United Nations

Guest Post – Phil Hayward on Auckland and the RMA reforms

by Phil Hayward

The Auckland Unitary Plan Submission process is underway and we should soon know whether it is a charade with outcomes pre-determined and impervious to evidence. The usual suspects are also claiming once again to be able to “debunk” the latest Demographia Report on housing affordability, and even the government is embarrassed over the dismal ineffectiveness of its trumpeted “Housing Accords”.

My previous essays on this forum could usefully be read or re-read now by anyone interested in this subject.

The prevalent mythology is that Auckland already sprawls too much at low density, already has built too many roads (and that is why it is congested), is letting the floodgates re-open too much towards more new sprawl and not enough new intensification (60% of growth to be via intensification is the plan), the ramp-up in building now is major, and intensification will provide for affordability.

In fact, Auckland is around 3 times as dense as Boston, Atlanta, Indianapolis, Nashville and dozens of other US cities; is the second densest city in the Anglo New World after Toronto (pop. 6 million); is one of the densest first world urban areas of only 1 million people; is close to Amsterdam’s density and is denser than Lyon, Marseille, the Ruhr Valley and many urban areas in France and Germany, especially those with around 1 million people or less.

We have never actually had US style low density sprawl; very little of our suburban development was ever even ¼ acre sections. That always was a “dream” for most, and now nearly every such section has already had townhouses built on what was the backyard. In the USA, suburbs are common with minimum lot size mandates of 1 acre to 4 acres.  

Michael Bassett and Luke Malpass (NZ Initiative) “Priced Out: How NZ Lost its Housing Affordability” (2012) show that NZ and Auckland were during the period from the 1960’s to the 1980’s, building as many as twice as many new dwellings as now. Most of that was greenfields suburban development, albeit at considerably higher density than US-style sprawl. We now have congestion problems because there was inadequate planning of road capacity, not because we did the roads we did.

I have estimated from TomTom Traffic index data and Google Earth imagery, that Auckland has 1/3 the highway lane miles and 1/5 the arterial lane miles of Indianapolis, which has a similar population. Indianapolis in the TomTom Traffic Index, scores a congestion delay of 15 minutes per 1 hour of driving at peak (other comparable US cities are similar) versus Auckland’s 45 minutes. Of course its house price median multiple happens to be stable at around 3 as well, in spite of being truly low density, unlike Auckland.   Read more »

Green Aussie idiot is going to kayak from Canberra to Paris…uhmm…by plane

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The Green taliban fools really don;t realise just how foolish they look when they pull their lame stunts.

One Aussie Green idiot reckons he is going to paddle his kayak from Canberra (which is landlocked) to Paris…but of course he is a Green so his carbon footprint is going to be enormous.

He will risk confronting alligators, polar bears and container ships but in the end he will be able to say to his grandchildren, “I did my best”.

Engineer, grandfather and ecowarrior Steve Posselt begins an 8000-kilometre kayak journey from Canberra to Paris on Thursday.

He intends to drag and paddle his wheeled kayak halfway around the world to deliver a message on behalf of all Australians who want action on climate change. The message: we are in this fight against global warming.

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Op-ed “Unity through Diversity Equals Cultural Death”

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By Olivia Pierson

Cultural pluralism is as old as the hills – or at least as old as the Babylonian Empire on whose riverbank shores even the captive Jews were tolerated to sit and weep. Multiculturalism, on the other hand, is a 20th Century bastardization of tolerance, which the United Nations invented to socially engineer Western democracies to cope with overwhelming immigration, mostly from Third World slave-pens. The pious and politically correct preachers of “diversity” and “equality” raised multiculturalism in the West to the status of a new religion, as if the world needed yet another one of those.

With the truth emerging after murderous events in Paris, can there still be any doubt that multiculturalism has epically failed in the West? In the last five years Angela Merkel has admitted its failure; so have Nicolas Sarkozy and David Cameron. But how has it failed so?

Multiculturalism is a modern liberal tenet which states that all cultures are equal regardless of the diverse practices of each culture.  This should not be confused with cultural pluralism which holds that all citizens, no matter what culture they hail from, are equal before the laws of the land –the one host culture.  The host culture is necessarily dominant, hence being the yearly recipient of hundreds of thousands of immigrants bidding farewell to their homelands.   Read more »

Guardian editorial thinks Helen Clark is inappropriate to lead the UN

This must be devastating for Helen Clark to read, in what is probably her favourite media organisation, one that she usually gets a  free reign in opining on whatever she feels like, has published an editorial suggesting that she is inappropriate to succeed Ban Ki Moon as UN General Secretary.

The United Nations confronts war, famine, disease, climate change and much else, but perhaps the greatest and most persistent challenge the organisation has faced is the tendency of its member states to deny it the leadership its work requires. The issue is back, as it is every decade, with the selection of a new secretary general to take over in 2016.

The UN enshrined the idea of harnessing the talents of a group of men and women from around the world, accountable to governments but working exclusively for the global good. It has only sometimes, and quite by accident, been fulfilled. When there is sufficient leadership to give life to it, the arts of peace flourish and the global discourse is enriched. When there is not, a price is paid in blood.

Fair, noble aspirations…if somewhat motherhood and apple pie in their outlook.

The editorial then disses the British candidate before setting upon Helen Clark.

The field of those seeking to be the next secretary general is widely felt to be underwhelming. Helen Clark, the head of the UN Development Programme, gave an example of how a UN official should not behave when, before the current secretary general was even halfway through his term, she began to discuss, in these pages, her interest in succeeding him. It is time for something more serious. A small search committee should be established, led by Kofi Annan, with representatives of the permanent members of the security council, other regions, and a professional headhunter, and it should work through most of next year. The idea that candidates should be limited to one region is unfounded and can be dispensed with. The council should recommend more than one candidate to the general assembly, which should make an appointment for a single term of seven years.

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HarperCollins caved to Islamic bullying, issues atlas to Middle East market with Israel missing

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HarperCollins are a bunch of liberal panty-waist cowards.

They have issued an atlas to the Middle East market that omits Israel entirely…as though it doesn’t even exist.

HarperCollins, one of the world’s largest publishing houses, sells English-language atlases to schools in the Middle East that omit Israel.

Collins Middle East Atlases show Jordan and Syria extending to the Mediterranean but do mark the position of the West Bank.

“The publication of this atlas will confirm Israel’s belief that there exists a hostility towards their country from parts of the Arab world. It will not help to build up a spirit of trust leading to peaceful co-existence,” said Bishop Declan Lang, the chairman of the Bishops’ Conference Department of International Affairs, to The Tablet.   Read more »

Why does the UN want immunity from prosecution for its Global Warming Fund?

The UN is pushing hard for agreements with nations to extend immunity from prosecution to their global warming piggy bank.

Why do they need this?

These sorts of rear guard actions lend credence tot he suspicion that there is some sort of misfeasance going on already and they are trying to head off prosecutions.

The Green Climate Fund, (GCF) a United Nations-affiliated piggy-bank  intended to finance climate change projects around the world, is determined to win sweeping U.N.-style immunities from prosecutions for its global operations–even though  the U.S., its biggest contributor, opposes the idea, and the U.N. itself says its own diplomatic immunities can’t cover the outfit.

The immunities issue could well spark even deeper opposition from Republican lawmakers in next year’s Congress to the Obama Administration’s aggressive climate change policies–which include a recent $3 billion pledge to the Fund.

“We would definitely be opposed to any extension of immunity to the Fund,” said a senior aide to Republican Senator James Inhofe of Oklahoma, who will chair the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works starting in January.

“What do they need protection from?” he asked. “In essence, they are doing business development projects. If you look at the way millions of people do transactions across national borders, they do it without immunity and very successfully.”

Apparently undeterred, fund officials told Fox News that they are now trying to hammer out “bilateral agreement templates” that could be laboriously negotiated with each country where it operates—a total that could eventually reach the great majority of  the U.N.’s 193 members.

The Fund has already negotiated one agreement of immunity—with its new host country, South Korea, as a condition of moving its headquarters there last year.   Read more »

Drone Footage Shows Extent of Damage From Greenpeace Vandalism at Nazca Lines

Eco-terrorists Greenpeace are probably more trouble than they have ever been in before, and they are issuing grovelling apologies.

The damage they have caused at Nazca is considerable despite their claims and Peruvian authorities are going to slam them.

A drone has been used to record the damage without causing further damage.

VICE reports:

Greenpeace angered the Peruvian government last week when some of its activists trekked through Peru’s ancient Nazca Lines — a UNESCO World Heritage site — to stage a publicity stunt timed to coincide with UN climate change talks being held in the South American nation’s capital of Lima. The stunt resulted in calls for legal action, and officials have since released new drone footage showing the extent of damage caused at the site.   Read more »

MFaT blows $9million on conference, most of it on a cruise liner

TROUGHING: P&O Pacific Jewel in Apia for the SIDS conference

TROUGHING: P&O Pacific Jewel in Apia for the SIDS conference

Government departments are essentially large troughs where they find innovative ways to blow taxpayer cash on themselves.

But none it appears are as wasteful or out of control than Murray McCully’s depart, MFaT.

They have blown $9 million on a 4 day conference in Samoa where they even rented a cruise liner!

The Taxpayers’ Union is slamming the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade for bankrolling a four-day UN conference in Samoa last September has cost New Zealand taxpayers over $9 million.

According to an Mfat spokesman, New Zealand’s $9 million contribution to the third Small Island Developing States (SIDS) international conference covered operating costs, accommodation, police support, technical advice and assistance to New Zealand’s “counterpart agencies,” as well as infrastructure support for Apia’s port and the hosting of high-level visitors.

SIDS was the largest conference ever held in the Pacific. About 2000 delegates attended from over 100 countries, including many heads of government and ministers.

“It is difficult to comprehend how $9 million could be spent on a conference lasting just four days,” Taxpayers’ Union executive director Jordan Williams says.

“The amount is nearly half New Zealand’s annual aid budget to Samoa and amounts to $4500 per attendee. It appears someone else picked up the attendees’ flights, travel and presumably cocktails, which makes the amount all the more remarkable.”

“If the $9 million had been used for genuine economic development or investment, no one would complain. Instead taxpayers forked out for a conference that resulted only in a document that ‘reaffirmed’, ‘acknowledged’, ‘recognised’ and ‘recommitted’ to various bureaucratic platitudes.”    Read more »

UN Official calls for boycott of Jerusalem Post, UN then say he didn’t say boycott…uhmmm…yes he did

UN official Chris Gunness has called for a boycott of the Jerusalem Post because he got his knicker in a twist that he wasn’t asked for a quote in an article about he ineffectiveness of UNRWA.

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There it is in black and white…”Boycott the JPost!”

Can’t get much clearer than that.

The story was an op-ed by a Palestinian Arab. Op-eds obviously don’t require quotes.  The Jerusalem Post is centrist in its editorial line and hardly ultra-right. And none of that had anything to do with Bassem Eid who is neither Israeli nor right wing.

Now, the UN is far from perfect and UNRWA has been spanked of late for promoting hate and violence as well as allowing their hospitals and schools to be used by Hamas to conduct combat operations.

But blatant lies are so far beyond the line something needs to be done.  Read more »

Why do people believe in conspiracy theories?

There are a great many conspiracy theories out there, the latest one being that I have something over John Key and Judith Collins.

It is being pushed hard by various nutters on the left-wing. It is hilarious to read the comments at places like The Daily blog, where special kinds of political retards reside and comment, same with The Standard.

But why do people believe these conspiracy theories?

Do people really believe such conspiracy theories? They do, and in disturbingly high numbers, according to recent empirical research collected by University of Miami political scientists Joseph E. Uscinski and Joseph M. Parent and presented in their 2014 book American Conspiracy Theories (Oxford University Press). About a third of Americans, for example, believe the “birther” conspiracy theory that Obama is a foreigner. About as many believe that 9/11 was an “inside job” by the Bush administration.

The idea that such beliefs are held only by a bunch of nerdy white guys living in their parents’ basements is a myth. Surveys by Uscinski and Parent show that believers in conspiracies “cut across gender, age, race, income, political affiliation, educational level, and occupational status.” People on both the political left and right, for example, believe in conspiracies roughly equally, although each finds different cabals. Liberals are more likely to suspect that media sources and political parties are pawns of rich capitalists and corporations, whereas conservatives tend to believe that academics and liberal elites control these same institutions. GMO conspiracy theories are embraced primarily by those on the left (who accuse, for example, Monsanto of conspiring to destroy small farmers), whereas climate change conspiracy theories are endorsed primarily by those on the right (who inculpate, for example, academic climate scientists for manipulating data to destroy the American economy).

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