Key’s excuses are wearing thin, says Kevlar Smalley


The sugar tax – we may yet get one. The Greens have always backed this. Labour was a bit cagey about it but the party seems to be moving on this.

It’s a tax that would be applied to fizzy drinks.

The Health Minister Jonathan Coleman isn’t interested in a sugar tax. He has consistently rejected calls for one. And the main reason that he gives is that there is no evidence to suggest a sugar tax would work.

This ‘no evidence’ line is starting to wear a bit thin.

Over and over again the government is using it – ‘there’s no evidence’.

Erm.  Rach.  There isn’t any.  Read more »

Sky TV takes Fairfax/Stuff to court over Olympic “fair use”


Sky TV [NZX: SKT] has confirmed to NBR that, having been unsuccessful in getting an injunction against Fairfax NZ over its use of Rio Olympics footage, it will now take its issue with the publisher (and recent entrant into the “video content space”) to a full trial.

Sky TV chief executive John Fellet told NBR Radio going to trial is the only way to get a resolution on the issue. Read more »



Eagle-eyed readers will have seen that Whaleoil stepped away from OMSA membership. OMSA is a voluntary organisation that purports to uphold standards of online media, similar to the Press Council for printed media.

We were nervous joining it, and at the time we felt somewhat honoured that OMSA was brave enough to take us on.  It’s not that our standards are low, but that the environment that we operate in generates friction all the time.

We didn’t publicly announce our membership for that reason.  We quietly paid our fees and put the logo up on our site.  Outlined our complaints process and indicated that if you were dissatisfied with the outcome of your complaint, you could ‘elevate’ it to OMSA.

In real life, this never happened.

Of all the OMSA complaints we’ve had, except one, they were motivated either by spite, revenge or politics.  And they approached OMSA directly, not bothering to complain to us first.

This came to a perfect example when Penny Bright submitted a complaint saying that she was unable to contact Whaleoil at all.  Apparently she’s blocked from commenting (she’s not), none of the email addresses worked, and nobody answered the phone.  On top of that, she demanded OMSA tell us off for our story about her water meter irregularities. Read more »


Black lives matter f-all to Black Lives Matter

We see the same in New Zealand, to a lesser degree.  Where Maori will rear up against a cartoon about child abuse instead of rearing up about child abuse.

The Auckland housing market can’t crash? Bollocks it can’t

Vancouverites upset about being priced out of the housing market because of rising real estate prices fueled by foreign investors, are likely to be heard as the apparent bubble has just burst.

Greater Vancouver home sales have fallen 85% in the first half of August to a mere 87, down from 597 homes over the same time last year.

Meanwhile, Richmond was down 96%, Vancouver West down 94% and the North Shore’s West Vancouver down 90%.

Panic selling has started.  Panic induced bargain buying is still a long way off.

Although the Johnny come lately are still listing homes to cash in on the capital gains, the buyers have dried up, thanks in part to the 15% tax the B.C. government introduced on property transfer’s for foreign nationals buying real estate.

The descent in housing sales is being perpetuated by China’s State regulated media which is warning Chinese buyers of the dangers of owning Canadian real estate.

And if you think our government wouldn’t introduce such a dampening measure on foreign sales, you need to have a good look at both Labour and NZ First policies. Read more »

Mental Health Break

Bosch Fawstin shares a few observations about Islam

Bosch Fawstin-Facebook

Bosch Fawstin-Facebook

Bosch Fawstin is the winner of the draw Muhammad contest and is an ex-Muslim. He is a brave man who regularly shares his wisdom with his followers on Facebook. Here are a few of his philosophical gems.

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Screen Shot 2016-08-24 at 3.49.36 PM

Read more »

Map of the Day

Live Polls And non-Live Polls yield different results

With a backdrop of companies struggling to get both consistent and credible polling, it is interesting to analyse how different polling methods can skew the answers.

FiveThirtyEight generally takes an inclusive attitude towards polls. Our forecast models include polls from pollsters who use traditional methods, i.e., live interviewers. And we include surveys conducted with less tested techniques, such as interactive voice response (or “robopolls”) and online panels. We don’t treat all polls equally — our models account for the methodological quality and past accuracy of each pollster — but we’ll take all the data we can get.

This split, however, between live-interview polls and everything else, is something we keep our eye on. When we launched our general election forecasts in late June, there wasn’t a big difference in the results we were getting from polls using traditional methodologies and polls using newer techniques. Now, it’s pretty clear that Hillary Clinton’s lead over Donald Trump is wider in live-telephone surveys than it is in nonlive surveys.

We don’t know exactly why live-interview polls are getting different results than other types of surveys; there are a lot of potential causes and it’s something we’ll be digging into.

Online polling will become preferred due to the relatively low cost.  But unless the results are of a reasonable quality, live interview polls will remain the more credible.  We saw this recently when some rag commissioned a poll by a never-before-heard-of US company who had never polled on politics New Zealand previously.  The results were ridiculous.  Read more »



Whaleoil isn’t into predictions, but with Cam away, let’s indulge… the Auckland turnout rate for the local body elections will be the lowest ever.

Most of the mayoral candidates and many of the council aspirants are trotting out the hoary old chestnuts, reduction of rates, for example, or capping rates. Remember those promises any other times? Remember any rates reductions, or “caps” staying in place?

Those who suggest these magical solutions may hope to achieve them by sleight of hand, probably by imposing other charges which are not called rates but, instead, petrol taxes, congestion charges, or tolls, which still hit our pockets.

If you doubt those statements, please look at the website showing press statements of Phil Goff, and others.

Other potential rises in council revenue instead of rates may well include bumping up the costs of other services such as water, sewerage, rubbish collection, transport fees, and similar.

Vic Crone delivers fairly similar, glib statements, including “keeping residential rates low” (but how low, for how long?) She will also “cap rates”. At what level? Haven’t we heard all of this before, and how did those promises turn out?

The whole thing is so bland, you can actually feel your brain shrinking.  Read more »