Stuff and nonsense – reporter seems to think crime will stop when Parliament passes a law to make it illegal

A headline across the top of two pages of our Dominion-Post today brought stunning news:

It blared:  Children hit despite anti-smacking law.

Gee – who would have imagined that?

A variant of that headline can be found on the Stuff website:  Physical punishment of children still ‘fairly common’, despite anti-smacking law change – study

The article recalls that .. .

In an effort to improve child health outcomes in New Zealand, the Government introduced anti-smacking legislation in 2007 that prohibited the physical punishment of children.

Has the prohibition succeeded in sparing miscreant children from being strapped, slapped, smacked, whacked or otherwise physically chastised?

Apparently not (and is anyone seriously surprised?)  Continue reading “Stuff and nonsense – reporter seems to think crime will stop when Parliament passes a law to make it illegal”

Sepuloni (on the cultural side of her duties) creates a new trough while at ACC she finds more work for Steve Maharey

Carmel Sepuloni has triggered two Point of Order monitors – our Trough Monitor and Jobs for the Boys (and Girls) Monitor – in the past 24 hours.

As Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister, she called the hogs to sample the goodies in something she called “The Cultural Activators Pilot”, which implies this is a brand-new trough.

As ACC Minister, she announced the appointment of a former Labour Cabinet Minister as a new member and next chair of the board of the Accident Compensation Corporation. 

But wait.  There’s more. 

As Social Development and Employment Minister, Sepuloni was caring for the wellbeing of more than 1 million New Zealanders in the form of the Winter Energy Payment.

But she wasn’t the only Minister kept busy in the Beehive’s Wellbeing Department.  

The Associate Minister of Health and Foreign Affairs, Aupito William Sio, issued a statement jointly with Fiji Health and Medical Services Minister Ifereimi Waqainabete.  This was to announce New Zealand has offered, and Fiji has accepted, sufficient doses of AstraZeneca for 250,000 people from New Zealand’s domestic vaccine portfolio.

The Ministers “met virtually last week” – does this mean they chatted on the phone or via some internet wizardry? – to discuss New Zealand’s offer, which includes $2 million of Official Development Assistance to support Fiji’s vaccine rollout. Continue reading “Sepuloni (on the cultural side of her duties) creates a new trough while at ACC she finds more work for Steve Maharey”

The  bid  for Infratil  from  Australian  Super was a fizzer – and now we can see why that’s been great for shareholders and NZ

One  of  the  busiest  companies  on  the  NZX,  investment company Infratil,  has  underlined that  not  all  of the  sharpest  operators in NZ business have  deserted Wellington   for  the brighter  lights  of  Auckland.

This  week  the  company  announced it has executed a conditional agreement to acquire between 50.1% and 60% of Pacific Radiology Group, a comprehensive diagnostic imaging business,  from its existing doctor shareholders for a total consideration of up to $350m.

Pacific Radiology is the largest private diagnostic imaging service provider in NZ, operating 46 clinics in the South Island and lower North Island and employing 90 radiologists.

The acquisition enterprise value of $867m implies an EV/EBITDA multiple of 12.6-13.3x.

Infratil chief executive Jason Boyes says the Pacific Radiology acquisition, if completed, will sit well with Infratil’s other high-performing, high-quality assets, and builds on its investment last year in Qscan Group, a leading diagnostic imaging business in Australia. Continue reading “The  bid  for Infratil  from  Australian  Super was a fizzer – and now we can see why that’s been great for shareholders and NZ”

You are wrong, if you thought the One Billion Trees trough had been emptied – but a renamed agency will dish up the remnants

One of the latest Beehive announcements augurs changes in the tree-planting, tree-growing and tree-harvesting business, another will help you change information recorded on your birth certificate and (it is reasonable to suppose) on your family tree.   

The first involves the forestry sector.  Te Uru Rākau (Forestry New Zealand) will be renamed Te Uru Rākau – New Zealand Forest Service and shift its operational headquarters from Wellington to Rotorua. 

The second involves public records.  The government is increasing support for New Zealanders wanting to change their sex marker on their birth certificates.

The statement on the forest service, from Forestry Minister Stuart Nash, served the useful purpose of reminding us about the One Billion Trees programme.  We hadn’t heard much about this, and the goal to have one billion more trees planted by 2028, since New Zealand First’s Shane Jones – remember when he was Minister of Regional Economic Development and of Forestry? – was given the heave-ho by the electorate last year.

Nash noted that in the past three years forestry policies prioritised regional economic development, by supporting extensive tree planting and job creation. Continue reading “You are wrong, if you thought the One Billion Trees trough had been emptied – but a renamed agency will dish up the remnants”

Mahuta gives money to help Covid-ravaged Indians (but not nearly as much as will be spent on helping the locals at Franz Josef)

We were encouraged to learn the government is providing support to India in response to the devastating COVID-19 situation facing the country.

Our PM will have the wellbeing of a billion or so people in mind (although unlike  China, the Indians don’t buy nearly enough of our exports and hence can be treated differently in shaping our foreign policy ).

Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta announced today.

“We stand in solidarity with India at this difficult time,and commend the tireless efforts of India’s frontline medics and healthcare workers who are working hard to save lives.”

We will contribute NZ $1 million to the International Federation of the Red Cross to assist India while they respond to the current surge in COVID-19 cases.


The previous Beehive statement came from Economic and Regional Development Minister Stuart Nash, who  advised us he was dipping into Provincial Development Unit funding for $9.23m for the first phase of flood protection work in the Franz Josef community.

Charity should begin at home, of course. Continue reading “Mahuta gives money to help Covid-ravaged Indians (but not nearly as much as will be spent on helping the locals at Franz Josef)”

Yes, there will be a cull – it will be aimed at cutting group that launched the “dirty dairying” campaign down to size

Players in the country’s biggest exporter earner, the dairy and meat industries, would have shown more than a passing interest in two statements from the Beehive yesterday.

Agriculture Minister announced the roll-out of extra monitoring and a range of practical support to help farmers achieve immediate improvements in intensive winter grazing practices.

Acting Conservation Minister Ayesha Verrall  released a report outlining recommendations to strengthen the governance and good management practices within NZ Fish & Game, the outfit charged with managing sport fishing and game bird hunting across NZ that persistently harries farmers on environmental issues.

Verrall didn’t say so in her statement (no doubt with the wellbeing of Fish and Game governors in mind), but the review found:

“It is an extraordinary and unnecessary level of governance to have 144 governors (councilors of the regional FGCs and the NZFGC) for an organisation with a turnover of around $11 million., approximately $40 million in assets and 70 or so staff.  It was pointed out by several parties that this means there are more Fish and Game councillors in New Zealand than there are Members of Parliament.  The governor-to-staff ratio of 2-1 is not in line with best practice about governance ratios and effective teams.”

A culling – inevitably – is among the recommendations from the review team. 

It calls for fewer regions by amalgamating some of the existing ones and trimming the numbers on the NZFGC.  

Two further Beehive statements alert us to government decisions which will entail the spending of our money. 

  • A $110 million Spinal Unit and Adult Rehabilitation Unit in Auckland has been given the initial funding go-ahead from the Government. The new, purpose-built facility will replace the existing Auckland Spinal Rehabilitation Unit at Ōtara and the General Rehabilitation Service in the Colvin Complex at Middlemore Hospital, and will form part of the $229.4 million Manukau Health Park super-clinic redevelopment.
  • Phase one of the Franz Josef flood protection project has been approved after West Coast councils sought COVID recovery support from the government. The northern stopbanks to protect Franz Josef township from the Waiho River will be upgraded  followed by work on the southern stopbanks.  This phase involves investment of up to $12.3 million by the government and local councils. The co-funding arrangement involves $9.23 million from government, through the Provincial Development Unit.

Two further statements tell us –

  • New Zealand has lifted the travel pause with Western Australia, effective from midday today when Quarantine Free Travel recommenced for travellers who have not been identified as contacts. Travellers identified as close contacts will need to complete 14 days of self-isolation and provide evidence of a negative COVID-19 test before departure for New Zealand.
  • Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta expressed her sadness at hearing of the death of former Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull.  He  had also provided leadership to Local Government New Zealand as it  grapples with climate change, infrastructure deficits, and the impacts of Covid-19.

 Damien O’Connor’s statement draws attention to intensive winter grazing (IWG), a farming practice where cattle, sheep and other livestock progressively graze areas planted with fodder crops. If done poorly or too extensively, this can have serious negative effects on both animal welfare and the environment, particularly freshwater and estuary health.

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI), Ministry for the Environment (MfE), councils and industry representatives, have developed an online tool to help improve practices to benefit freshwater quality and animal welfare.

In March, the government deferred the introduction of IWG practice regulations until May next year.

O’Connor said: 

“We want people to engage with this module so they will be ready for the upcoming changes.”

The 2021/2022 Intensive Winter Grazing Module can be accessed by clicking here

At Point of Order, we expect Fish and Game to keep a close eye on farmers’ compliance.  It’s the outfit which started the “Dirty Dairying Campaign” in 2002 as a way to voice their growing concern and mobilise public opinion in the fight against the declining ecological health of freshwater in New Zealand.

 But Fish and Game has its own issues.

The report released by Verrall outlines recommendations to strengthen the governance and good management practices within the organisation.

Fish & Game has had the same structure since it was set up in 1990.

The report is the result of a ministerial review initiated last year by former Minister Eugenie Sage to ensure its governance and structure were “fit for purpose” today.

The independent review, undertaken by Belinda Clark and John Mills, found Fish & Game plays an important role in environmental advocacy and stewardship.

It also identified “significant opportunities to strengthen governance and management good practices”, which somewhat suggestes they are not now good practices..

Verrall says she is now looking forward to Fish & Game adopting changes which will make it a much more fit-for-purpose organisation in terms of serving its core stakeholders, enabling Māori expression of rangatiratanga and in protecting the freshwater and other values so precious to all New Zealanders.

Latest from the Beehive

28 APRIL 2021

Franz Josef infrastructure gets green light

New integrated Spinal and Adult Rehabilitation Unit at Manukau Health Park

27 APRIL 2021 Continue reading “Yes, there will be a cull – it will be aimed at cutting group that launched the “dirty dairying” campaign down to size”

Polls show Labour on a high and the economy is in good nick as Robertson polishes Budget 2021

Labour  MPs  are a  happy bunch  of  campers. Party polling  is  solid, their  leader  has gained  recognition round the  world  that few other NZ prime  ministers have  enjoyed, and  their  opponents  are  in disarray.

The  government  has  steered  the  country   through  the Covid-19  pandemic  with  little  of  the  strife  that  has  ravaged  other  populations.

What’s  more   the  economy is  in good  shape, despite   the   damage  suffered  by  key sectors like  tourism, aviation  and   international  education.

The  Labour  camp   is  confident  Grant  Robertson  will  maintain  the  political  momentum  when he  delivers  the   budget next  month.  After  all,  he  did  not  hesitate to  spend  up  large to  sustain incomes  when the  economy looked  as  it  would nosedive   during lockdowns. Overall, the  economy  kept a  surprising  equilibrium   despite  the  pandemic’s  buffeting,  and slippage in GDP  in the final  quarter last year.

Not  that  satisfying  the  range  of  demands  for  higher  spending  will  be  easy.  Problems  like child  poverty, housing  shortages,  and inequality have  intensified  since  Labour   took office.

Failing   infrastructure  has  underlined  the  need  for all  those  “shovel-ready”  projects  promised in the run-up  to  last year’s election, but  yet  to  be launched. Fortunately  for  ministers,   they  have escaped  the  obloquy heaped  on  predecessors  when  they trot  out  the familiar banality beloved  of   Beehive staffers  (“work is  going on in that  space”,  Cabinet  is  seeking advice  on that”, “I have  called  for  a  report”). Continue reading “Polls show Labour on a high and the economy is in good nick as Robertson polishes Budget 2021”

Our court system (we are told) is highly regarded overseas but Govt won’t let that stand in the way of a programme of transformation

Judges and court officials should brace for changes that enable them to contribute to the government’s wellbeing agenda.  If they didn’t know this already, they should know it now after Courts Minister Aupito William Sio delivered a speech to …

Well, the speech notes don’t tell us who was privileged to hear from the Minister.  But he discussed the government’s aim of shaping the criminal justice system “for the betterment of all citizens of Aotearoa-New Zealand” (we suppose this includes members of the criminal classes) “with a determined focus on those most affected, both historically and systematically”.

The speech was one of three new posts on the Beehive website.

The others were:

  • The allocation of $5.7 million to create better-quality experiences for disabled young people.  The investment, via Sport NZ’s Disability Plan, will result in $2.1 million provided to 15 Parafeds/D-Sport and seven National Disability Sport Organisations (NDSOs) over the next three years and $3.6 million for two new contestable disability funds.
  • A government acknowledgement of Western Australia’s decision to end its lockdown, with limited restrictions still in place.

Continue reading “Our court system (we are told) is highly regarded overseas but Govt won’t let that stand in the way of a programme of transformation”

Dragons-and-taniwha speech raises questions about NZ’s future in Five Eyes – and about the extent of Cabinet’s endorsement

Question of the Week:  Will  New Zealand  be  expelled  from Five  Eyes,  following  Nanaia Mahuta’s  speech  on  foreign policy?

NZ Herald’s  political editor  Audrey  Young,  in  a  report  on  Thursday,  wrote:

“NZ  faces the  prospect  of  expulsion   from  the  Five Eyes intelligence alliance, according  to Con Coughlin, defence editor for  the  Daily Telegraph in the  UK.

Coughlin   said  attempts by the other Five  Eyes  countries  (Britain, the  US, Canada  and  Australia) to present a  united  front  against  China  have been thwarted by the  NZ  government’s  preference for  maintaining  cordial ties with  Beijing.

He  referred  to  Jacinda  Ardern  as  “NZ’s  tiresomely woke Prime Minister”, saying  she has a preference  for  “cosying up to China’s  communist rulers”.

“Thanks to  Wellington’s  naïve  decision to prioritise trade  with China over its membership of the elite  Five Eyes intelligence-sharing  network, Ardern  can expect her country’s isolation to deepen even further as  NZ  faces  the very real prospect of expulsion  over its pro-Beijing stance”.     Continue reading “Dragons-and-taniwha speech raises questions about NZ’s future in Five Eyes – and about the extent of Cabinet’s endorsement”

Why you might be politically crackers to go gunning for quackers instead of trying to win their votes

Opposition politicians don’t seem to be getting the message.

When the government makes “wellbeing” a key objective of its social and economic programme, it is not thinking only of people.

Just recently it demonstrated this when it announced a ban on live cattle exports by sea, with a two-year period to phase out the trade.

Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor said :

“The fact is, once animals leave New Zealand by sea we have very limited ability to ensure their wellbeing before they reach their destination … that is an unacceptable risk to New Zealand’s reputation.

“We must stay ahead of the curve in a world where animal welfare is under increasing scrutiny.”

Today we learn how the government is caring for the welfare of deer, ducks and other creatures that might be the targets of the hunting set.

Our attention was drawn to this by statements from National and ACT politicians who do not share the government’s concerns in the animal welfare department.

They are bleating about bureaucratic delays in the procedure which would entitle hunters to legally arm themselves to do battle with their prey.

National’s statement was headed Govt hasn’t got its ducks in a row on firearms licensing

The Nats complain that the Government’s focus on hitting legal firearms owners with more costs and regulations has resulted in Kiwis keen to participate in the Roar and duck shooting season may miss out.

Opening weekend of duck shooting season is just around the corner and the Roar is drawing to a close but many hunters are still waiting for their paperwork to be processed in order for them to hunt legally, the statement says.

National’s Police spokesperson Simeon Brown says police have been unable to get on top of the situation.

“Police are telling people it’s taking four months for a license renewal and six months for a new license. But in reality, for some it’s taking much longer than that.

“In December there was a backlog of 9700 applications, and as of last week that number was still up around 9600 as police struggle to deal with the inflow.

“If the Government spent more time targeting illegal firearms owners as it has law-abiding hunters then we wouldn’t have seen such a delay.”

National’s Conservation spokesperson Jacqui Dean says hunting groups had warned that legislation rushed through by the Government would lead to this situation.

“While police are promising to tackle the problem it is too little, too late for many.

“Hunters are understandably frustrated. After missing out last year due to the pandemic they were looking forward to this season and did the right thing by submitting their paperwork months ago.

“Many hunters take this opportunity to fill their freezers, along with those belonging to their family and friends. Missing out for the second year in a row because of an administration issue isn’t good enough.

“We want hunters to adhere to the rules but this system failure is unacceptable.”

ACT beat the Nats to the draw with its statement (posted on Scoop at the crack of dawn) headed Firearms Licencing Still Taking Too Long

Released in the name of ACT’s Fair Firearms Law Reform spokesperson Nicole McKee, it says:

“Thousands of New Zealand shooters could still miss out on duck shooting season because of unacceptable delays in processing firearms licencing applications.”

McKee recalls that “Police put out a press release this week claiming they are making “significant progress” in clearing application delays. But figures obtained by ACT show thousands of people are waiting months for both new applications and licence renewals.

“Police have said the most helpful thing to do is apply four months in advance, but the figures we obtained show almost 5,000 applications have taken longer than six months and 1,382 have taken 12 months or longer.”

McKee produced figures obtained by Written Parliamentary Question to the Minister of Police which show how long the delays are:

1 Month or Longer = 8,179

4 months or longer = 6,164

6 months or longer = 4,915

10 months or longer = 2,005

12 months or longer = 1,382

Duck shooting season starts next week, McKee notes.

And New Zealand has a proud tradition of hunting and shooting.

“Duck shooting season for many people is a chance to bond with friends or mates and provide food for the family”.

 After the mosque slaying in Christchurch, she acknowledged, the authorities needed to get better at vetting for gun licences – but “now the system is more broken than ever.”

But whoa there.

ACT and the Nats presumably are not setting their sights on winning electoral support from creatures that quack.

They should think again.

The Point of Order research team found this politically fascinating definition …  


A fantasy prone mid teen to late 40 year old guy that wears flip flops, big dog t-shirts, sports a ponytail, and is more than likely to be overweight.

The name is derived from the duck like sound emitted from the voice box of this particular form of life.

Labour’s success in winning the support of this bloc pretty well would explain the result of the 2020 general election.