Archive for July, 2004

Move on

July 31st, 2004 at 2:12 pm by David Farrar

The Dominion Post is getting excited that a NZer who was convicted 13 years ago in the UK of murder is studying at Victoria University.

Just to show I am not totally reactionary, I think this is a non story. He has served his time, he haas not offended on parole, and completing his studies seems a good thing to do.

I can’t accept there is some duty on the university to let people know of a student’s previous convictions (unless there is deemed a significant risk of reoffending).

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I am a sober emotional destructive leader

July 30th, 2004 at 4:16 pm by David Farrar

This Chick posted her results for the latest personality test. She is a Sober Rational Constructive Leader.

On the other hand I am a “SEDL–Sober Emotional Destructive Leader. This makes you a dictator. You prefer to control situations, and lack of control makes you physically sick. You feel have responsibility for everyone’s welfare, and that you will be blamed when things go wrong. Things do go wrong, and you take it harder than you should.

You rely on the validation and support of others, but you have a secret distrust for people and distaste for their habits and weaknesses that make you keep your distance from them. This makes you very difficult to be with romantically. Still, a level-headed peacemaker can keep you balanced.

Despite your fierce temper and general hot-bloodedness, you have a soft spot for animals and a surprising passion for the arts. Sometimes you would almost rather live by your wits in the wilderness somewhere, if you could bring your books and your sketchbook.

You also have a strange, undeniable sexiness to you. You may go insane.”

One of the more fun tests.

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Simich going List only

July 29th, 2004 at 11:26 pm by David Farrar

Tamaki MP Clem Simich has announced he will not seek National’s nomination for Tamaki next year, but accept a place on the party list.

Simich has been designated as National’s nominee for Speaker, if National is in Government after the 2005 election – a role better suited to a List MP. Simich is well respected by almost all MPs for the job he does as Assistant Speaker as he upholds the rules competently and impartially.

This is quite a change from Speaker Hunt who is as partisan as he is competent (and he is extremely competent) and Deputy Speaker Ann Hartley whom many consider the most incompetent presiding officer in a generation.

With Simich having withdrawn from the race for Tamaki, Tim Rainey has announced his candidacy. I suspect there may be many more to come out of the woodwork in what will be a hard fought selection.

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How to rid NZ of prostitution

July 29th, 2004 at 11:03 pm by David Farrar

Prostitution in NZ will probably disppear within a few years, now that OSH is trying to regulate it!

I wonder if OSH will also come up for a safety check list for customers? Always make sure you have a spare key for the handcuffs. Never have more than six paddles on the same leg etc etc :-)

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Off to Qantas I think

July 29th, 2004 at 10:06 pm by David Farrar

Air NZ has a funny idea of what a loyalty programme is, having just degraded the value of airpoints for the second time in just two years. One just can’t trust them not to degrade it even more in another year as they make profits for the Government (their owner).

An airpoint dollar is equal to 75 old airpoints. Now earning these is much harder unless you fly business or first class. I’ll use airpoint dollars only to make comparisons easy.

Auckland – Singapore economy return drops from earning $224 to $160.

Auckland – LA economy return drops from earning $280 to $230.

Auckland – London economy return drops from earning $490 to $260.

Well I’ve always needed an incentive to join the Qantas/One World Club also – now I have it.

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Internet Peering

July 29th, 2004 at 9:07 pm by David Farrar

For those who have been following the NZ Internet peering issue, there was a story this week in the Dom Post about it, and what InternetNZ is trying to do.

It will be a sad day if NZ content providers are forced to move offshore due to the lack of local peering.

Talking of InternetNZ, the AGM is on Friday. Anyone interested welcome to pop in – Level 9 of Exchange Place on Willeston Street with drinks at 5 p.m. and AGM at 6 p.m. Membership only $50.

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Heated debate

July 29th, 2004 at 8:55 pm by David Farrar

Phirate has removed his link to me, as he found a comment I made “so chilling” he never wants to hear from me again.

Absolutely his decision (which I respect) as to whom to link to, but I do have to say I find it a bit of an over reaction to what to me appeared to be merely a difference of views. Personally I’d never get upset and “banish” someone for merely stating something I strongly disagree with. It is only when people personally attack me, that I consider it. I find Keith Locke’s views on just about everything reprehensible, but I still enjoy chatting to him (esp on the one area we do agree on – keeping the Internet free of Govt control)

The disagreement was on my post regarding Robin Pitney who as a 15 year old, stabbed an 11 year old to death. Phirate thought that being just 15 at the time was a mitigating factor for early parole, while I disagreed saying “I think I regard a 15 year old who is capable of doing that as more evil than a 25 year old who does. ”

Obviously an issue some people will disaagree with me on, and to a degree it is a bit silly trying to debate degrees of evilness. Anyone who stabs to death an 11 year old is evil. However to justify my view, my thinking is that a 25 year old who kills an 11 year old has probably been in gangs etc and a life of crime for 5 – 10 years and this may be the final depth he plunges to. However to be capable at just age 15 of killing, indicates a missing morality that is scary. 15 year olds should be studying for exams, not killing children.

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red-blooded heterosexual men

July 29th, 2004 at 12:43 pm by David Farrar

Oh today is an irony rich day.

What do you do when you are a red blooded heterosexual male, sick of politically correct women etc.

You ask Helen for permission to give a speech, saying how sick you are of it – hilarious.

Poor John has it doubly hard. He has two Helens he has to get permission from for his speeches :-)

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Water Spirits 1 Water Sports 0

July 29th, 2004 at 12:15 pm by David Farrar

I don’t know how a Court can say this with a straight face:

“The inlet is an integral part of the Manukau Harbour. If the water is interfered with, the wairua [spirit] of its water will decay and when the gates are reopened the resulting decay will affect the wairua of the greater Manukau Harbour.”

And that nonsense of from the Environment Court. I’m surprised they didn’t also refuse the application due to a belief the earth is flat and that any building of gates would make the earth topple onto its side!!

Regardless of ones views on the overall Treaty, I think almost all NZers would agree that so called spiritual values and ghosts should nto be a factor in court decisions. However despite all of Labour’s platitudes they will give no commitment to change the law.

This just makes us look like a mickey mouse country. Water spirits indeed.

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Indigenous Wainuiomata

July 29th, 2004 at 11:49 am by David Farrar

Trevor Mallard’s speech on race relations comes across as a desperate effort to reverse the polls. On the one hand he steals language from National declaring “We are all New Zealanders now”, “get over the past” and finally delcares himself indigenous as “I come from Wainuiomata.”

But then, oblivious to the irony of his own words he states “Partisan and sectional politics on these issues will get us nowhere” and one paragraph later compares National’s policies to North Korea!!

If there was an award for least intellectually consistent speech of the year, I think this one would be a winner. Condemning partisan politics on race, yet comparing National to a dictatorship which murders and tortures its citizens would be funny if it was not so sad.

So is there a single person out there who can read that speech and now claim a better understanding of Labour’s policies?

Oh and a true story about Wainuiomata. A few years ago we had some school kids visit the Beehive on Careers Day and meet with various staff, incuding Don McKinnon’s press secretary who told them about her and Don’s work, including the peace treaty for Boungainville. At the end of each meeting, the presenter was meant to ask a question with a prize for the student who coudl ask it. The press secertary asked who knows where Bougainville is, and a student shot him arm up. He then responded “Wainuiomata, miss”. It was hilarious. So perhaps Trevor is indigenous after all.

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Kicking Bureaucrat butt

July 29th, 2004 at 11:15 am by David Farrar

Okay so you’re a bureaucrat working for NZQA and you are informed that some students have an exam clash with three on the same day, so what do you do?

You tell those students who have spent all year studying, that under no circumstances could we be flexible, and that they simply should miss or withdraw from an exam!!!

I imagine NZQA thinks that they could do their job really well, if those pesky students were not involved.

Luckily for said students, the Education Minister can spot a potential poll downer at 100 yards, and he has given NZQA a bollocking (called a full and frank discussion) and over-ruled them.

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New blogger

July 28th, 2004 at 4:55 pm by David Farrar

Pleased to welcome Peter Metcalph to the blogosphere. I’ve known Peter for many years through Usenet newsgroups. He has an incredible knowledge of law, history and politics.

Peter’s post on the Court of Appeal’s ruling on Awatere-Huata is very good, reminding us “The legislation states the decision is a matter for the party leader, not unelected judges.”

I especially like his suggestion that Rodney ignores the court ruling and sends the letter anyway. Now that would be a fun constitutional crisis :-)

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Playing the (wo)man not the ball

July 28th, 2004 at 11:09 am by David Farrar

The reaction from the Maori Language Commission to the paper “Ethnic Ideologies in New Zealand Education: What’s Wrong with Kaupapa Maori” by Elizabeth Rata has been regretable.

I don’t find the paper overly convincing myself, but the MLC rather than rebut the issues has just attacked Dr Rata personally, saying:

* she is the “female equivalent of Don Brash” (I presume not meant as a compliment)
* she’s an ignorant academic
* has had her head in the books for too long
* apparently she has got personal hang-ups with some Maori people

And he says that some people walked out of a conference she spoke at a few weeks ago (presumably rather than debate the points she made).

For a more constrcutive discussion of Dr Rata’s views, I recommend Simon Upton’s May 2003 upton-on-line. He politely disagrees with some of her conclusions, but also welcomes the fact she is “pushing the boundaries of intellectual freedom and debate in exactly the way they should be pushed and “prepared to wade into pretty controversial territory”.

We should welcome debate, not resort to cheap insults against those we disagree with.

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It wasn’t me!

July 28th, 2004 at 10:29 am by David Farrar

Drunken man fished out of Wellington harbour.

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Goff says he would do it again

July 28th, 2004 at 10:24 am by David Farrar

Phil Goff has effectively said in the NZ Herald that conversations with foreign VIPs are normally “absolutely confidential” unless he thinks he can score political points by releasing them. I am amazed he does not see the contradiction.

Goff is going against even the Chief Ombudsman by saying he would do it again, and in the process destorying any chance of MFAT being allowed back into sensitive meetings involving Opposition MPs.

Goff says he only would do it to expose hypocrisy, but such a judgement is exceptionally political, not objective. Many reasonable people would say a throw away comment that was of so little moment not even the Senators could recall it, is in no way contradictory to National’s stated policy position.

It is only one step removed from SIS agents bugging MPs, so the Government can reveal to the world any “hypocrisy” they overhear.

Anyway I have a solution for all this. The Government should give me access to all MFAT files (I used to have a top secret security clearance so shouldn’t be an issue) of meetings involving Goff and Clark and foreign VIPs, and allow me to release any which in *my* opinion show hypocrisy. Then let the public decide.

After all, what is good for the goose, is good for the gander!

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Car for sale

July 27th, 2004 at 10:41 pm by David Farrar

I’ve just bought a new car, so am selling my old one on Trademe.

Bids are welcome!

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Why parole needs changing

July 27th, 2004 at 10:58 am by David Farrar

The Press has a story on paroled child killer Robin Pitney, which highlights the problems of the current parole system.

In 1992 he was sentecned to life imprisonment for stabbing to death an 11 year old boy. It was a random unprovoked attack.

The Parole Board let him out at the earliest possible date in 2002. After less than a year he reoffended again. Now he was recalled to prison, but only for a few months, and then released once again on parole.

And surprise surprise he is now assaulting women.

Why did the Parole Board re-release him after only a few months, when it was clear he was not rehabilitated?

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Sideswiped

July 27th, 2004 at 10:47 am by David Farrar

The NZ Herald’s sideswipe column has mentioned the blog, and specifically my post on Rodney Hide and Facelift.

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Coutts sacked!

July 27th, 2004 at 10:36 am by David Farrar

I hope all those who condemned Team NZ for failing to keep Russell Coutts on board, will perhaps reconsider where the fault lay. The sacking of Coutts by Alinghi confirms my perception that the only thing bigger than Coutts skill as a sailor, is his ego.

At the end of the day, sailing is a team sport, and Coutts seemed to have problems with anything less than total control. What a waste of such talent. No doubt he will now sail for some other country.

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MFAT destroys Brash notes

July 27th, 2004 at 10:27 am by David Farrar

The so called “gone by lunchtime” issue stinks more and more as the NZ Herald reveals that MFAT has destroyed the original notes of the Brash meeting.

Also the Ombudsman has provisionally ruled that releasing/leaking conversations (as Goff and Clark did) is not in New Zealand’s best interests.

I wonder how long it is until Helen starts leaking SIS and Police files on Opposition MPs.

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Flag burning now legal

July 24th, 2004 at 10:39 pm by David Farrar

Stuff reports that a High Court Judge has over-ruled a conviction for flag burning, and effectively legalised it.

I’m pretty comfortable with it, as I don’t believe fining people for buring the flag is the best way to stop them. I prefer the contest of ideas.

Hopefully this won’t lead to a plethora of flag burning, because it’s still a pretty moronic thing to do, even if it is now legal.

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Facelift

July 24th, 2004 at 10:27 pm by David Farrar

It was very amusing watching Facelift last night in the bar at the Rotorua Novotel.

I hadn’t seen it before, and it was very very funny. The highlight though was the skit with the Donna doll showing an MP trying to destroy the Donna doll, yet she kept coming back etc. Next to me was Rodney Hide who was laughing loudly at it until he paused, and then asked “Hey that guy in the skit isn’t meant to be me is it?”.

We all reassured him, indeed it was. He stopped laughing at that point :-)

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I love wireless

July 22nd, 2004 at 10:16 pm by David Farrar

When I got a new notebook in March, the best decision I made was getting built in wireless.

I’m sitting in a cafe at Kuala Lumpar Airport with free broadband Internet access – it’s great. And the ICANN conference had wireless which meant that no matter what rom you were in, you had continual access with no cables or wires.

Even though I’ve been used to mobile phones for over a decade, I still find it amazing that my notebook can connect to literally millions of other computers around the world, while just sitting on my lap in a room, not plugged into anything at all.

If 20 years ago one had claimed that was possible, I suspect most would have though you watched too much Star Trek.

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I fell for it!

July 22nd, 2004 at 10:07 pm by David Farrar

I made the mistake of believing the Dominion Post story that there had also been complaints of Don Brash’s motorcade breaking the law going to the rugby.

But it appears Capital Pundit was correct when he said this looks to be a piece of satire from Labour which the Dominion Post has published without verification.

I should have been suspicious that the Dominion Post story did not name a single witness. Then reading the latest TVNZ story I find out that the motorcade was from Parliament, not Don’s home. Now Parliament is almost next door to the stadium and it would be almost physically impossible to speed, and in fact the Police have said the car never exceeded 40 km/hr.

The roads around the stadiums are often packed with pedesterians, so if (and that is a big if) the car did cross the centre line, it probably was to avoid pedesterians. Hell everyone is doing that before and after a test match there.

So this unverified, anonymous story is a perfect example of what McCully was railing against.

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Whoops!

July 22nd, 2004 at 3:03 pm by David Farrar

Demonstrating how slippery the moral high ground can be, the Domion Post has reported that Don Brash’s car also may have breached traffic regulations, taking him to the rugby match.

Just as the heat may come off Clark though, she puts her foot in it by suggesting she should have a private plane, stating “I shouldn’t be put in the position where people are complaining about the mode of transport”.

Also Clark appears to have stated she would rather be at home reading a book than attending the a rugby test, which does raise the question of why she attends? McCully has a view.

People may also be interested in the exact law covering this. Section 21(11) of the Traffic Regulations 1978 state:

“It shall be a defence to any person charged with an offence against this regulation if he proves that he was, at the time of the act in respect of which he is so charged, the driver of a motor vehicle

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