Some so-called science grants

The Taxpayers’ Union has published some of the so called science projects that have received hundreds of thousands of dollars from the taxpayers.

They include:

•  $300,000 to prove it is “benevolently sexist” to believe that “men ought to protect and cherish women”.

•  $842,000 to find out why there aren’t many Asian people on New Zealand television or in cinema.

•  $300,000 to examine how New Zealanders are using dating apps.

•  $870,000 to find out whether multiculturalism harms indigenous people.

•  $300,000 to examine the relationship between housing and security in Papua New Guinea.

•  $870,000 to “re-imagine anti-racism theory in the health sector”.

•  $842,000 to study ethnic women politicians in New Zealand.

•  $300,000 to find out how religion affects inequality in Fiji.

The $870,000 to re-imagine anti-racism theory in the health sector is my favourite.

Listen to the OECD

Stuff reports:

The OECD is calling for an easing of land-use rules, the building of more social housing, and is cautious about rent controls in a new “toolkit” to ease the housing crisis afflicting many countries.

In a report published on Tuesday, the OECD said New Zealand had land-use policies that weakened the feedback loop from higher house prices through increased construction to house price moderation.

This would do more than anything else to reduce house prices. Labour know this. They campaigned on it in 2017 but broke their promise and have done almost nothing to free up land for housing.

WHO says ban women of child bearing age from drinking reports:

The World Health Organisation has been accused of sexism after releasing a draft report that pushed for women of “child-bearing age” to be prevented from drinking alcohol.

The controversial advice was laid out in WHO’s draft of its Global Alcohol Action Plan 2022-2030, which urges countries to raise awareness among the public about the risks and harms associated with alcohol consumption, with particular focus on how children are impacted when exposed to alcohol while still in the womb.

In order to lessen these impacts, the organisation suggests preventing not only pregnant women from drinking alcohol, but any woman of “child-bearing age”.

“Appropriate attention should be given to prevention of the initiation of drinking among children and adolescents, prevention of drinking among pregnant women and women of child-bearing age,” the report states.

I look forward to the Government announcing they will act on this, as they always say they follow the science!

Hooton says National must declare no confidence in Climate Change Commission

Matthew Hooton writes:

National has little choice but to withdraw from the multi-party consensus on the Climate Change Commission — or at least insist the Government ask its chair, Rod Carr, to resign.

This is not because National is against urgent action on climate change, but because it supports it.

This is key. If you want stronger action on climate change, you should not do what the Climate Change Commission has said.

It has become clear that the commission is not primarily or even mainly concerned with New Zealand reducing global emissions. If it were, it would reject entirely the domestic ring-fence imposed upon it.

By far the biggest contribution New Zealand can make to reducing climate change is funding projects in developing economies to reduce their emissions and prevent clear-felling of rainforests.

Such projects cost less than $20 to remove the equivalent of one tonne of carbon dioxide (CO2e tonne) from the atmosphere. Yet the Ardern Government regularly spends over $1500 per CO2e tonne on its projects to reduce emissions.

The atmosphere has no geographic boundaries. A tonne less CO2 emitted in say Nigeria has the exact same impact as a tonne less in New Zealand.

So if you care about the environment and have $1,500 to spend, what is better for the environment – reducing emissions by one tonne or by 75 tonnes? No brainer.

But despite the commission believing climate change is a global crisis, it doesn’t want New Zealand to do this. Instead, it wants New Zealand to achieve net zero when measured almost entirely by activity within our borders.

Even then, it says we could achieve net zero for around $50 per CO2e tonne, or a cost to emitters of around $4b a year, just a little above the current price of $41. That money would go to other New Zealand businesses. But the commission doesn’t want to do that either.

Instead, Carr explicitly rejects New Zealand achieving the biggest possible reduction in CO2e emissions for the least cost. He says he wants to use climate change to radically transform every aspect of how we live our lives.

The Commission has chosen to not go for the policies that will cost the least, to achieve the goals. So They are proposing it costs us more to achieve less.

Climate change policy is ultimately about neither more nor less than correctly pricing the CO2e externalities of human activity.

The ETS, the cap-and-trade scheme developed in 2007 by Labour’s Climate Change Minister David Parker and National’s Nick Smith, cannot fail to deliver net zero emissions whenever the Government decides to set the cap at zero.

That need not be 2050. It could be 2025, 2030 or whenever the Government decides to let the scheme run as Parker and Smith intended. And, as designed, the ETS could not fail to deliver that outcome at least cost.

So long as all sectors are in the ETS, then this is right. As the caps reduce, the price goes up and it is guaranteed achieve the emissions targets by the nominated date.

So in summary the Climate Change Commission has recommended policies that will reduce fewer emissions, cost us more to do it, and have no guarantee of actually working.

They were not agreeing to Carr and his colleagues using the commission to promote an extreme-left utopia that will in fact worsen New Zealand’s contribution to fighting climate change compared with Parker and Smith’s existing policy mechanism.

Collins is fast losing whatever confidence she ever had in Carr. If Ardern and Shaw won’t get rid of Carr, Collins should admit she was right all along and pull the plug.

I agree.

Cancel culture has no limits, even in NZ

Stuff reports:

National leader Judith Collins has waded into a free speech debate after Christchurch City Libraries barred a controversial group from booking one of its meeting rooms following multiple complaints.

Speak up for Women NZ wanted to host a talk about sex self-identification on Tuesday and booked a room at Tūranga three weeks ago, but received notification that its booking had been cancelled on Monday.

After appealing the decision, the group was also told its meeting would not be permitted in any of the city’s libraries.

An email from library manager Chris Hay, seen by Stuff, said the subject of the group’s meeting may be in conflict with the library’s code of conduct, “particularly our commitment to providing a safe and welcoming environment”.

Of all the attacks on free speech, this is arguably the worst, especially as it comes from a library.

The reason this one is so bad, is because the issue they wish to discuss is a bill before Parliament.

The group was formed in opposition to the Government’s proposal to allow people to self-identify their sex in the Births, Deaths, Marriages and Relationships Registration Bill. It planned to discuss aspects of the bill in Christchurch.

So there is a bill before Parliament that seeks to change the way people can change their sex on their birth certificate.

The SUFW group has a position that the current law is okay and does not need changing. So far from being some sort of radical position, they are in fact arguing that the current law is okay. I happen to disagree with them, but think it is outrageous that the intolerants try to shut down any debate on this issue.

The Christchurch Libraries have decided that the case for changing the law is so strong, that it must ban any group that wishes to defend the status quo. This fascist manager has decided that the public must be banned from hearing a view in favour of the current law and against the proposed law change.

The worst judge in Australia?

The Age reports:

Magistrate Rodney Higgins, who created controversy in 2019 by embarking on a relationship with a court clerk 45 years his junior, has successfully claimed her $180,000 superannuation death benefit even though it was bequeathed to her struggling mother.

Mr Higgins, who earns $324,000 a year as a magistrate in Bendigo, made the successful claim on the death benefits of his late fiance Ashleigh Petrie after the fund, Rest Super, agreed with his argument that he was her de facto partner and therefore her “dependent”.

So she left the money to her mother but this judge who is on $300,000 and was with her for just a few months, sucessfuly claimed the money for himself.

What a terrible human being.

Mr Higgins, then 68, and Ms Petrie were a couple for seven months and lived together for about four months prior to her death. They were engaged in September 2019. During her relationship with Mr Higgins, Ms Petrie nominated her mother as the beneficiary of her superannuation and life insurance.

So this isn’t her choosing it to go to Higgins over her mother. She named her mother as the beneficiary.

But Mr Higgins has refused the mother’s pleas to share the money, citing his hurt that he was not given a portion of Ms Petrie’s ashes. Within months of the young woman’s death, Mr Higgins returned to his partner of 18 years, Lurline Le Neuf, whom he’d left earlier that year to be with Ms Petrie. They share a riverfront home in Shepparton.

He won’t share the money because he wasn’t given some of the ashes. Is he ten years old?

In October 2019, shadow attorney-general Ed O’Donohue made a rare complaint to the Judicial Commission about Mr Higgins. Mr O’Donohue alleged the magistrate lacked judicial independence due to his relationship with Ms Petrie and raised concerns about an incident involving his alcohol consumption at Crown casino. The commission dismissed these two allegations due to lack of information in April last year.

Mr O’Donohue’s third allegation – that Mr Higgins’ appointment by the Andrews government in 2017 was politicised because it followed stints as a Labor candidate for the state electorate of Shepparton in 2014 and the federal seat of Murray in 2013 – was found by the commission to be outside its jurisdictional scope.

This explains a lot!

Taxpayers save $100 million

Stuff reports:

The Government and Auckland Council have confirmed no deal has been reached to host the 37th America’s Cup in Auckland, and a “cash and kind” offer of $99 million has lapsed.

The confirmation comes a day before the end of the three-month period in which the two parties have exclusive rights to negotiate a hosting deal with the cup holder, Team New Zealand.

The news makes it more likely the next defence will be sailed overseas but does not preclude Auckland hosting an event as part of a wider overseas deal.

Good. It would have been outrageous spending $100 million on this.

If Team New Zealand want to defend it overseas, that’s up to them. Of course far fewer Kiwis will back them, or feel emotionally attached to the team, but that is their decision to make.

Seven Deputy CEs!!

NewstalkZB reports:

Seven senior staff at Rotorua Lakes Council can now call themselves deputy chief executives, and one has had a minimum $40,000 pay rise.

Another deputy chief executive is undergoing a salary review.

The move has been described as “unbelievable” and “laughable” by a former Rotorua mayor, who says he believes there is little chance the change will enhance services to ratepayers.

A local government expert says it represents a “detachment from reality”, but a local government managers representative says the new titles are based on outcomes instead of functions.

I bet you none of those outcomes are keeping rates affordable for ratepayers!

Why not everyone can use an EV

I have an electric vehicle and love it. But I know that not every household can use an EV. It’s not just about price.

We have two cars. If both were EVs, we’d struggle as you don’t want to be stopping every 90 minutes to recharge the car if on holiday with the pre-schoolers. So the EV is used for 90% of trips but we definitely need the petrol car for longer trips.

If you live in an apartment block, you probably can’t charge your EV.

If you live in a hilly area of Wellington, you may not have a garage and hence can’t charge an EV.

This is why taxing petrol cars an extra $3,000 or so, to subsidise EVs is wrong. It punishes people over a decision they may have no choice over.

The Herald’s secret government sponsorship

Stuff reports:

The Government’s housing developer Kāinga Ora has been paying $25,000 a month to sponsor media stories on NZME’s OneRoof real estate website.

But the stories from the KiwiBuild and public house developer did not carry a disclaimer making clear who was paying for them.

A disclaimer was added by NZME after Stuff approached the company for comment.

National’s housing spokeswoman Nicola Willis uncovered the content deal with a written question to Housing Minister Megan Woods.

“It’s a secret jack-up between the Government’s housing arm and a media provider to make what are ads look like genuine news stories,” Willis said.

Woods said in her answer to Willis the ongoing advertising agreement covered a page called “Our New Auckland” which featured advertising and “editorial content generation”.

“The purpose of this sponsorship is to raise awareness and education the Auckland public about the Kāinga Ora large scale developments, create a vision for the future, and to enable the sale of homes by its build partners.”

This section featured 64 stories styled to look like other news stories on OneRoof, many of which prominently featured Kāinga Ora affordable housing developments or talked about urban development in Auckland. Some even lifted quotes directly from pages on other sites that were more clearly run by Kāinga Ora.

But none of these pages made clear that the content was sponsored by Kāinga Ora with public money, a breach of the Advertising Standards Authority’s rules for this kind of ad.

What the Herald has done is what they condemned Cameron Slater for allegedly doing – taking money without disclosing it. Will they run any stories on themselves for this huge breach of ethics.

There are two issues here. The first is why is the Government spending $25,000 a month on housing propaganda ads rather than actually you know housing.

And the second issue is these ads were disguised as editorial, with no identification that they were paid for. And both NZME and Kāinga Ora must have known. Surely Kāinga Ora saw the ads they had paid for.

Willis said it wasn’t good enough for Kāinga Ora and the minister to blame NZME and wash their hands of the matter.

“The only way we have uncovered this $300,000 deal is because I have asked written questions about it.”

Yep this only got exposed thanks to an Opposition MP.

Hey Jacinda is this a legitimate ute user?

Newshub reports:

But Ardern confirmed she’s ruling out exemptions for utes. 

“We did discuss that because we recognised that there is a lag in the technology right now. But after discussing it, debating it and working it through, it was going to be very difficult to operationalise,” she said. 

“A large number of those buyers of those vehicles are not using them for the legitimate use as those who work in the primary sector and the trades.”

So the PM is now deciding who is and is not a legitimate ute user, and hence imposing a tax on them as some people have no “legitimate” use for them.

Clarke is not in the trades or primary sector so by the PMs own words he is not a legitimate user of utes!

Will Labour move on coward punch laws?

Stuff reports:

Kiwi UFC star Israel Adesanya has called out Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern over New Zealand’s lack of a coward punch law.

The UFC middleweight champion dedicated his unanimous decision victory over Marvin Vettori at UFC 263 in Arizona on Sunday (NZ time) to City Kickboxing teammate Fau Vake.

Following an emotional tribute to Vake, who died last month due to injuries suffered after an alleged attack while waiting for a taxi in central Auckland, Adesanya used his post-fight press conference to call on the New Zealand Government to act immediately.

Before making his plea, Adesanya looked down the barrel of the recording camera as he personally challenged the prime minister with an emotive message.

“Jacinda, I don’t know who else is in your f…… cabinet, but you know it was wrong, you know exactly what to do.

“I don’t know what puppet master is pulling the strings, but you’re the leader of the country, you handled the mosque shootings like a f…… champ, can you please do the same with this s… too,” Adesanya said.

Labour voted down a bill providing steeper penalties for coward punches that kill. I hope they reconsider their decision.

The quota people are never happy

An article in Stuff shows how the pro-quota people are never happy. If you meet one quota then they invent others for you, so the self-flagellation continues.

Michelle Duff writes:

Boardrooms are still overwhelmingly white – it’s just that now, there are more white women.

Last year, the Government reached its 50 per cent target. 

So the gender target was achieved, so now they say you also need an ethnicity target. If you make that, then they’ll demand an age target or a sexual orientation one.

But in 2019, the first year it counted ethnicity in its annual gender stocktake, it found the makeup was 21.2 percent Māori, 4.6 percent Pasifika, 3.6 percent Asian and less than one per cent other ethnicities.

And how do they describe this?

“We are doing fantastic when it comes to gender generally, but when you look within it, it’s a replication of Pākeha democracy and privilege. I think now we are ready to look at other aspects of diversity,” Equal Employment Opportunities Commissioner Dr Saunoamaali’i Karanina Sumeo says.

So let’s look at these stats. First we need to look at the eligible population. While there is no hard and fast rule I’d say it is very rare to have someone in their 20s in governance roles. You need experience to perform governance well. So what is NZ’s over 30 population. It is 74% European, 14% Asian, 12% Maori and 5% Pasifika (adds up to more than 100% as some people in multiple ethnicities).

So let’s compare state governance percentages to over 30 population.

  • European 72% vs 74%
  • Maori 21% vs 12%
  • Asian 3.6% vs 14%
  • Pasifika 4.6% vs 5%

So in fact the statement about Pakeha privilege is wrong. Both European and Pasifika state sector board appointments are roughly in line with their over 30 population.

The big disparity is that Maori are vastly over-represented and Asians vastly under-represented compared to their population.

Ahead of the release of the latest figures, Sumeo is calling for Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern to support ethnicity targets for state sector boards.

Is she calling for the number of Maori to be reduced and Asians increased?

How Bizarre is MIQ in mid-2021

I am sure there are others in similar situations (and partners/families of valued workers left overseas) so thinking this may be worth a mention.

Karen and I have a son, daughter-in-law, and seven month old grand-child in Albany (NY).

About six weeks ago she travelled there for a well documented compassionate reason. While there she got vaccinated and has the documentation. She was almost entirely with people who were also vaccinated and was in low risk areas (life also pretty normal there – with no travel restrictions).

Returning to NZ – herded into MIQ. At least three negative tests so far – on top of the vaccine. First three days not even allowed out to exercise. The fact that she is vaccinated seemingly ignored by government, MBIE, MOH. This calls into question the NZ vaccination process and credibility in the first place (or maybehighlights being last in the developed world).

Yesterday our grand-daughter was born in Auckland. For compassionate reasons Karen’s assistance would be of great value in that situation too. She has applied and applied but gets well written (a la spin doctors – described by Andrea Vance) “talk to the hand”.

To add insult to injury – today she gets told that the official letter she has that says that she gets out this Saturday is somehow wrong and it is now next Tuesday.

The easy argument is – “it is only a few more days” – but how many times would people be in the same town, in a Western democracy, as their first grand-daughter and be prevented from seeing her and helping in her first week?

Don’t compare Norm Kirk to Hitler

TVNZ reports:

But the apology comes after years of calls from the a brave group of teenage Polynesians, called the Pacific Panthers, who got together at the time to fight the injustices they were experiencing.

So what was it like growing up at as a Pacific person at that time?

“I think [it was] horrific for the children and for the parents to be attacked like that at that time of the morning, that time of the night with no warning,” Ness said.

“I would liken it to what happened to the Jewish people in the Nazi era, yeah, it’s like that. So here in New Zealand, and we’re living like that, it reminds me also of what it would be like in South Africa during the apartheid era because we’ve seen a lot of the coverage from what happened there.”

Comparing the deportation of illegal overstayers to the Holocaust is at best highly insensitive and at worst trivialising genocide.

Norm Kirk may not have been a great Prime Minister, but we can all agree that comparing him to Hitler is ludicrous.

Labour – the party of coal

This shows the amount of coal used for electricity since 1999. The 2021 data is for April 2020 to March 2021.

We are actually importing record amounts of coal. In 2017 we only imported 550,000 tonnes. In the last 12 months it was around 1.4 million tonnes. I wonder what happened that meant we had to start importing so much coal?

We’re last!

Had a look at the latest Covid-19 vaccination data. We are now officially last in the OECD with just 10% vaccinated six months after the vaccine became available.

Covid-19 vaccination rateJun-21Jun 21 Rank
South Korea23%31
New Zealand10%36

Australia is double us at 20%, US at 52%, UK at 61% and Canada at 63%. Even Mexico is double us at 20%.

We have a winner

There has been fierce competition for the most woke statement of 2021, but I am confident in proclaiming we have a winner, even with six months to go.

The School Strike 4 Climate Auckland have announced they are disbanding because they are racist.

This is a feat of woke purity that reminds me of The Life of Brian with the Judean People’s Front.

Some aspects of their statement that make them the winner for 2021 include:

  • Declaring they have been a racist space
  • They need to decolonise themselves
  • The repeated use of the US term BIPOC
  • Their failure to pay reparations to BIPOC groups
  • Their declaration that all future climate change groups must be BIPOC led and any Pakeha led groups should be discouraged

This is a level of self-flagellation that can’t be beat.

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