Asset sale delay likely

Written By: - Date published: 7:15 am, July 17th, 2012 - 62 comments
Categories: Maori Issues, maori party, national, Privatisation, water - Tags: , , ,

Even John Key is now admitting that the asset sale program is facing a serious legal challenge:

John Key concedes likely asset sales delay

Prime Minister John Key has conceded the first asset sale could be delayed because a legal challenge from Maori over water ownership is looking increasingly inevitable. …

The Government is due to sell 49 percent of Mighty River Power in September, but the Prime Minister now admits legal action from Maori may force the sale to be delayed. …

Court action from Maori has always been an option, but now Mr Key has gone a step further, saying it seems inevitable.  “I think we should work on the principle that there is a high probability that we will be going to court.”

Any delay will have several effects:

It will give fresh impetus to the collection of signatures for the citizen’s initiated referendum. Depending on the timing of any legal process, hearings and appeals, there is now a possibility that a referendum could be held before any assets are sold.  The mandate that Key claims would be further undermined.

It will highlight the Nat’s irresponsible “creative accounting” in booking the proceeds of the sale of the assets well before the sales were certain or the price was known.  It may even get the media looking in to the other dodgy numbers surrounding the sales.

It will increase the odds of scaring off investors, and therefore the odds that the whole sales process will turn in to a mighty flop.

It will strengthen Maori interest in water rights and increase the already incredible pressure on the Maori Party to finally stand for something and walk out of a government that has been so arrogant and dismissive.  That would leave the Nats entirely dependent on Peter Dunne, and John (currently under investigation) Banks.

Interesting times.

[update. Key has compared the odds of a delay to the odds “a meteorite will hit the Earth this afternoon” – guess he doesn’t realise there are five hundred meteor impacts a year]

62 comments on “Asset sale delay likely”

  1. Tom Gould 1

    Turns out Key acknowledged in writing that Maori had “specific rights and interests” in fresh water back in 2009, yet he seems to have chosen not to recall that, or as a self-professed deal making business guru, to have factored that into the asset sales process. Looks like they have been playing the Maori Party for chumps all along.

    • Kotahi Tane Huna 1.1

      He advised himself that he was just one John Key and he could show himself another one to give himself a counterview.

    • Tom Gould 1.2

      Fascinating how the media is now reporting about “water rights” now Key is moving into appeasement mode, having steadfastly reported about “water ownership” while Key was in wedge mode? Pathetic craven lapdogs.

    • bad12 1.3

      It may just be that National and the Maori Party have been attempting to squeeze some much needed political capital for their respective party’s out of the asset sale debacle,

      National get to inflame the ‘redneck’ attitude to Maori being given more via the Waitangi Tribunal claims while the Maori Party get to do the same with the Maori vote through Slippery dissing the Tribunal….

      • mickysavage 1.3.1

        Maybe bad12 but they both then run the risk of annoying their supporters if either or both of them back down.

        The politics at play are fascinating to watch! 

        • bad12 1.3.1.1

          The history at play here,and i put a brief bit in a comment below,is utterly fascinating, the quiet patience and peaceful protest of Maori over the rivers and lakes that has gone on for 100s of years can only be applauded…

  2. Kotahi Tane Huna 2

    Just for a moment I’d like to take a pause and celebrate. a small victory, but a victory nonetheless.

    Now for the bad news: this National Party has shown its willingness to play the race card. With their flagship policy in tatters (of their own making – four years to prepare for it and they still screwed it up) and their attack on education faltering, get ready for the ugliness.

    • I agree.  

      I am not sure that I would want to run an election campaign during a time when Key was blowing the racist whistle for all that it was worth.  Back in 1981 despite a government in tatters and an economy in free fall National managed to hang on because of the strength of the red neck vote stirred up over the Springbok tour.

      We could be in for a similar time. 

      • Pete 2.1.1

        I’m sure there’ll be some reactionaries, but my belief is that people are so against the asset sales that they’ll view the Maori claim – and anything else that would stymie the sales – as a good thing. However, I fear there’d be a major backlash if a deal is done that would allow the sales to go ahead – either as a share bundle or a license fee.

      • OneTrack 2.1.2

        So, who does own the water Micky?

    • RedLogix 2.2

      Yes .. but on reflection, while Key may be a slippery trader boy, I’m not sure even he has the stomach for that. It’s a mistake to paint the man as unalloyed evil; he’s just the usual mix of folly’s and delusions that all us humans are made from.

      What would be interesting though is the reaction of the more reactionary elements of the National Party if Key refuses to lead them where they want to go.

      • Kotahi Tane Huna 2.2.1

        Does he need to do any more? The line that “no-one owns the water” was a pretty clear signal. Talk-back can do the rest.

        • marty mars 2.2.1.1

          Yes, he can seed it all and stand back going “who me?… that’s not what I meant” etc. The biggest factor is, I just don’t think tangata whenua are going to sit back to be target practice for key or his minions. My feel is that the game has changed and just gone up a couple of notches.

          • ak 2.2.1.1.1

            Ae Marty. In fact it’s been notching up for a number of years.

            National crept out of it’s 2002 gutter solely on the back of the blatant media promotion of Orewa One. The Race Card is the modern National Party’s founding document – and nuclear option of last resort.

            But in 2008 young Johnny Beiber needed the Maori Party to deny a poisonous ACT domination – and thus unwittingly cemented permanent political power for Maori.

            And most crucially, the decent kiwi public liked it. Including even the final – but significant -vestiges of “old torydom”: that wistful noblesse oblige landed gentry and religio-decency brigade who vote in large numbers. Thus Brash’s race card attempt last year was a spectacular failure.

            As will be this one from Key. It’s a final, desperate flip-flop too far. The Nice man stooping to the gutter, leaving the public confused and his former proteges incensed. Beginning of the end.

          • Colonial Viper 2.2.1.1.2

            I just don’t think tangata whenua are going to sit back to be target practice for key or his minions.

            Seems like AFFCO got a kicking when Iwi decided to mobilise their economic might.

  3. higherstandard 3

    Why not just start with Solid Energy ?

    • rosy 3.1

      Now why didn’t National think of that? I’d suggest a recent mine disaster may have had something to do with it – it may make them seem even more callous than they are.

  4. xtasy 4

    Yeah! Another step ahead of blocking the idiotic sale of strategic assets to the selected few, who whill only suck the blood out of consumers and the wider economy, enriching the not so “mum and dad” camouflaged investors and harming all others.

    By the way, while this dumb Nat ACT government in little ol Kiwiland is so damned stubbornly following out of fashion idiologies, listen to this news just at hand:

    ‘Financial Times Deutschland’ is reporting that the “Grand Coalition” (Conservatives and Social Democrats) that now governs Germany’s largest city Berlin, is planning to pass legislation on Tuesday, reversing the sale of half of the shares in the city’s water supply enterprise (to RWE and VEOLIA!!!), that happened a few years back.

    The German equivalent of the Commerce Commission has ruled that the water supply company has been abusing its strategic position and power and severely overcharging consumers, so that it expects the Berlin City Council (or government) to ensure that water rates will be reduced by 18 per cent this year, and by similarly more in coming years.

    The conclusion was, the privatisation of 49.9 per cent of the enterprise led to RWE and Veolia unfairly pushing up prices, merely to get the best returns for their shareholders. Now we all know who Veolia is, don’t we? They run the second or third rate train system in Auckland, likely also ripping Auckland Council and commuters off.

    So while Key and consorts are telling the NZ public (too brainwashed by dumb, commercialised media) that the energy companies must be sold up to 49 per cent, in other places the lessons have been learned, so that the pollies in charge are heading in the other direction.

    I am sure that this will not be researched and mentioned in any mainstream media in elite business and right wing political dictatorship Aotearoa NZ!?

  5. xtasy 5

    Some links for further background info re partial “asset” or water enterprise share sales in Berlin, Germany:

    http://www.canadianswinnipeg.org/apps/blog/show/5304438-secret-veolia-details-exposed-in-berlin

    http://washinternational.wordpress.com/2011/02/02/referendum-on-the-disclosure-of-the-contracts-of-the-partial-privatisation-of-the-berlin-water-utility/

    http://www.globalwaterintel.com/archive/10/12/general/10-years-of-berlins-water-ppp.html

    http://www.veoliawater.com/solutions/case-studies/berlin-wastewater.htm

    http://www.ftd.de/politik/deutschland/:verstaatlichung-berlin-vor-rueckkauf-seiner-wasserbetriebe/70064118.html
    (last link sadly only to German article, as still developing story and no English articles found).

    The corporate info publications are all about “success” and full of gloss, but the other side of the story is how the consumer had to pay huge increases in user charges or essential water consumption.

    Wake up NZ and stop this crap happening here!

  6. Observer 6

    Xtasy

    Thanks for this great piece of news out of Berlin.

    If strategic Assets can be taken back from the clutches of the greedy in Berlin, the same could be done here.

  7. Roy 7

    Well done Maori! If the tangata whenua can stop the asset sales, all strength and support to them!

  8. bad12 8

    Who would have thunk it, the seeds of the demise of National’s second term flagship policy of asset sales may have been sown as far back as 1896,

    An engrossing picture of historical and modern day politics intertwined with judicial action now and back in the 1800’s

    Just from the point of the ‘Poukani Decision’ in Paki V Crown from the recent Court of Appeal case over ‘ownership’ of the bed of Lake Maraetai at Mangkino on the Waikato river,

    There is also i believe a Privy Council decision from the 1800’s where Wairarapa Iwi sought from the Privy Council ‘ownership’ of Wairarapa Moana, although i have as yet been unable to track down that actual Privy Council ruling it gave to the Wairarapa Iwi the ownership they sought,

    Following on from this Privy Council decision the Government of the time in what Wairarapa Maori say was a sale but the Government say was a ‘ceding’ sold the lake to the Crown for 2000 pound and what was supposed to be a substantial block of land near the lake,

    The block of land that Wairarapa Maori were eventually given was in fact the Pouakani block at Mangakino 100s of miles from the Wairarapa and part of Crown land seizures from the Maori in the King Country,

    The next action of Government was to build the dam at Mangakino creating Lake Maraetai and the actual town without consulting the Pouakani block Maori owners in any way and subsequently flooding parts of the Pouakani Block permanently under the lake,

    Fascinating history, that will never be taught in a school room, and would make an amazing movie just in that small window of time and a brilliant highlight of how Maori have quietly fought this fight over rivers and lakes over 100s of years and this particular fight has the power to bite the present day Government in the butt bigtime…

  9. Kevin 9

    Despite John Key’s rhetoric that “no one owns the water”, it is clear that Maori do in fact have rights with regard to water and that is being tested in the urgent Waitangi Tribunal hearing intiated by the Maori Council.
    The government will have three options to consider as a result of the outcome of that hearing,
    1. The Waitangi Tribunal rules in favour of the Maori Council thereby providing the precedent to initiate a legal challenge to the sales via the courts which will halt the process
    2. Recognise Maori customary rights and provide for them via an allocation of shares
    3. Ignore the Tribunal recommendations and proceed with the sales regardless, only to face injuctive actions further down the track.
    Whatever the outcome of those options they are unlikely to impede the government from proceeding with the sales, however for the purchasers there will be a caveat emptor to consider.

  10. gobsmacked 10

    Key’s staffers have come up with some pretty effective lines over the years (cringey cheesy, but making a headline, which is all that matters – “show me the money”, “hydra-headed monster” etc).

    But they’ve lost the plot with this “meteorite” line. It was the lead-in on the lunchtime news (TVNZ), it’ll be picked up by all media, it cries out for a piss-take … and it’s a huge hostage to fortune.

    It re-frames the issue as unpopular asset sales, being rushed through – whereas Key wants it to be “greedie Mowrees”.

    Sack whoever wrote it, John. They must be working for your successor already.

  11. gobsmacked 11

    BTW, could somebody in an opposition office PLEASE pay attention to this stuff? It’s soooo frustrating waiting for you guys to wake up.

    Simple task: 1) Go to science websites 2) Get details of meteorite hitting earth. Plenty to choose from. 3) Inform media/public that asset sales are to be delayed, because the PM has said so.

    It’s not hard.

    • Pete 11.1

      By definition, all meteorites hit the earth: “A meteorite is a natural object originating in outer space that survives impact with the Earth’s surface”-Wiki

    • xtasy 11.2

      Yes, right! I could not agree more.

      It sadly rather seems they are mostly pre-occupied to spend time on themselves, somehow trying to work out their inner, undiscovered selves or mantras.

      Really an abysmal situation in present NZ politics. It is grim reading, when some are trying to get excited when the leading opposition party gets one or a half percentage points more support from poll to poll.

      If that is promising, I do not want to know what depressing news will look like.

    • Colonial Viper 11.3

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_impact_craters_in_Australia

      List of meteorite strikes in Australia.

      • gobsmacked 11.3.1

        Impact craters aren’t relevant. Most meteorites are very small. But the point is … they hit the earth. All the time.

        The PM appointed a science advisor, but seems to prefer sci-fi movies.

      • McFlock 11.3.2

        And at 500 meteorites a year, methinks Key is being uncharacteristically pessimistic. 🙂

        • OneTrack 11.3.2.1

          Clutching. …. At …… Straws …

          • felix 11.3.2.1.1

            Yeah, McFlock’s the one making ridiculous claims in a time of desperation when nothing else seems to be working.

      • felix 11.3.3

        There’s no reason why NZ shouldn’t be able to catch up to Australia in meteorite strikes by 2025.

    • joe90 11.4

      Hmm, Mahuika.

  12. Carol 12

    Well, in the clip on Stuff, Key mentions meteors, repeats that no-one owns water, Maori has some rights re-water, repeats his arguments for MOM, says MP in government has achieved a lot for their people, and his governments preferred position is that the sale goes ahead in February. There’s also some scepticism from Shearer in the clip.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/7290658/Key-Maori-should-negotiate-with-Government

    The argument now being put forward as in the accompanying Small & Levy article, is that Maori should deal directly with the government. he calls the Tribunal hearing over water rights “opportunistic”.

    Seems like he’s hoping the path of the meteor will go right between Maori factions and split them – back to wedge politics.

    The Maori Council’s claim over water at the Waitangi Tribunal is “opportunistic” and there should be no link made to the Mighty River share sale, Prime Minister John Key says.
    […]
    He took the Council’s claim as one for ownership of water, not just rights and interests.

    “The Maori Council are essentially saying, … as articulated by Maanu Paul when he said they own the water, that ownership means any change in the ownership structure of Mighty River.”

    That would therefore be impacted by a potential change in ownership.
    […]
    Prime Minister John Key says negotiating directly with the Government is a ”much more logical and sensible way” for Maori to resolve water rights issues than through the Waitangi Tribunal.
    [..]
    Key today rejected suggestions of growing pressure and speculation the issue was escalating into the furore created with the foreshore and seabed law which Turia walked out of Labour over.

    ”I think that’s nonsense,” Key said.

    Those calling for the Maori Party to walk away were mainly lawyer and Mana Party member Annette Sykes and Maori Council chair Manu Paul who were ”largely supporters of (Mana Party leader) Hone Harawira”, he said.

    ”That does not mean that the Maori Party should leave. I think they’ve achieved an awful lot in Government.”

    The Maori Council only represented one group within Maoridom, Key said.

    ”It’s not necessarily the view shared by many other groups within Maoridom.”

    But Key is playing a dangerous game – he may be giving oxygen to the Mana Party apart from anything else. I’m pretty sure Stuff’s earlier version of the article has Kiwi saying he could deal directly with the Iwi leaders.

    And I’m trying to work out what NAct’s great achievements have been for Maori- in employment? Wages? Cost of living?

    • Carol 12.1

      Oh, it was the Herald that mentioned Key preferring t deal directly with Iwi leaders:
      http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=10820095

      While recent days have see support for the council’s claim from some members of Maoridom’s peak body, the Iwi Leaders Group, Mr Key said the Government had been addressing the issues around Maori rights and interests in water in discussions with iwi leaders over the last four years, “and I think that there’s no merit in the case that the Maori Council is bringing.”

      “Most of the Maori I talk to want to see a resolution to their rights and interests and they are comfortable the process the Government is taking is the right one.

      “In my view the Maori Council speaks for one group in Maori but certainly not all Maori. There are many iwi leaders who support the Government. They’ve been very supportive of what we’ve been doing over the last three or four years and they’ve seen that process as a much more logical and coherent process than any application by the Maori Council to the Waitangi Tribunal.

    • bad12 12.2

      Slippery can cry ”no-one owns water” for as long as He can still draw breath but the reality of that is totally different,

      In 1883 the Native Land Court registered Piripi Te Maari, Ramera Te Iho and 137 others as the ‘owners’ of lakes Onoke and Wairarapa….

  13. gobsmacked 13

    Toby Manhire is onto it …

    http://www.listener.co.nz/uncategorized/facts-bugger-up-john-key%E2%80%99s-meteorite-analogy/

    Twitter is onto it. Even TVNZ are onto it.

    I have to go out now, but I’m guessing that when I get back this evening, everyone will be onto Key’s latest gift to the opposition. Except … the opposition, whose job it is to be onto it.

    • weka 13.1

      Did you see the sole comment on The Listener?
       

      49% partial Asset Sales.
      49% of a dumb idea is still a dumb idea.
      He’s only 1% away from being a half wit !

  14. Rupert 14

    Anyone who thinks that Key will come out second-best if the Waitangi Tribunal holds the process up is pretty detached from reality – “Maoris blocking the governments plans”? Talk about a rallying cry to National’s rump (as wrong as that is)

    • bad12 14.1

      It won’t be the Waitangi Tribunal which puts the spanner in the asset sales machine, the Tribunal will simply make a recommendation from the evidence it hears,

      Considering that Counsel for the Crown at the present Waitangi tribunal hearings have already conceded that the Crown’s belief is that Maori do have ‘rights’ to fresh water in rivers, lakes, and streams i would imagine that the Waitangi Tribunal report will be scathing of the Government, and possibly recommend that the Government cease it’s asset sales program until such ‘rights’ have been fully adjudicated,

      To this end, expect the New Zealand Maori Council to seek an injunction from the High Court saying just that, considering the Crown’s earlier concession of Maori having rights to fresh water i would expect that the High Court will be only too happy to grant such an injunction,

      At that point Slippery and National have only 3 choices, fight the New Zealand Maori Council all the way to the Supreme Court, legislate any Court decisions out of existence, or, negotiate a settlement with the New Zealand Maori Council…

    • Carol 14.2

      Mai Chen was interesting just now on RNZ-Mora’s Panel. She said there are loads of claims and papers to be looked at, and the situation is quite complex. She thinks Key is pretty good at making deals, and he may be able to negotiate deals. But she also thinks he is ignorant of all the legal issues raised by previous claims, cases etc.

      Chen also said, looking at all the legal precedents, the Treaty etc,a y4ear ago she could have predicted exactly what’s happening now with Maori groups claiming water rights. So the implication is that the government also should have bee able to predict it.

      She also said the Resource Management Act said stuff on water, and may be in breach of the Treaty – it also needs looking at.

      Chen said she has an article on the issue being published on Thursday.

      • felix 14.2.1

        “So the implication is that the government also should have bee able to predict it.”

        Listening to Tony Ryall in parliament today, it seems like the govt’s latest line is that they totes predicted it, they knew exactly what would happen and they’re wicked prepared for it and everything is going exactly to plan and if there are delays, well that’s all part of the plan too cos they definitely expected and planned for all of this. Definitely.

        And I say “line” because he repeated it three times while answering one question.

      • Uturn 14.2.2

        She thinks Key is pretty good at making deals, and he may be able to negotiate deals.

        Unless he purposely doesn’t want asset sales, then he has demonstrated no ability to negoitate or make deals over the water issue at all. His “pretty good” skill in this case, is similar to someone walking into a bank managers office and saying, “Fuck you, even if you deny my loan I’ll just rob your bank!”

        • rosy 14.2.2.1

          Or unless he purposely wants to drive the price down… i.e. a better deal for investors is more important that a good deal (relatively speaking) for the country.

  15. This article from Rawiri Taonui covers some interesting areas well.

    Apart from including the usual references to the Treaty, principles in common law and New Zealand history, a report will make international comparisons. The United States and Canada have recognised water rights in several treaties and settlements…

    Earlier in the year, Mr Key has been glib about Maori claims, derided the significance of section 9 in the State Owned Enterprise Act to the chagrin of the legal community, dismissive of possible settlements writing off allocating shares as Mr English suggested, and trivialised the tribunal. Each is less than the good faith expected of a Treaty partner.

    Maori claims to fresh water are in the interests of all New Zealanders. Selling these assets to foreign buyers may reduce our mana and control of an increasingly premium resource.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=10820007

    • bad12 15.1

      State Owned Enterprises Act 1986, Section 9,

      ”Nothing in this Act permits the Crown to act in a manner that is inconsistent with the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi”…

  16. gobsmacked 16

    Yes, as stated upthread … it was the “meteorite” on 3 News and “meteor” (sic) on One News. Duncan Garner’s report even provided a helpful little visual.

    So, so predictable.

    Day after day this happens – you hear Key’s prepared line, you can see the news story coming, hours beforehand, and then you just have wait for Labour to notice. After everybody else has.

    What can we do? Can we have a daily “NewsTips for the Opposition” thread, on the Standard? Can we feed them the soundbites? Can we write their media releases for them? It’s so obvious, and yet they’re so slow. Every bloody day.

    *weeps*

    • Uturn 16.1

      A while back I figured out that any given hierarchial organisation is several points lower in collective capability than its least capable member. This isn’t a plea for patience over the problem you highlight, just an observation that may spare you, personally, a breakdown through frustration. Even if you did hand the stuff to them on a plate, the organisation would drop it on the floor and reassemble it out of order, a day late, in the wrong format and at the wrong location.

  17. bad12 17

    The Slippery Prime Minister describes the Maori Council approach to the Waitangi Tribunal over the issue of Maori ‘ownership rights’ to fresh water as ‘opportunistic’,

    Shucks Slippery does that mean that the Maori Council has learned from the Crown who have since 1840 taken every ‘opportunity’ to dispossess Maori of everything in their possession and they have now taken the most opportune moment in their quiet battle over fresh water rights that has been ongoing since the 1800s to bend the Crown over the table and ‘demand’ cough!!!

    Save the wah,wah,wah Prime Minister, just assume the position…

  18. mike e 18

    Or Air New Zealand shares aren’t worth bugger all at the moment all airlines around the world are in dire straights .

    • Zaphod Beeblebrox 18.1

      I personally would not be investing in big generator power comapnies either. energy efficiency and home based solar inverters will mean power demand will only go down. Why transfer electrons from one end of the country to the other when you can generate your own for a good price?

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    Yesterday Ihumātao's mana whenua reached a consensus that they would like their land back, and asked the government to negotiate with Fletcher's for its return. The government's response? Try and undermine that consensus, while talking about how doing anything would undermine existing Treaty settlements. The first is just more bad ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Protecting our history
    Its Suffrage Day, the 126th anniversary of women winning the right to vote (but not stand in elections) in New Zealand. And to celebrate, the government has bought Kate Sheppard's house in Christchurch:The government has bought Kate Sheppard's former home in Christchurch for more than $4 million. The Ilam villa ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Climate Change: Ostracising the coal-burners
    The UN climate summit is happening in new York next week, and unlike previous years, coal-burners and denier-states are not being invited to speak:Leading economies such as Japan and Australia will not be invited to speak at next week’s crunch UN climate change summit, as their continued support for coal ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Jojo Tamihere Salutes Herr Goff.
    Get Back Jojo! The elation in Mayor Phil Goff’s camp may be easily imagined as they watched social media light up in indignation at challenger John Tamihere’s "Sieg Heil to that" quip. Just when JT’s notoriously right-wing, sexist and homophobic stains were beginning to fade back into his ‘colourful’ past, ...
    2 days ago
  • Hard News: A fun but flawed weed documentary
    Patrick Gower is good value when he's high. Not that I've ever, you know, got stoned with him. But in the second part of his documentary Patrick Gower on Weed, he does what you'd expect in a modern weed documentary and immerses himself – first with a doctor, then a ...
    2 days ago
  • Candidate Survey: Western Bay of Plenty – Local Body Elections 2019
    We surveyed candidates on their attitudes to issues facing the Western Bay Region, find out what they think: “Closing the Gap” Tauranga, one of the area groups of Income Equality Aotearoa NZ Inc., has surveyed all candidates in the three local body elections to discover attitudes to some basic issues ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    3 days ago
  • Project Nettie calls on scientists to defend biology
    Please spread widely, and sign, to support science and rationalism over the new irrationalism sweeping universities and institutions.  PROJECT NETTIE Sexual reproduction, the generation of offspring by fusion of genetic material from two different individuals, evolved over 1 billion years ago. It is the reproductive strategy of all higher animals ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    3 days ago
  • I’m glad I don’t live in Auckland
    Just when I was thinking that Palmerston North's mayoral race (which includes a convicted child molester / public wanker and a convicted child beater) was the worst in the country, Auckland mayoral candidate John Tamihere opened his mouth:Auckland mayoral candidate John Tamihere is being slammed for using the words "sieg ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Index of Power Update, 2018-19: China #2
    We reprint below an article from the excellent website the Economics of Imperialism by Tony Norfield This is an update of the statistics for my Index of Power, using data for 2018-19 and discussing what a country’s ranking reflects. The major change is that China’s rank has shifted up and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    3 days ago
  • Climate Change: A history lesson
    Why is New Zealand climate change policy so crap? The Herald this morning has a long article on the twists and turns of climate change policy in New Zealand [paywalled / depaywall script], which shows where we've been. The short version is that the government first began worrying about this ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • What the All Blacks Mean to Us
    The All Blacks have been, for more than a century, arguably the most successful International sports team in the world. But they are more than that; even for those Kiwis who are immune to the charms of rugby (and there are more than a few), the All Blacks are ambassadors ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    3 days ago
  • No one is born into the wrong body
    A short and incredibly powerful speech from a young lesbian woman. No one is born in the wrong body. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • Contempt
    Back in June, the UK Court of Appeal ruled that that country's continued arms sales to Saudi Arabia were unlawful. So you'd expect that the UK government stopped approving them, right?Of course not:The government has apologised for breaching a court ruling against the sale of weapons to Saudi Arabia that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Covering up the cover-up
    Yesterday NZDF officials were put on the stand about the lies they had told over Operation Burnham, making implausible claims that it was all a big mistake. But along the way, we learned they had already been put on the spot about it by a previous Defence Minister, who had ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Not as important as they think they are
    Farmers have been whining a lot lately, about the methane targets in the Zero Carbon Bill, about Canterbury's proposed nitrogen limits, and about the government's new proposals to stop them from shitting in our lakes and rivers. These policies are "throwing farmers under the tractor", they will force farmers off ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Behind Every Good Woman Should Stand – Another Good Woman.
    Alone, Alone, All, All, Alone: To argue that the Prime Minister is the victim of her advisers’ failure to keep her informed may offer Jacinda some measure of exoneration – but only at the cost of casting her as a hopeless political ingénue. A star-dusted muppet, whose only purpose is to ...
    4 days ago
  • Poor quality, poorly educated kiddie ‘Journalists’ spreading fake news
    In times of hysteria about the “World coming to an end” and “rising sea levels” so-called ‘Journalists’ who can barely spell words longer than four letters are having a ball! Though the majority of the Public have worked out that manmade climate change is nothing short of pseudo-science, and the ...
    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    4 days ago
  • Chris Trotter on the BFD
    I don't want to give pblicity to certain parts of the internet that are better left to fester in their own irrelevance (I know, a bit like this place) but the listing of Chris Trotter as a 'author' on Cameron Slater's spinoff website, the BFD requires some explanation.Now, I don't ...
    4 days ago
  • Sex is not a spectrum
    The text below is a Twitter thread by Heather Heying that explains the essence of sexual reproduction and it long evolutionary history. She is an evolutionary biologist and a “professor-in-exile” after she and her husband, Bret Weinstein, stood up to supporters of an enforced “Day of Absence” for white staff and teachers ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • Climate Change: Trees, aviation, and offsets
    With crunch time for new Zealand climate policy approaching, most of the New Zealand media have got on board with a global reporting effort to cover the issue. There's one strand of stories today about polling and what it shows about changing public attitudes to the crisis, but the strand ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Pissing-Off The Israelis Is A High-Risk Strategy.
    Dangerous Foes: For those readers of Bowalley Road who feel disposed to dismiss any prospect of an Israeli destabilisation of New Zealand politics, the example of the United Kingdom repays close attention. Ever since the election of Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the British Labour Party, the Israelis have sanctioned, funded and ...
    5 days ago
  • Something to go to in Wellington
    Make It 16, the youth-led campaign to lower New Zealand's voting age, is holding an official campaign launch at Parliament this Friday from 16:30. If you'd like to attend, you can register using EventBrite here. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • A founding member responds to Peace Action Wellington
    by Don Franks It was a lovely sunny Wellington afternoon with blue skies above  the beaches.  In Courtenay Place, political activists packed out a stuffy upstairs room for an important meeting. The assembled pacifists, anarchists, communists and independent young radicals of Peace Action Wellington felt the need for a mission ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    5 days ago
  • “Mistakes and errors”
    Current and former NZDF top brass are being publicly grilled this week by the hit and run inquiry over their public responses to allegations of civilian casualties. Previously, they've claimed there were no casualties, a position which led them to lie to Ministers and to the public. Now, they're saying ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • “Homosexuality is same-sex attraction and relationships, not heterosexuals with delusions of gende...
    by Rafael D. Quiles (gender-critical gay man from Puerto Rico) The writing on the wall is right in people’s faces and people just don’t see it or don’t want to. What could actually possess a heterosexual male to want to feminize himself and claim that he is a lesbian? Because ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    5 days ago
  • Trump: “Where’s my favourite dictator?”
    From the Wall Street Journal:Inside a room of the ornately decorated Hotel du Palais during last month’s Group of Seven summit in Biarritz, France, President Trump awaited a meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi. Mr. Trump looked over a gathering of American and Egyptian officials and called out in ...
    6 days ago
  • Magdalen Burns, 1983-2019, fighter for women’s liberation
    by the Redline blog collective At Redline we are very saddened to hear of the death of Magdalen Burns who passed away on the morning of Friday, September 13 (British time). Magdalen was a great fighter for the rights of women in general and lesbian women in particular, a defender ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    6 days ago
  • Parliament and the Executive
    The Brexit issue has certainly brought with it a series of apparently difficult constitutional issues, many of them concerning the respective roles of the executive and parliament. Most of them arise because of the unwillingness of MPs, despite their professions to the contrary, to be bound by a constitutional rarity ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    7 days ago
  • The Abigail Article; Martyn Bradbury’s Article, and My Response
    . . This blogpost is different to my usual format of reporting on issues… Since July 1011, I have blogged on a variety of political issues; near always political and/or environmental; mostly highly critical of the previous National Government. Other issues included Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands and repression of ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    7 days ago
  • Police will have to wear silly Buckingham Palace hats from now on, says Police Minister
    Those close to the Police Minister believe the initiative may be the result of Nash “seeing a great deal” on AliExpress. In a move that comes seemingly out of nowhere, Police Minister Stuart Nash announced this afternoon that he expects all frontline staff to don bearskin hats, famously worn by ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • A sensible crackdown
    The government has released its Arms Legislation Bill, containing the second tranche of changes to gun laws following the March 15 massacre. And it all looks quite sensible: a national gun register, higher penalties for illegal possession and dealing, tighter restrictions on arms dealers and shooting clubs, and a shorter ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • California bans private prisons
    Private prisons are a stain on humanity. Prison operators explicitly profit from human misery, then lobby for longer prisons terms so they can keep on profiting. And in the US, prison companies run not only local and state prisons, but also Donald Trump's immigration concentration camps. Faced with this moral ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Why PPPs are a bad idea
    When National was in power, they were very keen on Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) - basicly, using private companies to finance public infrastructure as a way of hiding debt from the public. They were keen on using them for everything - roads, schools, hospitals. But as the UK shows, that "service" ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A Movement That No Longer Moves.
    Moving And Shaking: There was a time when people spoke matter-of-factly about the “labour movement” – a political phenomenon understood to embrace much more than the Labour Party. Included within the term’s definition was the whole trade union movement – many of whose members looked upon the Labour Party as ...
    1 week ago
  • NZ ‘left’ politically embracing extreme postmodernism
    by Philip Ferguson Much of the left, even people who formally identify as marxists, have collapsed politically in the face of postmodern gender theory of the sort pioneered by American philosopher Judith Butler. For Butler even biological sex is socially constructed. “If the immutable character of sex is contested, perhaps ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • The obvious question
    The media is reporting that the (alleged) Labour party sexual assaulter has resigned from their job at Parliament, which means hopefully he won't be turning up there making people feel unsafe in future. Good. But as with everything about this scandal, it just raises other questions. Most significantly: why the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The moment I found out that you found out, I acted swiftly
    By Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern I am every bit as angry as you are. I am every bit as disappointed as you must be. The people with power, oversight and the ability to do something about these processes within the Labour Party should be ashamed. Whoever those people are, I ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • This is why people hate property developers
    Property developers think there is an "oversupply" of houses in Auckland:High turnover rates and falling prices may be a sign that there are too many new houses going in to some parts of Auckland, commentators say. [...] Property developer David Whitburn said there was a "bit of an oversupply" in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Australia to Pacific: “Fuck you, you can all drown”
    World leaders are meeting in New York in two weeks for the 2019 Climate Action Summit, where they are expected to announce new and more ambitious targets to stop the world from burning. But the Australian Prime Minister won't be there, despite being in the USA at the time:Scott Morrison ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Implausible ignorance
    Labour Party president Nigel Haworth resigned yesterday over the party's sexual assault scandal. But while that's good news, its unlikely to take away the stench of a coverup. Because according to Paula Bennett in Parliament yesterday, pretty much everyone in the Prime Minister's office was involved as well:I have been ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Labour’s Fatal Flaw.
     Two-Faced? Labour insiders' commitment to the neoliberal status quo puts them at odds with their party’s membership; its trade union affiliates; and a majority of Labour voters, but this only serves to strengthen the perception they have of themselves as a special elite. Among the lesser breeds, they’ll talk up a ...
    1 week ago
  • Ten reasons the Tories do NOT want an election
    There has been a lot of talk about Boris Johnson wanting an election, and he has blustered with great gusto about 'chicken' Jeremy Corbyn refusing one, but I think there are many reasons why he is secretly glad he has been refused the opportunity:The Tories are an utter rabble,tearing themselves ...
    1 week ago
  • Prorogation Illegal, rule Scottish judges
    Scottish appeal court judges have declared that Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament in the run-up to the October Brexit deadline is unlawful. The three judges, chaired by Lord Carloway, Scotland’s most senior judge, overturned an earlier ruling that the courts did not have the powers to interfere in the prime ...
    1 week ago
  • Let me explain what I meant by Everyday New Zealanders
    By Simon Bridges. The following is a press release from the office of Simon Bridges, leader of The National Party. Key ora, New Zealand. Happy Maori Language Week. Look, I’m writing to you today because I want to clear something up. There’s been a lot of kerfuffle around some things ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Yes, the SIS is subject to the Public Records Act
    I understand there's some stuff going round about how the SIS "was removed from the list of public offices covered by the Public Records Act in 2017". The context of course being their records derived from US torture, which will be disposed of or sealed. The good news is that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • An evidence-based discussion of the Canadian fluoride/IQ study
    Dr. Christopher Labos and Jonathan Jarry discuss the recent Canadian fluoride/IQ research. They provide an expert analysis of the paper and its problems. Click on image to go to podcast. The critical debate about the recent ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Australia in denial
    Australia is burning down again, and meanwhile its natural disaster minister is denying climate change:Australia’s minister responsible for drought and natural disasters, David Littleproud, has said that he doesn’t “know if climate change is manmade”. Clarifying earlier comments that the question is “irrelevant” when considering the Coalition government’s response to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Philippines activist speaking on the Duterte tyranny
    Auckland Philippines Solidarity is excited to host Professor Judy Taguiwalo for a speaking tour of NZ in September. She is a well-known activist in the Philippines and was a political prisoner under the Marcos dictatorship. Professor Taguiwalo briefly served as a Cabinet member under President Duterte but was forced from ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Disgust
    I have no special insights to offer on the Labour sexual assault coverup. All I have is disgust. Disgust that an organisation could fail its people so badly. Disgust that they punished the victims rather than the perpetrator. Disgust that its party hacks are apparently blaming the victims for demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Speak Up for Women calls out Greens’ censorship
    This open letter to the Green Party was penned after an opinion piece by Jill Abigail, a feminist and founding member of the party, was censored by the Greens’ leadership. (Redline has reprinted her article here).The intolerance of the Green Party leaders and their acceptance of the misogyny of gender ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Member’s Day: End of Life Choice, part 3
    Today is a Member's day, and David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill continues its slow crawl through its committee stage. They're spending the whole day on it today, though the first hour is likely to be spent on voting left over from last time. After that they'll move on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Flight to Los Angeles turned back after passengers decide they don’t want to go anymore
    An ambitious plan to fly to Los Angeles petered out into a brief sight-seeing trip and a desire to return home and get some sleep before work tomorrow. Air New Zealand has confirmed a flight to Los Angeles last night was turned back about a quarter of the way into ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Indigenous Futures: defuturing and futuring – an analytical framework for policy development?
    There appears to be consensus – by omission – that the concept of indigenous futures should be accepted at face value. So I scavenged the internet to see if I could locate an academic descriptor or a framework around how we think about it as a concept, and whether it ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    1 week ago
  • Cadbury rumoured to be releasing the Pineapple Trump
    Here’s another novelty chocolate to shove in your gob, New Zealand Cadbury could be seeking to make itself great again with a rumoured new release: Pineapple Trumps, a spin on its classic chocolate-encased pineapple treat and do-it-yourself tooth remover. The global confectionery manufacturer and bumbling “before” character in an infomercial, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • The coming resource war.
    During my time in the Pentagon I had the privilege of sitting down with military leaders and defence and security officials from a variety of Latin American nations. Sometimes I was present as a subordinate assistant to a senior US defence department official, sometimes as part of a delegation that ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 weeks ago
  • Māori Language Week with The Civilian
    Kia ora, Aotearoa. It’s that magical time of year. Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. In English, the week that frightens talk radio. As you probably know by now, all your favourite media outlets are participating, some more successfully than others. Stuff has changed its name to Puna for the ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Will Horizons act on climate change?
    Local body elections are coming up next month. And it looks like all Palmerston North candidates for Horizons (the Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Council) want to take action on climate change:Climate change is set to be a key issue in Palmerston North for the next three years if those wanting to get ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • BORA reform is stalled
    Eighteen months ago, the government promised to strengthen the Bill of Rights Act, by explicitly affirming the power of the courts to issue declarations of inconsistency and requiring Parliament to formally respond to them. So how's that going? I was curious, so I asked for all advice about the proposal. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Corbyn and Brexit
    As the Brexit saga staggers on, the focus is naturally enough on the Prime Minister and his attempts to achieve Brexit “do or die”. But the role played by the Leader of the Opposition is of almost equal interest and complexity. The first problem for Jeremy Corbyn is that he ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • A ditch for him to die in
    Last week, English Prime Minister Boris Johnson boldly declared that he would rather die be dead in a ditch than delay Brexit. Unfortunately for him, the UK parliament accepted the challenge, and promptly dug one for him. The "rebellion bill" requires him to ask for and secure yet another temporary ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Warning! Warning! Danger Jacinda Ardern! Danger Marama Davidson! Warning!
    Lost In Political Space: The most important takeaway from this latest Labour sexual assault scandal, which (if I may paraphrase Nixon’s White House counsel’s, John Dean’s, infamous description of Watergate) is “growing like a cancer” on the premiership, is the Labour Party organisation’s extraordinary professional paralysis in the face of ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Union solidarity with Ihumatao land occupation
    by Daphna Whitmore Every Sunday for the past two months unionists from First Union, with supporters from other unions, have set out to the Ihumatao land protest, put up gazebos and gas barbeques, and cooked food for a few hundred locals and supporters who have come from across the country. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago

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