Saturday, November 25, 2017

Frank Newman: High standards imposed by insurance companies

It seems insurance companies are requiring landlords and property managers to be much more vigilant in the way rental property is managed. The implications are that if a rental is not managed in a manner that minimises risks to an insurer, then they risk having their claims denied.

Here are two examples from a landlord’s insurance policy package currently being promoted by a major insurer. The examples relate to the Landlord’s Obligations clause, and claims for methamphetamine contamination.

Mole News

Deal clears way for wastewater disposal on island
Horowhenua Māori have agreed under a confidential deal to drop court action aimed at stopping the spraying of Foxton's wastewater onto an island in the Manawatu River.

It was signed in September and has only come to light now.

Friday, November 24, 2017

Tim Ball and Tom Harris: Avalanches of Global Warming Alarmism

 Throughout the United Nations Climate Change Conference wrapping up in Bonn, Germany this week, the world has been inundated with the usual avalanche of manmade global warming alarmism. The UN expects us to believe that extreme weather, shrinking sea ice, and sea level rise will soon become much worse if we do not quickly phase out our use of fossil fuels that provide over 80% of the world’s energy.

There is essentially nothing to support these alarms, of course. We simply do not have adequate observational data required to know or understand what has happened over the past century and a half. Meaningful forecasts of future climate conditions are therefore impossible.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

GWPF Newsletter: Mugged By Reality, Germany’s Climate Consensus Is Collapsing

Germany In Crisis As Coalition Talks Collapse

In this newsletter:

1) Germany In Crisis As Coalition Talks Collapse Over Climate Hysteria And Migration
AFP, 20 November 2017
2) Benny Peiser: Mugged By Reality, Germany’s Climate Consensus Is Collapsing
Global Warming Policy Forum, 20 November 2017

Nils-Axel Mörner: Fiji ‘Flooding’ is Fake News

Open Letter to Honorable Prime Minister of Fiji and President of COP23 Frank Bainimarama:
   - Field evidence in the Fiji islands indicate no rise in sea level   
   - Fiji corals indicate full sea level stability since 1950

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Daniel Mitchell: The Real Victims of Class-Warfare Taxation

Remember John Kerry, the former Secretary of State and Massachusetts Senator, the guy who routinely advocated higher taxes but then made sure to protect his own wealth? Not only did he protect much of his fortune in so-called tax havens, he even went through the trouble of domiciling his yacht outside of his home state to minimize his tax burden.

I did not object to Kerry’s tax avoidance, but I was irked by his hypocrisy. If taxes are supposed to be so wonderful, should not he have led by example?

David Skilling: Small countries in an age of giants

Singapore is benefiting from a strengthening global economic recovery with increasing external demand supporting export-oriented sectors. Advance estimates are for GDP growth of 4.6% for the year to Q3 2017. And the 13-strong group of small advanced economies that I monitor are growing as strongly as they have since 2011.
This economic good news contrasts with the concerns about populism and protectionism raised over the past couple of years, to which small countries were thought to be particularly exposed.

GWPF Newsletter: German Jamaica-Coalition Talks In Near Collapse

Merkel Refuses To Set Coal Deadline At Climate Talks

In this newsletter:

1) German Jamaica-Coalition Talks In Near Collapse
euobserver, 17 November 2017

2) Merkel Refuses To Set Coal Deadline At Climate Talks
Associated Press, 15 November 2017

NZCPR Weekly: Improving Productivity and Wellbeing

Dear NZCPR Reader,   

In this week’s newsletter we look into New Zealand’s productivity problem, our NZCPR Guest Commentator Michael Reddell shares his suggestions for lifting productivity and economic success, and in this week’s poll we ask whether you think productivity will improve under the new Labour Government.

*To read the newsletter click HERE.
*To register for the NZCPR Weekly mailing list, click HERE.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Matt Ridley: Amara's Law

Alongside a great many foolish things that have been said about the future, only one really clever thing stands out. It was a “law” coined by a Stanford University computer scientist and long-time head of the Institute for the Future by the name of Roy Amara. He said that we tend to overestimate the impact of a new technology in the short run, but we underestimate it in the long run. Quite when he said it and in what context is not clear but colleagues suggest he was articulating it from some time in the 1960s or 1970s.

Along comes an invention or a discovery and soon we are wildly excited about the imminent possibilities that it opens up for flying to the stars or tuning our children’s piano-playing genes. Then, about ten years go by and nothing much seems to happen. Soon the “whatever happened to . . .” cynics are starting to say the whole thing was hype and we’ve been duped. Which turns out to be just the inflexion point when the technology turns ubiquitous and disruptive.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Richard Epstein: The Income Inequality Obsession

One of the great political divides in the United States concerns the role of the state in redressing income inequality across individuals and groups. 

Recently, the outspoken conservative commentator Dennis Prager noted that in one representative debate during the 2016 presidential campaign, the words, “Wall Street”, “tax,” “inequality,” and “wealthy” were used 59 times by Democratic candidates. In contrast, “ISIS,” “terrorism,” “free,” “debt,” “liberty,” and kindred terms gathered a scant 10 mentions.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

GWPF Newsletter: 'Brain Washing' Needed To Tackle Climate Change, California Gov Tells Vatican

Frustration Shows Up As Bonn Climate Summit Is Deadlocked

In this newsletter:

1) 'Brain Washing' Needed To Tackle Climate Change, California Gov Tells Vatican
The National Catholic Register, 12 November 2017

2) Frustration Shows Up As Bonn Climate Summit Is Deadlocked Again
The Indian Express, 14 November 2017

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Bruce Moon: Our Reversion to Tribalism

"The intense tribalism we are seeing, domestically and internationally, does suggest that we may be approaching a point of true planetary peril." 

So asserted commentator Robert Wright in writing "Why do we fight and can we stop?" in "The Atlantic Magazine" for November 2013.

"People", he says, meaning all of us, "magnify their grievances and do the reverse with their rivals  ... you forget your sins and remember your grievances. ... We're not aware of the information [our] biases exclude. ... The world's gravest conflicts are not over ethical principles or disputed values but over disputed facts. …  We seem designed to twist moral discourse to selfish or tribal ends."

Sunday, November 12, 2017

GWPF Newsletter - NASA: Volcanic Activity Is Heating Up Antarctica’s Ice Sheet

Climate Targets Threaten Germany’s Prosperity, Ministry Of Economy Warns

In this newsletter:

1) NASA: Volcanic Activity Is Heating Up Antarctica’s Ice Sheet
Daily Caller, 7 November 2017 

2) Are Underwater Volcanoes Causing Global Warming? 
Daily Mail, 6 February 2015 

NZCPR Weekly: A Government of Controversy

Dear NZCPR Reader,   

In this week’s newsletter we look into the growing controversy surrounding the new Government, our NZCPR Guest Commentator Karl du Fresne examines the impact of Winston Peters’ legal action against National MPs on the legitimacy of the Government, and in this week’s poll we ask whether Winston Peters should authorise the release of details regarding the overpayment of his superannuation.

*To read the newsletter click HERE.
*To register for the NZCPR Weekly mailing list, click HERE.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

GWPF Newsletter: Green Energy Crash

World's Second Biggest Wind Turbine Maker To Cut 6,000 Jobs

In this newsletter:

1) Green Energy Crash: Wind Turbine Maker Siemens Gamesa To Cut 6,000 Jobs
Financial Times, 7 November 2017
2) GWPF Launches Podcast For Global Listeners
GWPF Podcast, 7 November 2017

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

GWPF Newsletter: Climate Sceptics Are Winning The Debate

Ipsos MORI:British Public Increasingly Unconcerned About Climate Change

In this newsletter:

1) Ipsos MORI: British Public Increasingly Unconcerned About Climate Change
Climate Scepticism, 1 November 2017

2) Polar Bear Week: Twenty Good Reasons To Celebrate Polar Bear Resilience
Global Warming Policy Foundation, 6 November 2017

Mike Butler: Parihaka, the Green Party, and rape

For a few years there has been a call to replace Guy Fawke’s Day with a Parihaka Day to commemorate November 5, 1881, when government troops evicted 1600 people from a village built on confiscated land between Mount Taranaki and the Tasman Sea.

This year the Green Party announced that Marama Davidson will re-enter the Maori Party’s Te ra o Parihaka Bill into Parliament’s Member’s Bill Ballot to establish a further grievance day following Land Wars Day (aka Tribal Rebellions Day) on October 28, and of course Waitangi Day on February 6. (1)

Monday, November 6, 2017

GWPF Newsletter: Will Climate Change Controversy Bring Down Angela Merkel?

Climate & Energy Wars Shake Germany’s Political Order

In this newsletter:

1) Will Climate Change Controversy Bring Down Angela Merkel?
Augsburger Allgemeine, 4 November 2017
2) Climate & Energy Wars Shake Germany’s Political Order
Platts, 3 November 2017

Fiona Mackenzie: More on Council Absurdities

We apparently live in an enlightened era – one in which discrimination on any grounds is forbidden. The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment tell us that we can’t hire (or choose not to hire) someone just because of their age, sex or sexual orientation, race, colour or ethnicity, religious or ethical beliefs, disability, marital or family status, or political opinions. To do so would be illegal. If one of these attributes (or lack of) was a necessity of the job, an employer would need to be prepared to prove it in court. Similarly, for landlords offering rental accommodation, it is unlawful to discriminate.

Thus it’s ironic that the public service entity, the Auckland City Council, has the gall to ask a potential supplier whether they consider their organisation to be a “Maori business”. This question is found in the online application for those applying for Council contracts. It is #5 in a list of standard questions on compliance certification, insurance, services, turnover and number of employees.

Stephen Franks: NZ’s productivity mystery not mysterious to me

I’ve been musing on the official puzzlement about our country’s woeful lack of productivity improvement. 

It turns out that for years our productivity has barely improved. In other words we are generating too little more per head than 20 years ago. Our GDP has grown, but disappointingly little more than population growth.

We have a whole Productivity Commission to agonise over the issue.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

GWPF Newsletter: Tesla Shares Crash Amid Republican Bid To Kill Off Electric Car Tax Break

GOP Plan to Increase Taxes For Wind And Solar

In this newsletter:

1) Tesla Share Crash Amid Republican Bid To Kill Off Electric Car Tax Break 
The Register, 2 November 2017
2) GOP Plan to Increase Taxes For Wind And Solar
The Hill, 2 November 2017

Frank Newman: Council derivatives

Derivatives are the sort of things you generally only come across in movies about wheelers and dealers in far-away places like New York and London - but they have a relevance much closer to home.  You may be surprised to learn that the Whangarei District Council (WDC) has $244.5 million worth of interest rate derivatives. A council staff member has confirmed ratepayers are exposed to valuation movements on the full amount. That's a lot of money at risk, and raises many questions - but more on that later.

Derivatives are complex, but here's a simple run down on the basics, as I understand they relate to the WDC. A derivative is a generic term applied to a financial arrangement that derives its value from another market. These arrangements take many forms (futures, options, swaps), and very smart individuals sitting in high rise office towers around the globe keep coming up with new variations so they can enrich themselves by creating a new market and clipping the ticket on the deals that are done.

NZCPR Weekly: Tribal Control of New Zealand's Coast

Dear NZCPR Reader,   

In this week’s newsletter we look into developments in the Marine and Coastal Area Act claims process that raise concerns that without intervention by the new Government, the coast may fall into tribal hands; our NZCPR Guest Commentator Hugh Barr calls on the new Government to clean up the foreshore and seabed shambles, and in this week’s poll we ask whether tribal claimants should be granted customary rights to areas that are regularly used by the public.

*To read the newsletter click HERE.
*To register for the NZCPR Weekly mailing list, click HERE.

Friday, November 3, 2017

Gerry Eckhoff: We the people

NZ First Leader Winston Peters apparently made a unilateral decision to assume he was in charge of negotiations to form a new Government. 

Was he really in the pursuit of enhancing Parliamentary governance of the country or was he merely determined for reasons of self-interest, to advance the influence of a 7% party? 

We all knew that the special vote count would be similar in percentage terms to the last election so where is the value in all the delay and attention seeking by Mr Peters? And how does it help our country’s governance if policies already voted on by the public are then negotiated away or watered down in the process of forming a Parliamentary majority?

Thursday, November 2, 2017

GWPF Newsletter: Global Temperatures Continue To Drop Back To Pre-El-Nino Levels

Global Oceans Continue To Cool

In this newsletter:

1) Global Temperatures Continue To Drop Back To Pre-El-Nino Levels
Clive Best blog, 29 October 2017
2) Global Oceans Continue To Cool
Ron Clutz, Science Matters, 26 October 2017

Barend Vlaardingerbroek: Catalonia and the growing clamour for ‘external self-determination’

Pro-independence Catalans would have the world believe that they have a democratic right to secession. Not so.

It’s not a matter of democracy when a group of like-minded people agree amongst themselves about what they want, even when they dress their demands up in what appears democratic garb such as an entre-nous ‘referendum’ [with no legal standing].

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Stephanie Perrin: Keeping an eye on Asian politics

Investors are keenly watching for any political changes or policies that may affect markets as well as specific industries or companies. Whilst domestically, the focus has been firmly on New Zealand politics over the last few months, the Milford investment team have also been following political events in the wider Asia Pacific region.

Having recently returned from a research trip to Hong Kong and Tokyo, and with the recent week-long Congress of the Communist Party of China and Japan’s snap election, I thought it timely to share some thoughts on the two countries. Despite being at opposite ends of the economic growth spectrum, both China and Japan have their sights set firmly on growth, albeit implementing pro-growth policy in slightly different ways.

GWPF Newsletter: The Rise of Red-Green Fascism

British Universities May Censor Student Reading

In this newsletter:

1) The Rise Of Red-Green Fascism: British Universities May Censor Student Reading
The Sunday Times, 29 October 2017 

2) Welcome To The New Age Of Academic Fascism & Mob Rule
The Chronicle of Higher Education, 7 October 2017

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Frank Newman: Council Matters - Notable Trees and a Careful Deconstruction

Notable Trees

The WDC is currently going through what it calls a pre-consultation stage of a plan change regarding the management of protected trees in the district. They say, "Pre-consultation represents a great opportunity for you or your organisation to make a meaningful contribution in formulating provisions that work for everyone involved”.

By way of preamble, the policy states, "Trees provide a significant contribution to the amenity, historical, ecological and cultural values of the District. This is particularly so in urban areas where the ongoing demand for land development can threaten the existence of established trees…Individual trees and groups of trees that are considered to be among the most significant trees…are scheduled in this chapter in order to protect the benefits they provide for current and future generations."

Stephen Franks: Common sense we may not see in New Zealand for long three years

Allison Pearson in the Telegraph has a blistering response to the UK Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation‘s urging that the UK should welcome back young jihadists for integration. Entitled “How do you solve a problem like returning jihadis? I’ve got a pretty good idea” she excoriates Max Hill QC’s naivete.

Allison celebrates instead the refreshing bluntness of the UK Minister for International Development, Rory Stewart. who told BBC Radio Five Live that British Isil fghters should be killed in Syria, rather than be allowed to return to the UK.

NZCPR Weekly: Capitalism Under Scrutiny

Dear NZCPR Reader,   

In this week’s newsletter we look into the claims by the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister that free market capitalism is failing New Zealand, our NZCPR Guest Commentator Professor James Allan shares his analysis of the election result and the failings of MMP, and in this week’s poll we ask whether you believe intergenerational welfare dependency is a market failure – as alleged by the Prime Minister – or a failure of government policy.

*To read the newsletter click HERE.
*To register for the NZCPR Weekly mailing list, click HERE.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

GWPF Newsletter: Massive New Coal Boom To Fuel Southeast Asia's Booming Economies

Climate & Coal Threaten To Crash German Coalition Negotiations

In this newsletter:

1) Massive New Coal Boom To Fuel Southeast Asia's Booming Economies
Power Magazine, 27 October 2017

2) Climate & Coal Threaten To Crash German Coalition Negotiations 
Spiegel Online, 26 October 2017

Thursday, October 26, 2017

GWPF Newsletter: The BBC's Green Journalism

BBC Is Accused Of Being A 'Left-Wing Mouthpiece' After Grovelling Apology For Lawson Interview

In this newsletter:

1) BBC Is Accused Of Being A ‘Left-Wing Mouthpiece’ After Grovelling Apology For Lawson Interview
James Tapsfield, Mail Online, 25 October 2017 
2) BBC Wrong To Not Challenge Climate Sceptic Lord Lawson
BBC News, 25 October 2017

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

GWPF Newsletter: War Against Chemicals Is A Shame On Science

Glyphosate Showdown In Europe This Week

In this newsletter:

1) Glyphosate Showdown In Europe This Week
Agriland, 23 October 2017
2) Matt Ridley: War Against Chemicals Is A Shame On Science
The Times, 23 October 2017

Monday, October 23, 2017

Kevin Donnelly: Barbarians at the door after the left’s long march

The Institute of Public Affairs’ forensic analysis of how history is now taught in our universities proves, once again, that the cultural left now controls the academy. And as I argued in Why Our Schools Are Failing, the left’s long march has been ongoing for years.
University humanities departments once were committed to a liberal view of education, one described by TS Eliot as involving the “preservation of learning, the pursuit of truth, and in so far as men are capable of it, the attainment of wisdom”.

GWPF Newsletter: Scientific Establishment Rocked By New Science Scandal

WHO Cancer Agency Edits Out 'Non-Carcinogenic' Findings

In this newsletter:

1) Scientific Establishment Rocked By New Science Scandal
Reuters, 19 October 2017
2) Green Energy Campaigners May Kill The World’s Biggest Science Project
Bloomberg, 20 October 2017

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Brian Giesbrecht: The “60’s Scoop” Continues

The federal government has reached an agreement in principle to settle outstanding class-action lawsuits relating to what has come to be called the “60’s Scoop”. Eight hundred million dollars will be set aside to settle claims of First Nations and Inuit children who were removed from their homes – “and lost their cultural identity” – between 1951 and 1991.

This settlement represents the claims for cultural loss by status Indians and Inuit only. Metis and non-status claims remain outstanding, as do claims for other types of loss. The final bill is sure to be in the billions. A national inquiry on the issue is almost certainly being planned – to begin once the inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls has issued its report.

Victor Davis Hanson: Trump’s Constructive Chaos

Almost daily, President Trump manages to incense the media, alarm the world abroad, and enrage his Democratic opposition. Not since Ronald Reagan’s first year in office has change and disruption come so fast from the White House.

Let’s consider foreign affairs first. In response to North Korea’s nuclear threats to hit the American West coast, Trump promised Kim Jung-un utter destruction.  And for sport he ridicules him as “rocket man.” 

ISIS is now on the run. The terrorist group has given up on its once-promised caliphate—in part because Trump changed the rules of engagement and allowed American generals at the front to use their own judgment and discretion on how best to destroy their enemies. 

Brian Gaynor: Miner’s end leaves taxpayers in a hole

The sale of Solid Energy’s remaining operating coalmines terminates the Crown’s 114-year involvement in the coal industry.

The sale has been greeted positively by the company, with its press release noting that participating creditors “should see a return of approximately 60 cents in the dollar compared to the estimated 20 cents that creditors would have received if the company had gone into liquidation in September 2015”.

This is an incredibly positive spin on the woeful performance of the company over the past five years. Its disclosure has also been inadequate; taxpayers are entitled to far more information on the company’s asset sale process, particularly the price it received for its mines.

NZCPR Weekly: Losers Take Power

Dear NZCPR Reader,   

In this week’s newsletter we reflect on the news that New Zealand’s new Government is made up of a coalition of the losing parties in the election, our NZCPR Guest Commentator Frank Newman examines the impact on the property and business sectors, and in this week’s poll we ask whether it should be the party with the most votes that is given the opportunity to form a new government, rather than the party that holds the balance of power.

*To read the newsletter click HERE.
*To register for the NZCPR Weekly mailing list, click HERE.

Matt Ridley: Montesquieu's "sweet commerce" and Cobden's "God's diplomacy"

The “ultimatum game” is a fiendish invention of economists to test people’s selfishness. One player is asked to share a windfall of cash with another player, but the entire windfall is cancelled if the second player rejects the offer. How much should you share? 

When people from the Machiguenga tribe in Peru were asked to play this game, they behaved selfishly, wanting to share little of the windfall. Not far away, the Achuar in Ecuador were much more generous, offering almost half the money to the other player — which is roughly how people in the developed world react.

What explains the difference? 

Saturday, October 21, 2017

GWPF Newsletter - World’s First Offshore Wind Farm Retires: A Post-Mortem

GWPF Report Rocks World Bank Meeting

In this newsletter:

1) World’s First Offshore Wind Farm Retires: A Post-Mortem
GWPF Energy, 18 October 2017
2) Norway Seeks $9,000 ‘Tesla Tax’ On Electric Cars
The Local Norway, 14 October 2017

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

GWPF Newsletter - Tony Abbott’s Victory: Australian Govt Dumps Green Energy Target

Labor Party Accuses Turnbull Of Capitulating To Abbott

In this newsletter:

1) Tony Abbott’s Victory As Australian Govt Dumps Green Energy Target
ABC News, 17 October 2017

2) Labor Party Accuses Prime Minister Turnbull Of Capitulating To Tony Abbott
The Advertiser, 16 October 2017

Monday, October 16, 2017

GWPF Newsletter: World Bank "Abandons The Poor"

Climate Science Has Become Non-Popperian

In this newsletter:

1) New GWPF Report: World Bank "Abandons The Poor"

Globe Newswire, 14 October 2017

A new report: 'The Anti-Development Bank: The World Bank's Regressive Energy Policies' by the London-based Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF) finds that the World Bank has abdicated its primary mission of tackling poverty in the developing world.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Karl du Fresne: Licensing trusts - a great social experiment that mostly failed

It probably comes as a surprise to many people to learn there are still places in New Zealand where it’s not possible to buy wine or beer in a supermarket. Invercargill is one such place. West Auckland is another.

These are not “dry” areas, where local voters have chosen to remain liquor-free. New Zealand lost the last of those (two in Auckland, one in Wellington) in 1999.

Frank Newman: October crashes

“October: This is one of the peculiarly dangerous months to speculate in stocks. The others are July, January, September, April, November, May, March, June, December, August and February.” (Mark Twain.)

It's thirty years since the 1987 sharemarket crash - Monday the 19th of October 1987 (US time) to be precise. Wall Street had its biggest one-day fall in the history of the stock exchange, down 22 percent.

Murray Reid: Rangiaowhia Affair

Two years ago, I learnt that my grandsons are direct descendants of Thomas Power and Rahapa te Hauata. Until then I was ignorant of the history of the settlement at Rangiaowhia. To improve my knowledge, I visited the site and the Te Awamutu Museum. The museum has an impressive display of the locality and holds the Taonga of Mrs. Power, gifted to the museum by the West family. I then did follow up research on the genealogy of the couple and read up on what I could find.

A few weeks later at a historical group meeting I mentioned my family’s connection to Rangiaowhia to be told by a Kaumatua of a NE Waikato Iwi that “that was where the British locked over 100 Maori men, women and children in the church and burnt them to death.”