The House Today #nzqt

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

Questions to Ministers

  1. Dr SHANE RETI to the Minister of Finance: What reports has he received on the international economy and its effect on New Zealand’s economy?
  2. GRANT ROBERTSON to the Minister of Finance: Does he agree with the Prime Minister’s advice to farmers in November of last year that they should not get too worried about the milk price?
  3. IAN McKELVIE to the Minister for Primary Industries: What recent announcement has he made about Government support to help tackle hill country erosion?
  4. CHRIS HIPKINS to the Minister of Education: Does she stand by all her statements?
  5. DAVID SEYMOUR to the Minister for Social Housing: In light of his answers to Oral Question No 2 on 30 June, does he consider overseas investment in community housing projects to be consistent with the openness of other countries to New Zealanders investing internationally? Read more »

Oregon legalises cannabis, the roll is on

Yet another state, this time Oregon has legalised cannabis.

Smoking and growing small amounts of marijuana became legal in Oregon on Wednesday (local time), as a growing legalisation movement spread down the United States’ west coast.

A law allowing recreational use, backed by voters in November, came into effect at midnight, opening the way for marijuana to be sold in shops by next year – though some lawmakers say they will still try to block retail outlets.

Similar legislation is already in force in Alaska and Washington State, reflecting a shifting legal landscape for a drug that remains illegal under federal law.

Further down the west coast, legalisation campaigns are also underway in California, while recreational use is already allowed in Colorado and Washington D.C.

“We are thrilled with the end of adult marijuana prohibition, but we are far from where we need to be,” said Russ Belville, from the Portland chapter of pro-marijuana group NORML, on Tuesday before the law came into effect.

Oregon residents aged 21 and older can now smoke privately, grow up to four plants and posses up to eight ounces (227 grams) at home and one ounce outside home, the Liquor Control Commission said.

Driving while high remains illegal and pot cannot be transported out of state, even to neighbouring Washington, where retailing started last year, the commission said.

Read more »

Photo Of The Day

Photo: Sirius Documentary

Photo: Sirius Documentary

Ata

According to a report published in the newspaper La Estrella de Arica in  2003, “it all started on a winter morning when a local man from the pampa, Oscar Munoz, was following his hobby of collecting tokens, bottles and other objects of historical value in the ghost towns from the nitrate era.” Munoz went specifically to a ghost town called La Noria, located 56 KM to the interior of the provincial capital of Iquique.

As Munoz dug in the area around La Noria’s abandoned church, he came across a white cloth tied by a violet ribbon, finding inside “a strange skeleton no bigger than 15 cm [the size of a pen]. It was a creature with hard teeth, a bulging head with an additional odd bulge on top. Its body was scaly and of dark colour. Unlike humans, it had ten ribs,”  stated the article.

Read more »

Ernst Young endorses criminal activity, puts clients at mercy of hackers working with Dirty Media

Dirty media specialist Matt Nippert is having yet another boast about receiving an award from some fools who didn’t think things through.

EY, a professional services firm have named him business journalist of the year off the back of illegally obtained documents stolen from my computer by a criminal hacker.  You know professional services firms that go to the ends of the earth to seek privacy in communications with their clients:

EY partner Alan Judge said Nippert’s work was an “outstanding example” of how excellent investigative and communication skills could connect all players in the market – from regulators to employees, shareholders and customers.

“These stories demonstrate that business journalism is not an academic, siloed affair,” he said.

So EY, next time a hacker is doing their thing and let’s say Nippert “magically” gets hold of your client data and internal correspondence and republishes it online in some sort of perfectly legal non-scandal that injures their privacy and that of your staff, are you going to give him an award for that?   Read more »

Cartoon of the Day

Credit:  SonovaMin

Credit: SonovaMin

I think Shelley Bridgeman is right, we should give contraception to stupid people

Shelley Bridgeman’s article in a newspaper yesterday was a breath of fresh air.

Finally someone is prepared to say what many have been thinking…that stupid people should be encouraged to stop breeding.

Yesterday’s headline caught my attention: “Free contraception suggested for pre-teens“. It was reported that “[s]enior academics at the University of Otago have called for a free contraceptive programme to be made available to teens before they become sexually active”. Part of the rationale for this is that teen pregnancies place significant costs on individuals and societies.

It’s an interesting idea and one that could get some people thinking about what other pregnancies might place significant costs on individuals and societies. This very question was addressed three years ago when it was revealed that: “[w]omen on benefits – including teenagers and the daughters of beneficiaries – will be offered free long-term contraception.”

This announcement was not well received: critics said “the measure borders on state control of women’s reproductive choices”. The Greens co-leader Metiria Turei reportedly said that “providing free contraception is not the role of the state”.

I’d go further and perhaps compel some people to stop breeding.   Read more »

Winston and Kelvin Davis need to get their facts straight

Yesterday in parliament Winston Peters and Kelvin Davis led a shameless and more to the point dead wrong attack against a local company in Northland.

They are trying to link Judith Collins into the attack and Nick Smith didn’t really help her with his hesitant responses.

Kelvin Davis : Has he discussed the issue of swamp kauri exports with Judith Collins, whose husband, David Wong-Tung, and good friend Stone Shi are directors in the chain of shell companies that owns the Ruakākā mill, the ultimate ownership of which is obscured by a lawyer’s nominee company?

Mr SPEAKER : In so far as there may be some ministerial responsibility.

Hon Dr NICK SMITH : I thought that this member was above getting involved in that sort of murk.

Kelvin Davis : I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. I did ask a question, and it was not addressed.

Mr SPEAKER : Yes, and I said that the Minister could answer it in so far as there was ministerial responsibility. There was very little connection there with ministerial responsibility. I allowed the Minister to answer it the way he did, and that is acceptable.

Rt Hon Winston Peters : Is he denying what is well known to locals in Northland: that swamp kauri is being exported illegally and that his ministry’s lax enforcement of the law is because people high up in Oravida are major donors and players in the National Party, and there are the photographs of the logs, all being exported illegally?

Mr SPEAKER : Again, I will invite the Minister to answer if he sees ministerial responsibility.

Hon Dr NICK SMITH : The law in respect of the export of indigenous forests was passed in 1993, with that member’s support. It was softened in 2004 by colleagues adjacent to him, with his support. My advice is that the law is being followed.

Rt Hon Winston Peters : I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. He cannot get up and accuse me of supporting a law when I was not a member of the Government. He did it on both occasions—1993 and 1994. We all know that. He is just telling lies.

Mr SPEAKER : Order! [Interruption] No, I do not need further help with that. That is certainly not a point of order. I will invite the Minister, if he wishes, to add further to his answer in order to complete it before we go to further supplementary questions.

Hon Dr NICK SMITH : I would invite the member to check the Hansard as to how New Zealand First voted in 1993 on the Forests Amendment Act, and, again, as to how the party voted in 2004 when the law was changed.

They are running off their mouths under the protection of parliamentary privilege.    Read more »

“Just John Drinnan interviewing his typewriter again”

Throng has lifted this pertinent bit of commentary from the Paul Henry show.

It’s getting tiring really.  The NZ Herald are running their attack lines on anyone they don’t like.  But they do it so clumsily.  It’s little more than immaturity. Read more »

Serial Wanker let out by dud judge

richard-hona

Judge Tony Fitzgerald has believed a cock and bull story from this wanker’s lawyer.

A serial public masturbator has avoided imprisonment after exposing his genitals on a bus just days after he was in court for a similar incident.

Richard Hona, 45, has a lengthy criminal history spanning nearly three decades, which includes more than 40 convictions for exposing himself in public, largely on buses, and masturbating in front of women.

He appeared for sentencing at the Auckland District Court today after pleading guilty to wilfully doing an indecent act on a Newmarket bus on April 6 – just five days after he was sentenced for masturbating near women on a bus twice earlier this year.

On that occasion, he avoided jail time and received an intensive supervision sentence so an experimental chemical castration drug treatment could continue.

His lawyer said the medication meant he was “no longer physically capable of being aroused” at the time.

Today he was sentenced to two years of intensive supervision under the conditions of not taking public transport and continuing counselling as well as the medication.

Defence lawyer Brett Ravelich said the system had failed his client.

Read more »

So now a Charter school isn’t spending enough money?

You’ve really got to love the Labour party.

First they complain that charter schools are getting too much funding, and now Chris Hipkins is complaining they aren’t spending enough.

The Minister of Education has been questioned over why a charter school has ended up with $2.5 million of unspent government funding sitting in its bank.

Hekia Parata has defended the funding of the school in Whangarei, saying it was performing well.

The first group of the publicly-funded private schools opened last year followed by a second group this year.

Labour MP Chris Hipkins challenged the minister today over charter school money, using Whangarei charter school Te Kura Hourua O Whangarei Terenga Paraoa, run by He Puna Marama Trust, as an example.

“How can she claim that the funds being given to partnership schools are being used for education when He Puna Marama Trust received $3.9 million in government funding to the end of last year – yet their audited accounts show they only spent $1.4 million on education, leaving $2.5 million unaccounted for?”

The minister said Mr Hipkins was “quoting selectively” from the accounts.

She said the trust was responsible for other schools, including early childhood centres and an academy.   Read more »