Key to Fiji

May 31st, 2016 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

Soured relations between New Zealand and Fiji are “ancient history” and the timing is right to visit, says Prime Minister John Key.

It is the first time in a decade a New Zealand Prime Minister will visit the island nation.

The relationship between the two nations broke down following the 2006 military coup and sanctions were put on Fiji until it returned to “free and fair elections”.

Diplomatic relations have been restored since 2014 when Fijian Prime Minister Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama, known as Frank Bainimarama, was democratically elected.

Key said he endorsed then Prime Minister, Helen Clark’s, decision to sanction Fiji but always said the relationship would “normalise” when Fiji returned to democratic elections.

Key offered to visit Fiji because “it’s an important relationship for us in the Pacific”.

Good to see relations heading back to normal. Fiji has had democratic elections but there are still disturbing incidents such as the resignation of the Police Commissioner over military interference.

Should you lose your licence for this?

May 31st, 2016 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

The kegs will be dry and the wine glasses empty at Trentham Racecourse for the first time next month after it failed a police booze sting on Wellington Cup Day.

But drunk punters horsing around were not to blame for Wellington Racing Club breaching its liquor licence on January 23.

Rather, it was an underage buyer with no ID being served alcohol on the seventh attempt of a police sting, after six previous efforts to illegally purchase alcohol had failed.

I’ve blogged before that I support suspension of liquor licenses for supermarkets that sell to under age purchasers.

But here the venue correctly refused six times in a row. Only on a 7th attempt did someone not check.

This is pretty unfair I reckon. A race day where you have maybe hundreds of temporary staff serving thousands with long queues is different to a supermarket or bar where you have permanent staff. There should be some threshold at which you conclude they are irresponsible but I am not sure only failing on the 7th attempt is it.

General Debate 31 May 2016

May 31st, 2016 at 8:00 am by Kokila Patel

Quote of the week

May 31st, 2016 at 8:00 am by TaxpayersUnion

“The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other peoples’ money.”

– Margaret Thatcher

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.

US CO2 emissions keep reducing

May 31st, 2016 at 7:00 am by David Farrar

Capx reports:

Carbon dioxide emissions in the United States fell again in 2015, according to new data from the federal government. Though the levels increased slightly in 2013 and 2014, last year’s drop is in line with the gradual decline that’s been occurring for a decade. The nearly 5.3 billion metric tons of energy-related carbon dioxide the country added to the atmosphere in 2015 is 12 percent smaller than that number in 2005.

And not due to recessions either:

More recently, however, the U.S. economy has continued to grow even in years that have seen decreases in emissions. In 2015 the economy was 15 percent larger than in 2005, but the country emitted 23 percent less carbon dioxide per dollar of GDP last year compared with 10 years prior.

This is the challenge – to reduce emissions without reducing GDP.

In the U.S., the decoupling of emissions from economic growth was largely a result of the boom in domestic gas production thanks to hydraulic fracturing. And while the deployment of renewable energy technologies has also increased substantially of late, burning natural gas instead of coal for electricity will likely continue to be the main contributor to emissions declines for years to come.

Yet the Greens oppose fracking despite saying reducing CO2 emissions is critical to our survival. Which is it? Can’t have it both ways.

Libertarian Party selects Johnson and Weld

May 30th, 2016 at 3:00 pm by David Farrar

The Washington Post reports:

William Weld, a former governor of Massachusetts who made a late-career leap to the Libertarian Party, won its vice presidential nomination Sunday after a close and raucous convention vote.

“This is a national ticket,” Weld said. “We can offer something meaningful and realistic to the country.”

Weld’s nomination, secured after a day of drama and in-person lobbying, gave the 45-year-old party the most electorally experienced ticket in its history. Gary Johnson, a two-term governor of New Mexico, won the party’s presidential nomination for the second time. He made two trips to the stage of the convention, held at Orlando’s Rosen Centre, to ask delegates not to write off Weld as a latecomer or interloper.

The Libertarian team have more executive experience than Clinton and Trump. They’ve both been elected and re-elected as popular Governors. Their chances are minuscule but they’re who I’d back.

The union battle for control of France

May 30th, 2016 at 2:00 pm by David Farrar

The Telegraph reports:

Yet there is evidence that France is, for the first time in two decades, heading for a perfect storm of social unrest fuelled by a Leftist union leader apparently bent on rekindling class warfare and a president so unpopular he cannot afford to climb down without losing his final fig leaf of credibility before elections next year.

In the past few days, the CGT has gone further than any union since 1995 to bring France to a total standstill. Between a third and half of the country’s petrol pumps are running dry, output from nuclear power stations has been cut raising the prospect of electricity shortages; and perhaps even more ominously, a series of “unlimited” public transport strikes are to begin next week just days before the Euro 2016 football tournament kicks off.

Hollande is toast if he gives in. Mind you he is toast also if he doesn’t.

Meanwhile, hotel operators warned that the union’s “scorched earth tactics” have seen occupancy rates fall by 50 per cent to their lowest since the immediate aftermath of the November Paris terror attacks, as French and foreign tourists fear travel chaos or worse.

Trying to bankrupt the country.

When France’s national newspapers refused to publish a tract on his position for free this week, the CGT arm of the printers’ union blocked their publication, letting just one daily through: l’Humanité, the Communist organ. Even Laurent Joffrin, editor of the left-wing Libération, criticised the move as “shameful and stupid”.

And will destory any media who don’t print their propoganda for them.

As polls currently stand, the winners are likely to be the centre-Right, whose candidates for presidential primaries are falling over themselves with ambitious liberal reform proposals.

If, however, the blockages and unrest persist, that could play into the hands of the far-Right Front National, whose leader Marine Le Pen has called for more workers’ rights on top of an anti-immigration line. The FN has discreetly backed the protests.

Le Pen has a solid 30% support in the polls, around 10% ahead of the next candidate. She is almost certain to make the 2nd round, between the two top polling candidates.

Unlikely she would win the second round, but not impossible.

Police arguing against their own data

May 30th, 2016 at 1:00 pm by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

Controversy over bar trading hours has polarised authorities, with police contesting Auckland Council’s provisional Local Alcohol Policy.

The two authorities are fighting over the time bars should be shut to best prevent alcohol-related brawls.

The argument has come down to one hour that they can’t agree on. A lot can happen in 60 minutes.

Both sides cite contradictory research and statistics to back up their arguments.

A 2013 law change limited the latest closing hour of bars to 4am and handed over the power to councils to enforce earlier closing times and one-way door policies within their own jurisdictions.

Since then, 20 councils have delivered provisional alcohol policies that are now under appeal.

The Auckland Council has proposed closing bars in the city centre at 4am, and a 3am curfew for suburban bars.

The council justified its position by saying closing city-centre bars any earlier would result in a mass exodus of punters at the same time, likely increasing violence.

Police say the council’s argument is “just wrong” and want to see suburban bars close by 1am and city-centre bars shut by 3am – with a 1am one-way door policy – to reduce the consumption of alcohol and, in turn, the fights.

However, police data obtained by the Herald on Sunday under the Official Information Act shows violent disorder offences, often linked to alcohol intake, have decreased consistently over the past nine years – from 3569 in 2007 to 2541 last year – in the Auckland Central area.

That is around a 30% decrease.  So on average there are eight offences a night, for a city of 1.4 million people.

Davey says the council must decide whether it’s more important to keep bars open an hour later to appease the alcohol and hospitality industries or to close them earlier and reduce the levels of harm.

Inspector Davey is sounding like a wild eyed lobbyist rather than a rational public servant.

He thinks the only interests served by having bars open later are the alcohol and hospitality industries.

No. The tens of thousands of Aucklanders who like to be able to go into town around midnight and drink and dance for a few hours. Of whom, the vast majority have a good time and don’t hurt themselves or anyone else.

But, Davey counters that reducing the availability of alcohol by even one hour would prevent “some of the needless death, serious injury and violence”.

I’m sure it would. But that is an argument to also go back to 6pm closing. It is about the balance.

The advantage of a parliamentary democracy

May 30th, 2016 at 12:00 pm by David Farrar

Lowering the Bar writes:

As many of you know, one of my chief focuses as an academic is the separation of powers and that I hold a robust view of legislative authority under Article I. Indeed, I view the erosion of legislative authority in the United States to be one of the most dangerous trends in our country. That is why I noticed a story out of New Zealand where the Prime Minister John Key was actually tossed out of Parliament for not adhering to the rules of the body. It was an incredible moment at a time where executive powers are being consolidated around the world. For those who still believe in equal legislative power in a tripartite system, it was a rare contemporary assertion of independent authority.

Further:

That is an important function, because Question Time can be a raucous affair. I think Americans find it very entertaining (I know I do) because we are saddled with a Congress that now debates almost nothing—mostly reading stuff into the record in an empty chamber—and the only time the President addresses Congress directly is the semi-regal and incredibly dull State of the Union Address. I personally think presidents shouldhave to go over there every so often and answer questions hurled at them by the opposition, complete with the jeering by both sides that punctuates Question Time

Question Time is imperfect but it is an opportunity for a good Opposition to hold the Government and Prime Minister to account.

That seems much healthier to me than a system where the president only shows up once a year, and then parades in and reads a speech like some monarch addressing subjects from a balcony.

I agree.

The state of our telecommunications market

May 30th, 2016 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

An interesting report from the Commerce Commission on our telecommunications market. Some key points:

  • Calling on a mobile phone is becoming more popular than calling on a fixed‑line phone, with mobile voice minutes poised to overtake fixed‑line voice minutes
  • Fixed broadband connections continued growing to reach 1.45 million as at 30 June 2015
  • Average data consumed per fixed line is 48 GB/mth up from 32 GB
  • A bundle sufficient for 900 calls and 2GB of data in February 2016 could be purchased for $59 a month compared to $69 in August 2014
  • Fixed line broadband connections per 100 pop have increased from 22.8 in 2008 to 32.6 in 2015
  • Average broadband speed up from 3Mbps in 2008 to 9.3 in 2015
  • 121 mobile phones per 100 people
  • 197,000 premises connected to fibre
  • 922,000 premises have fibre available

A cause of child poverty

May 30th, 2016 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

Parental breakups, not unemployment, are given in a new report as the prime cause of New Zealand’s high rate of child poverty.

The report, published today by the Family First lobby group, says the near-trebling of sole parents from 10 per cent of families with dependent children in 1976 to 28 per cent of families in the last two censuses is “the elephant in the room” in the child poverty debate.

Child poverty has tracked sole parenting almost exactly. Children in homes earning below 60 per cent of the median household income rose from 14 per cent in 1982 to 30 per cent in 2001, then declined to 22 per cent by 2007, although they have risen again recently.

“The correlation between sole parent and child poverty rates is stronger than between unemployment and child poverty rates,” says the report, by welfare commentator Lindsay Mitchell.

“Unemployment, low wages, high housing costs and insufficient social security benefits are consistently blamed for child poverty, yet a major culprit (if not the major culprit) is family malformation, that is, a lack of two married committed parents.”

I don’t think whether the parents are married is the issue, but whether or not they are committed to each other and having children together. Some couples never get married and stay together and have children.

Sole parents are naturally poorer than couples, on average, because they have only one potential income earner who often can’t work fulltime because of the children.

In 2014, 62 per cent of sole parents’ children lived in homes earning less than 60 per cent of the median income, compared with only 15 per cent of children in two-parent homes.

Not rocket science that one fewer parent involved tends to be one fewer income.

The report links the rise of separated parents to the growing acceptance of living together outside formal marriage. Children born to legally married couples plunged from 95 per cent of births in 1961 to 51.3 per cent in 2010, before recovering in each year since then to 53.5 per cent in the latest March year.

For Maori, children born to legally married parents collapsed even more spectacularly from 72 per cent of Maori births in 1968 to just 20.9 per cent in 2011, recovering to 21.6 per cent in the latest year.

Wow did not realise the rate was so low.

Indoctrinating five year olds?

May 30th, 2016 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

Autumn Nicholl, 4, and her brother Theo, 5, were among those who came out in support, with their Mum Fiona Nicholl.

Young Theo had been learning about climate change at his West Spreydon school.  

He said he was worried about the “fish dying”, while younger sister Autumn was most concerned about the whales.

They’re preaching doom and gloom to five year olds? I hope not.

No problems with teaching about climate change in secondary school, but telling five year olds that the fish are going to die because of climate change is appalling.

General Debate 30 May 2016

May 30th, 2016 at 8:00 am by Kokila Patel

Key on Auckland land

May 30th, 2016 at 7:00 am by David Farrar

Bernard Hickey writes:

Prime Minister John Key has upped the ante in the Government’s battle with the Auckland Council to free up more land for housing, saying a new National Policy Statement in the next fortnight would direct Councils to release land as a matter of law.

Responding to Council concerns that it could not afford the NZ$17 billion infrastructure bill to provide the roads, public transport, water and sewage pipes to underpin that housing, Key said the Auckland Council may need to look at selling assets.

Key used his flagship post-Budget luncheon address to a Trans Tasman Business Council audience in Auckland to increase the political heat on the Council ahead of its decision on the Unitary Plan due on August 19, and to deflect some of the political heat building up on the Government around Auckland’s housing supply shortages.

Key described the Metropolitan Urban Limit put around Auckland in 1992 as an “utterly failed experiment” that increased land prices from NZ$100,000 per section to NZ$450,000 per section now.

Excellent. The two major parties agree that it is a failed experiment that should go.

The one person who doesn’t agree it seems is Phil Goff.

More marxist professors than Republicans

May 29th, 2016 at 4:00 pm by David Farrar

Nicholas Kristof writes in the NYT:

Universities are the bedrock of progressive values, but the one kind of diversity that universities disregard is ideological and religious. We’re fine with people who don’t look like us, as long as they think like us.

O.K., that’s a little harsh. But consider George Yancey, a sociologist who is black and evangelical.

“Outside of academia I faced more problems as a black,” he told me. “But inside academia I face more problems as a Christian, and it is not even close.”

Sadly true.

Four studies found that the proportion of professors in the humanities who are Republicans ranges between 6 and 11 percent, and in the social sciences between 7 and 9 percent.

Conservatives can be spotted in the sciences and in economics, but they are virtually an endangered species in fields like anthropology, sociology, history and literature. One study found that only 2 percent of English professors are Republicans (although a large share are independents).

In contrast, some 18 percent of social scientists say they are Marxist. So it’s easier to find a Marxist in some disciplines than a Republican.

I wonder if the same would be true in NZ? Would there be more Marxist social science professors than say National supporting ones?

Considering around 0.5% of the population are probably Marxists and 47% voted National, wouldn’t it reveal something about our universities if it was also true here.

Can anyone think of any centre-right social science professors in NZ?

No tag for this post.

Took the easy way out

May 29th, 2016 at 2:00 pm by David Farrar

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And this one is actually true.

Tex on Public Polls

May 29th, 2016 at 12:00 pm by David Farrar

Mark Textor writes:

As my business partner Sir Lynton Crosby noted at a post-election forum after the 2015 UK ballot, there were more than 600 polls published in the two years leading up to the election.

As reported in The Australian he observed: “When you look at the proportion of the percentage of time of news coverage devoted to the process of an election versus the issues of an election, it was well approaching 70 per cent in the UK where people were talking about the process of the election.”

My analysis would put Australian “process” percentage at round the same proportion.

And the geese parallels don’t end there.

Data obtained from Emeritus Professor Murray Goot of Macquarie University, show that in the UK, from the dissolution of parliament to election day there was a remarkable 3.5 polls per day published and force fed to voters. The same analysis shows that in Australia in 2013, despite having a significantly smaller voting population, there was an equally remarkable 3.2 polls per day from the proroguing of Parliament to election day.

Over the last decade and longer there has been a real change from reporting on policies and political issues to reporting on “process” stories.

Hundreds of polls will have been published since the last election and by the end of this campaign. And will the public be any wiser because of these? No, because like the process that produced foie gras, it’s the poor geese that get covered in shit. As my business partner points out: “If you think a campaign should be about ideas and communication with voters to give them a sense of empowerment and understanding of issues, then I think we really had to question the role that they [the polls] started to play in [campaigns].”

When you have this incredible frequency and focus on published polls it is the polls and their (usually small) vote movements that become the most frequent story rather then the issues. So we are none the wiser about the nature of issues in the world outside because all we are fed is the fat off published polls – the vote movement.

One solution is for more published pollsters to follow the guidelines recommended by WAPOR (the World Association for Public Opinion Research). They say: “As good practice in conducting pre election polls, researchers should: … measure key variables such as … reasons for party choice or attitudes on issues or other aspects of the campaign. Such polls will have greater political and social value if they do not confine themselves only to measuring voting intention but also explore the reasons for party choice and opinions on important campaign issues”, or indeed, journalists feasting on a menu of topics beyond the foie gras of polls or campaign dynamics.

I agree entirely.

Canada beer wins for free trade

May 29th, 2016 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

Cato writes:

Last year, I mentioned a Canadian court case that could help promote free trade within Canada. Well, a lower court has now ruled for free trade, finding that the Canadian constitution does, in fact, guarantee free trade among the provinces. …

The possible impact:

Canada is rife with protectionist laws and regulations that prevent the free flow of goods from one province to another. These laws affect Canadians’ ability to buy and sell milk, chickens, eggs, cheese and many other things, including some that neither you nor I have ever even thought about. And that is the beauty of this decision. It will open up a national market in everything. Yes, the CCF, Comeau and Comeau’s pro bono defence lawyers Mikael Bernard, Arnold Schwisberg and Ian Blue can all be proud that we have “freed the beer.” But we’ve done more than that — we’ve revived the idea that Canada should have free trade within its borders, which is what the framers of our Constitution intended. That means that the Supreme Court will likely have to revisit the constitutionality of this country’s marketing boards and other internal trade restrictions. In other words, this is a big deal.

I think one of the great strengths of New Zealand is that we don’t have states, meaning we are one market, and have one set of laws.

General Debate 29 May 2016

May 29th, 2016 at 8:00 am by Kokila Patel

The Channel Nine report

May 29th, 2016 at 7:00 am by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

Stephen Rice, the producer who spent two weeks in a Lebanese jail, appears to have taken the fall for the 60 Minutes child snatch fiasco, despite a so-called “independent review” recommending that no individual be sacked over the matter.

The interim report into the saga, handed down on Friday, blasted the 60 Minutes operation for systemic failures at every level.

The report’s authors – Gerald Stone, the founder of 60 Minutes in Australia in 1979; senior Nine executive David Hurley; and Nine Entertainment Co’s in-house counsel Rachel Launders – found that a number of “critically relevant questions” relating to the decision to film the attempted rescue-cum-abduction of the children of Brisbane mother Sally Faulkner in Lebanon were never raised “by the executive producer who approved it, the senior producer who proposed it, or the reporting team that volunteered to participate in it”.

Amongst the questions the report says were never asked are:

Would payment to the child recovery agency encourage an unlawful act?

Could such a payment backfire on Nine?

Would Nine’s staff be participating in an unlawful act?

What were the potential consequences if the act failed?

What would be the impact on the reputation of Nine and 60 Minutes if the operation failed or resulted in injury? and

Did the public interest in telling the story outweigh the risks involved?

So these geniuses never even considered whether what they were funding was illegal and what might happen if it failed. Incredible. They’re lucky only one of them was sacked.

Further exacerbating the situation was the fact that 60 Minutes had come to operate with a degree of autonomy so great “that the executive producer saw no need to consult with the director of news & current affairs on the wisdom of commissioning this story”.

This is what surprised me. That a producer could decide to fund a televised kidnapping and not need to even consult with the director of news!

Review: Tickled

May 28th, 2016 at 4:00 pm by David Farrar

Went to see the Tickled documentary on Monday night.

It was an intriguing 90 minute expose which was equally funny and disturbing.

The film is basically a public service documentary exposing the actions of David D’Amato and his decades of fixation with tickling videos. Not that there is anything wrong with tickling videos (if that is your thing) but the lengths D’Amato goes to to destroy people he has fallen out with, vilify them, bully them and hide his identity.

It all started a few years ago when David Farrier saw an ad for people to take part in a competitive tickling video and asked if he could do one of his light hearted stories on it. The response from “Jane O’Brien Media” was so virulent and over the top (basically saying that they want nothing at all to do with a homosexual journalist and there is nothing at all gay about videos of men tying other men down and ticking their bare bodies), that Farrier got intrigued.

With the technical skills of Dylan Reeve and some whois lookups they pieced together a network of sites all controlled by the one person.

As they started to make more inquiries, JOM flew not one but three people over from the US to NZ to try and encourage them to stop. The encouragement was a series of threats. This made them more determined and they flew to America to do further research and interviews.

They eventually worked out that the person behind all this was David D’Amato who had been sentenced in 2001 for posing as Terri DiSisto, better known as Terri Tickle. It seems after his sentence, he carried on under another persona.

This is one of the true stories that you would think is fictional. the film captures the weirdness of it all, while also exposing some very nasty behaviour from a rich guy who hides behind fake identities.

What I found most fascinating is the motiviation of D’Amato is not money. He doesn’t make money from his fetish. He inherited millions of dollars from his father. He could spend that in dozens of ways to have a happy nice life. But instead for some reason he is compelled to use it to harrass, threaten and intimidate people.

I’d definitely recommend seeing the documentary. It’s engrossing and captivating. They did a good job editing it so it is a punchy 90 minutes long.

A video interview on Vice with David Farrier is below

Read the rest of this entry »

Good one Bish

May 28th, 2016 at 3:20 pm by David Farrar

Chris Bishop facebooked:

This afternoon I got a message on my Facebook page from Joan about a poor wee kitten left on her front lawn, near death’s door. I had a free hour so I raced out to Waitangirua to pick it up. The poor thing was not in good shape – but it was still alive, just.

I got in touch with the Kitten Inn on the way and they said to take it direct to the Petone Vet hospital. They took it straight off me for the doc to check out. I hope it pulls through! The Kitten Inn will take care of it after that, and place it with a loving family. They’ve currently got 100 kittens awaiting homes, and perform a sterling service saving kittens from right around the Hutt. Thanks Susan and your team for all that you do!

Animal rescue charities are the best. Great Bish was able to help and pick the kitten up.

Union exposed lying about strike

May 28th, 2016 at 2:00 pm by David Farrar

The Telegraph reports:

Doctors’ leaders aimed to drag out a bitter dispute over a new contract for 18 months and admitted pay is “the only real red line,” leaked messages reveal.

The secret strategy is revealed in more than 1000 pages of leaked Whatsapp messages – just weeks before 40,000 junior doctors vote on a deal which has just been agreed between the British Medical Association (BMA) and Government.

The correspondence, between members of the union’s Junior Doctors Committee, over the past six months discloses secret tactics which are at odds with the public messages being conveyed.

Despite repeated public protestations that safety, not pay, was the chief concern about proposed changes, a member the committee described pay as ““the only real red line” for junior doctors.

The messages show that while the union was claiming it wanted enter talks with Government, its committee chairman was privately suggesting that delaying tactics, and a string of strikes, could be the “best solution” to the dispute.

This is no surprise. The aim of the union was to hurt the Government, not get a settlement, and their claims of concern about safety were a smokescreen for simply wanting more money.

A great idea for Wellington

May 28th, 2016 at 12:00 pm by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

Imagine heading down to Oriental Bay in July and looking out over the harbour on one of those typical calm, blue sky Wellington winter days. 

You know, the ones that follow the southerly storms and remind us of why we live here. Now imagine doing all this while lounging in a hot, outdoor, saltwater swimming pool. 

One Wellington businessman is working on making the fantasy a reality.

Prefab owner Jeff Kennedy is a member of the Better Te Aro Collective, which wants to rejuvenate the central city.

His idea is to create a hot pool complex next to Freyberg Pool, where the old open air, saltwater Te Aro Baths once were.

That’s a fantastic idea. Wellington has many great summer days (and still getting them in late May!) but the water is never warm. A heated outfoor recreational pool would be great.

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Would be very popular with locals and tourists.

Garner on Labour

May 28th, 2016 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

Duncan Garner writes:

Would Jacinda Ardern and Phil Twyford be a better leadership team? Both are from Auckland. Both have performed well this year. Both know the issues. But sources tell me this won’t happen.

The caucus is resigned to heading into the election with Little at the helm. There is a growing acceptance within that Little won’t lead them to victory.

My sources also tell me Little has failed to raise any money and that’s crucial. Also, who can even tell what Labour really stands for any more.

Yes they claim they will sort out the housing woes, apparently, with a major scheme to build 100,000 homes across 10 years. Sounds great. Is it possible? Who knows.

Little’s claim to sort the housing crisis out within the first term doesn’t ring true.

No amount of wand- waving can sort Auckland’s housing issues within three years. It’s impossible.

Labour used to stand for a capital gains tax, then they dropped it. Yet this week they have talked once again about new taxes and targeting property investors and speculators. Does that mean a capital gains tax again? Possibly. But not for the 2017 election.

As far as I can tell their only solid policy is to spend an extra $1.2 billion a year (that’s 80% of the allowance for new spending) on subsidising 100% of tertiary fees for the most well off in society.