An oldie, but not any less satisfying

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Is this a good alternative to 1080?

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Daily Roundup

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Three strikes for every crime that has a jail sentence

Contrary to what the critics feared, the Tree Strikes law hasn’t led to hordes of people being locked up.  Instead it did exactly what it was meant to do:  lock up recidivists for longer, and make it too risky for those who are smart enough to realise that a life of serious crime will end with a very long sentence a lot sooner.

“Victims of sexual and violent crime have won a victory following the 12 year sentence handed to a repeat sex offender under ACT’s three strikes law,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“After two other second-strike cases were exempted from the legislation under the ‘manifestly unjust’ provision, it’s pleasing to see a judge make full use of the law, targeting one of the most heinous crimes possible.”

The offender was convicted for two indecent assaults on elderly women, which both took place during parole for an earlier ‘first strike’ offence.

“This exemplifies the importance of the no-parole condition for second and third strikes. If he ever commits the crime again, he will be guaranteed a 20-year sentence without parole.

“Three strikes removes serial offenders from society and firm penalties discourage potential offenders. This sends a message.”

I believe that this has been a great test run for the Three Stikes law, and it is ready to be applied to “lesser” crimes.  We need to lower the bar to any crime that has a maximum sentence of 5 years or more.  On the third strike, they must serve the maximum. Read more »

Auckland Council brass and Len Brown are trying desperately to distance themselves from the Ports expansion

Auckland Council brass and Len Brown are trying desperately to distance themselves from the Ports expansion with PR spun porkies.

Today the Council is saying ‘heads might roll’ and that ‘it didn’t know anything about the wharf expansion’ which they claim should have been communicated to Council by POAL.

Heads could roll over Ports of Auckland expansion plans, according to a senior Auckland Council source.

Auckland Council has started to flex its muscles on plans by the ports company to build two massive wharf extensions nearly 100m into the Waitemata Harbour.

Council chief executive Stephen Town has written a letter to the council body overseeing Ports of Auckland asking it to “encourage” port bosses to halt the extensions until a wide-ranging port study is done.

Mr Town and councillors have also delivered a firm message to the port company to become more engaged with the community.

“It is my view that Ports of Auckland Ltd (POAL) has not engaged sufficiently with key stakeholders, or the public at large, in relation to the proposed wharf extensions,” Mr Town said in his letter to Auckland Council Investments Ltd (ACIL).

Deputy Mayor Penny Hulse told a council meeting yesterday the letter contained an “iron fist in a velvet glove”. If all else failed there was a “thermonuclear” option.

A senior council officer indicated the “thermonuclear” option could see heads roll.

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Daniel Hannan on poverty and why Nelson Mandela was wrong

Daniel Hannan is a thinker, and an eloquent speaker.

He has challenged Nelson Mandela’s thinking on poverty and explains why Mandela was wrong.

“Like slavery and apartheid,” Nelson Mandela told 20,000 people in Trafalgar Square ten years ago, “poverty is not natural. It is man-made and it can be overcome and eradicated by the actions of human beings.”

They were inspiring words, and the crowd duly went wild. But the old man was talking utter, unadulterated bilge. Poverty is not “man-made”: it is the primordial condition of all living organisms, including humans. It is wealth that is “man-made”.

As usual Hannan is straight into it without hesitation.

Perhaps 100,000 years ago, our distant fathers hit on the idea that, instead of having to do everything themselves, they could specialise and exchange. If Ug is particularly deft at making flint weapons, let him stay behind and concentrate on what he’s good at while the rest of the tribe hunts and brings him a share of the meat. While we’re about it, Og from the neighbouring clan has a rare gift for making fishhooks: why not trade some of them for Ug’s flints?

From that simple discovery came, in due course, wheels and printing presses and spinning jennies and skyscrapers and antibiotics and the Internet. The greater the number of people drawn into a commercial nexus, the more each individual can concentrate on improving his or her particular métier. The hours which we need to work in order to support ourselves fall, giving us more free time – both to employ in leisure pursuits and to come up with yet more ingenious inventions. People became longer-lived, more literate, more comfortable, better-fed, taller, more numerate and more numerous. They also, incidentally, become more peaceable: far from being ruthless or selfish, capitalism joins men and women together in a cats-cradle of mutual dependency. That, in a nutshell is the history of homo sapiens.

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I can’t believe Andrew Little still has not spoken to Winston Peters

Unbelievably, since Andrew Little has become Leader of the Opposition, he has barely spoken to Winston Peters and even more unbelievably he hasn’t het met him since Steve Joyce’s Northland debacle.

Claire Trevett highlights the bizarre situation.

The member of Parliament-elect for Northland, Winston Raymond Peters, returned to the House this week, a Phoenix rising, a man transformed.

Strangely, the result has quite gone to Labour’s head. It is acting as if it won the byelection. For the past two days, Labour MPs have strutted in and asked a number of Northland-related questions in Parliament.

Leader Andrew Little and other Labour MPs dedicated their general debate speeches to rubbing National’s nose in the dog poos that was its campaign. Little has also talked about working more with Peters to build a united, strong Opposition. Labour seems to think sending its voters Peters’ way has bought it coalition insurance, a strong comrade-in-arms.

Little best invest in a long spoon before he starts attempting to spoon Peters.

Labour voters did help Peters but at least 9000 of his 15,400 votes did not come from Labour.

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NZ Super Fund suspends Milford Asset Management

The NZ Super Fund has announced they have suspended Milford Asset Management:

The Guardians of New Zealand Superannuation, the manager of the New Zealand Superannuation Fund, has suspended the Fund’s mandate with Milford Asset Management until a Financial Markets Authority (FMA) investigation into Milford is completed.

In the interim, the funds will be managed internally.   Read more »

Mental Health Break