Archive for May, 2007

Williams says ten MPs to go?

May 31st, 2007 at 8:36 pm by David Farrar

On Agenda last weekend, Labour President Mike Williams said:

“There are a significant number of retirements going to.we think probably six or eight may be ten will retire – people who feel they’ve done their dash made their contribution.”

That’s a fair few. Let’s see who those ten may be:

Definite

Dover Samuels
Russell Fairbrother
Marian Hobbs
Paul Swain

Probable

Parekura Horomia
Rick Barker
Mahaha Okeroa
George Hawkins
Jill Pettis
Di Yates

Possible

Annette King
Margaret Wilson
Ross Robertson
Lesley Soper

But has Labour left rejuvenation too late? Let us look at the Labour top eight (which is what most of the public see the most). In 2007 it is:

Clark
Cullen
Maharey
Goff
King
Mallard
Hodgson
Horomia

Now that is, I think, almost identical to the top eight in 2000. Horomia the only new face I think.

Now look at how National changed its top eight by its third term. In 1990 it was:

Bolger
McKinnon
Birch
Richardson
East
Shipley
Kidd
Burdon

And in 1999:

Shipley
Creech
English
Luxton
Birch
Bradford
Sowry
Smith

Now of course National still lost the 1999 election, but it does show they did manage to rejuvenate while in office, with a very different front bench in their third term to their first term.

Labour would be silly to change Clark before the election, but if they want a proper rejuvenation, some of their frontbench need to consider their futures.

Tuesday’s Dom Post Editorial touches on this also:

But just as winning sports teams have to constantly rejuvenate their playing strength, so political parties need to keep finding new talent.

That, however, is something Labour has failed to do. A year ago it was a failing it might have got away with. But, with National under new leadership, it is no longer enough for Labour just to muddle along.

To be fair to Miss Clark she has tried to freshen up her cabinet but she has been handicapped by the dearth of talent within Labour’s ranks, a consequence of selecting candidates on the basis of loyalty and service to the party rather than ability.

Miss Clark can either buy the peace by pandering to sensitivities of non-performers within Labour’s ranks or she can gear up to face the new challenge from National. She cannot do both. What she decides will affect not just the coming election, but Labour’s ability to fight future elections.

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Heroes

May 31st, 2007 at 8:32 pm by David Farrar

Great season finale for a great show. Bring on Season Two!!

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Key on Campbell Live

May 31st, 2007 at 8:21 pm by David Farrar

I didn’t see Campbell Live on Monday. I didn’t even know who was on it. But then later that night I started getting calls from friends as far away as Queenstown. And they were all asking me if I saw John Key on Campbell Live, and raving about how well he came over. And these were my non political friends!

Finally when my parents also started going on about it, I figured I’d better try and see it. And thankfully TV3 does have it online, in three parts. So if you have a spare 25 minutes, go have a look.

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An interesting Islamic ruling

May 31st, 2007 at 8:03 pm by David Farrar

An Islamic scholar in Cairo has got into trouble for his novel solution to the problem of the prohibition in Islamic religious law against a woman working in private premises with a man who is not her close relative.

His solution was to have the women in a shared office start breastfeeding the men, which would “transform the bestial relationship between two people into a religious relationship based on [religious] duties” as in Islamic tradition, breastfeeding establishes a degree of familial relationship even if there is no biological relationship.

And if you do get the office women to breast feed you, they are then allowed to remove their head cover in your presence.

I can’t quite see it catching on, I have to say!

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Scott Adams on Global Warming

May 31st, 2007 at 6:46 pm by David Farrar

Scott Adams is mainly known for his wonderful humour as the creator of Dilbert. But he has also just done a blog post on global warming, which pretty much nails it for me. He concludes:

1. The earth is getting warmer, and human activity is an important part of it.

2. There is plenty of bullshit on both sides of the issue.

3. The people who are well-informed about global warming are overstating the case by conflating the well-studied fact of human-created warming with the less-than-certain predictions of what happens because of the extra warming.

4. The people who say global warming is irrelevant because we should all be recycling and using less fossil fuel for other reasons anyway don’t understand the size of the problem.

5. The people predicting likely doom because of global warming have not made their case. Humans are incredibly adaptive. And technological breakthroughs happen in steps, not predictable straight lines. Every other predicted type of global doom hasn’t happened because of human resourcefulness.

6. Some say that even a small chance of worldwide catastrophe is worth the “insurance” of working to reduce the risk to zero, even at astronomical expense. But how small is a “small” risk? And how does the risk of global warming stack up to the other global risks for which we could use our limited resources?

Read the full post at the link above and the hundreds of comments.

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A hard left Government

May 31st, 2007 at 6:28 pm by David Farrar

Jordan Carter has done an interesting post on what NZ might be like in 2007 if Labour had implemented hard left policies, rather than merely leftwing policies [my terminology not his].

He wistfully says NZ might have:

* Health spending at 10% of GDP and no waiting lists or fees in the health sector
* Reversal of the 1991 benefit cuts
* A return to national awards (and implicitly compulsory unionism)
* Free education from pre-school to tertiary and universal student allowances
* More widespread public transport
* Retain tariffs, not pursue any free trade deals
* Much higher taxes on high income earners and more support for low income families
* Public spending around 10% of GDP higher

Jordan bemoans that such a policy wishlist would never succeed today, as the public don’t want it, because no one is selling the merits of a more left-wing approach.

Jordan is absolutely correct that such a wishlist would lead to any Govt trying to do that being a one term wonder.

But not because it would be unpopular. Oh telling NZers that they can have free health, free education, more welfare and the Easter Bunny so long as those rich bastards get fucked over with more tax would probably be very popular at first.

Until the economy collapses, which it would. I’d actually love Labour to try and implement such a programme. It would be their last ever term in Government.

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Urophilia

May 31st, 2007 at 8:27 am by David Farrar

An interesting case in the Dom Post about a conviction under the Films, Videos, and Publications Classification Act 1993 for DVDs which show urophilia.

What is interesting is that acts such as urophagia are not actually illegal, but films, videos or publications depicting such acts are illegal.

The FVPCA defines the following as objectionable in Section 3(2):

A publication shall be deemed to be objectionable for the purposes of this Act if the publication promotes or supports, or tends to promote or support,—

(a) The exploitation of children, or young persons, or both, for sexual purposes; or

(b) The use of violence or coercion to compel any person to participate in, or submit to, sexual conduct; or

(c) Sexual conduct with or upon the body of a dead person; or

(d) The use of urine or excrement in association with degrading or dehumanising conduct or sexual conduct; or

(e )Bestiality; or

(f )Acts of torture or the infliction of extreme violence or extreme cruelty.

Now all the activities bar (d) is a crime under the Crimes Act. Specifically

(a) child sex -s132
(b) rape – s128
(c) Necrophilia – s150
(e) Bestiality – s143
(f) Torture/extreme violence – s188

But (consensual) sexual activity which involves urine or faeces is not a crime, yet am image of it, is an offence.

It suggests to me that either such activities should be made illegal, or depictions of them should be made legal. This issue was in fact raised at select committee when Parliament last amended the law. I was one of the submitters – not on that issue, but on how to make the law workable for the Internet. The impression I got from the select committee was they they realised the law is somewhat of an anomaly, but no MP really wanted to be a crusader to stand up for the rights of people who enjoy videos of golden showers etc.

Personally I find anything involving urine or faeces pretty damn disgusting and while I’m pretty broadminded at what I will try, both of those activities are on my never ever list. But I’m not a fan of things being banned just because I don’t like them. And as I have said – they are not actually banned – only images or videos of them are banned.

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Bureaucracy gone mad

May 31st, 2007 at 8:20 am by David Farrar

The Wellington District Licensing Agency has declared that school balls can no longer be held in bars or pubs (even in private rooms) but that they can be held in strip clubs such as Mermaids and Santa Fe.

Hilarious.

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Parliament’s Daily Prayer

May 31st, 2007 at 7:49 am by David Farrar

The Speaker is surveying MPs on whether the daily parliamentary prayer should be scrapped and/or revised.

I’m not actually a proponent of abolition. I don’t think having a parliamentary prayer undermines NZ being a secular state any more than having God in the National Anthem does. I suspect those MPs who are not believers are not overly worried that they have to amuse themselves for 20 seconds every day as the prayer is said.

However the wording of the prayer should be changed, in my opinion. It currently is:

Almighty God, humbly acknowledging our need for Thy guidance in all things, and laying aside all private and personal interests, we beseech Thee to grant that we may conduct the affairs this House and of our country to the glory of Thy holy name, the maintenance of true religion and justice, the honour of the Queen, and the public welfare, peace and tranquillity of New Zealand, through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.

Changes I would make, in order are:

(1) Removing specific reference to Jesus Christ so it is not just a Christian prayer but a prayer all religious MPs can partake in.

(2) I doubt the Queen regards what happens in Parliament most days as an honour to her, so I’d delete “the honour of the Queen”

(3) Delete reference to needing God’s guidance in all things. I am sure God feels no need to guide people on whether to go to the toilet or not.

(4) Also delete the reference to maintenance of true religion, as that in fact is not the job of Parliament.

So my suggested prayer might be:

Almighty God, guide us in our duties, so that we lay aside all private and personal interests, conduct the affairs of this House and of our country to the benefit of all New Zealanders, ensure the maintenance of justice, and secure the public welfare, peace and tranquillity of New Zealand Amen.

Feel free to submit in comments your own versions of an appropriate prayer suitable for MPs of all religions.

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Kiwisaver and arrogance

May 31st, 2007 at 7:06 am by David Farrar

Now as I have said, I’m actually a reasonable fan of Kiwisaver. But the way the Govt introduced compulsory employer contributions without consultation or warning I deplore.

Dr Cullen defended this at a business breakfast. He claims it would have been too much trouble and time consulting with not just business groups, but with other parties, if he hadn’t introduced it under urgency as a Budget measure.

Well tough. The most major recent change to NZ’s savings and payroll schemes should be consulted on, even if it is hard work.

People should be aware how much this will cost employers. Not just in terms of compulsory contributions, but in compliance costs – something 95% of the Labour Caucus have never experienced. I received my 30 page KiwiSaver employer guide yesterday. KiwiSaver will involve a shitload of work for employers. You won’t believe how much time every week is meant to be spent on filling in forms for the Government, or providing info to them.

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Suspend the lynch mob

May 30th, 2007 at 10:10 pm by David Farrar

My first reaction, like almost everyone, was to be appalled at Mercury Energy for their role in the death of Auckland woman Folole Muliaga. But over the day as lynch mobs proclaimed them guilty of murder, I felt more and more uncomfortable.

The death of Folole Muliaga is incredibly sad, as it appears to have been entirely preventable. And the manner of death, in front of her family, is tragic for them. One can only empathise with them for their loss. I also have empathy for the hundreds of staff of Mercury Energy. I am sure they are all devastated at what is alleged to have happened, and it would have been an awful day to work for them.

However the facts of what happened are not yet known, and appear to be in some dispute. Empathy should not become a reason for suspending critical reasoning.

Mercury Energy, as one would hope, do have a policy to not disconnect power if they are aware of a householder being medically dependent on continued power supply. Now the policy may not be identical to other companies in that they require verification, but unless the facts are that the company was told, requested verification and upon not getting it immediately deliberately decided to terminate the power anyway (which I certainly would condemn), their policy is not a problem.

What appears to have happened is one of three scenarios:

(1) The family did tell the contractor that the termination of electricity would have life threatening consequences, and he understood this and decided to proceed anyway – against his own company’s policy. Words will be insufficient to condemn that, if that is the case. I can’t imagine there are many people who if they understand a power cut would lead to someone dying, would in any way proceed. The contractor has denied this is the case so for scenario 1 to apply, he must be a liar.

(2) The The family did tell the contractor that the termination of electricity would have life threatening consequences, but tragically he failed to understand this. The Police investigation will look at this. A failure to understand does not get Mercury and the contractor off the hook, as it will come down to whether such a failure to understand was reasonable in the circumstances, and what are the detailed procedures for such situations.

(3) The family did not tell the contractor that the termination of electricity would have life threatening consequences. I make no allegation that this is the case, but recognise this is a possibility. Many family members are saying they definitely did, but it is far from clear how many were actually present for the encounter.

Electricity companies disconnect probably hundreds of customers for non or late payment every day. It is a routine event. I should know as it has happened to me. And for it to happen, one has to have ignored (for Meridian anyway) at least two statements, a specific warning letter, a phone call and a telegram all warning of disconnection.

It is also worth noting that she was not on a full breathing machine, where death is automatic if it stops. The machine was for people with a chronic, mildly reduced level of oxygen in their blood, typically those with chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder. It has no battery backup, so if there was an unexpected power cut it would not be suitable for someone who can not breathe without it. And the doctors say that they are surprised being without it for a couple of hours caused death. In fact the cause of death is assumed, not known.

Finally, it has to be acknowledge there are a number of things the family could have done to mitigate what happened. I state these not as an excuse for Mercury Energy if they were informed, and ignored the information, but as a recognition that the death was seemingly avoidable.

(1) Use the standard letter from the hospital about the need for power, and send it to the electricity company.
(2) Pay the power bills on time, if one is able to, if life is dependent on it as a priority over other bills.
(3) Ask WINZ for a special needs grant if you are having problems paying
(4) At every single stage of the being warned you are overdue and may be terminated, ring up or write to the power company and make sure they understand your medical condition. Preferably in writing so there is less of a chance of mistake
(5) If you are not well positioned to do (4) yourself go to a community group like Citizens Advice Bureau who could help. Your doctor will I am sure help also.
(6) If you do lose power, despite the above, immediately send for an ambulance to take you to hospital

Now again, just because the family may not have done any or all of the above, is no excuse if it was made clear to Mercury’s contractor that there was a threat to life if power was cut off. But as Trevor Mallard says, the facts are in dispute, and we should be patient and let the authorities do an investigation. This is potentially a homicide investigation, so it will be taken seriously I am sure.

As I said at the beginning it is a terrible time for both the family, and to a lesser degree also the staff of Mercury Energy. It is not a time for kneejerk responses.

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SOE cuts off power and life

May 30th, 2007 at 3:51 pm by David Farrar

How awful. The SOE Mercury Energy (part of Mighty River Power) cut off power to an Auckland house, even after their representative was told a woman needed it for her home oxygen machine. She died shortly afterwards.

Now we only have one side of the story at this stage, but it sounds extremely bad from what we do know. Mercury and/or their subcontractor may even face homicide charges.

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NZ’s trade danger

May 30th, 2007 at 3:43 pm by David Farrar

Tukituki MP Craig Foss has just pointed out the danger to NZ trade from campaigns such as this one in The Times which urges consumers to buy French not NZ wine as it is better for the environment.

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Politics segment now on Thursdays

May 30th, 2007 at 11:50 am by David Farrar

The weekly politics panel discussion on Good Morning on TV One is now on Thursdays at 11.15 am. They’ve added Willie Jackson to the existing panel of Barry Soper, Jane Clifton and myself.

We’ll be talking polls, amongst other things.

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CIS Lecture in Auckland

May 30th, 2007 at 11:14 am by David Farrar

Those lucky enough to be in Auckland on 28 June may want to attend the annual John Bonython Lecture and Dinner at the Hilton Auckland on June 28, organised by the Centre for Independent Studies.

The John Bonython Lecture series present and encourage debate on social, economic and political forces and how they shape the individual. They have grown to become the most anticipated events initiated by CIS, and are consistently delivered by leading thinkers from around the world and attended by prominent leaders paving the way for the future of Australasia.

The topic for the 2007 lecture will be ‘Anglo Primacy at the End of History: The Deep Roots of Power’, and will be given by Professor Lawrence Mead of New York University.

For more information visit the CIS website

Individual seats as well as tables are available.

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Bollard reappointed

May 30th, 2007 at 7:29 am by David Farrar

Reserve Bank Governor has been reappointed for a second five year term.

As Brian Fallow says, his record barely scrapes in. His primary goal is to keep inflation between 1% and 3% and over the last three years it has averaged 2.98%.

There is a massive difference between a 1% inflation level (which is what we should have) and a 3% level. A decade of 1% inflation has prices only 10.5% higher. A decade of 3% inflation has prices 34.4% higher, And that decreases our competitiveness and our living standards.

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Telecom going GSM

May 30th, 2007 at 7:19 am by David Farrar

Juha has a nice scoop on how Telecom is going to build a GSM network. They will be keeping their CDMA network also.

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Trouble for Chirac

May 30th, 2007 at 7:14 am by David Farrar

Former French President Chirac is under investigation for corruption. Good.

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NCEA Changes

May 30th, 2007 at 6:30 am by David Farrar

After years of resisting common sense changes to NCEA, including as recently as last year, Labour and Steve Maharey have bowed to the inevitable and made some changes.

They really had no choice. If they did not make the changes, then the entire NCEA was at risk, due to schools abandoning it.

The Herald reviews the changes:

* the number of internally assessed papers checked by NZQA would be boosted threefold to 10%

* schools would be monitored to ensure their internal assessment marks did not markedly differ from their external assessments with reports for each school on the Internet

* certificates will now show merit and excellence, instead of merely “achieved”

* Fail or “not achieved” marks will now be shown

The changes are a welcome step in the right direction. There really is no excuse they have taken so long. Some of these issues have been out there for over six years.

Claire Trevett in the Herald says:

A backdown it may be, but it is one forced on him by history and five years of constant criticism about aspects of the qualification.

Mr Maharey yesterday finally showed he had stopped dodging the bullets. Asked if it was an acknowledgment the system wasn’t working, he said: “I think it is, yes. We’ve got to be upfront about this.”

Having hard work recorded on paper as an “excellence” seems a fairer deal than simply lumping that person in with others who may have barely scraped through.

A more valid criticism to level at the Government is why it has taken so long.

Successive reviews have all said the same thing since 2001, when Government Statistician David Rhoades first said the system of moderation gave “no guarantee of fairness to each individual student”.

Trevett notes at the end that the guinea pig students are the unlucky ones in all this. Indeed.

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E-Politics

May 29th, 2007 at 9:32 pm by David Farrar

Bryce Edwards blogs on the growing use and influence of e-politics. A good round-up of what is happening and recommended reading.

I missed that last month Mainly Politics did a review of the party websites. His overall rankings are:

National 7.25
Greens 6.50
Labour 5.75
Maori 4.25
Progressive 3.25
United Future 3.25
NZ First 3.00
ACT 2.25

I recall once upon a time when the ACT website left all the others for dead in terms of functionality and content.

But talking of bad sites, I have to pan the All Our Rights website. It is proposing to end the defence of “homosexual panic” – where people get off murder charges on the grounds they lost control when hit on by a gay person. Now I am sympathetic to their cause, but their website lets them down badly.

The site claims this defence has been used many times, but doesn’t even have a single case study for people to read. It also doesn’t make clear the exact law change it is seeking. There is no statute that provides for a “homosexual panic” defence, so presumably they seek to end the defence of provocation. But this is not clear, and would of course affect many other types of cases.

They have a very sad story about a Stanley Waipouri who was murdered, but nowhere does it link in whether his killers tried to or succeeded in using HPD. In fact it seems the case has not even been heard yet, so what is the link to the campaign.

Also there is no info on who is behind the campaign and are members of the grassroots group.

I’m someone who is likely to support the campaign to abolish HPD, but the campaign website is so sub-standard it doesn’t give me the info I need to make that decision.

No Right Turn on the other hand is his normal mine of information, supplying almost all the info that the campaign website does not have.

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Sky TV Movies on demand

May 29th, 2007 at 3:38 pm by David Farrar

Later this year Sky TV will have around 12 0 15 movies available on demand through My Sky.

This is the future for movies – not going to the video store to hire them for a week, but pushing a button on your TV remote.

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Blue Libs

May 29th, 2007 at 2:55 pm by David Farrar

Earlier this month there was a packed room for a Blue Libs meeting, with guest speakers being Hon Hugh Templeton, MP Chris Finlayson, Businesswoman Claire Drake and Anna Nuzum.

Hugh put forward the proposition that NZ for its entire 150 year history has been a liberal country with liberal leaders, differing only in degrees. Being the first country to give women, the vote, signing the Treaty etc. I found it interesting, but wasn’t convinced myself that Muldoon was a liberal of any stripe.

Chris Finlayson asked whether National could be liberal, He points to a rich tradition from inception, but says the Moyle incident in the late 70s was the start of a decline as National disconnected from urban liberal NZ especially. To define liberalism Chris rejected the US definitions and pointed to the UK and the legendary contests between Disraeli and Gladstone.

Claire Drake spoke on the challenges of being a young feminist and in National. At the 1975 United Women’s Convention she was told You can’t be a feminist unless you are a socialist” – advice luckily she ignored. Claire also spoke on how she supports much of what ACT promotes but she supports National as the place where one can most influence government. She also usefully reminded us that core NZ Labour principles remain “To ensure the just distribution of the production and services of the nation for the benefit of all people” and “To educate the public in the principles and objectives of democratic socialism and economic and social cooperation”.

The highlight for me was the speech from Anna Nuzum. Anna provided some fairly blunt criticisms of National’s record to date:

“For politicians – victory and defeat come on election night. For people who believe in ideas, victory and defeat come with each piece of legislation passed into law.”

As liberals here today – we are people who believe in ideas. I’m going to speak about how as a young person, I find liberalism relevant to me.

When National started hemorrhaging votes – we ran to the centre. Not the nice, liberal centre, but the easy votes of the socially conservative centre. We’ve appealed to ‘the base’. The moral conservatives, farmers, businesspeople, and even those who would make New Zealand a mono-cultural society. When National starts losing votes – politics beats principle.

At first impressions – sure, let’s ban the gang patches. They don’t add anything to society right? Violence, drugs, intimidation… But the thing is, if we don’t stand up for principles here, we set a precedent. Next comes skin heads – they’re tied to racism – and all of a sudden the haircut police are patrolling the nation’s streets.

Every time the government interferes with people’s lives – they disempower communities, and people lose a little more independence. They become a little less themselves, and more part of a sterile, neutered, society…or no society at all.

Now, I’ve been asked so many times recently about how National (and I) can be liberal and still support, for example, Jacqui Dean’s stance in banning party pills – and for myself at least the answer is: you can’t, and I don’t.

Do not assume that because caucus supports it, that it somehow then becomes every National Party member’s opinion. Many of us – particularly those of us who actually have seen or used a party pill have absolutely no problem with party pills,

As a liberal, applying the longstanding National principles of personal responsibility and respect for the choices of the individual – there are no grounds for banning the pills. If we applied the same level of scrutiny to cigarettes and alcohol that have recently been applied to party pills I think you’d find both of them would far exceed party pills in terms of harm to individuals.

To see any potential for harm and decide to ban it altogether is such a blunt instrument, and in this case is incredibly arbitrary. If I applied the same reasoning – I could solve the road toll in New Zealand. We would be free of that lovely advertisement with the happy family smashing into the power poles; we wouldn’t need any more policemen coming to teach kids about crossing the roads, there would be no more traffic police.

I would just ban cars. Road toll solved, no deaths – no problem.

Another issue that should be close to the hearts of any liberal wing is the failure to recognize Maori customary title to what in reality will be tiny stretches of foreshore and seabed; the line instead being that the beaches belong to “us”.

I’m still not sure who was meant by “us”.

To then join Federated Farmers in their outraged stance about public access over farmland infringing property rights whilst Maori customary rights are ignored just isn’t consistent to me. I agree about property rights. But I want them enforced for everyone. I want National to take the right stance over the expedient one. National has to explain to the public why when you protect a right for someone, it in turn protects your rights. “Property Rights Karma.”

I was born in February of 1986. I am 21 years old. I don’t remember Muldoon. I don’t remember a time when homosexuality was illegal; I’ve never had to fight for women’s rights. I don’t even remember an alternative to MMP.

The issues that face New Zealand youth today are different. We are not going to get caught up over the same issues that have polarized New Zealand in recent years. My class at intermediate was half Maori, a quarter recent immigrants, and a quarter pakeha. Young people today are used to a multicultural New Zealand. We have never known it any other way. The ‘Winston Peters’ attitude towards immigration isn’t relevant to us.

So can National be liberal? Yes. Keeping National’s liberal roots is incredibly important to me – should be to all members and supporters of this Party. We need liberals in National, and we need them to speak up. Property rights, individual responsibility, giving power back to communities – these are important values worth protecting.

I’ve quoted a lot, because there is so much good stuff there. It’s not all critical of course, and Anna also speaks of her support for National on lower taxes, free trade, better rewards for entrepreneurs and less state control of the economy.

The next Blue Libs seminar is in June on “The Role of Government” and “National Identity”. The third seminar in October will be on “Property Rights”.

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Destiny Protest photos

May 29th, 2007 at 10:42 am by David Farrar

Nigel has lots of photos from the Destiny protest up at Waitangi. More people than I expected.

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May Public Polls

May 29th, 2007 at 10:31 am by David Farrar

Roy Morgan published last night their second poll for the month (17% lead) so I’ve been able to publish the monthly polling newsletter early as all the expected polls are now out. There have been five public polls in May, and the graph below shows their average.

maypolls.JPG

The graph speaks for itself.

The full newsletter is published monthly by e-mail and covers the polls in NZ, Australia, the UK, US, Canada and France. If you would like to receive future issues, please go to this link to subscribe yourself.

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Straights and Lesbians banned from Aussie gay bar

May 29th, 2007 at 9:39 am by David Farrar

A Melbourne hotel has won the right to ban both lesbians and straight men from its bar and nightclub.

I wonder how they will enforce it? Perhaps they should have some naked gorgeous women at the door, and anyone who looks twice at them is refused entry?

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