National does not involve itself in Local Body politics, except for Bill English and nepotism

Bill English's sister in law

Bill English’s sister in law

Finance Minister Bill English has made a rare intervention in Wellington local body politics backing his sister in law for Mayor.

But he says he has done so because he believes she is the best candidate.

However in doing that he has ignored one other candidate with long National Party connections and another who is being backed by the Wellington Chamber of Commerce.

Speaking to a fundraiser last week for Jo Coughlan, who is married to the Minister’s brother, former Federated Farmers CEO, Connor English, the Minister said he wasn’t supporting her because  they were related.

“It’s because I think that she’s the best candidate for a city that needs this kind of candidate; someone who understands growth; someone who understands communities and someone who understands families.”

But even so, that such a senior member of the Cabinet has publicly endorsed a Mayoral candidate goes against National Party practice.

And against the express orders of John Key and party whips.

Read more »

Let’s analyse some fairy tales to death

Family life professor Sarah M Coyne has done her best to ruin Disney Princess ‘culture’ for young girls so I thought that I should assist her as best I can. I put on my progressive goggles and viewed these delightful tales through the eyes of an academic who has no appreciation or understanding of the  innocent pleasure these tales give to children.

Armed with her reality distorting Progressive Goggles she prepared was ready to analyse a fairy story to death

Armed with her reality distorting Progressive Goggles she was ready to analyse a fairy story to death

Read more »

Watercare continues the blame game

Watercare appears to be toeing the line of its paymaster Auckland Council who want to continue the blame game regarding housing supply.

Not willing to concede that the Council have stuffed Auckland they are trying desperately to blame everyone – from landowners to property developers – instead of accepting responsibility. Talk about being sensitive.

The property industry and I have been saying for a while that the issue is Council refuse to build the infrastructure and are using sewers, potable water and roads to stymie the expansion of Auckland. Some weeks back I pointed out that there is now only capacity for 45,000 dwellings to connect to the infrastructure.

So what does Auckland Council do? They shove Watercare out to pitch a story about expenditure that’s over a long time frame and to tell a fat pork pie.

Most of the article is talking up a storm about infrastructure works that replace and improve the stuffed existing infrastructure servicing areas of Auckland. It’s not for new areas. It’s all the deferred maintenance and asset management playing catch-up with a bit more capacity to allow for more apartments in certain areas.

Like new big sewer mains that connect central Auckland suburbs back to Mangere and a Hunua water connection that terminates at the water tank in Ponsonby. They are things in places where people already live, not where the city needs to be growing into, like the edges of the city.

Watercare Services is catering for 195,000 new Auckland dwellings in the next decade, and is working to expand the fresh and waste water networks to cope with this growth.

But Raveen Jaduram, Watercare chief executive, admits the organisation does not really expect that many dwellings to be built.

“The actual number will be significantly less but we’re catering for that bigger number. We have to be ahead of the growth so we built infrastructure well before it’s required,” he said.   Read more »

Shabby hit job on Joyce by Newshub. Why does anyone trust them?

I’m no fan of Steve Joyce, but Newshub delivered up a shabby hit job on Joyce last night.

New Zealand has jumped from 12th in the world to fourth in the latest OECD rankings of adult literacy.

Thirty-three countries were surveyed, with Japan coming it at number one, followed by the Netherlands and Finland.

But when asked which countries New Zealand had beaten, Tertiary Education, Skills, and Employment Minister Steven Joyce had to consult his advisor in the middle of Newshub’s interview.

“Can you give me the list if he wants to do this bit. Can we do the list?” he said while the camera was still rolling.    Read more »

Lying Little busted by John Shewan

Andrew-Little-goober1

So, it seems Andrew Little simply can’t tell the truth.

In the dead of the night a couple of hours before an All Black test he issued a retraction but not an apology to John Shewan for smearing him.

When pressed on that issue yesterday he said he wasn’t asked for an apology by John Shewan.

That was a lie.

John Shewan quickly busted that by releasing the letter to Andrew Little that specifically requests an apology.

Tax expert John Shewan says that claims by Andrew Little that he did not seek an apology from the Labour leader are misleading.

The statement that I never asked for an apology is completely incorrect,” Mr Shewan told the Herald today.

Mr Little told reporters this morning that he did not apologise to Mr Shewan, a former PwC chairman, over incorrect statements he made about his background in April because he was never asked to.

“I wasn’t asked to provide an apology. I was asked to provide his assurance that the media report I relied on was wrong.”

He added: “[Mr Shewan] explicitly said ‘I don’t need you to apologise, I want a correction of a statement’, and that’s what I’ve done.”

When asked again to confirm that Mr Shewan had not asked for an apology, Mr Little said: “That’s my recollection of the first face-to-face discussion that we had.”

Following the release of the Panama Papers in April, Mr Little questioned the choice of Mr Shewan to lead an inquiry into the disclosure rules for foreign trusts based in New Zealand.

He wrongly claimed that Mr Shewan had once helped advise the Bahamas Government on how to preserve its tax haven status.

Mr Shewan said today that he originally only asked the Labour leader to retract his “defamatory” comments.   Read more »

Looks like another Labour policy is gone as government proposes funding Keytruda

The government has gazzumped Labour by authorising Pharmac to part-fund Keytruda, and all without having to entertain Big Pharma in their offices like Labour did.

Melanoma patients are likely to get a second drug treatment option under a new proposal to provide state funding of Keytruda.

Pharmac, the Government’s drug funding agency, has today issued a consultation document proposing to pay for Keytruda from September 1.

This follows Pharmac’s earlier decision to fund Keytruda’ rival Opdivo from this Friday. Both are high-cost cancer drugs in a new class of immunotherapy medicines, called PD-1 inhibitors which are extending the lives of some advanced-melanoma patients who have no other treatment options.

Pharmac says in the consultation notice on its website that it has “now reached a commercially favourable provisional agreement” with the maker of Keytruda (pembrolizumab), Merck Sharp and Dohme, and is seeking feedback on the proposal, which also involves two other drugs.   Read more »

Whaleoil General Debate

keep-calm-and-don-t-shoot-the-messenger-3Morning everyone, and welcome to Whaleoil’s daily General Debate post (another one called Backchat will start at 6pm). To participate you’ll need to register a free Disqus account.

There are some rules, and if there is one thing about Whaleoil that you need to know is that these rules are dispassionately and strictly enforced.

Face of the Day

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Today’s Face of the Day is the man who shot John Lennon.

Mark Chapman had been loitering outside the Dakota building all day.

As Lennon made his way into the building from his limo at 10.50pm, Chapman shot him twice in the back and twice in the shoulder.

Lennon stumbled into the building mumbling ‘I’m shot’ before falling face down.

Why is this relevant now? Because a shirt with Lennon’s blood on it recently sold at auction.  Read more »

Word of the Day

The word for today is…

nonpareil (adj) – Having no equal; peerless.

(noun) – 1. A person or thing that has no equal; a paragon.
2. A small, flat chocolate drop covered with white pellets of sugar.

Source : The Free Dictionary

Etymology : Late 15th century, “having no equal,” from Middle French nonpareil “unequalled, peerless,” from non- “not” + pareil “equal.” The noun meaning “an unequaled person or thing” is from 1590s; first applied to a kind of candy 1690s. As the name of a printing type (6 point size) it is attested from 1640s.

Daily Proverb

Proverbs 28

2When there is moral rot within a nation, its government topples easily. But wise and knowledgeable leaders bring stability.