First Key didn’t get his flag, now he’s not getting his panda

Looks like people are getting used to saying no to John Key. He won’t be liking that.

Snow leopards, wombats and ring-tailed lemurs are all in Wellington Zoo’s future, but don’t expect to see giant pandas chewing bamboo in the capital any time soon.

The zoo has revealed its priorities for the next decade in a report to Wellington City Council – and conspicuous by its absence was any mention of getting a deal done to acquire giant pandas from China.

Chief executive Karen Fifield said on Thursday that the zoo had plenty of rare animals on its wish-list, but it was not preparing a business case or engaging in talks with the Government about giant pandas.   Read more »

Face of the day


Mr Wu was allegedly assaulted by three officers inside a courtroom, in front of two judges who rejected his request to file a case in the district court of Nanning PHOTO-Wu Liangshu

Today’s face of the day Wu Liangshu stood in the Qingxiu District Court wearing the remnants of his suit with his bare leg and underpants showing.

…He and other lawyers were telling court officials that he had been assaulted by three officers inside a courtroom in front of two judges who also happened to reject his request to file a case in the district court of Nanning in Guangxi Province.

Mr Wu was offered a new set of clothes but he knew the power of what he was about to do. “No thanks,” he said.

Read more »

Just apologise Labour

Dr Jian Yang, the only Chinese MP in the House giving Labour both barrels over Chinky-gate, and suggesting Andrew Little and Phil Twyford apologise.

He speaks with a heavy accent, but otherwise his English is brilliant, and this was a real slap in the face for Little and Twyford.   Read more »

Any minute now a taniwha is going to turn up

A Whangarei hapū are angry over sale of Porotī spring water to China:

While the ownership of water is yet to be determined, local government is allowing it to be sold commercially overseas.

That is why local hapū are up in arms over an Auckland-based company selling water from Poroti Springs to China.

Poroti hapū are angry that Auckland-based Company Zodiac Holdings Limited has been given the go ahead to sell their water supply.

So a New Zealand company, owned by a New Zealander (see company office), is exporting to China and local Maori are angry.

“Now Zodiac have up to two and a half cubic metres a day and they want to sell it to China so we don’t get ten cents and there’s no revenue whatsoever for our hapū.  Not that we want to sell the water but we just want to participate and share.  We actually have to pay for our own water,” says Ruka.

Read more »

Key gets grilled in China

Newshub Political Reporter Lloyd Burr was travelling with the Prime Minister and when he sat down with him in Xi’an, started by asking how worried he is about China’s economy hitting a Great Wall…

John Key: We can see issues in the Chinese economy, particularly around some of the loans they’ve got, some of the regional banks and some of the lending overall, but we tend to be on the slightly more optimistic side. I mean, the Chinese leadership have been telling us they expect to grow at about 6.5 percent. They grew at 6.7 percent for the first quarter. And we certainly still continue to see, as I say, demand on the consumer side for what we’re selling, so, look, let’s wait and see, but in the best assessment we’ve got, it’s still tracking along reasonably okay.

Lloyd Burr: That downturn must be worrying, especially since the high in 2014, and when President Xi came to visit in New Zealand, he said, I think his quote was, ‘There’s more Chinese demand than you can possibly supply,’ but that sort of hasn’t run true, has it?

Well, no, I think he’s actually right if you think about the fact they’ve probably got about two or three hundred million middle-income consumers. They have 1.4 billion people, and the big challenge for the Chinese administration is to take that billion-plus people out of very low levels of income and put them into middle-income consumers. That will happen. The question is just how long it takes to happen.

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Builders and Wreckers: Key and Little

Last week could not have provided a more obvious contrast between the choice that voters face.  Key worked hard to earn money for us all by charming the pants off existing and new trading partners in China. Little, on the other hand, ran smear after smear.

Prime Minister John Key is due to arrive back from his trip to China [today], but it is already being hailed as a success in terms of trade.

China looks likely to allow New Zealand chilled meat into its market, opening up valuable trade opportunities.

It could be worth hundreds-of-millions-of-dollars to our economy. Experts say exporting chilled meat to China will open a whole new market.

On his last day of a week-long visit to China, Mr Key said the first shipments could be on the way within a couple of months.

That’s a huge win for beef and lamb farmers. Read more »

John Key pleases at least one voter


Whaleoil stalwart Aucky wrote

I’m enjoying JK’s trip to China.

The Panama Papers have blown up in Little’s face.

The sniggers regarding Jack Ma’s presence at the PM’s reception have suddenly died away as Jack Ma announces that Ali Baba will be holding a New Zealand Month promotion on Ali Baba featuring NZ products. Read more »


Brave Gay people in China pledge to not enter into sham marriages with straight people

When you live in a conservative country like China it must take real bravery to come out of the closet. The gay people who have taken part in a social media campaign #I’m gay and won’t marry a straight person# have taken this bravery one step further. It is their hope that it will  gain them support for marriage equality. It is a powerful way of making a very good point. If you won’t accept gay people and expect them to stay in the closet, you are responsible for dooming not only them but other innocent straight men and women to miserable sham marriages.

…Since last week, a number of users on popular microblogging network Sina Weibo have been posting selfies of themselves with the hashtag #I’m gay and won’t marry a straight person#.

Several parents of LGBT people have also posted pictures of themselves with signs declaring they would not pressure their children into marriage.

Picture of Chinese parent holding up a sign declaring they would not pressure their children into marriage.

This Chinese parent is holding up one such sign, which also states her support for gay marriage

Read more »

John Key heading overseas to talk about the Free Trade Agreement

And there won’t be a peep from the left about it. Weird eh?

Prime Minister John Key is to visit China this month to discuss upgrading the free trade agreement between the two countries that was signed almost eight years ago.

Mr Key will meet President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang in Beijing but will also visit Xi’an and Shanghai. He said the FTA had been a success for both parties – “two-way trade between New Zealand and China has more than doubled, reaching almost $19 billion. An FTA upgrade would allow us to modernise the agreement and ensure it continues to drive our relationship forward.”

Last month Mr Key told the Platinum Primary Producers annual conference in Wellington that the renegotiation of the agreement was a “massive opportunity”.

New Zealand is expected to focus on the removal of special safeguards that were put in place by China against New Zealand agricultural products, safeguards that were not included under the Australia-China free trade agreement which is a year old.

This is, of course, the agreement that was negotiated by the Helen Clark government. Negotiated in ‘secret’. Signed without any public consultation and passed into law without getting parliament to debate its merits in detail.   Read more »


Amazing! Argentina manages to sink something other than their own ships

The Argentinians have achieved something notable, other than challenging France for the world champion of marching backwards title: they’ve managed to sink a ship other than their own.

Argentina’s coast guard says it sank a Chinese fishing vessel that was fishing in a restricted area off the South American country’s coast.

The Argentine Naval Prefecture chased and eventually sank the andvessel after detecting it illegally fishing within the country’s exclusive economic zone, officials said Tuesday.

First, according to a statement from the coast guard, warning shots were fired. The Chinese vessel, Argentine authorities said, responded by turning off its lights and deliberately trying to crash.

“On distinct occasions, the offending boat realized maneuvers aimed at colliding with the coast guard, putting not only its own crew at risk, but also the personnel of the coast guard,” the statement said.

That’s why the coast guard opened fire, Argentine officials said.   Read more »