Hong Kong

Plain Packaging legal hiccup being claimed for something it isn’t

The anti-tobacco lobbyists, the ones who seek to ban, block, tax and attack tobacco at every instance, are claiming victory in a recent FTA dispute in Hong Kong.

The federal government has won its case against tobacco giant Philip Morris Asia challenging Australia’s tobacco plain-packaging laws.

It means the former Gillard government’s plain-packaging laws, introduced in 2011, will remain in place.

The tribunal in the arbitration, based in Singapore, has issued a unanimous decision agreeing with Australia’s position that it has no jurisdiction to hear Philip Morris’s claim.

Philip Morris has slammed the decision, saying it does not validate plain packaging in Australia or anywhere else.     Read more »

Kim Dotcom is no longer a pauper as he gains access to $50m

kim-dotcom.si

Kim Dotcom has partially unlocked access to a $50 million pool of cash in Hong Kong to pay for living expenses and legal bills after telling a judge he had no more money available in New Zealand, it has been reported.

A written judgment is not yet available, but South China Morning Post is reporting that the internet entrepreneur got access to $80,000 a month after telling a Hong Kong judge he was broke and needed access to money in Hong Kong seized at the request of the United States.

$80,000 a month is a mere pittance for a guy like Dotcom.  He was destitute on $100,000 a month previously.  But at least this will put him in a position where he can perhaps catch up on some of his overdue invoices before he leaves for the US.   Read more »

Comment of the Day

With all the lack of facts and figures surrounding Labour’s race-baiting policy it is refreshing to see some real statistics, not some race based profiling of stolen data like Labour uses.

More interesting still is that it comes from one of our own commenters.

Nick Smith may have a point that Auckland’s housing “challenge” may not be affected by foreign investors. Certainly not Chinese investors. NZTE’s figures on the “Stock of total foreign investment in New Zealand by country” in the year ended March 2014 shows that the total foreign investment in NZ was $322.3billion.

Of that the investment from mainland China makes up just 1%. Even when you factor in investment from Hong Kong (1.6%) you end up with the same level of investment from the Chinese in total (2.6%) as from Japan alone (2.6%). Add in Singapore and Malaysia and you still only end up with just over 7% investment from Asia.

So where does the other over 90 odd % come from? Oh yes – English speaking countries with people with predominantly white faces from the US, Au, UK, Canada and the Netherlands!

Presumably investors from those parts will in many cases be looking for homes to buy in our biggest cities too?   Read more »

Cry-Babies of the Week

It’s been a while since we featured a cry-baby, but we couldn’t really go past this story.

An American couple says the confiscation of chutney and jelly from their luggage at Queenstown Airport has tarnished their holiday.

Jonathan and Tiffany Sturman and their two children were passing through security screening before a flight to Sydney this month when the condiments were confiscated from their carry-on baggage because they were deemed a ”gel” under aviation security rules.

The Hong-Kong-based couple contacted the Otago Daily Times to express their disgust at the experience, which had left a ”very unfavourable mark” on their holiday.

They say the rules are heavy-handed and security staff should have the discretion to pass items that do not pose a threat to safety.

The Aviation Security Service (Avsec) says the rules have been in place for years and are clearly communicated to passengers.

Mr Sturman said they were told the items – a jar of apple jelly and two jars of cherry chutney bought at a Cromwell store – should have been packed in their checked-in luggage.

The rules needed to be more clearly explained to passengers.

”This type of behaviour is bully-like and does not help to promote tourism to your country, nor does it help to keep the skies safe.

”It is a sad day when cherry chutney is deemed a threat to air travel.”    Read more »

‘Trapped’, ‘barred’, ‘stranded’, Really?

To show how bizarre the NZ Herald is these days they have run a hit piece on Cathay Pacific for the plane with 250 passengers that had to divert to Ohakea.

The emotive language used is appalling and suggests it was all a deliberate plan or something…or that the passengers were hard done by.

More than 250 people were trapped on a plane at a military airbase for more than six hours after wild weather and thunderstorms forced the landing in Auckland to be aborted.

‘Trapped’? Really?

Does the NZ Herald not respect our immigration, customs and bio-security laws? There is no way those passengers could disembark as there are no facilities to process them at Ohakea. It isn’t like they were being water boarded though with refreshments being served throughout the delay.

The pilots and cabin crew were then barred from flying because they’d been in the air too long, forcing the airline to charter an Air New Zealand eight-seater plane to ferry a replacement crew for the return flight to Auckland.

Read more »

Photo Of The Day

Photo: OSHA Words "BYE BYE" and drawings in oily residue on the tail of a United Airlines 747-400 prompted 13 flight attendants to refuse to fly from San Francisco to Hong Kong on July 14, 2014, until the plane was thoroughly searched for explosives. United fired the flight attendants and cancelled the flight. The Flight attendants are asking the Occupational Safety and Health Administration for reinstatement, back pay and other damages. [Via MerlinFTP Drop]

Photo: OSHA
Words “BYE BYE” and drawings in oily residue on the tail of a United Airlines 747-400 prompted 13 flight attendants to refuse to fly from San Francisco to Hong Kong on July 14, 2014, until the plane was thoroughly searched for explosives. United fired the flight attendants and cancelled the flight. The Flight attendants are asking the Occupational Safety and Health Administration for reinstatement, back pay and other damages. [Via MerlinFTP Drop]

‘Bye, Bye’

The Flight You Would Not Want To Be On

Read more »

Hong Kong Debates Calling Mainlanders “Locusts”

The hot debate in Hong Kong at the moment is the question of whether Mainlanders should be protected from racism by local Hong Kongers.

As anyone who has travelled knows, Mainlanders are generally unwelcome in every country at the moment including other Asian countries and cities like Hong Kong.  Everyone has the same problems with them – blaming high property prices, pressure on social services when they move in large numbers, asset bubbles, lack of milk powder availability, overcrowded streets from tourism and general rude social behaviour like hoiking and using the streets as a toilet.  New Zealand is not alone in anti-Chinese sentiment.

Screen Shot 2014-08-11 at 9.58.58 pm Read more »

Hong Kong, Macau and China are all China, yet you need a passport to travel between them

Restrict sale of Kiwi properties to foreigners, says Australian Russel Norman

There are two people I wish we never let into the country in the first place:  Kim Dotcom and Russel Norman.  The latter is just such an astounding hypocrite, it hurts my brain.

Being an immigrant from Australia himself, he now wants to stop non-New Zealanders from buying Kiwi properties.  He wants to decide who you or I can sell our stuff to.

Green Party co-leader Russel Norman says home ownership is declining because prices keep going up.

“In countries like Singapore there are controls on foreigners buying homes to take the pressure off the market. It’s the same across Asia and it’s a sensible policy,” he told reporters.

“If you took 10 per cent out of the demand side you’d go a long way to stabilising prices.”

Finance Minister Bill English says prices are going up because there aren’t enough houses.

“Houses are just too expensive and we have to increase supply,” he said.   Read more »

Tweet of the Day

Cactus Kate is of course commenting on the news that Auckland is now second only to Hong kong for unaffordable housing.

Hong Kong is of course land constrained, Auckland is not except by design.

The NZ Herald reports:

Housing is increasingly out of Aucklanders’ reach as incomes drop and house prices rocket, an annual global study shows.  Read more »