When the Taliban treat a Kiwi woman better than the NZ Government

Charlotte Bellis wrote:

My name is Charlotte Bellis and I am from Christchurch New Zealand, but based in Afghanistan.

You might know me for being that Kiwi journalist who asked the Taliban in their inaugural press conference; “what will you do to protect the rights of women and girls?”

What no one has known, until now, is that I conceived a little girl a week after that press conference. 

She found out she was pregnant in Qatar, where it is illegal to be pregnant and unmarried.

With Jim stuck in Kabul, we made a plan to keep everything secret until I was safely out of Qatar and try to get an MIQ spot in New Zealand. I immediately started playing the MIQ lottery, waking up at 3am and staring at my computer, only to miss out time and again. I resigned from Al Jazeera in November, losing my income, health insurance and residency.  …

Then, some relief. The Government announced that New Zealand would open to citizens at the end of February. The timing was perfect. I would be 29 weeks pregnant and could get back in time for our little girl’s birth in May. Foreigners would be allowed in from the end of April, so Jim could be there for the birth too. We booked flights home and found a midwife in Christchurch.

So all was okay so long as the Government kept its word.

The problem was the only other place we had visas to live was Afghanistan. I organised a meeting with senior Taliban contacts, “you know how I am dating Jim from The New York Times, but we’re not married, right?” “Yes, yes we respect you both and you are foreigners, that is up to you.” I nervously continued. “Well, I am pregnant and I can’t get back into New Zealand. If I come to Kabul, will we have a problem?” One translated for the other and they smiled. “No we’re happy for you, you can come and you won’t have a problem. Just tell people you’re married and if it escalates, call us. Don’t worry. Everything will be fine.”

When the Taliban offers you – a pregnant, unmarried woman – safe haven, you know your situation is messed up.

Think about that sentence. A pregnant Kiwi had to rely on the good graces of the Taliban as she couldn’t get home.

Soon after, the February border reopening was “delayed” and the lottery suspended. We were devastated. There was no way home other than to apply for emergency MIQ spots. We had read the horror stories of pregnant women being rejected, seen the statistics of just 5 per cent of Kiwis being approved if they are unable to stay in their current location and only 14 per cent being approved if there is a risk to their health and safety. We talked to Grounded Kiwis and lawyer Tudor Clee, who agreed to take our case pro bono and had a track record of helping pregnant Kiwis stuck abroad.

Those stats are a disgrace.

Between Jim and I, we submitted 59 documents to MIQ and Immigration NZ, including a cover letter written by our lawyer summarising our situation.

On Monday, 24 January, we woke up to an email. We were rejected.

Bellis is a New Zealand citizen. She should not have to beg to be allowed home, especially when she is pregnant.

I had tried to prepare for this day. I thought I would cry, but I was in shock. I had done everything they asked. What was the threshold? What more can I do? How did they want me to prove that giving birth was a scheduled, time-critical medical treatment? Did they want me to be induced so there was a firm date? And how to prove that Afghanistan did not offer the same maternity care as in New Zealand? I thought about sending them a story I did in October at a maternity hospital in Kabul where they had no power so were delivering by cell phones at night. They couldn’t do caesarean deliveries and the only medicine they had were tabs of paracetamol wrapped in crinkled newspaper. The hospital staff said even those would run out in a month’s time. The UN wrote recently that they expect an extra 50,000 women will die during childbirth in Afghanistan by 2025 because of the state of maternity care. Note “extra” – the total will be closer to 70,000.
Here, getting pregnant can be a death sentence.

The inhumanity of MIQ.

But then the issue made it way to Chris Hipkins’ office and Hipkins realised the incredibly bad look this was, so he got the decision reversed.

While Jim and I still have not been approved to return to New Zealand, I will not sit in Kabul, hopeful they will slide us through the back door of MIQ. They rejected us, like they have so many thousands of other desperate New Zealanders, and seemingly, because of who we are and the resources we have. They have quietly overturned their ruling and are now “reviewing our application”.

The Minister intervened because Bellis is a globally famous journalist. But what about all the other pregnant women out there locked out by this Government?

The decision of who should get an emergency MIQ spot is not made on a level playing field, lacks ethical reasoning and pits our most vulnerable against each other. MIQ has set aside hundreds of emergency rooms for evacuating Afghan citizens, and I was told maybe, as a tax-paying, rates-paying New Zealander, I can get home on their allotment. Is this the Hunger Games? Pitting desperate NZ citizens against terrified Afghan allies for access to safety? Who is more important – let’s let MIQ decide.

The comparison to The Hunger Games is very apt.

I am writing this because I believe in transparency and I believe that we as a country are better than this. Jacinda Ardern is better than this.

I’ve got bad news for you!

The morning we were rejected, I sobbed in my window overlooking Kabul’s snow-covered rooftops. I wasn’t triggered by the disappointment and uncertainty, but by the breach of trust. That in my time of need, the New Zealand Government said you’re not welcome here. It feels surreal to even write that. And so, I cried. I thought, I hope this never happens again. I thought, we are so much better than this. I thought back to August, and how brutally ironic it was, that I had asked the Taliban what they would do to ensure the rights of women and girls. And now, I am asking the same question of my own Government.

Pleased that Bellis will be able to come home and hopefully safely deliver her baby. Sad that so many others remain locked out by this Government.

Mosques and churches seek judicial review of Covid rules

On Christmas Eve Family First emailed its supporters about a court challenge being brought against the traffic light rules.

15 applicants, representing 110 Church congregations and 2 Mosques, with over 26,000 congregants between them, filed an application for judicial review of the rules in the covid traffic light order applying to Churches and Mosques.

The Churches and Mosques say the traffic light rules are an unreasonable limit on their right to manifest their religion in public with others, which is protected by section 15 of the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990.

The applicants have filed in the Wellington High Court asking it to declare that the restrictions imposed on religious gatherings are unjustifiable. It will be a fascinating case that will spotlight if the Bill of Rights Act has real teeth.

When Governments use regulations to impose restrictions on important rights to protect us from a pandemic, it is important that they show that the restrictions they put in place are the least restrictive means available to achieve their goals. During lockdowns, I understand the Churches and Mosques were happy to comply with the restrictions they faced because it was important to keep everyone safe and elimination was the goal.

However, now that RATs are available to allow for domestic travel for the unvaccinated, and now that, using safety measures, schools can open with unvaccinated students, the churches and mosques believe the same options should be available to them – a way to practise their faith, safely, in a manner that does not require them to segregate or exclude people over their medical choices.

The Applicants say that manifestation of religion in public with others is not a social or leisure activity like with other social group activities. It is essential; it is a protected legal right like the right to education, like the right to freedom of movement, like the other essential rights that are protected under the traffic light rules.

Religions must be able to assemble as their religion. They argue they cannot do that with separate types of service for those with certificates and those without. It cannot be required by the State to effectively ex-communicate people for their health decisions.

The Applicants have asked the Court to rule that the restrictions the Covid Minister has imposed on places of worship by the Traffic Light Rules are outside the powers given to him by Parliament, and that he failed to take account of the importance of freedom of religion at law and to properly understand the theology of religious practise.

The Applicants all agree that Covid-19 is a serious public health threat. All are committed to the public health effort. All are law-abiding. They are heavily vaccinated; some of the applicants have even run vaccination drives in South Auckland.

Counsel for the Applicants are barristers Madeleine Flannagan and Graeme Edgeler.

The applicants are:

  1. Orewa Community Church, an Interdenominational Church, assembling in Orewa as a single congregation ministering to about 200 people a week.
  2. Al Hikmah Trust, a Registered Trust and Islamic Mosque, meeting in Auckland City as two student congregations serving a total of about 170 people a week.
  3. St Anthony’s Catholic Church, a Catholic Church, assembling in Wanganui as a single congregation ministering to about 500 people a week.
  4. Bridges Church, a non-denominational Christian Community Church, assembling in Cambridge as a single congregation ministering to about 200 people a week.
  5. Three of the forty NZ Pentecostal C3 Churches, suing with the support of their National Organisation. The three C3 Churches assemble in Auckland, Taupo and Christchurch as six congregations ministering to about 1200 people a week.
  6. Central Worship Centre Church, an internationally affiliated church, meeting in Avondale as a single congregation ministering to about 40 regular attendees.
  7. City Impact Churches, a Pentecostal denominational church with nine campuses across New Zealand with gatherings of around 10,000 regular attendees across all locations.
  8. Connect Church, an evangelical Pentecostal church meeting in Paraparaumu with weekly attendance of about 400 people.
  9. Curate Churches, an Independent Christian church with congregations in Auckland, Tauranga, and Whakatane with about 1600 attendees.
  10. Encounter Churches, an Independent Pentecostal church with locations in Auckland, Levin, and Bream Bay, with attendance of about 600 across all locations.
  11. Equippers Auckland Trust, Pentecostal churches assembling in Auckland as four congregations ministering to about 2200 people a week.
  12. LifeChurches, a non-denominational Christian congregation of about 400 regular attendees meeting over 5 locations across Auckland.
  13. New Life Churches, a national evangelical Pentecostal collection of 73 churches serving all ethnicities and community types meeting from Auckland to Bluff, with weekly attendances of about 9000 people.
  14. Papatoetoe Community Church, a non-denominational Christian Community Church congregating in Papatoetoe and serving about 60 people.
  15. Reverend Johnathan Grant, the Vicar of St Paul’s Symonds Street, which is a parish within the Anglican Diocese of Auckland ministering

So this will be a fascinating case.

The $8,000 per household pipe dream

You have to wonder how gullible Labour thinks Aucklanders are. In 2017 they promised light rail to Mt Roskill would be complete by 2021. We are now in 2022 and having not managed anything beyond spending $50 million on failed plans, their latest plan is to spend $15 billion which is $8,000 per household on a light rail link which they claim may start construction in 2023. If you believe that, you should go buy a bridge.

Guest Post: The Future of New Zealand Media

A guest post by Melissa Lee:

I am going to make one thing very clear.

The Public Interest Journalism Fund is not fit for purpose.

I am deeply concerned over its value in enhancing New Zealand’s media plurality and the impact it may have on the future of our democracy and it should be scrapped.

In 2021 I wrote a few columns on different media platforms about my deep concerns over whether we have a media bias in New Zealand and what impact any bias, positive or negative, in the media sector could have on the future of New Zealand. Many people stood in righteous indignation against my concerns dismissing the idea that the media, even with millions in taxpayer funds, could be bought out by the Government or could utilise the funds in a way that advances certain causes or ideals by proxy over others.

I’m not going to go into detail over my concerns again as a few Journalists and media commentators have finally started reading the room on what the concept of a large portion of our ostensibly commercial journalism sector being taxpayer funded may mean. After all some have called the Fund a ‘bribe’ while as others see it as a Band-Aid on a festering wound that public and private media are alike failing to fully adapt to a globalised marketplace with all the content, bias and consumer options that is now provided to the New Zealander of 2022.

I will make it clear the Fund as it stands is not fit for purpose and must be ended, I will not allow this fund to continue if I have the opportunity to be the next National Government’s Broadcasting Minister.

The very essence of the fund allowing for political matters in journalism to be taxpayer funded is anathema to my core as a former journalist. Frankly, as I stated in Parliament, “Any news outlet that seeks money from the fund is signing up to a politicised project whose rules are fundamentally incompatible with free and independent journalism.” The age of the occasional maverick ‘activist’ or political journalist has now turned into this role being an increased ‘norm’ for media; after all, it is far more attractive to be outspoken and have proactive soundbites that get the message front and centre than to spend the better part of the year on a deep dive investigation or re-analysing an international newswire into a New Zealand context, the role of political editor has morphed from a presenter to a absolutist judge of political fact. The names of John Campbell, Tova O’Brien and Barry Soper are well known to most New Zealanders and yet they’d struggle to name many of the current reporters and journalists writing and reporting on more mundane matters of the day.

That said I have little problem with our public non-commercial broadcasters stepping in supporting apolitical community-led journalism where the commercial players are not capable covering local issues of importance to small town New Zealand, such as local Government meetings and significant events that fall by the wayside to the rest of New Zealand, however for this we are talking $1-2million for a handful of roving reporters not $55million being handed out in volumes to entities that have been essential services during the COVID-19 pandemic and able to operate near business as usual with large revenue streams.

The solution to the future of public media and publicly funded journalism is not simple. To announce a ban on any form of ‘political content’ funded by public media in general would bring about a significant debate on what we mean by political reporting. A common turn of phrase used in the political area is “this is not a political issue” which is commonly now expressed when the most political issues of the day are being debated. We need to be clearer about what we believe public funds should be provided for in general, we need to determine if NZ on Air is fit for purpose in a politicised world and we need to understand how to move forward as a nation in this space. Despite a year going by and millions more spent in reviews and funding we are still sitting in gridlock as New Zealanders decide on what we agree should be allowed ‘on the air’ and actually whether we want it taxpayer funded. We still don’t actually know what we consider ‘public interest’ and the definitions have been left to unaccountable public sector employees, that’s not good enough!

I believe the private sector is the best place for political journalism just as I believe political funding of public media should have no place in New Zealand’s democracy. We need a far stronger shift in the understanding of the future of media in New Zealand when the international community is now providing so much that influences our daily lives in a disproportionate way to that funded through NZ on Air; that isn’t NZ on Air’s fault, it’s just fact and mandating quotas or topping up private industries isn’t going to change this. Our nation is more multicultural than ever with 213+ ethnicities calling New Zealand home. As a Korean New Zealander I am just as likely to be engaging in digital platform Korean language content from overseas as I am watching home-grown content about homespun stories because few New Zealand platforms regularly provide this to the domestic Korean audience. If there’s high quality alternatives in the commercial sector globally. Simply put, as a principle, industry, not the government and actually, not the taxpayer either, should be front-footing the future of media. Public Media is there to fill a public information and service gap and to cover matters of national interest in an impartial way; it has a role as a record keeper and presenter but not a role as an arbitrator of history and society.

2022 is going to be a big year for New Zealand media and as National’s Spokesperson I will be holding the Government (and them) to account. Let me know what you think about the future of public media and what’ve just said, I’m keen to listen.

2023 is not far away and your views matter as National fights to return to the Treasury Benches and end the shambles that has been the Labour Government.

We need to sort out our media sector – now.

Efeso Collins to stand for Auckland Mayor

Stuff reports:

Auckland councillor Fa’anana Efeso Collins has confirmed he’ll run for mayor in October, creating what may be a contest between rival, Labour-aligned candidates.

Collins, who is Samoan, told Stuff it was a “bold move” he had been considering since last August.

The high-profile Manukau ward councillor’s mayoral confirmation will cause a flurry in Labour party circles, with fellow left-leaning councillor Richard Hills also poised to confirm a bid.

It is well known that Hills is the choice of Ardern and the Labour elite. He will be Labour’s candidate.

But Collins is implying he will stand, even if Hills gets Labour’s endorsement. That could split votes badly for the centre-left and allow a more fiscally responsible candidate to win.

NZ seizing RATs as Australia rolls them out

In Australia:

The Australia’s Department of Health is finalising substantial changes to give returning travellers the option of completing a rapid antigen test (RAT) within 24 hours before their flight, rather than having to take an expensive PCR test within three days as is currently required.

In New Zealand:

Covid testing kits are being stopped at the border as Kiwis try to import them for home use, and the seizures have been criticised as unfair and illogical.

Crazy. We should be selling them in supermarkets, not confiscating them.

Inflation at 30 year high

Inflation is at a 30 year high. The only time in our history inflation has been higher is before the Reserve Bank was tasked with bringing inflation down in the 1989 Reserve Bank Act, SO this is the highest it has been in the modern era.

This hurts households doubly. First of all they have to pay more for food, rent, power etc. But if they do get a wage increase to compensate, fiscal drag will increase their effective tax rate.

WHO says lift travel bans

Newshub reports:

The World Health Organisation (WHO) is advising against COVID-19 travel restrictions, describing them as a “heavy burden on lives and livelihoods”. 

In recently updated advice on its website, the United Nations branch said blanket travel bans “will not prevent the international spread” of COVID-19 and “they place a heavy burden on lives and livelihoods”.  

“Lift or ease international travel bans as they do not provide added value and continue to contribute to the economic and social stress experienced,” the WHO advice reads. 

“The failure of travel restrictions introduced after the detection and reporting of the Omicron variant to limit international spread of Omicron demonstrates the ineffectiveness of such measures over time.”

While the UK plans to drop nearly all coronavirus restrictions and Australia has removed quarantine rules for the vaccinated, New Zealand still requires international arrivals to spend 10 days in a state-run managed isolation and quarantine (MIQ) facility. 

We should remember this when the Government says it is following the science.

Roe vs Wade

There is a lot of interest in whether the US Supreme Court is going to overturn Roe vs Wade, a previous SCOTUS decision that found abortion to be a constitutional right (at least for the first trimester).

My view on abortion is it should be safe and legal. I’d also like to see better contraception services so abortion is less common (note in NZ it has been falling for many years).

The current NZ law which treats it primarily as a health issue is a good one. If I lived in the United States I would want to see either Congress make abortion legal throughout the country, or have all 50 states do so through state legislatures.

So you might expect me to be a supporter of Roe vs Wade.

But I am not.

It is a terrible decision. It is one of the worst decisions made by the Supreme Court where a majority of Justices just decided to invent a constitutional right, because that would align with their policy preferences.

One of the reasons abortion is such a divisive issue in the US, is because of resentment that the Supreme Court decided the issue for the entire country, rather than have it decided democratically through legislatures as we have done in New Zealand.

The clause in the Constitution that is used to justify Roe vs Wade is this:

No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

How you get from that very general statement of due process to “this means that abortion is a constitutional right” is a feat of judicial activism.

Even Ruth Bader Ginsburg has been critical of Roe vs Wade. She is totally supportive of the outcome, but has said the reasoning in the decision was flawed.

Like RBG, I like the outcome of Roe vs Wade. I’d vote (if in the US) for a constitutional amendment stating abortion is a right. But the fact I agree with the outcome, doesn’t mean I think the judgment is a good one, which should stand.

From a policy point of view I’d love it if the Supreme Court declared taxation greater than 10% of income is unconstitutional. It would be great. But it would be just as wrong for the Supreme Court to invent low taxation as a constitutional right. And imagine how outraged left wingers would be if the Supreme Court declared taxation over 10% illegal. Well that is how many on the right feel about Roe vs Wade.

We’re not confiscating, we’re consolidating!!!

Chris Bishop broke the news that the Government has started to confiscate private stocks of RATs. This shows such signs of panic, and it was all avoidable. Many people had been arguing for many many months that NZ needed to get more RATs into New Zealand. They were asleep at the wheel, and having woken up they have just decided to confiscate stock from those who actually took the initiative.

But wait until you read the spin from the Government. George Orwell could not beat this.

They’re not confiscating RATs, they’re consolidating them!!!

Biden’s blunder

AP reports:

Meanwhile, the president of Ukraine has rebuked Joe Biden for a gaffe which was described as an “invitation for Putin to invade”.

Volodymyr Zelensky warned against distinguishing between a small or large Russian attack on his country as he criticised the US leader for saying a “minor incursion” may not trigger a Nato response.

“We want to remind the great powers that there are no minor incursions and small nations,” Zelesnky said on Thursday.

“Just as there are no minor casualties and little grief from the loss of loved ones. I say this as the President of a great power.”

At a White House press conference on Wednesday, Biden said he now believed that Vladimir Putin will “move in” on Ukraine, and reiterated warnings that such an attack would have “disastrous” consequences for Russia.

But he added: “It’s one thing if it’s a minor incursion, and we [in Nato] end up fighting about what we should do, not do.”

Biden basically said that if the invasion is “minor” then the consequences won’t be as severe. A massive foreign policy blunder from a President who was meant to be a foreign policy expert.

Dangerous resistance by Govt to saliva testing

Stuff reports:

A Covid-19 saliva testing expert from Yale University is “terrified” at how unprepared the Government is for Omicron, and says it urgently needs to ramp up saliva testing of border workers before it is too late.

Yale University’s Anne Wyllie says New Zealand authorities need to test border workers daily, and pay attention to new research showing saliva testing is better at detecting Omicron.

“I’m terrified it’s going to be too little too late. New Zealand has had almost two years to straighten out its testing system, to get things in place.”

RATs are still banned from import and not widely available and publicly funded saliva testing is also near non-existent. And we have known for over a year both are needed.

A study from the University of Cape Town, in South Africa, finds nasal swabs, which performed well with the Delta variant, were less effective at detecting Omicron. It concludes nasal samples may be “suboptimal” for detecting the new variant.

Even if you are sticking with nasal polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests, Wyllie warns testing high-risk border workers once or twice a week is nowhere near enough to get on top of an Omicron outbreak.

What worked well with other variants will crumble with Omicron.

Te Pāti Māori co-leader Debbie Ngarewa-Packer labels the hold-up on a wider roll-out of saliva testing as “bizarre”.

Last year, during the Delta outbreak, iwi in Taranaki largely gave up on the public Covid-19 testing system, instead training up their own volunteers to administer saliva tests from Rako Science.

She says the availability of saliva testing made a real difference to how willing people were to be tested.

It’s less unpleasant, and quicker.

31 years for Auckland light rail to reduce emissions

Simeon Brown writes:

Finally, the project is dubbed as reducing Auckland’s carbon emissions from transportation. While this is a significant problem, a light rail is a very expensive solution.

The preferred option of the Light Rail Establishment Unit is option two – a tunnelled light rail that is anticipated to reduce carbon emissions by 980,000 tonnes over its lifetime.

Unfortunately, carbon neutrality will only be reached by 2053 after taking into account the carbon emitted in the construction of the project.

Overall this amounts to approximately $16,000 per tonne of carbon saved and will only reduce emissions by 4.5 days’ worth of NZ’s current emissions output.

The Government could spend the same amount of money and buy every voter in the Auckland Central, Mt Albert, Mt Roskill and Māngere Electorates a Tesla Model 3 and achieve a better reduction in carbon emissions.

The Auckland Light Rail project appears to be a solution looking for a problem.

Some alternative solutions I suggest are; building a rail spur from Puhinui to the airport to connect our airport with the main rail line; planning for a second harbour crossing to give more resilience to our city’s transport network and more public transport options for the North Shore; completing the Eastern Busway; and building a busway to the west to give more public transport choices to other parts of Auckland.

Much better ideas

A not entirely hypothetical election scenario

I’m interested in the views of readers as to what they think would be the appropriate response to a disputed (some say stolen) election in the US by supporters of the losing party.

Let’s say it is 2024 and it is a close election where it comes down to one state being the difference between who wins and loses (like in 2000). Your candidate wins that state by a comfortable majority of 50,000 votes (over 1%).

The other party disputes the results in that state. They file numerous lawsuits, which all fail, and have zero proof of any fraud which would change the result. However the other party has a majority in both the state house and senate. The other party pass a resolution declaring the results of the vote is unclear due to fraud allegations and they vote for a set of electors from their party. The Governor (also from the other party) certifies a set of electors from the winning candidate (your party).

Both sets of electors meet and send to Congress votes for their respective candidates.

The other party has a narrow majority in the House and Senate. They use that majority to reject the set of electors from the Governor (reflecting the actual vote) and choose the electors from the State Legislature on the basis the Constitution gives the power to state legislatures to decide the manner of appointing electors. They certify the election for the candidate from the party you did not vote for.

The Supreme Court declines to rule on the issue, stating under separation of powers its job is not to second guess Congress, even though Congress has ignored the results of the actual election in that state.

So the candidate from the party you oppose is sworn in as President, despite clearly losing the election in terms of electoral college votes. The other party has just used its majority in the state legislature and Congress to ignore the result.

You regard the President as being illegitimate and what the other party did as partially ending democratic elections as the hallmark of the United States.

Vote below on what you think the appropriate response should be in this scenario. Would you just accept the result, or protest against it, and how?

Create your own user feedback survey

The lending restrictions fiasco

Radio NZ reports:

Low-deposit lending restrictions and other lending law changes are locking prospective homeowners out of finance they would have qualified for weeks ago, financial advisers say.

The proportion of home loan applications that result in loans has fallen from 36 per cent to 30 per cent since the start of December, according to data from credit reporting agency Centrix.

Centrix estimated the lending slowdown amounted to almost $2 billion, with home loans dropping from an average of 30,000 per month to 23,000.

That’s a huge drop.

Financial Advice New Zealand chief executive Katrina Shanks said the changes were supposed to protect vulnerable borrowers from unscrupulous lenders, but had unintended consequences, putting would-be borrowers at a big financial disadvantage.

She said a survey of mortgage advisers identified a significant reduction in pre-approvals not being renewed and cuts to lending levels because of the new requirements of the Credit Contracts and Consumer Finance Act (CCCFA).

“Within two days we had 300 stories of clients who had not been able to obtain a mortgage or it had been more difficult, or had been reduced, or declined altogether,” she said.

The Government was explicitly warned this might happen, but ignored it.

The new law provides for hefty fines for lenders who make a loan to someone who can’t afford the repayments. And it states that senior directors and managers will be personally liable, and can’t even get insurance for any liability,

So of course senior management will massively tighten up criteria for loans.

“The issue with the CCCFA is that it’s a very wide net that’s captured all New Zealanders, not just those who are vulnerable. It’s made the affordability test so hard now that the average New Zealander who was not vulnerable cannot obtain the credit they could previously.”

In some cases, Shanks said banks were refusing loan applications or drastically cutting the amount they would lend because people were spending too much on takeaway food and coffees.

Huge own goal by the Government.

A decision that should take only 247 zeptoseconds

Newshub reports:

Mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik gave a Nazi salute on Tuesday as he arrived in court for a parole hearing that will decide if he should be released after spending more than a decade behind bars.

There’s something wring with the Judge if he needs more than 247 zeptoseconds to decide not to give Breivik parole.

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