Singapore

GPS tracking not good enough to use in court, but good enough to pay tolls

You can’t use your GPS system log in court to defend against speed camera or Police speeding enforcement but it seems that GPS tracking might be the way the government will track you to charge you for tolls.

The Government says GPS tracking may be used to charge drivers for using Auckland’s roads – a move which experts say is the most advanced in the world but also raises concerns about “Big Brother” behaviour.

Road tolls are likely to be implemented in the next 10 years in the city and transport officials say the most effective system would cover all roads and charge motorists different rates depending on when and where they drive.

Transport Minister Simon Bridges said this could be done by GPS satellite, as opposed to toll gantries or cameras.

“You’re talking about a system that crudely speaking runs from satellite and is able to, through electronic devices, tell where your car is and charge you on the time and place.? Read more »

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Karl du Fresne on Steve Joyce’s Northland debacle

Karl du Fresne gives 6 reasons why National and Steve Joyce failed so dismally in Northland.

The day after the election, John Key warned his party against third-term arrogance. He promptly proceeded to disregard his own advice and has continued on much the same path ever since.

Yes, the government has plenty of reason to be cocky. The economy is humming. Migration is running at record levels, indicating New Zealand is seen as a desirable place to be.

A run of sporting successes ? the Black Caps, the Wellington Phoenix, the Breakers, the Hurricanes, Lydia Ko ? has contributed to a feel-good mood that will rub off on National, which is no doubt why Key is in Melbourne today watching the cricket, rather than in Singapore attending the funeral of Lee Kuan Yew (as Tony Abbott is). ?He wants to share in any glory that?s going, just as he did in the embarrassing three-way handshake at the Rugby World Cup in 2011.

It is shameful he went and presided over the Blackcaps Melbourne debacle…and not attended Lee Kuan Yew’s funeral.

His six reasons for the loss in Northland, I don’t actually agree with him on all of them.

Exhibit One: The dust had barely settled after the election before the government pushed through a bill exempting employers from the obligation to provide paid rest and meal breaks.

As the first significant legislation of National?s third term, it seemed a deeply symbolic statement. There seemed no other way to interpret it than as a signal that the Key government was reverting to a National Party archetype from an earlier era, shedding its friendly, centrist face in favour of a more classical right-wing hard line on employment relations.

I’m afraid that is just b.s. from du Fresne there, I doubt the Northland voters gave a toss about that bill.

Which brings me to Exhibit Two: Auckland?s proposed Skycity Convention Centre. From the outset, this looked like a dodgy sweetheart deal. But it began to look even more shonky when it emerged that the taxpayer was likely to be left footing the bill for a massive cost blowout.

It seemed clear the government was prepared to go along with this, and had indicated as much in cosy chats with Skycity. It was only when the public revolted that National hastily engaged reverse gear, insisting that a generous taxpayer handout to the casino company had only ever been a technical option.

That?s not how it looked, and I don?t think people were fooled. Either the government was incompetent in entering an arrangement that was loaded in Skycity?s favour, or it was pandering to wealthy friends. Either way, it smelled.

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RIP Lee Kwan Yew

Embed from Getty Images

Singapore’s visionary first Prime Minister has died.

Fairfax reports:

Lee Kuan Yew, Singapore’s first prime minister and architect of the tiny Southeast Asian city-state’s rapid rise from British tropical outpost to global trade and financial centre, has died aged 91, the government has announced.

“Mr Lee passed away peacefully at the Singapore General Hospital today at 3.18am,” a statement posted on prime minister Lee Hsien Loong’s Facebook page said on Monday.

“Harry” Lee became Singapore’s first prime minister in 1959 and held onto power for over three decades, overseeing the island’s transformation from a malaria-infested backwater into one of Asia’s most prosperous nations.

Even after stepping down as leader, the fiery Lee was never far from the decision making process, holding a cabinet level post until 2011. He was a member of parliament until his death. ? Read more »

Why China Will Rule The World

In New Zealand we have political parties calling for the extension of benefits to the indigent who already have umpteen children they can’t support.

In China their?population knows that more children creates poverty in the already poor.

China?s expected baby boom is turning out to be a bust.

Not as many married couples as expected are taking advantage of a loosening in China?s one-child policy that allows them to have two children if one spouse is an only child.

Around 804,000 couples applied by the end of September to have a second child, the National Health and Family Planning Commission said in a statement, dramatically short of the annual two million new births projected by health officials as a result of the policy shift announced last November.

[…] ?? Read more »

Winston wrong again

It won’t come as much of a surprise that another of Winston’s conspiracy theories has been proved wrong…again.

KiwiRail has rejected a suggestion from NZ First leader Winston Peters that troubled Interislander ferry Aratere has blown an engine while en route to Australia following its two dry dockings at the Keppel Shipyard in Singapore.

Peters called on Transport Minister Gerry Brownlee to immediately explain what had happened to the ferry on its return journey to Wellington, via a scheduled fuel stop in the Australian port of Gladstone ?after its 14 weeks of refurbishment in Singapore.

“We call on the Transport Minister Gerry Brownlee to immediately explain what is happening with the ferry and to explain why this problem has followed a supposed repair job in Singapore.

“He should clarify the reports immediately. Mr Brownlee has presided over this shambles for far too long,” Peters said in a statement.

Commenting on Peters’ statement Interislander general manager Thomas Davis said one engine was out of action due to mechanical issues unrelated to the Singapore dry docking. ?? Read more »

Coincidence?

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Labour’s new ‘big tool’ is “nuts” – Brash

Many on the left wing are claiming that Don Brash supports Labour’s new ‘big tool’.

Which if you think about that for just a moment is hilarious as they demonised the guy for years.

Nonetheless they are quoting selectively and when you look at what he actually said he thinks the whole plan is “nuts”.

So many people will be exempt from Labour’s compulsory KiwiSaver plan that it won’t achieve anything, says former Reserve Bank Governor Don Brash.

If elected, Labour has promised to follow Australia’s lead and introduce compulsory retirement saving, and use a variable savings rate to cool the economy, in addition to the current practise of manipulating the official cash rate.

Labour says this means cash taken out of the economy goes into KiwiSaver, staying in Kiwi hands rather than being siphoned into Australian-owned banks.

But the Government has slammed the scheme, Finance Minister Bill English saying its proposed benefits are “wishful thinking”. The plan has also been criticised as helping people who already own homes, but doing nothing for renters and those trying to save for a house.

Dr Brash says the scheme has “some merit”, as it gives the Reserve Bank another tool to fight inflation and keep value of the dollar down.

“There needs to be some way of taking pressure off the exchange rate, and the Reserve Bank itself can’t fix that, despite views to the contrary? you need some other instrument,” he said on Firstline this morning.

But with Labour signalling?a number of exemptions to its compulsory KiwiSaver, he doubts it will work.

It won’t have much beneficial effect actually, because many people will be exempt from it: superannuitants won’t be caught, beneficiaries won’t be caught, David Cunliffe was saying yesterday low-income people might not be caught, self-employed aren’t caught,” says Dr Brash.

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Restrict sale of Kiwi properties to foreigners, says Australian Russel Norman

There are two people I wish we never let into the country in the first place: ?Kim Dotcom and Russel Norman. ?The latter is just such an astounding hypocrite, it hurts my brain.

Being an immigrant from Australia himself, he now wants to stop non-New Zealanders from buying Kiwi properties. ?He wants to decide who you or I can sell our stuff to.

Green Party co-leader Russel Norman says home ownership is declining because prices keep going up.

“In countries like Singapore there are controls on foreigners buying homes to take the pressure off the market. It’s the same across Asia and it’s a sensible policy,” he told reporters.

“If you took 10 per cent out of the demand side you’d go a long way to stabilising prices.”

Finance Minister Bill English says prices are going up because there aren’t enough houses.

“Houses are just too expensive and we have to increase supply,” he said. ? Read more »

Tweet of the Day

Cactus Kate is of course commenting on the news that Auckland is now second only to Hong kong for unaffordable housing.

Hong Kong is of course land constrained, Auckland is not except by design.

The NZ Herald reports:

Housing is increasingly out of Aucklanders’ reach as incomes drop and house prices rocket, an annual global study shows.? Read more »

Did any of these munters demand Labour release details of any FTA’s they signed?

I see assorted whining lefties and useful idiots have all formed a campaign to lobby the government to breach international agreements about negotiations underway.

munters

I’ll bet not a single one of them…yes Russell Brown, you too…ever made a single demand of Labour to release details of FTAs being negotiated under Labour…not a single one.? Read more »

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