Of course they are opposed to a referendum

Auckland Council and Len brown are running at a hundred miles an hour away from giving citizens of Auckland a say on how they want to tax us for using roads we have already paid for.

Auckland Council staff are opposing a public referendum on whether to charge motorway tolls or raise fuel taxes and rates to fill a multibillion-dollar transport funding gap as allegedly too costly and confusing.

An Auckland-wide referendum on ways of raising an extra $300 million a year would cost $1.5 million and the timetable for running it ahead of long-term budget decisions needed by early May would be very tight, says a staff report to councillors.

The report, which councillors will consider on Thursday, also says a referendum would not replace the council’s obligation to consult on transport funding options before setting its 10-year budget.

Running two processes asking about the same issue was likely to be “confusing for Aucklanders.”

It says a consultation document for the budget will be delivered to each household for feedback in any case, and recommends a “statistically reliable and independent” survey if councillors want greater clarity about public opinion after that.

Auckland Mayor Len Brown opposed the idea of a referendum last month, when an advisory group presented the council with options of either a motorway toll averaging $2 or higher fuel taxes and rates, saying he expected tens of thousands of people to make their views clear in submissions to the long-term budget.    Read more »

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Cartoon of the Day

Credit:  SonovaMin

Credit: SonovaMin

Jihadi attacks worse threat than IRA

Britain is facing an ‘almost inevitable’ attack by fanatics who have been ‘militarised’ by Islamic State, according to police and security officials.

In speeches today, Theresa May and senior police will warn that the ‘diverse’ terrorist threat posed by jihadis returning from Syria and Iraq is one of the greatest this country has ever faced.

Potential attacks could range from a ‘lone wolf’ beheading in a crowded shopping centre or street, to a bomb plot using fertiliser stolen from British farms. One Whitehall official told the Mail: ‘It is almost inevitable that something is going to happen in the next few months.’

It is really a civil war when your own neighbours can be motivated to take up arms, or detonate a bomb against your family, friends and children in the name of Allah and a bunch of idiots running around killing everyone in the Middle East.

According to Britain’s most senior officer, Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, police and MI5 have already foiled five major plots this year. Chillingly, there is normally only one major plot disrupted every 12 months.

Addressing a conference in London, Mrs May will unveil draconian new laws to try to protect the public and stem the flow of cash and recruits to Islamic State. They include a ban on the payment of any ransoms to terrorists and making it easier to track extremists on the internet.

Internet companies will be forced to keep data which helps to identify the user of an individual mobile phone or computer. But the law stops short of making them log every website a person visits after the Liberal Democrats said the so-called ‘snoopers’ charter’ was ‘dead and buried’.

The Home Secretary’s new Anti-Terrorism and Security Bill, to be presented to MPs tomorrow, also includes powers to:

  • Forcibly relocate terror suspects, or put them into internal exile; allow border guards to seize the passports of suspected jihadis;
  • Ban fanatics returning from Syria from entering the UK for up to two years;
  • Forbid airlines from landing in the UK if they do not provide advanced passenger lists.

Sir Bernard said the challenges faced by police and MI5 in monitoring jihadis returning from Syria were huge.

He warned: ‘They’re going to be militarised, they will have a complex web of people that they know, and of course they will have learnt tactics that they may want to use here.’

Meanwhile, here in New Zealand, the Green Taliban are busy trying to undermine our national security.    Read more »

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NOTICE: Slater to follow Goff

Sean Plunket will interview Phil Goff around 10:20, and Cameron Slater will follow around 10:35

Listen Online.

The only sorry Phil Goff deserves

It is now past 1000 so I can now speak about the SIS inquiry.

The time embargo didn’t stop Phil Goff shamelessly leaking to media yesterday and creating a storm and headlines ahead of the release.

I didn’t speak to media because I wasn’t allowed to. And today I won’t speak to media because I don’t have to.

But essentially the report finds that The PMs department colluded with me to ask an OIA that proved that Phil Goff lied about being briefed. Along the way the head of the SIS Dr. Warren Tucker got a bit political.

My response?

So bloody what!

None of this would have happened had Phil Goff told the truth when asked if he was briefed.

I am completely entitled as a citizen and voter to ask an OIA, and I did.

What is outrageous is that Phil Goff tried to stop the OIA release, interfere in a legitimate OIA request, all because he might get embarrassed. It is he who should be apologising.    Read more »

By the amount of explaining, there’s a lot of losing

Oh man, this Sutton thing is just a political tar pit.  Grown men stood around a self-admitted sexual harasser, and one even hugged him.  This is especially poignant as unwanted hugs were part of the sexual harassment complaints.

The perpetrator was flanked by State Services Commissioner Iain Rennie and Prime Minister and Cabinet boss Andrew Kibblewhite.  Their presence, at this press conference full of spin, was to send a very clear signal:  “Do. Not. Mess. With. Authority”.

It didn’t work out.   And now they’re busy running damage control.

It was last week’s press conference that called into question the judgement of both State Services Commissioner Iain Rennie and Prime Minister and Cabinet boss Andrew Kibblewhite.

Mr Kibblewhite has acknowledged it wasn’t a good look. Now he has finally offered an explanation to the Prime Minister for “that hug”.

“He certainly offered an apology for the picture that that demonstrated, which is not one that he was trying to display, that he was siding with the chief executive,” says John Key.

Mr Kibblewhite, who earns $489,000 per year, told the Prime Minister he was there to support the rest of the organisation, not Mr Sutton.

“We’ve had a good conversation about something that I don’t think he handled nearly as well as he could have. He may have had the right reasons but the execution was poor,” says Mr Key.

Not a good look.

These aren’t stupid men.  They knew exactly what they were doing.  What they didn’t expect was the huge public blowback this would cause.  After all, the boys club, on TV, showing solidarity, the victim, keeping to confidentiality and staying away from the political roller derby that was busy trivialising her concerns and sending a clear signal that these sorts of things would not be tolerated.

So in the face of all that power and intimidation, what went wrong?   Read more »

Armstrong on Labour reshuffle

John Armstrong hasn’t had this good a time for ages

Ignore for a moment the installation of veteran MP Annette King as deputy-leader. That is ostensibly a temporary move designed to avoid Little being bogged down in Wellington and freeing him up to get around the country to sell the revised Labour message he is promising to deliver.

But it also gives Little time to see who on the party’s new front bench performs with panache and substance to deserve promotion. It also leaves a difficult decision to another day.

With the elevation of Kelvin Davis and Carmel Sepuloni and to the frontbench, Little is not only responding to Labour tradition that Maori and now Pacific Island community-based MPs be so represented.

Their presence alongside Phil Twyford, Chris Hipkins and Jacinda Ardern, plus the promotion of fast-rising David Clark, marks a long-overdue generational change which brings a much fresher face to Labour.

Those are, on the surface, the good bits.  But Little’s had to hurt people to do this.   Read more »

The refreshed Labour’s bizarre education/poverty views

Maybe being upset at finding out she is spokesperson for nothing Louisa Wall has put out a rather strange and confused education release along with the NZEI.

The confusion starts with the heading:

South Auckland disadvantaged by new decile rankings

Ummm – if comparative socioeconomic markers go down in a location the schools get more money. Does the release mean Labour doesn’t want them to get it?

It then becomes hard to know who is speaking as the release is confused and badly written but one of Wall or NZEI President Judith Nowartaski goes the way of the Bruce McLaren Principal Roy Lilley http://www.whaleoil.co.nz/tag/roy-lilley/ (he of the 416 spare places in his school caused by a Charter School that hasn’t begun yet) and complains about Charter Schools easing financial burdens for families.

“For new Charter Schools to be able to offer free uniforms and stationary will significantly affect the ability of South Auckland schools to match this offer.”

What? Does someone in the Labour party read what they write? Yep – the intent is nonsense but they could at least write a correct sentence.  Read more »

Muppet Mayor Mandates Maori quota

These muppets never give in, it is bad enough in Auckland having unelected Maori board members lording it over us all, but now the Mayor of New Plymouth is proposing that all councils have 50% of council seats allocated to Maori.

It is breathtaking racism and wonky thinking.

I doubt he will be mayor for long.

New Plymouth mayor Andrew Judd has taken his fight for Maori representation a step further, calling for a law change so up to half of all councillors in New Zealand are Maori.

Judd, already fighting critics over his council’s plans to create a Maori ward, believes there should be more Maori representation across the country to better reflect the Treaty of Waitangi.

“The reasonable interpretation of the Treaty is that you would have fifty-fifty representation around the table,” Judd said.

“We should be incorporating the Maori perspective around council tables, and ultimately that would mean up to half the representation each.”  Read more »

Countdown to the Islamification of New Zealand

Countdown to New Zealand becoming an Islamic State

Countdown to New Zealand becoming an Islamic State

It is happening in European Countries all over the world. Some countries are already at crisis point.

I want us to stop the clock but we first need to be aware of the bigger picture.  Every little incident here in New Zealand is leading us down a path.

Do we want in 5 years time to be where the below countries are right now?

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