Fat people were first, let’s talk about the rest

In the spirit of the Valentine’s Day season I have decided to continue the discussion of my last article about people who store too much chocolate in their stomachs 365 days of the year and other people like them. My previous article ‘Time To Tax Fatties?’ was one of those pieces that sparked all three wonderful parts of the open market of free ideas: there were people who laughed and loved it, people who joined in the discussion around the topic, and people who criticised. But now, I am back to “bring more cancer to society” with another article, as one commentator on my last article elegantly put it.

The foundation for why I disagree with our current public healthcare system is based around the idea of why I, or people who reside in New Zealand, should be forced to pay for the negative consequences of others’ actions that lead them to a hospital bed.  Read more »

Cartoon of the day by SonovaMin

All cartoons as seen exclusively on Whaleoil are available to buy as prints directly from SonovaMin.com

Credit: SonovaMin


Book review of the day: The Glorious Heresies

You can help. Send your book review to [email protected] and we will put it up when it is your turn. Please set your submission out with the name of the book, then the author and then describe in your own words what the book is about. Also if you happen to be a commenter please include your username.

This year we are going to review books daily until the reviews run out. By doing this for individual books this gives people a chance to do their own research on the books and authors by using the links provided and not miss out by being bombarded by a whole lot at once like we have done in previous years.

Each post is set out as comprehensively as possible with the name of who submitted it, the name of the book and author and a short review in the form of a comment from whoever submitted it.

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Cutting through the obfuscation of question four

Question No. 4—Education

4. Hon NIKKI KAYE (National—Auckland Central) to the Minister of Education: What specific advice, if any, has he received from officials that advises him to not visit partnership schools?

Hon CHRIS HIPKINS (Minister of Education): I discussed the issues with Ministry of Education officials last year when we were planning the process of ending charter schools and removing it from legislation whilst transitioning those individual schools. We agreed that the contract negotiations would be handled by the Ministry of Education, and I made the decision not to visit charter schools while that process was taking place. I’ve been largely successful in doing that, with one exception. I’m not, however, ruling out visiting them in the future.

So, he made a decision but made an exception for one Charter school despite stating that the contract negotiations should be handled solely by the Ministry of Education.

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Time for rules around lobbying

Wayne Eagleson

There is concern around the lobbying activities of two Labour-associated lobbyists and a former National staffer.

In many democracies, they call it the “revolving door” of influence – whereby political insiders shift easily between government jobs or positions and lobbying work in the private sector. It’s considered especially pernicious because it can cause conflicts of interest and inequalities of power in democracies. Essentially, lobbying firms and their clients have become more powerful in the political system because they are able to employ insiders who have all the contacts and valuable information on what is going on behind the scenes.

Read more »

Incite Politics

Dirty Politics podcast – Episode 15 – National’s leadership options and path to victory for 2020

Welcome to episode 15 of our Dirty Politics Podcasts.

In this episode, Simon Lusk and I discuss the leadership options for the National party, who can win, who had no show and who shouldn't bother.

If you want immediacy for my podcasts then the next subscription level is the way to go. After one week all podcasts become live for everyone . . .

This is Subscriber Content.

You can access subscriber content, including crosswords, polling, commentary and podcasts by subscribing to one of our membership packages.

National’s deputy post up for grabs too

I am pleased to see that National’s deputy post is up for grabs as well next Tuesday.

National’s leadership race could be a clean sweep after it announced a vote on deputy Paula Bennett’s job.


Bennett did not stand aside at the time National leader Bill English announced his decision to retire from politics and has said she wants to continue as deputy.

But the National caucus today confirmed there would be a vote next week after a new leader is chosen.  

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What? No wisecracks from Labour over double-dipping?

Labour made much of Bill English’s housing issues when he was snapped double-dipping.

Strangely, there isn’t a peep from the usual suspects about Jacinda Ardern’s and Winston Peters’ own double-dipping:

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters were both mistakenly paid over $21,000 for accommodation they didn’t need.  

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Fran O’Sullivan on the leadership issue

Fran O’Sullivan had a column yesterday on the leadership issue. The headline stated that Joyce had his nose in front, which I thought was surprising as reflections in the mirror aren’t allowed to vote.

It turns out that she thinks he’s in front on the basis that he is senior.

If the National caucus takes a dispassionate view of the contenders for leadership of their party, Steven Joyce’s breadth of talent puts him a nose ahead of Judith Collins, Amy Adams, Simon Bridges and Mark Mitchell.

Joyce finally came out of the blocks in the race to be National leader, adding new tension to that particular chess board.

A Joyce/Collins leadership combo would also be stronger than any of the other permutations when it comes to National front-footing it as the Opposition within Parliament.

That combo – together with Amy Adams in finance – would make a strong contrast to the coalition’s leading lights: Jacinda Ardern, Winston Peters and Grant Robertson.

Read more »

Daily crossword

Welcome to our Daily Crossword.

Readers have requested a daily crossword and stated that the only reason they maintained a subscription to the NZ Herald or other newspapers was for a daily crossword.

We have now sourced a quality crossword provider, the same provider who provides many crosswords to media outlets for print. It is available for ALL readers who have a subscription package with Whaleoil.

Now you can safely cancel your newspaper subscription as your final remaining reason to keep it has now gone. Instead, you can sign up for one of our subscription packages and enjoy crosswords online . . .

This is Subscriber Content.

You can access subscriber content, including crosswords, polling, commentary and podcasts by subscribing to one of our membership packages.