Our part-time PM

by SB on April 23, 2019 at 9:30am

One of these leaders is a high achiever who is a workaholic, the other is Jacinda Ardern.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is paid handsomely by the taxpayer to essentially work part-time. The left used to mock John Key for his holidays, but they never seem to mock Ardern for all her time off.

Not only is our ‘part-time’ PM paid handsomely; she is the seventh highest-paid leader in the world! In first place earning NZ$2,407,255 is Lee Hsien Loong, the Prime Minister of Singapore. Hard working and high achieving Donald Trump is in fourth place earning NZ$598,000 a year. He is followed by the Prime Minister of Australia Scott Morrison, and Angela Merkel, the Chancellor of Germany.

Jacinda Ardern earns NZ$471,049 per year, which makes her the fifth highest-paid leader in all the OECD countries. Talk about a gender pay gap! She does less and achieves less but gets paid more. quote.

[…] In 2017, Statistics New Zealand reported New Zealanders were earning an average of $50,000 in salaries and wages, meaning the Prime Minister earns nearly 10 times as much as the average Kiwi.

Newshub

Imagine a job where you get to waste time doing magazine shoots and visiting schools and resthomes for photo opportunities rather than concentrating on running the country and going to important political meetings.

Imagine a job where you hand over all the policy-making to working groups at a cost of millions of dollars because you and your party didn’t manage to come up with any policies while you spent 9 years in opposition.

Imagine leaving your deputy leader to all the real work in your absence while you swan around getting all the glory and having play dates with your favourite singers.

Now imagine pulling in $471,049 a year. Nice work if you can get it huh.

Read the NZ Bill of rights section 14 before Andrew Little destroys it

by SB on April 16, 2019 at 11:30am

Andrew Little

If you don’t know what we have protecting our freedom of speech you won’t know when it has been taken away. Andrew Little is on a mission to bring in hate speech legislation which will be in direct contravention of the New Zealand bill of rights.

It is important that New Zealanders know what their rights are so that they can counter Andrew Little’s attempts to take them away or to punish them for their opinions. quote.

A pamphlet that references Don Brash has been labelled racist by Justice Minister Andrew Little, who wants the current review of hate speech laws to examine whether better avenues of complaint are needed. end quote.

A newspaper

Here are two of the most important extracts from the Bill that most New Zealanders probably do not even know about. quote.

Freedom of thought, conscience, and religion

Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience, religion, and belief, including the right to adopt and to hold opinions without interference.

Freedom of expression

Everyone has the right to freedom of expression, including the freedom to seek, receive, and impart information and opinions of any kind in any form. end quote.


Screenshot from the NZ bill of Rights Act 1990

A pragmatic idealist

by WH on April 19, 2019 at 9:30am

ABIGAIL DOUGHERTY/STUFF Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern

In the media question time following Ardern’s humiliating back-down over her favourite campaign plank, Capital Gains Tax, Ardern explained it away by claiming that she was a “pragmatic idealist”.

One would expect that someone with a communications degree would understand that such a statement is an oxymoron, but no, that is what Ardern said.

Pragmatic. adjective: – dealing with things sensibly and realistically in a way that is based on practical rather than theoretical considerations.

Idealist. noun: – a visionary or impractical person.

So we have a self-confessed impractical person who claims to deal with things in a practical way. So glad that the country is in such capable hands.

Audrey Young picked up on Ardern’s pragmatic idealist statement. (As did Soper.) Quote.

[CGT] was [Ardern’s] first captain’s call that she was later forced to reverse when it became too damaging during the election campaign.

Today, she explained her third position on capital gains by saying while she supported it in principle, she was a pragmatic idealist.

Another way to explain it is to imagine the counter-factual.

Pragmatically speaking, if Ardern had not ruled it out, three things would have happened which she has now stopped by refusing to campaign on it again.

National would have hounded Labour about it week in and week out.

Even a diluted capital gains tax would have presented opportunities for National to portray it as a Trojan Horse for further expansion.

New Zealand First leader Winston Peters would have continued to campaign to voters as the ultimate insurance policy against any further expansion of capital gains tax to farms and other businesses.

The only way he could do that now would be to suggest that Labour and Jacinda Ardern might not keep her word on a capital gains tax – and that is not something a Deputy Prime Minister would say about a Prime Minister.

The third reason, and not least, for Ardern’s decision to rule out a future capital gains tax is that the Labour Party base would have expended a lot of energy about whether it should go into its fourth consecutive campaign in 2020 supporting such a contentious tax.

It would have been a distracting and possibly divisive debate.

Ardern has decided it is not worth it. She has built up political capital in her 18 months as Prime Minister and she has decided to cash it in.

This may be her second captain’s call on capital gains tax but this time it is a sensible one, based on pragmatism and her party’s interests rather than idealism. End quote.

 

A newspaper

I doubt anyone believes that Ardern made a captain’s call to cancel the CGT. She was told what to do by her puppet master. The one who keeps her high salary coming in, Winston Peters.


Puppet master Winston. Photoshopped image credit: Luke

What Ardern’s ‘year of delivery’ has delivered so far

by SB on April 19, 2019 at 9:00am
excited new year GIF

An almost dead Capital Gains Tax.

face fail GIF by Cheezburger

A completely flawed and failing Kiwibuild.

six feet under goodbye GIF
six feet under goodbye GIF

A Zero Carbon Act that is unlikely to survive..

rainbow unicorn GIF by Trolli

A Wellbeing Budget next month that will focus less on economic and financial measures and more on unicorn words like ‘human, social and natural capital’ In other words, a PR triumph of style over substance .

Marama goes where Golriz fears to tread

 by SB on April 12, 2019 at 8:30am

 

When asked how a hate speech law change in New Zealand would affect freedom of religion, Green list MP Golriz Ghahraman, like many campaigners against hate speech, did not want to discuss it. When asked directly if she would condemn Islamic Brunei’s strict religious laws that prescribe death by stoning for homosexuals and adulterers Ghahraman refused to answer the question.

The co-leader of the Greens Marama Davidson however, yesterday rushed in boots and all, quite happy to publicly condemn a personally held religious belief as hate speech.

Marama Davidson MP

✔@MaramaDavidson

Israel Folau’s bigoted comments about our rainbow whānau and our transgender community are the opposite of peace-building. Rugby Australia c’mon this is hate speech.

211 people are talking about this

There is a very good reason why Golriz Ghahraman has avoided discussing this particular problem with the proposed hate speech laws. That is because anyone with half a brain can see that they are religious blasphemy laws brought in through the back door. Marama, in her hurry to score points against Israel Folau, has exposed this issue for all to see.

Christian bashing has always been a favourite pastime of the Left and if they are fundamentalists who follow the old testament rather than the new testament then they are an even bigger target.

However, if fundamentalist Christians are committing hate speech by expressing their religious views about gays and transgenders then so are Muslims whose holy books and religious law calls for gays and transgenders to be killed.

If the old testament part of the Bible is full of hate speech and needs to be banned then so is the Koran and all the Hadiths which are full of calls to action that are hateful and violent.

The Green party can’t have it both ways and, by unleashing on Israel Folau, Marama Davidson has opened up a massive can of worms that exposes very clearly why we cannot allow hate speech laws to go through.

Hate speech laws will take away all religious freedom and will logically force both the Bible and the Koran to be banned.

Marama seems too thick to realise that by bashing fundamentalist Christians she is bashing fundamentalist Muslims. If she takes away freedom of religion for Christians she is also taking away freedom of religion for Muslims and indeed every other religion.

Maori land must be exempt from CGT

by Christie on April 13, 2019 at 9:00am

As the arguments for and against Capital Gains Tax go back and forth, an inevitable question rears its very ugly head. What about Maori land? Will that be subject to CGT? On the face of it, there is no obvious reason why not. All land sales are to be subject to CGT. Yet even before the government has come out and signalled its intentions regarding the treatment of the sale of Maori land, we already have those campaigning in favour of a special exemption for iwi. This could make the whole issue, complex as it already is, completely divisive.

First of all, I would like to say that the issue will probably not become a major one, because not much Maori land is ever sold. With the Maori attitude being that they see themselves as tied to their land, it goes without saying that they will not part with it easily. However, there will be times when land is sold, possibly to free up capital for other projects. This will particularly apply to those iwi that have used their settlement funds to set up in business.

While I’m prepared to consider any arguments put forward that suggest exemptions should apply for Maori land, the first of such arguments falls flat on its face straight away. See what you think of this. quote.

Naturally, no-one enjoys parting with their hard-earned cash – which is why the proposed capital gains tax is such a great idea. It fairly taxes cash which is not hard-earned. It taxes money you make from sitting on land and doing nothing. Money you make because you already have enough cash to invest would be taxed under this scheme. It stops double dipping, and closes a loophole which lets investors pay less tax than the rest of us. end quote.

All of that is rubbish, of course. Most people paid for their assets with ‘hard earned’ (and already taxed) money. It doesn’t stop double dipping in any way. It merely taxes the profit made on the sale of an asset. quote.

One possibility is to exempt the “family home” from the tax – this is mostly just a crowd-pleasing idea, which will almost certainly be exploited. end quote.

Yes, the exemption of the family home is definitely being exploited, but not in the way Glenn McConnell thinks. So many family homes have been specifically excluded from the exemption, (lifestyle blocks, homes with a room used as an office, homes that have rented out rooms) that it is almost pointless. quote.

While business people across the nation scramble for excuses about why they shouldn’t pay this very fair tax, iwi leaders have found a reason which actually stacks up: They’ve already had their land “taxed” numerous times. end quote.

Er… what? quote.

The exemption of hapū and iwi held land is essential to the integrity of a capital gains tax. Unlike property developers and investors, Māori will not make a capital gain from their land. Because of Crown abuse, they have lost capital.

end quote.

The original price paid, whenever it was, is irrelevant to capital gains tax. The land will be valued at the date of the implementation of the tax, and any capital gains made on sale after that will be taxed. Same rules apply to everyone. If there was a loss of capital at some point in the past, it is irrelevant. All that matters is the value of the land now. quote.

By 1975, Māori had about 3 per cent of their land. The other 97 per cent certainly wasn’t sold for a capital gain.

When the Treaty claims settlements came along, Iwi Chairs Forum spokesman Ngahiwi Tomoana said Māori settled for about 2 per cent of the value of their claims.

“We already think we have been taxed 98 per cent of our Treaty settlement,” he told RNZ‘s Te Manu Korihi. end quote.

I repeat, CGT has nothing to do with former values or settlements for less than (what is perceived by the parties to be) fair value. It is a tax on sale price less the value of the asset on the day the tax was introduced. What McConnell is talking about happened decades ago. It is nonsense.

McConnell’s argument seems to be, because Maori have not had all the lands they previously ‘owned’ returned to them, they should be exempt from the application of CGT, because, somehow, he views the fact that 97% of the land was not returned to Maori as a form of taxation. This is nonsense. He is applying one issue – the ‘return’ of Maori land – to another where there is no nexus whatsoever. If only 97% of Maori land was ‘returned’ to Maori, that does not provide an exemption from paying tax. The two issues are poles apart. quote.

Desperate as ever, it appeared the National Party was willing to forgo important facts and histories to make it seem like Māori would be granted some sort of unfair advantage.

Stuff. end quote.

It would be an unfair advantage, and if the government adopts this policy, it could blow the whole issue wide apart. Many groups think themselves to be unfairly disadvantaged by the tax, such as those who have rented out rooms in their homes to make ends meet, or such as people with Kiwisaver funds. If an iwi opts to sell land, it should be treated in the same way as everyone, and it would be an unfair advantage if that were not the case.

Prepare yourselves for more of these arguments though. This one can be batted away easily for the pure idiocy that it is. The next argument may not be quite so ridiculous.

Golriz goes too far

by Christie on April 1, 2019 at 8:00am

Green party list MP Golriz Ghahraman

We have all observed how, after the Christchurch massacre, both Marama Davidson and Golriz Ghahraman have used their platform of love and inclusion to incite hatred, particularly towards those of European descent. It is a huge paradox, of course. In an attempt to eliminate ‘hate’, they incite hate against a different racial group.

If there really is a strong movement of white supremacy in New Zealand (and I can honestly say I am not aware of it at all), then it is fair enough to condemn the attitude that prevails. While Brenton Tarrant was clearly of that type of thinking, he was an Australian and he does not totally fit the definition of a ‘white supremacist’. Remember, he called himself an ‘eco-fascist’ and, until now, we had no idea that such thinking existed.

You could put the current anti-white rhetoric down to an emotional reaction to a terrible massacre but we should always reject condemning a whole group because of the actions of one madman. This is what we are always told when an Islamic terrorist goes on the rampage and it is fair enough too. Most Muslims are peaceful people who just want to get on with their lives. But then so are most Europeans and, for some reason, this is not a tenable view any more.

Here is Golriz’s latest, extremely offensive tweet.

Spider bite@ExciteableBouy

View image on Twitter

Golriz Ghahraman

✔@golrizghahraman

You realise white supremacists are historically big into mass murder of the Rainbow community right? If you want to associate an entire race or religion with the way extremists treat minorities you would have to start with people of Western European descent. Wonder why you aren’t

70 people are talking about this

This is a shameful and disgraceful statement for a member of our parliament. I am truly shocked by this statement. Even for Golriz
Ghahraman, this is extreme, and she has said some unacceptable things, particularly recently.

First of all, I am honestly not aware of any kind of ‘mass murder’ of the Rainbow community by Europeans anywhere. Golriz was, of course, replying to justified questions about Brunei’s decision to reintroduce the practice of stoning gay people to death. It is a barbaric practice that just about everyone in New Zealand will find horrific, but Golriz cannot condemn it. Instead, she has to deepen her anti-white rhetoric, basically by simply making stuff up.

I am not saying that no gay or trans people have ever suffered any kind of discrimination in New Zealand but, by and large, most people accept them as part of the community. While it is always unusual to come across a trans person, mainly because the numbers are so small, nevertheless, most of them are able to live in their communities with at least a modicum of peace and tolerance. Gay people are mainstream these days. No one cares. Here, they have equal rights unlike for gay or trans people in the Islamic world, as Brunei is illustrating. Golriz should have the decency to acknowledge that.

Instead, she simply fabricates events to pour forth more and more bile onto people of European descent, the vast majority of whom tolerate gay and trans people with a live-and-let-live attitude.

This person has no place in the parliament of a country that is generally peaceful and tolerant. Most European New Zealanders, horrified by the Christchurch massacre, are actually making an effort to reach out to members of other ethnic communities, feeling a small amount of guilt, not about the shootings themselves, but about the fact that people from other ethnic groups feel marginalised, and that is not the New Zealand we want to live in.

Nobody wanted the Christchurch shootings to happen.

Golriz Ghahraman needs to step down as a member of our parliament until she is able to adopt an attitude of peace and tolerance herself; not just to minorities, but to all New Zealanders of all racial groups.

She is the loudest promoter of hate in our parliament, and it has to stop. Now.

A contemporary marxist analyses the situation

By WH on April 7, 2019 at 10:00am

Oh dear! When the marxists think the government is failing things must be bad. Measures for child poverty have worsened under Ardern’s ‘leadership’. Don Franks at the left-wing Redline blog has a look at poverty at the other end of one’s lifetime. Quote.

Quite rightly, there’s growing anger at the level of child poverty and the failure of successive governments to fix it. Statistics New Zealand reveals 254,000 children living in poverty – an increase of 0.4% in the last year.

The other end of life is not all roses either.

My latest bank statement shows my old age pension’s just gone up. After tax I’ll be getting an extra $10 a week after tax. Thankfully I can still teach the three chord trick and play the odd paid gig.

Not everyone’s so lucky. According to the 2017 Material Wellbeing of New Zealand Households report, 40 per cent of my fellow pensioners have virtually no other income source. That means they’re struggling for their food and shelter.

Government figures show that in the last five years there’s been a 50 percent increase in the number of hardship grants given out to over-65s.

Hardship grants for food have jumped from 9000 in 2013 to almost 16,000 last year.

A larger increase in the number of grants fall the ‘other’ category, which has gone from 14,000 to almost 23,000.

Most of those ‘other’ increases were grants for emergency housing.

Dr Kay Saville-Smith, Director of the Centre for Research, Evaluation and Social Assessment tells why:

“The big change is New Zealand is the increasing numbers and proportions of older people who are entering their older life stages either in housing debt – they have mortgages OR (and very importantly) living in rent. New Zealand superannuation assumes that older people will be mortgage-free owner-occupiers. The tenure revolution means that this is increasingly not the case and in twenty years time we could expect around half of those reaching 65 years to be in rent.”

Susan Jenkins, Executive Officer of housing charity Abbeyfield reports that in recent months older people living in their cars and desperate for affordable accommodation have been knocking on Abbeyfield’s door.

“If National Super is your only income, private rentals are unaffordable.”

What to do? Many of us over 65 are able and willing to work; to most employers we’re simply ‘too old’ for consideration. Such prejudice is socially acceptable. Todays activists seldom rant indignantly against Elderphobia. […] E

I don’t think praying is going to help

by WH on April 6, 2019 at 10:00am

Screen grab Whaleoil

Judith Collins must be really enjoying herself at present. Shooting fish in a barrel has nothing on the rich pickings that Twyford is offering her at present. But, as he asserted in the house on Thursday, he stands by all his answers. Mostly they seem to be a repetition of his mantra, “We are providing affordable homes to first-home buyers, and it’s working.”

The trouble is that the first-home buyers are not buying so it’s the taxpayer who is buying houses that no one wants. Quote.

For the first time, the Government has been forced to purchase KiwiBuild homes off a developer because the houses weren’t selling.

The Housing Minister insists the homes will still be snapped up by KiwiBuild buyers.

Wanaka is famous for its bustling tourism, beautiful vistas – and now possibly a thorn in the Housing Minister’s side.

“There is really significant need in Queenstown Lakes District. It has the highest housing costs in the country.”

But of the 10 homes put up for sale in October, half didn’t sell in time – and the underwrite was triggered.

For the first time in KiwiBuild’s short history, the Government had to purchase homes off the developer. Four of the homes are still unsold nearly six months after being balloted to first home buyers.

But Twyford says this is not a problem. […]

But Twyford is “pretty confident” the homes will sell to first-home buyers. Currently, all KiwiBuild homes are underwritten by the Government – taking the risk off developers, and making them more attractive for investment. End quote.

Is that like “pretty legal”? That one did not work out so well. Quote.

That includes all 211 homes contracted for Northlake.

Collins says it is a “welfare scheme for property developers”.

While the houses are unsold, the Government will stump up the costs for maintenance like lawn-mowing and the cost of marketing them. End quote.

Newshub

But Phil said that they would be “snapped up”. There must be a different definition of “snapped up” where he comes from.

An inconvenient fact: Our gun laws were deregulated last year

by General on April 4, 2019 at 9:00am

Press release
ACT party

The government appears to have hidden the fact that it deregulated New Zealand’s gun laws late last year, says ACT Leader David Seymour.

Last December, eight days before Christmas, the prime minister made a regulation that allowed electronic applications for dealer’s licences, licences for gun shows, and permits to import and procure guns – including military-style semi-automatic weapons.

“There appears to be no press statement covering this move on the Scoop, Police, or Beehive websites. Where did the government announce these changes?

“The purpose of the regulation was to save Police time. In reality, it removed a vital point of contact between Police and dealers and gun owners.

“The Government blatantly neglected the fact that an important part of the licencing and permitting process is face-to-face contact with police.

“Personal contact between police and dealers and gun owners is critical to identifying any potential issues that government agencies should be aware of.

“It is astounding that the government thought this regulation – made at the stroke of a pen with the prime minister in attendance – was a good idea.

“Now the government is abandoning any sincere attempt at public consultation and parliamentary scrutiny of our laws in changing the Arms Act.

“The government that has a working group for everything is all over the show on gun laws. It is taking a truly incoherent approach to our firearms legislation.

“I believe our gun laws must change, and I support changing them with proper public consultation and parliamentary scrutiny

“However, good intentions and rushed legislation do not guarantee good and lasting outcomes. There is very real danger that in a rush we will make bad law with unexpected outcomes and loopholes.

“If gun legislation is important, it is important to get right.”