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Thursday, June 30, 2005

Political Feng shui

I kid you not. This article has the feng shui analysis of the party's logos. Silly National - metal in water! What the chi were they thinking!?

LABOUR: "Engulfed by fire... tarnished reputation."

NATIONAL: "Power of the sword... glimmer of fighting strength... doused by other members of their own party."

NZ FIRST: "Winston is a rooster."

GREENS: "Tremendous growth and support."

UNITED FUTURE: "Attacks from colleagues"

PROGRESSIVE: "Fire destroys metals."

And this article has Parliament's appraisal:

"General Site
Parliament House... situated in a way which enables it to tap auspicious landscape feng shui!...

A dragon pathway for vehicles to drive through starts from the south gate ... Outside the fence is Molesworth Street,... representing its auspicious Jade Belt.

Black Turtle
Parliament House is auspiciously situated with Wellington's own solid range of Black Turtle Mountains behind the building. This feature symbolises great support for the government system in all its undertakings by the people. A powerful mountain range behind brings stability and support for the NZ government as a concept... the existence of this feature brings about acceptance and great support for the idea of a solid government. Even protests will be carried out peacefully as there is overall backing and respect for the establishment. Disagreements are handled in a civilised manner.

Green Dragon
On the left hand side of Parliament House is the Parliament Library, which represents its Green Dragon. In feng shui, the Green Dragon is the celestial animal that brings fortuitous opportunities to the family to attain respect, honour in society and prosperity....

White Tiger
On the right hand side of Parliament House is the Bee Hive. From a classical feng shui perspective, the placement of the Bee Hive makes it a symbolic representation of Parliament's Protective White Tiger. Where the Dragon produces the fortune, the Tiger protects it from being lost or attacked. In feng shui texts, the White Tiger is akin to the eldest son of a family. It is said that without the White Tiger, the residents of the building suffers from lack of descendants to perpetuate the mandate of the family or protect the wealth of the family fortune. Interpreted for Parliament, it is the White Tiger who will protect and uphold the honour and integrity of the nation's values and economic fortunes."

In the supernatural order of things I've always considered the current PM as a zombie-queen vampire rather than a White Tiger.

ELECTION DATE: 17 Sept. now 2-1

Scoop is reporting:
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade spokesperson Emma Reilly said the forum secretariat was asked by New Zealand if the dates could be changed due to the NZ general election expected to be held at the same time: “The secretariat circulated this request to members, who agreed to the change,”
Well that seems to reduce the chances of an August 20 date, seems more definitely a late September date.

Option 1: Date of the next New Zealand General Election.

Date.......Odds.......(Relevant event)...... Punters

30 July.....99-1 John Armstrong?,Adolf F, Dave, Jono,RodneyHide, AntarcticLemur
6 August...66-1 (NZ v. SA, Capetown)
13 August..50-1 (NZ v. Aust, Sydney)
20 August..9-1 TuataraLeft, Asher, Audrey Young
27 August..50-1 (NZ v. SA)
3 Sept......55-1 (NZ v. Aust) Berend deBoer
10 Sept.....4-1 Spanblather,Simon Pound, Berend deBoer, Kate
17 Sept.....2-1 Greg Stephens, Vernon Small?, Michael, Molesworth&Featherston, DavidPFarrar, SageNZ(new), AshleyClarkson, Phantasm., Kevin List
24 Sept.....33-1 (School Holidays)

Bet closes: At start of statement from Prime Minister or Governor-General (whichever is first) confirming [Option 1 event] has been set.
Bet paid: "Writ day." (Governor-General orders election to be held).
All odds subject to change. No refunds.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Don't Panic!

We are heading for an economic crash. No need to panic (yet, maybe).

Gman says: The most conservative estimate has the dollar devaluing 17% this year. There has been no whole sale culling (pun intended) of capital, it's more like a slow haemorage.
Lets look at the way that the dollar has been buffered over the past year by 90 day bills...
What I'm saying is that I have been told the same story about threats being made to staff if this one gets out (with eerie similarity), by three people who do not know each other--one in the reserve bank, one in treasury and one in Min services. that is no coincidence. [My emphasis]

As GMan expains murmurings at Treasury and the Reserve Bank and the government's obligation (under Ruth Richardson's Fiscal Responsibility Act) to open the books may pop the plasma screen bubble we are currently in. The underlying facts that will determine our fate must be stated. I have posted on this previously but there are more voices of prudence and sanity in the blogocracy now - and they are privy to more intimate and high-level insight than myself.

Here is just one of the many sets of basic equations:

Our dollar is high because:
1. It is justified by underlying infrastructural solidity (inflation rate, banks, asset backing etc.), and
2. Expectations of further growth and therefore ability to produce revenue and retain value in the future.
This results in high demand.

But what if those two premises were actually just a load of crap? What if the real equation was:

1. NZ has a fragile solidity based on smooth operational processes rather than asset backing, and our ridiculously high interest rates reflect that we are not really stable at all. The illusion of stability is produced through the boffins at RBNZ and Treasury fixing the system to produce the certificate of compliance, viz: Triple A Sovereign debt credit ratings, that lets us borrow as best we can, rather than anything else. Cullen is stashing as much money as he can (92% of the huge Cullen Superannuation fund!) in foreign funds while the exchange rate remains high as a massive reserve to stabalise the situation and act as a fighting fund should the dollar be weakened whilst pretending that it will be drawn down after 20 years (when presumably the currency is stable!?). "The New Zealand dollar is now the 11th most traded currency in the world, with daily turnover in the New Zealand market of around $7.5 billion." - admission of the speculative policiesfrom the reserve Bank itself that a tiny country of 4 million people can be No. 11th in the international marketplace! Does this sound an inherently stable situation? And

2. Our expectations are based on very soft and transient items such as annually: 30,000+ immigrants, 100,000+ foreign students and 1,000,000+ tourists. All the borrowing, 90% from foreign owned banks which repatriates all their money-for-jam profits, are purely speculative, with only a tiny deposit, and based on assumptions of unrealistic inflation+ property value growth (which is all just borrowed against as soon as the new valuation comes out) and credit card debts to pay for toys. Our industries are often mismanaged and bought by foreigners cheaply, asset-stripped and sold back to us or directly nationalised by the Government at a huge premium that the foreigners repatriate again.

Our current account deficit is about $10 billion.
Our trade surplus for the May quarter just went into the red. and for the year is $5 billion - more than expected.
Our government has been a net debtor since Vogel locked us into the vast money drain of the railway system (that we are still paying for) and despite confiscating millions of prime agricultural acres off the local inhabitants still couldn't balance the books because they were litterally giving it away to speculator insiders.
Our country has been in a deficit to the rest of the world on trade since Britain told us to fuck off in the early 70s.
Various government economic gurus since then have both invested heavily in uneconomic activities that made huge losses and divested themselves at a loss of industries that now make huge profits.
Our only solution is to pump in as many immigrants as possible to keep the land speculation going.

Now, does that sound like a AAA+ credit rating to you?

When someone on Wall Street realises these facts either our interest rate (RBNZ's OCR) is going to be much higher than 6.75% or inflation targets will have to loosen as all of our monopoly money floods back into the country, orour dollar is going to be a lot less than the $0.70c US and 0.58c Euro it is today. Or all of these things.

Not that I'm an alarmist... but let's lock into the Euro now. The RBNZ are already going to turn our silver coinage into Euro-compliant coins sometime next year or 2007. First steps.

Monday, June 27, 2005

If NZ history was 24 hours in a flat

Maori first arrived at the flat that is NZ at midnight.

Many things were done, many things were organised and reorganised during which time people set fire to the backyard and did some stupid things. However by lunchtime things had settled down and everyone had settled in, got comfortable after moving around the rooms and made themselves at home. There were disputes, usually over girlfriends - but they made for good songs and jokes, and there were arguments about who owns what in the cupboard. The odd punch-up; the odd alliance.

The first time anyone even saw of a non-Maori was about 4pm. Just drove past really, everyone finished their dinner around 7pm when quite a few started arriving in flash cars with new toys and wanted to doss on an ad hoc basis as permanent guests of the flatmates.

At 8pm they all agree in principle that they can start to doss here as equal flatmates provided the original flatmates want to assign them rooms or parts of rooms and to change the roster at some point and disputes between the original flatmates could be sorted out by the neutral new flatties. It seems to go well, they bring in a fridge and the power gets put on.

But by 9pm they had invited all their mates over, against the wishes of the original flatmates (had they known) and had taken over the whole show. They start destroying the backyard even though they were told by the old flatmates that last time they did that it was a mess. Everyone had agreed on where they were sleeping and then the gatecrashers barge in and start making threats, demands and backed by their mates from down the road they engineer a skirmish around a roster dispute and head tenancy issues at around 9:30-10pm that results in the old flatmates being overwhelmed and kicked out to the garage and the porch annex. Some of the skin heads remain on as enforcers.

Complaints flow but the new flatmates don't want them at the flat meeting either but they permit one delegate from the garage to be an observer to advise the old flatmates on how the new roster will affect them. Many untold new flatmates keep arriving all through the night, paying their bond straight to the new flatmates as the garage dwellers look on. And just before midnight a whole lot of Asian students are crammed in and all charged up-front fees. The garage-dwellers are now outnumbered almost 10-1.

At one minute to midnight and after a seemigly endless flat meeting that indicated they would allow some of the people in the garage to pick up some of their stuff the new flatmates had been using from the spare room and tentative agreements over how the water bill will be split a couple of new flatmates come running in and say the old flatmates are gardening down the back of the garage. The new flatmates say it's not on and they must have at least 80% of the garden strip to be reviewed at the next meeting. The old flatmates say this new rule is unacceptable, but the new flatmates say they should have put that in straight after they were kicked out. They add that to the house rules.

Now it's midnight.

That is the context.

Can someone who arrived after 9 at night understand that their behaviour and arrogance is insulting. Do they think the entire history only begins when they paraded onto the scene, waving their new roster around and claiming they were now the head tenants and the old flatmates had to do what they were told or else they would not be allowed back into the house? Many people are more akin to mates of those mates who have taken up residence in a room and don't talk to the people in the garage and believe every bullshit story they are told from the new flatmates about the history of the flat and how the old flatmates ended up in the garage where they belong and how cheeky they were for trying to get that strip of garden next to the garage all for themselves

That's our pathetic history in a nutshell.
(Garden=Foreshore & Seabed).

PS: The Crown is using my original notes on this as evidence that I am seditious.

Marx, Pakeha, Debt, History, Property and... crash?

Lucyna, at Sir Humphry's observed:
NZ Pakeha Govt: incompetent and racist
COMMENT: Pakeha government, in negotiating with Waitangi Treaty claimants, has constantly pleaded poverty. Yet, as shown below, it has no problem enriching its Pakeha capitalist class and funding a huge overseas debt for the benefit of its (mainly) Pakeha constituency.

Marxist speak. So far no link with the Maori Party that I can find. There's heaps more just like this on the website I've linked to.

It's like the cold war never ended with some people. Their assumptions about race and our history and therefore our current problems deserve scrutiny. To that end, Lucyna:

They mentioned "class." Obviously raving Marxists! The problem is that they are correct.

Our system operates along economic class lines despite there not being any deep antipathy and some fluidity between economic classes. If the government operates a policy to benefit home owners above owners of other capital, or vice versa then this can be seen in class terms. Whether Cullen is even aware of this (despite his doctorate) given every Finance Minister's reliance on policy from Treasury is moot. Or maybe he acknowledges that he now operates the state for the sake of the state rather than for any class - which means he operates it for whatever the status quo was before him. Given the Cullen fund I think he is doing exactly that. Great for the government, rude for everyone else not already creaming it from or through or by the state. Like a... socialist... corporatist... Technocrat.

But if you're not shy of analysis:
Our current account deficit is what? $10 billion in the red. Been in the red since the UK told us to bugger off and stop leaching. Our government debt has been higher than the asset backing since one of the many speculator-capitalists (Vogel in this example, but any one of those of his class) nationalised responsible local governance, viz: the Provinces, so the Crown could directly fund massive debts through huge borrowing to benefit his class primarily. Have those precious railways ever been in the black??? They weren't then, they aren't now, they are not projected to be in the future... Whose the sucker?

Maori land "acquisition" was the original basis for the entire speculative pyramid premised on permanent immigration. The Treaty is evidence of that. We've just had the last vestigages of Maori property claims stripped away by the Crown (oh Maori will get 20% of the aquaculture area so they only lost a miserly, insignificant 80% total and reduced in status to supplicants) so the crown can sell it off, so the cycle is coming to an end. Problem is the end of any speculative binge or pyramid scheme is always a crash. To prevent the crash the Crown must find new revenue streams like 115,000 international students last year, 30,000+ immigrants each year minimum, user pays for everything including "free" schools, tolling, increasing taxes or selling it's remaining assets.

Why does the Reserve bank admit that our currency is the 11th most traded in the world (sorry no link, tried to find it). Why do we have the highest interest rates in the developed world?

Is this alarming you or do you think it's sweet as?

Almost our entire banking system is foreign owned and we are going about attracting foreign capital because we don't have any. Cullen is "investing" 92% of the Super fund (supposed to be over $100b at peak) off-shore - why? Why did he pump more money into the RB's reserves? I don't want to bring on a crash any sooner than necessary but speculators know that Cullen/Crown must preserve it's Triple A Sovereirgn debt rating or the charade is over. If they take the money out what will we pay them with? If they liquidate their holdings suddenly we will have to go to the RB's reserves and then the Cullen fund. Is the govt. prepared to prop up the dollar by even higher interest rates? Sale of more assets? If we owned the banks it would not nearly be so bad - Switzerland may be a case study of prudential wisdom through a high exchange rate/volume rather than us.

The govt. claims the Crown will move into a net asset situation next year for the first time since the speculators needed railways to make their dodgy land "acquisitions" turn a quick profit. Really? What they mean is the Cullen fund will prop our exchange rate up so the valuations look good so they can claim we have no net debt. If someone on Wall street twigs that Bollard's signature isn't even on the 20s yet, after 3 years, and the RB is thus holding massive stocks of currency because they rationally predict inflation, then we are in big trouble. If Cullen liquidated the fund and repatriated it would it really amount to what they say it does? If we have to prove it, how short will we fall? Buying in now when we are strong seems prudent though - I can't work out whether this strategy is genious or madness. Such are the machinations of economists. I don't trust the bastards: lock into the Euro now.

But to answer the question: does the pakeha capitalist class benefit from high overseas debts? The simple answer is: there sure isn't any capital gains tax so obviously they benefit directly in that sense.

Who is this class: White people (and immigrants) who own productive, ie. revenue generating and asset increasing property. So, shares, businesses, investment property and I would say their own domestic house also if they buy it with an expectation of significant increase and sale therefter. (You see now how this links in with my earlier comments about "locals") So, almost all Pakeha are part of this class by that definition. Remember to some Pakeha (one of you guys on this blog I think) something isn't even "property" as such unless it can be sold to someone else. So Maori don't constitute Pakeha, and obviously because their predominant form of capital is not for sale, ie. land, and some of that does not even produce revenue. Very broad brush here but I see what they are saying and asset/productivity differences between Maori and Pakeha would probably bear that out.

What constitutes a benefit? Increase in capital value and/or increase in revenue.

Does the means or process of "funding high overseas debts" create that benefit?: Well the Crown borrows money to pay for things in NZ. What is the Pakeha/Maori split on that payment? It also lets foreigners/Pakeha in to own things formerly owned by the Crown when it comes to pay the debts off. It increases tax revenue and rates, but any good accountant - purley the agents of this class - will be able to minimise it whilst everyone else cops the full amount (fair enough!)

I have to give this last part of the question more thought as it is pivotal. But, I think the introduction of immigrants as a short-term fix that operates on a long-term basis is the real problem. Because it feeds the speculation that lets the "Pakeha capitalist class" become wealthier (through large increases in property prices) whilst Maori who are outside that capital system to begin with are locked out as prices rise beyond their ability to produce revenue to enter the speculation - and with more people in the country the situation becomes more extreme. Pakeha who occupy some of the most productive and therefore expensive land such as Waikato, Taranaki and Bay of Plenty are on land stolen off Maori by the Crown and any remedy to that situation (no matter where you stand on the issue) is ever more acute as the value of the loss and the ability to rectify things on an "at market valuation" principle becomes ever more difficult.

Friday, June 24, 2005

Q & A: Public access to private land

Q & A

The Labour government is bending to more lobbyists to erode property rights through promoting a spurious "right" to walk through any private land next to a waterway.

Q. Who is pushing this legislation?
A. Fish and Game (the old colonial acclimatisation societies), ie. hunters, and the Federated Mountain Clubs, ie. adventurers.

Q. What does land does it affect?
A. 5m strips down both sides of a 3m wide+ permanent water course that is currently in private ownership. These are not to affect title. Many details yet to be sorted out.

Q. How is this different from the "Queen's Chain"?
A. The chain is a general policy from the late 19th century that the government or local government should try to acquire a 20m strip alongside all waterways including the seashore for public use. Only ever implemented in ad hoc ways.

Q. What is the Hunter's stated rationale?
A. Hunters want to chase their quarry ie. fish. Fish and the water itself doesn't belong to the land owner so they should be
able to get them/use it wherever it is.

Q. What is the real rationale?
A. Hunters and adventurers increasingly find foreign owners refusing permission that most citizen farmers grant freely.

Q. What is the real, REAL reason they want this "right"?
A. The hunters are taking tourists up rivers to fish and hunt for hundreds of dollars and don't want to split any of the money with the person whose land they are actually hunting on.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Guest Blog: Not Strictly Boring

-------Introducing guest blogger Martyn Bradbury--------

Big Norm won the dancing with the stars TV competition. So what? Well his win ended up saying more about NZ than any talkback host or academic could ever attempt to articulate. By voting Norm the winner we spoke as a nation about who we are and what we like, and apparently we like heavy bald guys who have cried in public and say sorry lots. We also said that we weren't impressed with blonde showy wankers who take off their shirt every chance they can get, or more simply put, we hate Aucklanders and Nicky Watson.

It also showed us the ugly side of NZ. Tim Shadbolt only stayed in because the entire South Island kept voting for him. They have a saying down south, 'One eyed and proud of it'. Not only are they biased, they are proud of their bias (not even Alabama goes that far). But in bred southern rednecks and shallow Aucklanders aside, the winner of course was Wellington. Stormin' Norm epitomises the flavour of man in favour with NZ woman. Now the cynic would suggest that Norm is the type of saddle-worn bloke who understands his subservient role in the world and wearily follows with the obedience of the whipped, which of course is his appeal. Others would declare it's his soft cuddly side that make woman swoon, telling us that the days of the macho men are numbered and as NZers we ain't swayed by flashy types or Tim Shadbolt.

Unlike NZ Idol, Dancing with the stars has a credibility and accidentally reflects our values and tastes, it's a light weight entertainment program with no pretension, whereas NZ Idol is swamped with the showy pretension of launching a 'pop career'. Dancing has never shown us so much.


Ever since Auckland started demanding a fair share of the Nation's transport budget the Treasury has been pushing toll roads. Right up until that point tolls were unneccessary. Afterwards they became absolutely indespensible. As they drag their feet on major projects each extension that was once part of the normal funding procedures becomes uneconomic without tolling. The Puhoi extension from Orewa is just the start or this bureaucratic buck passing.

Typically our local government leaders are just mindlessly chanting Treasury's mantra as their officials and Transit find excuses to make their projects cost even more money - knowing that the motorists will be paying directly for 30 years... or more. Forget that Dr Cullen has a massive surplus or that 92% of his fund is invested overseas - we, apparently, must pay foreigners for the privilege on driving on our own roads. How will this help our chronic balance of payments deficit?

Call me skeptical.

One solution is a two-tier motorway system. To some they are "Lexus lanes" and a class division on public highways. To others they may be an excuse to get the big rigs out of the passenger lanes, to reward High Occupancy Vehicles (HOV/HOT) and Buses with a free run into town.

Washington State Hot lanes in this article.

California State Hot lanes in this article.

My solution to Auckland's (now abandoned) Eastern Highway is to widen the Southern motorway (properties, esp. residential should be relatively cheap next to it) and create an inner two lanes on each side to take trucks and those willing to pay a toll. Not perfect, but practical. Resource consent isn't going to be much of a problem (the stumbling block with the Eastern Highway).

There are problems with these lanes of course. This Washington Post article reports:

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Howard Gottesman jumped onto the Route 91 Express Lanes the day they opened in 1995. For a mere $2.50, the property manager and father of two could veer off one of Southern California's most congested freeways and zip home on the private new toll road that paralleled it. Some days, it nearly cut his evening commute to Corona in half.

Soon, though, the secret was out. More and more drivers filled the Express Lanes, and on some nights the drive wasn't so express. Road operators reacted by jacking up the peak-hour fees -- to $2.95, and later $4.75, then $5.50 and more. Last month, Gottesman was staggered to learn that his evening drive would now cost as much as $7.75 a day.

Too much? Maybe. Enough to send him back to the slow lanes? Never.

"It saves a lot of wear and tear on your car, and wear and tear on your mind," said the 44-year-old California native, who often drives six miles out of his way to enter the 10-mile-long Express Lanes. "It's worth more than eight dollars, my time."

So once implemented we will be stuck with a dual system whereas with tolls over the whole thing at least after a generation we may theoretically be free of it. Theoretically. Not even the Attorney-General could stop the cash-strapped Tauranga District Council with their illegal toll bridge. It took angry truckies to do that.

Traffic will be worse in the future even if we had the ultimate 100% of the population within 200m of a train station that runs once every 5 minutes scenario. People love their cars. We have to acknowledge that - but it is not an excuse to punish them, especially since the current alternative (and indeed all that is planned) is shitty bloody buses.

Denver, Colorado.

My brief submission to the Auckland City Council earlier this month emphasised that there has never, NEVER been a rail feasability plan for the North Shore. The most one can find is a single paragraph in a report from the 80s dismissing the idea out of hand! Our slug planners are wedded to buses. The problem is since they have no plan after the buses they will never finish the bus plan, because then what would they do? How can they "plan" for something that has already been on the books since the 70s? What the fuck are they doing!? Their current bus plan is for people to drive their private motor cars through crowded, peak-time traffic anarchy - creating even more local congestion so they can take a bus that stops at the side of the motorway. So you need a car to catch a bus! Anyone see any problems with that plan?

Mr Hubbard then informed me that he was meeting with Transit on the harbour tunnel issue and was pushing for a dual rail line to go in it as well. Bravo, Mr Hubbard! If he gets that through he would have truly broken a pattern of planning failure. Good luck to that man.

Monday, June 20, 2005

ELECTION DATE: PM: 30 July "I can safely assure you there won’t be.”

UPDATE 21 June:
Scoop reports on PM's Monday press conference: “The date will be announced in due course, but clearly some party's, having missed all the signs that there might be an early election last time, jumped the gun this time and predicted there’d be one at the end of July. I can safely assure you there won’t be.” This is the first definitive statement on that date, delivered on the date it would be due, therefore we have to take her word for it.
UPDATE 20 June:
30 July announced possibly before parliament gets underway Tuesday (7-1). Realistically slipping rapidly away. It is technically possible to call an election for 30 July for another fortnight (and for 23 July for another week), but would be highly unlikely.

The perfect storm of government ineptitude of minor and major controversies (Benson-Pope, Graham Kelly, budget tax cuts, Kyoto deficit) still continues and only an intelligent PM would have the balls to call it for July 30. I think they may be running scared at this point and may choose to weather it. If Labour think these things will go away and somehow it will be a sweet ride to Sept., they are taking risks - not playing it safe as some would think. The poll jolts have helped energise the Labour ground troops so that is actually a positive for them. Labour has not been able to tease out any substantial policy from National so far but the Nats have scored a few hits with it's simplistic/minimalistic but effective campaign to date.

The recent polls have provided every reason to put the election off to as late as possible within most Labour circles from what I can fathom. Labour politicians will appear at a big Union conference next week that they had previously expressed little interest in attending (a little dickie bird tells me) - so what does this mean? It is rational to think that today is a red letter day for the "early" scenario where a serious high-level appraisal must take place, then 11 July (the Monday after we beat the Lions) is the red letter day for a 20 August election, and the clock is really starting to run down after that.

They assume the Nats have peaked, or will shortly, and will not cement their gains. Dangerous assumptions.

Option 1: Date of the next New Zealand General Election.

Date.......Odds.......(Relevant event)...... Punters

23 July.....99-1 SageNZ(old), John Armstrong?, SundayNews
(3 years after last election)
30 July.....50-1 John Armstrong?,Adolf F, Dave, Jono,RodneyHide, AntarcticLemur
6 August...15-1 (NZ v. SA, Capetown)
13 August..15-1 (NZ v. Aust, Sydney)
20 August..3-1 TuataraLeft, Asher, Audrey Young
27 August..50-1 (NZ v. SA)
3 Sept......55-1 (NZ v. Aust) Berend deBoer
10 Sept.....4-1 Spanblather,Simon Pound, Berend deBoer, Kate
17 Sept.....3-1 Greg Stephens, Vernon Small?, Michael, Molesworth&Featherston, DavidPFarrar, SageNZ(new), AshleyClarkson, Phantasm., Kevin List
24 Sept.....66-1 (School Holidays)

Bet closes: At start of statement from Prime Minister or Governor-General (whichever is first) confirming [Option 1 event] has been set.
Bet paid: "Writ day." (Governor-General orders election to be held).
All odds subject to change. No refunds.

Friday, June 17, 2005

Old/Single/Young: The Century's 3 Great Demographic Challenges

We, as in this country and most nations, have more old people now than ever before in our entire history. We also have an expectation of longevity that has been around post-war but is growing in most countries.

With so many elderly and the permanence of democracy they are yielding huge power now and it will continue to increase. To fund their pensions and health costs they will use the power of the State to take those resources from the young. The young will become resentful but any government willing to sacrifice the elderly will be gone at the next election. Apart from the obvious allocation of society's resources to retirement villages, hospices, hospitals and pensions we have another huge problem: conservatism.

Old people seek stability and abhor change. They tend to prefer nostalgic falsehoods rather than realities, are forgetful, cannot even engage in debate or dialogue because of their intolerance or short attention spans. Naturally being old they think their opinions count for more and that they deserve respect on an automatic basis. Government's wanting to overhaul anything will face resistance from this huge bloc and the Western nations will not just face a future of low productivity with less young people, but also an inability to make necessary reform. Backlash policies and knee-jerk authoritarianism will find a happy home with this constituency as the only form of change acceptable to them. They will hold a veto over the future and I think that is already happening in our country (especially with the introduction of student loans) with things such as anti-boy racer laws, wanting to make 20 the drinking age etc. All developed countries risk stagnation on economic terms but also will have to deal culturally with a less tolerant atmosphere as the elderly demand their tastes and inclinations recieve greater prominence in public policy.

I personally believe that far too many people consider themselves worthy of immortality and the wealthy countries have far too many of these people willing to engage scientists to create the font of youth from foetuses, pigs, baboons etc. I find the whole thing dispicable, distasteful and yes, immoral. The media portray these freaks and grasping, deeply insecure people as recipients of scientific miracles - to the contrary, they are abominations. They detract from the humanity of us all. It seems the only new thing the elderly aren't dead set against are ways to keep them alive for one more pointless day.

Second only to aging is China's one child policy. A generation of only-children will inherit a system of repressive authority. But only-children tend to be spoilt, selfish, unco-operative, self-absorbed and, well they are rather petulent and whine a lot. Those traits do not fit neatly into that system. How will this effect that great country and therefore the world in the future? How will diplomacy, foreign affairs, business, social policy be conducted when everyone on the committee has the tendencies, outlooks and inclinations of an only-child. I would say that capitalism and materialism fit perfectly with this future demographic, and may in some part be why it's nascent form of crony capitalism seems to be flourishing.

HIV is ravaging the Southern population that cannot come to terms with regulating multiple sex partners, as opposed to the Islamic North that is prone to fundamentalism. AIDS has reduced some countries life expectancy to below 40 years. But seeing as how - albeit by process of elimination - Africa remains the largest potential market it will be the object of intense foreign interest after the age of China. Having their productive population either dead, dying or dependent on foreign drugs the potential for undignified exploitation could be almost colonial in economic terms giving rise to resentment. Anyone familiar with the rhetoric and paranoid thinking of your average insecure African may have their delusions become reality if their ability for economic self determination remain in a terminal spiral.

With so many young people due to the high birth rate and so few elderly we may see what is seen in pockets of instability already: child armies, anarchy and instability. Because there are almost no elders to regulate the behaviour, culture and institutions of their societies, relatively uneducated adolescents become king-makers and set rules and standards. Without the experience and knowledge and being naturally radical and iconoclastic the results of youths making all the decisions may tend to violence. China's cultural revolution is a case in point. Whoever wants to win an election in Africa must appeal directly to an average voter who is an ignorant, orphaned, wretched, 20 year old. What sort of societies will they become? See Seirra Leone, Liberia, Congo etc for that answer.

These huge demographic changes are having many consequences that have hitherto been relatively uninvestigated or thought through. Are there any sociologists out there?

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Queen v Selwyn


This is now a sedition trial. The Crown are persisting with prosecuting me for being part of a seditious conspiracy and making a seditious statement. (Like who hasn't?) Have pled guilty to being a party to a conspircacy to commit intentional damage. They have more than enough evidence for that, I conceed, especially given the nature of conspiracy being a part of a chain no matter how related to the actual act.

Next court date is 21 July when a date will be set for the trial and other matters (possibly sentencing for the guilty matter?) will be dealt with. If the Crown wants to persue me for a political thought crime then they are making a mistake. They are the ones who will turn this into a circus: their evidence of seditious intention includes satirical cartoons critical of the government. How can they explain this to a jury with a straight face?

We now join the shame club of dodgy regimes that criminalise expression and thought via sedition:

Saudi Arabia

What esteemed company.
10am: Depositions on the conspiracy and sedition charges today (Wednesday).

Expect one or any of the following:
An act of reckless brinkmanship.
A dramatic revelation of a precipitative nature.
The beginning of a circus tending to farce.
A tirade of anti-government abuse in an ill-advised outburst contrary to lawyer's instructions.

Bulk fund MPs

After writing about a thousand words on reforming MP's support funding with numerous links and quotes the browser spazzed and everything was lost... so since I can't be bothered retracing the trauma, here's the gist:

MPs get an average each of $132,000 pa through Parliamentary Services to spend on staff, research, stationery etc. Some is pooled into a Leader's fund, others for out-of-parliament expenses etc. The report into it last year is the biggest load of bollocks ever and is a case study in bureaucratic pap and excuses to grow even more bloated: they have approx. 550 staff, 220 of which are out of parliament. If you see a piece of electioneering with the parliamentary seal, you know it's funded by them (which ironically enough includes the Act party website where you can probably read about why it is so bad). If the propoganda (and staff for that matter) do not solicit membership or money it is generally speaking legit.

For transparency's sake and to stop the bloody perennial bickering about what campaigns are party/election and which are legitimate (the most recent is Act's criticism of the Labour party bus shelter ads) I suggest just giving them all $100,000 each pa. and they can do absolutely anything they want with it with no set allocations. No distinction between electorate and list either, I don't care about how they have to service their damn constituency - so do list MPs - they all should get the exact same amount. A nice simple formula.

If Nandor wants to smoke it all: fine. If Winston wants to smoke it all: fine. If the Greens want to have a huge internet presence and blow it all on that: fine. If someone wants to spend it all on staff, then that's up to them. The current system is prone to dodgieness, a la Pipitea St (for those in the know). Parliamentary Services should look after Parliament and not what MPs get up to out in the wops. The Service's attempted hijacking of exclusive TV coverage of parliament is symptomatic of their bloat. The report also said they want to take on leasing of premises etc. They are an expansionist entity and should be stopped. The excuses they use for not bulk-funding are utterly spurious.

And as for the Electoral Commission allocation of ten grand to the National Front! Any system that lets that happen is in desperate need of reform. They are not even a registered political party! [UPDATE: Asher said..."The $10,000 granted to the National Front was on the condition that they became a registered party, which they failed to do as they got nowhere near 500 members" - that's even worse, isn't it? Bending over backwards to help them!] .So I suggest a nice simple formula for that too: In election year each registered party gets $1 for every vote they got in the last election.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

M Bradbury guest blog: Green Defence

-------Introducing special guest blogger: M Bradbury---------

You know elections are around the corner when the venom starts getting spat. You also know that someone is landing punches by the reaction of our normally sluggish media. Take the recent flare up with the Greens, you always get an appreciation of how close to the bone you've cut by the howls of editorial indignation.

In the weekend, the Greens with legitimate social justice concerns named NZ First for what they are, reactionary dawn raiders who use fear mongering to pander to the less socially liberated amongst us. Seeing as the media have spent so much effort over the last month publicising their wet dream fantasies of a National/NZ First Government, I'm not surprised they are also quick to jam their letters to the Editors page with as much anti-green sentiment as possible (Tailors/Editors seldom like people pointing out that the Emperor has no clothes on).

But the truth is there, we know NZ First play the race card every election, we know there is cultural friction and we know that the media have a vested interest in promoting the views of conservative political parties. True leaders however find ways to build bridges between their cultures rather than burning them with the incitement of bigotry.

Chinglish number one, ok!

Talk about English as an abstract.

Do these Chinese immigrants respect the local culture and languages of their "host" societies? Read the example below to make your own mind up, but I'm guessing the budding publisher wrote his blurb himself. I'm assuming the "bi-lingual" publication he wants to start is Chinese/Chinglish rather than Chinese/English.

He's only been here a mere 11 years after all. Some Chinese like Pansy Wong have been here since 1974 and still haven't bothered to understand the syntax. (Translation: Some Chinee lie Pansy Wong bee here sin 1974 have no bother understan syntax.)

From the Crouching Tiger Hidden Banana conference in Auckland, this from a list of papers for presentation.

This is not my cruel mocking it is verbatim:

Title: Thoughts of A New Wave Migrant

Author: Benjamin Pan

These thoughts will be read or presented in Forum 9 at 4.15pm on Sunday, 5 June 2005. Benjamin is planning to launch a bi-monthly bi-lingual publication on Chinese NZers' points of view with the aim of "A subscription per household movement".

Migrated to New Zealand in 1994, acquainted with Mr John Wood by chance.

There were MP election in 1995, Mr. Winston Peters made speechs of Anti-Asian migrants and newspapers titled “ Asian Invade”, attracted quite a lot of European and Maori groups. One day, John rang me for going to TV station since there was a live programme of talking to Mr. Winston Peters. Luckly, I was arranged in a seat of the live audience, In the programme, the host pointed at me with name and asked my opinion suddenly, I looked the name tag on the seat and responded quickly; “we came here with well educated, experienced, know how, capital and connections in our origins, we are here to assist building up New Zealand.”

New Zealand is an export oriented country, there will be long-team benefits for having us in this country.

Now, it is an election year for the parliament this year, we will become a target again, causing disputes. However, we have to stand up and say something for ourselves. Also, passing those messages to all other people in New Zealand.

Most of Chinese are conservative, not good at communicating with people. However, we need to have a good communication with people and not to be recognized as mystic, if we intend to set our roots in depth and build up a foundation in New Zealand, in order to having a bright life in here.

For instance: people may wonder, why some Chinese has no job, no income here, how can they afford to live in a huge house and drive with expensive cars. People do not know that we worked extremely hard in places where we came from, without weekend breaks, worked 16 to 20 hours daily, no sleep for 48 hours even 72 hours for catching up the shipping schedules. Doctors work from 8:00am to 10:30pm daily. No eating nor drinking out, no vacations at all. Works only! What we brough here with us is all we accumulated, cents by cents with frugality and diligence, neither fell from heaven, nor from stolen or robbery.

To launch this Chinese/English bi-lingual magazine, we are aiming to provide a channel of communication. Friends in main stream may want to understand Chinese culture and arts, but could not find the gate to get in. It’s our ideal to build up the gate and a bridge. Hope everyone joining us with support/sponsor, promote this “A subscription per household movement”. We can have mutual understanding and blending harmoniously. All of us and our children will living in Aotearoa forever.

Note the talk of "build up" and "building up" like we need perhaps a few hundred more high rises... populated by... "well educated" migrants (English of course is completely unimportant to educated Chinese).

Sometimes I wonder if people like that have the right attitude. It is easy to pick on people because their language skills aren't perfect and their outlook is different, but really, what he expresses in those brief few paragraphs is what I think the conference as a whole is about: a wonderfully positive and aggressive agenda for his culture, people and commerce.

Migrants think they will "grow us up" as one other paper puts it, but we would prefer they move here because they appreciate us and our ways rather than because we will let them form their own separate identities that they can perpetuate forever as a base to change the way we do things and let them get about the task of resource exploitation and ruining our lifestyles. We've done all that before with each wave of migrants. But with the Chinese we have a population with an active resistance to integrate that no other culture/ethnicity has ever displayed - on such a large scale that is to say (as there are many smaller minorities who are more exclusive).

We have a very liberal dilemma.
1. We want to maintain a free and open society where people can be who they want without restrictions on language, beliefs and associations.
2. We want an egalitarian society that has minimum and universal standards allowing all to participate culturally, economically, socially and politically.
3. We want to safeguard and encourage our existing infrastructure, institutions, culture and lifestyle, ie. Our heritage.

1 and 2 are largely compatible - but not with 3. Large scale immigration of strident homogenous groups poses a problem for 2 and 3. The price we ask is that to make 1 and 2 stable we have to enforce 3 or else the principles of universality and egalitarianism go out the window. The only way of doing that is to limit immigration from those groups so they do not disrupt those principles because no matter how correct the Chinese poll tax was we do not want such a blunt instrument used nowdays. We invite people in to our collective home, do we not, on our own terms with the understanding that they will not change the rules once here and will fit in as best they can? When we let in so many we can no longer ensure that happens even with our best efforts. Under economic pressure these groups may turn on each other, or as the Dutch have found out, they turn on the locals.

To me, the point where we have so many foreigners that the locals become the foreigners is the point of unacceptability. In short, no-one should ever feel or be treated like, a foreigner in their own land. It happened to Maori against their wishes in most places and now Pakeha are getting a taste of it. I was once asked in a Queen St food court by a couple of puzzled and inquisitive Iranians "Where do you come from?" - "Ah, Grey Lynn," I replied. "No, what country?" they asked. So for me that point has already been reached. I would not wish the Auckland population make-up to be replicated through-out the whole country. Every foreigner added does not make us more unique - it usually detracts from our uniqueness.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Whare: mythology, rights and privilege

"I was brought up in a state house" - Aye, lad, you had it lucky.

Thank heavens Kevin Lists' Scoop article has put that poor-boy/state-house corpse into it's coffin by way of debunking National millionaire John Key's rags to riches tale.

Mention that chestnut of state house childhood and we are all supposed to let out a plaintive sigh at how anyone from the wrong side of the tracks and living in such overt poverty could make it beyond struggle street. Lies and half-truths. Complete mythology. State houses were pepper-potted everywhere so many were in the better neighbourhoods with access to better schools. Rentals were very low and related to incomes. It is the benificaries and low-paid workers in private houses that were always, and are now, and will be in the future, in the most disadvantaged of circumstances.

The privileged class of yesteryear treated by the government to low rents with guaranteed tenure is as strong as ever. Why do you think so many have Sky satellite TV dishes bolted to their state homes? They can afford it paying only a quarter of their income in rent. Not only does this privileged class have the peace of mind of permanent tenure and low rent but if they want to move house they will have the state landlord render them every assistance in moving into another state house to their liking to keep them in the system. Do they move to the back of the queue to let others have a chance at cheap housing? - No, they are forever advantaged. And forever voting Labour to keep their rents low.

Who could forget the episode of the renters programme on television where the state landlord moves in some dodgy Jugoslav family who are supposedly refugees only to find they are having all of their household effects flown over! Some persecution that they can manage all that! How terrifying for them. Don't the immigration service know the war has ended and people like the NZ Army are keeping guard there? And then there was the Sudanese guy who kept rejecting state houses that didn't have two living areas because, as he told the tireless and unflappable agent, in our culture we can't have men and women socialising in the same room. Oh yes, this is for real.

Now imagine a non-immigrant telling the housing corp. guy that he can't stand the yakking sheilas and wants a separate entertaining area for them. Yes, sir, no sir, three bags full, sir. They just bend over backwards. It was sickening. Oh, yes and while we are at it a female circumscision altar, a male circumscision dias, a second and third wife punishment basement, a child bride de-flowering pogoda and a water-feature at the front to get the che right. There are locals living in fucking caravans and modified shithouses (often courtesy of unscrupulous foreign landlords) and the government sees fit to entertain and pander to the most grotesquely offensive whim in the pantheon of the palatial pretensions of every suspect "refugee" and immigrant.

Private tenants are vulnerable to the whims of their landlords and the idiotic and treacherous Labour Party have stabbed their own supporters in the back by letting an uppity lobby group of Lanlords have their way and now state agencies such as WINZ must give information on an errant tenant's whereabouts to lanlords to whom they supposedly owe money. The problem is this outrageous concession that advantages landlords and most definitely disadvantages the tenants and treats their privacy differently and as an inferior class does not apply to any other debtor - just landlords, the advantaged/privileged class.

So here we have a Labour government attacking and undermining the already vulnerable class of tenants not lucky enough or foreign enough to enjoy the luxuries and sanctity of their state system. Where are the howls of protests from the lefties? The government is attacking their people! They are handing over state agencies' information to a privileged group of litigants by way of an utterly inconsistent and persectorial lobbyists law - and nothing but silence from those supposed defenders of the little guy. Pathetic and shameful. How could they justify it? As a peverse insentive to join the state house queue? Did the landlords donate to the Labour Party? And now I see, emboldened by this mercenary regime, they want to implement a bloody register and grab some more state power for themselves (and against tenants) by demanding regulation. If the stupid government keeps following its course then that will pass too.

To see the militancy of the landlord's position see this site which has screeds on things the government should do for them (including making tenants give 6 weeks bond!) but has only one line under the heading "What can landlords do to assist tenants?" It just says "Keen to understand this and see what can be done." Whatever.

Because the Residential Tenancies Act 1986 does not give lanlords the same rights as other creditors and service providers does not mean they need countervailing special rights to government information.

I've looked everywhere for a link to the information law but I can't find it. I heard it debated in parliament as a government bill so it must have passed... surely [that ranting was based on fact].

As Cullen et al collude to keep our house prices high by interest rates, high immigration and foreign purchase and thus dissuade people from house ownership and because rental properties are now a normal though speculative business the landlord-tenant issue will become of growing importance over the next few years. Watch the landlords try to "balance their rights" by more inroads into the tenants'. And watch the Labour government roll over (again... I think).

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Hon. Chris Carter, wailing to the Japs

So the Minister for Conservation thinks that telling Japanese how much money we can fleece off their tourists for watching whales will convince them to stop whaling!

I heard him on TV say it and then read the Herald article:
"We can now demonstrate conclusively that living whales are much more valuable than dead ones. I think that will be a strong argument in Japan." Newsflash, Carter, they think they taste nice and are worth a fortune. If he can't understand the Japanese he isn't going to persuade them is he? It is the weakest possible argument in Japan - if the Japanese pull out of the IWC it will be due to this sort of NZ idiocy.

NZ's position is this: Japan should have whale-watching like we do and they will be economically better off. Laughable, niave, factually incorrect, a total misunderstanding of the purpose of Japanese whaling and a credulous argument lacking any merit and more crucially, credibility, whatsoever. How can Japan's taking 440 whales from our backyard and selling it at huge profits to it's customers be replaced by having whale-watching ventures off Japan's coast? The fact is they can both have domestic whale-watching and still take the whales in our area. The argument our government has held up for several years now (and like a mantra unthinkingly brayed by Carter) is nonsensical. We use the argument of our own self-interest to demand that Japan makes a sacrifice of it's free supply of an expensive resource. Our argument fails because the Japanese are not idiots. We need a new strategy.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

ELECTION DATE: July 30 holds, Sept. shortens

The NBR poll has poured ice water over Labour's sleep walk. The budget is supposed to be the manifesto and campaign platform that silences the critics, rewards it's key constituency targets and boldly and proudly signals the way ahead. The opposite has occured. Labour's conceded the tax bracket point without doing anything meaningful about it, it does not reward the groups they need, shows no vision or direction and has had no follow-up. Worst still the fawning media are now about to turn on Labour. All of the outrageous shenanigans that they colluded to sweep under the carpet and down-played in the past will be dredged up and used against them as National builds it's case that they would make a more credible government.

I'm not the only one who can't work out why Labour has fumbled so badly on the basics of political management. Are they really that arrogant? And if they are is it too late for them to avoid a hammering?

Now that the time of an "early" election has almost passed (sorry Keith Ng - the politics lecturer is the first punter to be eliminated having guessed 2 July) there are two remaining scenarios (see the Herald's analysis here and DPF's here):

30 July:
Head the Nats off at the pass. Get in before the speeding limo case reaches court. Lions tour distracts country for first three weeks of campaign depriving opposition of crucial weekend headlines - NZ win will be fresh in public mind. Nats will not have enough time to solidify momentum of change. Winter campaign will punish lazy Nats. Less time for Maori Party to entrench support at flax-roots level. Leaving it later makes the date more predictable for the opposition and thus the advantage of being able to set the date in the first place will be lost. Reserve Bank unlikely to raise interest rates before August (if at all).

20 Aug./10 or 17 Sept.:
Nats will have run out of steam having released all policy and lost initiative. Winston will run out of Iraqis. Greens will run out of oil. Act will run out money. UF will run out of prayers. Labour will have enough time to think of some policies.

The underlying assumption behind the odds table below is not just the expression of professional, party and other punters' opinions but on inherent assumptions of strategic advantage of calling an election early rather than later as the longer the lead time the greater the advantage accrues to the opposition and smaller parties as unknown factors and risks arise the longer the time window.

If 30 July is on then expect the announcement to be made at the post-Cabinet press conference of the 20th of June or at the weekend beforehand. The following day Parliament sits and the government will open up with both barrels over those three sitting days (as the next month no sitting days are scheduled at any rate).

Option 1: Date of the next New Zealand General Election.

Date.......Odds.......(Relevant event)...... Punters

9 July......99-1 (NZ v. Lions)
16 July.....12-1 Maori Party (Opotiki Branch Chairman)
23 July.....10-1 SageNZ(old), John Armstrong?, SundayNews
(3 years after last election)
30 July.....2-1 John Armstrong?,Adolf F, Dave, Jono,RodneyHide, AntarcticLemur
6 August...7-1 (NZ v. SA, Capetown)
13 August..7-1 (NZ v. Aust, Sydney)
20 August..5-1 TuataraLeft, Asher, Audrey Young
27 August..40-1 (NZ v. SA)
3 Sept......50-1 (NZ v. Aust) Berend deBoer
10 Sept.....14-1 Spanblather,Simon Pound, Berend deBoer, Kate
17 Sept.....12-1 Greg Stephens, Vernon Small?, Michael, Molesworth&Featherston, DavidPFarrar, SageNZ(new), AshleyClarkson, Phantasm.
24 Sept.....66-1 (School Holidays)

Bet closes: At start of statement from Prime Minister or Governor-General (whichever is first) confirming [Option 1 event] has been set.
Bet paid: "Writ day." (Governor-General orders election to be held).
All odds subject to change. No refunds.

NB: Centrebet in Australia will take real wagers on our election result soon... so they say. I was picking they will set no more than $1.30 for Labour forming the next government but after the budget I'm not so sure. Will post their odds when available.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

We down with whitey?

Sir Humphery's Antarctic Lemur starts us off:

The Whakatohea tribe is attempting to grab 50km worth of Bay of Plenty coastline near Whakatane by filing a claim in the Maori Land Court. Obviously if this tribe succeeds in its efforts, the precedent is set for many other such claims.

The claim was filed by a lawyer who helped Labour write the Foreshore and Seabed Act, and it goes against the very spirit of the Act as sold to New Zealanders by Helen Clark.

This is either clear duplicity on the part of Labour, or incompetence in drafting the Act in the first place.

I realise some people associate the entire issue with private property rights. Correct me if I'm wrong, but you cannot benefit from such land claims unless (1) you're part of a tribe, iwi or hapu and (2) you're therefore Maori. The customary rights awarded are unlikely to be tradeable so therefore its not 'private' property...
T Selwyn said...

Whakatohea aren't grabbing anything - the Crown has done all the grabbing. That sort of talk is both ignorant and impertanent.

Claude Edwards (whom I have spoken to about this) and others are using the Act to try to gain some sort of status for the Iwi over that stretch of coast. I said he should boycott the whole humiliating process but he seemed to think that using the precedents of the past there could be some possibility of recognition based on the nothing-to-lose principle. Good luck, I say.

AL: "Correct me if I'm wrong, but you cannot benefit from such land claims unless (1) you're part of a tribe, iwi or hapu and (2) you're therefore Maori." You are wrong so let me correct you: They are property rights and not owned by the State therefore they are private property rights - simple as that. But semantics isn't the issue is it. Pakeha have had their claims validated by the Act and Maori have not. Is that fair?

Section 32 is an abomination dreamt up by Englishmen (Cullen and Dale Jones) and if anything could be described as being "anti-New Zealand" then it would be this. Like the ugliness of past racist legislation they first had to acknowledge the property right in order to extinguish it, and they then had to tell us how that came about. They have created a history where Maori should have put barbed wire around every bay and beach and had armed patrols along the coast right up until six months ago in order to even qualify for the pathetic "reserve" status. That's not our history.

As the law stands currently the Crown can claim that the invasion and massacre of Whakatohea on their beach in September 1865 means all claims are void. But this conflicts with the Crown's apology and acknowledgement that that event was illegal - unless they are saying that it wasn't. You see the problem and inherent contradictions in the Crown's position? Do Maori have to suffer the idignities of some Pakeha standing up in court and saying that when the Crown soldier/settler raped a Maori child on the beach it extinguished the tribe's rights over it (for example)?

The only thing ruled out (sec.32(4)) in Pakeha/Crown claiming that Maori have absolutely no territorial rights in the area is that navigation over the area may have been carried out! The law states they have to actually make an effort to touch it in some way as opposed to just sailing or floating over it or anchoring on it. That is why I call it "The White Man's Touch" rule. I get displeased at having to explain these things to people and I get similarly displeased when I see lies peddled by political parties and politicians in this regard. It disgraces the nation and undermines the credibility of the entire system quite frankly.

How can we reverse this law? I would like to know the peaceful alternatives because the November 18 anniversary of the confiscation will not be marked by some namby-pamby exercise in hand-wringing and quiet reflection by me (regardless of whether I'm at Her Majesty's pleasure or not). Pleading on an intellectual level with NZ white people not to be treated like an Abo has only had limited success in the past for Maori - and judging by the F&S Act is not working currently - so what are we to do?
Antarctic Lemur said:

Tim Selwyn: customary rights are effectively leased rights to various components or resources on an area of land, handed out based on continued residence in that area since the Treaty of Waitangi. The land still technically remains owned by the Crown, and the rights to use those resources may not (as far as I'm aware) be traded with other entities.

Therefore it is not private property.
Reid said:

Tim Selwyn: -

Why is Stephen Franks wrong when he makes comments such as:

"Maori leaders have ignited ridiculous expectations of beach ownership out of court judgements that said they probably owned little – if any – foreshore, but should be able to test the evidence in court. ACT thinks the court’s decision was wrong, but we uphold property rights and the rule of law by supporting Maori rights to proceed in court."

You're obviously a lawyer, care to explain why Maori had a claim at all? All you've used above is emotive bs.

I might add it's obviously dangerous for leaders (I assume you're respected in your community) such as yourself to inflame passions based on nothing.

It would be a shame after all, if a whole lot of expectations and protests and energy were expended when the actual substance of the Maori claim to prior ownership was in fact like this 1994 Maori Land Court decision that included the statement ‘We find there is no such and never has been until very recently a Maori concept mana moana; it has become the vogue probably since the fisheries settlements began. We are of the view that it is rooted in greed and ignorance not tikanga Maori. It has no place in the matter before us.’

Not being expert in the field Tim, I wouldn't know where the truth is. Care to enlighten us (without the emotional bs)
T Selwyn said:

Your definition of private property seems to be that if you don't have a chance to own it it is not private property for the preson who cannot transfer it. You are incorrect. But now I realise you are talking about the rights being property under the F&S Act - then yes the property right has been watered down to something less than property rights and therefore a confiscation.

Maori shouldn't be treated like Abo's: where to begin?

At this point I'm going to start using the terms "Pakeha" as an ethnic group and "Crown" as the government and State of New Zealand sometimes interchangeably because with this issue they are the same thing and represent each other's interests.

Steven Franks is a racist, let me first make that absolutely clear. He is a vile racist bursting with the worst prejudices which he attempts to turn into legalese and through completely inaccurate and offensive generalisations tries to make his race-hate seem as dinkum Kiwi as Maori-bashing. I have met the man and read his writings and seen his comments on a variety of issues concerning Maori and I do not make the above observation lightly.

Now let's analyse what Franks has to say:
"Maori leaders have ignited ridiculous expectations of beach ownership out of court judgements that said they probably owned little – if any – foreshore, but should be able to test the evidence in court." - No, Maori have always held that they have property interests in the F&S. Because Pakeha can stop Maori claims to validate their holding while getting through their own (often against Maori wishes) this process of confiscation by a thousand cuts is viewed by Pakeha as evidence that Maori have never cared about the issue - wrong! Maybe the Crown never tried to confiscate the F&S before because there would be open conflict? Issues about policing Maori so they don't have "expectations" are a well-worn Pakeha preoccupation. It is akin to "uppity" as far as an argument goes. Is it time for Maori to say that Pakeha have to stop having ridiculous expectations that their culture and language should dominate this country forever or perhaps that their ridiculous expectations that they can just keep confiscating Maori property forever is dangerous? No doubt Pakeha said that about giving Maori votes. And why? Because the Maori might reach the ultimate expectation: All the property that you didn't pay for now has to be fully paid for or returned. Has he ever said other property owners should have low expectations? What Franks says is that Maori are not allowed to have expectations of equality.

"ACT thinks the court’s decision was wrong, but we uphold property rights and the rule of law by supporting Maori rights to proceed in court." - Apart from the patronising tone why does he think it's wrong? What reasons does he give? He just asserts that it is. What he is saying is that he automatically assumes the Crown owns it all, every square millimetre, and wants this property to be in State hands.

You state "emotive bs" is my reasoning. But I suppose the white rights march in Nelson and the ridiculous "Kiwis" carping and access restriction bogeymen are not emotive bs? Yes, and that bloody Ghandi and Mandela and human rights lawyers and their "emotive bs" about equal rights and everyone should have a vote etc. And Kate Sheppard's emotive bs about women's worth...

You ask me "to explain why Maori had a claim at all?"

I ask you: explain why the Crown had a claim at all. Why do Maori have to answer that question? If the Crown doesn't own it there is only one group or class of people in this country that can - isn't there? The default setting for territorial property in this country should obviously be Maori not the Crown. The only way the Crown can own something is if they either buy it or steal it. Correct? Is that correct or not? Even without the Treaty it still holds. Is there any other way that it occurs?

But three possibilities exist - they are both laughable.

Abandonment: Doug Graham likes to think that Maori just chose to abandon things and then it automatically becomes the Crown's - like if the Crown said that you haven't moved your car for three days therefore it now belongs to them. However the Hikoi at the very least proves that the rights and property in question is anything but abandoned. I will rule out the abandonment argument, not just because it is patently insulting to say that people who walk the beach every single day and their family have owned it under their own terms since time immomorial could have possibly abandoned it, but the establishment of new regimes are imposed by the Crown against Maori wishes - if things were abandoned then by definition there would surely not be any problems let alone widespread horror from the effected people. If the Crown tried to retrospectively make an abandonment rule so that it cuts off the claimant group so they couldn't make it "unabandoned" then that rather puts a lie that the item was ever abandoned - without first giving notice to the known owner how could that rule have any credibility?

Swapping: This usually occurs under duress from the Crown and there are many examples. Once again if the "swap" occurs only on government terms then it is hardly a legitimate swap. The Crown may like to believe that they have "swapped" freehold pursuit by Maori for customary rights orders and reserves and 20% of the aggregate aquacultural marine space - but even they aren't seriously running this line. Some swaps through history have been legitimate of course but they may be realistically be put in the "purchase" category as items of value were exchanged on definite terms.

Gifting: The Maori just give it up as a present with no strings attached. Rather rare. But even if you look at National Park and other properties they were transferred for a reason or as part of a swap/duress. So this too may be put into the purchase category.

So, from purchase or theft the property is transfered (usually at a huge profit) to the Pakeha - and that is exactly what has happened in the past and what is currently occuring around the coast. The F&S Act was the enabling legislation for the Aquaculture Act that divvied everything up the way the Crown wanted it, including restricting Maori to a notional percentage of space and totally Europeanised (I can't think of a better term) and commercialised lease scenarios, ie. Maori are more supplicants rather than owners. That is the also the basic process of European settlement as practised here. Now, given that the Crown can either buy or steal it what have they done to the F&S? Have they purchased it? Have they stolen it?

If you think they have purchased it then what are the terms and for how much?

If you think they have stolen it then how much compensation should they recieve? Surely you would have to be consistent and follow the principles applying to property and say a fair market value. The F&S Act says that if the Crown end up owning local body property because of the Act then the local body gets compensated at market value - why should it be different for Maori?

Maori utilise their territory according to their own rules until the Crown can somehow stop them and get them to follow the Crown's rules. The Court rulings leading to the F&S Act were not based on the Treaty - and if they were it would obviously not favour the Crown on any reading you could possibly make of it. So, without being emotive: How generations of whanau, hapu and iwi have used their F&S as part of their property and that if not a single European or non-group member had even seen let alone touched that space how could it possibly belong to anyone other than it's owners? What does the Crown have to do with it?

The Crown's rules are not for the benefit of all "kiwis" they are for the benefit of Pakeha. Without the rule Pakeha have to go directly to Maori to access the resources. Maori lose their rights and Pakeha now have 80% of the marine space of which Maori may have had 100%.

Here's where the Aborigines fit in.

The argument that Maori have no ownership rights to the F&S is the same one for everything else. The Crown/Pakeha conception of Maori property is that Maori don't really "own" their property they just use it. Maori can occupy an area but they don't really "own" it as such. Only the Crown and Pakeha can do that. So the mountains aren't used by Maori very much so the Crown can take them. Ditto swamps, lakes, rivers, beaches, coastal marine areas etc. Then Maori don't own their forests either they just have a right to fell a few trees and catch a few birds and seasonally cultivate a few things but only what they were doing in 1840 and only in the method used in 1840 and of course a Pakeha can be appointed to oversee and regulate all this. That is the thinking that led to Crown seizures of land including the coast. What is the confiscation if not the extension of that doctrine?

Pakeha can own the coast, they can have their holding recognised because they hold Crown-issued pieces of paper saying they own it. No one says that these have been issued in fault because the Crown owns everything below high water mark. They not only refused for years to issue it to Maori, once one group and the Courts said the Crown had to at least look at it they then banned all Maori from ever claiming it. Not only that but the good white citizens of Nelson have protested and Nick Smith (the local National MP) even went so far as having the government try to overturn a local Iwi's Crown-issued piece of paper which says they own their coastal area. So even when Maori own it the Pakeha way that is not good enough because they are still Maori. Do Pakeha owners get that treatment?

Look at it if Pakeha had got the treatment: Would they accept Maori coming along and saying the Crown owns everything that Maori consider to be important to them regardless of how perfect the Pakeha provenance.

As far as your land court quotation and idea that Maori leaders are dangerous: firstly, as I have pointed out there are most definitely property rights at stake and selective quoting from supposed judgements doesn't change that, and secondly, how can the locals standing up for their rights be dangerous? Maori have had to put up with dangerous Pakeha leaders who have stolen and defaced their possessions and culture for many a decade and must suffer the blatant and crude innuendo, invective and lies of many Pakeha politicians. The media is rife with the most horrendous anti-Maori slander. If you read and saw the news and public discourse through Maori eyes then you may be depressed and exasperated.

I, for one, would not want to inflame people based on a lie or misinterpretation over this issue. Do you think this is fun? Do you think being treated like an Abo in your own country is tolerable?

There is another theory out there in Pakehaland and it is one adopted by many immigrants who, like most locally-born New Zealanders, are utterly ignorant of our history. It underpins thinking at many levels not just the uneducated masses. It is this: Maori as a people have lost a war, or series of conflicts and have been defeated at arms and therefore their properties are rightly war spoils to be disposed of by the Crown as such. The Crown has violated the Treaty so many times and so consistently that even without Chief Justice Prendergast's "simple nullity" ruling of 1877 any argument that the Treaty holds validity and weight is obviously untrue. The fact that the government has not formerly revoked it by way of legislation is irrelevant. Now since the Treaty does not hold, all of the guarantees to Maori also do not hold either, including inter alia equality with Pakeha and Maori property rights. The Crown rules not because it is right or just but because it can and Maori can't stop it (might is right).

Which means Maori are a subject people and not inherently equal as their rights are still beholden and secondary to others. Their access to the courts etc. are to be handled in ad hoc ways where the Crown can maintain their advantage. The point of the Crown is to make sure that Maoris are neutralised and that every action against them in the past must be upheld by the present. If the Crown has to act now in the interests of those Pakeha and the governments of the distant past to relegitimise every confiscation, land-grab etc. then so be it. Any step to acknowledge Maori rights is one less Pakeha right.

Maori should be told that the Pakeha way of doing things - through the courts - is where they should place their faith so they don't adopt violent means. But if the courts ever rule in their favour then they should be reminded that parliament is sovereign and is the highest law. At this point Maori have to be told to be good and behave themselves and maybe they may get a certificate of apology eventually or a token seat on a committee somewhere to shut them up.

If the Maori don't like it then they should overthrow the regime and put different rules in place. But of course if they try that then they'll be imprisoned and have their property confiscated. To paraphrase Dr Cullen: "You lost, we won - get over it."

It is that colonial and authoritarian philosophy of governance that permeates Pakeha thinking and is what it all boils down to when all the other theories and reasons are left resolved. It is a brutal and simplistic insecurity. The US, the UK and Canada all have many measures of autonomy for indigenous peoples and tribes that Pakeha think would be an apocolyptic Maori separtism if applied here - but in other jurisdictions there seems to be few problems. We are still slaves to all the worst aspects of our history in many ways.

People should be made aware of our history, the motivations of the Crown and Maori and all the options we have to remedy totally unsatisfactory situations - that is what I will continue to do. My responsibility is to do what I can to get results; not necessarily lead anyone. Since I am not prepared to instruct others to do anything that I, myself would not do I do not consider my stance to be irresponsible.

Because the debate isn't really one for pithy one-liners it is difficult to cut through the ingrained racism that most Pakeha consider to be common sense. If you have any ideas or have uttered anything regarding the Foreshore and Seabed issue and disagree with me then this comments section is the place to debate it, because I really can't be fucked having to recycle abbreviated content on every blog to put you ignorant red necks in place individually.