NZ Parliament changes security in response to Canada shooting


Hey, I thought we weren’t living in a strategically hostile environment?

Perhaps we just need to have Russel Norman and his acolytes stand guard at all parliamentary access points?   Read more »

It’s funny the little things that make you start to wonder about a government


A reader writes

This has been floating around for a few weeks now but despite initial assurances it would be sorted out quickly the former Urewera National Park which has been given back to Tuhoe to run is still closed to hunting until at least Christmas and over the popular spring hunting period.

This is despite Chris Finlayson, the PM, DoC and Tuhoe at the time of the Tuhoe settlement assuring us that public access would not be affected.

However for the first time in 25 years (since I was 14) I will be unable to spend a few days this spring wandering around the Urewera looking for some high quality wild meat for me and nowadays the kids because nobody is issuing permits and there seems to be a great deal of doublespeak around if and when they will be issued again. Read more »

Buckle up your Burqa,the morality police are coming!

The Morality Police, ISIS style.

A brigade of women enforce Sharia law in the Islamic State stronghold of Raqqa. (Reuters) Alternative title: The Morality Police, ISIS style.

We were obviously worried over nothing as obviously this is feminism in action.

The Burqa is no longer a symbol of male and idealogical oppression. It is a symbol of powerful, take charge women who do not shirk from the difficult job of oppressing other women for not obeying Sharia law!

Should we call them the Burqa brigade or is this the ISIS version of Charlies Angels?

What do you think?

Charlie's Angels

Charlie’s Angels

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Mental Health Break

Slippery John or Common sense John?

John Armstrong isn’t talking about himself, of course

Norman asked Key how many times he had spoken to Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater or sent a text.

“None in my capacity as Prime Minister,” Key replied. That wording was very deliberate.

Key’s argument is that any communications with Slater occurred in his capacity as leader of the National Party, not as Prime Minister. The distinction is important. It allows Key to wriggle free from his detractors, even if it is not very becoming.

As Prime Minister, Key is accountable to Parliament for his Government’s actions. He is not accountable to Parliament for the actions and behaviour of the National Party. Any Opposition question straying into the latter’s territory must be ruled out of order by Parliament’s Speaker.

Labour’s Chris Hipkins, however, sought to close off this escape route by asking whether Key had ever phoned or sent a text to Slater on his Government-supplied phone.

“I am not 100 per cent sure of that,” Key replied to mocking laughter from the Opposition benches.

But Winston Peters suggested there was something “particularly disturbing” about the Prime Minister’s first reply. If the Speaker, David Carter, allowed it to stand there would be no accountability to Parliament at all. Carter dismissed Peters’ argument, but later agreed to have another look at transcripts of the question time exchange.

The question to be resolved is whether Key should get away with determining which particular hat he is or was wearing at which particular time, and more so when the hat-switching is designed to get him off a very uncomfortable political hook.

I can’t recall the PM contacting me, ever, as the PM.  As in, what he wanted to communicate about had to do specifically with the office of the Prime Minister or prime ministerial duties, responsibilities or needs.   Read more »


Map of the Day

Sponsored by What Power Crisis, click here for this week’s Solar Deal


Map of Australia from the mid-1850s

Click here for a larger view


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Unions destroy jobs with their minimum wage demands

I warned people this would be the result.  Why can’t unions ever see beyond the next wage round?


If there’s a silver lining for McDonald’s in Tuesday’s dreadful earnings report, it is that perhaps union activists will begin to understand that the fast-food chain cannot solve the problems of the Obama economy. The world’s largest restaurant company reported a 30% decline in quarterly profits on a 5% drop in revenues. Problems under the golden arches were global—sales were weak in China, Europe and the United States. Read more »

Is inflation too low?

Normally you’d be happy with low inflation.  Except that it also has other side effects, like lower interest rates, which means low-risk investments start to become all but useless.  And the elephant in the room:  dropping mortgage rates will inflame an already overpriced housing market


Annual inflation is down to just 1 per cent, with lower than expected September quarterly inflation of 0.3 per cent.

Housing costs were up in the quarter, especially because of higher council rates, but prices fell for things like furniture, fridges and stoves and cellphones.

Economists had expected an annual rate of about 1.2 per cent because of lower than usual rises in food prices over winter.

The quarterly rate of 0.3 per cent was well short of forecasts of 0.5 per cent and the Reserve Bank’s projection of 0.7 per cent.

Annual inflation is the lowest it has been since the middle of last year.

Westpac Bank said the main reason for the drop in inflation was “very low food prices over winter”, and a large increase in fuel prices in September last year which dropped out of the annual inflation calculation.

It continues to tickle me that food prices, especially fresh fruit and vegetables, were the main driver of prices coming down while the left (and Winston!) were busy campaigning about the basic cost of living and the removal of GST from fresh fruit and vegetables.   What a farce.   Read more »


The House Today #nzqt

Question time/Questions for oral answer starts at 2 pm today.

Questions to Ministers

  1. JAMI-LEE ROSS to the Minister of Finance: What measures is the Government taking to help the New Zealand economy become more productive and competitive?
  2. Rt Hon WINSTON PETERS to the Prime Minister: Does he believe he is Prime Minister all of the time, or just some of the time?
  3. PHIL TWYFORD to the Minister responsible for HNZC: How many Housing New Zealand properties does he intend to sell during this term, and what is the projected number of houses Housing New Zealand will own in three years’ time as a result?
  4. JACQUI DEAN to the Minister of Health: What is the Government doing to provide faster cancer services for New Zealanders?
  5. Dr KENNEDY GRAHAM to the Prime Minister: Does he stand by his statement that the risks to New Zealand from any commitment of military assistance to counter Islamic State militants in Iraq would be “no greater than I think the risks are currently here today”; if so, why? Read more »

Harden up Masterton!

The wowsers just keep winning :\   First the skinny shop dummies, now a pub sign.

Signage for a new bar owned by a licensing trust has been criticised for promoting irresponsible drinking.

The Wairarapa District Health Board decided at its meeting this week to complain about a sign for The Farriers Bar & Eatery saying “Beer up Masterton”, displayed prominently at the town’s northern entrance.

“It seemed quite an inappropriate message when we’re trying to change the drinking culture in our community . . . it’s a huge sign that’s very visible,” board member Janine Vollebregt said.

Other members agreed, saying they had fielded complaints from the public about the sign. One member said a Rotary club also planned to complain to Trust House, the community enterprise that owns The Farriers and which is majority-owned by the Masterton Licensing Trust.

Health board chairman Derek Milne said public health officials would be asked to speak to Trust House chief executive Allan Pollard about the sign.

Pollard said the trust was aware of concerns about the sign and would move it and change its wording within a fortnight.

Oh for crying out loud.  It’s not illegal.  It isn’t offensive.  “Beer up” is just fine.   What a spineless bunch.   Read more »