by those with the loudest voice but not necessarily the wisdom required in order that we respond with vision rather than react to the shrill voices of those who claim to know it all.

NZCPR Newsletter: Mana or Money

When Meridian Energy was seeking resource consents for a West Coast hydro dam proposal in 2010, local Maori “strenuously” objected, claiming their mana was inextricably linked to ‘their’ river and could be damaged. 

After receiving a financial payment from the company however, the Ngai Tahu sub-tribe changed its mind and publicly supported the scheme.

Mike's Minute: More money for Pharmac or better self-health management?

I read an article yesterday about how we need to play in dirt more.

It's good for your health, that’s why you should “ground” yourself. Get your feet in the earth every day, it's good for your health.

That’s why we love growing our own veggies. 1. They’re fresh and good for your health, 2. your hands are in the dirt.

Simon O'Connor: Interactions

Kids out fishing on the river, no adults to be seen, shows that one author's ideas of how to address anxiety in youth is on the right track.

Rachel and I have just returned from Noosa, Australia and a couple of things struck us - and not just the cheaper house prices! For those who have had the good fortune to visit Noosa, you will know it is a beautiful coastal area with an accompanying inland river, a verdant national park, and welcome warm weather.

Sir Bob Jones: The news media imagery

In recent weeks the traditional news media themselves have become a major news story. With fast fading audiences in the face of alternative options, they’ve become a sunset industry and of necessity are undergoing constant staff layoffs, just as occurs in other once seemingly safe activities confronted by new technology making them redundant.

Cam Slater: No Surprises in Latest Poll

There should be no surprises in the latest 1News poll, released yesterday, that shows support for the coalition has slumped. No surprises here because the Media Party has been on the attack since the Government was formed, hostile to everything because their preferred parties were rinsed in the election.

Ele Ludemann: Too scared to listen

How ironic, and troubling, that Victoria University students are too scared to listen to proponents of free speech:

Victoria University has postponed a planned debate on freedom of speech after concerns the event could become a platform for hate speech.

David Farrar: Repealing Labour’s attempt to reduce choice in early childhood education

David Seymour announced:

The Government is making legislative changes to make it easier for new early learning services to be established, and for existing services to operate, Associate Education Minister David Seymour says.

Professor Robert MacCulloch: MOE's refreshed maths curricullum is self-plagiarized

The Ministry of Education's Refreshed Maths Curriculum is Self-Plagiarized

The "Refreshed" NZ Maths Curriculum for NZ Schools was published by the Education Ministry in September 2023 by the Labour Government when Chris Hipkins was Prime Minister. Prior to the top job, he was Education Minister. This is what Chippy calls Phase 2 on page 17 of the Curriculum - it's what students should be able to "Do" by end of Year 6:

Heather du Plessis-Allan: Let's ignore the naysayers as the cellphone ban kicks in

As you know, today is the official first day of the ban on cell phones in schools.

For most parents and teachers and kids it's actually not a particularly special milestone, given that most schools started bringing in these bans at the start of the year. But today is the first day that it's actually in force.

And you know what? 

Dr Eric Crampton: Opposing bars

Health and police make a habit of trying to block licenses and license renewals for bars along Courtenay Place.

Tom Hunt and Rachel Thomas at The Post have been checking into one bit of it.

Health NZ has been claiming that there are 'just under 200' licensed premises in the area so the region is dangerously overserved; they pull out the number when objecting to licenses.

John MacDonald: The only solution is to make people pay

Remember it wasn’t that long ago that, if you saw someone doing some dodgy driving, you’d wonder whether they got their licence in a WeetBix box.

I haven’t heard anyone use that line for a while.

But what it meant, of course, was that someone’s driving was so bad it looked as if they didn’t have to do anything to get behind the wheel, to get their licence.

JC: A Chalk and Cheese Parliament

It is becoming increasingly apparent that we are witnessing the performance of a ‘chalk and cheese’ parliament. What is on show is probably the biggest chasm in ability between a government and an opposition in our lifetime. The reason for this is we have a government of people with real-world experience up against a bunch of mainly career politicians, academics and community workers. No doubt there’s the odd one who could claim otherwise but largely they are the types who lack the ability and skills you acquire working in the business world.

Capitalist: Check Out the Double Standards

The left have always been racist: they consider anyone non-white to be inferior and requiring ‘educated’ white liberals and left wingers like themselves to run their lives for them. It has never crossed their minds that Maori, or Islanders, or black people might be intelligent, aspirational for themselves and their families, or might have opinions. Left wingers find such notions unfathomable.

Monday April 29, 2024 


Monday, April 29, 2024

Point of Order: Buzz from the Beehive - 29/4/24

If there has been any fiddling with Pharmac’s funding, we can count on Paula to figure out the fiscal facts – can’t we?”

Pharmac has been given a financial transfusion and a new chair to oversee its spending in the pharmaceutical business.

Associate Health Minister David Seymour described the funding for Pharmac as “its largest ever budget of $6.294 billion over four years, fixing a $1.774 billion fiscal cliff”.

David Farrar: Minister admits they were incompetent!

Radio NZ reports:

“What I found most interesting as a minister [2017-2020] is sometimes I would sign off answers that would be information that I was really interested in, and it was easier to get that information from an opposition member submitting a written question than for me directly asking staff the question.

Kerre Woodham: Phone ban in schools starts today

If you're a teenager addicted to your phone and the world that lies within and beyond your apps, it's the end of the world as you know it today.

The Government's ban on phones in schools kicks in as kids return to school for Term two, meaning students won't be able to use their cell phones during the day - including at lunch time and during breaks. Some schools have gone early and introduced it in Term one. They saw the writing on the wall, thought they'd bedded in before they were required to by law. Others have gone even earlier. They decided it was the right thing for their school to ban cell phones, and they didn't need a government imperative to do so.

Cam Slater: It’s Cronyism, Pure and Simple

Paula Bennett’s pay off for raising millions of dollars of donations for the National Party has been realised. She’s been appointed chair of Pharmac in a brazen display of cronyism from the Government:

David Farrar: The new Three Strikes law may lead to shorter sentences

Heather DPA writes:

This morning I was listening to the radio, and I was quite shocked when I heard Labour’s Justice Spokesperson, Duncan Webb, talking about the Three Strikes Law.

He said judges and lawyers hate it so much, they will find ways around it so they don’t have to implement it.

Mike's Minute: The High Court Gave the Waitangi Tribunal a Serve

The High Court has seen sense and upended the Waitangi Tribunal's summons to minister Karen Chhour over her desire to remove a clause in Oranga Tamariki's terms of business.

Of course, this should never have got to where it has.

The High Court judge said the decision does not mean they can't summon people in future. That is the bad news. He also said it doesn’t diminish the tribunals standing.

That I am afraid, in my eyes, is wrong as well.

Mike Butler: Tauranga wants fairness on Maori ward

Six thousand Tauranga citizens who petitioned in 2021 for a vote on a proposed Maori ward want some fair treatment over such a ward that is currently being imposed on Tauranga.

These citizens feel aggrieved that their local election in July 2024 features such a ward without a vote even though the right to vote on such wards is being restored.

And it looks like that Maori ward will stay in place for six years, until 2030, long after other councils have had referenda on or disestablished their Maori wards.

Dr Eric Crampton: Council ownership

A standard popular argument for public or council ownership over private ownership is that private shareholders are too short-term focused, at the expense of longer-term value.

It's an eminently debatable proposition. But as always, Demsetz would say 'as compared to what?'. We always need to compare how the alternative works in the real world.

Dr Michael Johnston: Epitaph for a dumb idea

Shortly after the turn of the millennium, the gurus of progressive education coined the term twenty-first century learning. After all, what is the point of a new millennium if we don’t take the opportunity to try something new? Who cares if there’s no evidence? If it sounds good, do it!

JC: Simon Wilson Well Wide of the Mark

I was browsing articles on the Herald website when I came across a headline: ‘Strong Leaders’, a ‘rigged’ economy and ‘poll of doom’. The writer was none other than our old friend Simon Wilson. Because the Herald holds Simon in such high regard (goodness knows why), it was a premium article. Now, because I don’t hold the Herald in the same high regard as they do Simon, I’m not a premium subscriber. That being the case, I was obliged to fork out the exorbitant sum of $4.20 if I was to devour the astute deliberations of a columnist the Herald thinks is worthy of such status.

David Farrar: $1.2 million bus stops!

The Post reports:

The full costs of a post-Let’s Get Wellington Moving capital are becoming clear with leaked details showing new bus stops costing more apiece than a house and a further $57 million for two new bus lanes.

This week Wellington City councillors were emailed a breakdown of transport projects going to the Government, via Waka Kotahi, to get funding under the National Land Transport Programme.

Sunday April 28, 2024 


Sunday, April 28, 2024

Chris Lynch: ACC pays out $9.6m for COVID-19 vaccine injures

The Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) in New Zealand has paid out over $9.6 million to 1,664 people injured by the COVID-19 vaccine.

Injuries include allergic reactions, sprain, cardiac injury, contusion, adverse drug reaction, anaphylactic reaction, Infection, shoulder Damage/Injury, cellulitis, bursitis, Inflammation and nerve damage.

Dr Bryce Edwards: FastTrackWatch - The Case for the Government’s Fast Track Bill

Many criticisms are being made of the Government’s Fast Track Approvals Bill, including by this writer. But as with everything in politics, every story has two sides, and both deserve attention. It’s important to understand what the Government is trying to achieve and its arguments for such a bold reform. As part of a new series providing scrutiny of the fast-track legislation (#FastTrackWatch), this first column rounds up the commentary and arguments in favour of what the Government is proposing.

Chris Bishop puts the case for getting things done

Barrie Saunders: Open letter to Hon Paul Goldsmith

Open letter to Hon Paul Goldsmith

Dear Paul,

As the new Minister of Media and Communications you will be inundated with heaps of free advice and special pleading, all in the national interest of course.

For what it’s worth here is my assessment

Dr Oliver Hartwich: A birthday toast to a long-dead philosopher

I may have been the only New Zealander to raise a glass on Monday to the 300th birthday of Immanuel Kant.

In our age of unreason, conspiracy theories and disinformation, we would do well to rediscover this Enlightenment philosopher. He developed ideas that were radically novel in his time, and that remain relevant and insightful today.

Max Salmon: Modifying a failing regulatory system

It is time we liberalised our Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) regulations.

Benefits to New Zealand would include pest-resistant crops, more productive crops and fruit, sterile pines for forestry, reduced carbon emissions, reduced agricultural methane, better healthcare products, cheaper medication, and pest control.

Yet these are only a few of the benefits that could be realised with existing technology. More are sure to follow as other countries continue to liberalise their regulations and invest in further research.

David Farrar: Vic Uni shows how under threat free speech is

The new Victoria University Vice-Chancellor decided to have a forum at the university about free speech and academic freedom as it is obviously a topical issue, and the Government is looking at legislating some carrots or sticks for universities to uphold their obligations under the Education and Training Act.

Capitalist: Luxon Needs to Wake Up

In 1975 the US Senate conducted a major investigation into the activities of the CIA; it was known as the Church Committee after its chairman Frank Church. During the course of this investigation a great deal of concerning stuff came to light which shocked America and led to greater oversight of the CIA which has continued through to the present day. Until 1975 the CIA had operated without having to really answer to anybody; they could do what they wanted, when they wanted, and nobody ever really knew. Occasionally a leak would appear in the media (such as using Cosa Nostra mobsters in a plot to assassinate Fidel Castro) but the agency would simply lie about it.

Nick Clark: Boosting our cities and regions

New Zealand faces significant challenges in managing growth, delivering infrastructure, and improving the well-being of our communities. Our productivity performance has been dismal. Cities and regions are grappling with housing shortages, transport congestion, and skills gaps. The current model of mostly centralised decision-making and funding is struggling to keep pace with these complex, cross-cutting issues.

Dr Bryce Edwards: Luxon’s ruthless show of strength is perfect for our angry era

Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has surprised everyone with his ruthlessness in sacking two of his ministers from their crucial portfolios. Removing ministers for poor performance after only five months in the job just doesn’t normally happen in politics.

That’s refreshing and will be extremely well received. The public will perceive this unprecedented move as a sign that Luxon has very high standards for his government and is determined that his ministers actually deliver results.

Ele Ludemann: More tax for less

New Zealanders had the OECD’s second highest tax increase last year:

New Zealanders faced the second-biggest tax raises in the developed world last year, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) says.

The intergovernmental agency said the average change in personal income tax in New Zealand was 4.5 percent higher last year compared with 2022.

Saturday April 27, 2024 


Saturday, April 27, 2024

Ian Bradford: Is any of the material we are fed by the climate alarmists’ reliable?

More and more people are coming to the realisation that Carbon Dioxide and Methane and therefore humans are not responsible for climate change.  The climate alarmists’ cause is not helped by the continuing finding of false data. Here are but a few examples.

Data from non-existent temperature stations.

“Earth’s issuing a distress call,” said UN Secretary General  Antonio Guterres on March 19th 2024. “The latest state of the global report shows a planet on the brink.” 

(Actually it’s been on the brink for at least 30 years now!)

Caleb Anderson: What's bugging the left? Why are they sometimes so very nasty?

Politics doesn't always bring the best out in people, but have you ever wondered why, or how, the left has made such a fine art of being nasty.  While they don't have a monopoly on nasty by any means they seem, quite simply, to have refined the art.

I recall, as a child in the seventies, the Labour Party (or the left generally) as being less vicious than the left today.  In those days a good number of Labour MPs had come from working-class backgrounds, and they seemed to have a sense of what it was to be decent, they played a hard game but there were rules.  At least that's how it seemed to me.

Richard Treadgold: Defeat is Near - when will we roar?

We are an unhappy people. Years of intellectual darkness gathering across the country have been followed by Labour’s unequivocal socialist-inspired vandalism.

They bent the law’s neutrality out of shape with widespread racist meddling, fiddled with our institutions, granted political power to anti-democratic tribal leaders, appointed racially selected representatives to elected bodies and turned a blind eye as tribal and socialist activists saturated universities, civil service and judiciary.

Dr Oliver Hartwich: New Zealand's education revolution

In New Zealand, one of the most exciting education reforms in the world is quietly getting underway. Erica Stanford, the country’s new Education Minister, is on a mission to overhaul the education system from top to bottom – and she is leaving no stone unturned.

Stanford, a rising star in Prime Minister Christopher Luxon’s cabinet, has hit the ground running since taking office in late 2023. In just a few short months, she has announced a suite of reforms that promise to fundamentally reshape the way New Zealand children are taught.

Cam Slater: Make Your Mind up Willie

Willie Jackson is a motor mouth with a poor memory. Just a few weeks ago he was attacking Melissa Lee and calling her ‘useless’, ‘stupid’ and ‘incompetent’, and yesterday he was waxing lyrical about her skill set after Christopher Luxon sacked her as Broadcasting Minister. Make your mind up Willie!

Breaking Views Update: Week of 21.4.24

Saturday April 27, 2024 

Decision to quash the Waitangi Tribunal's summons was 'a very good one' - barrister

A barrister says the High Court's decision to overturn the Waitangi Tribunal summons of the Children's Minister was a good and clear decision.

It ruled Karen Chhour could not be compelled to appear before the Tribunal over her plans to repeal part of the Oranga Tamariki Act.

David Farrar: Hipkins wrong

Newshub reports:

Labour Party leader Chris Hipkins has stood by increasing the public service workforce during his time in government, saying it’s been proportionate to the growth in population.

The Coalition Government has directed the public services to cut costs by between 6.5 and 7.5 percent to help reduce annual public service spending by $1.5 billion. It’s resulted in thousands of jobs proposed to be axed across the sector.

Brendan O'Neill: Elon Musk vs the globalist censors

Australia’s demand that X take down a violent video clip in every country in the world is wildly authoritarian.

I’m in Australia at the moment, which means I am bound by Australian law. If I do something here that this great democratic nation has decreed to be a crime, I’m in hot water. And rightly so. Yet when I jet back to Britain in a week’s time, that will no longer be the case, right? Surely no Aussie lawmaker, no Aussie cop, no Aussie bureaucrat will enjoy jurisdiction over the behaviour of this free Brit some 10,000 miles away? Actually, they might, if Australia’s ‘eSafety commissioner’ has her way.

Michael Ryan: Does fighting inflation always lead to recession?

Does fighting inflation always lead to recession? What 60 years of NZ data can tell us

There is an ongoing global debate over whether the high inflation seen in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic can be lowered without a recession.

Suze: A Well Kept Secret

If you think politics is about unacknowledged influences misusing power, you’d be spot on, which makes me pessimistic about our political future.

Gone are the days of the altruistic politician with a heart of gold saying all the right things and attracting grassroots support because of their genuine, honest and hardworking characteristics. Even if you find such a rare naïve beast in politics today, they won’t survive long, as we saw during the 2023 election.

Capitalist: Their Low Standards

Los Angeles prior to World War II was a bit of a joke; it was isolated and difficult to get to; it had Hollywood but not much else. If you research the 1930s golden age of Hollywood you will be hard pushed to find a single movie actually set in Los Angeles – even the movie moguls considered their own city a joke! San Francisco was the major California city, home to banking and corporate headquarters. San Diego was home to the naval base. Even during the war, troops exiting the US for the Pacific left from San Francisco. LA was on very few radar screens.

David Farrar: Possible changes to End of Life regime

The Herald reports:

The End of Life Choice Act needs changes when it comes up for review later this year, say both the architect of New Zealand’s assisted dying laws and hospice leaders.

Friday April 26, 2024 


Friday, April 26, 2024

Point of Order: Buzz from the Beehive - 26/4/24

Luxon’s demoted ministers might take comfort from the British politician who bounced back after the Gallipoli debacle

Two speeches delivered by Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters at Anzac Day ceremonies in Turkey are the only new posts on the government’s official website since the PM announced his Cabinet shake-up.

In one of the speeches, Peters stated the obvious: we live in a troubled world.

Clive Bibby: We will remember them

“At the going down of the sun and in the morning, we will remember them.”

Thanks to Padre Bill Gray (MNZM, QSM) and his committee, the Tolaga Bay Community will certainly remember this year’s Anzac service and the fallen heroes we honoured, as amongst the best ever.

Personally, l found it a most humbling experience in so many ways.

Sir Bob Jones: The way things were

Recently someone sent me a faded photo of my standard four class in Lower Hutt, 75 years ago.

The oddities vis a vis the current situation were first, a total of 44 of us. I’m told in state schools today the maximum class size at that age is nearer 30 or less and in private schools, about 20.