Editorials 27 May 2010

May 27th, 2010 at 12:00 pm by David Farrar

The Herald talks racecourses:

Not so long ago, Avondale and Ellerslie enjoyed virtually equal status in the world of horse-. The Avondale Cup was a highly prestigious event. How times have changed. This week, the Avondale Jockey Club suspended at its course after its meeting on July 3 because of severe financial problems. …

The same applies to Avondale. Its potential closure is not just a matter for the club and the industry. It is about a community and city resource that would be lost forever. Even now, the course is valuable for more than just racing. It is the venue for a Sunday morning market, and the club leases the infield to the city council for football and cricket. Other events could be held there. If the course were closed and the club raced elsewhere, Auckland, which proclaims so often that it wishes to be known as a vibrant city full of attractions, would lose one of its entertainment options.

Can’t say I care too much.

The Press criticises ACT over its campaign:

The misleading and alarmist figures being propagated by the Party and Federated Farmers about the cost of the carbon emissions trading scheme which will start in July are a last gasp from groups that have had difficulty accepting the idea at all.

In their latest scaremongering, ACT and Federated Farmers have suggested that the financial impact of the scheme in higher fuel and electricity prices has been seriously underplayed by the Government and that consumers, and particularly farmers, are in for an unpleasant shock when the scheme begins.

And the Dom Post reserves judgement on the law:

Now that the three-strikes legislation is in place, its real trial begins.

Supporters believe it will see a drastic fall in the number of serious offences – ACT MP David Garrett, pressed on Radio New Zealand to give a figure, said he expected a 5 per cent to 10 per cent fall in violent offending in the first five years of the law’s operation.

That will be easy to assess from the crime statistics.

I believe we will see a fall in serious violent offending, but only after a few years as it takes time for people to get a first strike, let alone a second or third strike.

If the new law had been in place when Graeme Burton began his life of offending, he would have been unable to shoot and kill Wainuiomata father Karl Kuchenbecker in Lower Hutt. At the time he killed Mr Kuchenbecker, Burton had more than 100 convictions. He was on parole for an earlier murder.

Exactly.

The ODT focuses on the creation of an artifical organism:

Even in the rational world of biological science, the publication in Science of the findings of an American-based team of researchers caused considerable excitement.

A bacterial cell had been controlled by a chemically synthesised genome.

That meant that the cell began replicating and making a new set of proteins entirely controlled by man.

In the secular world, this was briefly sensational, and described somewhat effusively as the creation of the world’s first “artificial cell”. …

There is no doubt that the team employed at the J. Craig Venter Institute has achieved an important technical step towards the goal of creating artificial or synthetic life.

But we are a very long way indeed from realising some of the speculation: the construction of human limbs or body parts or even a human being in the laboratory.

That remains in the realm of fiction.

For now.

I believe that within two generations, humans will be living to 150 or older as science discovers uses for stem cells, gene therapy etc.

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15 Responses to “Editorials 27 May 2010”

  1. krazykiwi (9,186 comments) says:

    In their latest scaremongering, ACT and Federated Farmers have suggested that the financial impact of the scheme in higher fuel and electricity prices has been seriously underplayed by the Government and that consumers, and particularly farmers, are in for an unpleasant shock when the scheme begins.

    And ACT and Federated Farmers would be correct. The Press needs to pull their head out of their arse. Government always cherry-pick understated impact assessments for policy that negatively impacts voters, and the opposite for favourable policy.

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  2. MikeNZ (3,234 comments) says:

    I bet Key and co are happy someone is backing their position as no one will at the next election.
    Blaming the ETS costs on gst and other factors won’t wash as I am sure the Fed Farm will keep accurate records between now and then for everyone to peruse.

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  3. Repton (769 comments) says:

    Could be interesting to see what effect it has on environmental concerns, if the rich and powerful can reasonably expect to be alive and vigorous for over a hundred years..

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  4. mattyroo (1,029 comments) says:

    Dead right krazykiwi.

    Do you think the Press will come out and say: “We were wrong, ACT & Fed Farmers were dead right” when the cost of this stupid scheme clouts us all in the pocket?

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  5. malcolm (1,952 comments) says:

    That [the three-strikes law is successful] will be easy to assess from the crime statistics.

    I’ll be bloody hard to access from crime statistics. I support the aw but there are lots of other factors at play and the law may work, but nonetheless violent crime increases, for other reasons.

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  6. JiveKitty (778 comments) says:

    To my knowledge, the ETS raises funds to pay for the future liability inder the Kyoto Protocol, so stop complaining about the ETS and complain about the government being signed up to that. ACT policy is to withdraw from the Kyoto Protocol, however, but as far as I am aware this is not really mentioned much (I realised they mentioned the Kyoto Protocol in the op-ed, but it wasn’t in the context of ACT’s intent). They should be saying getting rid of the ETS is conditional on this, but they don’t appear to.

    It has been suggested elsewhere that they have not drawn much attention to this because it is good policy to complain about the raised costs the ETS will bring, but by the same token, they want to seem like they care about the environment. Mind you, this appears to be the same attitude of many governments: they probably don’t have the intention of meeting their obligations under the Kyoto Protocol, but they don’t want to opt out and look like they don’t care. This possibly has parallels with the UN Millenium Development Goals.

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  7. Ed Snack (1,883 comments) says:

    First, Avondale racecourse was never of “virtual equal status” with Ellerslie, it’s a nice enough course and for the horses maybe even a little better if more vulnerable to wet weather. But the Avondale Cup is/was a 2200 metre class one event with a reasonable proze, the Auckland Cup is a 3200 metre race with the largest prize in NZ for a distance race (and ignoring ludicrous 2 yr old stakes). It’s a nice large open area, if bleak and windswept in bad weather.

    As for the ETS, it will cost you more than you can imagine, and apart from the inflationary and general negative economic benefits (except for those heavily investing in the scam called carbon trading), it will have zero impact on the environment.

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  8. Fletch (6,407 comments) says:

    I don’t think Hide is right about the Super City, but he’s spot on about the ETS. There are quotes from him in Garth George’s column today –

    Here we are,” he said, “tuning up the car for peak performance, new tyres, tank full of gas, any aerodynamic impediments removed. But some silly bugger has locked the handbrake into place. The handbrake is the emissions trading scheme. The rest of the world has the handbrake off, and we have it locked on.”

    This is a folly on the scale of past National-inspired disasters. This is up there with Rob Muldoon’s attempts at central planning. It matches and surpasses Bill Birch’s disastrous think big.

    We are the odd ones out. We are sacrificing international competitiveness for the sake of nothing more than empty posturing and strutting on a now empty world stage.

    What is wrong with Key & co? They are knobbling our own country for nothing. It’s almost treasonous.

    Today’s post has been brought to you by the letters W T F.

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  9. krazykiwi (9,186 comments) says:

    They are knobbling our own country for nothing

    Oh no they’re not! There’s a purpose alright. Key will benefit personally somehow. Whether financially now or in the future, whether suring up power now or in the future. There is benefit there for sue. His traders strategist mind will have it all worked out: How to win, how to make those bearing the cost feel like they’re winning and how to keep the truth out of the public domain.

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  10. krazykiwi (9,186 comments) says:

    Ooops. “there’s benefit in there for sure”

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  11. backster (2,174 comments) says:

    The Press would have done better to explain why it was necessary for NZ to become a world leader on ETS. Why the government would press ahead with the scheme when most of the facts they claim justify it, have been exposed as fraudulent lies made by an international conspiracy of dubious experts, including some local ones. Why debate has been stifled..

    As for the Three strikes impact on statistics there will be a delay partly because it takes up to two years to get a serious case before our antiquated inefficient judicial system, during which most of the offenders are out on bail continuing their life of crime. I think there could well be a reduction in gang offending though as the word gets out. The majority of senior gang members would already qualify if previous convictions were taken into account.

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  12. Murray (8,847 comments) says:

    I take the press is mental when they describe things as being a last gasp when in fact it is clearlu growing in strength. Or has the press decided to cease to be a news agency (assuming it ever was) and come out of the closet as a political adovocacy group?

    Maybe the press should run for parliament if it wants to set government policy rather than dishinestly attempt to influence public opinion under the guise of reporting.

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  13. Rex Widerstrom (5,354 comments) says:
    If the new law had been in place when Graeme Burton began his life of offending, he would have been unable to shoot and kill Wainuiomata father Karl Kuchenbecker in Lower Hutt. At the time he killed Mr Kuchenbecker, Burton had more than 100 convictions. He was on parole for an earlier murder.

    Exactly.

    So you (and / or the DomPost) have done your research and are able to state for certain that at least three of the offences committed by Burton (excluding the murder for which he was on bail and thus, not having been convicted, would not have that as a strike against him) would have qualified as strikes and thus he would have been in jail at the time he killed Kuchenbecker?

    I have no idea. However I suspect that much of it would have been “petty” crimes which don’t come under the provisions of the Act… if someone had committed 100 serious assaults, let alone murders, they’d have been in preventive detention.

    Unless you can support these assertions with data you (and the Dom Post) are just conjecturing. Noithing wrong with that unless you state it as fact – then it becomes lying.

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  14. John Boscawen (146 comments) says:

    I categorically deny that either ACT or I have deliberately used “misleading and alarmist figures” when talking about National’s ETS.

    The opposite is the case and happened again in question time in the House this afternoon.
    With regard to agriculture I have, and continue to use, figures based on Meat & Wool NZ’s calculations that the average dairy farmer will face an ETS cost of $3,900 per annum from July 1 this year, $7800 pa from January 1 2013 and $10,200 from January 1 2015.

    By 2015 this represents 7 cents per kg of milk solids.

    Yesterday on Radio NZ Agriculture Minister David Carter finally acknowledged that the real cost to dairy farmers in 2015 would be 7cents per kg when, up until recently, he was quoting a cost of 2.5 cent per kg in 2015. He did so in a speech to the DairyNZ Forum on May 5 at Mystery Creek in Hamilton and again at the Mid-Canterbury Federated Farmers AGM in Ashburton. On that occasion I was in the audience to hear it myself.

    Incredibly, this afternoon at question time when I asked him if he stood by his statement to DairyNZ he once again contradicted himself and said ‘yes.’

    Another major misrepresentation from National is that, from July 1, the Government only stands to gain $350 million per annum from the ETS against allocations of emissions permits in the first year of $1.1billion.

    This $350m figure is a gross underestimate and excludes all of the gains the Government will make from its investment in electricity generators.

    Under the ETS, Genesis will move to recover the costs of emissions units from Huntly and will drive up the wholesale price of electricity. All generators will gain from this higher wholesale price and while I estimate that the additional gain to the Government will be at least $150 million per annum (taking its total gain to at least 500m), the NZ Climate Science Coalition put it at closer to $250m per annum (making it $600 million in total)

    Whether the Government receives this as a dividend or if it’s retained within the generators, the fact remains that the Government is getting a windfall gain which it is not disclosing to the people of New Zealand.

    Finally, the ACT party will campaign tirelessly until either the Government postpones the ETS or until June 30 to bring the true facts of the ETS to the people of New Zealand.

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  15. side show bob (3,660 comments) says:

    Hardly surprising the Press is on ACT’s case. AGW has been their love child for the last few years. Our own local rag runs at least 2 to 3 columns a wake pushing the cause for Climate Change. Talk about propaganda, the only dissenting views are those expressed by letters to the editor, I expect these are put in rather grudgingly. God forbid the people don’t get their weekly dose of AGW bullshit, they may fall off the wagon.

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