Showing posts from May, 2013

Holly Walker Reveals More Dodgy Process

Today we witnessed yet another deliberate and orchestrated attack on the democratic process. The Housing Accords and Special Housing Areas Bill is yet another piece of legislation that will enable central government to overrule local democracy and will allow the granting of building consents (most likely to developer mates) without the agreement of local councils. It is such a blatantly undemocratic piece of legislation that the Government wanted to limit scrutiny and fast track it into law. Holly Walker risked expulsion from the house when she determinedly attempted to expose the true nature of the Government's behaviour.

Walker asked a straightforward question to Sam Lotu-Iiga, the Chairperson of the Social Services committee, to try and establish what guided his decision to close submissions early, but was blocked by the Speaker. After much questioning of the Speaker's ruling, using reference to standing orders (and getting the support of other MPs), Carter finally relente…

Our Economy Urgently Needs Green Solutions

I believe there are eight things that are key to a resilient economy:
A reliable and efficient energy supplyEfficient, integrated transportation systemsA stable and competitive currencyAn abundance of sustainably managed, local resources.A skilled workforceA healthy domestic economyResearch and development that provides us with a competitive edge.A strong and credible international brand In all eight areas this Government has failed to deliver because of uninformed policy, under-investment and short term, ideological thinking.
Our Power supply should give us an advantage over most nations because we have an abundance of renewable and cheap energy sources. However we have inefficiencies in transmission when our industries are some distance from the power source and there is no real competition in supply. Our power companies are able to fix rates at the highest cost of production and there are no incentives to reduce consumption or increase efficiencies. Power charges have increased wel…

Self Inflicted Poverty a Myth

Approximately 270,000 New Zealand children are living in poverty according to the Government appointed Children's Commissioner. It has been claimed that 50% of all children experience poverty at some stage in their lives. Third world diseases like rheumatic fever, caused by poor and overcrowded housing, is costing the country over $21 million a year. Untreated nits and malnutrition are increasingly being reported by Kidscan and growing numbers of children are being supplied with shoes and coats for the Winter months. New Zealand has one of the worst levels of child health and safety (29th of 30) in the OECD.

Rent and power bills are climbing well above the CPI, while the median family income is falling. Maori and Pasifika families have suffered most with the median Maori family losing $40 a week in income over the last four years and Pasifika families $65. The median New Zealand European family gets by on $580 a week but the median Pasifika family survives on $390, almost $200 less…

10 Reasons for Opposing RMA Changes

Geoffrey Palmer, former prime minister and one of the Resource Management Act architects, has publicly attacked the proposed changes. He claims that the changes would: "significantly and severely weaken the ability of the RMA to protect the natural environment and its recreational enjoyment for all New Zealanders." and that, "Core environmental matters that currently have the status of 'matters of national importance' will be downgraded to mere matters."Dr Jan Wright, the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment, voiced concern that the proposed changes would unbalance the RMA: "The RMA's fundamental purpose is to make sure that the environmental effects are taken into consideration when decisions are being made about using our resources. It is not, and should not become, an economic development act!"It will remove 22 years of case law, that assists in clarifying current decision making, and will probably slow the consent process until n…

GE Threat and European Lessons

The genetic engineering debate is more complicated than many will have you believe. The view that those opposing GE are holding back useful scientific developments that will enable us to better feed a growing population is wrong and is just repeating the misleading promotions of a monopoly's interests.

The protests that occurred in New Zealand and around the world are a reaction to the dangerous dominance of Monsanto in determining the future of our food production. Genetic engineering may indeed have potential for good, especially if the way it is progressed is altruistically motivated and there are proper protections and controls in place for any research and application. Unfortunately altruism is not what drives Monsanto, the company that has a monopoly in seed production and distribution (as well as agricultural chemicals).

Monsanto protects its commercial interests with worrying effect. It has had laws changed to protect it from competition, buys out competitors and it prote…

Double Standards, Discrimination and Fear

When it comes to policing and security, double standards and unfair discrimination against minority groups always occurs, both here and internationally, generally fed by intolerance and irrational fears.

The shocking images of the bloodied, knife wielding man in London have been seen around the world and is driving even greater concerns regarding the threat of "terrorism". This barbaric attack on another human being cannot be excused at any level, it wasn't a case of self defense and it was obviously motivated by strongly held political views. While the outrage expressed about this incident is understandable it was interesting how the video was shown through many news media. Some in the US just claimed that the young man was shouting "God is good in Arabic", supporting the view that it was only religious fanaticism that caused the act.  The political grievances he expressed were often ignored:

"...we must fight them as they fight us, an eye for an eye and…

Dirty Dairying and a Solution.