This article was published today on Karl du Fresne’s blog (HERE).
Newly promoted minister Kiritapu Allan has said what a lot of people think but feel unable to say.
She lashed out in a tweet against “tokenistic” use of te reo by employees of DOC “as an attempt to show govt depts are culturally competent”. She told Stuff she encouraged the use of the Maori language, but wanted it used “with integrity”.
“You want to use te reo, you use it with integrity and use it responsibly,” Stuff quoted Allan as saying. “This isn’t a ‘everybody go out and use mahi and kaupapa’ and say you have a deep and enduring relationship with te ao Māori.”
Of course this shouldn’t apply only to DOC, where Allan was in charge before this week’s cabinet reshuffle resulted in her elevation to the justice portfolio. The same message could be directed at all government agencies where middle-class Pakeha public servants, eager to demonstrate their solidarity with the tangata whenua, indulge in an ostentatious display of virtue-signalling by using token Maori words and phrases.
I wonder whether Radio New Zealand also got the memo. Continue reading “Karl du Fresne on virtue signalling, Kiri Allan, Three Waters and secret donations”
Shane Jones — remember him?- — has re-emerged into public life and thrown a hand grenade at the Labour government on its Three Waters policy. He has done so in a think-piece for the op-ed page in the NZ Herald at a time when the Ardern government thought it had recaptured the high ground in the nation’s politics, with its measures to take the sting out of inflation.
But Jones’ intervention has widened the battleground.
The implications, separately, are interesting. Does it foreshadow Jones, a close ally of NZ First leader Winston Peters, stepping back into politics? Could it be that Jones senses that here is the issue that could revive NZ First from its moribund state?
Of course, Jones may have compiled his explosive piece on his own initiative, but as a minister in the Labour-NZ First coalition from 2017 to 2020, he and Winston Peters always worked very closely together. It was as if they were soul-mates: each had the gift of hitting a political nerve.
This is the one Jones played on in his NZ Herald article: Continue reading “Who said Shane Jones was all washed-up? Three Waters (and co-governance) have flushed him back into politicking”
The Ardern government is weakening many of the pillars of the free market reforms implemented in the 1980s and 1990s, including undermining the Reserve Bank and Fiscal Responsibility Acts.
More alarming is its failure to learn that bestowing privileges on a few results in enormous costs for the many.
So says Nicholas Kerr, son of the late Business Roundtable executive director Roger Kerr.
A marketing consultant in Dallas, Texas, Nicholas Kerr delivered a speech last month to the Dallas chapter of the Bastiat Society, an organisation established by the American Institute for Economic Research as a forum for business professionals to help advance peaceful trade and human flourishing.
The speech (the full version can be read here) was headed Unleashing New Zealand’s Potential and Suppressing Washington State’s — Lessons for Texas.
Here’s an edited version: –
While the New Zealand I grew up in during the 1970s and early 1980s was idyllic for most children, its citizens had long been experiencing declining relative living standards. In the 30 years prior to 1982, New Zealand’s rank in the per capita gross domestic product league table fell from third to 32nd.
Government owned all manner of things, including but not limited to, one of the largest hotel chains in the country; a shipping company; both television channels (New Zealand only had two until 1989); many radio stations; most hospitals; major banks; a steel mill and a printing company; all the country’s airports, ports, universities and coalmines; half the country’s forests; and, the only telecommunications, electricity, airline, and rail companies. Continue reading “The dismantling of free-market reforms – how Ardern is taking us back to the days when state monopolies limited our choices”
Peters is back, the headlines shouted.
Well, not quite. Winston Peters may have stepped into the political limelight again, after a spell in political darkness – but he and his party are a long way from Parliament. And even though he looks fit and well, can he – at the age of 76 – find the spark which will fire up the NZ First engine again?
His disciple, Shane Jones, is firmly convinced he can. Furthermore, Jones believes the party can forge a new crusade out of the “perfidy” of what the Climate Change Commission is doing to NZ.
Jones sees the commissioners as “ideological termites”, who hold sway over the government with “mad ideas” of the sort that could required us all as if we are all going to ride bikes
Jones cites the example of 10,000 bikers in Birkenhead exerting their power on the government to build a bridge for them over the Auckland harbour.
Continue reading “Climate could provide Peters and his party with a platform for warming voters and bouncing back at the next election”
Will we miss him when he is gone?
Love him or loathe him, Winston Peters is one of the extraordinary characters on the NZ political stage. Through his remarkable career, he has registered the highs — and lows — of politics.
But now after his latest stint as Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, the latest opinion polling show he is facing political oblivion. NZ First’s support has shrunk to just 1%.
This perhaps comes as no surprise after the financial shenanigans involving the NZ First Foundation, despite Peters asserting the party and MPs have been “exonerated”.
The Serious Fraud Office announced last week that two people are being charged after a probe into the foundation.
The SFO investigation discovered credible evidence of criminal wrongdoing at the foundation, which has no other purpose than to serve the NZ First Party.
No matter how Peters rails against the SFO, the hard truth is that one of the country’s major law enforcement agencies is charging two people with connections to the NZ First Party, even if they are not current members of it. Continue reading “Polls portend the toppling of Peters and his extraordinary political career – replacing him in Foreign Affairs won’t be easy”
How quickly the political landscape can change. A month ago, Deputy PM Winston Peters, along with PM Jacinda Ardern, was deep into a trans-Tasman sledging match after Ardern attacked Australia’s hardline deportation.
But as the coronavirus crisis broadened, it was Peters on the line to Canberra seeking Australia’s assistance in repatriating stranded New Zealanders in places as far apart as Nepal and Peru.
Whether Peters offered an apology for his earlier megaphone diplomacy is not known (we suspect not). He thought he was on a winner back then in March (the coronavirus pandemic at that time was being glossed over lightly by the government ) as he gave the Scott Morrison government a verbal towelling. He told the ABC it was a bit rich for Australia to be shipping its unwanted people to NZ when an Australian has been charged over the deaths of 51 people in the Christchurch mosque attacks.
“Did we make a song and dance about Australia about that? It was the worst tragedy we’ve ever had – 51 people lost their lives – scores and scores were damaged forever. Far worse than Port Arthur, and nobody in my country sought to abuse Australia about that, that’s my point … and we want a thing called respect.” Continue reading “When you sing Happy Birthday while washing your hands on April 11 – think of Winston”
So when did Shane Jones first learn about NZ Future Forest Products’ bid for a $15 million government loan from the Provincial Growth Fund.?
According to a Radio NZ report today, when NZFFP applied for PGF on 8 April, 2019, the company was asked whether the project had been “previously discussed” with the government.
The application form shows NZFFP ticked the ‘yes’ box and said it had made a “presentation to the Minister” about its forestry and wood processing plans “including descriptions of the applicant”.
Jones, a New Zealand First MP who is forestry minister and the minister responsible for the $3 billion Provincial Growth Fund, has consistently claimed he first heard about the NZFFP bid on 14 October last year.
The forestry company is described as having close links to New Zealand First.
NZFFP’s directors include
- Brian Henry, lawyer to New Zealand First Party leader Winston Peters, judicial officer of the party and one of two trustees of the New Zealand First Foundation, and
- NZ First leader Winston Peters’ partner Jan Trotman, who joined the company in August 2019.
Continue reading “Questions are raised by RNZ report about a forestry company, the PGF and a meeting with Shane Jones”
Are ministers in Jacinda Ardern’s coalition beginning to live in a dreamworld of their own, distant from the one where ordinary New Zealanders live?
In Parliament, in answer to patsy questions from their own backbenchers, they congratulate themselves on their extraordinary ( as it seems to them) achievements. They appear supremely unconscious of or oblivious to the world most New Zealanders inhabit. And this week they were doing their best to ignore the raging furnace torching NZ First.
It’s possible they were yawning because they had heard it all before.
But other NZers found the allegations of financial shenanigans inside the structure of NZ First disturbing.
Stuff reports the NZ First Foundation received 26 donations of $325,900 in just a five month period, adding:
“Donors to the foundation include food manufacturers, racing interests, forestry owners and wealthy property developers.” Continue reading “The PM dances on a pin about funding furore – but she can’t waltz away from the question of her govt’s integrity”
Veteran journalist David Barber, a champion of voluntary euthanasia, and Ken Orr, spokesman for Right to Life, have found common ground. Both agree that our elected politicians should not be passing the buck on the End of Life Choice Bill to a referendum.
They question the need for a binding referendum being held at the 2020 general election, if the contentious End of Life Choice Bill is passed at its third reading on November 13. This is the consequence of the nine MPs of NZ First pledging to support the third reading of the bill on the condition that Parliament votes to support its supplementary order paper requiring such a referendum.
But the Brexit shambles in Britain provides ample evidence that a referendum can undermine a democracy rather than buttress or strengthen it.
The shambles is the subject of an article, headed Brexit is putting parliamentary democracy in question, recently published by the European Council on Foreign Relations, an international think-tank.
“Brexit may well become a textbook example of the damage that a referendum can wreak on parliamentary democracy.” Continue reading “Brexit and the popular vote – a lesson in folly that should steer NZ First away from facile referenda”
Expect the old campaigner Winston Peters to be at his belligerent best as he gears up for another election. He’s kept his party alive for 27 years and he shows no sign of quitting.
The omens may be bleak—polls this week showed his party below the 5% threshold– but Peters insists NZ First’s own polling puts the party “comfortably in the zone” to do well. He told Radio NZ the party is getting “enormous support” in the provinces and he’ll use the conference to outline a winning strategy.
As for those political commentators who say NZ First won’t make it back into Parliament, they are “moronic”.
Yet even when Peters fires up, as he did in that interview, the odds are stacking up against NZ First. He can brush off the polls, dismiss leaks of sensitive party documents pointing to questionable internal administrative issues, and assert his party is key to the coalition’s success: yet NZ First inevitably will cop some of the blame generated by adverse headlines as in the NZ Herald on Thursday – “Dire Shortfall in State Housing”. Continue reading “An important conference for NZ First as it braces for the prospect of a painful year ahead”