Britain’s Supreme Court on trial?

Britain’s highest court is hearing arguments this week over the legality of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s prorogation of Parliament earlier this month.  Its decision is unlikely to shift entrenched views – and may not make much difference to the path or outcome of Brexit.

But a piece in The Times by political commentator Daniel Finkelstein suggests that it may be of the greatest importance for the Supreme Court itself.  In his view, the hearings “may mark the moment Britain stopped being a political democracy restrained by law and became instead a legal democracy tempered by politics”.

Continue reading “Britain’s Supreme Court on trial?”

DairyNZ attacks economic report – but has no problem with the NZIER’s work which dairy people commission

DairyNZ chief executive Ian Mackle should have done a bit more thinking about the implications before he dismissed an economic report as an inaccurate, trivial attack on farmers.

He was assailing the credibility of a recent NZIER report which (he said) trivialises the significant role the dairy sector plays in New Zealand’s economy – and fails to look at the specifics of the Government’s freshwater package.

He made special mention of the report having been commissioned by Fish & Game, Forest & Bird and Greenpeace.

And he huffed that it was less an economic report and more a high-level commentary on the dairy sector’s role in the economy – and painted an inaccurate picture. Continue reading “DairyNZ attacks economic report – but has no problem with the NZIER’s work which dairy people commission”

The Single Economic Market: do the governments in Canberra and Wellington really want to advance the agenda?

Although the governments in Canberra and Wellington declare they are both committed to advancing the Single Economic Market (SEM) agenda, building on the success of the Closer Economic Relations (CER) Trade Agreement, the recent meeting of the respective trade ministers in Auckland didn’t produce much more than an array of platitudes, and certainly left business lobbies on both sides of the Tasman yawning.

Continue reading “The Single Economic Market: do the governments in Canberra and Wellington really want to advance the agenda?”

Air Rarotonga’s second Saab 340B opens possibilities in the north (but NZ help would be welcome)

Here’s a project for the New Zealand  government to support – before the Chinese arrive.

Air Rarotonga has just added a second Saab 340B to its fleet and is considering flights to the northern Cooks.  However, the basic crushed coral runways at Manihiki, Penrhyn and possibly Pukapuka need upgrading.

Surely  Foreign  Affairs  Minister  Winston Peters,  with his enthusiasm  for the  Pacific, will be eager to  back the project – wouldn’t he?

Air Rarotonga, in business since 1978, says the second Saab will add capacity initially to the Rarotonga-Aitutaki route with the potential for regional charter flights to Tahiti and Niue.  The new aircraft has been the catalyst for Air Rarotonga entering discussions with government about upgrading those runways. Continue reading “Air Rarotonga’s second Saab 340B opens possibilities in the north (but NZ help would be welcome)”

The big question around spike in oil prices is when Saudi supply will return to normal

NZ motorists can brace for higher fuel prices with good cause. The attack on Saudi oil facilities poses one of the greatest threats to oil production and supply in recent years.

Crude oil prices posted their largest-ever jump in a single day, as Saudi Arabia counts the damage caused by aerial strikes on its state-owned petroleum giant, Saudi Aramco.

The Aramco plants targeted are crucial to the company’s operations. If they are offline, for even a short while, it will drastically reduce the output of Saudi Arabia, the world’s biggest oil exporter.

This poses important questions: When will Saudi oil production return to its level before the attack? The country aims to restore part of its output today, but when production and supply will return to normal remains unclear. Continue reading “The big question around spike in oil prices is when Saudi supply will return to normal”

Warm welcome awaits Peters on his return from surgery, as Labour seeks to regroup

With the Labour Party in some disarray, Deputy PM Winston Peters may be surprised how warmly he is welcomed back in the Beehive when he returns.

Initially it was expected he would be absent for not much more than a week after he took leave on August 19 for surgery to what was said to be a recurrence of an “old rugby injury”. Continue reading “Warm welcome awaits Peters on his return from surgery, as Labour seeks to regroup”