Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Shane Jones Blasts Maori


In the Youtube video below, Shane Jones lampoons the Maori Party & by virtue Maori in general to such an extend that it makes Don Brash’s Owera speech look timid.

Shane Jones can get away with this because he’s of Maori decent (though you couldn’t tell from looking at him), and he’s from the political left.

I actually agree with Shane – he’s articulate and delivers his points well.  A future Labour Party Leader perhaps. 

However, if you cut through Shane’s bluster, there is policy.  The ‘family package’ sounds like another complex Labour initiative that only helps people who fit a certain criteria.  And he talks about NZ’s major emitters paying the full cost of their pollution.  That’s all very well and good, but if there’s no way to make a cow more environmentally friendly, then what’s the point of taxing the farmer to death?  I think industry should be penalized if they’re not using the most efficient method of production.  For example if you’re making a pencil the most environmentally efficient way possible, slapping on a pollution tax isn’t going to change a thing other than make pencils more expensive.  Or worse, dive the business overseas where they’re made with even greater cost to the environment.

I reckon the way forward is to empower people to become environmentally aware when shopping.  Label products to indicate the environmental cost of making the product and let the consumers decide if they can spare the cost for something which is better for the environment. 



Are New Zealanders prudes?  Compared to the French we probably are, but compared to the Americans we probably are not.  What is healthy?  I tend to agree with Anna Paquin - what's the big deal.  The fact this story is news worthy in NZ speaks for itself. 


Former Hutt Valley child star Anna Paquin says she has no regrets when it comes to baring all on the television series True Blood.
"I don't think a naked body is particularly shocking or interesting," Paquin said.
"It's not the culture I was raised in. I was not brought up in the United States. I don't share the (attitude) that you can have graphic violence, but God forbid you see someone's nipples."

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Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Dom Post Political Quiz 8/10

Yay...I managed to tie with DPF in the Dom Post Political Quiz.  That's like tying with Tiger Wood in a game of golf.

This post on The Standard was so silly that it was pulled.
Fortunately thanks to RSS I could read the original post and have duplicated it here.
I'm a regular reader of The Standard (left leaning) and Kiwiblog (centre-right leaning) to try and get a broad perspective on the issues.  The Standard has done a good job recently explaining why they think privatising ACC is bad.  Kiwiblog has failed to counter the arguments from the left.  I'm generally a fan of competition and the ability of the private sector to define a service in keeping with what the public is willing to pay, but I need help to understand how privatisation is the correct choice for ACC. 
The trouble with The Standard is any good points they make are drowned in a sea of silly posts like the one from Eddie.

Monday, November 2, 2009

NZ world's 10th 'happiest' nation (NZPA)

New Zealand has ranked highly in an international study of wealth and happiness, but we are not quite as happy as the Aussies, according to a survey by a London-based think tank.

Nevertheless, New Zealanders are among the best in the world for volunteering to help others.

The survey, by the Legatum Institute, found Finland was the happiest nation followed by Switzerland, Sweden, Denmark and Norway.

New Zealand finished 10th on the institute's prosperity index, behind Australia, Canada, Holland, and the United States.

One hundred and four countries were assessed for the survey, which measured a country's prosperity based on 79 variables including material wealth and quality of life.

"The index finds that the most prosperous nations in the world are not necessarily those that have only a high GDP, but are those that also have happy, healthy and free citizens," the survey said.

Overall, 16 of the top 20 most prosperous countries were from Europe and North America.

The countries judged to be the least prosperous were Yemen, Sudan and Zimbabwe.

New Zealand performed averagely in economic fundamentals (27th out of 104) but was ranked first in social capital, the institute said.

"Trusting and willing to help strangers, close knit New Zealanders display the highest level of social capital of all countries surveyed.

"More than nine out of 10 New Zealanders believe they can rely on friends and family... the country has the second highest volunteering, with 44 percent having donated their time in the last year."

New Zealand also ranked well in entrepreneurship and innovation, democratic institutions, education, health and safety and security.

However, New Zealand was not a religious country, ranking 71st on the variable.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009 8:52:34 PM - Link