The Jackal

20 Aug 2017

Amy Adams goes boom

The housing crisis in New Zealand doesn’t look like it will end anytime soon, especially with the Prime Minister telling the reserve bank to put a halt to loan-to-value limits. Bill English also said he wouldn’t allow any further measures to curb lending for property, an instruction that has been widely criticised by the government's opposition and various economists alike.

The only hope for the many thousands of Kiwis now locked out of home ownership is for a change of government. The National party has clearly indicated that they don’t want wages to rise, house prices to stabilise or foreign investment into our already over-inflated housing market to be curtailed.

That’s because Bill English believes their core supporters will vote with consideration to the increased value of their properties, even if that value is just numbers on paper. National believes (incorrectly I might add) that their core supporters don’t want to see their children able to afford to purchase a home off their own backs, and has determined that fiddling around the edges is the best course of action to be re-elected.

Instead of proposing any type of proper policy to increase affordability and remedy the housing crisis, National is trying to mislead voters into believing the free market is already providing. They're claiming the amount of houses required to address the problem are already being built, and it's the biggest boom ever.

On Saturday, Scoop reported on the Nation:

Adams: And I’m answering the question. There is absolutely evidence that all of the indicators are now tracking the right direction. We have the biggest building boom ever underway. We have 100,000 new houses and apartments.

The claim by National’s Minister for Social Housing is patently wrong, a fact that was pointed out by Labour Spokesperson for Housing and Auckland Issues, Phil Twyford, and later by economist Bernard Hickey on Twitter.

This graph clearly shows that despite the huge increase in immigration into New Zealand over the last few years, the number of residential building consents is well below those seen in the 50s, 60s and 70s.

Of course the National party had to come up with some sort of argument, being that they've lost the debate and need to try and save some face. Their supporters only need a semblance of an argument to justify their selfishness after all.

The problem for National is Amy Adams' statement was categoric. She didn’t say the claim only related to consents from 92 onwards. She said ‘We have the biggest building boom EVER underway’, which even after accounting for the Christchurch rebuilding is a complete lie!

The other problem for National is the number of dwelling units consented nationally for each of their nine long years in power is less than those recorded in 2004. Stupidly, the National party has provided a graph showing Adams was entirely wrong!

Perhaps those in the National party trying to argue against reality haven’t been getting enough sleep, because it really wasn’t their day for statistical evidence, which should form the basis of any good government’s policy direction.

Yesterday, another well-respected economist, Shamubeel Eaqub, also tweeted.

Oh dear National! Not only did Adams completely fail to provide proper evidence based numbers, she blatantly lied about the number of houses being built.

Even some of National’s core supporters won’t like such obvious dishonesty from a Minister about such an important issue... the property speculators however will love it.

If you're not a soulless property speculator, vote for a party that will help more New Zealander's into their first homes... vote to change the government.

19 Aug 2017

Who's to blame for Barnaby Joyce?

We all know that there are two sides to a story. But in the case of the Barnaby Joyce citizenship scandal there appears to be three.

First we had the Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs, Julie Bishop, trying to lay blame on the Labor and Labour parties in order to shift the focus off of Barnaby Joyce and their hypocrisy. Then we had the National party also trying to blame Labour’s Chris Hipkins for daring to even ask some generalised questions about citizenship.

However a third and correct side of the story is now being uncovered.

Today, 1 News reported:

Aussie journos had answers on Barnaby Joyce's citizenship nearly two weeks before Kiwi MP's inquiries

In a bid to set the record straight about who knew what about Australian Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce's Kiwi citizenship, the New Zealand government has released an official timeline of questions it received about the issue.

It confirms Australian reporters had answers on the matter nearly two weeks before a member of New Zealand's Labour Party even inquired.

Despite this fact, Bill English and Steven Joyce used the opportunity to attack Labour.

On Tuesday, Newshub reported:

Bill English condemns Labour's Chris Hipkins in Aussie citizenship saga

Prime Minister Bill English has criticised Labour's Chris Hipkins for interfering in Australia's constitutional crisis by looking into Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce's background.

How much political capital National has made from such obviously incorrect accusations is anybody's guess. It’s probably not much being that most New Zealander's know that English is a bit of a fool!

It was pretty obvious the PM was in the wrong after the Minister of Internal Affairs, Peter Dunne, also made statements on the matter that contradicted the Prime Ministers.

Mr Dunne says it was questions from Australian media, not Labour's Chris Hipkins that led to the revelation, but Mr English says it's up to MPs to make sure they don't get embroiled in the politics of another country.

"I can't remember a time when an MP has done something like that that involves the politics of another country. It's just another misjudgement about what is actually a serious issue," Mr English told reporters.

It was a misjudgement of the National led government to think they could simply keep the fact that Barnaby Joyce is also a citizen of New Zealand a secret.

But what makes this all the more ridiculous is the Australian government attacking the Labour party over something that they also must have known about.

On Wednesday, Stuff reported:

Aussie foreign minister says she won't be able to build trust with a NZ Labour government after citizenship row

Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop: "Should there be a change of government, I would find it very hard to build trust with those involved in allegations designed to undermine the government of Australia".

Hopefully there will be a change of government in both countries, because at the moment National as well as the Liberal Party of Australia are both looking rather dishonest.

Bill English really needs to stop blaming Labour for everything that goes wrong in government, including when things they've tried to keep secret are revealed.

The best way to ensure the blame game comes to an end is to vote National out. Vote to change the government this election.

PM runs away from equal pay

Since their election in 2008, the National led government has dragged its feet on the issue of equal pay. Even when they looked close to making some worthwhile legislative changes, after years of legal battles, the remedy proposed is clearly far too narrow in focus to make any real difference at all.

Like so many of the National led government’s proposals it's simply window dressing to make it appear that they give a damn about the low and discriminatory wages people are expected to survive on. It's pretty obvious that National wants people's incomes to remain disproportionately allocated based on their gender, and that's why Bill English was run out of Dunedin hospital this afternoon.

Today, 1 News reported:

Protesters demanding equal pay force PM to leave Dunedin Hospital after storming building

Protesters have flooded Dunedin Hospital, forcing Prime Minister Bill English to leave the building.

Bill English was ushered out of the hospital following his announcement that $1billion will be spent on the complete rebuild of Dunedin hospital.

1 NEWS political reporter Katie Bradford tweeted: "Protesters have marched into Dunedin hospital and chased the PM & health minister out of the building".

Thankfully a lot of people realise that the Employment (Pay Equity and Equal Pay) Bill will simply not work to address pay inequality in New Zealand… and here’s why.

On Thursday, Newsroom reported:

Equal pay advocate Bartlett ‘let down’ by Govt

Just four months ago, the Government described its $2 billion deal with Kristine Bartlett and her fellow aged care workers as an historic first step towards achieving pay equity. But Bartlett now says she feels betrayed by the Government. Andre Chumko reports.

The disillusion began to set in within two days. On April 20 the Government released its draft bill, which unions and the Opposition said erected a road block to settlements similar to Bartlett's by forcing pay equity claimants to compare themselves first with colleagues in their own businesses and sectors, rather than with similarly skilled workers in other sectors. They argued the Government had ignored the good work done over two years by employers and unions in a Joint Working Group led by Dame Patsy Reddy, who is now the Governor General.

The bill's presentation to Parliament last week for its first reading confirmed for many that the promise of April 18 had been dashed.

"I listened to the first reading and I was just absolutely gobsmacked to think that they could stand up there and say what they had to say about it. They didn’t care a damn. Not one of them. They totally changed their minds and they totally reneged on what was the exciting part about this case, and just stopped it basically for everyone else," Bartlett said.

In July, Newsroom also reported:

Equal pay tsunami surges forward

Eric Crampton, chief economist at the New Zealand Institute, said the pay equity framework would likely result in hundreds of millions of dollars in extra public spending leaving the Government “stuck with a bit of a mess”.

National’s attempt to trick people into thinking they were addressing the equal pay issue has left them running for cover. This is particularly concerning for Bill English because Labour’s new leader, Jacinda Ardern, has recently announced that she won’t rest until women have equal pay.

There’s a clear choice for voters at the upcoming election between a party that pretends and one that actually cares about equal pay. If like Jacinda you also want to see an end to workplace discrimination, make the right choice on your ballot paper. It’s time to change the government.

PM confused over latest court action

The National led government hasn’t been very good for New Zealand. Not only has there been significant social and environmental degradation under their watch, our justice system is also under considerably more pressure from an increased workload.

That’s why it’s great to see a group of experienced lawyers take time out from their busy schedules to proceed with court action concerning the deaths of Afghan villagers during a raid involving NZSAS personnel.

Yesterday, Radio NZ reported:

Afghan villagers' lawyers go to High Court

The lawyers acting for Afghan villagers caught up in a raid allegedly involving the SAS have gone to the High Court to try to get a government inquiry.

In April, Prime Minister Bill English said there was no basis for an inquiry.

But the lawyers - Rodney Harrison QC, Deborah Manning, and Richard McLeod - said today that decision was unlawful and they had filed papers seeking a judicial review.

In June, the United Nations Committee Against Torture asked the government to report on what measures it had put in place to fully investigate the allegations about the raids.

The National led government's answer was unfortunately to do nothing except try to cover things up. They've neither properly investigated nor been honest with the information that has been released.

But what makes the Prime Minister look even more contemptible is that he thinks the Lawyers involved in this worthwhile case are acting for Nicky Hager, and not the Afghan villagers.

Yesterday, 1 News reported:

Afghan villagers take NZ Government to High Court over claims SAS raid killed locals

Bill English said:

“You always expect something from um, Mr Hagar in the run up to an election.”

English was either not properly advised or he’s completely delusional!

As previously reported this isn’t about Nicky Hager, it’s about the government failing to undertake an inquiry into the deaths of innocent people during a raid involving the SAS. It’s about some very good and well-respected lawyers having to take the government to court because the National party, even after considerable international pressure from the United Nations, has failed to do the right thing.

The book Hit & Run was published in March 2017 and the lawyers have stated that the delay in initiating proceedings was because of the distance to their clients. Therefore simply saying it’s all just Nicky Hager again shows just how out of touch the Prime Minister has become. He’s clearly unfit to lead the country, as well as the National party.

Anybody who values truth and justice should look towards a political party that will actually investigate war crimes when they occur… they should therefore vote for a party that will change the government.

18 Aug 2017

Kiwi petition ignored by National

The National led government has perhaps been the most arrogant when it comes to conserving our natural resources in New Zealand. Through ignorance and greed, they've managed to damage our ecology beyond measure in their relatively short political history.

Unfortunately the National party simply doesn't care what environmentally conscious people think, not even during an election campaign.

That’s the conclusion one has to reach after the Minister of Conservation, Maggie Barry, decided she didn’t need to concern herself about a petition by New Zealander's who are unhappy with a plan to build a water pipeline directly through a Kiwi bird sanctuary.

Today, Newshub reported:

People power saves rare kiwi from water pipeline - for now

Plans to build a pipeline through a kiwi sanctuary have seemingly halted in the face of growing public backlash.

More than 18,000 people signed a petition opposing the pipeline to take fresh water that originates in Mount Aspiring National Park, pipe it out to ships 6km offshore and export it in bulk.

Expecting voters to agree to the damage of high value land that is now a sanctuary where some of the rarest Kiwi birds live just so that our precious water resource can be exported overseas in bulk for free will be a bridge too far for many voters.

Conservation Minister Maggie Barry turned down the invitation to accept the petition.

She says Okuru Enterprises would need to reapply to the Department of Conservation for permission to lay the pipeline, since the kiwi sanctuary had been established after the company's historical consent application.

Barry says she wrote to Okuru Enterprises three months ago informing them of this and is yet to receive an application.

She says the 18,534 signatures on the petition won't affect whether she allows the application.

"It isn't going to sway me one way or another as a judicial decision-maker around this process if I do in fact make a decision on it."

Bad form Maggie Barry. A member presenting a petition doesn’t need to agree with its contents, and really it’s up to the Speaker to judge whether a petition is acceptable or not.

Maggie Barry refusing to accept the Say no to a pipeline through a Kiwi sanctuary by Mount Aspiring National Park petition makes her look very childish. By failing to listen to people's concerns, the former garden show host has clearly displayed her unsuitability to remain as Conservation Minister

This is just one example of many that show the National led government has no concern whatsoever for our conservation estate, sanctuaries or the endangered species that live there, even when it involves the interruption and displacement of our national icon.

If you value our Kiwi bird, vote to protect its sanctuary this coming election. Vote to change the government.

Mark Richardson plays dirty

The dirty politics debacle should have signalled to the right that underhanded tactics don’t usually pay off. There are some exceptions to the rule, but generally speaking New Zealander’s don’t like nastiness getting in the way of a good debate about policy and a politicians ability to promote their ideas free from personal attacks.

However it appears that The AM Show, with their ratings starting to tank, didn’t get the memo. Unfortunately Newshub has been blatantly biased in favour of the National and Act parties of late, and that favouratism has now coalesced with a personal and vile attack by show host Mark Richardson on NZ First leader Winston Peters.

Yesterday, Newsroom reported:

Winston takes on Mediaworks over Richardson remarks

NZ First leader Winston Peters has lodged defamation proceedings against Mediaworks after former Black Cap Mark Richardson likened him to pus on a morning TV show.

The broadcaster has come out swinging in response, accusing Peters of trying to shut down legitimate opinion in election year.

Richardson’s comments on Newshub's The AM Show came as he questioned Peters’ decision to attend a public meeting in Woodville to discuss the closure of the Manawatu Gorge.

Peters told Newsroom he had filed defamation proceedings against Richardson over the remarks.

Well that's just not cricket. Let me declare right now that Winston Peters will win. The law is pretty clear when it comes to defamation of this type and Mediaworks should really move quickly to settle. I just hope the judge doesn't close the doors so we can hear Richardson grovelling over money.

Peters' lawyer won’t even be required to prove that the defamatory statements made by Richardson are untrue, because any competent judge will be able to rule on that without further evidence.

“I’m not going to have people defaming me in this campaign: I was on The AM Show, the guy likened me to white pus and cancer cells and what have you, and I thought, ‘Sorry, I’m not taking that, I’m suing you’ - it’s all filed.

“When they’ve got past about $60,000 of legal expenses they might come to their senses.”

In a statement, Newshub chief news officer Hal Crawford confirmed the company had been served with defamation proceedings by Peters, but pushed back against any suggestion of wrongdoing.

"We believe this is an attempt to shut down legitimate satire and opinion in an election year. We reject the idea that the colourful language which was used here could have damaged Mr Peters' reputation."

Legitimate satire? Good god they sound desperate! This is about as legitimate satire as the insane Pauline Hanson wearing a burka into Australia's parliament.

I doubt Peters’ lawyer will bother to show that there’s been damage done to the NZ First leaders reputation either, and under a claim for this kind of defamation he doesn’t need to. Newshub is up shits creek without a paddle here. They will be ruled against in a court of law just as they've been lambasted in the court of public opinion.

The problem is that the right wing's media people are being intentionally belittling in order to take the focus off of Bill English's complete failure as Prime Minister. By keeping the opposition busy with personal attacks (and this isn't the only one over the last few days), they think the public won't notice how bereft of policy ideas the National party actually is.

Let's hope enough New Zealander's see their desperation for what it is, and vote accordingly.