Must read

Skilled migrant numbers in freefall

Well, well, well… in the middle of a housing boom, an infrastructure boom, shortages of nurses, teachers, midwives, doctors… guess what? The number of skilled migrants coming to the country has fallen sharply. I find this more than a little surprising. Apparently, since this government took office, more than 96,000 people (not counting wife-beating Czech drug dealers) have been granted permanent residency here. So if those 96,000 people are not skilled migrants, then what are they? quote.

New figures show the number of skilled migrants has halved in the past year, and politics is to blame. 
It’s making it harder for businesses who need migrants to fill jobs. Dunedin’s Madam Woo restaurant blamed lack of workers for its closure this week and construction and decorating businesses struggling to find workers 
New Zealand Association for Migration and Investment chairwoman June Ranson says the drop in numbers has a political cause.

“It started really from a political point of view, and it was part of the campaigns for the elections to reduce migrants, because the public was saying there are too many here.”

end quote.
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‘Where the hell is Cam?’

The eagle eyed amongst you have no doubt spotted that Cam has not written any posts for Whaleoil or Incite Politics for some time. In fact, Cam has been absent since October but, for various reasons that will become clear, we opted not to make any announcement till we were ready. That time has now come.

In late October Cam had to go to hospital by ambulance not once but twice. After being discharged from his first stay in hospital he had to be readmitted due to complications. Cam suffered a serious stroke that left him partially paralysed down his right side and totally paralysed in his right arm including his hand and fingers as well as severe impairment in higher order functioning and moderate speech impairment. Prior to this event Cam was perfectly fit and healthy with no predisposing stroke risk factors. Doctors have concluded that the cause of the stroke was entirely due to stress.

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Saudi Arabia is about to judge NZ’s human rights record

Saudi women cross a street in Hofuf city,

The country with one of the worst human rights records in history, where women are oppressed, which still enforces the death penalty, carries out public executions and has even been known to crucify people – yes, literally – is about to make judgement on New Zealand’s human rights record.

Yes. You read that right. No. It is not April 1st. quote.

Justice Minister Andrew Little expects New Zealand’s next United Nations human rights review, being partly overseen by Saudi Arabia, will show improvements from 2014.

Every five years member countries go before the UN in Geneva, Switzerland, to defend their human rights record and give an update on what’s been achieved since last time, in what’s known as the Universal Periodic Review.

The last time New Zealand was judged, the UN came up with 155 recommendationson ways we could improve our human rights record, mostly focused on indigenous rights, inequality, child poverty, refugees and the response to the 2010/11 Christchurch earthquakes.

Mr Little says he’ll be in front of the UN panel next week to explain what’s happened since then.

“It’s also an opportunity for me to update them on the things that this Government specifically is doing around child poverty, the fact this year will be our first ‘wellbeing Budget’,” he told RadioLIVE on Friday. end quote.

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The administration and management of our roads is broken

By Owen Jennings


Over the past few months I have been working as a relocation driver for a rental car/campervan company.  The job takes me across the city regularly but also all across the North Island and occasionally to the mainland.  It’s been interesting. 

Here are a few observations – some pretty obvious and others maybe less so.

Drivers.  The great majority of drivers are capable, courteous when required and simply get the job done.  Too many, though, are unforgiving, have a short fuse and get all over you if you make a small error or want to do something legal but unusual.  Often there is a tiger ready to be unleashed in a millisecond.  They become impatient very quickly and multiply the risk greatly.

Generally, the fastest drivers are young women.  I am often overtaken by females travelling at what must be 120 – 130 kph.

Normally sedate 90 – 95 kph drivers on the open road became a menace at overtaking lanes.  They speed up, seemingly offended that anyone should pass them, only to force the drivers they were holding back to drive like maniacs at 130 kph plus to get rid of the problem.

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Father blames the police for his two teenager’s deaths

The charred remains of the fleeing car, which exploded after crashing in Christchurch, killing the three teenage boys inside. Photo credit NZ Police.

The father of two of the three Christchurch boys, who were aged 16 and 13, blames the police for the deaths of both his sons who died last weekend speeding away from the police in a stolen car. The Otago Daily Times reported the father’s accusation and defence.  Quote.

He said his sons were good boys but conceded they had been involved in police pursuits and had stolen cars in the past.End of quote.

Newsflash: habitual stealing is not a characteristic of good boys. By all means give a kid a break for his first offence, but ignoring multiple car thefts? Absolutely not. Quote.

“They were just kids,” he said.

“They were just boys doing what boys do.”

End of quote.
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Crybabies of the week

Today’s cry babies are not Irish nor are they Gypsies or “travellers” as the New Zealand media have claimed them to be. In reality, they may well be what is referred to colloquially as Scousers which is a person from Liverpool. The term comes from a lamb stew called lobscouse which was popular among sailors at the seaports of Liverpool. Quote.

“We have to go home early because the New Zealand people are treating my family like shit. We paid a lot of money to come here for a family holiday.”

end quote

After reading accounts of what happened from both sides ( although not having viewed the video) I conclude that the Scousers protest too much and that they, in fact, were mainly the ones in the wrong.

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NZ campaign to stop sex self-ID

Caption: Speak Up For Women’s Ani O’Brien (second from right), Georgina Blackmore (second from left), and supporters kick off the campaign to raise awareness of their concerns with sex self-ID law.

The group Speak Up For Women was formed to raise public awareness of the proposed changes to the Births, Deaths, Marriages and Relationships Registration Bill which are currently passing unchallenged through Parliament. 

Yesterday in Auckland they began what is to be a month-long campaign calling for wider public consultation before a controversial sex self-identification law is passed by the government.

Sex self-identification means anyone can change the sex on their birth certificate simply by making a statutory declaration that they ‘identify’ as a member of the opposite sex. Currently, this process requires a Family Court process and expert medical evidence.  

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Capital gains tax: what we know

The Tax Working Group’s report is due to come out at the end of next week, somewhat earlier than expected. What is not unexpected though is that we are being softened up for a capital gains tax. Make no mistake. The articles are coming thick and fast now, indicating what we always knew, which was that the TWG is going to recommend a CGT. Correction: the government has already recommended a CGT. The Tax Working Group is going to tell us how they will do it. quote.

It is understood the working group has held its last meeting and the report is now basically complete. The report will contain a plan to extend the taxation of capital gains, and to hand back the money that would raise through cuts to other taxes.   
Whether its recommendations are enacted will then be a matter for politicians and voters, with an ocean of water still to go under the bridge.

But chairman Sir Michael Cullen revealed in November that “a clear majority” of the 10-person working group had reached an agreement on a central package around the extension of capital income taxation – in other words, a capital gains tax.

end quote.

Well, knock me over with a feather. Really? quote.

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And one site to rule them all

As anyone who has had any interaction with computer technology in the last few years knows, the most popular website in the world is Google. Google has the most clicks, the most traffic, the most visitors, the most however-you-like-to-measure-it.

For many years the way to measure a website’s world ranking has been to use Alexa. The lower the Alexa rank score the busier and more popular is the site. The Alexa rank for Google is, therefore 1. The BBC website rank is 98, for example.

Idle curiosity allows you to check the ranking of any website you like.

So how does TVNZ compare with the BBC, say? The site has a ranking of 17,147 which puts it at number 39 in the New Zealand popularity list. On a world ranking basis that is not too shabby.

I read somewhere that if a site’s Alexa number is lower than 500,000, it has some influence. If it is lower than 200,000, it is a player. The coveted ranking is a number lower than 100,000. Any site lower than 25,000 is major. 

What about other news sites here?

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‘Western culture, philosophy & science is basically crap’

David Seymour tweeted this exchange with a link to published figures about the Environmental Performance Index of various countries and the finding that “The top 18 are Western. The bottom 22 are non-Western.” Something that anyone with half a brain can readily discern. Hence Marama’s statement.

The professor tweeted: quote.

ok, I’m going to say it. Western culture, philosophy & science is basically crap, because at no point did it occur to anyone to emphasize “not fucking up our living environment” as a possible priority of thinking and life. end quote.

Professor Julia Steinberger

And Davidson replied. quote.

Thank you. This is brave leadership saying what many of us have long known. end quote.

After Seymour picked this up and commented on it, the lefty twitterati climbed into him in a big way, including Genter with: Quote.

Do you think that has anything to do with all of the goods consumed in “Western” countries (often at low cost to westerners) that are produced in the countries at the bottom of the list? End quote.

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