How the Nats have opted to invest in the future with small change

A post on the left-wing The Standard blog expresses bemusement at National’s re-election of its party president.

MickySavage writes:

You would think that the conference held immediately after National suffered one of its worst drubbings in its history National would take the opportunity to refresh its leadership and change its direction.

If you did you will be disappointed.

May we suppose this means he was disappointed?

Surprised, perhaps, but Labour and its supporters surely should be delighted at National’s disinclination to overhaul the party leadership after a disastrous general election result.

In his report on the party elections, Stuff’s Thomas Coughlan noted there was some change. But it was small change.  Continue reading “How the Nats have opted to invest in the future with small change”

APEC gets our PM as its new leader (along with an overhaul of its Vision to improve the wellbeing of all its people)

The PM moves fast.  Yesterday she announced she would attend the annual APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting and associated events “virtually”.  Early today – the second and final day of this event – she announced she has taken over the leaderhsiup of APEC.  

We imagine she has done this with much less difficulty than Joe Biden is having in taking over leadership of the USA from a highly aggrieved and capricious Donald Trump.

These APEC announcements were among several posted on the Beehive website since Point of Order last reported on how our ministers are earning their keep.

Most of the others assured us we were prudent not to turn off the Point of Order Trough Monitor simply because Shane Jones no longer can dispense handouts from the $3 billion Provincial Growth Fund and/or the One Billion Trees programme.

Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor is a dab hand at dispensing, goodies, too, and has stepped up to the plate to announce more than $6 million will be spent on helping farmers improve the health of rivers, wetlands, and habitat biodiversity in Canterbury and Otago as well as improving long-term land management practices. Continue reading “APEC gets our PM as its new leader (along with an overhaul of its Vision to improve the wellbeing of all its people)”

A2 Milk has lost  some of its sharemarket  gloss but has  become a formidable  dairy player with a bright outlook

Two  encouraging signals from the  dairy industry this week underlined  its strength  as  the backbone   of the  NZ  export  economy, all the  more vital since  the  Covid-driven collapse  of the international tourist  industry.

First  came  news that prices  strengthened  at the  latest  Fonterra  global dairy  trade  auction, with  the  average price reaching  $US3157  a  tonne. Prices for other products sold were mixed, with gains for butter and skim milk powder, but falls for cheese and other products.

Analysts  said  it  was  positive  to see  good, strong  demand  from   China. The  price  of  wholemilk powder  which  strongly  influences the  level of  payout to Fonterra’s  suppliers  moved  up  1.8% to $US3037  a tonne.

 ANZ agri-economist Susan Kilsby said there had been some concerns that stocks may be building in China, so it was really positive to see good, strong demand from that market for the dairy industry. Continue reading “A2 Milk has lost  some of its sharemarket  gloss but has  become a formidable  dairy player with a bright outlook”

Woods sticks to her script (a list of what the government has done) after economist rails about housing

As Minister of Housing, she is acutely aware of how decades of under-investment in infrastructure and the building of affordable homes has led us to where we are today, Megan Woods said yesterday.

Great.  But what is being done about it?

Plenty – but nothing that hasn’t been announced already, it seems.

At least, not according to the speech which Woods delivered to the InfrastructureNZ conference.

Woods ticked off a list of programmes already under way and legislation already passed, and she reiterated the Government’s intention to replace the Resource Management Act.  But an audience of infrastructure buffs hoping to be the first to hear of new initiatives would have been disappointed.

Woods’ speech was among the new posts on the Beehive website, since we last checked.

Among the others: Continue reading “Woods sticks to her script (a list of what the government has done) after economist rails about housing”

Hey, we have some influence, but maybe not enough in the right circles to secure a share of $30,000 propaganda job

Because we fancy ourselves as “influencers”, here at Point of Order, we had high hopes of being invited to share some of the $30,000 lolly the government intends spending to publicise its apprenticeship programmes.

It was a very fleeting flight of fancy.  On almost immediate second thoughts we sensed that (a) our influence might not be as great as we like to suppose and (b) we might not be reaching the audience the government hopes to reach with whatever influence we can muster.

Even if we could reach the right audience with the necessary degree of influence, we would be bound to bridle at having to earn our money by getting into the propaganda business.

We would also cop criticism, probably, from a Taxpayers Union that is apt to rail against hypocrites who disapprove of troughers, but then accept goodies from a taxpayer-funded trough.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Education Minister Chris Hipkins yesterday drew attention to the troughing opportunity in question when they announced a campaign to raise the profile of vocational education and training (VET). Continue reading “Hey, we have some influence, but maybe not enough in the right circles to secure a share of $30,000 propaganda job”

Creative NZ support for propaganda adds up to $222,000 that won’t go to artists

The Taxpayers’ Union has joined Point of Order in raising questions about Creative NZ’s funding of articles on The Spinoff to pressure the Government “to remove direct democracy from local government wards”.

For good measure, it has inquired into the cost of this funding and tells us $222,000 in grants has gone the way of The Spinoff since 2016.

As Point of Order reported at the weekend, one Creative NZ-sponsored article on The Spinoff has the headline, ‘Why Nanaia Mahuta is right to repeal racist Māori wards legislation’.

A follow up is titled, ‘Want to petition council to veto your local Māori ward? Bad news – you can!’.

The Taxpayers Union dipped into The Spinoff’s files and found other opinion pieces in this series which profile Ihumātao protestors, make commentary on Twitter controversies, and praise Hon Nanaia Mahuta’s appointment as Foreign Minister.

Union spokesman Louis Houlbrooke says, “Many New Zealanders would be appalled to know their hard-earned taxes are being used to promote political stances they disagree with. When government agencies engage in propaganda they undermine the neutrality of the public sector and the fairness of democracy.”   

search of Creative NZ’s website reveals $222,000 given in grants to The Spinoff since 2016.  

“It seems Creative NZ is keen on funding left-wing propaganda, but we doubt they’d give money for us to provide the counterargument. Regardless, political opinion pieces do not support the creative sector. Creative NZ should stick to its knitting or shut down and return its funds to the taxpayer.”   

A few weeks ago the Taxpayers’ Union revealed  how Creative NZ’s COVID-19 response grants have dished out taxpayer money to ‘compositions inspired by emotions felt during the Covid-19 lockdown, ‘an indigenised hypno-soundscape’, ‘a novel about male affection in hypermasculine spaces’, and other bizarre projects.”

Its press statement today concludes:

Of course some art will be edgy or political. But we’re yet to see Creative NZ fund a single project that doesn’t fit their politically-correct, Wellington-centric, left-wing world view. That is not good enough

Thanks to his Trump connections, Kiwi will need a Liddell help from USA’s friends to land top OECD job

National’s leader, Judith Collins, reckons the government should be supporting Kiwi Chris Liddell in his bid to become the next Secretary-General of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

Liddell, who has dual US and NZ citizenship, is serving  in the White House as US President Donald Trump’s deputy chief of staff and was nominated by Trump in September to be the next boss of the OECD.

The NZ government has yet to decide if it will support him, prompting Collins to say Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern should “front up” if she has a problem with his work for Trump.

“I would have thought that it is always going to be in New Zealand’s best interest to have a highly qualified, very experienced person like Chris Liddell heading our OECD. It’s far more beneficial to New Zealand than playing politics on it,” Collins told RNZ on Tuesday.

But it’s a complicated picture.  Liddell has lived for years in the US and, given Trump’s antipathy to Europe and international organisations, his senior position on Trump’s team may well knock him out of the running.

Trump’s defeat in the presidential elections – yes, we too say Joe Biden has won the presidential election – won’t help either. Continue reading “Thanks to his Trump connections, Kiwi will need a Liddell help from USA’s friends to land top OECD job”

“The Economist” puts spotlight on Ardern and Mahuta – now let’s watch them strut their stuff on the world stage

When a  Labour  government  in New Zealand is the  subject of a page of commentary  in the London-based The  Economist,  you  know  it is on a  roll.  And  the  Ardern    government   has  won  its  place  in  history  through its performance  in winning a  second term so decisively.

Not  only that, but the  Prime  Minister  herself has made her  own mark  on the  international  stage.

The  Economist   is  impressed  with  NZ  legalising  assisted dying, among other progressive steps,   and  is  impressed that  NZ’s  new  foreign minister,  Nanaia  Mahuta, sports a  Maori tattoo  known as  a moko kauae  on her lips  and chin.

It reports Mahuta  as being part  of the  most diverse cabinet in NZ’s history, appointed by Ardern,  following a thumping re-election for  the prime minister and the Labour  Party  she  leads. Ethnically,  almost half the  20  members   are  not white and include five Maori.  There  are eight women, two of whom are lesbians,  with young  children and the  first  openly gay  deputy  prime minister, Grant Robertson. Continue reading ““The Economist” puts spotlight on Ardern and Mahuta – now let’s watch them strut their stuff on the world stage”

Govt which barred small shops from trading early this year now wants shoppers to get a fair deal from supermarkets

The PM two years ago said her government would do it and – hurrah – today it became the stuff of an official announcement.  The competitiveness of supermarkets will be studied to see if Kiwis are getting a fair deal at the checkout counter.

The supermarkets to be studied – let’s note – are the same ones whose small-shop competitors were  nobbled by the Government and barred from trading during the The Great Covid Lockdown earlier this year.

News of the government’s decision to investigate supermarket competition was one of three items posted on The Beehive website since Point or Order last monitored what the PM and her team are doing.

The other items tell us:

  • Masks must be worn on all public transport in Auckland and in and out of Auckland and on domestic flights throughout the country from Thursday.
  • Tourism Minister Stuart Nash has delivered a speech to the Tourism Industry Aotearoa annual summit.

But let’s focus on the grocery business.  Continue reading “Govt which barred small shops from trading early this year now wants shoppers to get a fair deal from supermarkets”

The 15-nation RCEP – if that’s a secret agreement, someone should tell MFAT and the PM

The secret – or so-called secret – is out.  New Zealand has signed the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, then proclaimed the fact very publicly on the Beehive’s web-wide bulletin board.

The partnership encompasses Japan, China, South Korea, the 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), Australia and New Zealand and creates “a free trade zone” which covers nearly a third of the world’s trade and economic output.

The word “free” is much more open to challenge than the claim about secrecy.

The piles of documents which set out the rules and regulations make nonsense of any notion this is a free trade zone for the signatories.  It’s an  easier trade zone for them, perhaps, but free? No.

The announcement of the public signing was one of just a few Beehive released in the past few days.  The others tell us – Continue reading “The 15-nation RCEP – if that’s a secret agreement, someone should tell MFAT and the PM”