No Minister

Archive for the ‘NZ Politics’ Category

MORE ON LABOUR’S LATEST VANITY PROJECT

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Auckland’s SkyPath bridge is looking like an expensive dog of the Kiwibuild variety designed to pander to woke JAFFAs. Last week Labour was forced to reveal that the benefit-cost-ratio for the bridge was 0.4 to 0.6 to one meaning that every taxpayer dollar spent on the bridge creates just 40c to 60c of value. Further, that those figures are predicated on there being no cost overruns and 2,700 cyclists using the bridge every day. Should any of those two figures prove rubbery then the bcr goes south.

Care to tell me of any major project coming in on budget … Transmission Gully +$196m with more to come; Auckland northern corridor improvement +$147m; Mt Messenger Bypass +$97m; Peka Peka to Otaki Expressway + $112m and that’s jut for starters. And 2,700 cyclists on a cold wet windy day … give me (and them) strength.

And assuming those figures are kosher it works out that those hardy cyclists are getting a taxpayer subsidy of $41 per trip.

How to pay for it … easy. Cancel Northland’s Wellsford to Whangarei ‘economic’ highway extension; cancel the Whangarei to Marsden Point highway upgrade; cut the gummit’s contribution to the FNDC, Whangarei DC and Kaipara DC’s road maintenance and capital roading programmes.

Labour Party MPs Kelvin Davis, Willow-Jean Prime and Emily Henderson (who) are wasted spaces when it comes to sticking up for their constituencies.

Written by The Veteran

June 20, 2021 at 3:23 pm

Posted in NZ Labour Party, NZ Politics

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A distorted economy

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Two graphs that summarise where we are economically as a nation, and without even looking at the tourism numbers, which are bad enough on their own.

First up, real estate prices for residential properties.

Those increases, in one year, are staggering. In dollar terms they exceed any “help” that any government, even one as spendthrift as Labour, can give to young, first-time home owners.

The price to income multiplier increased during the “nine long years of neglect” of National from 5.05 to 6.08. Under Labours stewardship it’s now at 8.61.

It’s been common wisdom for twenty years now that Aucklanders were cashing up and heading to the Waikato and Bay of Plenty. But since when are retired Aucklanders or Wellingtonians cashing up their houses and moving to Gisborne (almost 50% increase) or for that matter the West Coast (33.6% increase). There will be specific reasons for this inflation but they all boil down to factors driving the basic economic law of demand exceeding supply.

In Auckland those factors have been population growth increasing faster than homes can be built – which in turn is based on government immigration decisions on the demand side vs. building regulations and costs, and even more so the land-banking of city planning causing huge lifts in the cost of land, far beyond the increase in house value itself.

But can those factors be driving demand exceeding supply across the whole nation this time? Immigration has been basically zero for the last year and while land-banking and city planning are a nation-wide supply restricting problem there have not been dramatic changes in those factors in the last year, and some areas have always been more relaxed than others. So what’s driving this recent nationwide inflation?

  • Government changes on investment deductibility and the increased time over which the bright-line test can be applied (basically a Capital Gains Tax) mean that investors are deciding now it’s not a great time to sell, reducing the number of listings (supply)
  • Sensitive people are feeling the breeze of general inflation and take positions to protect their own capital base by lifting those sales from the market, further tightening supply. Better to sit on the potential capital gains, increase the mortgage and use that money to buy a new boat. Notice the increase in prices for second-hand boats, caravans and motor homes.
  • Interest rates pushed down in 2020 as the classic mode of Keynesian response to a potential recession. That increases demand, at least for a while.

The government must be hoping that this is just a one-off and that once the housing market has adjusted to a post-Covid world, things will settle down. We should all hope for that but I see merely the results of a “critical mass” of factors that have finally come together at one point in time rather than individually affecting the market at different times. Even if this spike cools down, the ongoing house price increases will still be greater than we can cope with.

Then there’s this:

That’s Fonterra’s share price in the last three months. An awful drop from $5 per share to $2.82 that exceeds the percentage drop in 2018. That last was caused by financial problems at the company. Problems that, like the housing situation, had been bubbling away for years, but which hit critical mass that year.

Fonterra has since cleaned up many of those problems and was looking pretty healthy internally, with a good payout. So what’s happened?

Professor Keith Woodford is on the case as usual with two articles in May that discussed what might be coming.

You can read the details in those two articles . The summary comes to five points, the first two being around proposals only.

  1. Reduce farmer requirements to own shares, with them needing to hold one share for every four kg of Milksolids supplied, compared to the current one share for every kg of supply. That last is a hangover from Co-op days when the shares were a nominal $1 that never changed as farmers joined and exited co-ops.
  2. Shut down or cap one arm of its two-armed share investors world, the Shareholders Fund. This Fund and the related Trading Among Farmers (TAF) scheme allowed a two-way flow of “units” and shares between the Fund and the Farmer share trades, which kept the price of shares and units within a cent or two of each other and supplied vital pricing information to both farmer investors and external investors.
  3. The Fund allows non-farmers to buy shares and get a dividend but with no shareholder voting. While there was talk about enabling the company to raise capital this way without trying to get cash from cooperative members, the real reason was to remove the redemption risk as farmers exited the company. Under the old co-op model they would not have had the cash to pay them out. The Fund and TAF would shift the risk.
  4. The flaw was that the only way TAF could remove the redemption risk should Fonterra lose a major number of suppliers was by taking on a new risk of losing control of the company to non-farmer investors.
  5. The risk now is not from exiting farmers but from a substantial and ongoing reduction in production, perhaps in the order of 10% to 20%, primarily driven by future environmental regulations around herd sizes. That’s one rock. The other is that farmers still want to control the company.

While only proposals, they did suspend trading before the announcement and they have cut the link between farmer share trading and the external fund, showing the future to investors.

Those investors, the market, have reacted badly to all of this and although it would be easy to say that this is just frippery that ignores the now “healthy” internals of Fonterra, the fact is that share prices tell us what the market thinks of any company’s future.

Clearly Fonterra’s and perhaps the rest of the dairy industry’s future in NZ is not good. What that means exactly for the wider NZ economy is another question, but clearly for some environmental and economic extremists like No Right Turn the message is the same as for the Huntly power station and the fishing industry: Let It Die.

Written by Tom Hunter

June 19, 2021 at 12:24 pm

PAYBACK … LABOUR PARTY STYLE

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Some of you with a passing knowledge of the Cook Islands will remember back when (Sir) Albert Henry redefined pork barrel politics. Drive on the ring road and those areas that returned Cook Island Party MPs were easily recognisable … the road was sealed. In constituencies held by the opposition it was potholes galore.

And the pork barrelling continues here in Northland. As part of our punishment for reelecting a National MP it is now reported that the gummit has reduced the subsidy paid to the Far North District Council’s road maintenance budget by 30% and canned completely any contribution to the district’s capital roading budget. I guess they had to find the $1 billion dollars needed to fund Auckland’s second harbour bridge (limited to bikies and pedestrians) from somewhere. Payback for the Greens.

Whoops … we didn’t reelect Matt King. The seat was won by the Labour candidate. Her score to date … the Wellsford to Whangarei four lane highway canned; Marsden Point to Whangarei highway upgrade canned and now the guts ripped out of the FNDC roading budget.

Payback to Northland … Labour Party style.

Written by The Veteran

June 14, 2021 at 3:03 pm

POLITICAL HONOURS

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So no arise Sir Whinnie … all is forgiven. Seems St Jacinda’s ‘kindness has it limits … but hold on, a Queen’s Service Order (QSO) for Ruth Dyson, long serving Labour MP who resigned her portfolios after being caught drink driving. I am confused. Clearly the power of the sisterhood in play here.

IMHO political honours should, as a general rule, be limited to Prime Ministers and Speakers and after they have left office. Members of the Executive retain the honorific Honourable for the rest of their natural and that should serve as recognition enough. All other MPs … well if you weren’t good enough to make it into the Executive then tough titty.

Written by The Veteran

June 7, 2021 at 1:00 pm

Making progress with Progressivism

It’s a bog-standard feature of every Labour government that the state will expand, not just in terms of money spent, but people employed.

So I’m not surprised to see this information from a recent post by Don Brash, Do We Need So Many Bureaucrats?:

  • Land Information New Zealand, 25.5%
  • Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, 30.7%
  • Ministry of Education, 32.4% (not teachers)
  • Ministry of Defence, 35.3%
  • Ministry of Primary Industries, 36.7%
  • Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, 38.9%
  • Oranga Tamariki, 40.7%
  • Ministry of Transport, 40.8% (not including NZTA)
  • Ministry for the Environment, 41.0%
  • Public Service Commission, 42.6%
  • Ministry for Women, 45.8%
  • Ministry for Maori Development, 69.8%
  • Ministry for Pacific Peoples, 81.1%

As Brash points out, this would not be so bad if there was evidence that the government was getting stuff done with all these extra people. But as is increasingly obvious to anybody who ignores the NZ MSM, it’s not.

A person at the polar opposite end of the political spectrum from Brash, Danyl Mclauchlan, has noticed the same thing:

Which raises an awkward question. If policy is developed by ministerial staff and implemented by DPMC, what do all of Robertson’s ministerial colleagues and their thousands of highly paid advisers do all day? Because the description of the Implementation Unit sounds an awful lot like the current role of a ministerial office.

Given Adern’s lightweight nature, it’s not surprising as to where this idea came from:

The Implementation Unit is a Blairite idea, as the Stuff journalists point out. He called it “the Delivery Unit”, inventing it in his final years in Downing Street to try and overcome what he perceived as the failure of both the civil service and his junior ministers in achieving his policy ambitions. Blair’s critics disagreed, arguing that Blair’s tendency to grandstand in the media by announcing visionary, aspirational goals without figuring out how to deliver them was the deeper problem with his administration.

Helpfully the Stuff article reminds us that Jacinda Ardern once worked for Tony Blair.

Chuckle. Danyl also takes a shot at other Lefties who have been banging the drums for a 21st century Ministry of Works, by quoting a senior government advisor that he knows:

“It’s the same mistake National made with MBIE. Let’s build a new entity to do the economic transformation the rest of the government can’t deliver. And how’d that work out? Imagine you’re a Labour minister and you decide to fund a Ministry of Works to deliver all these projects that NZTA and HUD and Kāinga Ora seem unable to do. You’re going to spend two years and, I dunno, a couple hundred million setting it up. You’re going to end up staffing it with people from NZTA and Kāinga Ora, because who else are you going to get? But once it’s built you’ve just replicated these same dysfunctional organisations. So it’s not going to build anything and your political career will be over.”

You could also add the ACT Party’s dopey idea to establish a Productivity Commission. How’d that work out?

That and the MBIE, plus all this other stuff, really go to the heart of the problem, which is not just the mindless acquisition of new bureaucrats by Labour but the fact that National and ACT refuse to shut down a lot of these useless government departments and worse, create new ones themselves. It’s Public Choice theory on steroids.

Speaking of which, let’s recall this blog’s namesake, as well as one of the key writers who seemed to well understand that theory as he wrote delicious lines like this for a show that seems ageless:

Perhaps it’ll all be okay. As I have said before, having a government that’s useless beats one that’s actually doing stupid shit. I just wish they could do all this nothing for much less money.

Besides, the new National-led coalition government of 2026 will freeze those numbers at that year’s level and hold them there until they lose power 2-3 terms later.

The idea of abolishing a bunch of these ministries, starting with the last three on that list, will be rejected as “too extreme and divisive” – plus Woman, Maori and Pasifika political activists and “journalists” who will never vote National, will tell National that they’d be awful people if they did such things.

Written by Tom Hunter

June 1, 2021 at 12:00 pm

NICK SMITH

Has announced his resignation from Parliament where, after 30 years as an MP, he was ‘Father of the House’. The resignation follows on from an allegation of workplace bullying.

Nick has been a ‘colorful’ character with all that this implies. Word from the traps is that Mallard, in his capacity as Head of Parliamentary Services, leaked this to the media. Smith and Mallard have form. No matter, you can be assured that Smiths departure will not cost the taxpayer the third of a million dollars (and climbing) that Mallard has incurred after falsely accusing a Labour Party staffer of being a rapist.

Contrast the two actions. Smith resigns. Mallard stays. Any guesses as to which one of the two has acted honorably.

Thank you Nick for your service. We have agreed to disagree on a number of issues including the gun control legislation. But you have always been upfront and forcefully defended your position and it’s right and proper that the National Party gives you the space to do so.

Written by The Veteran

May 31, 2021 at 7:11 pm

THE SHIP OF STATE SAILS MERRILY ON

Aided and abetted by media hacks (sorry luminaries) of the likes of TV One’s simpering John Campbell whose wears his prejudices on his sleeve and Newshub’s Tova O’Brien whose citation when she won the 2019 Political Journalist of the year award was right on the money describing her as ‘A true political muckraker’.

For both of them St Jacinda (and her mob) can do no wrong.

Back in 1964 Dwight Eisenhower said of the press (read media) that its ranks are filled with ‘sensation-seeking columnists and commentators whose writings mark them as little more than intellectualoids’.

True then … more true today.

Written by The Veteran

May 31, 2021 at 11:39 am

Posted in MSM, NZ Politics

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SIMEON BROWN TELLING IT HOW IT IS

Kudos to Simeon Brown for doubling down on the criticism leveled at him from the Chairperson of the Kura Kaupapa Maori School for daring to criticise their decision to close the school for two days in order to host the tangi for the senior Mongrel Mob leader attended by over 1,000 mob members. She described his comments ignorant and racist. In response Brown has called on the Education Minister (Hipkins) to explain why he thought it was appropriate for a school to be shut down so a gang could hold a funeral on school grounds pointing out that students lost two days of learning.

It is a little difficult to take her comments seriously when she herself said that things had gone awry on the final day of the tangi and she wasn’t happy with the swearing and ‘barking’ that occured. Really!!!!! give me strength … what planet does she inhabit … this was a mob funeral. Clearly no thought at all for the children exposed to this ‘normal’ behavior. Lady, the Mongrel Mob doesn’t do ‘normal’.

A little while ago I served a couple of terms on the Lottery Grants Board (alongside Trevor Mallard who was the Opposition’s appointee to the Board …. about as likeable then as he is now … I digress). One day I had occasion to call out a staffer who had written a report which had it that the Mongrel Mob and Black Power were just Maoridom’s equivalent of Rotary or Lions and that applications from them for funding support should be treated the same way. Clearly back them the liberal effete were knocking at the door.

Now and with Cindy’s mob in power the door has been opened wide. Gangs are to be welcomed with smiles and hugs and their wishes accommodated. Never mind they comprise a large percentage of the countries criminal underworld. New Zealand … the way you’ve got it.

Written by The Veteran

May 29, 2021 at 3:09 pm

Posted in Law and Order, NZ Politics

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Die MSM, Die – Systemic Corruption

I’ve always been fascinated by the way that corruption can appear in different forms: spiritual, ethical, moral, political, financial.

It seems to me that the MSM are corrupted in all those ways now, and while I focus mainly on that of the US MSM’s, it’s likely that the NZ MSM are worse. Certainly there’s nothing even like Fox News here in NZ, or Australia’s Sky News.

It’s also getting worse, as shown by the following letter sent to Don Brash and quoted in his article, We Need Another News Channel:

I’ve spent three weeks trying to get either the Waikato Times (Stuff) or Waikato News (Herald) to take an opinion piece from me around the Maori wards issue – as there is a lot of information and background most people are unaware of.

I have been a local journalist in Hamilton for 30 years and I’ve done plenty of work for both outfits. I know the Waikato News editor well. He spent some time trying to talk me out of it (providing an opinion piece). Pertinent comment from him being ”I don’t want to make myself a target.”

He put the idea to NZME management and their come-back was ‘we will take nothing on this subject.’

I offered to buy a page as advertorial. Same roadblock.

Went to the Waikato Times (Stuff media), which also would not take an opinion piece. Again offered to buy a page as advertising. I provided the copy. They wanted me to reference every point I made in my copy like an academic paper and said it would have to go through the Advertising Standards Authority. I did this – referenced everything – as far as you can with opinion – declined in half an hour.

I asked if I could run a notice around a public rally in Civic Square before the Hamilton City Council’s Extraordinary Council meeting May 19 – where they will make a decision about Maori Wards – as a Display Advertisement – Yes! it seemed. The advertising staff were very helpful. The ‘Ad’ was laid out, and paid for ($3000) – a quarter page in this (15/5/21) Saturday’s paper, all go.

…4.30pm Friday I got a call from one of the ‘Times’ advertising people, whom I have known for 25 years, apologetic, she’d been instructed to ‘pull the ad’, as it ‘didn’t fit with our values’. Apparently it was passed by the local team, but had been stopped at executive level.

So, yes, something, or someone is gagging the media and is very determined that the co-governist roll-out will continue. We have a coup d’etat going on here.

I knew things were bad with the NZ MSM, but I didn’t know it was that bad. Also, the NZ ON Air funding guidelines reveal that obeying the dictates of the government in the area of Maori partnership is a key to getting the money:

Page 4, Section 6: “actively promote the principles of Partnership, Participation and Active Protection under Te Tiriti o Waitangi acknowledging Māori as a Te Tiriti partner.”

Page 8: Appropriate people attached to the project in leadership roles who can manage and advise on these cultural and spiritual aspects of the production at critical stages (e.g. research, language advisors)

“Appropriate people”, eh? Yes, one cannot publish before it has been seen and approved by the Political Officer – if you want the government money that is the only thing keeping you alive. Of course we also have the other key element here:

‘I don’t want to make myself a target.”’

Despite this situation I don’t agree with Brash’s suggestion that what is needed is another TV/Radio channel to somehow correct this gross imbalance.

I know rather a lot of people under the age of 30 and not one of them watch broadcast TV or radio news. Their “channels” are on YouTube, Rumble, and the like. Their stars are people you’ve never heard of.

Talk to any schoolteacher of what used to be known as “Social Studies” in Y9 and Y10. They tear their hair out in trying to get their students to pay attention to “newspapers” and “TV” and “radio”, and that’s been the case for at least a decade now.

Basically broadcast media is dying across the West, and cable or satellite TV is only a few years behind: the NZ $55 million dumped into our local MSM is just another supporting fact. Look at the huge drops in viewers for CNN, MSNBC and the rest in the wake of Trump’s departure. It’s amusing to consider that he was their lifeblood for the last five years and that he knows it and they don’t.

What are the odds the NZ MSM will survive after the end of this government’s largesse? I do get the fact that a lot of people – mainly older people – still know nothing else, and given that they were the most likely victims of Chinese Lung Rot, and vote, explains a chunk of the media atmosphere here in NZ. That, plus the inertia of decades of Mass Media.

What Brash – with his usual cluelessness in moaning about the future rise of an NZ Fox News – does not realise is that the NZ MSM regard he and his ilk as their enemies, to be destroyed, which they’ve gone a long way towards doing. To them, he and Basset are just like Trump. But they’re aiming their weapons not just at people like them and National-ACT but any opposition on key issues, like that presented by the former journalist quoted. There is no point appealing to some ancient past of such, or “fairness” or “balance” with these people: they’ll laugh in your face.

Any future National-ACT government should therefore shut down TVNZ and RNZ. To keep them alive is simply to feed your enemies. Ignore the screaming and the crying. Their broad-spectrum support for the bulk of Labour-Green-Maori Party policies and the fact that, irrespective of what any government does, they’ll be dead anyway, means they should be cut off at the knees at the earliest possible moment.

It should be noted that they’re worth a lot less than when I suggested this on Kiwiblog in 2008:

They’re doomed and the probably know it now. They will increasingly be dependent on government revenue for their survival and know that at some stage they might simply be shut down by a future right-wing government as yet another useless government department. After all – how many right-wingers can honestly say that they see much of their values reflected in what is shown.

Forget privatisation, that train left the station a long time ago even if National had the appetite for it. TV1 and TV2 just really are not worth selling. At some future stage their ‘market’ value might drop to the point that somebody would risk picking them up – but that will be someway down the line and by the time any future government realises, probably no price will reflect how useless they are.

The government’s subsidy in 2021 tells us that we may be at that point, and on a far wider scale than the already taxpayer supported TVNZ and RNZ.

Another reason for not setting up an alternative network is the second rule of Politics coined by the great historian of the USSR, Robert Conquest:

Any organisation not explicitly right-wing sooner or later becomes left-wing.

The surviving private networks will still be on board the Labour-Green-Maori Party train, but at least National-ACT voters will have the satisfaction of knowing their tax dollars are not supporting their enemies.

Written by Tom Hunter

May 24, 2021 at 12:01 am

Posted in MSM, New Zealand, NZ Politics

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The Clown Show Hit The Big Time.

One more step to absurdity, too much even for the worst speaker ever. Pity the virtue signaller for the east Polynesian thoroughly racist Party only got tossed out for the remainder of that session. Time for “The Privileges Committee to make a stand and condemn the idiots for bringing disrespect to the House of Representatives.

It was preordained when groups in the public gallery began demonstrating with singing and haka to mark what they saw as progress they approved of, now the Waititi clown replete with his cowboy headgear goes to the floor of the house to demonstrate his warped thinking.

I recall a time when I sat there for a visit, only to be admonished and warned not to lean forward to see more of those sitting as my rulers, another such indiscretion would see me and those accompanying ejected. Yes that was forty years ago, I guess times they are a’changing

To even suggest Judith Collins merely doing what is expected of her as Leader of Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition was motivated by racism in its self was bringing “The House into disrepute” is a total nonsense as her Husband David is of Samoan and Chinese descent and as related in her book all was not plain sailing when she introduced David to her Family.

Judith Collins and David Seymour are certainly representing me with their questions of the Government as to what He Puapua actually exists as, in current policy emanating from the ninth floor with no racism involved whereas Mr Waititi and his enablers clearly not wanting any discussion let alone debate around a clear to me, lurch into a form of Apartheid in much of the legislative actions of the current government on matters never offered as “policy” before the last general election.

Btw what was the faux Hawaiian garlands about I understand just another virtue signal but a mystery to moi.

Written by Gravedodger

May 13, 2021 at 8:27 am