Outgreening the Greens

Transport Minister Simon Bridges has announced the Government’s plans to get more New Zealanders behind the wheel of electric cars.

The Government package includes:

  • a target to double the number of electric vehicles on the roads, to reach 64,000 by 2021
  • extending the electric cars’ Road User Charge exemption to light vehicles (until electric cars make up 2 percent of all light vehicles)
  • new Road User Charge exemptions to heavy electric vehicles (until electric cars make up 2 percent of all heavy vehicles) Read more »

Nate Silver on why Republicans backed Trump

Nate Silver writes about the Trump phenomenon.

It is a great article from a writer who is the best predictor in politics.

If you’d told me a year ago that Trump would be the nominee, I’d have thought you were nuts. Don’t just take my word for it: Read what I wrote about Trump in July or August or even in November. Those pieces variously treated Trump’s nomination as being somewhere between improbable and extremely unlikely. You can also read pieces from October, December orJanuary that were less skeptical of Trump’s chances and show how our opinion of him evolved over time. Still, other than being early skeptics of Jeb Bush, we basically got the Republican race wrong.

Nice to see a pundit admit he was wrong. But how did he go wrong?

For a candidate like Trump to win the nomination, it means that several things have gone wrong — both for the Republican Party and in the assumptions we made about how party nominations work. The other day, I summed up the three most important such factors as follows:

Screen Shot 2016-05-05 at 2.15.25 PM Read more »

Mental Health Break

Why doesn’t the HBRC enforce consents?

The Hawkes Bay Regional Council doesn’t enforce consents.

For ten years plus they have allowed the Central Hawkes Bay District Council to discharge above-limits town sewage into rivers at Waupukurau and Waipawa.

Now evidence is emerging of a lack of enforcement in the Chairman’s own patch at Wairoa.

It was revealed yesterday the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council have known since 2013 that Waihi Dam was in breach of its resource consent.

The dam, owned by Eastland Group, began discharging silt into Wairoa waterways in December after a sluice gate was damaged in a storm, and was only repaired in March.

Under the terms of the company’s “water right”, which it has held since 1979, the group need to employ an ecologist once a year to carry out one-day field investigations. Water rights precede what is now known as a resource consent.    Read more »

Map of the Day

David Carter is telling porkies


Speaker David Carter has slapped down speculation he wants a top diplomatic posting – after New Zealand First leader Winston Peters intimated he would block such an appointment if in power.

After Mr Peters’ comments yesterday, Mr Carter has taken the unusual step of delivering a press statement to press gallery reporters, denying he wanted a change of job. Read more »

Your turn




Words of wisdom from Andrew Dickens

Twice in a week Andrew Dickens has stood taller than his compadres in the Media party.

Today it is about the Media party pile on against Mark Weldon.

So yesterday I watched one of the more remarkable displays of cyber bullying I have ever seen on social media. Mark Weldon quit as CEO of MediaWorks and as he left the building the internet made sure he had a good hard kick up the backside as he walked through the door for good measure.

It’s a funny old story the Weldon MediaWorks saga. A lot of it has been breathlessly reported but it had the feel that it was the media taking pleasure at reporting on the fluff in it’s own belly button. I don’t think most normal people cared about the rumblings out of a telly station. When the news was announced on Leighton Smith’s show he opened the lines for comment and no-one phoned. Enough said.

It was a media and tragics event only. What is the media word for “beltway”? No one cared when Jane Hastings exited quickly and quietly. The general public didn’t, and still don’t, care about the luvvies and their precious little lives.

But there are some interesting observations to be made from it for anyone involved in corporate governance.

Weldon was employed to fix up MediaWorks. It was a basket case and Weldon had expertise in fixing up numbers and the numbers certainly needed fixing. And under that measure Weldon has been a success. The books are healthier and as of today the ratings are rising. The Newshub restructure is genius. I know because we here at NZME have done exactly the same thing.     Read more »

Photo Of The Day

The Bullingdon in 1860. Charles Cecil Cotes, the album compiler, is standing at far left. Standing at back in the corner with arms folded is Archibald Philip Primrose, the 5th Earl of Rosebery, who went on to become prime minister in 1894. Probably the richest prime minister.Photo: John Bowen via Getty Images.

The Bullingdon in 1860. Charles Cecil Cotes, the album compiler, is standing at far left. Standing at back in the corner with arms folded is Archibald Philip Primrose, the 5th Earl of Rosebery, who went on to become prime minister in 1894. Probably the richest prime minister.Photo: John Bowen via Getty Images.

The Bullingdon Club

 They drink heavily, shatter champagne flutes and smash furniture — before moving on to positions of leadership. The elite Bullingdon Club is an exclusive haven for Britain’s rich and powerful. But members don’t like to talk about it.

The Bullingdon club is the most famous ‘drinking’ club at either Oxford or Cambridge. Like most Oxbridge drinking clubs it’s highly selective and elitist about its membership. Traditionally, the offspring of the aristocracy at Oxford have made up the Bullingdon’s membership. These days membership has branched out slightly but it’s still very particular about the sort of people they let in. Interestingly, the current Prime Minister, Chancellor of the Exchequer and mayor of London in the UK were all members.

By reputation, the Bullingdon is known for pretty bad behaviour. One tradition that is generally accepted to be true is that the Bullingdon, after a meal, would smash up and destroy the private room they’d been in in the restaurant and then the next day send the owner a cheque for the damage.

I would add that contrary to popular belief, it’s not just the Bullingdon club that is responsible for these sorts of antics. There are a number of drinking clubs at both Oxford and Cambridge which have similar ideals and policies. The ‘Buller’ as it’s popularly known just has the benefit of more famous alumni.

To understand England’s elite, it helps to go back in time, to the summer of 1987. A pack of bow-tied young men dressed in midnight blue tails with brass buttons and cream-colored silk lapels are stumbling through the streets of Oxford after one of their dinners, tipsy on champagne and in a boisterous mood. None of them is older than 24. One of them hits upon the idea of visiting a fellow student — and a short time later, a flowerpot flies through a restaurant window and a police car arrives. It is a night that the entire country will still be talking about decades later.

Read more »

The House Today #nzqt

Parliament is sitting today.

You can follow proceedings starting at 2 pm on TV (Freeview 22, Sky 86), streaming audio via Radio New Zealand and streaming Parliament TV via the internet. After the sitting day, on-demand replays can be found at In The House.

Questions to Ministers

  1. RON MARK to the Minister for Land Information: Why is her Government planning to hike Overseas Investment Office application fees?
  2. ALFRED NGARO to the Minister of Finance: What steps has the Government taken to deliver Better Public Services to support New Zealand families?
  3. Hon ANNETTE KING to the Minister of Health: Will core Crown health expenditure in 2016/17 meet all health demographic and inflationary cost pressures; if not, why not?
  4. JAMES SHAW to the Minister of Revenue: How many times did the Minister meet with representatives from the foreign trust industry between 27 November 2014 and 14 May 2015, and what other stakeholders did he meet with during that time period to discuss foreign trusts?
  5. PHIL TWYFORD to the Minister responsible for HNZC: Does he have confidence in Housing New Zealand’s handling of procurement and conflict of interest issues in light of the Auditor-General’s report into the contracting of Andrew Body Ltd to advise on the sale of state housing? Read more »