Irregular Injection of Opinion
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 Thursday, 27 October 2011
What does compulsory Kiwisaver @ 9% do to small business startup capital

I’ll start this post by stating that I am generally supportive of Kiwisaver as a scheme. I deeply regret the decision taken by the national government to remove the ‘carrot’ from the scheme and would much sooner have seen them scrap the bat-shit crazy interest free student loans rort to make their numbers.

So I am a little torn with the new Labour policy for compulsory Kiwisaver. I think there are a few things we can all agree on

  1. It will suppress wage growth. DPF posts on that here including a Labour party admission of such.
  2. Kiwisaver is a "low risk” or conservative investment. Even if you pick the Forsyth Barr build your own scheme and load up on equities you’ll still be buying bluechips and not speccy mining shares.
  3. 9% of pre-tax income is a relative SHITLOAD of money for most people and would, I suspect, represent the entirety of investment income for  the 99% (post written about the time the smelly hippies were occupying Aotea Square)
  4. Saving and investing (rather than spending) is a good thing and as a country we don’t really do enough of it
  5. At 9% of pre-tax income Kiwisaver will impact the common kiwi savings vehicle of the family home. People will be slower at paying off their mortgages (yes even will all the mortgage diversion stuff)
  6. Banks aren’t particularly interested in letting you gear against your Kiwisaver assets

So beyond all the usual stuff that’s been discussed today I have one really major concern with compulsory Kiwisaver

It’s going to knock the stuffing out of small business startup capital. Basically the money that many people would have put into a liquid investment such that they could draw down to start a business will instead be locked away in a conservative investment vehicle until they are 65. Now starting your own business is risky to be sure, but, are we really saying that someone on $80k in a solid job should be denied the opportunity to put their money aside to invest in their own venture?

What do others think?

People will point to the success of compulsory super at these kinds of pre-tax levels in Australia, but, the Australian scheme is quite different to Kiwisaver and in particular their Self Managed Super Funds provide some relief to the above concerns.

The argument about whether small business owners can bear the burden of these Kiwisaver payments is somewhat moot if they were never in a position to start their small business in the first place.

Business Building | Politics|Thursday, 27 October 2011 07:41:04 UTC|Comments [0]|    

 Friday, 10 October 2008
Tech Ed Features in National Campaign Video

The Nats have posted their Opening Address video to various places.

There is a better quality copy at their website: There is even a bit of footage from TechEd in there... A bit funny really.... I was taking photos in the keynote and there was a camera crew wandering around with a totally drool worthy rig. It was a Red One- A Rocket Rental I think...

Anyway... pretty drool worthy camera rig and seemed out of place for the live to projector broadcast stuff you'd usually see.

Politics | Toy Box|Friday, 10 October 2008 07:17:58 UTC|Comments [0]|    

Tech Ed Features in National Campaign Video

The Nats have posted their Opening Address video to various places.

There is a better quality copy at their website: There is even a bit of footage from TechEd in there... A bit funny really.... I was taking photos in the keynote and there was a camera crew wandering around with a totally drool worthy rig. It was a Red One- A Rocket Rental I think...

Anyway... pretty drool worthy camera rig and seemed out of place for the live to projector broadcast stuff you'd usually see.

Politics|Friday, 10 October 2008 07:17:53 UTC|Comments [1]|    

 Friday, 14 March 2008
When Unintended Consequences Bite You In The Ass

I'm a huge fan of Podcasts and one of my favourite podcasts is EconTalk. Now this is an unashamedly free market oriented Economics podcast but it covers some great topics. Here is a great one on Unintended Consequences of Regulation. THe Library of Economics and Liberty also has a good article.

It's this very thing that has jumped up and bitten the New Zealand Government in the ass recently. Bernard Hickey discusses it a bit here but judgging from the comments maybe not in enough detail or in an easy enough form.

It's pretty simple really.

Auckland Airport has been an attractive target for a new cornerstone shareholder. In a fit of naked xenophobia we first scared of the Arabs bt the Canadians have been much more persistent.

First we threw sand in their eyes by chaning the rules around tax and stapled securities. The share priced fell hard.

Next we changed the investment rules for 'Strategic Assets'. The share price fell further.

With the share price falling so aggrresivly (helped in part by the fact that the markets including infrastructure assets have been hammered recently) the Canadian offer suddenly becomes VERY VERY attractive. The difference between the market price and the offer price grew to be quite large. This of course piqued the interest of investors who in turn all voted in favour of the sale.

So in seeking the intended consequence, that of shoring up New Zealand support and ownership, the Government has in fact done quite the opposite.
At the start of the process it was likely that at least one of the councils would have to be convinced to part with their shareholdings in order for the deal to fly. In the end the enthusiasm of the Mum and Dad private holders to take up the offer is what seems to have pushed it over the balance. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if this late groundswell of domestic support doesn't see us end up with a higher degree of foreign ownership than might have resulted had a larger proportion of the sellers into this deal been foreign domiciled owners- i.e. I think if the Government had left well alone we'd have seen the Canadians buying more shares from foreigners and less shares from Aucklanders.


Politics|Friday, 14 March 2008 03:43:52 UTC|Comments [0]|    

 Wednesday, 18 October 2006
Oppose the Validating Legislation

Sign the online petition requesting that the GG decline to give his royal assent to the recently passed validation bill.

Politics|Wednesday, 18 October 2006 21:13:01 UTC|Comments [0]|    

 Thursday, 12 October 2006
Have Your Very Own Pledge Card.....

Bernard Darnton of Darnton v Clark Fame... is auctioning off a framed Pledge Card to support the case... some good comments on there too...

Politics|Thursday, 12 October 2006 21:16:33 UTC|Comments [2]|    

As You Sit There Scoffing Your Breakfast.... A Little Boy Waits.....

Well not really a little boy, more like a crusty old man...

But he waits and waits... by the phone for your donation to his *whip around*....

Such is the financial desperation of the Labour Party now that Mike Williams on National Radio decided that rather than answering the questions he would try and organise a whip around... and advertise his new 0900 LABOUR HAS TO BEG phone number....

I laughed my ass off so hard. This is great. THis is truely a magnificent day... smarmy bloody Mike Williams on National Radio with his begging bowl.

The solution is simple, the whip around should be around the Labour MPs for twas they that incurred the spending.

Politics|Thursday, 12 October 2006 20:25:39 UTC|Comments [51]|    

 Thursday, 01 June 2006
Michael Cullen is a marked man

You do yourself no favours if, as minister of finance, you accuse the entire parliamentary press gallery of being greedy and biased... Michael Cullen does here....

He has surely caught, as My Denny Crane would say, Mad Cow Disease...

Politics|Thursday, 01 June 2006 20:31:44 UTC|Comments [0]|    

 Thursday, 18 May 2006
Unleash The Fury

Peter Jones of sometimes Dot Net User Group has launched a new more politically oriented Blog site.


“Vent is here to help.  Use it to have a random rant.  Blow off some steam and get it out of your system.  Send a warning to others.  Enlist an army to take on the ‘system’.  Let people know where you have had bad service, seen a crappy over-hyped movie, witnessed some road rage… whatever you like.   Things may not change but you’ll feel a lot better for it.”

Looks like it's gonna be a hoot.

PoliTechLaw | Politics | Rants | Taxpayer Ripoffs|Thursday, 18 May 2006 22:10:37 UTC|Comments [0]|    

 Thursday, 20 April 2006
Send Costello To France

SYDNEY (Dow Jones)--Australian Treasurer Peter Costello said the nation will completely
eliminate government net debt Friday, labeling April 21 as "debt free day". 
  "It is a day we pay off the mortgage," Costello said in a speech to the
Committee for Economic Development of Australia. 

I am thinking about holding a wee blog sweepstake on how long it will be before the IMF has to bail out the French Welfare state.... any takers?

Politics|Thursday, 20 April 2006 23:40:54 UTC|Comments [0]|    

 Monday, 14 November 2005
It's the Econonmy, Stupid!

Craig Ebert of the BNZ takes the Govt. to task over the real root causes of inflation. Well worth a read.

What’s most annoying, though, is that the policy

makers, government included, have been quick to blame

others for the sticky situation. They should instead take

a look in the mirror. To be fair, they haven’t been helped

by the many Chicken Little commentators saying the

sky-high excess demand was falling, when it wasn’t

really. Yet the excesses that have built up over recent

years are a textbook example of over-easy money and a

burgeoning government sector. In this sense, the boom

has simply reflected excess demand and the hoovering

up of every possible spare resource rather than anything

laudable in terms of productivity growth.”

Politics|Monday, 14 November 2005 02:21:18 UTC|Comments [0]|    

 Tuesday, 08 November 2005
Perigo On 'Young' Rod Donald

I heard about the death of Rod Donald as I drove down the Clyde hill on the way back from Queenstown.

Very sad.

As a libertarian I have a great deal of respect for many green policies and, of course, a great deal of disdain for others. The thing about Rod Donald though was that he wasn't a typical politician- he had principles and he genuinely stood up for them. I think of all the politicians in the house left or right, up or down, his Green collegues included, Rod Donald had to be about the most uncompromising of these principles.

Anyway. Linz has written a bit on his passing and it sums up my fealings fairly well.,_Green_Convertible.shtml

Politics|Tuesday, 08 November 2005 22:53:20 UTC|Comments [2]|    

 Tuesday, 06 September 2005
To Target Or Not To Target..... That Is The Question....

OK... so according to the great Labour Party, Tax Cuts (aka. Working for Families) should be targetted, abeit to the level that sprog popping Catholics on $120k will get some of the goodies.

But, Health funding (doctor subsidies) and Education funding (Student loan interest) should be spread around as broadly and thinly as possible.

This is complete madness.....

I say we give everyhone in NZ a bit more of their money back- in recognition of the fact that we work our asses off to earn it in the first place. And, I also reckon that if we're going to spend an extra $400 million on tertiary education then it should be spent on people who are genuinely bright and hardworking and who may come from a background that might otherwise prevent them from undertaking advanced study. It should not be spent on families who'll really just se it to reduce the mortgage on their 6th investment property.

This election REALY is about a difference in ideology. Don't let anyone tell you it's not. 

Politics|Tuesday, 06 September 2005 21:25:02 UTC|Comments [0]|    

 Sunday, 04 September 2005
Holy Smoke: People Actually Read My Blog

Seems that at east some people read my blog.... I was in the top 10 referrers to DPFs blog this month.

Not sure about others but it's where I go for my NZ news while traveling... :-) Missed the whole PM on the Plane thing last week as I was coming back from BNE at the time.

Human Aggregation | Politics|Sunday, 04 September 2005 21:01:03 UTC|Comments [0]|    

 Wednesday, 31 August 2005
Tactical Voting

I reckon there are some fantastic opportunities for tactical voting during this coming election.....


If Rodney Hide pushes ahead in Epsom the best thing that Labour could do would be t have their supporters back Richard Worth. If Worth wins, all that ACT vote gets wasted.

I wonder just how educated the electorate is about these sorts of perverse incentives?

But anyway, it looks like he has a pretty good chance so any right leaning voter with half a brain in that electorate should really switch their vote. ACT's still in the game people!

Politics|Wednesday, 31 August 2005 03:05:57 UTC|Comments [8]|    

 Tuesday, 23 August 2005
How The Tax System Works

This is a VERY simple way to understand the tax laws. Read on -- it does make you think!!

Let's put tax cuts in terms everyone can understand. Suppose that every day, ten men go out for dinner. The bill for all ten comes to $100. If they paid their bill the way we pay our taxes, it would go something like this:

The first four men — the poorest — would pay nothing; the fifth would pay $1, the sixth would pay $3, the seventh $7, the eighth $12, the ninth $18, and the tenth man — the richest — would pay $59.

That's what they decided to do. The ten men ate dinner in the restaurant every day and seemed quite happy with the arrangement — until one day, the owner threw them a curve (in tax language a tax cut).

"Since you are all such good customers," he said, "I'm going to reduce the cost of your daily meal by $20." So now dinner for the ten only cost $80.00.

The group still wanted to pay their bill the way we pay our taxes. So the first four men were unaffected. They would still eat for free. But what about the other six — the paying customers? How could they divvy up the $20 windfall so that everyone would get his "fair share?"

The six men realized that $20 divided by six is $3.33. But if they subtracted that from everybody's share, Then the fifth man and the sixth man would end up being PAID to eat their meal. So the restaurant owner suggested that it would be fair to reduce each man's bill by roughly the same amount, and he proceeded to work out the amounts each should pay.

And so the fifth man paid nothing, the sixth pitched in $2, the seventh paid $5, the eighth paid $9, the ninth paid $12, leaving the tenth man with a bill of $52 instead of his earlier $59. Each of the six was better off than before. And the first four continued to eat for free.

But once outside the restaurant, the men began to compare their savings. "I only got a dollar out of the $20," declared the sixth man who pointed to the tenth. "But he got $7!"

"Yeah, that's right," exclaimed the fifth man, "I only saved a dollar, too . . . It's unfair that he got seven times more than me!".

"That's true!" shouted the seventh man, "why should he get $7 back when I got only $2? The wealthy get all the breaks!"

"Wait a minute," yelled the first four men in unison, "We didn't get anything at all. The system exploits the poor!"

The nine men surrounded the tenth and beat him up. The next night he didn't show up for dinner, so the nine sat down and ate without him. But when it came time to pay the bill, they discovered, a little late what was very important. They were FIFTY-TWO DOLLARS short of paying the bill! Imagine that!

And that, boys and girls, journalists and college instructors, is how the tax system works. The people who pay the highest taxes get the most benefit from a tax reduction. Tax them too much, attack them for being wealthy, and they just may not show up at the table anymore.

Where would that leave the rest? Unfortunately, most taxing authorities anywhere cannot seem to grasp this rather straightforward logic!

[Nicked from elsewhere BTW]

Politics|Tuesday, 23 August 2005 02:09:46 UTC|Comments [0]|    

 Monday, 22 August 2005
The Trump Card?

I think so!

The National Party have released their Tax Cut package and I'm pretty impressed.

This will mean pretty decent cuts for every income bracket.

Bit disappointed that the company rate is not being dropped until 1998 though!



Politics|Monday, 22 August 2005 01:12:50 UTC|Comments [9]|    

More Reasons to Have Kids

OK... so I have a dog... and a cat.... they are my de-facto kids at the moment.

When I travel for work they have to go to the boarding kennels and cattery. I reckon I should be able to claim this as a work expense- I would not be incurring the expense were I not travelling for business.

The stinking IRD says that I can't. I could however claim it if they were real children. Though were that the case I'd probably be getting enough Working For Families that I wouldn't need to be travelling and instead could stay at home on my ass watching Sally Jessie.

Politics|Monday, 22 August 2005 01:04:40 UTC|Comments [3]|    

 Thursday, 18 August 2005
Right I'm Going to Australia

I really struggle to see why I should be taxed to the eye balls to pay for others to have bloody Kids!

The problem for Labour is that if they keep milking the cash cow all the cows will go abroad..... what do you do then? You'll have to start milking the Goats and all their Kids too.......

Using the Labour party ' Sprogs For Dollars' calculator I've worked out that I only need to have 1 kid per year to be able to pocket $1000 a week!

I'm off to tell the missus!


When even the crew @ Public Address are bagging it you know that something is wrong!

Politics|Thursday, 18 August 2005 22:25:11 UTC|Comments [2]|    

 Wednesday, 17 August 2005
National Campaign TV Ad

OK... so you can watch the new National Party 'Southpark' TV add here.

It's pretty good.

For the non kiwis we used to have a thing in NZ called a 'Telethon' where they sang 'Thank You Very Much For Your Kind Donation'...


Politics|Wednesday, 17 August 2005 21:19:16 UTC|Comments [6]|    

The Oxford Debate

OK... so Russell Brown has managed to post the audio from the Lange Oxford Debate. Well worth listening to....

Politics|Wednesday, 17 August 2005 02:05:18 UTC|Comments [13]|    

 Friday, 12 August 2005
Wanna Spend Some Labour Party Money


Labour has a piss taking 0800 number setup...... now I'm assuming this isn't like the Working For Famalies Propoganda which was paid for by the taxpayer......

Anyway assuming it is not. I encourage you all to ring it from your mobile phone ('cos that costs them LOTS of money) at least once a day..... If we ca phone bomb this line enough we'll be sure to either

a) Get it pulled or;

b) Send the labour party broke....

I'd be happy with either....

For those with MS Smartphones let me know if you are interested in an autodialer... if there is enough demand I might write one so you can put your phone on the charger and leav it dialing 0800 DONBRASH all day....

Mobility | Politics|Friday, 12 August 2005 04:31:54 UTC|Comments [13]|    

 Friday, 05 August 2005
National Is Doing Media Right This Campaign...

First there were the billboard.... and now this 'Taxathon' pamphlet which is hilarious.


Politics|Friday, 05 August 2005 03:03:49 UTC|Comments [2]|    

 Friday, 29 July 2005
What WIll The Electoral Imapct Be...

... if David Lange dies?

If it happens I reckon it could have a significant impact on the election

Politics|Friday, 29 July 2005 06:06:49 UTC|Comments [0]|    

 Wednesday, 27 July 2005
I'm Becoming a Student Again....

If Labour get elected I'm going to try and become a student again, take out a loan and get as much of the loan money as possible into my mortgage account..... I mean interest free money... HOW GOOD IS THAT!

DPF has some more comments here.

I mean Labour is all about income redistribution.... but this policy is nothing but taking from the poor (hard working blue collar families)... and giving to the rich (like me...)... it is completely insane.

It certainly makes the tax cuts (threshold changes) in the Chewing Gum Budget look like peanuts.....

Politics | Taxpayer Ripoffs|Wednesday, 27 July 2005 02:08:10 UTC|Comments [0]|    

 Monday, 13 June 2005
Expensive Advertising....

”Around 95% of those eligible for this stage of working for families got their entitlement automatically as they are on a benefit. So the $15 million advertising campaign is to reach only 14,000 families - this is a cost of over $1,000 per target audience member - probably the most expensive advertising splurge in history. “

From McCully

Politics | Taxpayer Ripoffs|Monday, 13 June 2005 01:39:22 UTC|Comments [0]|    

 Sunday, 12 June 2005
ACT List....

Rodney @ #1... no surprises

Pity to see franks above Shirley- not much into the conservative wing of the party me..... particularly not the foot in mouth variety.

Former Libertarian Lindsay Mitchell @ 10.

GREAT to see Willie Martin in @ 14. I gave him a good ranking in my selection form - looks like he is the top ranking young candidate.

And Gavin down @ #28...... We'll need that party vote up Gavin!

Politics|Sunday, 12 June 2005 07:35:17 UTC|Comments [14]|    

 Wednesday, 08 June 2005
The David Benson-Pope Thing

I really quite like David Benson-Pope. Were I still in Dunedin South he would have had my electorate seat vote. He was a great asset on the Civil Unions campaign and to be honest he's not a bad guy.

I'm an ACT voter but to be honest I think the party should be doing better things with their time than muck raking over this sort of stuff. Call me judgemental but looking at the guy on the TV I reckon a tennis ball and a bit of duct tape was probably a useful educational tool....

... having said all that....

I agree with pretty much everyone (here, there) that the decision by the Speaker of the House not to forward the Benson-Pope complaint was a really bad one. The allegations are there and I think that it realy needs to go to the comittee to be sorted.

Politics|Wednesday, 08 June 2005 04:09:16 UTC|Comments [0]|    

 Tuesday, 07 June 2005
Good Lord! Was This Really Written By...

'That' Chris Trotter....

Higher taxes are no longer viewed, as they were back in 1999, as the price that New Zealand's better-off citizens should expect to pay for improved social services.

Six years of unprecedented spending on health and education have not produced the anticipated results.

Even on the Left, there is a growing sense of frustration that no matter how much money gets spent, nothing seems to happen.

New Zealand's bureaucratic structures would appear to have an inexhaustible capacity to absorb taxpayers' dollars, along with an indefatigable propensity to divert, discourage and delay any and every attempt to bring about even the smallest of administrative changes.”

Politics|Tuesday, 07 June 2005 23:38:09 UTC|Comments [0]|    

Bush is a wierdo,,12253-4449335,00.html

“Welsh singer Charlotte Church has slammed American President George W. Bush as a "proper weirdo" after he mistook Wales for a town. “

Human Aggregation | Politics|Tuesday, 07 June 2005 01:27:51 UTC|Comments [0]|    

 Monday, 06 June 2005
Have the National Party Got The Ultimate Viral Campaign for the Election?

You've all seen the billboards....

Is this going to be THE viral campaign of the election?

Politics|Monday, 06 June 2005 23:18:53 UTC|Comments [0]|    

 Tuesday, 19 April 2005
ACT Move Website to .NET

THe ACT Party have moved their website from JSP to .NET.

Gavin has the details here, here and here.

Sounds like they are doing lots of REALLY cool shit such as dynaimically generated RSS feeds- i.e. do a search and then save the search as an RSS feed.....

“Making the switch to a Microsoft product isn't an issue of ideology, it's just that .Net is a great platform for doing the stuff we want to do. Rodney loves the Open Source, but our existing platform had a couple of really frustrating bugs. So we rebuilt it.”

Amen Brother!

Could have given the UI a bit more of a makeover though....It's not immediatly obvious how I use all the whiz bang features.


.NET | PoliTechLaw | Politics|Tuesday, 19 April 2005 13:35:42 UTC|Comments [0]|    

 Thursday, 07 April 2005
The Mistress SOOOOOOOO needs to play this tommorow!

Tamihere McClairy

Politics|Thursday, 07 April 2005 03:01:38 UTC|Comments [0]|    

 Monday, 04 April 2005
Quote Of The Day

When you are a red blooded bloke like John T you need to speak your mind every now and then.....for example....

"Men's [health] problems are traditionally dealt with by the criminal justice system. Women, on the other hand, get a bloody Cartwright Inquiry and get millions of dollars thrown at their breasts and cervixes. Men get nothing."

I'll tell ya what... a few more breasts like the Mistress had on her blog (semi work safe- no full frontal nudity) this morning and I'll be happy to throw dollers at em!

Roll on Question Time tommorow I say! It should be a BLAST.

Politics|Monday, 04 April 2005 06:48:14 UTC|Comments [0]|    

 Friday, 01 April 2005
Bravo to the National Party

On a day when our slimeball money grubbing govt. put the gas tax up 5c (plus Govt. Slavery Tax) the National Party (opposition) has announced that they we reallocate all of the money that is collected in gas tax and currently siphons off to the govt. consolidated coffers to the Land Transport Fund.

If there is one single policay that can reduce our road toll significantly this is it!


Politics|Friday, 01 April 2005 02:46:13 UTC|Comments [0]|    

 Monday, 14 March 2005
I know it's bad to bite the hand that feeds....

But does ACT really, I mean REALLY, need a biggoted loud mouth like John Banks?

I mean what has happened to the PROPER classical liberal roots of the party- free market economics AND free lives......

Politics|Monday, 14 March 2005 03:55:57 UTC|Comments [0]|    

 Wednesday, 23 February 2005
P-P-P-P-Political S-S-S-S-Slut

Matt McCarten has left the Maori for yet another left wing blue collar start up.

O'Herald has the details.

Politics|Wednesday, 23 February 2005 01:46:14 UTC|Comments [0]|    

 Thursday, 17 February 2005
Minister of Culture and Heritage

I'm all in agreement with The Right Honourable The Prime Minister with regard this John Farnham singing @ Anzac Cove. A bit insentive really.

But, what I think is also insensitive is for our Minister of Culture and Heritage to be so uncultured as to not know of, nor have ever heard music by probably the most famous popular artist of our nearest geographical neighbor. Talk about small minded!

Politics | Rants|Thursday, 17 February 2005 21:39:51 UTC|Comments [6]|    

 Tuesday, 15 February 2005
Te Wananga o Aotearoa - Fast 50 Material

DPF notes the amazing increase in funding for TWOA.

$8 million to $239 million over 5 years. Now my maths is a bit average... but I reckon that's about a compound  'revenue' growth rate of 234% per annum. That would be enough to put TWOA into the Deloitte Fast 50 every year since it started....

2001 - Rank 12=
2002 - Rank 12
2003 - Rank 30
2004 - Rank 24

I wonder if they'll be entering next year?

Politics | Taxpayer Ripoffs|Tuesday, 15 February 2005 20:30:45 UTC|Comments [0]|    

 Wednesday, 09 February 2005
Enquiry into NCEA Question

“The Education and Science select committee this morning voted to hold an inquiry following an NCEA Level 1 History question which asked students to choose two of three people from whose perspective they were to write: two prominent Maori leaders – Dame Whina Cooper and Eva Rickard - and ‘A National Party Member of Parliament not sympathetic to Maori concerns’. “

Politics|Wednesday, 09 February 2005 03:49:41 UTC|Comments [0]|    

 Tuesday, 25 January 2005
Orewa Mark II

You've got to hand it to the Orewa Rotary Club.... one would guess they'll need a bigger room for this event next year.

The full text speech is here...

Now I can't say I'm inclined (or have ever been inclined) to vote National. Too many biggots and law and order crusaders (yes Mr Ryall and Mr Smith!) for me. But, I think in Don Brash they have a leader who might just be able to keep those elements in check... a man with at least liberal (classical) leanings...

But, a few quick notes to Mr Brash...

“National will fix the disincentives in the tax system by giving tax cuts to all working New Zealanders.  We are now focusing on correcting the incentives in the welfare system”

The only way to really fix the disincentives in the tax system is to flatten it.

“It should go without saying that that group includes those 65 years of age and over who are in receipt of New Zealand Superannuation – superannuation is not part of the welfare system. The next National Government will maintain Superannuation unchanged.”

Like hell it's not! We need to encourage savings- people shoould not be sponging off the taxpayer because they haven't saved. We need to create a taxation system that encourages saving, phase out national super over time and leave a basic safety net for 65+ers....

“Since 1975, a period over which New Zealand’s population has increased by some 32%, those on the Sickness Benefit have increased by almost 500%, while those on the Invalids’ Benefit have increased by almost 700%. 

Since 1999, New Zealand’s population has increased by 6%, while those on both the Sickness Benefit and the Invalids’ Benefit have increased by 40%.”

And I would guess that our per capita spending on health care is going up too..... it's as though we've been beset by some invisible plague... If I could ask one question of the Minister of Social Welfare it would be this above question.... it SURELY needs and answer and the ACT and National should ask it from the rooftops until they are blue in the face.


Politics|Tuesday, 25 January 2005 20:30:28 UTC|Comments [0]|    

 Sunday, 23 January 2005
Te Wananga o Aotearoa

Before I write this article let me say that my libertarian leanings see me fundamentally opposed to any government intervention in what a company may be named...

But wearing my pragmatic hat....

Listening to nat radio this morning about the debate of this Wananga using the name 'The University of New Zealand. University is a controlled word (Education Act I think) as far as naming an institution. The Wananga claim that because University is a direct translation of Wananga that they should be permitted to keep using the word. Here is my argument. Given that a) Maori is an official language of New Zealand and b) University is a direct translation of the Maori word Wananga (e.g. Wananga o Otakou- Otago University)... then Wananga should also be a controlled word under the Education Act also. i.e. Organizations should not be able to call themselves either Wananga OR University without the appropriate approval.

Politics|Sunday, 23 January 2005 19:17:14 UTC|Comments [13]|    

 Friday, 21 January 2005
The Crazy Sheep Stamp

There is much ado about a sheep on a recent postage stamp... Why on earth politicians like Katherine Rich (an otherwise generally intelligent polly) need to get involved I don't know.

But in that vein I've come to the concusion that the sheep stamp is the all but inevitable politically correct by-product of a United Future/Labour Coalition Govt.... it is a chemically castrated solo dad.

Politics | Rambles|Friday, 21 January 2005 01:06:25 UTC|Comments [0]|    

 Thursday, 04 November 2004
I was going to blog about this... but Russell Brown did first

As I was flicking through the US election stuff yesterday afternoon I came upon the exit poll stats... which are quite fascinating in their detail. The one that really caught my eyes was the fact the the most important issue for US voters was 'Moral Issues'... eeek!

I was going to write a big post on it but Russell sums it up very well here.

Of course places like Seattle, NY, LA, Chicago all voted for Mr Kerry... I probably would have too... if only US 'liberals' were a bit more classical.... That said I'd take a socially liberal socialist over a socially conservative capitalist any day of the week. Of course the best thing would be a libertarian... but like that's ever going to happen in the Land of the 'Free'....

Politics|Thursday, 04 November 2004 02:02:13 UTC|Comments [3]|    

 Monday, 01 November 2004
You heard it here first....

Just ask Yahoo....

Politics|Monday, 01 November 2004 20:00:05 UTC|Comments [0]|    

 Tuesday, 05 October 2004
You Are ^%&%$*$^& Kidding Me!

[via DPF]

A well-known and inspirational speaker, Mike Tamaki, has unwittingly been caught up in the latest tertiary education funding scam says Nationals Education spokesman, Bill English.

I have been advised that people who attended a business lunch in Timaru earlier this year were told that they could stay and hear Mr Tamaki speak if they filled out a form enrolling them at this course at Aoraki Polytechnic.

This form made their attendance at the lunch an official community education enrollment, says Mr English.

This stuff drives me insane! Half of these provincial Politechs couldn't educate a cow in a bloody milking shed. As an employer and taxpayer it makes my blood boil seeing this sort of crap masquerading as education.

P.S. New category added - Taxpayer Ripoffs

Politics | Taxpayer Ripoffs|Tuesday, 05 October 2004 19:47:29 UTC|Comments [0]|    

 Monday, 20 September 2004
This Is Not The Weather Channel

Kirk posted something titled 

They don't talk politics on ESPN or The Weather Channel

Bill and Casey are quick off the mark on this one and given my propensity to rant and rave on everything from politics to religion I'm gonna pop my two cents in as well.

I have the advantage that I'm not beholden to anybody when it comes to blogging. I'm my own boss, host my blog on my own server and as such tend to blog about what I feel like. I feel absolutely no obligation to people who read this blog other than to try my darnedest to be accurate and substantial in the things that I post. If you don't like my politics (devout libertarianism) then don't go near my politics category. If you don't like my religious views (devout atheism) then avoid my sacreligion category.... simple huh! Oh, and if you don't like my spelling, typos and grammar... bugger off right now!

I'm no 'self proclaimed expert', but, I take an active interest in politics and in my wonderful democracy that's a darn site better than many useless inert nothings manage. Kirks post almost infers that ones aptitude or capability in different pursuits are wholly unrelated. I think quite the contrary is true- from what i have observed if someone is a clued up cookie in one aspect of life (say technology) then chances are they'll be pretty smart in other areas as well. It's my submission that if your technical content is sufficiently useful to warrant someone like Kirk subscribing then you are most unlikely to be the sort of person who would make 'vote for X' or 'Y is a moron' posts. Rather, you are probably likely to be the sort of person who will at least have something useful, thought provoking and insightful to say on politics- whichever side you happen to say it about.

*Please note that the above applies to politics only. I shall continue to feel unrestrained in so far as calling religious people closed minded moronic idiots (in the nicest possible way). Religion being a fantasy about which nothing useful, thought provoking or insightful can ever be said.

Politics | Rants | Sacrilegion|Monday, 20 September 2004 21:50:05 UTC|Comments [0]|    

 Sunday, 19 September 2004
Loon of the Week Revisited

OK... so a few weeks back I posted on a particularly brazen young Destiny Church follower who had been commenting a great deal over on DPFs blog..

A comment on that entry has kinda sparked my interest again... turns out our Destiny supporter is a Health Promoter (whatever that is) @ the Taranaki DHB. Anyway, interest rekindled, I thought I'd whiz through and see what proportion of posts looked like they were done on employers (read Taxpayer of NZ and thus me) time.

Let's be generous and assume a 12am to 1:30pm lunch window....

  1. Thursday 19th August, 12:13pm - Covered by our lunch window
  2. Friday 20th August 12:02pm - So far so good
  3. Friday 20th August 3:50pm - OK... Friday afternoon... was it Beer O'Clock maybe? Do 'health promoters' do Beer O'Clock?
  4. Firday 20th August 3:56pm - As above... now at this stage I'm worried I'll make a fool of myself because tommorow is a weekend!
  5. But it's OK... because we get radio silence until... she's back @ work on Tuesday the 24th @ 3:02pm - Now please tell me it's not Beer O'Clock on Tuesdays.
  6. Wednesday August 25th @ 9:06am... doing morning 'emails'?
  7. Wednesday August 25th @ 10:03am... still doing morning emails?
  8. Wednesday August 25th @ 10:04am... sure is a lot of emails?
  9. Wednesday August 25th @ 10:08am... can you say Acceptable Use Policy?
  10. Thursday 26th August @ 4:32pm... again... close enough to end of play to be a gimme.
  11. Friday 27th August @ 08:46am... without seeing the IP logs you've got to let this one slip for the possiblity of it being written @ home. Do civil service types get to work before 9am?
  12. Friday 27th @ 10:02am.... this one was a WHOPPER... must have been a good 20 minutes worth. Lurker even comments -  I'm guessing naki-girl doesn't hold down a full-time job at the moment... I'm guessing naki-girl doesn't hold down a full-time job at the moment... ... dunno- are 'Health Promoters' full time?
  13. Friday August 27th @ 10:36am.... another biggie
  14. Friday August 27th @ 10:58am.... I ain't seeing much health promoting going down....
  15. Friday August 27th @ 11:35am... TGIF!
  16. Friday August 27th @ 11:49am... could call it a tithe @ this rate
  17. Friday August 27th @ 11:52am... thats 1 and 1/2 hours by my count.
  18. Friday August 27th @ 12:01pm... LUNCH TIME
  19. Friday August 27th @ 12:06 pm... still lunch...
  20. Friday August 27th @ 12:18 pm... and still lunch...
  21. Friday August 27th @ 12:36 pm... and still lunch... but then wasn't 10:30 till midday lunch today...
  22. Friday August 27th @ 12:54 pm ... still within our lunch window
  23. Friday August 27th @ 01:17pm ... Just as well we allowed for a long 'merchant bankers' lunch
  24. Friday August 27th @ 01:24pm ... lunch is almost over
  25. Friday August 27 @ 02:32pm ... and now lunch is indeed over.
  26. Friday August 27th @ 03:01pm... another monster post this afternoon.
  27. Friday August 27th @ 03:09pm ... almost Beer O'Clock.... surely
  28. Friday August 27th @ 03:17pm ... it's been a long day at the coal face really hasn't it.... driving Gods Chariot...

... and that's all folks... so let's summarise.

28 posts. 9 within our lunch window, 1 that we suspect as being an early morning not @ work post. So that leaves 18 posts on work time... many of them pretty substantial. Seems god promotion won over health promotion this week.



Politics | Sacrilegion|Sunday, 19 September 2004 09:40:36 UTC|Comments [0]|    

 Thursday, 02 September 2004
Gryfon on Not Right Wing...

I don't think I'm right-wing - I just think my life is mine to live pretty much as I please (provided it doesn't intrude on you) and I'd like you to extend the same courtesy to me, thanks very much.

Amen To That!

Human Aggregation | Politics|Thursday, 02 September 2004 21:03:54 UTC|Comments [0]|    

 Wednesday, 25 August 2004
Some Thoughts On Vote Splitting

This post is realy quite NZ centric so all you yanks who peruse these pages might like to switch off now. I may come back and give some context as to our voting system later but no time at the moment.

So anyway... while it's the Local Body elections soon I've been giving the general election some thought and have some ideas on vote splitting. I'm the kind of person that will be VERY inclined to split my vote because being a TRUE classical liberal I tend towards the economic policy of the right and the social policy of the left.

We really have two different types of voting in Parliament. Party Votes and Concience Votes. Under the MMP system, the party votes will be most influenced by your list vote in the election.

Concience votes on the other hand really depend on a much broader set of factors. As a classical liberal- and by this I mean you're likely to support a free market economy in prostitution- I think that vote splitting (in most electorates) is going to be essential. basically what you want to be trying to achieve is to have a right leraning party (ACT is the obvious example) doing well in the list vote. This is because economic policy generally (almost exclusivly) falls under the guise of party voting. Then you want to give your candidate vote to the most socially liberal candidate in your electorate who has a realistic chance of winning. It doesn't matter if they are Labour, National, ACT or even Watermelon (Green)... overhangs are VERY unlikely in all but the Maori seats so realistically you want to use your candidate vote to influence the makeup of the party caucuses such that each caucus (whose total numbers will be determined by the list vote) contains as many socially liberal candidates as possible.

So what does this mean in practical terms?

Well for some people it will be bloody easy. Live in Epsom? Two ticks Rodney Hide as he is liberal on both arms. But say you lived in a hypothetical electorate where the Labour candidate is a good liberal who supports prostitution/abortion/homosexual law reform while the National Candidate is a died in the wool Catholic... You would have to have ROCKS IN YOUR HEAD not to split your vote for Labour. Remember, tha party vote will determine how many Labour MPs et into parliament. The candidate vote importantly helps to determine who those candidates actually are.

Politics|Wednesday, 25 August 2004 03:06:40 UTC|Comments [0]|    

More Google Goodness

Just to show how wonderful the Google ranking system... Technology Head Me who gets most of his Google karma from links with technology sites is ranked @ #2 site for the search term Alison Annan

What a crazy world we live in.... I've posted on this before here, but I wonder if, in this age of all over the subject range blogs, Google are doing anything to correlate their ranking system with subject clustering.

Politics | Rambles|Wednesday, 25 August 2004 02:44:48 UTC|Comments [0]|    

 Sunday, 22 August 2004
Dunedin Mayoral Race

OK.. listened to just a wee bit of the conversation on Nat Radio this morning re: the Dunedin mayoralty. Is Teresa Stevenson on DRUGS!?!

The question was asked what would should be done as far as rates holiday type incentives.

She rambled on someting about there were many dark ally ways in Dunedin that could be turned into Cafe's. We should 'use the internet to contact investors in these venutures' she said. What a ^*&^&^%ing fruitloop! Does she really believe that this will help economic development in the city. I mean even if it were not prima facie daft (which it is) it would still be down right stupid as I doubt we would see a great number of the organic double shot espresso servings being exported out of the Otago region.

Too much under the counter 'special' Chai @ Arc for Miss S I'm afraid.

The smart money (well my money) is on Peter Chin. But in the end I think that anyone but the 'hippy' (above) and the ex con invalid beneficiary will be a darn sight better than the Roger Award judging greenie we've got at the moment!

Politics|Sunday, 22 August 2004 04:55:56 UTC|Comments [0]|    

 Thursday, 19 August 2004
The Alison Annan Thing

Don't have time for a full comment on this... but a couple of thoughts.

  • Wallace should have known better. She can pay any constructive dismissal settlement for all I care!
  • The majority of the antagonists in this issue will be card carrying PPTA members with a bee in their respective bonnets over something totally different from 'learning outcomes' and 'standards'.

I come to this second conclusion as a simplistic fly on the wall mediaphile- from what I have observed the Annan side seems to be backed by a number of pretty smart people, the other side seems to have a majority share of thugs and losers... nuff said.

Politics|Thursday, 19 August 2004 01:43:42 UTC|Comments [0]|    

 Wednesday, 11 August 2004
Labour Gives Hardie Donation To Asbestos Victims

Just seen this on the news....

I hope that the ALP also does 'the right thing' by donating the political donations they have received from thuggish Western Australian trade unions to the various construction companies who were the victims of such thuggery....

One can but hope....


Politics|Wednesday, 11 August 2004 08:37:23 UTC|Comments [14]|    

 Friday, 06 August 2004
The Maxim Institute for Moralizing Bigots

Hard News has good post on Maxim today.

Including Maxim being caught telling porkies... which is WELL WORTH READING

...and more good stuff from the Rationalists and Humanists on the Maxim Spambomber

Human Aggregation | Politics|Friday, 06 August 2004 01:48:56 UTC|Comments [0]|    

 Friday, 30 July 2004
My Rod Donald Google Bait Is Working!

A few days ago I thought I'd post some bollocks on Rod Donald, a politician for our Watermelon (Green) Party...

It's already up to number three on Goggle! Somebody up there loves me....

Politics|Friday, 30 July 2004 08:31:22 UTC|Comments [0]|    

 Friday, 23 July 2004
Back of a Cereal Box

Was wandering around the Green Party Website today as stumbled upon their 'Spokesperson for Rainbow Issues' Mr Richard Davies...

Reckons he has

five degrees from Cambridge, Oxford & London Universities (BA, MA, Dip Th, Dip Ed, Dip ESOL).

Methinks that Mr Davies might do well to enrol in a 'How to tell the difference between a degree and a diploma' course. By my reckoning he's still a few short of his five. Maybe he can scrounge a few more of the back of an Organic Cereal Box somewhere...

... and what's all this Rainbow shit! Why can't they just call it like it is- it's gay rights! Good on them for having a spokesperson on it but 'Rainbow Issues'!?! Give us a break!

Politics|Friday, 23 July 2004 06:34:26 UTC|Comments [0]|    

 Thursday, 22 July 2004
Sue Kedgley is pulling the wool

Compare the Sue Kedgely release

With the Official Food Safety Authority release

She is a fruitloop! I'm too busy working to really have a decent go at all of her claims but to take but one:

Even then, mussels and oysters were found to contain elevated levels of heavy metals such as arsenic, cadmium and lead.

Seafoods have always and will always have high levels of these metals because the environment in which they live has high levels of those metals as a result of quite natural phenomena. Even the Greenie web sites note this.

Politics|Thursday, 22 July 2004 06:24:09 UTC|Comments [0]|    

 Thursday, 15 July 2004
Best Reason for Voting Bush.....

David Farrar has it here...

Gives new meaning to the T-Shirt I found.

Those two can come get ripping drunk with me any day!

Politics|Thursday, 15 July 2004 21:43:28 UTC|Comments [5]|    

New Zealand Locks Up Alleged Israeli Spies....

... and a bloody good thing it is too....

As a frequent traveler, the integrity of the passport system is fundamental to my not getting dicked around at customs. I'd like the NZ passport to remain one of the best passports to travel on and to do that we need to be tough with cheeky buggers like these two.

Politics|Thursday, 15 July 2004 20:59:50 UTC|Comments [0]|    

 Tuesday, 13 July 2004
Rod Donald from The Watermelon Party

Seems like most countries have a Watermelon party.... Green on the outside and red in the middle....

Here is former Social Credit pinup boy Rod Donald and Watermelon MP;

Yesterday's announcement that the Electrolux factory in Christchurch is shifting to Australia, with the loss of 150 jobs, is a reminder that our manufacturers need nurturing if they are to survive," said Rod Donald.

'Nurturing' is euphamistic watermelon speak for 'Protected by exhorbitant consumer demand killing tarrifs and taxpayer wallet destroying subsidies and corporate welfare handouts'.

P.S. This post is really just an attempt to see if I can get the #1 page on Google for a loony left wing MP.... I'm already doing pretty well for a Loony Conservative Christian Think Tank

Politics|Tuesday, 13 July 2004 07:23:09 UTC|Comments [0]|    

 Monday, 12 July 2004
The Power Of Google

Hooray.... When I mention Maxim Institute on my Blog Google puts me ahead of the Maxim Institute itself... I'm just behind Russel Brown.

Politics|Monday, 12 July 2004 00:03:54 UTC|Comments [13]|    

 Friday, 09 July 2004
We live in an insane country....

Answer to a parliamentary question...

For the year ending March 2007, the highest marginal tax rate for a working family with household income of $60,000 will be 95.2%, comprised as follows: income tax 39%, Family Support Tax Credit / Child Tax Credit abatement 30%, Accommodation Supplement abatement 25%, ACC earner premium 1.2%.

Politics|Friday, 09 July 2004 09:16:48 UTC|Comments [19]|    

 Thursday, 08 July 2004
Good Bush, Bad Bush

Julia Lerman has a pic of a cool T over @ her site- really need to be into the apprentice to get it properly....

I want one of these shirts.

Human Aggregation | Politics|Thursday, 08 July 2004 04:10:56 UTC|Comments [0]|    

Greens Want To Ban Water....

Sorry but I couldn't resist bringing it up again....

In an email response to a spoof highlighting all the dangers and deaths from water, Green MP Sue Kedgley's office said she was 'absolutely supportive' of a ban on dihydrogen monoxide in New Zealand.

Politics|Thursday, 08 July 2004 02:54:52 UTC|Comments [0]|    

The Progressives Against Progress

LMAO.... check out this stunt pulled by Beureaucrash over the weekend... press release here... video here...

For our first act, the Bureaucrash Players infiltrated the Green's convention, renting tabling space under the name, "The Progressives Against Progress."


Our mission for the day was to out progressive the progressives, with outrageous proposals for regulation & redistribution, based firmly in their own socialist philosophy. We would judge our success by seeing how many of the convention attendees we could get to sign our petitions for such measures, even as we explained them into absurdity.


The Progressives...s proposals didnt receive the first hint of disagreement until we decided to step it up a notch, and start distributing our Nominate Castro for President flyers to the crowds of delegates, preparing to cast the first ballot for the partys nomination.


One gentleman, upon seeing the Castro flyers on our table, said that he didnt think nominating him was realistic, but rejoiced in the idea of recognizing his accomplishments. He explained, something truly wonderful is happening here, after which he started doing this little dance thing, and singing Guantanamera.

Human Aggregation | Politics|Thursday, 08 July 2004 02:46:54 UTC|Comments [0]|    

 Tuesday, 06 July 2004
Hikoi changes emergency travel benefit.

Well if the Foreshore and Seabed Hikoi achieved but one thing then it is the tightening of the rules around certain dole payments- specifically the $200 'emergency travel' benefit.

The ODT reported yesterday

Wellington: The Government has moved to tighten emergency travel grant rules after May's foreshore and seabed hikoi highlighted problems with the regulations.

Thirteen of the 15,000 people who converged on Parliament on May 5 to protest the Foreshore and Seabed Bill had to claim emergency travel grants to get home after their travel plans fell through.

A spokesman for acting Social Development Minister Ruth Dyson yesterday said those people had not had to repay their grants but that the rules had been changed so that they would in future.

"People did need to prove that they were stranded, which in the regulations means that the previous travel arrangements that they had to return to their normal place of residence had fallen through and they were literally stranded in Wellington," the spokesman said.

"We did discover an inconsistency because if people get grants, for instance, to attend funerals or tangi, which we can also provide, they are recoverable, so people are required to pay them back."

Emergency travel grants had always been capped at $200 and now all would have to be paid back through regular deductions from an individual's benefit.

The grant also applied to a beneficiary's spouse and dependent children, with $200 able to be claimed for each person.

"We looked at it at the time of the hikoi. It was an obvious inconsistency," the spokesman said.

National MP Katherine Rich welcomed the change but doubted it would have happened without opposition pressure.

Many New Zealanders had believed it was unfair that some people had chosen to march to Wellington but said when they got there "hey, we haven't got enough money to get home", Mrs Rich said.

"The travellers who made a choice to come down to Wellington for the hikoi and then found themselves in a situation where they couldn't get home annoyed a lot of people, because one of the things you've got to do when you are on a benefit is be available for and searching for work," Mrs Rich said.

"In my view, you're not doing either of those things if you're on a hikoi."

The change was effective from July 1.

Politics|Tuesday, 06 July 2004 22:31:59 UTC|Comments [0]|    

 Wednesday, 16 June 2004
Fox News on Fahrenheit 9/11

But, really, in the end, not seeing "F9/11" would be like allowing your First Amendment rights to be abrogated, no matter whether you're a Republican or a Democrat.

Yes, Fox News!

via NZ Pundit

Human Aggregation | Politics|Wednesday, 16 June 2004 21:29:38 UTC|Comments [0]|    

 Saturday, 12 June 2004
How to piss off your neighbours.....

If you're a townie, fomer high flying corporate lawyer and member of parliament.... the last thing you want to do after buying a 2027 hectare 'pig hunting' block is to infer that your neighbours are a pack of 'theiving dope smokers'...Law and Order spokesperson or otherwise, it's just not the done thing.,2106,2939790a10,00.html

Also.... this sort of stuff just screams of desperation...

If you did not get ballot papers, or receive this message after its too late to vote I would like to hear from you.  Let me know at  I will get an idea of the numbers from your responses.  It would not be consistent with a secret ballot but if you joined on 3 or 4 June, and you did not get ballot papers back in time, and have not voted by fax, and wish to indicate how you would have voted I will report those numbers to the caucus during its deliberations over the weekend.


Stephen Franks

Politics|Saturday, 12 June 2004 23:50:39 UTC|Comments [2]|    

 Friday, 11 June 2004
Are you a rates mug?

Federated Farmers has launched a campaign to highlight the fact that farmers are being screwed by local govt. rates.

Federation members wanting to join the 10K Rates Club will have an opportunity at Mystery Creek Field Days on June 16-19. Members who bring to the Federation's stand a copy of their general rates demand which shows rates in excess of $10,000 a year will be given the official club mug, which is emblazoned with the club motto "I'm A Rates Mug". The Federation's site is in the main pavilion at PB71 and 72.

Whats more we are now in a situation in this country whereby, in may cases, absentee landowners are denied a vote in local body elections.... It's been a while since I've been to the fielddays... but they are great fun.... well worth a visit if you are in the North Island.

Human Aggregation | Politics | Rants|Friday, 11 June 2004 01:15:02 UTC|Comments [96]|    

 Thursday, 10 June 2004
Maxim Institute Essay Competition

From Hard News.... for those unfamiliar the Maxim Institute is a loony tune bigoted, 'family' centric, bible thumping, conservative right wing think tank outfit....

Tim Michie pointed that the Maxim Institute is running a tertiary student essay competition - six lucky winners will get to work for Maxim in the holidays. Six? These people have money. The suggested text for the essay topic is C.S. Lewis's The Abolition of Man, one of the sacred tomes of the whole hell-in-a-handbasket movement. (You can crib and buy an essay on that.) It's fairly obvious that an essay which does not accord with the Maxim worldview will not be a winning one, but if anyone wants to enter such an essay I'll be happy to consider it for publication here after the contest has closed. We might even be able to manage a prize of our own

I've got $50 towards a competitive prize and challenge all of those liberal (in the classical sense of the word) readers among my throng to do the same.

Pledges in the coments please.

Human Aggregation | Politics|Thursday, 10 June 2004 00:41:44 UTC|Comments [11]|    

 Tuesday, 08 June 2004
From that Mad Aussie (expat) Tony Goodhew

So if someone can be a hard core democrat (ie left wing) but not be a communist/marxist then can't a right winger not be a religious nutter?

*nods*... It's called being a libertarian *G*...

I personally prefer the compass dial approach to political orientation rather than *wings*.

After you take the test look at the analysis too.

Can you spot the area that is sorely lacking!?!

Politics|Tuesday, 08 June 2004 10:36:15 UTC|Comments [0]|    

We'll hold you to it!

What the paper can't comprehend is Richard has also endorsed Ken, Muriel and Stephen and the Herald clearly thinks ACT should pick its leaders in secret. Such leaders have no mandate. Helen Clark struggled and Bill English failed. ACT's new leader will have the mandate that comes from a nationwide democratic vote.

From 'The Letter'... the weekly ACT party mailout. Tuesday 08/06/04
I'm just posting this for posterity in case the party decide to do something wholly stupid........

Politics|Tuesday, 08 June 2004 01:18:39 UTC|Comments [0]|    

Hansard via RSS

Now this is a cool idea.

Using RSS to dish up Hansard (the official Parliamentary proceedings for you non Westminsterites).

You can subscribe to specific MPs and see what they've been saying in the house.


Human Aggregation | Politics|Tuesday, 08 June 2004 00:01:08 UTC|Comments [0]|    

 Monday, 07 June 2004
The passing of Ronald Regan....

Save for Ronny and Barbs 'War on Drugs', the Regan years were pretty good. Pretty early in my lifetime though too :-)

Rodney points @ Jim Peron (who must be about the worlds most prolific writer) on the matter.-Goodbye Ronnie.

Politics|Monday, 07 June 2004 04:50:38 UTC|Comments [0]|    

The Blogosphere... the great leveler....

OK.... so it's probably pretty common knowledge by now that Rodney Hide leads the pack when it comes to being a techno-politician..... His website has gone mad over the past month with the comments and the general level of interactivity.

His blog site has been a huge success.... Quoted in the media- and also the comments quoted in the media (both in our largest national daily paper).......

But it's really cool to see others getting in on the swing of things. For example his recent post on Archbigot Vercoe's little outburst gets a comment from National Member of Parliament (with a bright future) Katherine Rich... is blogging going to be the great leveler in politics? Where the people and the politicians can interact freely on the same plane. I think it is fantastic to see two politicians, from different parties, having free and frank conversational type communications in the blog space. This is the sort of conversational blogging that would make Scoble have kittens!

Politics | Sacrilegion|Monday, 07 June 2004 04:41:52 UTC|Comments [0]|    

 Thursday, 03 June 2004
While out browsing....

A few quick aggregates from the political scene tonight.....

There is a bit of a bun fight going on over on the Whigs blog centered around the ACT Primary. Things seem to be getting nasty towwards the end- yet they started out so well in Dunedin....

Note to the Whig... where is your... if it ain't syndicated it ain't read in this household :-(

The Whig also points to a great spoof site.... Happy Clapping for Jesus.

You've kinda got to be a Kiwi to get a lot of this (Destiny Church is a Happy Clappy NZ Church)... but it makes for sme good light reading.

You can even buy some great T Shirts......


Politics | Sacrilegion|Thursday, 03 June 2004 06:50:42 UTC|Comments [0]|    

 Wednesday, 02 June 2004
SF Court rules Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Unconstitutional

Planned Parenthood's San Francisco-based challenge the Partial Birth Abortion Act of 2003 has succeeded at the trial court level. Check out the Court's order here. Check out a press release here.

There are two similar challenges also proceeding in New York and Philadelphia. Neither of those courts has ruled yet on the issue.

via [LawGeek]

Politics|Wednesday, 02 June 2004 21:11:12 UTC|Comments [0]|    

117% Effective marginal Tax Rate!

Rodney is blogging some calculations that show that there is potential for a 117% effective marginal tax rate under this new budget.... Earn $100 lose $117 i.e. $17 worse off for earning another $100!

See the details here.

Politics|Wednesday, 02 June 2004 01:26:20 UTC|Comments [0]|    

 Monday, 31 May 2004
Hooray.... a blogversation has started.

Berend has posted some replies to my recent rant and I actually think that we probably agree on what the end result should be....

I essentially agree with Chris point of view. But again, this isn't an integrated package. It doesn't remove state paid child care for example.

*nods*... If only it were an integrated package! I think that we could actually quite easily agree on what the end result should/could be... we are just divided on how to get there....

Labour wants to change the law. Do we really believe a Labour law will give more freedom to the people? It doesn't. It will have huge impact on who you can employ as a business or who you can appoint as teacher at your school.

To be completely honest I think the horse has unfortunatly already bolted on these. I think that the Human Rights Act already makes it nearly impossible to discriminate in the hiring process. I don't think that the Civil Unions Bill will have a great effect on the hiring/firing thing.

It affirms that the government has something to say about marriage and can define what it is. I thought real Libertarians denied the government could do this. So how can it be a step in the good direction?

But the crucial point is that it DOESNT try and say anything about marriage. The bill says that the goverment will recognise the legal union of two people of the same sex and that this recognition is categoricaly NOT marriage as the current statutory definition defines it. It's the christian brigade who say that that is something akin to marriage. I do deny that the government should be involved in marriage- get them the hell out. Let the churches have the concept of marriage back to offer as the icing on the relationship cake to those who abide by their beliefs.

The quote that ACT has steadfastly opposed each of the anti-family Bills that it has introduced came from a column of Muriel Newman.

Of all the ACT MPs she is probably the one that would look least out of place in United Future so it is an unsurprising comment. But, let's quickly flick through those bills- I'm going off the cuff here so I may totally stuff up and make some invalid assumptions about the contents of these bills but here goes...

Property (Relationships) Amendment Bill.
I would hope that the problem that most (Muriel obviously excepted) ACT MPs had with this bill was that it forced unchosen obligations onto people who, in many cases, had made a deliberate choice not to enter into a statutory relationship.

Families Commission Bill
Can't really remember enough about the Bill to comment- always seemed to be a let's create a social construct so that we can throw money at it Bill to me anyway. Bills that contain the workding 'for the good of Families' scare me almost as much as bills with the wording 'for the good of Society'....

Care of Children Bill
Muriel complains about it making it easier for gay partners to become guardians of children. I personally think that we should set a far higher standard than we currently do before awarding guardianship... but, I don't have a problem with gay people caring for children. I'm inclined to agree that the lack of a shared parening clause is unfortunate.

I would hope that my statements on the 'family friendly' budget give some indication as to my feelings for have a child earn another buck govt. funding programs.

Civil Union Bill...
Already discussed in the last article. Neuman rolls out the usual 'bad for marriage' stuff... It's not marriage nor does it pretend to be marriage. it is something quite distinct. Hell, if it were available it might make a good option for those of us heterosexual people who aren't really into the whole Christian concept of marriage. It's sure as hell a better idea that the stupid 'deemed civil union' shit that came through in the  Property (Relationships) Amendment Bill.


So hopefully there are some areas in which Berend on the conservative side and myself on the liberal side can agree on. Here are a couple of questions for him and others...*puts on his utopian crystal ball gazer hat*

1. In the ideal world the government would not have anything to do with marriage except for enforcing marriage contracts in the same way as they might enforce any other contract.
2. In the ideal world the government would not be dishing out any favours or 'rights' on the basis of relation status, be that attached or unattached.

Politics | Rants|Monday, 31 May 2004 10:49:12 UTC|Comments [0]|    

 Sunday, 30 May 2004
I Just got politipolled

Just got off the phone with the UMR (I think) research people....

Questions asked were the usual political support questions.
ACT for Party Vote last election and this.
Pete Hodgson for Candidate vote last election and probably this
Brash for preferred PM

Some what did you think of the budget questions
I thought the budget was bollocks as I have already alluded to several times.

Some questions on the proposed passport changes
I'm more than happy to pay more for a more secure passport.

A civil unions bill question
Surprise surprise I'm fully in favour

A raising the drinking age question
Against- if you can fight and die for your country then you should be entitled to get on the booze too.

If it's a poll of 1000 New Zealanders let's hope that I've added my 2 cents worth for the popularity of freedom.


Politics | Rambles|Sunday, 30 May 2004 23:06:32 UTC|Comments [0]|    

The Tax Bribe Thing.... Let's fight fire with fire...

It's budget week here in New Zealand.

It was, as you would expect from a Labour budget, full of bribes- most designed to kick in after the next election.

So anyway.... this, along with the title to a Blog Entry by Rodney Hide (What’s in it for me? ) got me thinking....

Ultimately we live in a democracy and as a libertarian with philosophical underpinnings that lean toward objectivisim “What's in it for me?” has an important ring to it. As human being we should, and as a general rule are, driven by self interest. This self interest becomes very important when we think of our democratic process wherein she with the most numbers takes the prize. Hence the incentive for 'progressive' taxation and wealth redistribution. Now I'm opposed to both of these in principle but I'm increasingly becoming resigned to their continued existence. So I've got an idea I've been kicking around for a few days and I'd like to kick it open to the floor for some comments (comment link is below).

Why don't we fight election bribe fire with fire.

The case for lower business taxes and a flat personal tax rate is a pretty tough sell in our political environment. Hell, even the Nats are not committing to bringing the 60k+ tax rate back to 33c. The lower tax rates lead to economic growth theory, though well underpinned by independent research, is hard to convince the general public of. It is a bit of a sorry indictment on the state of our society and our general education, but, people really need to see $$$ now.

So... where is all this waffle going....

I propose that we start an organisation of businesses, independant of any political party, the members of which commit to the following (or some close derivative thereof).

Each business member will commit that, on the implementation of a tax cut to the corporate tax rate, they will distribute 30% of of that cut evenly among their employees. So, if the next govt cuts the corporate rate to 30c, the business would commit to distributing 1c in the dollar among their employees.

Now the period of this distribution commitment is something that needs to be fleshed out. The two ideas I have thus far are:

1. From the implementation of the tax cut to the end of the parliamentary term.
2. From the implementation of the tax cut to the point at which govt. revenue returns to the level it was at prior to the cut.

Thoughts? PLEASE POST COMMENTS! Is it a good idea? A stupid idea? Reasons?

Politics | Rambles|Sunday, 30 May 2004 01:55:34 UTC|Comments [0]|    

More on Rodney Hide and the Civil Unions Bill

Berend de Boer another ACT supporting software engineer has posted some stuff on the current ACT primary. He linked bac to me and I saw the linkback so had a read of his article. The english is a bit lacking but it is a reaonably detailed article and, for much the same reasons as myself Berand reaches the conclusion that Rodney is the man for the job. This is particularly interesting in so far as Berand falls squarely in the conservative christain camp whereas Rodney would probably not mind being given the title of most Liberal (in the classical sense) ACT MP.

The Once Over Lightly

Berand attended a couple of the meetings I think including the Chris Trotter meeting. He makes some similar notes to what I did about each of the candidates speeches. Notably that Ken Shirley is a real performer.

Like me Berand was interested in testing the candidates under a policy high ball. Being from the conservative persuasion he (innevitably) chose the civil unions bill. It was unsurprising then to see a similar, ney almost identical, split to the answers to my Drugs question at the Dunedin debate. I'm going to commit a bit of space to the whole civil unions thing in this post simply because it's anopther one of those social freedom issues where I firmly belive that ACT should hold true to its principles (and consitution) and take a party stand rather than making it a conscience vote.

Muriel, as expected, was firmly against the Civil Union Bill.
Shirley, one of the more liberal members, would probably support the bill.
Franks, surprise... surprise..., said he wouldn't/couldn't take a stand without knowing what is in the bill....Bloody lawyer..... one can only hope he will commit to at least something if he becomes the leader.
Hide, as noted in his blog, supports the Bill in principle.

A More Detailed Discussion of the Civil Unions Bill- Debunking de Boer....

OK.... so a decent chunk of the de Boer article is given over to having a rant on the civil unions bill. Die hard libertarian that I am there is only one thing that offends me more than naive left wing economics and that is calculated right wing christian bigotry. So... here goes... quotes from de Boer in itallics, emphasis mine....

This bill is about recognition of the gay life style as fully equal to the union between a man and a woman. That will extend into child care, adoption, employment law and the like. Any form of perceived discrimination will be rigorously prosecuted. Anytime a citizens or organisations think they can still distinguish between a married man and woman and a married gay couple, they will have to defend themselves in court.

OK... so let's tick these off one by one....
I have absolutly no problem with private individuals or organisations discriminating against people for whatever reasons they see fit. As a proper classical liberal I think it is totally inappropriate for the government to determine what discrimination private citizens may undertake. Were I a bigoted christian business owner then I should be entitled to choose to employ only white middle class christian males who displine their kids with a bamboo stick- the government should keep well out of such things. But where the government, as legal monopolist of force and the enforcement of law, makes such discrimination then it is wholly inappropriate.

I know from my experience in The Netherlands how these things will work. As a private school, try to reject someone who is in a gay marriage. As a private businesses, try not to hire someone because he is in a gay marriage. The politically correct will send the police to force the issue.

The same sentiments as above apply. Private schools (I have some experience in these one, two) should most certainly be entitled to discriminate against gay people. Likewise, private businesses should be entitled to discriminate against gay people on the basis of employment, service and/or any other such matter. Most importantly, private churches should and must be allowed to determine for themselves whether they are prepared to consecrate the marriage of two gay or lesbian people. But, the government should never be permitted to make such discriminative choices. The real problem that is identified in the above statement is not that the Netherlands permits gay marriage but rather that their government has not grasped this important distinction between the public and private realm. I would hope, libertarian that I am, that any ACT leader in government would work towards freeing up our private rights of discrimination.

de Boer then runs through a quick summary....

1. It sends the wrong message. Especially when then government picks up the tab for failed child care...

Get the government out of paying for child care. Hell let the churches pick up the tab and dish out their Sunday collection monies on whatever terms they see fit!

3. Since Labour has been in power, ACT has steadfastly opposed each of the anti-family Bills that it has introduced.

Such as? If you are going to summarise then at least provide some detail above? I've always loved the term Family when used by christians. Oh and I love their enthusiasm for the 'right' to assault their kids too! But those are topics for another day.

4. This does not mean ACT should not address injustice and fight for those whose clear wishes and contracts the law does not recognise. That's wrong. But this Civil Union bill is not really about that.

It doesn't address it entirely... but as Rodney as noted it is a step in the right direction. The simple solution is to get the government the hell out of relationship law. Give marriage back to the churches as a concept to do with as they wish- i.e. remove the legal concept of marriage from the statue books. Then, simply have the government enforce relationships by way of simple civil contract.

5. The government cannot define what marriage is. Like freedom it is one of those inalienable rights God has given to mankind. Government cannot define what it is nor who can enter into it.

God hasn't given me anything... and from what I've seen thus far if freedom were God given then he is doing a shitty job of stopping Helen Clark et al. from taking it back of me. Without wanting to get into the underpinning philosophical justifications for man to be free let's just agree that god or otherwise freedom is a right that should not be and can not be defined by government. I also agree that the govt. can not and should not be defining marriage and who can enter into it. Leave that for the churches. The govt. should define a structure of civil contract such that people can enter into private contracts to define their relationship.

6. Rodney Hide must have noticed the markedly different levels of applause. Muriel Newman got a warm and loud applause. The applause after Ken Shirley's, Stephen Franks' and Rodney Hide's answers was remarkably more reserved

*note to self*
Must be louder than the conservatives at the next meeting.
Guess that sort of statement just shows how much opportunity to woo new voters we can achieve through the election of a new leader.


PoliTechLaw | Politics|Sunday, 30 May 2004 01:17:43 UTC|Comments [0]|