Stuff’s latest political editor, Luke Malpass, newly arrived from the Australian Financial Review, needs to do more homework before launching into NZ politics. In a weekend piece he contrasted the treatment afforded Ausralia’s PM, Scott Morrison, and our Jacinda Ardern in the US this week.
“Last Tuesday, the Beehive announced that Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern had scored a 20 minute bilateral with US President Donald Trump on the sidelines of this week’s UN general assembly in New York.
“It was a big deal. Yet a short meet-and-greet with no media allowed pales in comparison with the lavish state dinner thrown for Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison on the weekend.
“Why would Trump lavish such attention – only the second state banquet of his presidency – on our trans-Tasman neighbours? New Zealand last got one when Norman Kirk was prime minister in 1973. Continue reading “Stuff and nonsense about whether Morrison trumped Ardern in developing a relationship with US President”
Phil Twyford is one of the more controversial ministers within Jacinda Ardern’s coalition government. His performance with Labour’s flagship policy KiwiBuild was so undistinguished he was removed from the Housing portfolio, but not before the first CEO of KiwiBuild, Stephen Barclay, stepped away from the job.
Now Helen O’Sullivan, who was selected during Twyford’s term as minister to succeed Barclay, has also resigned.
Then there’s the curious case of Nigel Gould, who has been chairman of the Civil Aviation Administration.
Gould is a prominent Wellington accountant who had served as chairman of Centreport and Chancellor of Massey University (services recognised with the award of the ONZM) before taking on the role at the CAA in 2011. Now we learn he has resigned “at the request” of Twyford.
Yet Gould, whose term was due to end in June, had been asked to stay on for 12 months back in May.
By none other than Twyford. Continue reading “Twyford’s chores include naming a new CAA chair – but the candidates have cause to be chary”
Defence Minister Ron Mark was in ebullient form, telling Parliament this week how much he had achieved in defence since he took over the portfolio from National’s Mark Mitchell. And it does look an impressive list.
“There’s $5.2bn worth of procurement running right now. P-8s—done. Hercules—getting done. Network-enabled army—done. Protected mobility—done. The King Airs, four of them, now flying at Ōhākea—done. New simulator for the NH90s—done”.
So, when a request comes for New Zealand to help in the protection of vital shipping lanes in the Middle East, one might think the Defence Minister would relish the opportunity to deploy elements of the NZ Defence Force.
But what was Mark’s response when asked to link with Australia in its decision to commit a ship, a surveillance aircraft and defence personnel in the multilateral effort to keep the Strait of Hormuz between the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman open and safe for ships to pass through? Continue reading “NZ’s Defence assets are out of action or over-burdened – so sorry, we can’t help in the Gulf”
We wonder if Police Minister Stuart Nash has consulted with Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis on what to do about egregious laxities in our law and order system. They could discuss the merits of new legislation somehow preventing flawed decisions – or carelessness – by the people charged with catching criminals and with safeguarding the public when the baddies have been banged up.
One incident involved prison authorities allowing the man accused of killing 51 people in the Christchurch terrorist attack writing to members of a far-right message board from prison.
The second involved the theft of pistols from a police car in Southland, resulting in Southern police being ordered to stay armed during a hunt for a fellow who – police claim – rammed two police cars, then stole their guns.
Two police Glock pistols were taken but – hey, here’s the good news, folks – two spare magazines were left behind, police said. Continue reading “When it comes to carelessness in the law-and-order domain, there’s nothing quite like a new law – or is there?”
We thank Racing Minister Winston Peters for steering us to the Community Matters website.
He did this at the end of his announcement that 2019/20 applications for funding to improve racecourse safety are now open.
Further information (he advised) is available from http://www.communitymatters.govt.nz.
We went there and – wow. We found enough troughs to keep Landcorp’s stock well nourished for the next year or so.
Community Matters, tucked inside the Internal Affairs Department, doesn’t seem to have much to do beyond giving money to the people it deems worthy.
Under “key dates“, we are advised the second 2019 Lottery Environment and Heritage funding round closes on Wednesday August 7; the second 2019 Chinese Poll Tax Heritage Fund funding round opens on Wednesday August 14; and the 2019 Ethnic Communities Development funding round opens on Wednesday August 14.
Some grants administered by Community Operations are open for requests all year round at any time. These funds do not have opening or closing dates.
These are – Continue reading “This Internal Affairs service dishes up a rich swill for the nation’s troughers”
The Hands Off Our Tamariki Network has an admirable ring to its name. Here’s hoping everybody gets the message because if whanau members kept their hands off their tamaraki … well, there would be no need for a state agency to intervene and get its hands on the victims of domestic violence.
The reasons why the Oranga Tamariki agency becomes involved in caring for children has been somewhat downplayed by speakers at protest meetings who demand the state leave their mokopuna alone and insist Māori be the ones caring for their children.
Yet while they call for the state to stay away when Maori children are involved, paradoxically they want the government to do something: Continue reading “Amidst howls of “racism”, protesters demand an agency boss’s resignation because – begorrah – she is Irish”
Deep divisions in the medical community have become apparent as David Seymour’s End of Life Choice Bill is about to return to Parliament – on Wednesday next week – for what promises to be a tortuous clause-by-clause third reading debate.
A group of doctors who support the Bill – which would allow the terminally ill to get medical assistance to end their suffering – this week accused the New Zealand Medical Association of ignoring international evidence on the issue in favour of “conservative cultural and personal beliefs”.
In a letter to NZMA chair Dr Kate Baddock, the group accused the six-member NZMA board, which opposed the Bill in submissions to the justice select committee, of ignoring international “disciplined, rational, evidence-based scientific medicine” on the issue.
“As such you and the board could be accused of being no more advanced than the ‘anti-vaxers’ or the ‘anti-1080 lobby’, whose beliefs cannot be impinged upon by science, fact or rational thinking,” the letter said.
It was signed by Dr Miles Williams, cardiologist, of Hastings, and 18 other practising and retired doctors. Continue reading “What’s up, doc? Oh, a sharp difference of opinion on legislation to help the terminally ill”