China

Explaining is losing: Len Brown goes on the front foot

Auckland Mayor Len Brown says the council’s overseas postings are all about economic growth and jobs in the city, and despite criticism, there will be more.

It was revealed at the weekend that Auckland Council has sent one of its staff to London at a cost of $230,000 a year, after his English-born wife became homesick. Another of its staff was sent to San Francisco.

“It’s all about jobs for us – investment in our city, visitors to our city and country, and economic jobs and benefits,” Mr Brown said on Firstline this morning.

Mr Brown did not know about the London posting before it happened, but with 8500 people employed by the council, he can’t be expected to know everything.

“The person directly responsible for this is our chief executive officer, and then the chief executive officers like Brett O’Riley for our council companies like ATEED [Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development]. So of course I would not know about everyone who’s employed and where they’re employed, but what I will say is I totally back Brett and his leadership.”

Asked if the position in London would have been created had the employee’s wife been from a country with fewer economic ties to New Zealand – such as Latvia – Mr Brown said he was “not going to get into the details of it”.

So he did know about the San Francisco “council ambassador”, but not about the London one?  Yeah, right.  That makes total sense.   Read more »

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Another Auckland Council trougher living life on the large overseas

Auckland Council is out of control.

Over the weekend it was revealed that one trougher from ATEED is living life on the large at ratepayers expense in London.

Len Brown professed no knowledge of the arrangements but backed it.

Now we know why…he probably did know, and also knew of another trougher living life on the large, this time in San Francisco…and there are plans for another in China.

Aucklanders have their own woman in San Francisco to go with their own man in London.

Pam Ford, of Auckland Council’s economic development arm, has been based in San Francisco since March last year.

On Saturday, the Herald revealed that Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (Ateed) had created a contract in London for one of its senior executives, Grant Jenkins, at a cost to ratepayers of more than $230,000.

His English-born wife was homesick and had been longing to return home for several years, according to a former council staffer.   Read more »

Perhaps Gareth Morgan can give them some advice

Gareth Morgan has all sorts of advice lately, but perhaps he might like to take his motorbike on a trip to Vietnam to give them some assistance with a little culinary problem they are having.

VICE News reports:

Just after midnight on Tuesday, police in Hanoi detained a truck smuggling three tons of live cats into Vietnam. The driver, a 30-year-old man named Hoang Van Hieu, admitted that the ill-begotten cats were bound for restaurants in the country, where cat meat is, in fact, a delicacy, especially in the provinces of Thai Binh and Nam Dinh, not far from Hanoi.

“After receiving a tip, we searched the truck and discovered the cats inside,” Sky News quoted Dong Da district deputy chief of police Cao Van Loc as saying. “The owner, also the driver, said he bought the cats at the [Chinese] border area of Quang Ninh province. All of the cats were from China.”

With an average adult weight of about ten pounds for a healthy domestic feline, three tons means we’re talking hundreds of cats. The animals, crammed on top of one another in bamboo cages, were just the latest haul in a small cat-trafficking market that sources from nearby China, Laos, and Thailand to satiate Vietnam’s appetite for kitty flesh.    Read more »

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China uses ‘Charlie Hebdo’ to Justify Its Own Crackdown on Free Speech

There is no such thing as free speech in China, and now it appears there is a crackdown underway with Chinese authorities using the Charlie Hebdo massacre as an excuse….blaming media for the massacre.

On January 10, the day 1.5 million people filled Paris’s streets in solidarity against the terror attacks in that city, China’s official Xinhua news service published a self-serving editorial arguing that France’s free-wheeling media abetted the attack.

“The world is diverse and there should be limits on press freedom,” read the editorial by Paris bureau chief Ying Qiang. “Unfettered and unprincipled satire, humiliation, and free speech are not acceptable.”

Any doubts China has no respect for freedom of the press, freedom of speech or indeed freedom of expression are now removed.

Such a remark is par for the course for China’s state media, which rarely miss an opportunity, no matter how distasteful, to trumpet the Communist Party line. But, pointedly, the Paris attacks on the satirical Charlie Hebdo and on a kosher supermarket resonated with recent events in China. Over the past year, clashes between China’s majority Han and its ethnic Uighur population have escalated. On Monday, a government website located in Xinjiang reported that police killed six Uighur men who had attacked them with axes. And in September, following explosions that killed six police in Xinjiang, an ensuing riot led to police killing 40 people. Most spectacularly, masked militants armed with swords and knives entered a train station in Kunming, a regional capital in southwest China, and stabbed 30 people to death.   Read more »

Is Dairy Rooted?

The boom in the New Zealand economy has been led by massive dairy intensification. It is also the driver behind silly socialist projects like the Ruataniwha Water Storage Scheme where townie councillors have bought into government and Federated Farmers spin about the future being dairy and they are promoting economic models based on boom years that are unsustainable in bust years. Even so the proposals can’t work without massive subsidies or government grants even in boom years.

Yet no one has really stopped to question what the real long-term price of milk solids is, and if it is a sustainable long-term path to prosperity for New Zealand.

After last years boom prices there was not much consideration to what was going on world-wide, especially with the Chinese Market.

In the Sydney Morning Herald, their business editor wrote a good article comparing dairy in New Zealand to iron ore in Australia. I slammed it at the time, but have had a bit more of a think about it, plus some additional research over the holiday break.

Uppity Kiwis feeling boastful about their dollar approaching parity with the mighty Aussie might do well to stick to rugby for their kicks. Their China-driven boom is coming to an end as quickly as Australia’s. And they have less to fall back on when it does.

Meanwhile, reports of Gina Rinehart going long on dairy farms could prove as reliable a warning as many another billionaire diversifying outside his or her area of expertise.

The New Zealand economy’s resurgence has owed much to China’s demand for milk products and getting in early for a comprehensive free trade agreement with the Middle Kingdom.

Trouble is, China has been busily investing and encouraging others to invest in increased and globally diversified milking. Just as iron ore miners have ramped up production both from existing provinces and new projects from Africa to Mongolia, New Zealand’s farmers are facing increased competition from South America to Russia and all points in between, including Australia.

[…]    Read more »

Liberal hand-wringing over Kiwi criminals in offshore jurisdictions

Watch as the clamour to try and bring our criminal scum back home to  face “justice” in New Zealand rather than the much harsher treatment they will get offshore.

One such person is this Anthony De Malmanche fellow.

The liberal panty-waists are all upset that he might face the death penalty. Well boohoo, only the congenitally stupid don;t know that in most Asian countries the penalty for smuggling drugs at the very minimum is a sound beating and a long time in prison or the worst, a death sentence.

i have little sympathy for them.

The crim-hugging panty-waists though think this is terrible and one such womble is Alexander Gillespie who is supposedly a professor of law at Waikato University (snigger).

He is having a moan that these criminals are hard done by.

Two recent incidents involve Kiwis allegedly involved in trafficking large amounts of methamphetamine. The men were caught in Indonesia and China. These are not cases of attractive females with relatively small amounts of marijuana which would cause debatable social damage.

These are people who, if convicted, will be found to be responsible for the destruction of the lives of hundreds of others. Indonesia and China have a strong interest in putting these individuals on trial. This is standard practice as each state jealously guards its laws to protect its citizens, society and principles.

Accordingly, when people are tried for crimes in foreign countries, it is no defence to say they are foreigners. As the recent debate over the Malaysian diplomat returned to the New Zealand judicial system has shown, the public expect the law to be applied regardless of nationality.

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Bitter Aussies moaning about our FTA with China

Australia is in the grip of a debilitating wind down of their economy after the mining boom popped. I’ve always said that Australia had a two track economy, one in the bush based around minerals and mining and the cities. The two are not as inter-related as many suspected.

The cities have been struggling for some time, while the bush boomed. Then it all came crashing down and the minerals sector caught up with the rest of Australia.

Things are not good for their economy.

Our economy is growing, but the Aussie commentators still attempt to bring us down to their level.

Uppity Kiwis feeling boastful about their dollar approaching parity with the mighty Aussie might do well to stick to rugby for their kicks. Their China-driven boom is coming to an end as quickly as Australia’s. And they have less to fall back on when it does.

Meanwhile, reports of Gina Rinehart going long on dairy farms could prove as reliable a warning as many another billionaire diversifying outside his or her area of expertise.

The New Zealand economy’s resurgence has owed much to China’s demand for milk products and getting in early for a comprehensive free trade agreement with the Middle Kingdom.

Trouble is, China has been busily investing and encouraging others to invest in increased and globally diversified milking. Just as iron ore miners have ramped up production both from existing provinces and new projects from Africa to Mongolia, New Zealand’s farmers are facing increased competition from South America to Russia and all points in between, including Australia.

People have got to eat.

This time last year I was in Uruguay, a country that, in several ways, is the New Zealand of South America. It’s small, agricultural, relatively peaceful (the lowest murder rate of the continent), has a similar population of 3 million or so and a large diaspora, manages to perform disproportionately well in its chosen football code, is socially advanced on several levels (gay marriage, legalised marijuana) and has ridden cows to posterity, courtesy of Chinese demand.

Chinese investment in Uruguay is obvious and remarked on by the locals: Chinese cars on the roads, new buildings sporting Chinese brands. And Uruguay is just one small corner of the global market China has been developing as a source of commodities and consumers. It’s been doing that developing both as a matter of Beijing policy and individual entrepreneur’s search for opportunities.

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Bugger, another global warming catastrophe claim busted

It looks like, contrary to the alarmists views, that global warming is actually helping wheat production, not hindering it.

Forbes reports:

Global wheat production set new records in 2013 and 2014, contradicting alarmists’ claims that global warming is reducing wheat harvests.

Global warming alarmists and their lapdog media allies decided Christmas Week 2014 should be filled with claims that global warming is crushing wheat production. Grist, Reuters, the UKGuardian, and the Columbus Dispatch are among the many news organizations parroting alarmist assertions that global warming is reducing wheat harvests. The Reuters article, for example, cites a study co-authored by several global warming alarmists to claim, “In recent decades, wheat yields had declined in hotter sites such as India, Africa, Brazil and Australia, more than offsetting yield gains in some cooler places including parts of the United States, Europe and China.”

Reuters did not indicate whether it had fact-checked the straightforward claim that global crop yields have been declining in recent decades. Reuters also failed to provide any countering viewpoint, giving readers the impression that declining global wheat yields are universally recognized. Knowing, however, that global warming alarmists and their ventriloquist dummies in the media often make straightforward factual claims that are proven false by objective, verifiable data, I decided to fact-check their straightforward claim about declining global wheat yields.

Not only are global wheat yields not declining, they are rising at a spectacular pace. According to objective U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) data, global wheat yields have risen by 33 percent since 1994. Moreover, there has been a 4 percent increase in areas harvested for wheat, indicating increased atmospheric carbon dioxide, improved soil moisture, and global warming are making more lands suitable for wheat harvests. Cumulatively, the 33 percent increase in wheat yield per acre and the 4 percent increase in land harvested for wheat add up to a near 40 percent increase in the global wheat harvest since 1994.

The spectacular gains in wheat yields show no signs of slowing down as the Earth continues its modest warming. The year 2014 saw the highest global wheat yield in history, exceeding the 2013 yield that had also set a new record.

Looking a little closer at wheat production data, the alarmists’ propensity for telling lies extends far beyond lies about global wheat production. It turns out the alarmists and their media allies are also telling lies about wheat production in the very nations and continents they claim are experiencing wheat production declines — India, Africa, Brazil and Australia.

Alarmist lie? Well I never. Same with media…who would have ever thought it?

Let’s start by looking at Africa. Egypt is the only African nation that cracks the global top 20 in wheat production. In Egypt, wheat output has quadrupled during the past three decades, with the past 10 years producing the 10 highest wheat crops in Egyptian history. This is quite a contradiction to Reuters’ claim that “In recent decades, wheat yields had declined in hotter sites such as India, Africa, Brazil and Australia….”

And it’s not just Egypt, either. Africa’s second largest wheat producer, Morocco, produced its largest wheat crop in history in 2013.

On the other side of the African continent, South Africa alsoproduced record wheat yields in 2014, continuing a trend of rising South African wheat yields that extends back to the 1980s. Taking advantage of rapidly rising wheat yields, South Africans have been able to cut the area cultivated for wheat production to merely one-third of 1980s levels while still maintaining steady total wheat production. This has enabled South Africans to produce additional crops on former wheat farms and return much of the cropland to its natural condition for Africa’s iconic wildlife.

Read more »

Prepare to be an organ donor

The dunderhead arrested for drug offences in China was allegedly carrying 30kg of ‘ice’.

The chances of builder Peter Gardiner avoiding the death penalty in China have rapidly deteriorated with Customs officials revealing they believe he was the owner of two pieces of luggage stuffed with 30 kilograms of methamphetamine.

Yesterday marked D-Day for New Zealand-born Gardiner, 25, as it was his 37th day in detention, the longest Chinese authorities can keep a person without letting them go or charging them.

However, a newspaper report indicated that Customs officials believed he was involved in a drug-smuggling plot and his Australian travelling partner, Kalynda Davis, 22, had no knowledge or involvement. Read more »

Remember the outrage? …whoopsy no evidence, just like the so called Moment of Truth

Remember the outrage when the traitor Edward Snowden ‘revealed’ that the US had spied on Angela Merkel’s cellphone?

Seems it was just like the so-called ‘Moment of Truth’…complete rubbish.

Germany’s top public prosecutor said an investigation into suspected tapping of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s mobile phone by U.S. spies had so far failed to find any concrete evidence.

Revelations by former National Security Agency employee Edward Snowden that Washington carried out large-scale electronic espionage in Germany provoked widespread outrage — particularly the allegation that the NSA had bugged Merkel’s phone.

Harald Range launched an official investigation in June, believing there was enough preliminary evidence to show unknown U.S. intelligence officers had tapped the phone, although there was not enough clarity on the issue to bring charges.

On Wednesday he said however, “the document presented in public as proof of an actual tapping of the mobile phone is not an authentic surveillance order by the NSA. It does not come from the NSA database.   Read more »