Politics

After yesterday’s protests, you’d think NZ was the worst place on Earth: not so

After all the ferals had their Big Day Out yesterday and declared that the world had ended and we had all become serfs in our own country, you’d be hard-pressed to believe we live in one the best countries in the world.

And it turns out we do have a great country, despite the ferals and filthy hippies blocking up Auckland for a day.

New Zealand may be small but we still have a presence in the world, coming in at number nine for one of the happiest countries to live.

We even beat our neighbours, with the Aussies rounding out the top ten.   Read more »

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As predicted, buyers are back in the market

I’m already on track with my predictions on Auckland housing this year.

Last month I reasoned that the markets would continue going up and predicted that the Chinese would be back in record numbers after Chinese New Year.

Already statistics show increased immigration, and now sales are on the increase again.

Auckland residential property sales volumes jumped to an eight-year high for the month of January, according to the city’s largest realtor.

The number of sales rose 4 percent to 893 in January from the same month last year, marking the highest level for a January month in eight years, Barfoot & Thompson said in a statement. The 919 new listings in the month is 23 percent lower than January last year, and the realtor said it had just 2,574 properties on its books at the end of the month, a 20-year low.   Read more »

Knock me down with a feather, Tracy Watkins agrees with John Key

Tracy Watkins agrees with John Key.

She thinks the the organisers of Te Tii marae are “mickey mouse” as well.

John Key launched National’s third term in office with a plan to craft his legacy by changing the flag. Would a more lasting legacy be gifting us a national day free of acrimony that everyone can celebrate?

After a week of will-he won’t-he politics, Key’s decision to turn his back on Te Tii marae will probably come as a relief to Kiwis who have spent much of the last week rolling their eyes at the usual threats of protest and conflict that accompany our only national day each year.

The Prime Minister’s description of the to-ing and fro-ing over whether he should be welcomed onto the marae as “mickey mouse” was as on the money as it was overdue. The row has exposed the same egos, tribal divisions and personality clashes that have marred Waitangi Day for years.

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Now the deal is done, others want to join

The TPPA is signed and now we go through the ratification process.

Other countries, though, are now very keen to join in. They can see the enormous trade benefits of joining and the pitfalls of being left out.

As critics of the Trans-Pacific Partnership gather in Auckland for a major show of force tomorrow, TPP Trade Ministers will be focused on its expansion beyond the 12 members, before the ink is dry on the deal.

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Top of their agenda will be what happens to prospective new members over the next two years, before the deal is able to come into force.

Indonesia, South Korea, Thailand and Columbia are among those countries that have expressed some interest in joining.

“There will be countries that are very keen,” Mr McClay said. “In some cases we will want them to do various things to get ready and in other cases we will need to give them a pretty clear steer.

“It’s 40 per cent of the world’s GDP at $27 trillion worth of TPP spend.

“There are a lot of countries who are thinking it would be madness not to be involved.”

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Andrew Little thinks the TPPA is a bad deal despite only reading less than 10% of it

andrew little labour leader

Finally we get some truth from Andrew Little.

He has told us all that Labour opposes this deal because it is bad for New Zealand.

But yesterday on Stuff during a live chat he said this:

A draft of the text was available from November last year. I spent a part of my Christmas break working my way through the text. I got through possibly 500 pages, and it tested my patience.

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Face of the day

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Prime Minister John Key

Today’s face of the day is Prime Minister John Key, for giving the finger to a bunch of upstarts who had the gall to try to gag him.

“I’m certainly not running scared, I’ve made a commitment to go every year and I have.”

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John Key: Te Tii Marae group ‘Mickey Mouse’

John Key is no longer mincing words regarding Waitangi and he isn ‘t going there either.

Prime Minister John Key says the organisation at Te Tii Marae is “Mickey Mouse” and he won’t go there tomorrow if he is under a new gagging order.

He has now been told he could not discuss politics in the whare and that the best place to talks about political issues would be in Hone Harawira’s tent.

“I am not going there with a gagging order and I am not going there if I can’t speak on the marae,” he told reporters after todays’ TPP signing.

“It’s a little bit frustrating because it’s all Mickey Mouse if you ask me, but the Mickey Mouse-ness of it is sitting on their side, I’m sorry.”

Mr Key said the new conditions arrived in a letter to his office last night.   Read more »

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Disrespectful anti-TPPA ratbags desecrate ANZAC exhibition

Ratbag anti-TPPA protesters have attacked an ANZAC exhibition in Wellington.

Anti-Trans Pacific Partnership protesters have targeted a major exhibition at the national museum in Wellington, draping a large banner over the exhibition entrance.

The banner, which featured a drawing of a man representing World War I conscientious objector Archibald Baxter, was lowered from a balcony above the Gallipoli: the scale of our war exhibition this morning.

It changed the wording of the exhibition to “Our imperial war”.   Read more »

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Professional sports team gets millions in corporate welfare

Steve Joyce’s personal slush fund, Callaghan Innovation, has handed professional sports team TeamNZ potentially millions in corporate welfare.

Team New Zealand has received a handy financial boost through the awarding of a government research and development grant.

The Kiwi syndicate has been selected to receive Callaghan Innovation Growth Grant – the same scheme that has assisted Emirates Team NZ’s key rivals and America’s Cup holders Oracle Team USA. Oracle’s Warkworth-based boat-building operations, Core Builder Composites, was confirmed as a recipient of the grant in August 2014.

The grant gives taxpayer funding of 20 per cent of its R&D spend, up to a maximum of $5m for three years, plus GST. Companies can therefore get theoretical maximum funding of $17.25m.   Read more »

Newshub want to know why we don’t have a silver fern on a black flag as an option

When they said they wanted to bring the news behind the news, I didn’t expect them to go back in time.

It was always a bizarre call — why was there no silver fern on a plain black background as a flag option?

How could the classic, simple symbol of Kiwi nationhood not be one of the final four options for our flag?

It’s a question that one in three New Zealanders are asking themselves according to the Newshub poll, which shows 36 percent wanted it on the shortlist. That is an incredible bloc of support. It beggars belief that the plain fern on black was not given a go.

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