NZ most free country on earth

January 15th, 2013 at 7:51 am by David Farrar

One News reported:

New Zealanders have the most in the world, according to an international index that ranks 123 countries.

The report, which was released today by the Fraser Institute, Canada’s leading public policy think-tank, and Germany’s Liberales Institut, examines the characteristics of freedom and how it can best be measured and compared between different nations.

New Zealand was ranked number one for offering the highest level of freedom worldwide, followed by the Netherlands then Hong Kong.

Australia, Canada and Ireland tied for fourth spot, with the United States and Denmark tied for seventh.

The lowest-ranked countries were Zimbabwe, Myanmar, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Syria.

I’m surprised Sri Lanka is so low. The full report is here. They assign a score out of 10 for personal freedom and economic freedom. We get 9.2 and 8.2 respectively. On each individual factor we are ranked 2nd or 3rd, but overall 1st with 8.7. The Netherlands and Uruguay are ranked slightly higher for personal freedoms but significantly lower for economic freedoms. The only country higher for economic freedom is Hong Kong but obviously they are not so good on personal freedoms.

The median personal freedom is 7.5, economic freedom 6.9 and overall index 7.1.

The correlation between the economic freedom ratings and personal freedom ratings was 0.60. That there would be at least that level of correlation was not a surprise given theory and cruder but indicative previous attempts to discover such a relationship.

This is one of the reasons I support both. Generally countries with greater personal freedoms have greater economic freedom and vice-versa.

The factors involved in the freedom ratings and NZ scores out of 10 are:

  • Extrajudicial Killing 10
  • Torture 10
  • Political Imprisonment 10
  • Disappearance 10
  • Battle-related Deaths 10
  • Level of organized conflict 10
  • Female Genital Mutilation
  • Son Preference
  • Homicide 9.4
  • Human Trafficking 10
  • Sexual Violence 0.9
  • Assault 9.5
  • Level of perceived criminality in society 7.5
  • Theft 0
  • Burglary 0
  • Inheritance
  • Hostility to foreigners & their private property 10
  • SECURITY & SAFETY SUB-TOTAL 7.7
  • Forcibly Displaced Populations 10
  • Freedom of Foreign Movement 10
  • Freedom of Domestic Movement 10
  • Women’s Freedom of Movement
  • MOVEMENT SUB-TOTAL 10
  • Press Killings 10
  • Freedom of Speech 10
  • Laws and regulations that influence media content 9.3
  • Political pressures and controls on media content 8.8
  • Dress code in public
  • EXPRESSION SUB-TOTAL 9.5
  • Freedom of Assembly and Association 10
  • Parental Authority
  • Religion – Government Restrictions 9.6
  • Religion – Social Hostility 9.1
  • Male to Male Relationship 10
  • Female to Female Relationship 10
  • Age of Consent for Homosexual Couples 10
  • Adoption by Homosexuals
  • RELATIONSHIPS SUB-TOTAL 9.8

The authors note:

There needs to be a discussion in the main text regarding the women’s
freedom and homosexuality variables to point out that these are not
about women or homosexual activity per se, but are instead trying to
get at the extent certain groups are discriminated against under the law. Equality before the law is a key component of the classical liberal tradition. By the same token, the freedom to speak, denounce, and even privately discriminate against people is also a part of the classical liberal tradition. An expanded discussion of this nuance would be helpful. The bottom line from the classical liberal tradition is that private inequality of treatment is allowable but the government and legal system, which is based on force, must treat people equally.

Also of interest in this methodology:

This index of freedom also does not incorporate measures of democracy or “political freedom.” The reason is that democracy describes a “power relationship,” to use Fred McMahon’s term, in which freedom may increase or decrease depending on the collective decisions of the elected government. Democracy may be more consistent than other forms of government at safeguarding freedom, but it is not freedom, nor does it necessarily guarantee freedom.4 The relationship between democracy and freedom is of crucial interest to all advocates of liberty, which is all the more reason to establish an independent measure of freedom.

A key point. Just being in a democracy does not make you free. It is about far more than whether once every few years you get a vote.

An author at Crooks and Liars lauds NZ over the US, and cites our placement on a number of rankings. His or her post has been shared over 10,000 times on social media!

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125 Responses to “NZ most free country on earth”

  1. joana (1,983 comments) says:

    I don’t think many NZers appreciate this freedom..You can only appreciate freedom when you have lived without it.

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  2. Andrei (2,668 comments) says:

    You cannot have a cigarette in a bar with your beer – don’t seem very free to me.

    Nor can you ride your bike without a helmet

    Or discipline your kids in the time honoured manner

    You can even find yourself on the wrong side of the law if you cut down a tree on your very own property.

    So how’s that freedom thing really going in Godzone – very well perhaps if you’re a tofu eating urban liberal but normal people are finding their freedom of action being further curtailed on a daily basis

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  3. Dean Papa (784 comments) says:

    mickey mouse stuff

    sexual violence, I’m guessing that 0.9 should be 9?

    [DPF: No. Or at least I did not make a typo]

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  4. scrubone (3,104 comments) says:

    I’m surprised Sri Lanka is so low.

    I’m not. I have a friend who had someone go over there and “disapear”. The treatment of the Tamil minority is possibly worse than that which triggered the war in the first place.

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  5. HB (328 comments) says:

    More discussion here

    http://publicaddress.net/hardnews/on-freedom/

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  6. hmmokrightitis (1,595 comments) says:

    Hong Kong at 3, really? Im sure the inhabitants would be really pleased to hear that…

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  7. Dean Papa (784 comments) says:

    there appear to be a number of missing, or default scores

    e.g. ‘Torture’

    NZ,Denmark 10

    Oz, USA,Japan 5

    Iceland 0

    I’m guessing 0 for Iceland means a missing value?

    A similar thing with ‘Hostility to foreigners & their private property’ scores.

    NZ,Denmark, Japan 10

    Oz, USA 7.5

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  8. barry (1,317 comments) says:

    Agree re freedom.

    I used to do a lots of business in the USA – “The land of the free” as they say. Its more like the old USSR as far as rules and regulations go. Its amazing how the yanks believe the propoganda about the founding fathers statement (the land of the free) when they run into rules and regualtions and limits every day.

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  9. scrubone (3,104 comments) says:

    » Disappearance 10

    I suppose that CYFS would come under “Parental Authority”… which has no score. Hm.

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  10. Sonny Blount (1,794 comments) says:

    The rankings they are using for crime are wrong.

    NZ has, for some time, tied with the UK as the worst Western Society in victimisation rates. Esp for sexual assaults, burglary, and car conversion.

    [DPF: And you will note we have low scores for those factors]

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  11. Lipo (229 comments) says:

    There was no comment about how they ranked economic freedom, just personal freedom

    I agree with Andrei at 8:00.
    Perhaps they are confusing personal freedom with safety and other issues

    [DPF: The economic freedom score comes from another index. It is explained in the link]

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  12. wreck1080 (3,958 comments) says:

    @andre : “You cannot have a cigarette in a bar with your beer – don’t seem very free to me.”

    This comment illustrates just how free we are. Instead of talking about torture and ‘disappearing’ people we are worried about smokers being banned from smoking in bars.

    Anyway, smokers in bars is not about freedom, it is about infringing on other peoples right to clean air.

    There are always going to be certain activities which infringe on the rights of others and you can never make everyone happy in these cases.

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  13. Dean Papa (784 comments) says:

    another problem with such surveys arises from lumping all nations together. This has the effect of minimising differences between ‘like’ countries, which we might think significant in a 1-1 comparison, but is diluted when standardised to the ‘world’ average.

    e.g. homicide rates

    NZ 9.4
    USA 8.0

    yet USA has rate about 5 times that of NZ.

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  14. eszett (2,426 comments) says:

    Andrei (1,601) Says:
    January 15th, 2013 at 8:00 am

    You cannot have a cigarette in a bar with your beer – don’t seem very free to me.

    Nor can you ride your bike without a helmet

    Or discipline your kids in the time honoured manner

    That’s all you can muster? Really?

    Oh, the tyranny!

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  15. nasska (11,797 comments) says:

    Interesting that Singapore, held up by KB’s resident conservative ‘Redbaiter’ as being the greatest place in the world to live manages only 39th place with a 7.67 ave.

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  16. scrubone (3,104 comments) says:
    Or discipline your kids in the time honoured manner

    That’s all you can muster? Really?

    Oh, the tyranny!

    Pay attention.

    The law change that removed reasonable force from being considered assault under law means that discipline is essentially illegal. You can’t (in theory) touch or even threaten your child if it’s for correction as those things are now considered assault and hence child abuse. Which leaves you to talk to them and if they ignore you… well you can pick up the pieces afterwards.

    Now I would consider a parent’s right to discipline not so much a right as a responsiblity on par with making sure they’re fed and clothed. You can’t be considered a parent if you don’t discipline, hence parenting (or at least a key part of it) is now technicially illegal.

    Now we have CYFS. CYFS job is to respond to child abuse. Which I have just explained, every good parent will now be comitting. CYFS have the power to remove children from their parents. Even better, CYFS don’t actually need to rely on evidence to act. Getting those children back can take years and thousands of dollars. Nick Smith got in trouble for his actions trying to help such a family – and that was before the law was changed.

    Given that the communists used to remove children from their parents in order to control them, you can see that most parents have very little standing between them and something that is as good as being thrown in jail. I call that tyrany myself.

    I await your sneers.

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  17. Andrei (2,668 comments) says:

    esrett (and wreck1080) you miss the point entirely quelle surprise.

    This index of freedom merely reflects the values of those that compiled it and their ability to flourish in any particular society as opposed to another.

    When I have to jump through hoops and spend big money to satisfy the requirents of petty local Government apparatchiks just to put up a garden shed on my own property I do not feel free whereas our blog host, a central city apartment dweller does not particularly chaffe under council building codes I’d posit.

    In any country it is the people on top who enjoy the most freedom and those further down the feeding chains who have to go along with their masters whims

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  18. RRM (10,011 comments) says:

    Scrubone – there’s something wrong with you if you need to hit your children to keep discipline.

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  19. scrubone (3,104 comments) says:

    Scrubone – there’s something wrong with you if you need to hit your children to keep discipline.

    RRM – there’s something wrong with you if that’s your response to my comment.

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  20. RRM (10,011 comments) says:

    Our society might be judged freer still if I was allowed to hit your children too…?

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  21. scrubone (3,104 comments) says:

    RRM, a better response from you would be to point out any way that discipline can be kept without breaking the law (or playing silly games with it).

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  22. eszett (2,426 comments) says:

    Pay attention.

    Practice what you preach, scrubone.

    The law change that removed reasonable force from being considered assault under law means that discipline is essentially illegal.

    Not it doesn’t. Unless of course the only means of discipline you have available to yourself is physical assault.

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  23. RRM (10,011 comments) says:

    Our children have rooms they can be sent to if they misbehave, and they enjoy privileges that can be taken away (or threatened to be taken away) if there is bad behaviour.

    It seems to work, no violence required.

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  24. eszett (2,426 comments) says:

    In any country it is the people on top who enjoy the most freedom and those further down the feeding chains who have to go along with their masters whims

    Yes, Andrei, those people on the top can smoke their lungs out in any bar, ride home on a pushbike helmetless without impunity and beat their children to their hearts content.

    What heaven.

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  25. Kea (13,359 comments) says:

    Andrei (1,601) Says:
    January 15th, 2013 at 8:00 am

    You cannot have a cigarette in a bar with your beer – don’t seem very free to me.

    Nor can you ride your bike without a helmet

    Or discipline your kids in the time honoured manner

    That’s all you can muster? Really?

    Oh, the tyranny!

    They are actually very good examples of how petty and restrictive our laws are. Those laws are about social engineering being forced on the population by the armed state. None of it has anything to do with the government. As for smoking in bars, it was always possible to have a non-smoking bar and if most patrons had wanted that, the free market would have provided it. If we want to see the sort of state you would create, look to North Korea. I suggest you go there and die in misery, content in the fact you are in your spiritual homeland.

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  26. scrubone (3,104 comments) says:

    It seems to work, no violence required.

    And it works because your children are under the impression that you can enforce this, meaning that when you send your children to time out you are threatening them which is assault under the law.

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  27. dime (10,100 comments) says:

    love our freedom. unless of course you want to build something on your land – then the council will come into your house to check your fire alarms ffs!!!

    or if you want to cut a tree down on your own land.. cant do that without asking, begging, waiting and paying!

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  28. eszett (2,426 comments) says:

    They are actually very good examples of how petty and restrictive our laws are. Those laws are about social engineering being forced on the population by the armed state

    Not to mention that you can only cross the street on a green light.
    How petty and restrictive.

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  29. RRM (10,011 comments) says:

    Yes, I *threatened* her with tomorrow’s play date with little Sophia down the road being cancelled if she didn’t go to her room IMMEDIATELY.

    I am such a thug…

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  30. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    Naturally, the stats are based on reported crimes, and published incidences of other aspects. Those that do live in oppressed relationships, are most unlikely to have taken part in the research.

    Having said that, I would rather live here than anywhere else I’ve been, and if I didn’t feel that way, I would have moved on.

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  31. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    RRM (6,097) Says:
    January 15th, 2013 at 9:54 am

    oh no! Next you’ll be accused of having control issues!

    You are right, parenting does not need to be violent. Children respond well to boundary setting and discipline based on reward. e.g. if you behave you can go to see little Sophia.

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  32. Kea (13,359 comments) says:

    eszett, if the issues are so petty, then why were laws passed criminalising these minor matters & why do politicians feel the need to spend so much time focusing on these little things ?

    I predict you will have trouble answering that with any credibility. You can not have it both ways.

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  33. mister nui (1,030 comments) says:

    Actually, we’re 3rd in both categories.

    I was surprised that Singapore wasn’t ahead of us in economic freedom, from reading your post DPF, so I went and checked myself…. And yes, Singapore (8.75) are ahead of us (8.22)

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  34. eszett (2,426 comments) says:

    I don’t think they are petty or minor, Kea, you do.

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  35. mister nui (1,030 comments) says:

    One other thing I’m surprised about, is how Australia scored so high.

    The bureaucratic nonsense involved with business administration is unbelievable, and in no way can mean they are as close to us on an economic freedom level. As someone who operates entities in both countries, NZ is streets ahead.

    And Personal Freedom is becoming a relic of Cook’s days in Oz. They’ll have trench-coated officials standing on each corner with their little red book soon enough….

    As they say, lies, damn lies and statistics

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  36. scrubone (3,104 comments) says:

    You are right, parenting does not need to be violent. Children respond well to boundary setting and discipline based on reward. e.g. if you behave you can go to see little Sophia.

    Sophia then goes to her room and cries, next door report that she was smacked and CYFS come and take her away.

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  37. scrubone (3,104 comments) says:

    I am such a thug…

    That’s the law, you’re the one breaking it.

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  38. hj (7,063 comments) says:

    We’re a little too free when Cooper of harcourts Shanghai laments that New Zealander’s can’t afford “high end property”, in their own country. It is laws allowed by those who are supposed to be working for their constituents who allow (encourage) such a process.

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  39. hj (7,063 comments) says:

    Last night on Choice TV “Great Cities” a Btrit in HK said.. “the taxes are low” and “MrForbes gets it wrong with his rich lists. I know those HK’rs have much more than that”.

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  40. Kea (13,359 comments) says:

    eszett, so forcing people to wear cycle helmets is serious stuff to you? Are you aware of the studies that contradict that ? That law was not passed based on facts, but because busy-body woman lobbying government on her own personal crusade. But of course you do not care about people. Your sort are driven by a perverted desire to control others and impose your will on your fellow man.

    What evidence is there that cycle helmets save lives?

    There is no direct evidence that the wearing of cycle helmets has led to fewer deaths amongst cyclists. Most research into cycle helmets has not included cyclist fatalities.

    The premise that helmets save lives is by extrapolation from research that has suggested that helmets might reduce injuries to the head. As most fatalities involve head injury (this applies to all major external causes of violent death, not especially cycling), the reasoning is that by reducing injuries to the head, cycle helmets can lead to fewer cyclist deaths.

    Whole population data

    Whole population statistics for cycling fatalities do not support the above hypothesis.

    Long-term analyses of fatalities in Canada (Burdett, Can), New Zealand (Burdett, NZ) and USA (Kunich, 2002; Rodgers, 1988) show no helmet benefit; indeed, one study (Rodgers, 1988) suggests helmeted cyclists are more likely to be killed. Although fatality rates have generally declined, cyclists have fared no better than pedestrians. In Great Britain, too, there has been no discernible improvement in fatality trends relative to pedestrians as helmets have become more common (BHRF, 1071; Hewson, 2005).

    http://www.cyclehelmets.org/1012.html

    You will find plenty of other studies online.

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  41. Griff (8,177 comments) says:

    A point of freedom is the fact that our most debated freedom on this post is to hit your child
    In many other countries you would be arrested and jailed for far less then the range of typical daily discussion on KB
    America could have placed iti and co into jail with no trail or legal process

    Fred dag
    I was speaking to a mate of mine just the other day
    A guy called Bruce Bayliss actually who lives up our way
    He’s been living in Europe for the year, more or less
    I said “How was Europe, Bruce?”
    He says “Fred, it’s a mess”
    We don’t know how lucky we are, mate
    We don’t know how lucky we are

    I was down the Plough and Chequebook the night before last
    There’s a guy down there on the floor with his brain at half-mast
    I said “You’re looking really bad mate your eyes look like strings”
    He says “Get me an eight will you please I can’t see a thing”
    We don’t know how lucky we are, mate
    We don’t know how lucky we are

    Me stock agent’s got a beach place where he spends most of his days
    His wife bit the dust down there last year got eaten by a couple of crays
    And his two littlest daughters got killed by a whale
    I said “Are you going down there this year mate?”
    He says “Fred, right on the nail”
    “We don’t know how fortunate we are to have that place
    We don’t know how propitious are the circumstances Frederick”

    So if things are looking really bad and you’re thinking of givin’ it away
    Remember New Zealand’s a cracker and I reckon come what may
    If things get appallingly bad and we all get atrociously poor
    If we stand in the queue with our hats on we can borrow a few million more
    We don’t know how lucky we are, mate
    We don’t know how lucky we are

    Me father-in-law’s been feeling
    pretty pleased with himself:
    He’s been living in Greece
    for the good of his health.
    I said, “How was the climate?
    And how was your year?”
    He says, “The climate’s too hot,
    you can’t get a beer,
    The sheilas look like blokes, and of course
    the blokes are all queer,
    and if you want a really good time,
    you might as well live here.”

    We don’t know how lucky we are, mate
    We don’t know how lucky we are.

    circa 1975

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  42. Paul G. Buchanan (294 comments) says:

    I am pleased to see the study confirm my belief that NZ is “freer” than the US (and that Uruguay is also rated high on the personal freedom index). I say so because I have lived at length here (and in Uruguay) and yet have had a very hard time explaining to US friends that they are not as free as they think they are (or which their nationalist propaganda tells them they are). Having said that, and in line with some of the quibbles mentioned above about NZ’s ranking on various criteria, I must disagree with the notion that when it comes to political prisoners NZ scores at 0 (as in no such thing). Zaoui’s long-term detention without charge, Tim Selwyn’s sedition conviction and the Urewera prosecution (which involved much more than the eventual conviction of four defendants and imprisonment of two), are clear indication that NZ does in fact arrest and imprison people for political reasons. So even though NZ still would have a very low score on that particular criterion, I do not think that it rates a 0. Incidentally, all of the detentions/prosecutions I mention above were initiated by the 5th Labour government, so there can be no claims that the National government is the originator of politically-motivated detentions or has behaved any worse than its predecessor on that score.

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  43. scrubone (3,104 comments) says:

    A point of freedom is the fact that our most debated freedom on this post is to hit your child

    Actually the biggest takeaway from this thread is that there are people who are willing to call reasonable child disciplne violent child abuse and don’t actually care about the very real results that have potentially serious condequences for our freedom.

    People have taken the opportunity to spout their “smacking is child abuse” crap (which, let’s face it, no one actually is stupid enough to believe) and have ignored that even without that, CYFS still can completely destroy the life of any family without evidence. The smacking law change just made it a hell of a lot easier.

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  44. scrubone (3,104 comments) says:

    are clear indication that NZ does in fact arrest and imprison people for political reasons.

    Selwyn put an axe through a window. Zaoui was trying to get into the country illegally. The Urewera lot were planning for armed combat.

    Of course, political prisioners are usually prisoned on some excuse but in these cases the crimes were very real. Luckly we do have a pretty good justice system which isn’t swayed by politicians.

    Which brings me back to my earlier point – because the whole point of the S59 changes, and the problem with CYFS is that the courts are subverted and the power placed in the hands of Police or CYFS whims.

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  45. Dean Papa (784 comments) says:

    those zeroes might be missing values, there seems to be some confusion in that report

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  46. kiwi in america (2,508 comments) says:

    I just posted this over at Crooks and Liars
    “Im a dual national raised in NZ but living in the US for the last 7 years. I love both countries but live in the US because it is much easier to be an entreprenuer in America. Its true that NZ govt agencies are easier and quicker to deal with but its the attitudes to business of the respective peoples that are 180 degree opposites. In NZ if you succeed in business there is a good chunk of the population that are envious to the point of casting aspersions as to how you got there-a definite ‘crabs in the bucket’ or tall poppy syndrome whereas Americans laud business success by praising and admiring entreprenuers and leaving them to enjoy their success with none of the snide comments you can cop in NZ. Likewise with business failure-in NZ it is an almost permanent black mark with business peers with seemingly elephantine memories whilst Americans are sanguine about failure seeing it as a learning curve and stepping stone to success associating almost none of the stigma that kiwis attach to prior failure.

    Business success and entreprenuerial risk is part of the American DNA. Fathers teach their sons, colleges have more pratical hands on training and capital markets foster a mature and developed venture capital industry. In NZ it is an uphill battle – the public perception issue, poor venture capital markets, higher cost structures and a minute domestic market to cut your teeth on and the tyranny of distance. NZ has produced some remarkable entrepreneurs who have risen high above these odds but for each one there are two expats driven to more vibrant and pro-entreprenuerial jusristictions such as Australia, the US and the UK. NZ is a stunning place and sports a great lifestyle but its growth rate over the decades is easily outstripped by its Anglophile peers and so its standard of living in comparison with its peers is on a very slow and gradually widening gap especially with Australia.

    Finally I quesion some of the stats in the study. Apart from the homicide rate, almost all US states sport lower crime rates for violent and sexual assaults, vehicle theft and burglaries than NZ some substantially lower. Even the homocide rate if you take the high and low murder rates in NZ over the last 10 years between 10 and 25 US states even have lower murder rates.”

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  47. Paul G. Buchanan (294 comments) says:

    Sorry Scrubone, but your blinkers are showing.

    Selwyn was charged with sedition (by definition a political crime), not destruction of property, vandalism or assault. He was jailed for nearly two years. Zaoui did nothing illegal–he declared his intention to seek refuge upon arrival, and followed UN protocols in doing so. He was jailed for nearly two years without charge and eventually all claims against him were withdrawn. The Urewera crowd had no plan of action nor had the type of discipline, training and organization required to engage in guerrilla warfare. Their bellicose talk was all smoke and no fire purportedly fueled by alcohol and reefer (and mental instability in the case of one of the original arrestees). The original 18 defendants were held in pre-trial detention for various lengths of time and subjected to a variety of restrictive bail conditions before charges were dropped against 12 of them many months later. Iti and Kemara were eventually sentenced to 2.5 years in prison although they never hurt anyone (common criminals get less for assault) , More generally, they were doing nothing that neo-nazis do not do on a regular basis.

    Yet all were the focus of State persecution because of the political motivation behind their (alleged) crimes. Like I said before, it is a very small number of people. But that is still more than zero, and unless a 0 score in this index allows for a small number of political prisoners, then the NZ score is wrong. Whatever, as has been mentioned by others, there are obvious discrepancies in some of the values assigned.

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  48. eszett (2,426 comments) says:

    Kea (1,604) Says:
    January 15th, 2013 at 10:47 am

    eszett, so forcing people to wear cycle helmets is serious stuff to you?

    Not smoking in bars and not beating children certainly is. You seem to think they are petty issues. But I am not surprised that you focus on the cycle helmets, a much easier argument to make

    Are you aware of the studies that contradict that ?That law was not passed based on facts, but because busy-body woman lobbying government on her own personal crusade.

    Are you aware of studies that don’t? Or do you read only stuff that proves your own personal point of view.

    But of course you do not care about people. Your sort are driven by a perverted desire to control others and impose your will on your fellow man.

    Really? How did you get to that conclusion? Just because I don’t share your point of view?
    Funny isn’t it, that attitude of yours is exactly what you are describing, trying to impose your will on you fellow man by trying to dehumanise and marginalise his opinion.

    What a fine specimen of freedom-loving rightwinger you are

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  49. Graeme Edgeler (3,290 comments) says:

    Iti and Kemara were eventually sentenced to 2.5 years in prison although they never hurt anyone (common criminals get less for assault)

    Assault is less serious than the arms act offences with which they were charged, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that sentences for assault are lower.

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  50. lastmanstanding (1,300 comments) says:

    All freedom fighters like myself and others who post here and on other sites have to keep our collective feet on the throats of all pollies and their lap dogs and continue to apply the blow torch to their Y fronts.
    Give any of them an inch and they will take a mile. Never ever trust a pollie a civil servant and you will never be disappointed.
    All of them are only ever a step away from reducing the citizens to slaves.
    We only have our freedom for as long as we continue to fight for it.

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  51. Graeme Edgeler (3,290 comments) says:

    Incidentally, all of the detentions/prosecutions I mention above were initiated by the 5th Labour government, so there can be no claims that the National government is the originator of politically-motivated detentions or has behaved any worse than its predecessor on that score.

    If you’ve any evidence of this, you should publish it, because while it might be correct to claim that the detentions/prosecutions were initiated *under* the 5th Labour government, evidence they were initiated *by* the 5th Labour government might well get some convictions overturned.

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  52. scrubone (3,104 comments) says:

    Sorry Scrubone, but your blinkers are showing.

    Well, someone’s are.

    Selwyn was charged with sedition (by definition a political crime), not destruction of property, vandalism or assault. He was jailed for nearly two years.

    Yet he did comit a crime. You quibble is that he was charged with sedition not vandalism. But he had comitted a crime so that’s semantics – he was in jail having comitted a real crime.

    Zaoui did nothing illegal–he declared his intention to seek refuge upon arrival, and followed UN protocols in doing so. He was jailed for nearly two years without charge and eventually all claims against him were withdrawn.

    Sorry, I was trying to be brief and didn’t state my point on Zaoui very well. Zaoui’s problem was that he was trying to get into the country – i.e. his was an immigration problem not a criminal one. So him not being charged is somewhat irrelevant, and the fact he was wanted in other countries means that his detention was reasonable.

    The Urewera crowd had no plan of action nor had the type of discipline, training and organization required to engage in guerrilla warfare.

    I don’t deny they lacked discipline etc, but the idea that because the group didn’t admit to a plan of action doesn’t mean one didn’t exist in the leadership or would never have existed in the future. They weren’t stockpiling weapons for a game of tiddlywinks.

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  53. scrubone (3,104 comments) says:

    Iti and Kemara were eventually sentenced to 2.5 years in prison although they never hurt anyone

    As Graeme points out they were convicted of the most serious firearms offenses on the books. But you probably believe them when they stood in front of the media and told everyone that their convictions were trivial.

    Here’s the thing: they lied. They lied about that, and they lied about a lot more besides.

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  54. Paul G. Buchanan (294 comments) says:

    Fine Graham, let it be “under” then. If you do not think that political or diplomatic considerations factored into the equation in each instance, then you are as naive as you are a stickler when it comes to terminology.

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  55. Paul G. Buchanan (294 comments) says:

    Scrubone:

    “Sedition” is a political crime. The SIS initially (and falsely) claimed that Zaoui was a terrorist, and tried to build a case to that effect based upon the most specious of “evidence.” It failed. I take the point about the arms charges being serious, but quite frankly, that was over the top. As for stockpiling weapons by this group–no such thing happened. The weapons used were those accumulated by a few individuals prior to the camps being held, and is something that is common practice in Tuhoe country. Hence the selective prosecution of these individuals indicates something else–dare I say something political–was at play.

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  56. scrubone (3,104 comments) says:

    “Sedition” is a political crime.

    Granted, up to a point. The fact is, he demonstrated his opposition to the government by an act of violence.

    Also, you implied that he was jailed for 2 years for sedition. He was not. He got two months for sedition, and 15 months for “dishonesty charges, including obtaining passports, birth certificates, benefits and four Inland Revenue Department numbers under the names of dead people”.

    In the two other cases, people were charged and as evidence came out or was eliminated the charges were dropped. That’s not policial interference – quite the opposite.

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  57. EverlastingFire (286 comments) says:

    Many people aren’t free at all in NZ – they’re shackled to the expansive welfare state. There should also be a category for nanny statism, which we would fail abysmally. Freedom of speech? As long as you’re compliant.

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  58. Nookin (3,462 comments) says:

    “Sedition” is a political crime. ”

    I thought it was repealed in 2008?

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  59. Paul G. Buchanan (294 comments) says:

    Scrubone:

    I stand corrected on the amount of time he did on dishonesty charges. But how did that get lumped in with the sedition charge? Was he tried twice (one for each offense), or were all of the charges presented in one trial. I do not recall there being more than one trial, and if that is the case, it would seem odd to lump the two types of charge together. What would be the reasoning for doing so?

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  60. Paul G. Buchanan (294 comments) says:

    Nookin:

    Selwyn was the last person charged, tried and convicted for sedition in NZ.

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  61. Kea (13,359 comments) says:

    that attitude of yours is exactly what you are describing, trying to impose your will on you fellow man by trying to dehumanise and marginalise his opinion.

    How is giving someone “freedom of choice” imposing my will on my fellow man ?

    You are the one advocating that the state force your will on others. In my world you could wear a helmet, not go to smoking bars and be free to whack your kids, if you really thought it was a good idea. You probably do like a bit of violence to enforce your will on others, because that is what the police will do to enforce the laws you advocate. “Reasonable Force” is simply as much force as it takes, but no more. Another words, do what it takes. Try riding past a cop with no helmet, then refuse to stop, and do what it takes to ride with no helmet. See what happens. Then get back to me.

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  62. Kea (13,359 comments) says:

    Paul G. Buchanan, would you be writing all that if all the circumstances were the same BUT it were a ultra right wing white nationalist group ?

    I bet you would not be. Your full of shit.

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  63. scrubone (3,104 comments) says:

    What would be the reasoning for doing so?

    I assume that when they started investigating him, they discovered the other things. It happens.

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  64. Paulus (2,661 comments) says:

    Wait until the middle class, wasp, well overseas educated, stop everything, Greenpeace Party take over in 2014 – then watch the change.

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  65. scrubone (3,104 comments) says:

    I bet you would not be. Your full of shit.

    I’d watch it Paul, there are few people I’ve known who know more about being full of it than Kea does.

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  66. Nookin (3,462 comments) says:

    Noted, Paul. He was the guy who took an axe to the electorate office, was he not? In the context of the debate, however the issue is that “New Zealanders have ….”. The repeal of the offence is therefore significant. Forgive me if I have misunderstood the tenor of the thread.

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  67. Paul G. Buchanan (294 comments) says:

    Kea:

    I appreciated your articulate and reasoned reply, but the subject of my comments has been the issue of political prisoners in NZ, not the comparative (de)merits of armed neo-nazis versus lefties and maori nationalists. I was not aware of your expertise with excrement until Scrubone so nicely pointed that fact out.

    Nookin: You are absolutely right about the significance of the repeal of the sedition law. The Urewera raids occurred a month after the repeal, and at that time I speculated that the police attempt to invoke the Terrorism Suppression Act against the Urewera 18 was the cops way of saying that without the sedition law their choice was reduced to either Terrorism or nothing (or relatively minor criminal charges). They wound up with the latter, since they could not make the armed criminal conspiracy charge stick. Either way, the who and why of the raids indicate to me that there was a very clear political motivation in play, not only by the defendants but by the State as well.

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  68. mikenmild (11,709 comments) says:

    I think Paul simply made a very reasonable point that there has been a political dimension to some recent cases in New Zealand. It is to our country’s credit, however, that the sedition offence is now absent from the statute books, Mr Zauoi is freely living here and the Urewera ‘terrorists’ were all released apart from those convicted on arms charges.

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  69. eszett (2,426 comments) says:

    You are the one advocating that the state force your will on others. In my world you could wear a helmet, not go to smoking bars and be free to whack your kids, if you really thought it was a good idea. You probably do like a bit of violence to enforce your will on others, because that is what the police will do to enforce the laws you advocate. “Reasonable Force” is simply as much force as it takes, but no more. Another words, do what it takes. Try riding past a cop with no helmet, then refuse to stop, and do what it takes to ride with no helmet. See what happens. Then get back to me.

    Really Kea? You don’t want the state to force anything on anyone?
    Or just the things that you personally agree with? Do you think traffic lights and speed limits and seat belts are all forcing things upon you by the evil state and you wish them abolished? I doubt it.

    You already accept all that, but hey, when someone advocates wearing bicycle helmets, then they “do not care about people” and “are driven by a perverted desire to control others and impose their will on your fellow man.”

    A prime example of the ridiculous hyperbole that you are prone to.

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  70. Andrei (2,668 comments) says:

    Or just the things that you personally agree with? Do you think traffic lights and speed limits and seat belts are all forcing things upon you by the evil state and you wish them abolished?

    No there are laws that keep us safe from each other and that we all agree to abide by for the common good, like stopping for a red traffic light.

    On the other hand if I do not wear a helmet when I am riding my bike the only person that effects is myself and then only if I bump my head so that is unneccessarily intrusive.

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  71. mikenmild (11,709 comments) says:

    The law about cycle helmets, although a silly one, is a little bit inconsequential in a discussion of personal freedom.

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  72. eszett (2,426 comments) says:

    I agree, mike. I am pretty indifferent to the cycle helmet law and I don’t see it as either a huge benefit or a huge infringement on personal liberty. After having seen someone sustaining a brain injury by falling of a bike a speed and being affected by it for life, I do think it is a prudent measure, but a volunatry one would be justa s good.

    I find it however hilarious when people like Kea make claims that advocates of such a law “don’t care about people” and are “out to control people” That’s just downright silly and spurious.

    @andrei, do you feel the same way about seat belts and motorcycle helmets? The principle is very much the same.

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  73. Rex Widerstrom (5,354 comments) says:

    I’m surprised so few people seem to grasp the point Kea is making. Perhaps the argument needs to be reversed.

    I am not free to purchase the country’s most expensive medical insurance and then choose to ride a bicycle without a helmet.

    I am not free to purchase licensed premises, undertake works to ensure that the air inside is filtered before being discharged outside, and offer the place as a refuge for smokers who want a cigarette with their beer.

    In some instances I am not free to purchase a property and then to fell (or even just top) some trees so as to improve my amenity.

    And that’s just a sample. In all these instances I am harming no one else, and am prepared to pay to ensure that I do not. Yet not only is there passive enforcement (my inability to get a licence to run my bar) but active enforcement of the dimunition of my rights.

    And if you think being fined for not wearing a helmet is “inconsequential” then you haven’t been put through the system for non-payment of fines, where you’ll find real equality – your parking tickets and cycle helmet fines will see you treated in exactly the same way as someone fined for, say, a minor assault on someone else.

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  74. scrubone (3,104 comments) says:

    I agree Rex. There are a lot of laws that put restrictions on people to try and improve society that:
    a) do no such thing
    b) ignore the fact we’re supposed to be a free society and
    c) in sum total end up placing quite a burden on those wishing to remain lawful.

    Ultimatly, the assumption behind many people participating in public debates is that our government is all powerful and can change any aspect of society it likes. While this is just the way people debate in theory, in pratice that goes directly against the freedom of our society – yet that theory comes into parliment more often than not.

    Yes, we are among the most free countries in the world. But that doesn’t mean we have the balance right.

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  75. Kea (13,359 comments) says:

    Kea:

    I appreciated your articulate and reasoned reply, but the subject of my comments has been the issue of political prisoners in NZ,

    Opposing the government does not make you a political prisoner. I note you avoided my question. Consider it answered.

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  76. Paul G. Buchanan (294 comments) says:

    Sorry Kea, but since your question was irrelevant to the subject, I neglected to answer it to your excremental satisfaction.

    Your betting on how I would respond would be wrong. I have already stated that the Urewera crowd should be treated no differently than armed neo-nazis, which is as hopeless fantasists without a snowball’s chance in hell of succeeding in doing anything even remotely close to something existentially dangerous to the NZ state or public. And if the Urewera performance troupe played loose with arms regulations and were charged for that, then I would certainly hope that neo-nazis would receive the same level of scrutiny and treatment by the police and Crown. After all, that is only being fair and balanced, don’t you think?

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  77. mikenmild (11,709 comments) says:

    Paul
    Your quote ‘don’t you think?’ aptly sums up my reaction to most of Kea’s questions.

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  78. Griff (8,177 comments) says:

    Squawk
    Seems to get a lot of praise for his logical and informed debate :lol:

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  79. Kea (13,359 comments) says:

    Thanks for noticing Griff. Though I don’t get so much from lefty posers and pretenders who I can see straight through.

    Please enjoy your joint, its good weather for it. :)

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  80. eszett (2,426 comments) says:

    Rex Widerstrom (4,868) Says:
    January 15th, 2013 at 2:43 pm

    I’m surprised so few people seem to grasp the point Kea is making. Perhaps the argument needs to be reversed.

    I am not free to purchase the country’s most expensive medical insurance and then choose to ride a bicycle without a helmet.

    Neither are you choose to ride a motorcycle without a helmet or drive a car without wearing a seat belt.

    I am not free to purchase licensed premises, undertake works to ensure that the air inside is filtered before being discharged outside, and offer the place as a refuge for smokers who want a cigarette with their beer.

    You can offer an outside deck or a covered premises. Smokers, as myself, are quite happy and content with the current ability to enjoy a smoke and a drink at the same time.

    There are also a number of other health and safety measures that you have to undertake to protect your employees in order to run a bar.

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  81. Kea (13,359 comments) says:

    eszett, your still not getting the point. The correct default position is it is not the governments business. Same for helmets and seat belts, though “I choose” to wear both.

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  82. RightNow (6,995 comments) says:

    Paul G. Buchanan (284) Says:
    January 15th, 2013 at 11:05 am

    …Having said that, and in line with some of the quibbles mentioned above about NZ’s ranking on various criteria, I must disagree with the notion that when it comes to political prisoners NZ scores at 0 (as in no such thing)

    all of the detentions/prosecutions I mention above were initiated by the 5th Labour government

    It’s very likely because all of those things you cite happened some years ago, probably before the period of consideration for this recent report.

    WRT to other comments about personal freedom being impinged on by mandated health/safety requirements, it’s clearly a balancing act.
    Some would say we should be free to load ourselves up on alcohol and drugs and then get behind the wheel of a ton of metal.
    Some would say we should be free from the risk of idiots loading themselves up on alcohol and drugs and then getting behind the wheel of a ton of metal.

    A balancing act.

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  83. Kea (13,359 comments) says:

    That balancing act is helped by considering if a serious and clear risk is imposed on others, by the action under consideration. Passive smoking does not pass that test, or even come close to it btw.

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  84. Kea (13,359 comments) says:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xR_X61uCgXM

    A celebration of freedom and the human spirit

    [warning, maybe offensive to eszett and assorted authoritarians]

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  85. Griff (8,177 comments) says:

    Passive smoking does not pass that test, or even come close to it btw.
    :lol:

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  86. RightNow (6,995 comments) says:

    Kea, agreed on the passive smoking subject.
    I see the reasons for the ban as 1) to deter active smokers from smoking (altruistically since tax revenue on smokes outweighs costs of healthcare for smokers) and 2) because some people don’t like the smell of smoke.
    I don’t think either of those reasons should outweigh the rights of the owner of a premises to allow people to smoke indoors if they so wish. Those people that object to the smell are free not to enter the premises.
    I think the balance in that case should swing towards personal choice since there’s no inherent risk to others.

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  87. Kea (13,359 comments) says:

    That is right Griff. Go check the science. The idea that passive smoking is harmful, was based on a flawed study that was in turn misused by the anti smoking lobby. Yeah I know it is not what anti smoking zealots told you, but it is the truth.

    There seems to be a pattern here Griffy…

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  88. Andrei (2,668 comments) says:

    I see the reasons for the ban as 1) to deter active smokers from smoking (altruistically since tax revenue on smokes outweighs costs of healthcare for smokers)

    Altruistically my ass, they simply raised the excise on tobacco, I do believe we are a world leader in the amount of duty collected on tobacco.

    Tobacco is a prototype for BIG GOVERNMENT to impede any successful capitalistic enterprise. Tobacco use being slightly sinful it is a useful place to start but fast food is in their sights and in New York and California the intrusive laws have already started to be passed and after fast food well no successful business model will be safe

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  89. eszett (2,426 comments) says:

    Kea (1,627) Says:
    January 15th, 2013 at 4:45 pm

    eszett, your still not getting the point. The correct default position is it is not the governments business. Same for helmets and seat belts, though “I choose” to wear both.

    And yet you don’t argue against the enforcement of seat belts or motorcycle helmets. Only on bicycle helmets. Funny that.

    Passive smoking does not pass that test, or even come close to it btw.

    LOL. Biggest bull ever. More of your anti-science stance where it contradicts your beliefs.

    Typical ostrich-libertarian position. When facts become uncomfortable, stick your head in the sand and ignore. Oh yeah, and call everyone else authoritarians.

    Name calling seems to be your favourite defense, Kea
    .

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  90. Pete George (23,683 comments) says:

    “The idea that passive smoking is harmful, was based on a flawed study that was in turn misused by the anti smoking lobby.”

    That’s an amazing claim. It’s the non-harmful studies that have proven to be flawed.

    Most experts conclude that moderate, occasional exposure to second-hand smoke presents a modest but measurable cancer risk to nonsmokers. The overall risk depends on the effective dose received over time. The risk level is higher if non-smokers spend many hours in an environment where cigarette smoke is widespread, such as a business where many employees or patrons are smoking throughout the day, or a residential care facility where residents smoke freely

    There is widespread scientific consensus that exposure to second-hand smoke is harmful. The link between passive smoking and health risks is accepted by every major medical and scientific organisation, including:

    The World Health Organization: The governments of 168 nations have signed and currently 174 have ratified the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, which states that “Parties recognize that scientific evidence has unequivocally established that exposure to tobacco smoke causes death, disease and disability.”
    The U.S. National Institutes of Health
    The Centers for Disease Control
    The United States Surgeon General
    The U.S. National Cancer Institute
    The United States Environmental Protection Agency
    The California Environmental Protection Agency
    The American Heart Association,[ American Lung Association,[101] and American Cancer Society
    The American Medical Association
    The American Academy of Pediatrics
    The Australian National Health and Medical Research Council
    The United Kingdom Scientific Committee on Tobacco and Health

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Passive_smoking#Opinion_of_public_health_authorities

    And similar smoking industry tactics have been repeated by CO2 denial interests.

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  91. Kea (13,359 comments) says:

    And yet you don’t argue against the enforcement of seat belts or motorcycle helmets. Only on bicycle helmets. Funny that.

    Tut tut tut, must not tell lies. I am against the state forcing people to wear those things.

    Most experts conclude that moderate, occasional exposure to second-hand smoke presents a modest …

    Oh good, I agree with the “experts” then. :)

    Of course it is dose related. People can (& surprisingly do) kill themselves by drinking too much water. That does not give the armed state the right to restrict our use of water.

    Lack of exercise & poor diet kills more people now than smoking. Should the government force us to exercise and only eat state approved foods, even in private property like your home ? If not why not ?

    You people who put government on a pedestal really are the lowest form of human life. It is people like you who are directly and wholly responsible for every single large scale war and human rights abuse. You are not motivated by concern or compassion, but by power and control.

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  92. Kea (13,359 comments) says:

    And similar smoking industry tactics have been repeated by CO2 denial interests.

    People deny co2 ? Really ?

    I am glad none of the scientists who dispute AGW think like that. Certainly the ones I have linked to do not.

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  93. Pete George (23,683 comments) says:

    ” The idea that passive smoking is harmful, was based on a flawed study that was in turn misused by the anti smoking lobby.”

    Which study do you claim was flawed? And used by whom specifically?

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  94. mikenmild (11,709 comments) says:

    Passive smoking presents a health risk to me which I am glad is mitigated by the rules against smoking in most public premises. Other people eating fast food or not exercising does not affect me in a similar manner, although I am happy to consider measures to encourage exercise and reduce the consumption of fast food on the grounds that this behaviour imposes additional burdens on our socialised health system.
    But perhaps we can move away from Kea’s stupidity (which, annoying as it is, does not really affect me) and back to the point of the post. Is NZ the freest country on Earth? Seems so, if all we can gripe about is laws against passive smoking and riding bicycles without a helment.

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  95. Griff (8,177 comments) says:

    Its the same source pg MM
    Heartland and even some of the anti science experts
    Thats why I cracked up squawks. Believes any spin hes feed
    Simple minds :lol:

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  96. Kea (13,359 comments) says:

    No NZ is not even close to being the freest country. It is full of dreary broken spirited socialists who want central government control over every aspect of our lives. You can see these vile little freaks of nature all over KB spewing their filth. People often wonder, stupidly, how Hitler or Mao did those terrible things?. Well they did not do them. They simply sold socialism to the likes of eszett & mikenmild, and they committed all the horrors with great joy.

    Sounds a bit far fetched does it ?, well the alternative is to believe that some cultures or races are naturally evil. The fact is those people are in a society all the time, and all they need is to be given power. You don’t really think they “care” do you !!!

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  97. Andrei (2,668 comments) says:

    Which study do you claim was flawed? And used by whom specifically?

    It was a WHO funded study done in the 1980s by a French group using 17000 subjects from across Western Europe.

    They considered three groups of “passive smokers”

    (1) Children whose parents smoked

    (2) People whose spouses smoked but they didn’t

    (3) Non smokers who worked in smoky environments eg bars

    Non of the groups showed any difference in health outcome according to the standard rules of statistical significance so they lowered the threashold of acheiving statistical significance

    Then the children of smokers did better than the children of non smokers, oops – so they dropped them

    The spouses of smokers and the workers did slightly worse so the trumpeted that and Government nannies passed the laws they desired to pass using this as justification.

    Of course the whole thing is so embarrasing from a scientifc standpoint that after acheiving its aims it was quietly deep sixed though somewhere I do have a copy.

    WE live in an age of intellectual dishonesty

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  98. Kea (13,359 comments) says:

    Andrei, cheers for that. I could not be bothered. All they care about is control of other people. Every thread we get them pushing the same line: more power to the state & less to us.

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  99. Pete George (23,683 comments) says:

    The 1980s is a long time ago, I won’t bother checking that out.

    More recently from WHO:

    In 2004, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) of the World Health Organization (WHO) reviewed all significant published evidence related to tobacco smoking and cancer. It concluded:

    These meta-analyses show that there is a statistically significant and consistent association between lung cancer risk in spouses of smokers and exposure to second-hand tobacco smoke from the spouse who smokes. The excess risk is of the order of 20% for women and 30% for men and remains after controlling for some potential sources of bias and confounding.

    Subsequent meta-analyses have confirmed these findings, and additional studies have found that high overall exposure to passive smoke even among people with non-smoking partners is associated with greater risks than partner smoking and is widespread in non-smokers.

    And from France…

    …exposure to second-hand smoke has been estimated to cause between 3,000 and 5,000 premature deaths per year, with the larger figure cited by Prime minister Dominique de Villepin during his announcement of a nationwide smoke-free law

    Have there been any studies this century that claim no harm from second hand smoke?

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  100. Kea (13,359 comments) says:

    PG, it is not a question of – if – it causes harm, but the level of risk. Breathing causes harm, as do many other essential things. Sugar and High Fructose Corn Syrup cause way more harm than passive smoking, but we don’t see them banned, though they are working on that too.

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  101. Pete George (23,683 comments) says:

    If you’re interested in the 80s this is from tobacco compoany research:

    Philip Morris toxicological experiments with fresh sidestream smoke: more toxic than mainstream smoke

    Background: Exposure to secondhand smoke causes lung cancer; however, there are little data in the open literature on the in vivo toxicology of fresh sidestream cigarette smoke to guide the debate about smoke-free workplaces and public places.

    Objective: To investigate the unpublished in vivo research on sidestream cigarette smoke done by Philip Morris Tobacco Company during the 1980s at its Institut für Biologische Forschung (INBIFO).

    Methods: Analysis of internal tobacco industry documents now available at the University of California San Francisco Legacy Tobacco Documents Library and other websites.

    Results: Inhaled fresh sidestream cigarette smoke is approximately four times more toxic per gram total particulate matter (TPM) than mainstream cigarette smoke. Sidestream condensate is approximately three times more toxic per gram and two to six times more tumourigenic per gram than mainstream condensate by dermal application. The gas/vapour phase of sidestream smoke is responsible for most of the sensory irritation and respiratory tract epithelium damage. Fresh sidestream smoke inhibits normal weight gain in developing animals. In a 21day exposure, fresh sidestream smoke can cause damage to the respiratory epithelium at concentrations of 2 µg/l TPM. Damage to the respiratory epithelium increases with longer exposures. The toxicity of whole sidestream smoke is higher than the sum of the toxicities of its major constituents.

    Conclusion: Fresh sidestream smoke at concentrations commonly encountered indoors is well above a 2 µg/m3 reference concentration (the level at which acute effects are unlikely to occur), calculated from the results of the INBIFO studies, that defines acute toxicity to humans. Smoke-free public places and workplaces are the only practical way to protect the public health from the toxins in sidestream smoke.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1748121/

    They knew it, they denied it, and they kept knowingly poisoning and killing people.

    Tobacco denialism has involved very similar tactics to climate denialism and evolution denialism.

    They knew how to suck in the gullible as well as they sucked on the fags.

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  102. Pete George (23,683 comments) says:

    Kea, the level of risk from smoking and passive smoke is now very widely accepted as being too high to allow smokers to inflict their choice of poison on other people.

    And yes, the same profit making motives are often behind pushing dangerous levels of sugars on gullible consumers. Advertising/brainwashing that promotes gross overconsumption should be a huge concern.

    Profit at any cost has to be confronted or we will euthanise our species.

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  103. Kea (13,359 comments) says:

    Tobacco denialism has involved very similar tactics to climate denialism and evolution denialism.

    Rubbish. They are three totally different topics with different forces driving them. Though the first two are largely about money. Both Tobacco and AGW are big business. However, Tobacco is small fry compared to the money flying around AGW.

    The term “denialism” is a nonsense term used to shut down debate and nothing more. I have a nest of magic dragons living in my garden, I ride them around the sky at night. Do you all believe that? Well if you don’t it is DENIALISM !!!!

    Or course that is silly, but no more silly than to apply the same logic to AGW or anything else.

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  104. Pete George (23,683 comments) says:

    Using a common term has nothing to do with shutting down debate, that’s a nonsense claim.

    As for nonsense claims, you’ve provided no supporting evidence for you’re Kea. Saying you “could not be bothered” seems to be trying to avoid debate – we’re left with your outlandish claims with zero substance provided.

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  105. mikenmild (11,709 comments) says:

    Just to venture back on topic, I haven’t seen anyone propose another candidate for the freest country on Earth. Just gripes and whines about passive smoking.

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  106. eszett (2,426 comments) says:

    No NZ is not even close to being the freest country. It is full of dreary broken spirited socialists who want central government control over every aspect of our lives. You can see these vile little freaks of nature all over KB spewing their filth. People often wonder, stupidly, how Hitler or Mao did those terrible things?. Well they did not do them. They simply sold socialism to the likes of eszett & mikenmild, and they committed all the horrors with great joy.

    Double LOL. Comedy pure.
    Only goes to show in what a bizzare fantasy world you live in. From bicycle helmets to godwin. Only you, Kea.

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  107. Kea (13,359 comments) says:

    Pete George, Andrei provided the facts. I am suspicious of government funded special interest groups paid to get one result. That is not science.

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  108. Kea (13,359 comments) says:

    Yes eszett, all it takes is opportunity for your true colours to show.

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  109. Andrei (2,668 comments) says:

    FFS Pete George

    Do you know what these words actually mean from a scientific standpoint?

    These meta-analyses show that there is a statistically significant and consistent association between lung cancer risk in spouses of smokers and exposure to second-hand tobacco smoke from the spouse who smokes. The excess risk is of the order of 20% for women and 30% for men and remains after controlling for some potential sources of bias and confounding.

    Nothing, it is close to double talk, not quite double talk but near to it

    AS for you other thing did you read the paper – they put rats in collars so they couldn’t move their fucking heads and blasted them with tobacco smoke until they managed to suffocate 11 of them – does that reveal anything useful to anyone excpet for people who wish to find excuses to control other people?

    Grow up man everybody dies one way or another, we all get exactly one life and one death and before we get our death we try and make the best of the life we have and I for one get extremely pissed off with ninnies telling me how to live mine

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  110. Pete George (23,683 comments) says:

    Kea, Andrei didn’t provide any facts (and neither did you), he referred to one unnamed unsourced claimed bit of research from thirty years ago.

    “I for one get extremely pissed off with ninnies telling me how to live mine”

    That’s kinda funny coming from you Andrei. You’ve never tried to tell women or gays how to live their lives?

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  111. mikenmild (11,709 comments) says:

    eszett
    I’m not sure that there’s much more that can be said to someone so lacking in self awareness.
    Anyway, still waiting for examples of freer societies than New Zild. It’s a pity Reddy isn’t about to regale us with tales of Singapore

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  112. Kea (13,359 comments) says:

    Pete George, the people telling gays “how to live their lives” argue that gays do affect other people detrimentally and that gives them the right to dictate to them. The very same thing you are arguing.

    I do not believe the government should tell gays what to do, smokers, push bike riders, drinkers, and many other people. I would love to see a couple of homos riding down the road two up on a push bike with no helmet, smoking a joint and swigging on a bottle of vodka. Just as long as they do not seriously interfere with others. (being offended does NOT count)

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  113. Andrei (2,668 comments) says:

    You’ve never tried to tell women or gays how to live their lives?

    Nope – I have said that gays cannot marry one another because marriage is between a man and a woman and is about reproducing the species but it isn’t me who designed it that way, it is either God or nature that that matter must be taken up with because it takes one man and one woman to conceive a child. No way around that old chum it is the way it is.

    But if two men want to shack up together non of my business or two women same deal. And if they can find a heritical priest to give them a ceremony who cares, or a wiccan priestess or whatever. I am a real live and let live sort of person

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  114. Griff (8,177 comments) says:

    There are no freer society MM
    In fact you would be hard pressed to find a better one.
    For living in
    Except if you are greedy then you will sacrifice quality of life for filthy lucre.

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  115. mikenmild (11,709 comments) says:

    Interesting that the ‘think tank’ behind this index has also been funded by the tobacco industry and has advocated legalisation of marijuana.

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  116. mikenmild (11,709 comments) says:

    Right Griff – ‘We don’t know how lucky we are, mate’

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  117. Pete George (23,683 comments) says:

    Andrei…

    “You’ve never tried to tell women or gays how to live their lives?”

    Nope – I have said that gays cannot marry one another…

    …you couldn’t have contradicted yourself any quicker.

    I am a real live and let live sort of person

    Great, so people should be free to go to public places and not be contaminated by other people’s exhaled poisons.

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  118. Pete George (23,683 comments) says:

    I feel I am lucky to live in a country where I can live as freely as I do in New Zealand, but it’s still far from ideal, national and local government have to be stopped from inflicting too many regulations and restrictions. And of course we are also far from free of crime and violence, where some people think they are free to take from and harm others.

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  119. Andrei (2,668 comments) says:

    …you couldn’t have contradicted yourself any quicker.

    That is not a contradiction you ning nong

    A hammer isn’t a cresceent spanner, a micrometer isn’t a G-clamp. A marriage isn’t a man and another man, never has been and never will, it takes one of each kind to make a marriage. Trying to play word games to say otherwise is dangerous foolishness.

    And the other thing your tiny mind can’t seem to grasp is how control freaks manipulate words and numbers to fool you into believing dangers lurk where they don’t

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  120. mikenmild (11,709 comments) says:

    No no no no no, this is not a gay marriage thread. This is about claims that we are the freest country on the planet.

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  121. Rodders (1,755 comments) says:

    A good use for cigarettes

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  122. Griff (8,177 comments) says:

    We will be even more free when gays can get married

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  123. expat (4,050 comments) says:

    We’ll be freer when choir boys aren’t buggered by catholic priests.

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  124. Griff (8,177 comments) says:

    That will happen when the church collapses under the weight of its own hypocrisy

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  125. expat (4,050 comments) says:

    Church thankyou. And Buggery.

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