National announces coalition choices

July 28th, 2014 at 4:13 pm by David Farrar

John Key has announced the following.

  • They will contest all 64 general electorates
  • In Ohariu and Epsom they are saying that they are happy for supporters to vote tactically for Peter Dunne and David Seymour
  • There is no “deal” with the Conservatives in East Coast Bays, or elsewhere.
  • Main focus is on maximising the party vote for National

I suspect thousands of National activists around the country have just breathed a sigh of relief there is no deal with the Conservatives.

In my view there should be representation in Parliament for those who have seriously conservative social and economic views. However both NZ First and Conservatives are competing in that space and while they remain separate parties, there is a risk neither will make it. But I can’t see either leader agreeing to be the deputy leader to the other one :-)

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Chorus v Telecom

July 28th, 2014 at 4:03 pm by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

Chorus has returned fire over a complaint Telecom laid with the Commerce Commission over a new copper broadband product.

Telecom said Chorus planned to impose an “artificial cap” of 250 kilobits-per-second on the average throughput of its regulated copper broadband service in order to make new “premium” products it announced in May more attractive.

Telecom said the move would significantly degrade the performance of regulated copper broadband services, the price of which is set by the Commerce Commission.

It has laid a complaint against Chorus, saying the proposals breached the Telecommunications Act and were also a “breach of good faith”.

The commission said it would investigate the complaint and revealed CallPlus had also voiced concerns about Chorus’ changes.

This shows what a good idea it was to separate Telecom and Chorus. In the old days, this may have just happened without dissent. It is a good thing to have the interests of the largest competitive provider separate to the interests of the monopoly infrastructure provider.

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NZ 7th in HDI

July 28th, 2014 at 3:00 pm by David Farrar

The UN’s Human Development Index is out and New Zealand is the 7th highest in the world. The top 10 are:

  1. Norway .944
  2. Australia .933
  3. Switzerland .917
  4. Netherlands .915
  5. US .914
  6. Germany .911
  7. New Zealand .910
  8. Canada .902
  9. Singapore .901
  10. Denmark .900

Damn Germans beat us by .001  :-)

The bottom country is Niger at .337 and 18th place.

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Beyer for Mana

July 28th, 2014 at 2:00 pm by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

Fomer Labour MP Georgina Beyer will stand for the Mana Party in Te Tai Tonga, saying she was doing so partly to atone for voting for the Foreshore and Seabed Act in 2004.

Ms Beyer was New Zealand’s first trans-sexual MP, serving under Labour from 1999 to 2007. She has struggled with kidney disease since last year but said her health was now steady and she was looking forward to a new challenge.

“When approached about the role, there were a few things to consider as there always are. Taking on this role is my way of making amends to Maori for voting for the foreshore and seabed bill which I was forced into and which totally broke me.”

No one was forced. Tariana showed integrity and left over it.

Beyer’s biggest achievement in politics was getting elected in the first place. I can’t recall any particular legislative or parliamentary achievements.

She won’t win Te Tai Tonga, but will be interesting to see how she goes.

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The Ministry of Taxis

July 28th, 2014 at 1:00 pm by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

When it comes to walking the talk, it seems Ministry of Health staff would rather just take a cab.

Last year ministry staff took more than 1000 taxi rides for less than $10 – at the same time as officially advocating walking as a way to increase New Zealand’s low levels of physical activity.

In the 2012-13 financial year, staff based in Wellington charged taxpayers for 8645 taxi trips with 1076 of those for journeys costing less than $10. Another 1942 taxis were taken for $10 to $15.

The Star-Times took a $10 taxi in central Auckland to see how far it would take us. We travelled 1.7km. The return journey on foot, at a leisurely stroll, took just over 16 minutes.

That’s around four taxi trips a day of under $10. It is hard to get a fare for under $10. The initial cab hire and phone call is almost $5 so you won’t get to go much more than a km.

The Ministry of Health’s physical activity guidelines suggest people should be active every day in every way possible, doing at least 30 minutes of physical activity five days a week.

The ministry’s website says you should walk whenever you can. “Remember: Even small increases in physical activity can produce measurable health benefits,” the site says.

Do as we say, not as we do!

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Dotcom attacks Drury and Xero

July 28th, 2014 at 12:00 pm by David Farrar

One News reports:

A war of words has erupted between Kim Dotcom and the founder of online accounting software firm Xero.

Speaking on TVNZ’s Q+A programme, Rod Drury said Internet Party leader Laila Harre knows nothing about technology and he wished Mr Dotcom would go away.

“At the beginning it was really cool to see someone like that come through but his manipulation of the media, so he’s very media savvy, understands that it’s a good story, that journalism’s cheap, I think it’s a big sideshow,” said Mr Drury.

Kim Dotcom then hit back with a string of tweets, claiming Xero was over-valued and pointing out how many more users his own company has.

“CEO of totally overvalued NZ cloud ‘accounting’ company Xero (300k users) says: ‘I represent the Internet Generation. Kim Dotcom doesn’t’,” tweeted Kim Dotcom.

One of the tweets is below:

Not such a nice guy is he when you dare to criticise him.

I would point out that Xero’s 300,000 users all pay for Xero. From $500 a year upwards. The vast vast majority of Mega users (and I am one) have a free account – because it is, well, free.  I understand well under 1% of Mega’s customers are paying customers.

I want both companies to succeed. I use both. Mega is very different company to Megaupload. But it is not a good look to have the self proclaimed mentor of the Internet Party trash talking and denigrating NZ’s most successful Internet company. But that just confirms the Internet Party is about Kim Dotcom, not about the Internet.

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Hehir on Election spending

July 28th, 2014 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

Liam Hehir writes in the Manawatu Standard:

Since then we’ve seen plenty of further evidence against the idea that the rich can spend their way to power.

Republican Meg Whitman provided a spectacular example of this in 2008. She spent more than $US144 million (NZ$165m) of her own money chasing the California governorship. She was trounced.

In our last general election, the Conservatives spent a whopping $1.8m, which was more than Labour spent. For that expenditure, they received just 2.65 per cent of the vote – which works out to $31.71 a head. Three years later and even more money down the drain, that party is not polling any better.

Don’t get me wrong, money is required to get your message out. What is pretty clear, however, is that diminishing returns set in fairly rapidly. There are lots of studies showing this. The University of Chicago’s Steve Levitt – who also co-authored the popular Freakonomics – has observed that: “When a candidate doubled their spending . . . they only got an extra 1 per cent of the popular vote. It’s the same if you cut your spending in half, you only lose 1 per cent of the popular vote.”

It has some impact, but not a huge amount. Dotcom’s millions might get Mana-Internet from 1.1% to say 3.0%. However the free publicity from the media reporting his every tweet is probably worth far more to them.

National came to power and quickly repealed the Electoral Finance Act. To its credit, a chastened Labour Party did not stand in its way. Unfortunately, however, many of the restrictions and bureaucratic hurdles on third party campaigns were retained.

Greenpeace learned this recently after the Electoral Commission ruled that a website the lobbyists had set up to attack Energy Minister Simon Bridges was subject to electoral law restraints.

The commission also ruled that another campaign Greenpeace is involved in around climate change would also constitute an election advertisement and so was subject to the law. That interpretation is now to be the subject of court proceedings.

I sincerely wish them the best of luck. Ultimately, however, we should look to repeal the offensive provisions through Parliament.

Yes, I’d repeal all the third party spending restrictions except the need to identify the publisher.

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I’m with Arya

July 28th, 2014 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

Maisie Williams is proving there is no stark contrast between her and her TV character, Arya.

Williams, who plays feisty Arya Stark on the wildly popular TV show Game of Thrones, was refused entry to a business class lounge operated by British Airways.

The 17-year old leapt onto Twitter to criticise the airline, who do not allow people under the age of 18 into the lounge by themselves.

“Denied from the business lounge once again for being under 18 and without an adult… @British_Airways sort your s**t out,” she said.

“I’m not saying I deserve special treatment,” she added.

“Just saying if 16-18 yr olds are grown up enough to travel 5400 miles around the world I’m sure we can handle sitting quietly in the damn lounge.”

In response, British Airways said:

“Hi Maisie. We’re sorry if you were disappointed, lounge guests must be 18 or older. We look forward to welcoming you soon.”

Williams, not content to end it there, continued.

“Yes.. @British_Airways fully understand that, my question is why? Why can we travel alone but not use the lounge? It makes no sense.”

British Airways said the policy was in place due to the complimentary alcohol bar, which could be freely accessed by anyone within the lounge.

That’s silly. They also serve alcohol on board the planes There is a way they could deal with that, by having a section of the lounge alcohol free. Or just to have someone tell a 16 or 17 year old who enters that they can’t use the bar.

Best headline on the issue was Arya Stark adds British Airways to her list :-)

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Trotter on Labour’s electorate MPs

July 28th, 2014 at 8:32 am by David Farrar

Chris Trotter writes:

Well, I say “Labour” but, really, the hoarding facing us was all about Phil Goff. It was his ugly mug and buck-toothed smile that confronted the viewer, and his name in bold sans-serif that somebody had helpfully placed a big tick underneath. Oh sure, right down the very bottom you could, if you squinted hard enough, make out the Labour Party’s slogan “Vote Positive”, and yes, there was even an exhortation to “Party Vote Labour”. But, seriously, nobody driving by is going to have time to register anything other than the local MP, Phil Goff, is soliciting their vote.

I’m told this is happening all over the country. That the hoardings erected by Labour electorate MPs are, overwhelmingly, self-promoting. Not the party (unless you have very good eyesight). And certainly not the Leader. (God forbid!) In spite of delivering the worst result in 90 years, the so-called “election strategy” of 2008, promote the candidate – not the party, is being idiotically repeated – by the same idiots!

Chris means 2011.

The fundamental message of the MMP system: Only the Party Vote matters! is, once again, being studiously ignored by MPs whose only concern is to retain their seniority in Labour’s faction-ridden caucus.

What this will produce, just as it did in 2008, is the absurdity of Labour plummeting to 27 percent in the Party Vote, but capturing 32 percent of the Electorate Vote. Had those figures been reversed on Election Night three years ago, Phil Goff would now be Prime Minister.

Well depends where they pick the party votes up from.

That Phil Goff is promoting himself alone, that his leader’s image is being relegated (as his own was in 2008) to the back streets, adds up, in my opinion, to just one bleak message.

Labour is heading for the worst defeat in its 98-year history.

We can only hope.

Danyl McL has also noted that very small Labour logos on the billboards.

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General Debate 28 July 2014

July 28th, 2014 at 8:00 am by Kokila Patel
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World War I

July 28th, 2014 at 7:00 am by David Farrar

World War 1 started 100 years ago on 28 July 1914. Some stats from that terrible conflict:

  • 70 million soldiers mobilised
  • 9 million combatants killed and 7 million civilians
  • 20 million wounded
  • Four empires destroyed – Ottoman, Austro-Hungarian, German and Russian
  • NZ occupied German Samoa
  • Germany tried to get Mexico to attack the US and reclaim Texas, New Mexico and Arizona from them – this led to the US entering WWI
  • Germany initiated the use of poison gas in the war, and eventually all sides used it resulting in 1.3 million causalities
  • 8 million men held in POW camps
  • 11,000 soldiers were killed or wounded between the signing of the Armistice and it coming into force six hours later.
  • NZ lost 1.5% of its population, Australia 1.3%, UK 2.0% France 4.3%, Ottoman Empire 15%
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Family violence funding

July 27th, 2014 at 2:00 pm by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

The former director of Sir Owen Glenn’s family violence inquiry has produced her own solution without waiting for the inquiry to finish its work.

Ruth Herbert, whose resignation last year almost destroyed Sir Owen’s $2 million inquiry, has written her own 155-page report advocating an integrated “one door, right door” system to replace an approach she sees as “broken, fragmented and inconsistent”.

She and her co-author, former Auckland regional family violence network co-ordinator Deborah Mackenzie, say their integrated system would add $22 million to the $70 million the state already spends on 774 separate family violence services.

But they believe it would save many times that amount in social and economic costs by reducing family violence.

First of all a better integrated network of family violence service providers seems a very sensible thing, and the cost doesn’t seem prohibitive. I’ve not yet read the report, but Ruth Herbert has a solid background of expertise in this area.

I would caution though that it does seem to be focused a bit on helping victims after violence has occurred, and the far tougher challenge is to try and never have family violence occur in the first place.

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Seymour in Epsom

July 27th, 2014 at 12:36 pm by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

David Seymour has knocked on 8500 doors, wearing out shoe leather on the manicured streets of Epsom. He aims for 20 doorsteps in an hour, and is campaigning for six hours day to call on all 22,000 households in the electorate.

But what’s the point, you may ask? One nod from Prime Minister John Key would return ACT to Parliament, propping up the National Government as it has done since 2008. It is likely Key will signal this week which electorate deals National is prepared to sew up with smaller parties.

“I just say to people that I am going for every endorsement that I can get. John Key is an Epsom voter and I certainly hope he will vote for me,” Seymour says.

“Not to be too pernickity, you actually can’t have a deal, because deals have to be enforceable and votes are secret. Ultimately, it only works if the people of Epsom believe that I am the best candidate.”

Indeed. The voters of Epsom are quite capable of deciding who they want to be their MP. A party can state a preference for how its supporters should vote, but it is up to the voters.

Good to see David campaigning the old fashioned way of knocking on every door in the electorate.

So why did a bright 31-year-old, give up a successful career as a policy analyst in Canada, to campaign for a party most people have long since written off? He’s not getting paid, and is supporting himself with some contract work and the generosity of friends and family.

His love life has also taken a hit.

“What I have discovered is girlfriends like you to stay in the same country, and moving back between New Zealand and Canada every two or three years has not been conducive. My philosophy also is that obviously no-one wants to be lonely for their whole life but the best way to deal with that is to be the happiest, most attractive person you can and that means doing what you like and what you are good at.”

Long-distance relationships suck, basically. You can do it for a while, but not great fun.

Seymour says he has “really strong beliefs” and it is important someone represents free market views. He wants to shrug off ACT’s stuffy image as a party of stale, white businessmen.

“I want to be the representative of a whole generation of people who are young, entrepreneurial and never lived under Rob Muldoon . . . you know Lorde, Eleanor Catton, Lydia Ko, Xero in business . . . you walk around Auckland and it’s a fantastic time.”

What is scary is we still have MPs in Parliament who entered when Muldoon was Prime Minister!

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National’s 2014 List

July 27th, 2014 at 10:25 am by David Farrar

2014LIST

National has released their 2014 Party List. I’ve done my normal calculations to show the approximate level of party vote needed for candidates to get elected. The assumptions are:

  • No change in electorate seats (I actually think there will be some, but for this exercise am assuming the status quo)
  • There is 3% wasted vote

National is currently  averaging 52.5% in the polls. If we assume National gets 49%, then get 63 MPs. The caucus demographics would be:

  • 73% European (46), 16% Maori (10), 6% Asian (4), 5% Pasifika (3)
  • 71% Male (45), 29% Female (18)
  • 2% in 20s, 10% in 30s, 37% in 40s, 41% in 50s, 11% in 60s
  • 38% from Northern Region, 18% CNI, 19% LNI, 17% Cant Westland, 8% Southern

Reasonably good demographic spread. I would like to see the proportion of women higher, but National has only five list only spots, so the challenge is not ranking women in winnable places (which National has done) but having more women win electorate nominations (which are decided purely locally).

Overall on a result of 49% National would have 17 new MPs – 10 electorate MPs and 7 List MPs.

The new List MPs would be Brett Hudson, Paramjit Parmar, Chris Bishop, Nuk Korako, Jono Naylor, Maureen Pugh and Fia Turner. But four of those people could well win their seats also (Hutt South, Port Hills, Palmerston North and West Coast – Tasman).

The placing of Brett Hudson (Ohariu) so highly means that you don’t have to be a clairvoyant to predict that National will endorse Peter Dunne in Ohariu.

Chris Bishop is the highest ranked male new candidate (excepting the strategic seat of Ohariu) which is a great result for him. Chris is one of the top debaters in New Zealand and will be a real asset to National in the House if he gets elected.

So potentially 17 new MPs is an excellent renewal for National.  even if National only gets what the got last time (47.5%) they still get 61 MPs, which is 15 new MPs.

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V is for Volatility

July 27th, 2014 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

Just five to go:

Economics would be a pale imitation of itself without volatility, or at the very least about as stimulating as watching paint dry. Luckily the world is a complicated place, where prices fluctuate for various reasons, and this, for the most part, is a good thing.

On a microeconomic level, producers wouldn’t be able to discover demand if there was no volatility. Volatility is indeed an essential ingredient for commerce to exist, with entrepreneurs engaging in a process of arbitrage between the price at which they buy inputs and the price at which they sell output. Furthermore, there would be no way of allocating scare resources to their most efficient use if we didn’t have price movements to guide the market.

Price changes are also needed to encourage investment in a particular sector. Long-term trends in commodity prices, such as Asia’s growing demand for protein, tell farmers that the investment needed to convert their land to dairy pasture is likely to payoff in the end (though not guaranteed).

Although price fluctuations usefully steer production and investment, this doesn’t mean all types of volatility (or lack thereof) are equally desirable. The effect of politics on markets can stifle or increase volatility completely separate from fundamental price drivers.

International debt markets are a good example. The yield on 5-year Greek government bonds has been trading at a fairly consistent level of just over 4 percent for some time. Meanwhile Argentinian 4-year bonds (the closest comparable security) are trading at 7.6 percent. The difference has almost nothing to do with economic fundamentals, since both countries are in major financial strife. 

An investor, who knew nothing about the political support being lent by the European Union, might conclude from the yields that Greece is responsible with its public finances compared to Argentina. In actual fact Greece’s public debt to GDP stands at 161 percent, whereas Argentina’s public debt is equivalent to 42 percent of GDP.

The opposite can also be true. Investors in New Zealand’s listed electricity sector know only too well how volatile share prices have been due to the Labour and Green’s proposal to restructure the market, when in actual fact the fundamentals of the industry haven’t really changed.

To conclude, change, or volatility is a good thing in economics, provided it is based on market fundamentals and not political hot air.

Next week is Welfare!

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General Debate 27 July 2014

July 27th, 2014 at 8:00 am by Kokila Patel
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Organ donation stats

July 26th, 2014 at 4:00 pm by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

People from Wellington and Queenstown are more likely to indicate “yes” to organ donation on their driving licences, while those in Wairoa and Kawerau will probably say “no”.

Information provided by the NZ Transport Agency has revealed an almost even split when it comes to ticking the box and leaving it blank.

But drivers in certain regions are far more likely to say yes than others, and Queenstown-Lakes district residents have the highest proportion, with 66.2 per cent indicating they were organ donors.

Wellington was not far behind at 62 per cent, while Kapiti Coast was also high at 59.4 per cent.

At the other end of the scale, Wairoa recorded the lowest level, just 31.4 per cent indicating they were donors. Kawerau was just above at 33.7 per cent, while Opotiki was at 36.2 per cent.

I may be wrong, but I wonder of ethnicity has a significant impact on the donation stats. The towns at the bottom have a high proportion of Maori, and off memory some Maori believe that any interference with the body after (brain) death is wrong, so I would not be surprised.

But even with this indication, the final decision rests with a dead person’s family, who can decline the donation no matter what the licence says. In New Zealand, 1.75 million people say they are donors but last year only 36 families agreed to donate their loved ones’ organs.

Organ Donation NZ clinical director Stephen Streat said this was not because of an unwillingness to donate, but rather the strict criteria that must be met. …

About half the families faced with the decision agreed to donation – a proportion similar to the licence indication figures.

I think this may be misleading. I suspect those who do not indicate a willingness on their licence to be a donor do not even have their families asked, so this stat is really saying that giving families the ability to over-ride the wishes of the deceased reduces the donation rate by 50%.

While cultural beliefs have been suggested as affecting organ donation decisions, Streat said the focus was on each individual situation as it arose, and donation was offered to every eligible person.

“It’s not about religion, culture or ethnicity – it’s about individuals.”

I quite like the idea that priority for receiving organs goes to those who have indicated they would be a donor themselves.

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Barriers to voting

July 26th, 2014 at 3:00 pm by David Farrar

Stuff reports on likely barriers to voting for the 22% who say they may not vote. In order they are:

  1. Too difficult to get to a polling station 18%
  2. Too busy 8%
  3. Don’t know enough 8%
  4. 5% not interested
  5. 5% dislike politicians and parties
  6. 3% which party wins does not matter

I note that electronic voting would help with the largest factor.

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Maori offending

July 26th, 2014 at 2:00 pm by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

The prison system has achieved little in lowering the rate of Maori offending and a century of appalling Maori crime statistics shows no sign of abating, according to an iwi justice advocate.

That is because generally the role of the prison system is to protect the community, not lower offending. Lowering offending is important, but that involves drug and alcohol counselling, education, rehabilitation programmes and the like. Some of that can be done through prisons, but again the primary role of prisons is to keep the community safe.

A joint police and iwi justice programme in Wellington that aims to reduce Maori crime statistics was presented to the Maori King Tuheitia and his pan-tribal council Tekau-maa-rua in Ngaruawahia yesterday.

Chair of the iwi justice panel at Waiwhetu Marae in Lower Hutt, Neville Baker, said the current system had failed Maori for decades and the systems needed to change.

“Maori have been incarcerated for 100 years and we are getting worse so why would we want to continue with the prison system,” said Baker.

It’s great to see a focus on reducing offending. I would point out that the trend is actually positive. The Herald reported last year:

A progress report on the Government’s crime prevention programme shows Maori youth offending down by 32 per cent over three years.

The Drivers of Crime programme, launched in December 2009, brings together crime prevention work of the justice and social sector.

The latest report shows offending rates for Maori youth between 2008 and 2012 dropped 32 per cent.

Youth offending is probably the most important to target.

There has also been a small decrease in the number of Maori in prison – a 3.6% reduction from March 2011 (4,483) to to March 2014 (4,320).

Still a huge amount more to be done, but the solutions are not as simple as just saying less prison. If an offender’s crimes are serious enough or repetitive enough, the protecting the community comes first.

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Labour candidate attacks National MP for having a family holiday

July 26th, 2014 at 1:00 pm by David Farrar

When David Cunliffe had a holiday with his kids, not one National MP or candidate attacked him for it. In fact it only became newsworthy because a Labour MP and/or candidate attacked him for it.

Now we have a Labour candidate attacking her National opponent for the same thing. Hawke’s Bay Today reports:

Meanwhile, in the neighbouring Tukituki electorate, Labour candidate Anna Lorck said sitting MP Mr Foss’ family holiday in Hawaii last week shows he’s “too relaxed” about the election. Mr Foss denied the claim,but said hi

s family always came first.

Ms Lorck said Mr Foss was “lying back in his deckchair and drinking pina coladas” on the tropical island while she was busy on the campaign trail.

Mr Foss confirmed he had spent “a good week” with his family at Waikiki Beach in Honolulu, Hawaii, up until Wednesday, July 16.

“We had a family holiday.”

However, he denied the holiday showed he was too relaxed about the upcoming election.

“I work hard for Hawke’s Bay families and I am backing the Bay each and every day.

“So much for Labour’s pledge to not be nasty.”

Lasted all of 24 hours.

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Yet another study on the effectiveness of charter schools

July 26th, 2014 at 12:00 pm by David Farrar

Phys.org reports:

A first-ever report released July 22 by the University of Arkansas, which ties charter school funding to achievement, finds that public charter schools are more productive than traditional public schools in all 28 states included in analyses of cost-effectiveness and return on investment.

All 28 states!

The national report, titled “The Productivity of Public Charter Schools,” found that  deliver on average an additional 17 points in math and 16 points in reading on the National Assessment of Educational Progress exam taken by students for every $1,000 invested. These differences amount to charter schools being 40 percent more cost-effective in math and 41 percent more cost-effective in reading, compared to traditional .

So when unions (falsely) claim charter schools do better because they get extra funding, remember this study.

The cost-effectiveness analysis of the report found that charter schools in 13 states were found to be more cost-effective in reading because they had higher student achievement results despite receiving less funding than traditional public schools. Charter schools in 11 states were more cost-effective in math for the same reason. The remaining states produced equal or slightly lower achievement with significantly lower funding.

Better results off less funding. Do you get some idea of why the NZ unions are terrified by the trial of charter schools. Think if they produced the same results here!

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Gower asks why Cunliffe is scared of Dotcom?

July 26th, 2014 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

Patrick Gower writes:

David Cunliffe should forget about fretting over his red scarf and start worrying about the black tracksuit.

Yes, Kim Dotcom’s black tracksuit is all over the political scene once again – and Cunliffe is running scared, refusing to rule Internet-Mana out even though voters think he should.

Internet-Mana is on the rise big-time and the Dotcom-boom is hurting Labour.

Cunliffe has left the door open to Labour working with Internet-Mana to form as Government. But the latest 3 News-Reid Research poll shows a majority of voters want Labour to rule them out.

Voters were asked:

Should Labour work with Internet Mana to form a Government?

  • NO, rule them out: 59 percent
  • YES, work with them: 29 percent
  • Don’t know: 12 percent

Even a majority of Labour voters want Cunliffe to rule out a coalition with Internet-Mana.

  • NO, rule them out: 47%
  • YES, work with them: 40%
  • Don’t know: 13%

A lot of Labour supporters would rather Labour lose, than have Dotcom having his proxies in the Government.

So the rise of Internet-Mana has created a big problem for Labour. Dotcom and Harawira are love-hate figures.

The reality is, with centre voters, they are probably more hated than loved.

There are lots of centre voters who don’t like Dotcom and lots who don’t like Harawira and a fairly decent core who don’t like both of them. The refusal to rule out Internet-Mana is hurting Labour with centre voters.

Hone Harawira, Annette Sykes, Laila Harre. Kim Dotcom and John Minto. It’s enough to send a lot of people running.

Cunliffe’s refusal to rule them out just gives them further credibility and as it rises, Internet-Mana will probably end up taking votes off Labour too.

As its own popularity falls, Labour cannot do without Internet-Mana’s numbers.

That’s why Cunliffe is scared of Internet Mana – he’s too scared to rule them out.

The rise of Internet-Mana tells us a lot about the fall of Labour.  

If the result is that Labour is in a position to form a Government with the Greens, NZ First and Internet-Mana, it will be fascinating to observe!

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Labour MPs enjoyed Joyce roast of Cunliffe

July 26th, 2014 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

John Armstrong writes:

Joyce took the first call in Wednesday afternoon’s general debate — long a platform for Parliament’s better orators — to parody Labour’s under-the-weather David Cunliffe in a fashion that was as clever as it was cruel as it was funny.

Within the space of a five-minute speech, Joyce had revealed another weapon in his armoury — the ability to cut an opponent down by sheer wit — and thereby further enhanced his credentials as the frontrunner for National’s leadership when Key finally moves on.

There was, however, another interesting outcome from his contribution — its impact on those sitting opposite him.

Cunliffe was not in the chamber. But those Labour MPs who were initially tried to ignore what was a virtuoso performance. But their barely suppressed smiles gave the game away.

When the cat is away, the mice will play!

Fortunately for Cunliffe, Labour is also now closer to election day than it was in 1990 when Mike Moore deposed Sir Geoffrey Palmer in a questionable coup which had the sole purpose of saving the party from being completely routed by National.

56 days to go.

Cunliffe’s cause has not been helped by Labour whingeing over TVNZ choosing Mike Hosking — someone Labour sees as biased in National’s favour — to be the moderator for the channel’s debates.

Hosking is a professional. He hardly needs reminding that his performance will be scrutinised intently. Any bias will be blatantly obvious. Which is why there will not be any bias. Labour has every right to object. In doing so, however, the party projects the image of a loser.

If anything I suspect Hosking will go harder on Key, because he has said favourable things about him in the past.

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Drury on ICT and Internet Party

July 26th, 2014 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

IT Brief reports:

As the political heavyweights debated the future ICT roadmap for New Zealand last night, Rod Drury sat shaking his head in the crowd.

Taking the stage amidst the backdrop of Auckland’s evening sky, key political figures debated long into the night about the future of New Zealand’s ICT sector.

Chaired by the New Zealand Technology Industry Association, CEO Candace Kinser orchestrated discussion with technology representatives from National, Labour, the Green Party and the Internet MANA parties.

But as the opinions flowed and policies were outlined, Xero’s charismatic CEO reawakened a conversation which, in the eyes of the entrepreneur, drifted widely off the overriding issue.

“I find this really depressing but I’ll try to be positive about it,” he said, in his typically outspoken manner.

Addressing Internet Party leader Laila Harre first, Drury told the recently elected head of the Kim Dotcom funded political party: “We’ve been in the industry for 20 years and you don’t speak for us, Kim Dotcom should go away and it’s kind of insulting to hear what you speak about because it doesn’t take into account the hard work we’ve done for the last 20 years.”

Rod is never shy about saying what he thinks. His view on this issue, is widely shared I must say.

According to Drury, panelists Harre, Amy Adams, Clare Curran and Gareth Hughes spoke about “incremental stuff which everybody else is already doing”, branding the discussion “boring.”

National had the big bold vision in 2008 of fibre to the homes of 75% of New Zealanders. I’m pretty comfortable with keeping the focus for now on the implementation of that. But we move towards the completion of that, we do need to get some thought leadership and vision on how we use it.

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General Debate 26 July 2014

July 26th, 2014 at 8:00 am by Kokila Patel
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