Winston Peters is too astute a politician to be oblivious to the outcome in what Opposition parties across the Tasman labelled the “climate change election”. Almost certainly, when he spoke in the debate of the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill on Tuesday afternoon, he was thinking of how the Australian Federal Labor Party lost the “unloseable” election simply because it campaigned so hard on what voters assessed as too demanding, and too costly, measures to combat global warming.
How else to explain his rambling defence of NZ First’s support for the bill? It was, almost word by word, as if he could feel support for NZ First in the rural regions evaporating.
He started by asking why the House was having the debate. His answer: because the previous National government had signed up to the Paris Agreement.
He went on to say the bill fulfills NZ First’s agreement with Labour to establish a Climate Change Commission, “but one that does not resemble the statutory or arbitrary or final powers of the Reserve Bank”\, Continue reading “Why Winston Peters should be paying heed to the outcome of Australia’s climate change election”
The Ministry of Health website and the Minister of Health are out of synch, when it comes to elective surgery.
On a page last updated on August 10 last year, readers will find a section headed Health targets: Improved access to elective surgery.
This says the Government has directed the ministry to develop a new set of performance measures to improve health outcomes for New Zealanders.
While work is underway to develop these new measures DHBs will continue to report to the Ministry against the current set of health targets, as well as against a previously established suite of wider measures.
Readers are referred to the Health targets page for more information on the development of new measures.
On the specific matter of improved access to elective surgery, a sub-heading asks: What is the target?
The answer (drum roll, please) is:
The volume of elective surgery will be increased by an average of 4000 discharges per year.
Continue reading “The govt has no national health target for elective surgery – perhaps David Clark should tell his ministry”
A champion of the growing practice of appointing iwi representatives to sit with elected representatives on local authority decision-making bodies didn’t have a great deal to say, when questions were emailed to her.
Much of the little she did say – published on Point of Order last month – has been challenged by Bruce Moon in an open letter posted on Breaking Views.
The thrust and parry were triggered by governance changes on the Hastings District Council, which last month voted to appoint Māori representatives with speaking and voting rights to its four standing committees.
The council press statement which announced the decision noted 25 per cent of the local population is Māori and five of the council’s 14 elected members (33 per cent of the total) have identified as being of Maori descent.
The council voted in favour of appointing more Maori to join the elected ones “to be more inclusive and hear the voice of our iwi partners”.
Associate Professor Maria Bargh, Victoria University of Wellington Te Kawa a Māui Head of School, welcomed this bypassing of the electoral system and the granting of speaking and voting rights to iwi appointees.
Her reasonscan be found in an article on the VUW website headed Academics commend Hastings District Council for inclusive, effective decision-making, .
Continue reading “Open letter to associate professor sharpens the focus on Treaty of Waitangi and its influence on governance”
Britain’s most unlucky Prime Minister since Ted Heath is still on her feet. Just. Theresa May won a stay of execution by saying she would give a timetable for her departure in early June, after she has brought her Brexit deal back to Parliament for a fourth attempt. Hardly anyone thinks it has a chance of passing. Some think it might not even get to the starting blocks, if the European elections this week go badly.
The talking, votes and deadlock have gone on for so long that it seems to have become the new normal. But in reality, the ground has been shifting very fast. Look at the signs.
Continue reading “Brexit: things may happen fast”
As a footnote to our earlier post on the Australian election result, Point of Order notes how money has since talked it up. Financial markets bounded up, the Australian dollar strengthened : it was pay day for all Australians with pension funds.
The sharemarket’s main index — the S&PASX 200 — had risen around 1.6% by mid-afternoon. Within that in the banking sector, prices of the major bank shares climbed 6-8%. Freed from the worry about Labor’s promise to abolish negative gearing, companies in the property sector averaged rises of around 2%.
By far the biggest rises were in the mining sector with the companies involved in the proposed Adani coal venture rising about 11%. Continue reading “Another lesson from Oz – improved wellbeing is reliant on economic growth”
Just as Australians are absorbing the lessons of Scott Morrison’s “miraculous” return from the electoral dead, New Zealanders are being told by a prominent Wellington economist Ganesh Nana he fears the Ardern government is about to back down from “meaningful economic reform”.
Yet across the Tasman it was the “ambitious” economic reforms proposed by Federal Labor leader Bill Shorten which delivered the crushing blow of losing what the pundits called the “unloseable” election.
Labour in NZ is probably congratulating itself that it has dropped a broad capital gains tax not just from its current programme but for the future.For it is clear many Australian voters rejected Shorten’s plan for a giant tax grab across the economic spectrum and allowed Scott Morrison to play mercilessly the line “the Bill you can’t afford”.
Labor underestimated, as one Australian pundit put it, the downside of
” … mucking around with the aspirations of middle Australia [through negative gearing and capital gains tax changes that stirred anxiety about falling house prices]. I think this would be the last time that the Labor Party goes anywhere near people’s homes.” Continue reading “What Bridges can learn from Australia: forget about the polls and apply policy lessons”
A headline in the left-leaning The Standard – In praise of Judith Collins – caught us by surprise.
The author of The Standard’s post criticised ACT leader David Seymour for “being a dick” about Green MP Golriz Gharaman and for tweeting:
“Golriz Ghahraman is a real menace to freedom in this country.” spoke to about the dangers facing free speech in New Zealand and the political theatre of Jacinda Ardern’s Christchurch Call.”
Let’s check out what’s going on here and why – on this matter, at least – Collins is being praised by a left-wing blogger. Continue reading “How David Seymour’s railing against censorship and a Green MP resulted in The Standard praising Judith Collins”