Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Peters to sue TVNZ et al 

As expected, Peters wants to face off in court (The Fight for Life vs Bill Ralston has certain appeal as well - but next year for that one perhaps).
Mr Peters told Parliament that allegations were made against him during his absence from New Zealand last week.

"Those allegations are baseless and ridiculous and I immediately instructed my legal counsel to take action, seeking damages and costs from those organisations and individuals who promulgated those allegations," Mr Peters said.

"Accordingly, papers were lodged in the High Court in Auckland today seeking damages and costs from Television New Zealand, Radio New Zealand, Yvonne Dossetter, Ken Shirley (ACT) MP and David Carter (National) MP.

"Those who would publish or repeat such allegations either do not know me or know nothing of what I have achieved in my political career."
Either that or there is a huge number of people out there that have seen you throw teflon shite allegations at all in sundry and are quite keen to see you burn a little. Winston, it was you blowing hard that turned the smoke into fire in the first instance remember.

Nothing like covering all your bases though. I am somewhat surprised to see Ken Shirley and David Carter added to the list - but it wouldn't be Winston if he stuck to the script..

Monday, June 28, 2004

New reality TV show 

You just can't deny that when Winston is involved, things tend to be interesting. In Act's "The Letter" this week it quotes a speech in Parliament essentially asking for an enquiry about Winston, scampi et al and let's not forget Ross Meurant.
The Primary Production Committee sat for several months, consumed an enormous amount of parliament’s time, and reported on 2 December 2003. Winston Peters produced no evidence to support those reckless allegations he had made, and he certainly did not table the “voluminous evidence” he had promised to table. He was as quiet as a lamb, with barely a whisper. Last night on television further allegations were made, and reference was made to a sworn affidavit. The functioning of this parliament and its processes was raised, and the programme focused on a former member of this House – perhaps one of the most savoury members who has passed through this House – a Mr Ross Meurant.

Hon Trevor Mallard: Unsavoury.

Hon Ken Shirley: Certainly unsavoury. It seems that a former member of parliament, Ross Meurant, was engaged by Siminovich Fisheries as an adviser and a lobbyist. Concurrent with that, of course – and a lot of people do not realise this – Mr Meurant was also hired by the NZ First party and paid for on its payroll; actually the taxpayers’ payroll through Parliamentary Services. We were told that Mr Meurant attended several meetings, together with principals of Siminovich Fisheries, and Mr Meurant’s former partner of some nine years, Yvonne Teresa Dossiter, swears that Ross Meurant met at the Siminovich’s olive farm following the infamous Kermadec restaurant meal, and the proposal was put that the payment of $300,000 to Meurant would be a good investment for the Siminovich business.
So Ken is after Winston - good sport - and odds on Winston to pull through as he invariably does.

Even better than that is Winston threatening to sue TVNZ. Whilst everyone is busy stating how serious the allegations are and calling for heads to roll (or asking for a lazy 7 million for defamation) - I am content just sitting back and enjoying the show. I really can't see it sticking to Winston, and TVNZ should be able to wrangle free as well (probably by accepting some factual errors in the affadavit).

If I was Ross Meurant - I wouldn't be sleeping quite as easily... More, much more to follow (hopefully).

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Crap headline of the week... 

From The Herald, "Officials back killer boxer". For gods sake - it makes it sound as though this guy is a known psychopath that was let of on a technicality, he is not. He is a guy who made a horrific mistake, fronted, did his time and then went about sorting himself out.

We should be making him the poster boy of rehabilitation (god knows they could use a success story), instead we get Queen Helen requiring him to shed a tear in front of all of us just to make us feel better about him going.

My Right can't help but wonder similar treatment wasn't applied to a certain rugby player every time he was selected to play Sevens for New Zealand? "Killer driver leads haka"... It didn't happen, and it shouldn't have - nor should it be happening now.

Anyways, good luck to Mr Pownceby, bring me home a gold medal and I hope you continue to enjoy a clean, constructive and lawful life. Hat's off to Boxing New Zealand for not destroying the guy and leaving an angry young man on the streets of New Zealand looking for the fight that he should have been having elsewhere.

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

No win situation (unless he goes on to win perhaps) 

From Stuff today: "The New Zealand Olympic Committee today defended its decision to select a boxer jailed in 1995 for killing his daughter, despite condemnation by women's groups."

But it is hard to see that the Olympic Committee had much of a choice, and when Barry Maister said that it was not the Olympic Committee's place to re-litigate cases, I think he was bang on.

The crimes that Pownceby is guilty of are reprehensible - but he has done his time, end of story. Sure we would like to think that all atheletes are going to be dream role models - but they are not always(insert your own Aussie League 'bonding session' headline here).

Boxing is a sport that requires a huge amount of dedication and stamina, sustained effort and discipline - maybe this guy has turned the corner and found something that makes him want to be a better person. A big 'maybe' - perhaps, but good on the Olympic Committee for giving him the chance.

Saturday, June 19, 2004

No Right Turn, one for you... 

A nice analogy to outline how the tax system works by Norman LaRocque (and shamelessly lifted from Deborah Coddington's Liberty Belle) is below. No Right Turn, please comment or post a response - I would be absolutely and genuinely enthralled.
This is how the cookie crumbles. Please read it carefully.

Let's put tax cuts in terms everyone can understand. Suppose that every day, ten men go out for dinner. The bill for all ten comes to $100.

If they paid their bill the way we pay our taxes, it would go something like this:
The first four men (the poorest) would pay nothing.
The fifth would pay $1.
The sixth would pay $3.
The seventh $7.
The eighth $12.
The ninth $18.
The tenth man (the richest) would pay $59.

So that's what they decided to do. The ten men ate dinner in the restaurant every day and seemed quite happy with the arrangement, until one day, the owner threw them a curve.

"Since you are all such good customers," he said, "I'm going to reduce the cost of your daily meal by $20". So now the dinner for ten only cost $80. The group still wanted to pay their bill the way we pay our taxes.

So the first four men were unaffected. They would still eat for free. But what about the other six, the paying customers? How could they divvy up the $20 windfall so that everyone would get his 'fair share'?

The six men realized that $20 divided by six is $3.33. But if they subtracted that from everybody's share, then the fifth man and the sixth man would each end up being 'PAID' to eat their meal.

So, the restaurant owner suggested that it would be fair to reduce each man's bill by roughly the same amount, and he proceeded to work out the amounts each should pay.

And so:
The fifth man, like the first four, now paid nothing (100% savings).
The sixth now paid $2 instead of $3 (33% savings).
The seventh now paid $5 instead of $7 (28% savings).
The eighth now paid $9 instead of $12 (25% savings).
The ninth now paid $14 instead of $18 (22% savings).
The tenth now paid $49 instead of $59 (16% savings).

Each of the six was better off than before. And the first four continued to eat for free. But once outside the restaurant, the men began to compare their savings.

"I only got a dollar out of the $20," declared the sixth man. He pointed to the tenth man, "but he got $10."

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

"That's true!" shouted the seventh man. "Why should he get $10 back when I got only $2? The wealthy get all the breaks."

"Wait a minute," yelled the first four men in unison. "We didn't get anything at all. The system exploits the poor!" The nine men surrounded the tenth and beat him up.

The next night the tenth man didn't show up for dinner, so the nine sat down and ate without him. But when it came time to pay the bill, they discovered something important. They didn't have enough money between all of them for even half of the bill.

And that, boys and girls, journalists and college professors, is how our tax system works. The people who pay the highest taxes get the most benefit from a tax reduction. Tax them too much, attack them for being wealthy, and they just may not show up at the table any more. There are lots of good restaurants in Europe and the Caribbean.
F Y I - I am probably the seventh man, who would feel that it is right and proper for the first four men to be fed for free, and rather than turn on him, I would thank the tenth man for doing his bit (I could use the extra $2 as well...)

Gerry Brownlee proving he doesn't need to be brown 

Is it just me or is Gerry Brownlee making a fairly good shake of his Maori Affairs job? I have just watched his appearance on Breakfast (thanks XTRA) which I would describe as clear and assured. Then with Tim Dower on Newstalk ZB he was consistent and unwavering delivering a potentially volatile message.

The whole issue about the Maori claims to fish farming seem as simple as he is saying - how can there possibly be ancestral rights associated to something that didn't exist up until 40 years ago?
Mr Brownlee says National's opposition to the latest deal is no different than any other non-traditional contemporary claims which National has opposed.

"This industry is less than 40-years-old and it is fanciful for Maori to claim treaty rights to any part of it.

"We opposed Maori getting airwave rights, and we opposed them getting a cut of new oil discoveries, and we oppose this.

"Labour must stop this nonsense of giving away the farm - or in this case aquaculture - in a bid to buy Maori votes."
So, a blatant bid to cozy up to Maori? Absolutely.

I say let them run with it - it is just another step to ensuring that they will be gone next year.

Friday, June 18, 2004

Unscientific - but bang on.. 

It's official - even the post air brush Clark is unkissable. I would have though Ali Mau was worth a shout on the most kissable list though...

Clark and Holmes, not even at New Year's

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

So nothing is "Tapu" 

If every there was a case of someone that should have a good hard look at themselves it is this;
Tapu Misa reappointed to Broadcasting Standards Authority
If todays offering in the Herald from this 'journalist' is anything to go by, 'standards' is a hugely subjective term.

Tapu Misa: Fluff

Saturday, June 12, 2004

Compulsory philanthropy 

Sometimes My Right really wonders if No Right Turn is serious, and shudders to think that he is. In responding to John Key's claim of communism by stealth he says this;
In other words, National's core problem with the scheme is that it is so generous. Generous to the extent that some families are getting almost $200 a week extra in the hand from the government.
Will these people ever accept that this extra $200 a week is not from the Government, it is from you and me. I have always maitained that I don't mind paying my way and contributing to others less fortunate, but when they are sent a message that there is no point trying to work their way out of dependancy, that is just plain annoying.

That is one thing that drives me wild about these self righteous seekers of a 'level playing field' (read - across the board mediocrity), they hate success, despise endeavour and are generally just wet types who can't quite cut it.

As DPF pointed out in his 'blog count' post, "No Right Turn obviously needs to get a job, a haircut and a new suit", but I'm sure they would allow those working for the Council of Trade Unions to have long hair and cardigans.

Friday, June 11, 2004

And it was bad... 

As No Right Turn has, correctly, observed - State of the Nation last night was an ambitious attempt at delving into the realm that is race relations in this country. Unfortunately though, my fears in my last post were well founded. The show was too simplistic and to 'user friendly' to be taken seriously - or to contribute much more to the debate than a brief history lesson (not a bad thing) and some harmless slagging off of each other.

To say that Anita McNaught managed to keep a lid on things would be an understatement; the show went out of its way to ensure that the audience could not really engage each other. The staccato nature of the 'debate' was disappointing. So were the contributions of many of the participants. Almost all seamed to have fairly strong views on the Treaty and it's place in New Zealand's history and present, but not enough of the discussion focused on its place in our future.

Of the simple questions I wanted asked and answered (and assumed they would be included - so foolishly didn't send them in...) were:

  • Will there ever be a time when all New Zealander's are equal?
  • Will Maori ever establish a unified voice that represents all Maori with a view to discussing a potential constitution with 'other' New Zealander's? (along the lines of the Treaty Tribes approach to the Seabed and Foreshore)
  • If Maori desire a fully independent Maori nation - would Maori consider going it alone and do you honestly think that is viable?
  • If the answer to the last question is yes, would that not turn New Zealand into a country with two big gangs?
  • Should a fifth generation New Zealander feel like a guest in this country - Maori, Pakeha, Asian, Indian or otherwise?
  • Of the Maori audience members - how many of you here are happy with the likes of Tama Iti and the Harawhira's being treated like the voice of Maoridom (and do you wish the media would stop giving them as much press as they do)?
  • Do urban Maori with no tribal affiliations have the same rights as other Maori?

    I think a few of the simplistic questions above could have been the catalyst for some conversations that revealed some of the genuine angst out there on both sides and it would have been interesting if a conversation had been allowed to develop. That could also have avoided some of the more petty one line point scoring.

    So come on people - comments or emails please.

  • Tuesday, June 01, 2004

    Looking forward to this one 

    Kim Hill tried, and desperately failed, to shake down Pilger on "My Face In Your Face". "Read, just read" Kim...

    So it will be interesting to see if Anita McNaught has a go at Robert Fisk tonight on Eating Media Lunch - it should be good sport if she does.

    Scoop's preview of the 2004 offering.

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