EU votes to reduce NZ’s export rights

by Christie on February 1, 2019 at 8:00am
Jacinda Ardern cracking Photoshopped image credit: Luke

Jacinda’s gushing letter begging for a free trade agreement with the EU has gone down well. Only a few days after reminding everyone that our soldiers died in combat alongside their European counterparts, the EU has voted to reduce New Zealand’s existing export rights… even though it would appear that it has no right to do this. quote.

The European Union’s parliament has taken a decisive step towards unilaterally reducing New Zealand’s rights to export specified quantities of tariff-free sheepmeat, beef and dairy products to the trading bloc if and when Brexit occurs.

The move has been slammed as “outrageous” by former trade negotiator Charles Finny in a Tweet and “disappointing” by the Dairy Companies Association of New Zealand.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade said the proposed moves risk compounding “growing international economic uncertainty and rising trade tensions”. end quote.

If it wasn’t so tragic for our agricultural exports, it would be funny. Jacinda wrote a letter only earlier this week begging for a trade deal, and brazenly told everyone on her return that the EU was falling over itself to do a deal with New Zealand. Once again, her inexperience and incompetence is showing. Brainstorming at Davos with billionaires doesn’t count. This is the real world. quote.

Another former diplomat and trade negotiator, the International Business Forum’s Stephen Jacobi, stressed the EU parliament’s adoption of a European Commission recommendation to reduce tariff rate quota access for a range of agricultural products from several countries was simply the latest step in a process that began in 2017.
At that time, both the EU and the UK indicated they wanted to change preferential market access which, in New Zealand’s case, was negotiated as compensation for Britain entering the then European Common Market in 1973. Sheepmeat is the most affected trade, although butter, cheese and beef access rights would also be trimmed.
“They haven’t implemented this and they won’t until Brexit takes place,” said Jacobi. “But the bigger picture is that it’s completely unacceptable for them to act like this. These quotas were negotiated and bought and paid for in the Uruguay Round (mid-1990s global trade agreement) and they cannot simply be adjusted at whim through a change in circumstance like this.

“It’s a deeply unhelpful move. Not helpful in our relations with post-Brexit Britain and certainly not helpful in our FTA (free trade agreement) negotiations with the EU. It seems extraordinary, after all of these years, that we have to go and back and renegotiate these bloody things.
“We’re not paying twice – for Britain going in (to the EU in 1973) and leaving,” Jacobi said.

a newspaper. end quote.

It is certainly not helpful for a free trade agreement with the EU, but exactly who did Jacinda think she was, expecting them to fall for the story of fighting wars side by side? In the world wars, New Zealand soldiers went to support Britain. They most certainly did not fight alongside Germany; they fought on the opposite side in both wars. How could Jacinda possibly be so stupid and naive?

Jacinda obviously thought this was going to be easy. Splash a bit of fairy dust around and everyone will fall at her feet. Well, it hasn’t happened this time. It seems her rising international profile doesn’t impress people in all circles.

Do’s & Don’ts of media management

by SB on January 31, 2019 at 10:00am

Media management is easy when you know how

DO talk about your cat ( until he gets run over by a car.)


DO talk about your pregnancy.

DO talk about your house.

(Photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images)

DO talk about your boyfriend and almond milk

Do pimp your baby at every possible opportunity

Credit: RNZ/Rebekah Parsons-King

Do as many photoshoots and magazine covers as you can

Jacinda Ardern Vogue photo shoot was positively perceived (togs) photographed at Bethells Beach, near Auckland. Photographed by Derek Henderson, Vogue, March 2018

DO say as little as possible while letting Simon Bridges flail about making you look like a popular leader in comparison.

DON’T talk about Kiwibuild, Phil Twyford or Stephen Barclay

Credit: SonovaMin

DON’T talk about Sroubek or Hardcore

Photoshopped image credit: Pixy

DON’T Talk about the alcohol and sexual abuse at the Young Labour camp

Image supplied: Labour list MP Liz Craig with members of Young Labour

DON’T talk about the minister who manhandled and bruised a staff member.

Photoshopped image credit: Luke

DON’T talk about the less than transparent minister who had to resign because you wouldn’t fire her.

Photoshopped image credit: Boondecker

DON’T talk about the Charter schools you closed down.

Credit: Luke

DON’T talk about the Oil and Gas industries that you destroyed with a Captain’s call.

Photoshopped image credit: Pixy

DON’T talk about Venezuela

DON’T talk about the UN Migration Compact

Most importantly lie low and don’t show your face to avoid having to answer awkward questions.

Photoshopped image credit: Luke

Jacinda goes back to her communist roots

by Christie on January 31, 2019 at 8:00am
Socialist Cindy. Photoshopped image credit: Luke

Jacinda and the government have refused to recognise the interim government of Venezuela led by Juan Guaido. Instead, by default, she has put us once again at odds with our allies by effectively backing the government of Maduro… with all the misery it has wrought upon the Venezuelan people.

I thought Jacinda was a champion of human rights? Here she is, supporting a government that refuses to stand down while starving its own people. quote.

Last week, opposition leader Juan Guaidó declared himself Venezuela’s interim president in an intense acceleration of efforts to force out Nicolás Maduro, who has overseen the country fall into an economic crisis.
While Mr Guaidó quickly gained the support of the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada and even Australia, New Zealand has chosen not to take a side in the leadership debate, instead remaining neutral.  end quote.

It is not remaining neutral. It is backing a hard left socialist regime that is causing misery and deprivation to its people, as all such regimes inevitably do. quote

“It is not New Zealand’s practice to make statements of recognition of governments,” Foreign Minister Winston Peters said on Monday.

“Venezuela needs to decide its future through free and fair elections. This Government expressed concerns about Venezuela’s elections in 2018, and these concerns remain.” end quote.

Venezuela has descended into chaos, and the current president has turned the armed forces against his own people. As a civilised country with a strong human rights record, we should not be condoning what is going on there. I am surprised at Winston being prepared to support such a regime. Then again, nothing surprises me about Winston these days. quote.

Mr Peters’ statement was picked up by world media, with The Guardian‘s article on New Zealand’s refusal to back Mr Guaidó among its most viewed stories on Tuesday.

  newshub end quote.

I am no more surprised at The Guardian showing support for our government’s disgraceful stand than I am by Jacinda continuing to back Maduro. The fact that Venezuelans are in crisis does nothing to change the mindsets of those on the left who want us all to live under similar regimes. The hypocrisy is sickening. quote.

Prime minister Jacinda Ardern later justified her stance…
“What we do do as a country, and rightly so, is call out human rights abuses … it is absolutely clear that people are suffering under the current regime and that they deserve access to their democratic rights and freedoms.” end quote.

See what I mean about hypocrisy? We call out abuses of human rights, but continue to support a regime that takes them away from its own people?

We are in good company though… quote.

Maduro retains the support of Russia, China, Cuba, Bolivia and Turkey and still has the backing of the military, although his defence attache to the Venezuelan embassy in Washington defected to Guaidó on Saturday.

End quote

I’m so glad that we are in the company of countries that uphold the human rights of their citizens. quote.

In May last year Peters said he was “extremely concerned” about “the continuing erosion of democratic norms and institutions,” in the country following the presidential elections, including widespread reports of election irregularities and Nicolás Maduro’s banning of the main opposition leaders from participating in the poll.
At the time, Peters, who is also deputy prime minister, said New Zealand supported “any regional and international efforts to facilitate a national dialogue in Venezuela that would allow truly free and fair elections to be held”.

the guardian end quote.

So Winston expressed concerns about the last Venezuelan election. However, he still supports the regime that rigged that election?

This government hits new lows just about every day. Once again, we are at odds with our allies who are all countries that want to see an end to the suffering in Venezuela. Our government refuse to condemn a communist regime. That tells you all you need to know about the thinking of the people in our government.

Vaping Increases Risks Of Stroke And Heart Disease, Study Finds

The risks of smoking have been known for decades, and in an effort to kick the habit many smokers have turned to e-cigarettes.

But according to a new study, using e-cigarettes could raise the risk of heart attacks, strokes, or developing heart disease.

One in 20 adults in the US is reported to vape, and according to the research carried out by the American Heart Association, vaping could increase their chances of suffering a heart attack by almost 60 percent.

People who smoke e-cigarettes are also 71 percent more likely to have a stroke, the study claims.

This latest piece of research, which surveyed 400,000 people, shows a link between using e-cigarettes and blood clots forming in the body, it is claimed.

The study claims vaping could raise people's risk of suffering a stroke by 71 percent. Credit: PA
The study claims vaping could raise people’s risk of suffering a stroke by 71 percent. Credit: PA

The shocking study also says that 66,795 of respondents who actually vaped were 71 percent more likely to suffer from a stroke, and had a 59 percent higher risk of having a heart attack or angina.

This group were also found to have a 40 percent greater risk of heart disease.

However, despite the fact that 4.2 percent of vapers in the study had suffered a stroke, there was no definitive evidence to show that vaping kills, it has been reported.

According to the Mail Online, Dr Larry Goldstein, chairman of the department of neurology and co-director of the Kentucky Neuroscience Institute, said a ‘wave’ of heart problems could be heading our way.

He said: “It’s obviously quite concerning. This is a potential chip of the spear, of a wave of cardio-vascular disease, that may be coming in the future, especially since this has been so attractive to young users.

“This is the first real data that we’re seeing associating e-cigarette use with hard cardiovascular events.”

He added: “But it’s quite a concern, especially since nationwide now we’ve seen a levelling off in, and in many instances an increase in the risk of stroke-related mortality in the country. It’s hard to know what contribution this has to that, but it doesn’t appear to be safer, or safe right now from the data that’s available.”

Last year, research was carried out by Public Health England claimed that 44 percent of smokers wrongly believe vaping is just as harmful as regular smoking.

However, according to the study, vaping is at least 95 percent less harmful than smoking.

Another NEW Tax

Image may contain: food

Is nothing off limits for this Government when it comes to taxes?

Green Party minister Julie Anne Genter is refusing to rule out a tax on red meat. Not only would that drive up food costs on everyone including the most vulnerable, but it would be a big hit on exporters. The Government needs to be upfront and clear with Kiwis before imposing yet another tax on us.

Jacinda champions human rights: Where is she on South Africa’s white genocide?

by Guest Post on January 29, 2019 at 9:00am

Along with her friends at the United Nations, who usually don’t need any encouragement to speak out on human rights abuses across the world, Jacinda Ardern has not once mentioned or recognised the apartheid-like conditions in South Africa for white South Africans.

Australia has called out the horrific murders and land seizures and so has President Trump. But not our liberal, virtue signalling government, which usually loves the chance to take to the world stage and speak out for the minority. Unfortunately, Andrew Little has been too busy apologising for colonisation and how awful white Kiwis are.

White South Africans are not allowed to apply for certain jobs, their farms are being forcibly taken off them and attacks and muggings on innocent white civilians are on the rise.

The killings are reported to have been barbaric, with farm owners tortured, raped, burned alive and slaughtered in front of their families. Farm attack victims are usually restrained with shoelaces, telephone wires or electric cables, while some have had their nails pulled out, had boiling water poured over their bodies and been beaten to death with makeshift weapons.

This violence and torture can only be explained as racial hatred, and is actually encouraged with members of the government using the chant “Kill the Farmer, Kill the Boer” at campaign rallies.


Can you imagine if the races were reversed and it were the whites treating the blacks in this horrific way?

Every few years a high profile incident will make international news, but what is taking place is beyond disgraceful and deserves to be called out at every opportunity. When President Trump tweeted out earlier this year following a fantastic and fearless report from Tucker Carlson on the issue, the mainstream media went wild.

FAR RIGHT CONSPIRACY, they yelled, ALT RIGHT, FAKE NEWS! All sort of names were blared out from the NYTimes, CNN, and even our very own NZ Herald.

Look at what is happening to Zimbabwe at the moment. The country once called the breadbasket of Africa is now known as the basketcase of Africa. Violent protests against record fuel prices have taken over the country. But it is very hard to have an ounce of sympathy for them. This is what the protesters wanted, remember; they drove out the white farmers because they wanted to govern the country themselves. They elected a corrupt and murderous President Mugabe, and when given the chance for a new direction, they elected one of his henchmen known as The Crocodile. How stupid can you honestly be? Look into the work of conservative commentator Stefan Molyneux; he absolutely nails this.

This is an issue which needs to stay in the media spotlight, or at least be brought up on occasion so people don’t forget that it hasn’t disappeared.  There are some excellent documentaries by Lauren Southern and Katie Hopkins on Youtube which expose this very well.

New Zealand housing crisis: just 47 ‘affordable’ homes built in six months

Jacinda Ardern’s flagship KiwiBuild policy labelled ‘a failure’ amid delays and claims homes are too expensive

aerial view of homes in auckland new zealand
 Since July 2018, just 47 KiwiBuild homes have been built in New Zealand to improve housing affordability. Photograph: Hannah Peters/Getty Images

Jacinda Ardern’s flagship housing policy is in dire straits after the government admitted it won’t meet its target of building 1,000 affordable homes in its first year – and is set to fall short by 700.

New Zealand house prices are among the most unaffordable in the world, with Auckland the seventh most expensive city to buy a home, and all three major cities considered “severely unaffordable” by the latest Demographia international housing affordability survey.

In 2018 the Labour coalition government banned the sale of existing New Zealand homes to overseas buyers and launched its flagship KiwiBuild scheme; aiming to build 100,000 affordable homes in 10 years, with 1,000 of them scheduled for the first year.

But since July just 47 KiwiBuild homes have been completed – and housing minister Phil Twyford has said the government is unlikely to reach its target of 1,000 by June 2019 – putting the success of the project in jeopardy.

Last week the chief executive of KiwiBuild resigned following an employment dispute, in another blow for the scheme.

“In the first six months of the KiwiBuild programme it’s been tougher than expected to get the early numbers up … I think it’s going to be tough to meet that target,” Twyford told Radio NZ.

Twyford said it had been difficult to attract private developers to build smaller, more affordable homes, when they had previously focused on large and expensive construction projects.

Economist Shamubeel Eaqub agreed, saying the government should switch its attention to building rental properties instead.

Euqab said despite the urgency of the problem the government appeared to lack “ambition” in dealing with the severe lack of affordable housing.

“There is never a market for poor people, it is not profitable to build houses for poor people. That’s the challenge,” said Euqab.

Alain Bertaud, a former World Bank principal urban planner, said that despite New Zealand being an otherwise “exceptionally well-managed country” its housing market was in a state of crisis. He said the government’s efforts were being closely watched because they were broadly following global best practice in improving housing affordability.

The government’s measures would “take time” to implement and take effect, Bertaud said. “After the government has successfully passed these reforms, the international community will watch with great interest the impact it will have on Auckland … in the next few years,” Bertaud said in the report.

Many of the KiwiBuild homes already completed are languishing on the market, with many considering NZ$525,000 (£273,000) for a two-bedroom home far from affordable.

In Auckland and Queenstown – the two most expensive cities in New Zealand – KiwiBuild houses are capped at NZ$500,00 for a one-bedroom home, NZ$600,000 for a two-bed, and NZ$650,000 for three bedrooms or more.

The authors of the Demographia International Housing Affordability survey class a house as affordable if the median price is up to three times the median wage – making the government’s KiwiBuild houses “severely unaffordable” for most.

On Trade Me, New Zealand’s largest online auction website, some private home sales were being advertised as “cheaper than a KiwiBuild” and “much more affordable than KiwiBuild”.

The oppositions spokesperson for housing, Judith Collins, said it appeared that Kiwis didn’t want a KiwiBuild home, and the project was a failure.

“It’s incredibly embarrassing for the minister, who not only can’t reach his much-plugged target of 1,000 KiwiBuild homes, but the houses he has built are clearly not what first home buyers want,” said Collins.

“The minister’s blatant disregard for detail has been shown time and time again, and now he’s putting hardworking taxpayer money at risk because of it.”

As 2019 begins…

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2 Chris Trotter: What’s happened to Jacinda?

By Christie on January 28, 2019 at 9:00am

Chris Trotter is a socialist, of the thinking kind. He does not follow the pack when it comes to left leaning policies. Chris really does believe in the politics of kindness which Jacinda campaigned upon. Now Chris is clearly quite disappointed. This government has not turned out the way he had hoped, and, to him, Jacinda is largely to blame for that. quote.

What’s become of the young woman who captivated the electorate sixteen short months ago? The Jacinda who promised New Zealanders a “transformational” government inspired by the politics of kindness. Where has she gone?

Surely the New Zealand Prime Minister who earlier this week pledged to stand by Britain: “Whatever you decide about your place in the global community”; cannot be the same woman who turned up to Buckingham Palace proudly wearing a Maori cloak?

Except, of course, it was New Zealand’s Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, who said those things. The very same Jacinda Ardern who’s been guilessly decorating the “loose affiliation of millionaires and billionaires” who gather every year at the exclusive ski resort of Davos in the Swiss Alps. end quote.

Chris is not saying this outright, but Jacinda obviously revels in her celebrity status. She enjoys rubbing shoulders with the rich and the famous. It is enough to make a girl from Morrinsville quite dizzy. When it comes to doing the job she has been appointed to do, however, Jacinda is falling short, and Chris is rightly calling her out on that. quote.

It would seem that we misunderstood the Labour leader when she promised us a transformational government. Our naïve assumption was that she intended to transform New Zealand society when, clearly, it was herself she was determined to transform.

end quote

What Jacinda has not considered is that, at some point, she will be measured on what she has done, rather than on what she talks about doing. That is when her star will fizzle on the horizon, leaving herself and her government in a smouldering heap. quote.

It is to be hoped that somewhere between all her high-powered forums and Davos’s swanky cocktail parties our prime minister is lucky enough to run into a wealthy venture capitalist by the name of Nick Hanauer.
Hanauer’s solution to global inequality is refreshingly straight-forward: “A fundamental prerequisite for a more just society is that the wealthiest should pay their fair share of tax.” end quote.


In this, Chris refers to the really wealthy, like Bono (an attendee at Davos), who lectures the world on poverty but who deliberately took up tax residency for his band in an overseas jurisdiction to reduce the taxes paid on its music. quote.

If only this clear-eyed billionaire could contrive to sit down with Jacinda and her Finance Minister, Grant Robertson, for a few minutes and explain this to them.
How sad that it has come to this. That a member of the 0.01 percent sees more clearly what must be done than the young woman who, just sixteen months ago, invited her fellow citizens to “Let’s do this!” How tragic that, sixteen months later, so few of those same citizens have the slightest idea what the “this” that she enjoined them to “do” actually is.

Jacinda is the most accomplished ambassador for New Zealand to have graced the global stage since David Lange bowled-over the Oxford Union. That is not, however, enough. Jacinda is not New Zealand’s MC, she’s our PM.

It’s time for her to start acting like one.

chris trotter bowalley road end quote

Jacinda still talks about ‘kindness’ and ‘wellbeing’ but Chris is right. Instead of improving the lives of the downtrodden, she has merely improved her own life by moving in the circles of billionaires and celebrities. She needs to remember what her true role really is. After all, her lifestyle with the rich and famous will come crashing around her ears once the government is out of power. That may be sooner than anyone expects, particularly Jacinda herself.

Mike Hosking: NZ’s economy is in major trouble

Tuesday, 22 January 2019, 9:11a.m.
Here we are, staring down the barrel of a growth rate that’s a direct reflection of a government that’s been happy to spend and promise like a drunk.  Photo / NZME
Here we are, staring down the barrel of a growth rate that’s a direct reflection of a government that’s been happy to spend and promise like a drunk. Photo / NZME

One of the broad themes over the holidays, if you were a follower of proper news, as opposed to the ongoing updates on crashes, rescues, and general summertime calamity, was the theme of whether the world was about to implode.

From China to Brexit, to the shutdown, the pending votes in Australia, the mayoral stabbings in Poland, the migrant crises in various parts of the globe, there is much to suggest the planet has fiscal trouble.

► Catherine Beard: UK-NZ trade deal won’t happen any time soon

And the key to all of that for us, is can we weather it? Are we robust enough in the dark days to not sink with the rest of them? This is the great test for our government this year.

Last time we talked about our growth rate was when the second quarter numbers were released and they were an outstanding one per cent. One per cent for the quarter was not just an excellent number, it was well beyond just about anyone’s estimates.

However, one quarter does not a calendar year worth of decent growth make, and so it has proven to be with the third quarter, which was out just before Christmas. And it was that timing that saw it mostly go under the radar.

Quarter three’s number was 0.3, that’s a shocking figure. It was the figure sadly many had predicted, many had seen the third quarter as slow, and many are suggesting the fourth quarter won’t be a lot better.

And here is why this is a big deal, add all those numbers up for the 2018 calendar year, and what have we got?

Quarter one was 0.5, quarter two was one, quarter three was 0.3. That’s 1.8 per cent growth for the year.

What we need, what we have had, is something well into the threes. And to get well into the threes, we need the fourth quarter number to be at least 1.7 per cent.

Do you think we are going to get that? No, we are not, and not even close.

We have 1.8 per cent as a figure for the first nine months of the year, if we get another 0.3, it’s 2.1 for the year. Even if we got 0.5, it’s only 2.3.

These are worrying, anaemic numbers, and not nearly robust enough to be able to handle any sort of global downturn, and certainly not with the level of government spending the incumbents are currently indulging in.

And it’s at this point this government will have its first real trouble. Why? Growth is everything. It’s your tax take, it’s your surplus or deficit, it’s your ability to spend in an election year, it’s your credit rating, it’s your economic credibility.

Without growth, a government has nothing, except the ability to sink into debt and try and hoodwink the punter that it’s not as bad as they think.

We have been here before, and I thought we had all broadly agreed we wouldn’t be going there again.

Post-2008, this country shone economically in its ability to withstand not just the Global Financial Crisis, but the Christchurch earthquake. We became, lest we forget, the “rock star economy”.

And yet here we are, 10 short years later, staring down the barrel of a growth rate that’s a direct reflection of a government that’s been happy to spend and promise like a drunk, while watching their income source slowly but surely grind, if not to a halt, certainly to a level that we should all be asking very serious questions about.