Archive for the ‘NZ Politics’ Category

Little falls for demented conspiracy theory

August 25th, 2015 at 11:40 am by David Farrar

I’ve blogged on this before, on how a few nutbars on the left think that Bill English and Nick Smith have devised a cunning plan to enrich themselves by a hundred million dollars or so by transferring land and houses to the Tamaki redevelopment company which they own 59% of.

Except they don’t of course. They are shareholders in their capacity as ministers, not in any personal sense. Anyone who has an ounce of common sense or intelligence could see this, and know this.

Now one nutbar facebooked Andrew Little saying:

Govt ministers Bill English and Nick Smith each have a third interest in a company BUYING state houses, the Auckland Council the other third. Wouldn’t this be subject to a conflict of interest?

What do you think and what will you say Andrew?

Now Andrew is not responsible for what nutbars post on Facebook, but he then responds to the nutbar:

The least I can do is make some inquiries. Company ownership is a matter of public record

Oh dear, that is an epic fail on the scale of an MP saying they will inquire into whether to ban dihydrogen monooxide.

So you have the Leader of the Opposition promising to make inquiries into the fact that shares in a government owned company are owned by the Government!


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Quote of the week

August 25th, 2015 at 8:00 am by TaxpayersUnion

“Society exists for the benefit of its members, not the members for the benefit of society.”

– Herbert Spencer

The quote of the week is brought to you by the New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union. To support the Union’s campaign for lower taxes and less government waste, click here.

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Saner Easter Sunday trading law coming

August 25th, 2015 at 7:00 am by David Farrar

Michael Woodhouse has announced:

The Government is to enable local communities, through councils, to decide whether retailers can open on Easter Sunday, Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Michael Woodhouse announced today.

“The current rules around shop trading over the Easter period are complex and relatively arbitrary. The law allows certain shops selling specific items to remain open, while others must close their doors.

“It also includes several historical exemptions which allow shops in areas such as Queenstown and Taupo to open on Easter Sunday, while those in Wanaka and Rotorua cannot.”

“The result is that some businesses and regions have an unfair advantage over others, and there is a demand from communities across the country to allow for shop trading on Easter Sunday.

“The proposed law change will enable communities to choose whether or not to allow trading. It will mean regions, especially tourist areas, can respond where there is strong demand for Easter Sunday trading,” Mr Woodhouse says.

The current law is a nonsense. Sadly all attempts at reform by members’ bills have failed due to an unholy collusion between unions and churches. So very pleased to see the Government taking action, to improve the ridiculous status quo.

“In addition, the law change will give workers the opportunity to decline to work or accept work if they wish to on that day – with no reason necessary.

And this I support. It is about allowing workers to earn extra money – if they wish to do so, and retailers to open if they want to do so, and shoppers to shop if they wish to do so. But no one is forced to do anything.

Only changes to Easter Sunday are being proposed. Mr Woodhouse says this reflects the added religious and cultural significance attached to Good Friday, Anzac Day and Christmas, that remain subject to restrictions.

A step in the right direction, but more needs to be done.

For Easter, we should allow trading on all four Easter days of Good Friday, Holy Saturday, Easter (Sunday) and Easter Monday. But I’d also have all four as public holidays which they attract penal rates, and also that any employee can decline to work on those days. That would actually give employees more flexibility (they currently have to work Holy Saturday and Easter Monday if asked) and more pay (penal rates would apply for all four days, not just Good Friday and Easter Monday). So this would benefit employees, but also benefit retailers who could open for the whole long weekend – if they wanted to.

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Political Positioning on Twitter

August 24th, 2015 at 1:42 pm by David Farrar


This analysis comes from Litmus Marketing.

They did text mining of tweets from National and Greens MPs. Their take:

  1. National are the ‘one trick pony’ all about the Economy – nothing new but interesting to see it coming out
  2. Greens are definitely about social policy but have clearly got content out there that is evenly split between the Environment and Human rights. 
  3. This may be too much as ‘you’d expect’  but there is value in better understanding how parties ‘position’ themselves
  4. Next steps is to look to time box the analysis to see if things change over time, through the last election etc.

Would be interesting to see how this changes over time.

It also suggests that National MPs are very disciplined with their tweets and messaging.


Support for changing the age threshold for youth court

August 24th, 2015 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

Support from across the political spectrum is backing a Government proposal to keep 17-year-olds out of adult courts.

Justice Minister Amy Adams has asked officials to look at whether dealing with 17-year-olds in the Youth Court will cut rates of re-offending and stop some young people starting out on a life of crime.

The Youth Court, currently for those aged 12 to 16, is less formal and has specialised judges. Offenders also don’t get a criminal record.

Labour leader Andrew Little, Greens co-leader James Shaw and UnitedFuture’s Peter Dunne are all in favour of the Government exploring raising the threshold – a move the United Nations also wanted.

Shaw said the Greens took a restorative justice approach to crime and he questioned the impact of sending teenagers to prisons.

“It’s more likely they’ll end up in prison over and over again”.

The trouble is that there are a hard core of youth offenders who have no fear of the youth court, and will treat the period up until which they can go to adult  court, as a no consequences offending period.

Now you don’t set policy just based on the worst offenders, but you do need to make sure the law can keep youth out of jail if at all possible, but also protect us from recidivist youth offenders.


More targeted road user charges?

August 24th, 2015 at 7:00 am by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

A trial that could see heavy vehicle owners charged for the use of certain roads is to be considered.

Around $110 billion will be spent by central and local government on infrastructure over the next 10 years – but more money will come from user-pays and other charges.

Finance Minister Bill English yesterday released the 30 Year National Infrastructure plan, which contains initiatives to help the country cope with aging infrastructure.

One action outlines how Ministers will in 2015/16 consider advice on the feasibility and design of a “demand management and road pricing project” trial for heavy vehicles.

Road pricing is charging drivers for the use of a road, or the use of roads in a specific area.

Transport Minister Simon Bridges said he planned to speak more about that work at a road transport forum later this month.

Roads should be funded by their users. Petrol tax is an approximate user pay charge, but ultimately we should be looking at vehicles paying for specific roads and more at peak times. In return petrol tax should reduce.


Should 17 year olds be in the youth or adult courts?

August 23rd, 2015 at 4:00 pm by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

The Government is looking to change the law to keep 17-year-old crims out of adult courts – a move that alarms the good samaritan bashed by a teenage bag-snatcher.

Lucy Knight suffered a fractured skull and brain bleed at the hands of 17-year-old Hendrix Hauwai. “The alarming thing is that they will get a another whole year to commit crimes before they hit that magical 18th birthday,” she said yesterday.

Justice Minister Amy Adams has asked officials to look at whether dealing with 17-year-olds in the Youth Court will cut rates of re-offending and stop some young people starting out on a life of crime. 

The Youth Court, currently for those aged 12 to 16, is less formal, with specialised judges. Offenders don’t get a criminal record. 

I believe the law should be consistent about when a young person is an adult. That is one reasons I supported a drinking age of 18, not 20.

Ideally we should have two ages at which you gain some and then all of the rights (and responsibilities) of adulthood. They are 16 (sex, driving etc) and 18.

So I think you should be tried as an adult either once you turn 16 or 18 – not the status quo of 17.

On a principled level, I think 18 is the better threshold.

The Youth Court already refers the most serious crimes – including murder and manslaughter – to the High Court. That won’t change.

That is key. If you kill someone or rape someone, you should face the adult court. But for lesser charges the Youth Court is appropriate.

Maybe one can use the three strikes law to distinguish? If you commit an offence that qualifies as a strike (a serious violent or sexual offence), then it goes to an adult court regardless of age. But for a non strike offence, it is the youth court until you are 18?

Adams said some aged 17, especially first-time offenders, may benefit from the Youth Court, which places more of an emphasis on support and rehabilitation. “There are equally 17 years olds who, it is their third or fourth time around the system. They are on a very different trajectory. There are a number of police, court and Corrections staff at the front line who have said to me they would be absolutely against me raising the age because there are some 17 year olds, who they think absolutely don’t belong in the youth court system.”

Maybe again have some sort of threshold? If you make more than x (say four) youth court appearances, then it is the adult court after that?


Life after Key

August 22nd, 2015 at 4:00 pm by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

Is Paula Bennett the real deal? Given the polls, fretting about John Key’s succession plan might seem overly anxious. But third terms are the time when people start wondering openly about what comes after defeat slaps a once popular leader in the face. And Bennett’s name increasingly crops up as the woman who might step into Key’s shoes when that day comes.

Certainly, business leaders think she might be the real deal  –  Bennett topped the list of mentions in a mood of the boardroom survey by the New Zealand Herald canvassing Key’s likely successor.

That is no coincidence. Some of those surveyed worried about Key’s lack of succession planning. But they clearly haven’t been watching closely enough.

When Key announced his new lineup after the election Bennett was elevated to a cluster of portfolios that thrust her directly into the engine room of the Government’s reform programme both in social housing, and infrastructure. An associate finance role also puts her in an understudy role to Finance Minister Bill English and gives her CV the extra gloss of fiscal credibility. Short of bellowing “Paula for prime minister” through a megaphone, Key probably couldn’t do much more to announce the fact that he has anointed Bennett as his successor.

I’d also take note of the fact he has promoted Amy Adams, Simon Bridges and Jonathan Coleman to the front bench. They’re all seen as having the potential to take up senior leadership roles.

Clark’s big mistake was his her third term cabinet looks very much like her first term cabinet – especially the front bench.

While the top four in National remain basically unchanged, most of the Cabinet is new blood. The years each entered is:

  • 1990s or earlier – 5
  • 2002 – 2005: 4
  • 2008: 10
  • 2011: 1

So over half the Cabinet were not even MPs until 2008. Key has always focused on renewal – both in Cabinet and caucus.


King Tuheitia claims Auckland

August 22nd, 2015 at 12:00 pm by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

King Tuheitia has launched a claim for Auckland extending north to Mahurangi, down the Firth of Thames and across to the Manukau Harbour and to Piha. …

Conflict with other Auckland tribes was likely but he said their relationship with the likes of Ngati Whatua would stand the test.

“It’s always going to cause some challenges for those who claim mana whenua into Auckland. That’s a reality we are going to have to deal with.”


Some challenges? That’s an understatement.

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Chicken Little

August 22nd, 2015 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

Audrey Young writes:

It was not such a huge leap for Labour to demand that McCully step down because leader Andrew Little has already demanded his resignation.

Since April, he has called for six ministerial resignations: Simon Bridges over the Northland bridges promises; the minister whose brother is facing criminal charges because of what Little believes is a conflict of interest, Nick Smith after running into difficulties with Ngati Whatua and first right of refusal on excess Crown land, Te Ururoa Flavell over claims he may have influenced Maori TV to cancel a debate on Whanau Ora, Sam Lotu-Iiga over the management of the Mt Eden Corrections Facility and McCully.

Little is in danger of devaluing the importance of ministerial accountability by demanding resignations so often.

He’s acting like Chicken Little. Six demands for resignations in six months. It’s like a once trick pony.

John Key was opposition leader for two years. How many ministerial resignations did he demand? I’m not sure, but it certainly wasn’t one a month. I think the only one may have been Peters over lying to Parliament.

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Salmond on the centre

August 21st, 2015 at 3:00 pm by David Farrar


Rob Salmond blogs:

But “pulling the centre back towards the left” is massively, massively hard. You win those people over by being relevant to them as they are, not by telling them they’re worldview needs a rethink. It is just basic psychology. Tell people they were right all along; they like you. Tell people they were wrong all along; they don’t.

And if you win a majority of centrists, you win. The New Zealand Election Study series records six MMP elections in New Zealand – the three where Labour did best among centrists were the three Labour won.

So around 35% are the same as Labour or to the left of them. Also 35% the same as National ot to the right of them. Note more to the left of Labour than to the right of National. And around 35% say they are inbetween National and Labour.

You don’t need to be a genius to work out where you need to go to make 50%.

Michael Foot and Neil Kinnock lead the UK Labour party through seventeen years of Tory rule. It was bleak. Why did they keep losing for so long? Because under Foot the hard left got to run Labour’s policy, alienating Labour from the middle ground. And under Kinnock the hard left continued to battle prominently for policy influence, allowing Labours’ opponents to scaremonger successfully about what a vote for Labour really means.

How did UK Labour break out of this funk? Tony Blair.

And if you think that lesson, of declining centre-left fortunes when its narrative swings left, doesn’t apply for in modern New Zealand, here are two phrases you may find familiar: “Man ban.” “Sorry for being a man.”

I look forward to Rob being denounced as a neo-liberal Blairite!


How to get to a 5% smoking rate

August 21st, 2015 at 2:00 pm by David Farrar


The Herald reports:

Yearly increases of 20 per cent in tobacco excise tax will be needed to achieve the Government’s target of ultra-low smoking prevalence by 2025, if price rises remain the state’s main policy lever, according to new Christchurch research.

Actually I think you can do it with 10%.

Writing in today’s New Zealand Medical Journal, Dr Murray Laugesen and Professor Randolph Grace, say that if the series of annual 10 per cent excise increases is not renewed after the last of the legislated rises, which is scheduled for next New Year’s Day, adult smoking prevalence will fall only to 10.2 per cent in 2025. This is shown as plot number 1 on the graph below of the researchers’ potential policy scenarios.

The Government’s target is that New Zealand will be largely smokefree by 2025, which is widely interpreted as meaning less than 5 per cent.

So what does it take to get 5%, if the models are accurate?

Well if one continues the annual 10% excise increases, then the projection is to make 6.9%.

But note the two scenarios where electronic cigarettes are legal. They reduce the rate by a further 2%.

So if one continued the annual 10% excise increases (and reduced other taxes to offset the revenue) and legalised the sale of electronic cigarettes, then according to this research by well respected health researchers, we would achieve the smoke-free goal of under 5% by 2025.

That’s a policy prescription I could support.

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Latest poll

August 21st, 2015 at 7:06 am by David Farrar

The latest Roy Morgan came out yesterday. I’ve blogged it at Curia.

As usual with Roy Morgan, it bounces around a lot, but shows National up 7.5% to 50.5%, Labour down 5% to 27% and Greens down 2% to 11%.


137 state owned farms

August 20th, 2015 at 4:00 pm by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

Landcorp owns 137 farms totalling 158,394 hectares, and manages another 226,692 ha of farms. Its livestock holdings are made up of 77,500 dairy cattle, 580,000 sheep, 82,000 beef cattle and 105,000 deer.

It employs 692 staff.

They should all be sold to farmers, unless they are needed for specific purposes such as conservation or treaty claims.

We do not need the Government owning and running 137 farms.

The company had shareholders’ funds of about $1.5. billion against total liabilities of $360 million, according to its half year report to the end of December.

But it made a profit of just $1m in the last six months of 2014, down from $13.4m in the same period in 2013.

If you sold Landcorp for $1.5 billion, then the reduced interest on debt would be around $75 million a year.

English said other SOEs faced challenging issues.

“Post’s business is shrinking, TVNZ has to deal with competition from Netflix and everybody else, the Public Trust, Kordia has a set of broadcast-related assets when technology has moved on.”

Yep. Once TVNZ could have been sold for over a billion dollars. Today you would not get $100 million. The state is not a good owner of commercial companies. Let the state focus on its core responsibilities, and let the private sector own the farms and other businesses.

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Parliament 20 August 2015

August 20th, 2015 at 1:00 pm by David Farrar

The order paper is here.

Oral Questions 2.00 pm – 3.00 pm

  1. MARAMA FOX to the Minister of Education: Does the Minister agree that Māori boarding schools such as Turakina have produced a considerable number of Māori leaders and, if so, what is she doing to ensure the long-term sustainability of Māori boarding schools?
  2. Hon ANNETTE KING to the Minister of Health: If Government health expenditure has not kept up with all inflationary pressures, as he admitted three weeks ago, what impact has this shortfall had on patients?
  3. JAMI-LEE ROSS to the Minister of Finance: What recent reports has he received on the outlook for the New Zealand economy?
  4. JULIE ANNE GENTER to the Minister of Finance: Does the Thirty Year New Zealand Infrastructure Plan identify reduction of greenhouse gas pollution and adaption to climate change as key challenges for infrastructure planning over the next 30 years; if not, why not?
  5. STUART SMITH to the Minister for Primary Industries: What actions is the Government taking to strengthen biosecurity measures at the border?
  6. GRANT ROBERTSON to the Minister of Finance: What State Owned Enterprises and Crown Entities were identified as having “specific opportunities” for “capital recycling” in the Treasury Report: Capital Investment, Recycling and the Fiscal Strategy dated 3 November 2014, and did he reject any of the specific opportunities identified by officials?
  7. TODD BARCLAY to the Minister of Tourism: What recent reports has he received about regional tourism growth?
  8. SUE MORONEY to the Minister for Workplace Relations and Safety: Why are dairy, sheep and beef farms not defined as high-risk workplaces requiring worker health and safety representation, when more than one-third of New Zealand’s workplace deaths in the past 5 years have happened in the agricultural sector?
  9. MELISSA LEE to the Minister of Health: Can he confirm that 3.5 million New Zealanders received a funded medicine in 2014/15, and that this is an increase of more than 100,000 compared with the previous year?
  10. STUART NASH to the Minister for Land Information: What is the actual dollar value of added investment that has come into New Zealand for development purposes that was promised by the 608 successful overseas purchasers of New Zealand sensitive land who promised the introduction into New Zealand of added investment for development purposes as part of their successful consent application?
  11. RON MARK to the Minister for Canterbury Earthquake Recovery: Does he stand by all his statements?
  12. Dr SHANE RETI to the Minister for Communications: Can she provide an update on the broadband deployment in the regions?

National: Five questions on the economy, biosecurity, tourism, medicines funding, abd broadband.

Labour: Four questions on health spending, capital recycling, workplace safety and foreign investment.

Greens: One questions on climate change.

NZ First: One questions on CERA Minister standing by his statements and confidence in Serco

Maori Party: One question on Maori boarding schools

Government Bills 3.00 pm to 6.00 pm

Health and Safety Reform Bill – committee stage continued

The Bill replaces the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992 and the Machinery Act 1950 to reform New Zealand’s workplace health and safety system, following the work of the Independent Taskforce on Workplace Health and Safety and the Royal Commission on the Pike River Coal Mine tragedy.

  • Introduced March 2014
  • 1st reading: March 2014, passed unanimously
  • SC report: July 2015, passed with amendments by majority with Labour, Green and NZ First minority reports
  • 2nd reading: July 2015, passed 63 to 56 with Labour, Greens and NZ First against

There is no time limit for the committee stage but it is estimated to be a seven hour debate as the bill has six parts and preliminary provisions to debate. Two parts have been debates, so there are probably four to five hours remaining.

There are seven SOPs – two from the Minister Michael Woodhouse, three from Labour, one from the Greens and one from the Maori Party.

Taxation (Transformation: First Phase Simplification and Other Measures) Bill – first reading

The bill amends several statutes relating to taxation in order to facilitate easier communication with Inland Revenue, simplify tax rules and provide for the sharing of information.

  • Introduced: June 2015

The first reading consist of 12 speeches of up to 10 minutes each, for a maximum debate of two hours.



From 15,000 to 21

August 20th, 2015 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

Jonathan Coleman announced:

“In the last financial year 322,196 patients across the country received a First Surgical Assessment, compared to 261,226 in 2008/2009. That’s an increase of 24 percent.”

In 2006 there were just over 15,150 patients nationwide waiting over six months for their First Specialist Assessment. Today there are just 21.

From 15,000 to basically zero. That is the sort of progress that is important to people.

And not just more and quicker assessments. There’re much more actual surgical operations being done also.


CTU real agenda is to unionise farms

August 20th, 2015 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

More than 50 industries have been identified by the Government as high-risk, meaning they will be not exempt from some requirements under the Health and Safety Reform law, even if they have fewer than 20 employees.

Industries include forestry and logging, road freight transport, coal mining, hunting and trapping, fishing, electricity transmission, horse and dog racing as well as any industry deemed to have potential for catastrophic risk in the event of accident such as oil and gas extraction and petroleum refining.

The definition used for high risk is objective, not subjective:

  • Any industry with a fatality rate greater than 25 per 100,000 workers
  • Any industry with a serious injury rate of more than 25 per 1000 workers.

Plus an business that carries the risk of a catastrophic event causing multiple fatalities.

But the CTU and Labour are demanding farms be included, even though they have an injury rate below this threshold:

But most types of farming will be able to claim an exemption, a move slammed by Labour leader Andrew Little.

“What we need is a good law and good enforcement and that is now denied a sector that has killed too many of their own.

“We cant have farmers happy for expensive [rescue] helicopters and ambulances to drive out to their isolated areas to cover them for their errors – some time fatal – and the taxpayer picking up their cost.”

The farming excluded from high-risk include dairy, beef, poultry and deer but the livestock farming included as high-risk is bee-keeping, pig-farming, horse breeding, dog breeding, goat farming and share-milking as well some types of crop growing.

Now bear in mind the only difference between small businesses that are in the high risk category and those that are not, is the requirement to allow a worker elected health and safety rep.  That is it. All other requirements are the same.

Labour and the CTU see these reps as a way to unionise workforces, and of course increase funding for both their organisations. This is why they have focused on this relatively minor issue, ignoring all the other changes.

So they are saying that a family owned corner dairy with a couple of part-time staff, must have an elected health and safety representative, if even one person asks for it.

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RIP George Gair

August 19th, 2015 at 4:00 pm by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

Long-serving National MP George Gair has died aged 88.

Gair was the MP for Auckland’s North Shore from 1966 to 1990, holding senior Cabinet posts, including Health, Transport, Energy, Housing and Rail.

He was also deputy leader of the National Party.

George Gair was a lovely man, and one of National’s best MPs of his generation. His politeness was legendary, and a real contrast to Muldoon.

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NZF MP accuses former youth leader of HDCA breach

August 19th, 2015 at 3:00 pm by David Farrar

Critic reports:

NZ First MP Tracey Martin has claimed Curwen Rolinson is in breach of the Harmful Digital Communications Act, passed in July. In a blog post, Rolinson, former leader of the NZ First youth wing, accused Martin of undermining party MP Andrew Williams.

Speaking at the University of Otago last week, Martin suggested that Rolinson was in breach of the law as a result of a blog post written on 6 July, four days after the Act was officially made into law. 

“I’ve been working on the Harmful Digital Communications bill and what Curwen [Rolinson] did, what Whaleoil [blogger Cameron Slater] does, that’s harmful digital communications,” said Martin.

The Act states that a person is in breach of the law if they intentionally cause harm to someone on the internet. “A person commits an offence if the person posts a digital communication with the intention that it cause harm to a victim,” the law reads. 

If it causes serious emotional harm. I don’t think criticising an MP falls into that sphere. It would be a very bad thing if MPs truied to silence critics using the HDCA. I doubt they would possibly succeed, but would be a bad look to even threaten or try.

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A good example of the need for three strikes

August 19th, 2015 at 2:00 pm by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

The prime suspect at the centre of today’s major man hunt in the central North Island has a history of similar offending.

Dolphy Tetawhero Kohu, 24, is on the run with four other men and women after ramming a police car, shooting at the two pursuing officers at close range then fleeing in the police vehicle about 2.30am.

The rampage echoes Kohu’s criminal past that includes at least two firearms incidents and evading authorities.

Previous reports suggest Kohu has only recently been released from prison after being sentenced to 30 months in jail for shooting at a family in Whanganui.

So what is his record:

  • September 2008 – Robbed a Whanganui dairy with a sawn-off shotgun while on bail for other offences
  • March 2009 – Sentenced to 3 years 9 months prison for the aggravated robbery
  • June 2011 – Sought by police for breaching prison release conditions “over violence matters”
  • March 2012 – While on parole fired a shotgun at a family in Whanganui and spent six weeks on the run from police
  • May 2012 – Arrested in Wellington
  • March 2013 – Sentenced to 2.5 years prison for the shooting

Aggravated robbery is now a strike offence. So his 2009 conviction would have been his first strike.

His 2013 conviction would have been his second strike. He would not be eligible for parole so would only get out in September 2015.

Personally I think he should have got longer than 2.5 years for his 2nd shooting offence but judges get discretion.

However under three strikes, that discretion disappears at the third strike. If three strikes had been in place earlier, then if found guilty of shooting at police officers, he would now get 14 years with no parole.

He sounds like the sort of offender who three strikes is intended for. He has resorted to firearms within days of being released.

But Labour and Greens want to repeal three strikes, so offenders like Kohu get shorter sentences and parole eligibility even after their third shooting offence.

There is some upside. His first offence was before three strikes but his 2013 conviction would have got a first strike, so if convicted for this latest shooting, he will at least not be eligible for parole.


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Parliament 19 August 2015

August 19th, 2015 at 11:52 am by David Farrar

The order paper is here.

Oral Questions 2.00 pm – 3.00 pm

  1. CHRIS BISHOP to the Minister of Finance: How does the Government’s fiscal strategy support the New Zealand economy?
  2. JAMES SHAW to the Prime Minister: Will he stand down Hon Murray McCully as Minister of Foreign Affairs while the Auditor-General investigates the Saudi Arabia Food Security Partnership; if not, why not?
  3. ANDREW LITTLE to the Associate Minister of Finance: Does she stand by the Prime Minister’s statement that “I’d hate to see New Zealanders as tenants in their own country”; if so, how many applications by overseas investors to buy land were declined under the Overseas Investment Act 2005 between January 2012 and June 2015?
  4. KANWALJIT SINGH BAKSHI to the Minister for Economic Development: What reports has he received on the growth of New Zealand’s technology software and services industry over the last seven years?
  5. GRANT ROBERTSON to the Minister of Finance: Did he approve the recommendations in the Treasury Report: Capital Investment, Recycling and the Fiscal Strategy, and if so, what priorities for capital recycling within the commercial portfolio did he indicate to officials?
  6. Rt Hon WINSTON PETERS to the Prime Minister: Does he stand by all his statements?
  7. STEFFAN BROWNING to the Minister for Primary Industries: Will he reinstate the Organics Advisory Programme given the value of organic whole milk powder is more than five times that of conventionally-produced whole milk powder, and his vision for “premium, value-added products”?
  8. TODD MULLER to the Minister for Primary Industries: What reports has he received on growth in the wine industry?
  9. PHIL TWYFORD to the Minister responsible for HNZC: How much has Housing New Zealand spent in total on consultants and contractors for work related to selling state houses as part of the Government’s social housing reforms?
  10. MAHESH BINDRA to the Minister of Corrections: Does he have confidence in Serco?
  11. SARAH DOWIE to the Minister of Revenue: What recent announcements has he made on proposals to improve the collection of GST on services, intangibles, and goods?
  12. Hon DAVID PARKER to the Minister of Foreign Affairs: Does he stand by his statement that “The Government is comfortable with the process that was followed in relation to the Agrihub”; if so, did his department follow all Government rules during the development and procurement of the $6 million Agrihub?

National: Four questions on the economy, technology sector, wine industry and online GST

Labour: Four questions on foreign investment, capital recycling, state house sales and the Saudi Arabia farm.

Greens: Two questions on the Saudia Arabia farm and organics

NZ First: Two questions on PM standing by his statements and confidence in Serco

There is also one question to a member:

  1. JAMES SHAW to the Member in charge of the Electricity Industry (Small-Scale Renewable Distributed Generation) Amendment Bill: What is the intention of the Electricity Industry (Small-Scale Renewable Distributed Generation) Amendment Bill?

Government Bills 3.00 pm to 6.00 pm and 7.30 pm to 10.00 pm

Health Practitioners (Replacement of Statutory References to Medical Practitioners) Bill – first reading continued

The Bill is an omnibus Bill amending 7 statutes to increase the range of functions that can be performed by health practitioners under those statutes by changing certain references to medical practitioners to references to health practitioners.

  • Introduced June 2015

The first reading consist of 12 speeches of up to 10 minutes each, for a maximum debate of two hours. There is part of one speech to go.

Health and Safety Reform Bill – committee stage

The Bill replaces the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992 and the Machinery Act 1950 to reform New Zealand’s workplace health and safety system, following the work of the Independent Taskforce on Workplace Health and Safety and the Royal Commission on the Pike River Coal Mine tragedy.

  • Introduced March 2014
  • 1st reading: March 2014, passed unanimously
  • SC report: July 2015, passed with amendments by majority with Labour, Green and NZ First minority reports
  • 2nd reading: July 2015, passed 63 to 56 with Labour, Greens and NZ First against

There is no time limit for the committee stage but it is estimated to be a seven hour debate as the bill has six parts and preliminary provisions to debate.

There are seven SOPs – two from the Minister Michael Woodhouse, three from Labour, one from the Greens and one from the Maori Party.

Taxation (Transformation: First Phase Simplification and Other Measures) Bill – first reading

The bill amends several statutes relating to taxation in order to facilitate easier communication with Inland Revenue, simplify tax rules and provide for the sharing of information.

  • Introduced: June 2015

The first reading consist of 12 speeches of up to 10 minutes each, for a maximum debate of two hours.



Richie McCaw MP

August 19th, 2015 at 10:58 am by David Farrar

The Herald reports views of parties on whether they’d want Sir Richard McCaw as an MP:

National: “He’s articulate, he’s an intelligent guy, there’s a range of things he could do.”
Labour: ” He … doesn’t mind the odd bloody nose which can be a help in politics.”
Greens: “Richie is welcome to join the Green Party, but can he bring Piri Weepu with him?”
Maori Party: “It would be great to have the calibre of leadership that someone such as Richie McCaw would bring.”
Act: “What does he think about the regulatory environment, what does he think about tax?”

I like that ACT actually mentioned policies!


Sign the petition to support the All Blacks

August 19th, 2015 at 9:59 am by David Farrar


We all want the All Blacks to win (again) the Rugby World Cup. They’re looking good, but victory is by no means assured.

Over the last few years the Labour Party has declared a number of issues to be a crisis – the manufacturing sector, power prices, domestic milk prices, Auckland house prices and the dairy industry, and demanded the Government take action.

Without fail, each time Labour has declared something to be in crisis and demanded Government intervention, that industry or issue has immediately and remarkably improved. Just this week global diary prices rebounded for the first time this year, just one week after Labour declared they were in crisis and demanded the Government act.

So this petition implores the Labour Party to declare New Zealand Rugby and the All Blacks to be in crisis. Based on history, this should propel the All Blacks to victory in the Rugby World Cup.

So support the All Blacks by petitioning Labour to declare NZ Rugby in crisis.

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Auditor-General to investigate Saudi farm deal

August 19th, 2015 at 7:00 am by David Farrar

The Auditor-General has announced she will look at the following issues around the Saudi farm deal:

  • the amount of public money budgeted and spent on this Partnership, how it has been used, and the outcomes achieved with it;
  • whether the expenditure on services was within the appropriations of Vote Foreign Affairs and Trade, as authorised by Parliament;
  • the procurement and contract management practices used by the Ministry and New Zealand Trade and Enterprise to purchase services relating to the Partnership;
  • whether the services received were in keeping with the business case and contract specifications; and
  • any other related matter that I consider it desirable to inquire into and report on.

I’m glad the AG is investigating, and said I hoped she would.

I think the real question is what outcomes have been achieved from it.

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Blame Canada

August 18th, 2015 at 3:00 pm by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

Canadian investors were the biggest foreign investors in New Zealand in the past year, well ahead of the more high-profile Chinese.

So when will Labour publish its analysis of people with Canadian sounding surnames?