One Tier – Wonderland (and NO Constitution)

Credit: Woolf Photography via

Guest Post

New Zealand is the only country in the world with no constitution. What we have are a series of imported Acts and locally passed Acts which jointly and severely form a type of constitution. The oldest of which is the U.K. imported Magna Carta which was first passed into law in 1215.

We also have a one tier parliament – which is equipped with unfettered and unbridled power to pass what legislation it wants – even overnight, and retrospective, as it did in 1988 when it amended s,13(5) of the Inland Revenue Act. This allowed IRD officers to hand out documents to police officers. Those documents being previously classified as secret pursuant to s.13(5) of the IRD Act. This resulted in a 5-years 8-month term of imprisonment for one person – based on what was later discovered to be an adding mistake. It took 18 years, and a trip to the Privy Council to reverse the erroneous convictions.     Read more »

Is ANZAC day looking at the wrong battle?

World War One the Great War is commemorated on ANZAC day together with Australians, and on that day, the Gallipoli campaign is remembered. Perhaps the memories are better than those of the other theatre of war?

While the name Gallipoli resonates with many, the huge impact the Western Front and the battle of Passchendaele had on the lives of many New Zealanders is not so well known according to the results of a survey of 4000 New Zealanders aged 15 years and up. Just over half believed that most of the New Zealanders who died did so at Gallipoli.

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Mental Health Break

The pro-choice case for infanticide.

In 2012 After-Birth Abortion was proposed by two philosophers in the Journal of Medical Ethics. By reopening the ethical debate the pro-choice lobby was put in the difficult position of trying to find arguments to justify why infanticide is medically ethically unacceptable if abortion is medically ethically acceptable.

Just when you thought the religious right couldn’t get any crazier, with its personhood amendments and its attacks on contraception, here comes the academic left with an even crazier idea: after-birth abortion.

No, I didn’t make this up. “Partial-birth abortion” is a term invented by pro-lifers. But “after-birth abortion” is a term invented by two philosophers, Alberto Giubilini and Francesca Minerva. In the Journal of Medical Ethics, they propose:

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Map of the Day

Net Oil imports/Exports, 2017

Click here for larger view

If Labour are relying on youth to get across the line they are out of luck

Labour in the past several elections have clutched at straws to get over the line.

Irrespective of leadership they tried copying Obama’s social media campaign for 2011. Campaign chair Trevor Mallard waxed lyrical about how their blogs, twitter and Facebook presence would get them over the line.

They claimed that big data was how they were going to win in 2014, and social media. Even enlisting a criminal enterprise to skew the election failed.

They claimed there was a missing million who failed to vote and have devised programmes to try and find them.   Read more »

The Commentariat is very frustrating this election

Guest Post

I do find the commentariat very frustrating these elections – including you Cam – for missing some very basic facts.

The fact that they have had nine years has been repeated ad nauseum to fix the housing problem, and the transport, and the social issues.  No, they haven’t!

When they were elected New Zealand was not gaining huge number of new migrants.  New Zealanders were still leaving in droves, and housing was not a particular issue.  We were not receiving our crooks back from Oz with their social problems, and many kiwis living in Oz still received care and support from the Australian system.  As the Australian Government tightened the noose against those who required support, they came home – and we unexpected had an influx of people who had no where to live, extra health care costs etc.    Read more »

Canterbury Uni poofs club channels the Wooloomooloo Faculty rules

It looks like the Canterbury Uni poofs club is channelling the Wooloomooloo Faculty rules…instead of “no pooftahs”, it appears it is “no pooftahs who support the Nats“.

The president of the University of Canterbury’s (UC) queer students’ society says he was forced to resign after coming out as a National Party supporter.

Max Farra​, 20, stirred controversy when a Young Nats promotional social media post showing him pledging his support to the party was shared with QCanterbury members.

Many were concerned the post erroneously conveyed the group’s endorsement of the political party. The Young Nats refused QCanterbury’s requests to remove it.

A QCanterbury spokesperson said the club “wishes to avoid association with any political party and to remain unbiased”.

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Photo of the Day

“The Blind Traveller,” as James Holman was known. Hulton Archive // Getty Images

“World’s Greatest Traveller”

“He had eyes in his mouth, eyes in his nose, eyes in his ears, and eyes in his mind”

– William Jerdan

James Holman, was hailed as one of the ‘greatest wonders of the world he so sagaciously explored’. He was known simply as the Blind Traveller—a solitary, sightless adventurer who fought the slave trade in Africa, survived a frozen captivity in Siberia, hunted rogue elephants in Ceylon and helped chart the Australian outback. Once a celebrity, a bestselling author and inspiration to Charles Darwin and Sir Richard Francis Burton, the charismatic, witty James Holman outlived his fame, dying in an obscurity.  Holman travelled a whopping quarter of a million miles in his lifetime – further than anyone had ever travelled before. It was a record that stood well into the twentieth century. And he did it, incredibly, despite being totally blind.

British adventurer and writer James Holman (1786-1857) became totally and permanently blind at the age of 25. He not only accepted his new condition but also coped with it with remarkable confidence and unwavering self-belief. In his lifetime, he is said to have covered more than 2,50,000 miles through five continents and 200 distinct cultures. As one historian points out, “Holman trekked deep into Siberia, sailed to Brazil, rode through Southern Africa, explored unmapped parts of Australia, and survived the bandit-infested Balkans.”
As interestingly, he tapped his way along the crumbling rim of a Vesuvian volcano, even as clouds of sulphurous gases billowed all around.
Holman joined the British Navy at the age of 12 and rose to become a lieutenant, before being physically afflicted and eventually losing his sight. How he undertook his daring travels across the globe with an iron-tipped stick; how he meticulously documented the many people and cultures that came along his way; how his travels and books earned him short-lived fame; and how he began receding in public memory, unjustly neglected in his own time and ending his days in penury…these are all part of the extraordinary life story of James Holman.
Holman began his ‘Grand Tour’ in 1819 and in the next couple of years, he had covered France, Italy, Switzerland, parts of Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands. In 1822, he ambled through parts of Russia, before returning home via Austria, Saxony, Prussia and Hanover. His travels between 1827 and 1832 across many countries resulted in the publication of A Voyage Round the World, including travels in Africa, Asia, Australasia, America, etc. His last journeys took him to Spain, Portugal, Moldavia, Montenegro, Syria and Turkey.

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Whaleoil Poll Result: 2017 National Party voting intention (September Poll 2)

We’ve run nine previous polls, roughly one a month since February.   This was the result for our tenth and last poll yesterday.


Here is the progression of results   Read more »