All talk no delivery

Stuff reports:

The Government is set to spend far less than it promised on mental health initiatives in its 2019 Budget.

A flagship new frontline mental health service intended to keep mild and moderate patients away from hospitals had only seen $67.4 million by March – less than half the $145.3m it was due to cost by July. …

National’s mental health spokesman, Matt Doocey, who uncovered the funding situation using a written parliamentary question, said the Government was good at making announcements but bad at actually delivering on them.

This cuts to the heart of it.

Announcing funding decisions is easy. Any semi-competent person can do it.

Riding your agencies hard to make sure they deliver is difficult. It requires cunning, tenacity and experience.

Helen Mirren to play Golda Meir

Hollywood Reporter reports:

Helen Mirren is set to portray Israel’s only female prime minister Golda Meir in an upcoming biopic set during the Yom Kippur War.

Golda, from BAFTA-winning producer Michael Kuhn (Florence Foster JenkinsThe Duchess) and being directed by Oscar winner Guy Nattiv, will focus on the 1973 conflict, when Egypt, Syria, and Jordan launched a surprise attack on Israel to reclaim territory lost during the Six-Day War in 1967, and the decisions made by Meir amid infighting from her all-male cabinet. Nicholas Martin (Florence Foster Jenkins) wrote the screenplay and also produces.

An inspired choice. Mirren is perfect to play Meir.

Golda Meir is one of my political heroes. She was one of 24 signatories of the Israeli Declaration of Independence, and was issued Israel’s first passport as Ambassador to the USSR. As Minister of Housing she saw 230,000 houses and apartments built. She ordered Mossad to kill the terrorists who slaughtered the Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics. She also presided over the winning of the 1973 Yom Kippur War which saw 10 Arab countries supported by Cuba and the USSR attack Israel without warning on their holiest day. The war lasted 19 days and saw Egypt and Syria lose 2,100 square kms of territory.

Guest Post: The Bomber War – Part I

A guest post by David Garrett:

Last year marked the 80th anniversary of the end of the Battle of Britain. In the northern summer of 1940, pilots from Britain, all parts of the Commonwealth, a few Americans, and a bunch of very pissed off Poles and Czechs took to the skies over southern England to battle the Luftwaffe, which was tasked with establishing air superiority so Operation Sealion, the planned invasion of Britain, could proceed.

The story is well known: against odds of four to one, and with the assistance of radar, fighters which were at least the equal if not in some respects superior to the Germans’ – and brilliant tactical decisions  by New Zealander Air Vice Marshal Keith Park, who controlled the fighter group defending London and the south of England – the Luftwaffe failed, and Operation Sealion never took place. “The few”, as Churchill memorably called them, had prevailed, and England lived to fight on until eventually joined by the Americans. The RAF lost 544 pilots in the Battle of Britain.

By September 1940, the Battle of Britain had been fought and won – but Bomber Command’s war was just beginning, and was to last until literally the last week of the war, with an attack on Hitler’s housing complex at Berchtesgaden (unfortunately Adolf wasn’t home). While the achievement of “the few” was magnificent and should indeed never be forgotten, it is sobering to note that Bomber Command lost more aircrew in one raid – 670 in a disastrous raid on Nuremberg which went horribly wrong – than in the entire Battle of Britain. In all, over 55,000 airmen in Bomber Command lost their lives, including 1800 odd New Zealanders.

Night after night, for almost five years, young men from throughout the Commonwealth climbed into bombers and flew eight or nine hours to and from targets in Germany. The comparison between a nine hour trip in a modern jet aircraft and those trips eighty years ago  is so massive as to be almost  incomprehensible. Aside from being in mortal peril from the time they crossed the French coast on the way out to the time they returned to their bases – some daring German night fighters even shot down bombers on their final approach to their bases in southern England – the aircraft themselves bore little resemblance to the plane that flies you to Bali, with a hot meal and free drinks.

For a start, the aircraft were unpressurized, which meant the crew needed to be on oxygen from 10,000 feet – they often bombed from as high as 25,000 feet – and temperatures dropped as low as minus 40C. In the early part of the war – before the magnificent Lancaster became available in significant numbers in early 1942 – the bombers at Bomber Command’s disposal were woefully inadequate: far too slow; under gunned, and mechanically unreliable. As many were lost as a result of mechanical failure or pilot error as were shot down by “flak” – anti- aircraft fire – or by night fighters.

In the first two years of the bomber war pilots were told they had a 30% chance of completing their 30 mission “tour” which gained them a break from operations, some leave, and a spell as instructors. In fact the odds were much worse than that – until mid 1944 they only had a 1:6 chance of survival, much longer odds than they were led to believe.

Again it is not well known that all members of Bomber Command were  volunteers – and the percentage of men who “funked it” and refused to continue was tiny, about 1.5% over the course of the war. Some – perhaps most – of that determination to continue can be put down to raw courage, and the invincibility of youth; the average age of a Lancaster bomber crew was 21, meaning there were a good number of 19 year olds. But even the invincibility of youth must have been sorely challenged by seeing a crewmate have his head blown off, or to watch the remains of a rear gunner being hosed out of his turret – often the most effective means of removing him.

It must be acknowledged however that at least some of the tiny refusal to fly rate was down to the draconian treatment of those  who were labeled “LMF” – Lacking Moral Fibre. Such poor bastards who just could not continue were stripped of their rank insignia and their wings in front of the whole station, and shipped off elsewhere to fulfil menial tasks such as cleaning the toilets. For some men, that disgrace must literally have been seen as a fate worse than death.

But back to the nightly “operations”. Bomber Command was led by Sir Arthur “Bomber” Harris, an irascible but extremely capable and determined man who commanded the respect of his subordinates, and after the war, when what  Bomber Command had done to German cities became unfashionable, was stoutly defended if not revered by the men he had commanded. Harris attended few reunions after the war – he was understandably deeply embittered by his shabby treatment after the battle was over – but whenever he did attend, he was apparently “cheered to the echo” by the attendees.

Harris had a single fixed idea which stayed with him until the very end: that if it was done properly and for long enough, obliterating German cities and the people as well as the military targets within them, could by itself win the war without the need for a land invasion. Even Harris’s stoutest defenders now recognize that he was wrong, although it is interesting that in the immediate post war period, many former  German military leaders thought Harris was right: If there had been a few more Hamburgs or Dresdens they say, Germany may have been forced to capitulate months or years  before May 1945.

Post war analysis shows pretty conclusively that Harris was wrong to dismiss attacks on synthetic oil plants – by 1944 70% of Germany’s fuel was produced by such plants – as “panacea targets” which for him were simply annoyances diverting him from his real task of flattening German cities. But to state the obvious, tanks and planes cannot run if they don’t have fuel. Luftwaffe leader Adolf Galland – one of the few who stood up to Goering and Hitler – noted post war that in the latter stages, they still had plenty of planes and pilots, but almost no fuel with which to fly them. That of course was why the allies could achieve the air superiority prior to and after D Day which the Luftwaffe had failed to achieve four years earlier.

Immediately post war Harris began to be regarded as something of an embarrassment by his superiors – including his former friend and staunch supporter Winston Churchill – and within a few short years, he was regarded as a pariah. When a statue to him was finally erected in 1992, red paint was thrown over it by pacifists, and he was being labeled a war criminal, not least because of the bombing of Dresden which Churchill had promoted.

So, was the massive loss of life – many thousands more German lives were lost in one raid on Hamburg than in the entire blitz on London – and the almost complete destruction of 70% of German cities, worth it? It seems that the Germans – who were in the best position to know – thought so.

General Oberst Georg Lindeman declared unequivocally that “the reason Germany lost the war was allied air power”. General Major Kolb said that the Allied day and night bombing “forced Germany on the defensive from the middle of 1940”.  Field Marshal Albert Kesselring told his captors that “allied air power was the greatest single  reason for the German defeat” A tank manufacturer, Oscar Henschel, said he was able to produce only 42 Tiger tanks per month in the latter stages of the war instead of 120. He said that ‘If the bombers had kept up their attacks on my plants for two or three successive days, they would have been put out of commission for months”

(from “Tail-end Charlies”, Nicholl and Rennell, Viking, 2004).

The bomber war created other less obvious strategic advantages for the allies: the chief of them being  the number of lethal German 88mm guns which had to be diverted from their primary role as tank busters to highly effective anti-aircraft guns protecting  German cities. Jack Watson, a verteran of 72 bombing operations over Germany opined that:

“If the bombing campaign hadn’t been carried out D Day would have been a complete fiasco , because the stacks of 88 mm guns that were around the cities, especially Berlin, would all have been on the Atlantic wall killing our troops as they came ashore”.

It is estimated that 75% of the dual purpose 88mm guns had to be diverted to air defence. Had they been available to protect Berlin from the Russians – instead of boys and old men armed with the hand held German panzerfaust  anti-tank weapon –  the war would arguably have gone on for months longer.

Finally, it is important to note what a game changer the jet powered Messerschmitt 262 was – and more importantly could have been – had the plants manufacturing them and the oil plants producing their fuel had not been relentlessly bombed in the closing stages of the war.

There are numerous reports of allied airmen being stunned by attacks by aircraft flying at close to twice the speed of the long range fighters then protecting them on their raids deep in the shrinking Reich. After the war, Goering, the head of the Luftwaffe, told his interrogators that, given four or five months more, Germany would have had not only enough operational jet fighters to prevent defeat, but to win the war. But in March 1945, there just weren’t enough jets to make a difference – and there never would be, as 24 hour bombing by Bomber Command and the American Eight Air Force continued to smash the factories making them, and the oil plants necessary to power them.

So, was the bomber war – and the massive loss of life on both sides worth it? I say a resounding Yes, despite all the post war hand wringing about “area bombing”, and the creation of deadly firestorms in Hamburg and Dresden. Perhaps the position is best summed up by one old crewman who wrote of his “disgust and dismay” at reading in the newspapers:

“ groveling and sanctimonious apologia for… bombing German targets. By all means let us forgive but not forget. It was very sad to see so little mention of the mighty effort of Bomber Command in winning the war. The great exploits and victories were relegated to fifth rate skirmishes and wasted efforts directed by misguided warlords. Let the critics…the agitators and the detractors visit any military cemetery in Europe and see the profusion of headstones marked ‘Bomber Command’ ”

(Nichol and Rennell, op cit. p.405.

But was the bombing of Dresden a legitimate operation occurring as it did  very late in the  war, or was it  tantamount to a war crime? I summarize that debate in part II.

Why so few Labour Members’ Bills?

Every MP who is not a member of the Executive can (and should) have a bill in the Members’ Ballot. There should be 92 bills in there but there are only 51. So which parties are lagging?

  • Greens 100% (10/10)
  • National 76% (25/33)
  • ACT 70% (7/10)
  • Maori Party 50% (1/2)
  • Labour 26% (10/39)

Basically three out of four backbench Labour MPs haven’t been able to come up with a law change they think is worth pursuing.

Latest poll

The March 2021 Roy Morgan poll is out.

Party Vote

  • Labour 45.5% (+0.5% from Feb))
  • National 23.0% (-6.0%)
  • Greens 12.0% (-1.5%
  • ACT 11.0% (+3.5%)
  • Maori 1.0% (nc)

Seats

  • Labour 59 (-6 from election)
  • National 30 (-3)
  • Greens 16 (+6)
  • ACT 14 (+4)
  • Maori 1 (-1)

Direction

  • Right 61.5% (-8%)
  • Wrong 26.0% (+6%)

What should be very concerning to National is there was an 8% drop in those saying NZ is heading in the right direction, yet National also dropped 6% in the poll.

Shouldn’t over-react to one (or even two polls) but National definitely needs to make sure those voters who are losing confidence in the Government, see National as a credible alternative.

Well done Robbo

Newshub reports:

A Hamilton landlord says she has no choice but to ask a terminally ill woman and four Work and Income beneficiary families to vacate their homes following a Government crackdown on property investors.

Natasha Goodwin made the difficult decision to give tenants of her five rental properties their 90 days’ notice last month after calculating the Government’s recently announced housing changes would soon cost her tens of thousands of dollars extra a year.

Among those forced out of their homes is Anne Johnson, a woman whose rare respiratory condition is likely to end her life within the next few months – but Goodwin says she’s only breaking even, and the changes have left her with no choice.

The median house price in Hamilton is $730,000. The median rent is $440 a week or $23,000 a year or 3.1% of the median house price. But you also have costs. Typical costs might be:

  • Repairs and Maintenance $2,000
  • Property Insurance $1,500
  • Landlord Insurance $1,000
  • Property Management Company $2,300
  • Rates 2,200

So total costs of $9,000 means net income is $14,000 or 1.9% of the house price. So if you have a mortgage of 3% on 75% of the value that is a cost of $16,000 a year so you are not even breaking even.

What the Government has now done is say you have to pay tax on the $14,000 so you get a tax bill of $5,000 on the property despite the rental income not covering the costs of the property and mortgage.

Among Goodwin’s tenants is Anne Johnson, who likely has just months to live.

The 67-year-old has Churg-Strauss disorder, a rare autoimmune disease with no cure, and hypersensitivity vasculitis – the combined effects of which will ultimately end her life.

“It’s very rare and people don’t usually last more than two years,” her son Marc Bishop told Newshub. “Mum is fortunate enough to be living on borrowed time as she was diagnosed a bit over two years ago.”

Johnson has been given three months to vacate her Melville house, which she has been living in for the last year and is conveniently located within walking distance of Hamilton Hospital, where she regularly goes for treatment. …

Bishop doesn’t have any hard feelings toward Goodwin; he describes her as a “lovely young woman” and understands her rationale for selling up.

His anger is instead reserved for Grant Robertson, who he says has been spouting “verbal diarrhea” about the benefits the housing changes will bring.

A good description.

She initially bought three Hamilton units to house herself, her sister and her mother so they could all live close together, but it got to the point her mother needed something slightly bigger, so she bought her a two-bedroom unit.

She then bought another home so she could remain in close proximity to her mum, followed by a two-storey place to look after her when she was later diagnosed with cancer.

“I just thought, ‘it’s not really worth selling – I might as well rent them out if they’re going to break even’,” she remembers.

This is the case for many landlords. They break even at best.

“I don’t make anything off keeping these rentals, I break even. Especially for one of the places I’ve got – three units in Hamilton – the maintenance on it just costs a bloody fortune and it’s really not worth keeping.

“I figured if I was breaking even and housing someone then I was doing a good deed, but it’s come to the point where it’s not worth keeping these houses. It’s so stressful.”

Goodwin believes the changes should never have been made. She says if they weren’t, her tenants would be able to remain in their homes.

“I’m making five families homeless… they’re all WINZ tenants. The majority are probably going to struggle to find places as they’ve got bad credit,” she said.

And Labour wonders why the priority waiting list for homes keeps increasing.

Wholesale Power Prices

This graph is from the wholesale electricity market site. It shows what the average wholesale price has been for the last five years, by month. So it smooths out the spikes that last for a day or two.

As you can see most of 2016 and 2016 it was around $50/MWh. This is around a third of the retail price. Sometimes would spike higher to over $100.

Since mid 2018 it has consistently been over $100 except for a few months in early 2020. And in 2021 it has increased month on month to hit $250. Some daily spikes have been at $500.

So wholesale prices in 2021 are well above retail prices. So guess what that means? It is totally inevitable retail prices will soon increase, and potentially quite massively.

And this will be as a consequence of government policy. MBIE explicitly warned the Government this may happen. The Government will try and find someone else to blame such as electricity retailers or generators. Or maybe even landlords if they can make that stick. But we will know better.

No discharge please

The Herald reports:

A former Instagram glamour model threatened to blow up a plane from Melbourne to Auckland after demanding a glass of wine.

Hannah Lee Pierson, 31, was charged over the dramatic mid-flight disturbance on an Air New Zealand flight on November 7 last year. …

After the crew began serving food and beverage, Pierson requested a glass of wine.

But when crew told her that her ticket did not cover wine, and that she would need to buy one from the menu, she began abusing a member of the flight crew.

“I don’t give a f***, get me a f****** wine,” she yelled at the top of her voice, the summary of facts states.

She then stood up and yelled: “I’ll f****** get it myself, give me the f****** wine” and called the attendant a “b****”.

As Pierson tried to leave her seat, crew managed to divert her into a vacant row of seats and hold her there.

Pierson then grabbed a crew member’s arm in a tight grip, squeezing hard.

She began making movements with her head that caused other staff members to believe she was going to head-butt the crew member, the summary says.

Pierson continuously tried to get out of her seat, with crew especially concerned, given that she was near an emergency exit.

Several times, she then yelled: “Get me a f****** wine or I’ll blow up the plane”.

Crew handcuffed her, then strapped her to the chair using spare seatbelts.

Her tirade continued with “total disregard for the other passengers in the vicinity that included young children”.

About 90 minutes before arriving at Auckland Airport, she fell asleep.

But when she woke up on landing, she continued her verbal abuse.

After pleading guilty today, her lawyer said she intended to apply for a discharge without conviction, saying a conviction would have travel consequences.

Her behaviour should have consequences. She should not be travelling. If I had my way I’d give her 30 days in prison. Her behaviour was despicable and being drunk is no excuse. Very few people would act like she does, even if pissed.

Govt at under 25% of its unpublished vaccination target

You would generally regard having only achieved 23% of your target to be a miserable failure. But compared to most other Government failures, this almost seems like success. I mean Kiwibuild is still at under 1%.

Govt policy is to blame

The Herald reports:

Energy Minister Megan Woods is seeking advice about whether wholesale electricity prices are too high, with analysts warning current pricing risks political intervention.

It is the political intervention that has caused the spike in prices. More intervention is the problem, not the solution.

Woods acknowledged that low inflows to New Zealand’s hydro catchments, coupled with a shortage of gas supplies, meant prices were likely to be above average.

And which Minister has banned offshore gas exploration?

This was being reflected in both wholesale spot prices and near term futures prices, currently above $230 per megawatt hour, more than double the long term average.

The futures prices is significant. This is the market saying we have a supply problem. The problem is government policy with its ban on gas exploration and also the insistence that any future projects must be 100% renewable.

So yes retail electricity prices will start rising in the next 12 months. And they will not be small increases. And they will be as a result of the Government.

Caitlyn Jenner for Governor

Axios reports:

Former reality TV star Caitlyn Jenner is talking with political consultants as she actively explores a run for governor of California, three sources with direct knowledge of her deliberations tell Axios.

Why it matters: Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, is facing a recall election. A challenge from Jenner, a high-profile Republican and previous Trump supporter, would draw heightened attention to the race to lead the nation’s most populous state.

I would love Caitlyn Jenner to stand, if for no other reason that see wokedom implode with seeing the most famous LGBTI person in the world stand for election of the most liberal state in the US as a Republican.

In a recall election there is no primary. If a majority vote to recall Newsom then the new Governor is whomever wins a plurality of the vote for a replacement. So Jenner’s high name recognition would be a real asset.

The anti open data Government

Chris McDowall writes:

Following months of planning, the first Covid vaccinations were administered on February 20.

More than six weeks later there are still no vaccination progress numbers on the Ministry of Health’s website.

The only regular updates on the rollout come during Wednesday media updates fronted by Minister Chris Hipkins and director general of health Dr Ashley Bloomfield.

Unfortunately, the numbers provided at these events are often vague and occasionally flat-out wrong. …

There should be daily updates on the vaccine progress. Once again the Government sits on data it thinks it unhelpful.

Following the Herald article, the Government has now agreed to do a weekly update on the MOH website, which is better than the status qup at least.

Islamic party holds balance of power in Israel

MSN reports:

The head of a conservative Islamic party who has emerged as a kingmaker following Israel’s latest inconclusive election called for change Thursday, without endorsing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu or his rivals.

After last week’s vote, Abbas said he was open to negotiating with the pro-Netanyahu camp and with the ideologically divided group of parties seeking to oust the veteran prime minister.   

On Thursday, Abbas quoted the Koran and said he was “a proud Arab and Muslim”, unprecedented remarks for a leader tasked with the role of tiebreaker in Israeli coalition politics. 

Abbas, 46, heads the Raam party that won four seats in Israel’s March 23 vote. 

Rather interesting that the usual suspects smear Israel as an apartheid state the the balance of power is held by a proud Arab and Muslim.

In reality Arabs and Muslims have greater democratic and civil rights in Israel than in almost any other country in the Middle East, or at least the neighbouring ones.

Best Labour’s Members’ Bill ever

Great to see a Labour MP promoting this law change. This will increase his majority in Wairarapa 🙂

Note it doesn’t mean places that would normally be closed on those days can open. It means places that are allowed to open don’t have to spend thousands of dollars on special licenses.

The Chauvin trial

Like many, I have been following the trial of Derek Chauvin who has been charged with murdering George Floyd.

The fact that so many spectators tried to intervene, because they could clearly see what Chauvin was doing was wrong, is telling. One even called the Police on Chauvin. A firefighter offered assistance as he was concerned Floyd needed aid, and the officer refused. Chauvin’s actions were disgraceful and lacking in humanity.

Stuff reports:

The Minneapolis police chief testified that now-fired Officer Derek Chauvin violated departmental policy in pinning his knee on George Floyd’s neck and keeping him down after Floyd had stopped resisting and was in distress.

Continuing to kneel on Floyd’s neck once he was handcuffed behind his back and lying on his stomach was “in no way, shape or form” part of department policy or training, “and it is certainly not part of our ethics or our values,” Police Chief Medaria Arradondo said.

Arradondo, the city’s first Black chief, fired Chauvin and three other officers the day after Floyd’s death last May, and in June called it “murder.”

His testimony came after the emergency room doctor who pronounced Floyd dead testified that he theorized at the time that Floyd’s heart most likely stopped because of a lack of oxygen.

I understand Chauvin was willing to do a plea deal to lesser charges for ten years jail. If convicted of second degree murder the maximum sentence is 40 years in prison and likely to get around 15, experts say.

The murder has to be proven beyond reasonable doubt, and the medical evidence is key:

The defence argues that Chauvin did what he was trained to do and that Floyd’s use of illegal drugs and his underlying health conditions caused his death.

Chauvin attorney Eric Nelson questioned Langenfeld about whether some drugs can cause hypoxia, or insufficient oxygen. The doctor acknowledged that fentanyl and methamphetamine, both of which were found in Floyd’s body, can do so.

The county medical examiner’s office ultimately classified Floyd’s death a homicide – that is, a death at the hands of someone else.

The full report said Floyd died of “cardiopulmonary arrest, complicating law enforcement subdual, restraint, and neck compression.” A summary report listed fentanyl intoxication and recent methamphetamine use under “other significant conditions” but not under “cause of death.”

Under cross-examination from Nelson, Langenfeld said Floyd’s carbon dioxide levels were more than twice as high as levels in a healthy person, and he agreed that that could be attributed to a respiratory problem. But on questioning from the prosecutor, the doctor said the high levels were also consistent with cardiac arrest.

There is no doubt Chauvin acted unlawfully and in violation of Police policy. He knelt on the neck of a helpless unresisting person for over eight minutes, ignoring the calls from Floyd that he couldn’t breathe.

Whether his unlawful actions reach the threshold of murder, the jury will decide.

If Australia’s vaccine rollout is an ‘unmitigated disaster’ then what is NZ’s?

News.com.au reports:

Scott Morrison is desperately pretending a major crisis isn’t happening, as Australia is shamed by the world on a crucial measure in the fight against COVID.

Yesterday, four million Americans received a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine as the country continues to rapidly accelerate its rollout.

By comparison, that’s the same number of Australians who were meant to have gotten a jab by the end of March … a target that the Government fell short of by 3.4 million people.

Just two per cent of Australians have received a jab so far, compared to 30 per cent of the US population and 46 per cent of people in the UK.

In a scathing editorial for The Sydney Morning Herald today, the rollout was described as an “unmitigated disaster” that Scott Morrison must now stop pretending is going well.

So Australian media are labelling getting 2% of your population vaccinated as an unmitigated disaster. So how should NZ media describe NZ at 1.1%?

Kia Kaha Kiri

Stuff reports:

Labour’s Kiritapu Allan has been diagnosed with stage 3 cervical cancer.

The conservation and emergency services minister announced her diagnosis on Facebook on Tuesday morning.

Allan is 37 years old and was promoted to Cabinet soon after the last election.

She is stepping down from her portfolios to take medical leave.

Terrible news. I hope Kiri’s treatment is sucessful.

Kiri is one of my favourite Labour MPs. I met her in 2017 just after she had been elected and she is funny and genuine. Super easy to chat to and get on with, despite being at different ends of the political spectrum. Was not surprised she won East Coast in 2020 and that she got promoted to Cabinet either.

My thoughts are with Kiri, her family, friends and colleagues.

Good submission

A good submission from the NZ Council For Civil Liberties on Labour’s Internet censorship bill. An extract:

a. The Bill fails to define the problem that it addresses.
b. We do not believe the provisions of the Bill will be effective at resolving what we
understand the problems to be.
c. The implementation has been left undefined to be left for later regulation.
d. Neither oversight nor transparency are defined.
e. That the creation of a government mandated internet censorship filter is a threat to
our civil liberties which far exceeds the benefits mistakenly claimed by this Bill’s
proponents.

A badly defined problem, a lack of detail, no oversight, no transparency and a law to allow mandatory filtering of the Internet – this bill should not pass.

The proposed internet censorship system is a very significant change to how New
Zealanders use the internet. It implements a system where government officials can
unilaterally block access to any content, while only making vague promises about oversight
and governance. This seems like a unwarranted over-reaction in a free and democratic
society like New Zealand.

It’s almost a blank cheque because there are no safeguards detailed in the bill.

And the summary:

The New Zealand Council for Civil Liberties believes that this Bill is badly conceived and
dangerous to a free and democratic society. While we understand the motivations that led
to this Bill, we think that it has failed to properly address the issues raised and its proposed
solutions will be ineffective as well as creating harmful side effects.

The Internet filtering provisions are, off memory, opposed by every party in Parliament except Labour. I hope Labour see sense and drop them.

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