Affront to democracy
New Conservative stands with State Services Commissioner Peter Hughes in his condemnation of MBIE contracting out surveillance on New Zealand citizens.
The number one rule of government is to protect its borders and defend the people’s safety and freedom.
Mr Hughes has recently called the move by MBIE to spy on people using advanced social media techniques, including using false personas, as an affront to democracy. New Conservative agrees with Mr Hughes, and calls for his voice to be heeded.
This move is outrageous, and is a clear move towards communism by the Labour-led government.
China has for many years spied on its people, using social media as a major weapon, and indeed gone further by blocking many global internet services for fear of its people knowing too much and sharing too much information.
The question New Conservative asks is, When will that happen in New Zealand? This is the tip of the iceberg, and anyone can see that this leads eventually to ISP-based powers and the inevitable filtering of all internet activity.
This is the opposite to protecting our people’s freedom. New Conservative calls on the government to stop these further incursions into our democracy and demand that MBIE not spy on the people of New Zealand. Jacinda Ardern and senior ministers must go further, and ensure all public servants remember that the freedom of the people they serve is paramount.
New Conservative stands for free speech and the freedom of people to openly share personal information without fear of having this collected, kept, and used against them by public servants.
LEIGHTON BAKER Leader, New Conservative
Martin Hanson attempts to denigrate his opponents by calling into question their motivations (The golden rule, letters January 10).
And as usual his target is members of the Catholic Church, whom he calls masochists, completely missing the irony of his quoting Mother Teresa, whose whole life was dedicated to selflessly relieving the sufferings of others.
But Hanson is on a selfappointed crusade, and he never lets the facts get in the way of a good story.
Instead of criticising those with different views he should concentrate on what is actually in the End of Life Choice Bill, which should be read carefully by all New Zealanders.
There is no need for ‘scaremongering,’ because the reality is frightening enough. Key terms like ‘grievous and
irremediable medical condition’ are completely undefined, meaning that the widest interpretations are possible. The ‘attending doctor’ may be one who has never previously met the patient.
The Attorney-General’s report is another must read. The clear implication is that over time euthanasia would inevitably be extended to children.
Would Hanson accept this? Not many other Kiwis would.
MPs should reject this dangerous Bill.
supreme law-maker, the courts’ role is to interpret and apply the law.Under the Bill of Rights Act, judges are obliged, wherever possible, to interpret other statutes in a way that is consistent with the protection of rights and freedoms. This would apply to the End of Life Choice Bill, and includes freedom from discrimination.
We already have the Attorney-General’s report
that the Seymour Bill discriminates on the basis of age, and it is probable that the courts would substitute an age requirement of 16 years.
The common law then provides for under-16s who are deemed sufficiently ‘mature’ to qualify. This is the Gillick concept, recognised in both UK and New Zealand case law.
The age specified in the Bill is only the beginning of the story.
It took only six months after legalisation for Canada to explore the issue of extending euthanasia to ‘mature minors’ (children), and this now seems likely to go ahead.
Canada (with the exception of Quebec) is a common law jurisdiction, like New Zealand.
The prospect of this extension is unfortunately a legal reality. D J SCOTT
Auckland temperature drop of 0.56 degrees Celsius between February 2016 to February 2018. Obviously this is not true.
In sharp contrast to this, according to Nasa and other official sources, 2016 was the hottest year on record since global estimates became feasible in 1880. 2017 was slightly behind in being the second hottest. Earth’s four hottest years on record have now occurred since 2014. All of the 20 warmest years have been since 1995.
It is irrelevant if there has been a slight drop in temperature over a short period. What is more important is the overall trend, which continues its upward climb since the late 1970s.
Alan Jones’ source of information regarding climate change is not only unreliable. The motive appears to be the need to deceive and mislead to protect their interests. To claim the greatest twoyear cooling event just took place, if referring to the global temperature, is a blatant lie. RAY PATERSON
Kaimaumau letters January 10) about exotic and noxious trees and plants on our roadside reserves and surrounding land — public and private. Sarcasm with a serious edge.
What a massive industry all this offensive greenery could be.
Due to its bulk and rapid growth, Arundo donax, the giant bamboo grass rapidly creeping its way across the Far North, is the EU’s number one preferred source of biomass for the production of biodiesel. Wilding pine, privet, pampas, ginger, tobacco weed and many other obnoxious foreign plants can also be used in biofuel production, large-scale and small at a district, ward or even local community level.
By-products of biodiesel production are valuable organic acids like glycerin. Bush greenery can also be converted via similar processes into high-value health industry products like chlorophyll.
There’s more. Large, tall, old and potentially dangerous roadside pines, gum, privet, willow and totara can be felled at the same time, and, following the principle of ‘replant a native’, indigenous trees, shrubs, bushes and/or flaxes planted wherever an exotic is removed. Native riparian zones to retain land near the sea, often below roads.
To ameliorate kauri dieback, threatened kauri might be greatly increased in numbers and spread, while manuka is simultaneously planted for honey production, energising native nursery businesses.
Imagine the visual added-value for tourism — not to mention safety benefits — if travelling on more Far North highways was like driving through Waipoua Forest.
Pine, privet, gum, willow and totara would yield excellent firewood mix as another revenue stream, with larger privet on steep hillsides being coppiced to retain root structure and provide future yield until natives are re-established.
Selective mangrove removal might be undertaken in some places as well, for example to reopen strategic views around Hokianga Harbour.
That’s not all. Such remedial, safety, rehabilitation, stabilisation, harvesting, fuel-production and beautification work undertaken by private companies or social enterprises in partnership with FNDC, NRC and their corporate subsidiaries Far North Holdings Ltd and Northland Inc, would almost certainly attract Provincial Growth Fund support and possibly ‘Billion Trees’ funding as well.
But wait, there’s more. Comprehensive road reserve management schemes like I’m describing will provide both employment and training opportunities — attracting yet more government funding — especially being fairly labour-intensive, and will help revive some of what Northland MP Matt King calls Northland’s “deprived communities” — apparently full of “no hopers” — without removing the young people from them.
People could receive tuition, learn and attain qualifications in everything from traffic management through forestry/ arboreal skills to retail (forecourt) sales, HT driving and machine operation to landscaping, design, project management, marketing and business administration while they work and earn. Much of the work would be outdoors and healthy, and all of it would boost the sustainability of local economies.
I haven’t quite finished. Privet and pine Mangrove removal to reopen strategic views around areas such as Hokianga Harbour could double as a form of beneficial employment, Wally Hicks writes.
pollen are major causal agencies in upper respiratory tract infection and triggers of asthma attacks, with grievous health repercussions and costs. While plantation pine won’t be stopped until we eventually come to our senses, at least some of this scourge can be reduced. This might attract Health Department funding.
Finally, roadside litter approaching towns in the Far North is an absolute public disgrace. Our versatile Roadside Restoration Teams can take care of this too, perhaps enlisting local school students and/or community volunteers, while also ensuring their safety.
That’s my free business/community enterprise idea for someone. Any takers? I’ll be surprised if it doesn’t fly.
Kohukohu Recently a Japanese man, Kiyoshi Kimura, bought a 278kg (612lb) bluefin tuna for the top price ever, at about $5000 a pound, or $9000 a kilo, which makes Wagyu steaks seem cheap.
Although this was done more for publicity that a potential restaurant profit, there may have been better ways to spend the money. The likelihood of anyone paying the full cost price when they dine out is almost zero.
There is also the consideration that the bluefin tuna are an endangered species and shouldn’t be harvested at all.
Perhaps Mr Kimura, who may already be a generous person, could have helped to establish some soup kitchens or food redistribution centres so that many other people could have got simple food that would keep them alive.
This amount of money would have helped many who would have been very appreciative of his donation.
The world should concentrate on making sure all people have an adequate food supply before there is a need for super-expensive foods for a small number of people. DENNIS FITZGERALD