Sunday, September 25, 2016

Stephen Franks: Sir Geoffrey’s draft constitution

I have yet to read Andrew Butler’s and Sir Geoffrey Palmer’s book.

From what I have seen of their draft constitution there are admirable elements, some badly needed, such as the proposed protection of property rights. Section 104 is well drafted, as one might expect from the intelligence and experience of those authors.

I expect the book to make a strong case for the benefits of a good constitution. I could even prefer for New Zealand to have such safeguards, despite the risks that it would increase the power and arrogance of our lawyer class.

Mole News

A new precedent for hapū settlements?
A spat over treaty settlements has seen insults hurled in Parliament, but points at a wider issue around the role of hapū in settlements.

The issue at the core of the dispute surrounds a settlement with Ngāti Aukiwa, a small hapū of the Whangaroa Harbour in Northland.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

GWPF Newsletter: Paris Climate Deal Signed, China Starts Raising Coal Production

India Plans Coal Mining Project In Africa

In this newsletter:

1) Paris Climate Deal Signed, China Starts Raising Coal Production
Reuters, 23 September 2016
2) India Plans Coal Mining Project In Africa
InfraCircle, 22 September 2016

Friday, September 23, 2016

Karl du Fresne: Being sincerely motivated doesn't make it right

The International Film Festival has done the rounds of the provinces for another year. Normally I would seize the chance to binge on movies of the type that don’t usually make it to the town where I live, but this year I managed to see only one: a New Zealand documentary called The 5th Eye.

You’ll be familiar with the subject matter. The three central characters sabotaged a satellite dish at the Waihopai electronic spy facility in 2008.

Mike Butler: Race appointees ammo for Winston

The Taranaki Iwi Claims Settlement Bill, that legislates for six race-based appointees on the Taranaki Regional Council, provided new ammunition for New Zealand First Leader Winston Peters this week.

This is the second time Treaty Negotiations Minister Christopher Finlayson has written into law the requirement for tribal appointees on a local body, with the first being the regional planning committee on the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council set up in 2012.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

GWPF Newsletter: China Funds And Builds Europe’s New Coal Plants

EU's Green Obsession Opens The Door For Chinese Investment

In this newsletter:

1) China Funds And Builds Europe’s New Coal Plants
Reuters, 20 September 2016
2) Bosnia Green-Lights China Deal For New Coal Power Plant
SeeNews. 20 September 2016

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Bryan Leyland: Things you know that ain't so - trams, trains and buses

"Things you know that ain't so - trams, trains and buses are the only solution to Auckland’s congestion problem”.

All the mayoral candidates, the Council and its planners are wedded to the idea that Auckland’s congestion can only be solved by crowding people within the existing city boundaries and increasing congestion to force people to travel by trains, trams, and buses. The cost will be enormous and increased congestion is certain.

GWPF Newsletter: EU Fails To Agree On Ratification Of Paris Climate Deal

Will Hinkley Point Nuclear Power Plant Make Enough Money?

In this newsletter:

1) EU Fails To Agree On Ratification Of Paris Climate Deal
Global Warming Policy Forum, 17 September 2016
2) Will Hinkley Point Nuclear Power Plant Make Enough Money?
Global Warming Policy Forum, 19 September 2016

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

GWPF Newsletter: Arctic Sea Ice Rebounding Rapidly

BBC Polar Bear Tragedy Porn Dressed Up As Science

In this newsletter:

1) Arctic Sea Ice Rebounding Rapidly
Not A Lot Of People Know That, 15 September 2016
2) Arctic Sea Ice Turns The Corner For The Year
Vencore Weather, 16 September 2016

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Mike Butler: Palmer's Aotearoa constitution

For years former Prime Minister Sir Geoffrey Palmer has been deploring the “unbridled power” that New Zealand’s constitutional setup affords, but he was perhaps among the worst offenders during his time as Justice Minister in the way he pushed his personal Treaty of Waitangi solutions while circumventing public opinion.

Along with fellow lawyer Andrew Butler (no relation to this writer), Palmer is about to release A Constitution for Aotearoa New Zealand, a book that argues why New Zealand needs a written constitution and what a first draft of that constitution entails.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Mike Butler: Kermadecs, tribes, fishing rights

A dispute between those in charge of tribal fishing interests and the government over the proposed marine sanctuary around the Kermadecs is déjà vu all over again for those who remember the overblown claims of 30 years ago for Maori to share in the growing commercial fishing industry.

A year ago, Prime Minister John Key announced on a trip to New York that 620,000 square kilometres of sea around the Kermadec Islands, which is 1000 kilometres from New Zealand, would be closed forever to fishing and ocean-floor mining.

Friday, September 16, 2016

GWPF Newsletter: Nicolas Sarkozy Turns Climate Sceptic In Battle For Élysée

La Nina Is Dividing World Weather Forecasters

In this newsletter:

1) Nicolas Sarkozy Turns Climate Sceptic In Battle For Élysée
The Local, 15 September 2016

2) Andrew Bolt: Floods Sink Climate Change Hysteria
Herald Sun, 14 September 2016

Monday, September 12, 2016

Daniel Mitchell from Cato: Employment Protection Legislation Is Bad News for Workers

Frederic Bastiat, the great French economist (yes, such creatures used to exist) from the 1800s, famously observed that a good economist always considers both the “seen” and “unseen” consequences of any action.
A sloppy economist looks at the recipients of government programs and declares that the economy will be stimulated by this additional money that is easily seen, whereas a good economist recognizes that the government can’t redistribute money without doing unseen damage by first taxing or borrowing it from the private sector.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Brian Gaynor: KiwiSaver investment issues blown out of scale

Recent media reports could give the impression that KiwiSaver has major problems, particularly fee gouging and illegal investment strategies.

KiwiSaver should be subject to media scrutiny but most of the recent commentary has been sensationalist and misguided.

Guy Benson from the US: GOP Confidence Rises on Holding House, Tight Battle for Senate

Let's begin on the southern end of Capitol Hill, where Republicans say they're increasingly upbeat about their prospects for retaining a majority in the House of Representatives this fall. Retaking the House was always going to be a heavy lift for Nancy Pelosi's crew, as consecutive midterm election waves swept the GOP to its largest majority in decades. 

Democrats would need to net 30 seats in November to wrest the gavel away from Paul Ryan, an outcome some speculated might be attainable if Donald Trump suffers a blowout loss at the top of the ticket.

GWPF Newsletter: Paris Deal? What Paris Deal?

Germany Scraps Coal Exit, Removes Concrete Targets In Weakened Climate Plan

In this newsletter:

1) Germany Scraps Coal Exit, Removes Concrete Targets In Weakened Climate Plan
Climate Energy Wire, 8 September 2016
2) EU Divisions Deepen Over Delay Of Paris Ratification
Euractive, 7 September 2016

Mike Butler: Tuhoe, co-governance, colonial purge

A visitor centre near Lake Waikaremoana, designed by the luminary Maori architect John Scott as a connection with the spirit of Urewera, is being demolished as part of a “colonial purge”, according to a report in the Hawke’s Bay Today newspaper.(1)

Havelock North architect Pierre du Toit said that the decision to demolish “was backed by Tuhoe in a bid to rid the Urewera National Park of colonial influence”.

Mike Butler: Forestry trust assets shrink

Crown Forestry Rental Trust funds are diminishing as more forestry land is given to claimant groups is the unsurprising 2016 message of the trust to its appointors -- the New Zealand Maori Council, the Federation of Maori Authorities and the Minister of Finance, Bill English.

The trust was set up under the Crown Forest Assets Act 1989 as a self-funding organisation that is midway between the Crown and Maori to hold Crown forestry land that may be subject to treaty claims and collect rentals paid to the Crown for forests grown on Crown land.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Lindsay Mitchell: Child poverty exaggerations exposed by official source

Below is a random selection of reports regarding child poverty in New Zealand. They represent only a small fraction of similar claims:

As many as 28 per cent of New Zealand children – about 305,000 – currently live in poverty.
When a child grows up in poverty they miss out on things most New Zealanders take for granted. They are living in cold, damp, over-crowded houses, they do not have warm or rain-proof clothing, their shoes are worn, and many days they go hungry. It can mean doing badly at school, not getting a good job, having poor health and falling into a life of crime.
Unicef, New Zealand

Friday, September 9, 2016

GWPF Newsletter: Brexit Britain May Delay Climate Plan

EU Ratification Of Paris Agreement Depends On New Coal Power Plants

In this newsletter:

1) Brexit Britain May Delay David Cameron’s Climate Plan
Bloomberg, 6 September 2016
2) Britain On Track To Fail Meeting CO2 Targets As Minister Announces Likely Delay
Business Green, 7 September 2016