Sunday, December 11, 2016

Mole News

Iwi appeasement upsets others
A legal battle is shaping up over the future direction of the Healthy Rivers plan following Waikato Regional Council’s decision to pull part of the catchment from the plan until iwi issues are dealt with.

Despite the Hauraki region not being included in the Healthy Rivers plan, Hauraki iwi were claiming rohe (ancestral land) running through north Waikato to the river’s mouth near Tuakau, was captured by the plan.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

GWPF Newsletter: Trump Picks Climate Sceptic To Head Environment Agency

Ebell Offers Energy And Environment Agenda To Next US Congress 

In this newsletter:

1) Trump Picks Climate Sceptic To Head Environment Agency
Financial Times, 8 December 2016

2) Scott Pruitt: Climate Debate Is ‘Far From Settled’
National Review Online, 17 May 2016

Dear NZCPR Reader,   

This week, we reflect on the Prime Minister’s resignation, as our NZCPR ‘Guest Commentator’, we feature John Key with his explanation for his decision, and our poll asks what effect John Key’s resignation will have on National’s chances of winning the 2017 election.

*To read the newsletter click HERE.
*To register for the NZCPR Weekly mailing list, click HERE.

Frank Newman: Valuations and statistics

A few months ago I reviewed two websites that had made finding property data whole lot easier: Trademe Property Insights ( and

Both apply a secret algorithm, to arrive at a suggested market value for residential properties, and provide a range of information about the property. They take what's called a desk top valuation approach - they look at recent sales in the area and compare the actual selling price of each property against its most recent capital value (as shown in the rates notice). They then apply that percentage change across all properties in the area to arrive at an estimated market value. No property inspection is carried out so the approach is inherently flawed. Both sites are upfront about these limitations and point it out in various disclaimers.

Richard Epstein from the US: America’s Immigration Quagmire

America’s immigration problem raises a huge set of thorny issues. At a theoretical level, it is difficult to articulate, let alone implement, the ideal immigration policy. While there are compelling arguments in favor of the basic norm of free trade, an open immigration policy could lead to massive political dislocations. 

Allowing the free flow of goods across borders is quite unlike allowing people to do the same. Goods do not put potential burdens on educational, health, and social service institutions; they do not participate in political activities, lobby to become citizens, or vote. 

Thursday, December 8, 2016

GWPF Newsletter: Trump Plans To Overturn Obama’s Pipeline Ban

Trump’s Full EPA Transition Team Named

In this newsletter:

1) Trump Plans To Overturn Obama’s Pipeline Ban
Nasdaq News, 6 December 2016
2) Trump Advisors Aim to Privatize Untapped Oil Reserves on Native American Reservations
Reuters, 5 December 2016

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

GWPF Newsletter: Despite Denial, Global Temperatures Dropping Fast

All Global Data Sets Show Temperatures Falling As El Nino Ends

In this newsletter:

1) Despite Denial, Global Temperatures Are Dropping Fast
GWPF Observatory, 5 December 2016
2) New Study: Global Warming ‘Hiatus’ May Last Until 2030
The Daily Caller, 1 December 2016

Monday, December 5, 2016

Daniel Mitchell: OECD Economic Research Finds That Government Spending Harms Growth

At the risk of understatement, I’m not a fan of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. Perhaps reflecting the mindset of the European governments that dominate its membership, the Paris-based international bureaucracy has morphed into a cheerleader for statist policies.

All of which was just fine from the perspective of the Obama Administration, which doubtlessly appreciated the OECD’s partisan work to promote class warfare and pimp for wasteful Keynesian spending.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Matt Ridley: Why is the left reviving apartheid?

The student union at King’s College London will field a team in University Challenge that contains at least 50 per cent “self-defining women, trans or non-binary students”. 

The only bad thing Ken Livingstone could bring himself to say about the brutal dictator Fidel Castro was that “initially he wasn’t very good on lesbian and gay rights”. The first page of Hillary Clinton’s campaign website (still up) has links to “African Americans for Hillary, Latinos for Hillary, Asian Americans and Pacific islanders for Hillary, Women for Hillary, Millennials for Hillary”, but none to “men for Hillary”, let alone “white people for Hillary”.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

GWPF Newsletter: New Shale Wars: OPEC vs US Frackers

Can the U.S. Become an Energy Superpower in 2017?

In this newsletter:

1) OPEC Cuts Output, US Shale Industry Rejoices
The American Interest, 30 November 2016

2) Shale Wars: Where Are Oil Prices Headed As Saudi Arabia Lets The Big Bet Play Out?
Forbes, 30 November 2016

Barend Vlaardingerbroek: How long until someone does something about North Korea?

As the year draws to a close, I can’t but wonder how many more years will pass before we see the demise of the last bastion of Stalinism – the People’s Democratic Republic of Korea a.k.a. North Korea. I suspect it won’t be all that many, for things are coming to a head.

Korea was referred to as the ‘Hermit Kingdom’ by 19th-century Western adventurers owing to its seclusion.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Frank Newman: The interest rate worm has turned

The interest rate worm has turned, according to the latest ANZ Bank Property Focus Report. Their commentary signals a significant shift in the way the Bank sees things heading.
With respect to mortgage strategy they say, "Although the OCR has been cut by 25bps, this merely offset a rise in funding costs, and as a result, no banks have cut their floating mortgage rates. Rises seen for some longer-term fixed rates reflect both higher funding costs and the sharp rise in wholesale interest rates that has occurred since August. We believe mortgage rates have seen their lows, and although there is real pressure for them to rise further, we caution that rises are likely to be gradual. Nonetheless, given how flat the mortgage curve is, for the first time in a long time we believe it is worthwhile considering fixing some portion of your mortgage for longer than 1-2 years."

GWPF Newsletter: Record Drop In Global Temperatures As El Nino Warming Ends

How Far Will Global Temperatures Drop?

In this newsletter:

1) Record Drop In Global Temperatures As El Nino Warming Ends
Mail on Sunday, 27 November 2016

2) How Far Will Global Temperature Drop After El Nino?
GWPF Observatory, 3 November 2016

Monday, November 28, 2016

Matt Ridley: Artificial Intelligence is not going to cause mass unemployment

The tech industry, headquartered in Silicon Valley, is populated largely by enthusiastic optimists, who want to change the world and think they can. But there is one strand of pessimism that you hear a lot there: that the robots are going to take all our jobs. With artificial intelligence looming, human beings are facing redundancy and obsolescence. I think this neo-Luddite worry is as wrong now as in Ned Ludd’s day.

“Any job that is on some level routine is likely to be automated and if we are to see a future of prosperity rather than catastrophe we must act now,” warns Martin Ford, a Silicon Valley entrepreneur, in his book The Rise of the Robots. “With the technology advances that are presently on the horizon, not only low-skilled jobs are at risk; so are the jobs of knowledge workers. Too much is happening too fast,” says another Silicon Valley guru, Vivek Wadhwa.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Karl du Fresne: Trumpophobes in the media need to get over it

It’s now more than two weeks since Donald Trump became US President-elect, and I’m wondering when the weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth (to use a biblical metaphor) is going to stop.

Many commentators in the media, both here and in the US, just don’t seem to get it.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Calestous Juma from Harvard University: Why Perceived Inequality Leads People to Resist Innovation

Americans are often portrayed as technological enthusiasts with unbounded eagerness to adopt new technologies. According to a recent Pew Research survey, nearly 28 percent of Americans view themselves as early adopters of new technologies. This is much higher than estimates in other cultures. 

But when it comes to biomedical technologies that enhance human abilities, they are more cautious. Many of the 4,000 survey respondents and focus group participants in another Pew study "felt that while no effort should be spared to help the sick, society should proceed with caution before allowing biomedical advancements to boost the capacities of healthy people."

GWPF Newsletter: Antarctic Sea Ice Has Not Shrunk In 100 Years

Trump To Scrap NASA Climate Research In Crackdown On ‘Politicized Science’

In this newsletter:

1) Antarctic Sea Ice Has Not Shrunk In 100 Years, Scott And Shackleton Logbooks Prove 
The Daily Telegraph, 24 November 2016
2) Trump To Scrap NASA Climate Research In Crackdown On ‘Politicized Science’
The Guardian, 23 November 2016

NZCPR: Tinkering Wth the RMA

Dear NZCPR Reader,   

This week we look at the Government’s Resource Management Act reforms and the disastrous new concessions Nick Smith has made to the Maori Party that could result in iwi control of the resource consenting process, our NZCPR Guest Commentator Sir Bob Jones describes the fiasco of having to consult multiple iwi over a resource consent and calls it a ‘racket’, and our poll asks whether it’s time for Nick Smith to be removed as Minister in charge of RMA reforms. 

Friday, November 25, 2016

Richard Epstein: California’s Needless Housing Crisis

Everyone agrees the most attractive areas in California suffer from a housing crisis that calls for drastic action. The difficult question is deciding what should be done. Many of the challenges are embodied in the small California town of Mountain View, population 80,000, which should be basking in sunshine as the home of Google. But instead the town is mired in discord and controversy over a set of well-entrenched anti-growth policies concerning housing. 

The tight supply of housing has raised the price of the median home to about $1.4 million. Rents, too, have skyrocketed, resulting in the displacement of many long-term tenants—teachers, nurses, and tech employees—who have to endure long daily commutes to work or find jobs elsewhere. Mountain View is now the proud home to numerous mobile home parks, occupied by individuals who crave access to the city—and who reportedly drive Teslas and Mercedeses, no less—but who lack the means to purchase or rent ordinary housing.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Matt Ridley from the UK: People took Trump seriously, but not literally

Years of compensating for the media’s tendency to look on the dark side of everything has taught me that it generally pays to seek silver linings. It’s possible of course that Donald Trump will start a culture war, a trade war and a nuclear war, but it’s also just possible that, while behaving like an oaf, he will preside over a competent administration. 

So here, after a few days of talking to people in America’s two biggest economies, California and Texas, are ten reasons why I think a Trump presidency may not be as awful as many think, even if, like me, you heard the news of his victory with a sinking feeling.