Word of the day


Ethnocracy – a political structure in which the state apparatus is controlled by a dominant ethnic group (or groups) to further its interests, power and resources; a nation, state, or community in which political power is distributed according to ethnic or racial affiliation; a form of government in which a particular ethnic group holds a disproportionate amount of government power compared to their percentage in the population.

Sowell says


Rural round-up


Farming Forever NZ: Syndicate seeks investors to save iconic Mangaohane Station – The Country :

A syndicate is banding together to try and save Mangaohane Station from being lost to pine trees.

The iconic 4840-hectare property runs 40,000 stock units northeast of Taihape, and is up for sale by international tender, closing next month.

The syndicate, Farming Forever NZ, is trying to crowdfund the nearly $40 million price tag, asking potential investors to pitch in to try and stop Mangaohane Station from being purchased by overseas buyers and planted out in pine trees for carbon credits or forestry.

Mike Barham, the man behind the syndicate, said he’d rather stay in the background, but could no longer stay silent. . . 

Lake Onslow not ideal for battery lake, cost ‘vastly understated’ – Contact Energy –

Contact Energy has warned the government against the development of the large-scale Lake Onslow scheme, which would provide some battery backup in dry years.

Chairperson Rob McDonald told shareholders at Contact’s annual meeting this morning it would cost an estimated $42 billion to reach 100 percent renewable energy across all generation, transmission and distribution assets, according to an independent report by Boston Consulting Group (BCG).

Contact would play its part in the development, but the government must carefully consider how its potential interventions will impact investment in new generation, such as the Lake Onslow scheme, he said.

Contact had a direct interest in the specifics of the Otago region’s Lake Onslow, with the proposed intake and outlet impacting water flows at its Roxburgh dam. . . 

Snowdonia farmer warns country is ‘sleepwalking’ towards food shortages – Rhys Gregory:

FARMERS have warned of impending food shortages as the cost of living crisis impacts on food production.

Gareth Wyn Jones, a farmer from Snowdonia, told GB News today that producers are reducing their output due to the increased cost of fuel, fertiliser and feed.

He said: “We’re sleepwalking into food shortages and that’s a fact.

“I could take you to ten farms in the surrounding area now that are turning down their production – chicken farmers, egg producers, milk producers, even beef and lamb because feed prices are going through the roof. . . 

MilkTechNZ brings home Company-X Innovation Award :

The Waikato’s technology sector is in growth mode and emerging agri-tech MilkTechNZ just proved it.

The Te Rapa, Hamilton, company invented wireless milking shed cup removers in the last year, earning it a double whammy at the Waikato Chamber of Commerce Business Awards on November 4.

MilkTechNZ chief executive Gustavo Garza was presented with the Chief Executive of the Year Award after receiving the Company-X Innovation Award from Company-X co-founder and director Jeremy Hughes.

“It is great to see MilkTechNZ win the Company-X Innovation Award with a digital technology innovation,” Hughes said. . .

Farmers told to sign up for connectivity help :

Federated Farmers is urging its members struggling with poor and unreliable internet connectivity to sign up for government assistance under the Remote Users Scheme announced today.

“We know from the responses we get from our annual rural connectivity survey that this announcement will be appreciated by a significant number of farmers and growers,” Federated Farmers telecommunications spokesperson Richard McIntyre says.

“They are pulling their hair out trying to run a business with bad internet.”

According to Feds’ own data the assistance on offer could help at least 1 in 3 farmers who have to live with download speeds of less than 10mbps. . . 

COP27, climate change, & global meat-phobia – Meg Chatham:

“There are just two actions needed to prevent catastrophic climate breakdown: leave fossil fuels in the ground and stop farming animals,” writes Monbiot. And as you can guess, here is where he and I deviate as keyboard warriors in the discussion of COP27, the 2022 United Nations Climate Change Conference, sponsored by Coca-Cola, the world’s top fossil fuel-based, plastic polluter.

He calls for the elimination of livestock and a farm-free future.

I call for the elimination of overly simplistic, techno-utopian visions that would undermine millions of people’s livelihoods, destroy local economies, and cause more harm than good, especially in places where livestock are an integral part of sustainable, agro-ecosystems.

Villainizing all livestock and advocating for radical shifts of diet and land use everywhere – and even being so bold to posit a future where protein is derived from large fermentation vats – is senseless. . . 

Katie Nimon Nat candidate for Napier


National has selected Katie Nimon as its candidate for the Napier electorate:

. . .“It’s an honour to be selected as National’s candidate in Napier and I’ll hit the ground running to earn the right to represent the area I love as part of Chris Luxon’s National team,” says Ms Nimon.

“I’m passionate about Napier and I’ve dedicated my career to delivering for our city and Hawke’s Bay. Now I’m fighting for the opportunity to keep delivering for Napier as its next local MP.

“It’s clear Labour’s approach isn’t working. Families in Napier are drowning in higher mortgage repayments and the average rent in Napier has skyrocketed by $180 per week, or more than $9,000 a year under Labour. People in Napier are confronted by the reality of Labour’s economic mismanagement every time they fill up the trolley or the gas tank. We need a change of government.

“National has a plan to address the big issues people in Napier face every day. Our plan to tackle inflation will restore discipline to government spending and fix the problems holding our businesses back.

“People in Napier also want to be listened to on issues like Three Waters. These reforms strip us of local control over our water assets and hand it to unelected and unaccountable bureaucrats. National is listening, we’ll repeal and replace Three Waters.

“National offers an alternative to the soft-on-crime approach that’s left people across Napier feeling unsafe in their own communities. Gang membership in the Eastern Police District has increased by over 60 per cent under Labour and you can see the effects of that across Napier. National’s plan would back our police with the tools they need to tackle gangs and the misery they create.

“I’m really aspirational for our city and if I earn the right to be Napier’s new MP, I’ll be accessible, hardworking and laser-focused on the issues that matter to Napier.”

Biographical notes:

Katie Nimon, 32, started her career in advertising, before taking up a marketing role with the family business Nimon & Sons. She then worked for three years as the company’s general manager and has worked as the transport manager for the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council since 2021.

Katie was born and raised in Hawke’s Bay, attending Iona College before gaining a Bachelor of Design (Honours) and later an Executive MBA from Massey University.

In her spare time, Katie volunteers as a mentor for young women through the Shine Programme, and previously served on the advisory panel for EIT’s School of Hospitality and Tourism.

Katie lives in Napier with her partner Jeremy. They are getting married in December.

Would you trust him?


If National had ruled out working with New Zealand First in 2017, would it have made a difference?

Polls showed about half of NZ First’s supporters wanted the party to go with National, but we’ll never know if ruling the other party out would have helped National.

Now that Winston Peters has apparently ruled out working with Labour, would it help National to rule out working with him?

I say apparently because there is wriggle room in his statement:

“No one gets to lie to me twice,” he says this week.

“We are not going to go with the Labour Party, this present Labour Party crowd, because they can’t be trusted.

“You don’t get a second time to lie to me, or my party and they did.”

He starts with the Labour Party then says this present Labour Party crowd but what does that mean?

If Labour had a different leader, which is possible if the polls consistently show it would be unlikely to win a third term, would that be enough for Peters to change his mind?

Who knows? Would you trust him?

If we can learn anything from the past, it’s that what he says doesn’t necessarily mean that’s what he’ll do.

Apparently being clear about ruling out Labour ought to give voters certainty but there is some wriggle room, and it also takes away his party’s options which weakens it, making it more like the Greens and Maori Party who will never go with National, and Act who will never go with Labour.

The party could sit on the cross benches and if National and Act or Labour, the Greens and Maori Party didn’t have more than half the MPs needed to govern. They would they would then be forced to negotiate with Peters issue by issue.

That would be a disaster.

The country is in a mess and the mess will be worse by next year’s election.

A mess that bad needs a government we can trust and gives us certainty, neither of which can be assured if NZ First is in the mix.

Besides, one of that party’s strongest platforms is policy that both National and Act would deliver without it anyway – one person, one vote, no co-governance of public assets, and assistance based on need not race.

What then would we get if enough people vote to allow NZ First back into parliament? Uncertainty and instability if it was needed in government or sitting on the cross benches. Both could still allow Labour back into government.

That brings me back to the final comments in my previous post. If people don’t want a Labour-led government after next year’s election, they must vote for a National-led one and the only way to get that is to vote for National or Act.

Five Waters – where’s the outrage?


It started with Three Waters but Graham Adams points out it’s it’s now Five Waters :

Thomas Cranmer notes it’s goes even further to Five Waters and a park:

Mike Hosking calls it a stinker of a policy:

Given all this, Bruce Cotterill is right to ask where is the outrage?

. . . Even without knowing the contents of the revised bill, haste is something we should be concerned about. It’s a pace of activity that is usually reserved for matters that the Government wants dealt with immediately; either because it is vital for the national interest or it is so unpalatable that they want to shut down the debate as quickly as possible. It would seem that the latter was their only justification. 

I’m told by a highly regarded former MP that for a matter of this nature, it’s a pace that is unusually rushed, and in the context of Parliament’s rules, technically inappropriate.

Not that we can do too much about that. Let’s face it, this Government has been in an “inappropriate” hurry on Three Waters from the start. Despite the changes not yet being signed into law, they have already recruited a heap of people and leased high-quality and expensive office space in Auckland at least and possibly elsewhere. Every step has been action ahead of the democratic process. . . 

They process has been appalling. From the advertisements telling us how bad our water was, when it wasn’t, saying it would be voluntary for councils to opt in, when it isn’t, saying they’d listen, when they didn’t to the truncated select committee process and Friday’s late afternoon document dump with the addition of two more waters plus parks and reserves.

For the benefit of the uninitiated, the Three Waters legislation is about the management of freshwater, wastewater and stormwater. However, as result of the select committee’s most recent rewrite, it’s no longer just about Three Waters. You see, they’ve added a couple of new categories. Hydro, the water that flows through New Zealand’s world class and sustainable electricity system is one.

Oh, and they also added another category. Coastal. That’s right folks, the seabed and foreshore is back in play. This time, with the highly controversial and undemocratic co-governance proposals locked in.

And finally, just for good measure, they’ve also seen fit to include, at the eleventh hour, an option to include parks and reserves. Parks and reserves currently owned and operated by the ratepayers through the councils that represent them.

New Zealanders should be upset or even angry. We’re not though. We either don’t know about the changes being proposed, don’t understand what’s going on, or don’t care. I deeply suspect that, if Kiwis understood what was happening we would care very much. . . 

A lot of people I’ve talked to do know what’s happening but don’t know what to do about it when the government is determined to steamroller the legislation through.

We should be ropable that this is happening. And we should be stomping mad that neither of our top-rating TV news channels ran the story of the bill’s passing on their 6pm bulletins on Thursday evening. What the hell is going on here NZ?

This is major constitutional reform, involving the deliberate confiscation of assets from ratepayers and the councils that represent them, to a government and a policy that will be controlled by iwi-based or tribal interests. The consultation process around it has been minimal and most of us would say what little consultation has occurred has been ignored.

The French would have people marching in the streets and tractors blocking the freeways if this was occurring in their country. Not us. Let’s just sit back and let it happen! . . .

If a policy this bad was being promoted by a National-led government the left would be marching in the streets.

Why’s no-one up in arms now? Labour supporters don’t usually march against their own, and people on the right are much less likely to protest.

Despite not mentioning it during the 2020 election campaign, the new majority Labour government hit the ground running immediately after the election and launched a plan that would see the Government taking control of the infrastructure and services that deliver all three water assets – drinking water, wastewater and stormwater.

Despite the fact that, in most parts of the country, our fresh water is among the best in the world, they used a single event in Havelock North a few years ago as an example of what could occur if reform didn’t happen quickly.

Has anyone seen any data showing that our water is anywhere near as bas as the government is trying to make us think it is?

Has the government bothered to look at any other answers to the problems that exist in some areas?

Has anyone got any idea how much we’ll be paying for our water once they impose this overly-bureaucratic system on us?

Their plan was accompanied by a very expensive and highly misleading advertising campaign telling us that we would have brown sludge coming out of the taps unless the Government took control of the water assets from the councils.

Organisations like The Taxpayers’ Union and Democracy NZ have funded court action which asserts that the minister and her government have acted illegally. That court action is ongoing. Farmers and business owners have banners out the length of the country asking the powers that be to “Stop 3 Waters”.

And yet, despite ever-increasing opposition from a wide cross-section of New Zealanders, the Government has pressed on with its plans. Centralisation of water assets, they say, will occur, just like the already unsuccessful centralisation efforts in Health and Tertiary Education.

Most of us don’t have daily interactions with the health and tertiary education systems. All but a very few of us depend on the safe delivery of fresh water and proper dispersal of waste water many times, every day.

As a result, we have the latest steps, as outlined above, that will see Three Waters expanded to Five Waters and maybe even a few Parks.

So we see, finally, after all this time, what Three Waters has been about all along. It’s not about brown sludge coming out of your taps. In fact, it’s not about water at all. It’s about an asset grab of not only the water assets we thought, but also for a slice of our hydro schemes and for the highly contentious foreshore and seabed. By the time the third and final reading comes around, you can bet that the country’s parkland will no longer be an option. It will be included.

Perhaps the inclusion of the foreshore and the parkland will get us animated and angry.

We should be staggered that this legislation, delivering major constitutional change, is sleepwalking its way through Parliament via an aggressive majority government, while it appears that there is nothing that opposition politicians can do about it.

You see, unless New Zealanders do something, I’m guessing that the third and final reading will go much like the second reading this week. A few opposition politicians putting up a brave fight against the tyrannical majority before quietly leaving the stage defeated and deflated.

By the time next year’s election campaign is run, Three Waters final reading will have been completed and this most extraordinary and controversial series of changes will have become law. The assets will be operated by undemocratic Government-appointed boards, and the councils that paid for them will be left out of pocket, and we, the people, will be one step closer to losing our collective democratic voice. Despite overwhelming opposition, Three Waters will be law.

It would be tempting to throw in the towel. And yet, despite everything that has happened, Three Waters should continue to be a central election issue in 2023. Those parties currently in opposition must run a campaign to totally repeal this legislation and if elected they must do so promptly.

And we may as well brace ourselves for it now. Taking things away from people is always much harder than giving them out. Repealing this law will be messy and disruptive and difficult. But it must happen.

That’s why we have elections. When governments become this corrupt, they and the laws they created must go.

National and Act have both been very clear they will repeal the Three (now Five) Waters legislation and replace it with a better system in proper consultation with the councils that own the infrastructure.

If we don’t want this dreadful, racist policy we have to vote Labour out and the only way to do that is to vote for a National-led government.

Doing that means voting for National, which is my preference, or Act.

Any other vote will not guarantee a change of government or will be a wasted vote.

%d bloggers like this: