Sorry Peter, but it’s going to be too little, too late, to save your sorry political arse

A list of approved cannabis-based prescription medications that meet New Zealand’s strict requirements has been sent to medical and pharmaceutical groups around New Zealand.

The list was promised by Associate Health Minister Peter Dunne earlier this month when he relaxed rules around prescription of medicinal cannabis products.

Mr Dunne said more products are becoming available as overseas companies meet stringent Good Manufacturing Process guidelines but for now the list remains short.

It includes Sativex, used to treat spasticity in people with multiple sclerosis, at a cost of around $1200 a month.

“Unfortunately, Sativex, the one pharmaceutical-grade product that is available in New Zealand continues to be extortionately priced as big pharma continues to ignore the building resentment, both local and global, to the attitudes these companies take to the sick and vulnerable,” he said. Read more »

Lawrence Yule selected as Nat candidate for Tukituki

Lawrence Yule won the National selection last night for Tukituki.

Not that HB Today seems totally sure of themselves.

Hastings mayor Lawrence Yule is believed to have won selection for the National Party tonight.   Read more »

Clearly, not much of a niche for serial rooters

Former coupster, Sitiveni Rabuka, who took over the leadership of SODELPA from Mrs Kepa, seems to have tanked the main opposition party.

Apparently, it is because he can’t find a niche.

A former Fijian coup leader and prime minister Sitiveni Rabuka is struggling for a niche in Fiji’s new political landscape according to a scholar of Fiji politics.

Mr Rabuka is the leader of the main opposition party Sodelpa and scored 11 percent in a recent poll asking Fijians who was their preferred prime minister.    Read more »

20,000 Iraqis are now trained and dangerous

About 1900 members of the Iraqi Federal Police recently completed five weeks of basic combat training at Camp Taji, bringing to more than 20,000 the total number of Iraqi security forces trained by a combined New Zealand-Australian training task group.

The graduates comprise the first batch of police trained by Task Group Taji, which comprises about 100 New Zealand and 300 Australian soldiers.

“This is not just a training milestone,” Major General Tim Gall, the Commander Joint Forces New Zealand, said. “The latest batch of trainees to march out now form part of stabilisation forces who are working to ensure that the gains made against Daesh – in Ramadi, Fallujah, east Mosul and other parts of Iraq – are sustained.

“By providing world-class training to the Iraqi Army and police our personnel help ensure there is a steady flow of capable fighters who can sustain the Iraqi military’s counter-offensive operation against Daesh and keep the militants from regaining footholds in areas that have been cleared,” Major General Gall said.

New Zealand has been contributing to the international effort to increase the capacity of the Iraqi security forces since May 2015. The fourth rotation of Task Group Taji deployed last November to help the Iraqi military develop capable forces to defeat Daesh and reclaim Iraqi territory from the terrorist group. Read more »


Mental Health Break

The Maori Party on immigration and the refugee quota

I contacted National, Labour, Act, The Maori Party, NZ First, the Greens, the Opportunities Party, the Conservatives and United Future to ask them all three questions. Five parties responded to my questions and I published their responses in full and un-edited. My attempts to get a response from the Maori Party were unsuccessful so I read the 2014 Policy Manifesto on their website to try to find the answers to the questions I had asked both them and the other parties.

I was shocked to discover that their latest manifesto dated 2014 contained no Immigration policy at all.

The Maori party had answered my questions previously about Israel so I was surprised when they did not reply. Now I am wondering if it was because they do not have an immigration policy.


2014 Maori Party Policy manifesto screenshot-whaleoil

2014 Maori Party Policy manifesto Screenshot-whaleoil

Read more »

Map of the Day

The Living Wage doesn’t work

“Focus on improving skills and paying what a job is worth is best way for businesses to recognise their responsibility to the communities in which they operate – not paying a ‘subjective and artificial’ Living Wage.”, writes Michael Barnett, head of the Auckland Chamber of Commerce.

All businesses, including councils hire on merit, so paying a higher rate without asking for better performance is not sound business practice. Private sector businesses would soon go out of business, but councils take the easy option – they simply pass the cost on to rate payers.

“That’s why the ‘living wage’ is not good business, or good for business. Most businesses recognise this. “It is of concern, however, that Auckland Council and others are leading the charge on this flawed concept – they don’t face up to ‘real business’ price-cost pressures like other businesses do, and instead are expedient in exploiting the revenue they receive from ratepayers,” said Mr Barnett.

The $10,000 difference between the just under $32,000/year minimum wage and new $42,000/year living wage is a significant extra ‘social’ cost to make up.

Of course, the Auckland Chamber recognises that low wages can make it difficult for workers and their families. But Government welfare policies exist to address this, including the setting of a ‘minimum’ wage to prevent unscrupulous employers paying too little. Read more »

Andrew Little doing his best to slag off potential coalition partners

Following on from his angry outburst against Cadbury, Andrew Little is now angrily insulting the Maori party:

In an interview on Morning Report, Labour leader Andrew Little accused the Māori Party of not being kaupapa Māori, or Māori-based.

He added that the party had “conceded on every important issue affecting Māori in the last nine years”.

An onslaught has followed, with a founding member of the party, Dame Tariana Turia, reaffirming why she didn’t believe Māori could trust the Labour Party.

“Our people need to be reminded of the racism that continues to exist in the Labour Party.”

Read more »

Beggars can’t be choosers, but they can be fraudsters

I bet this ratbag isn’t the only fraud supposedly begging on the streets.

A Hastings beggar was convicted of fraud yesterday after he claimed to be homeless when he was not.

Police confirmed Frank Lovich’s case was heard in the Hastings District Court yesterday.   Read more »