Irrigation NZ goes nasty after dam criticism

Irrigation NZ, a vested interest if I’ve ever seen, ran shonky ads in the HB Today last week. Word is there are numerous complaints to the Advertising Standards Authority over the ads.

They were so wonky, and one-sided that one economist decided to take them to task.

Peter Fraser, Principal – Rōpere Consulting, and long time critic of the Ruataniwha Water Storage Scheme, responds to the newspaper advertisements where Irrigation NZ attempts to “‘dam’ Ruataniwha myths”.

“Far from being a decisive and convincing exposé, the so-called ‘facts’ are unconvincing, disingenuous and internally contradictory” Mr Fraser said.

Mr Fraser made responses to the following Irrigation NZ statements:

Claim: It is an economic gamble. Fact: 190 farmers have signed up to take water and numerous reports by reputable economists support the project’s objectives

o Response: 190 farmers represent approximately 40M m3 of the scheme’s 104M m3 capacity – so it remains an open question – and a risk to ratepayers – who will use the other 64M m3. It is also worth noting that the ‘reputable economist’ referred to by Irrigation NZ was employed by HBRIC and the cost-benefit analysis produced had to be calculated a second time after the scheme failed to meet the public sector discount rate the first time round.   Read more »

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Rob Hosking on the rise of Winston Peters

Rob Hosking looks at the rise and rise of Winston Peters.

This is Winston’s hour.

The New Zealand First leader was made for these times.

He’s like a renegade political commando, out of favour with his superiors, commanding a ragtag bunch of misfits.

But the political ground – the political divide, if you like – is moving his way and away from the traditional left-right divide democracies have seen for the past century or so.

It is shifting not only in New Zealand but also in other western democracies – in fact, it seems to be shifting less here than in other countries.

But it is still shifting.

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The UKs most hated word is not fit for publication

When words like ' Islam' topped the rankings in the United Kingdom, the organizers were forced to call off the #OneWordMap initiative.

According to its blog, despite thousands of people taking part, Oxford Dictionaries was forced to axe its #OneWordMap initiative due to ‘severe misuse. (Photo: Pixabay)

 

The Oxford Dictionary ran a campaign in the UK to find out which English word was most hated. The politically correct did not like what they found out so the campaign was abruptly cancelled. As always when people try to hide the truth there will be a backlash to get the truth out. I think we in New Zealand should be aware of what this hated word is. We should not only know what it is we should ask searching questions about why it is that this word has inspired so much hatred. I am glad that the word that is hated is not personal and does not refer to an individual. This hatred is not directed at people but at the ideas and laws that this word represents.

If you want to find out what this word is that was so hated and politically incorrect that the campaign was halted, click read more.

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Bob Jones on Matthew Hooton

Matthew Hooton is the latest person to draw the ire of national treasure Bob Jones.

After explaining some travesties of reporting against him by various media outlets he then sets about excoriating Matthew Hooton.

Despite my comments, I love newspapers and specially the Dom. But I give it maybe five more years due to the short-sighted Fairfax cost-cutting destroying all their publications. The latest newspaper circulation figures show it suffered a disastrous 14.4% drop in sales last year. Every newspaper is experiencing steady drops but none as bad as that.  Staff lay-offs have become a regular feature of late. These sackees are being mopped up by the Weather Office where their creativity has proven a boon to the forecasting department. The sole New Zealand exception is The National Business Review, which alone deservedly enjoyed a growth in sales.

Still, when it comes to fiction-writing, nothing surpasses NBR’sMatthew Hooton’s July effort headed “Bob Jones’ right-hand man set to save Labour.” Over a full page it described how Greg Loveridge was to be the next Labour leader. Apparently he was about to abandon his $9 million Auckland home and recently acquired $3.5 million Waiheke week-ender and shift to Wainuiomata for God’s sake, to pursue Trevor Mallard’s seat, as a first step to taking over the Labour leadership. Hooton backed all of this with an extraordinary NBR radio interview in which he outlined this virtually as a fait-accompli.   Read more »

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Hooton on Little’s rejection of the centre ground

Matthew Hooton writes at NBR:

No one will ever accuse Andrew Little of being boring after his bold rejection this week of the political centre.

The one political concept almost everyone grasps is the traditional left-right spectrum. People understand that the right tends to want lower taxes and spending and the left wants to raise them; the right likes exams and the left school counsellors; the right is more supportive of globalisation and the left more interested in protecting particular jobs; the right is more likely to support a US military adventure while the left defers to the UN; the right wants to lock up criminals while the left prefers restorative justice.

These are all generalisations, of course but you can’t do political analysis, economics or any social science without generalising.

Moreover, people continue to be happy defining themselves broadly on the spectrum.  When asked in 2014 by pollsters UMR, 30% of New Zealanders roughly identified as left, a quarter as right and 42% as in the middle. That the largest group lies in the centre is why John Key, like Helen Clark before him, has trained his ministers to parrot in public “we think we’ve got the balance about right.”

More sophisticated models of political values have been developed but the traditional left-right spectrum continues to do its job.    Read more »

Dancing on the head of a legal pin

Colin Craig’s lawyer, Stephen Mills QC, says they will appeal on the basis that the jury did not consider the argument of qualified privilege.

That is simply dancing on the head of a legal pin.

Here is the problem. The jury was given what is called a Question Trail. That is a trail of questions they need to answer in a logical manner to step them through the legal complexity of defamation law. The judge spent two hours summing up and directing the jury on how to use this Question trail to come to their decisions.

The Question Trail was drafted by Craig’s lawyer, then approved by Jordan’s lawyer and then finally by the Judge. Mills drafted the Question Trail to start with the defence of Qualified Privilege, then move to truth when that failed and then to honest opinion after that.

The Question Trail contained 14 questions, and there were two counts, so the jury had to step through 28 questions and write up their reasoning beside each one and hand that to the judge after the verdict was given.

The first few questions stepped through qualified privilege. They would not have been required to step through any more questions if the jury had considered qualified privilege and decided it applied. They clearly passed through those questions after quite some time…they deliberated for 10 hours.   Read more »

More like it from a Labour man

Bookmaker and former Labour candidate Kieran McAnulty nabbed a crook, who was trying to steal his ute.

A man has who has tackled for the parliamentary rugby team used this handy life skill to take down a would-be car thief.

Former Labour Party candidate for Wairarapa Kieran McAnulty caught a thief red-handed when he returned to his beloved old red Mazda ute on his lunch break in Masterton on Tuesday.

A man was sitting in the driver’s seat of the car trying to jemmy the ignition when he was rudely interrupted by the car’s owner who opened the door and had a few choice words for his unwanted guest.

Following a brief scuffle, McAnulty bolted after the man and tackled him in the middle of a busy central Masterton street.    Read more »