Not good thinking, Fran – who trusts the media?

Not good thinking, Fran – who trusts the media?

It’s a very strange suggestion from Fran O’Sullivan, long dug in as a New Zealand Herald columnist and named in the New Year’s Honours list as an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit, that the government should be involved in funding the media. New Zealanders like to be generous with their congratulations. But most would argue that the government already has its tentacles reaching into too many areas of our national life. Arguably, her suggestion is an especially dubious proposition, given the potential of the media to be highly partisan – an issue already causing worldwide concern.

Well worth reading is ”Rex Murphy’s: ‘Time is wrong. Today’s journalists are not ‘guardians of the truth’   Contemporary journalism is frequently as wayward as the social media it deplores. It has long since given up any attempt to be objective.’ ” See below. *

New Zealanders have longed regarded the Honours nominations with mixed feelings, some as highly deserving, some raising eyebrows, baffling.  Most would celebrate the one given to that outstanding philanthropist, Sir Stephen Tindall, Knight Great Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit    – and to other some deserving candidates. But there are always those  that are debatable, some viewed as politicised choices – such as the highly controversial Lloyd Geering, who, while professing to be Christian, repudiated the central tenants of Christian teaching  – and then had Honours heaped upon him, initially by Helen Clark’s Labour government.  The extraordinary succession of these that Geering received was topped when, as recently as 2009, his previous Honours awards were elevated to that of Tindall’s – Knight Great Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit.

However, this former minister’s highly opiniated stance has been regarded  as  extraordinary for a man who apparently decided that his views on the Resurrection were superior to those of  the apostles of Christ’s day  – as well as those of  the hundreds of millions of individuals down through the centuries who repudiated any notion that Christ was either a knave or a delusionist – and who stood by St Paul’s simple assertion that the truth of Christianity depends upon the reality of the Resurrection.

Lloyd Geering decided otherwise. And of course individuals are free to believe what they like, rightly or wrongly. But whether it was a realistic decision of his to still claim to be a Christian – when this depends upon its millennia-held truth  –  even if his stance  was basically fudged as his “belonging to the Christian tradition”  – and, more recently,  as an atheist  a   “non-theist”  – his nomination became arguably an untenable choice. Very many New Zealanders regarded Geering as having done an enormous amount of damage to Christian belief – particularly because of his still confusingly claiming to be inside the Church – rather than a more appropriate acknowledgement of where he had in reality arrived – repudiating it. He acknowledges he sees no point praying -“There’s nobody up there to answer them.” His out of left field preference rejecting the importance of the individual nation state safeguarding its interests in favour of the concept of One World Government would certainly mirror Helen Clark’s long maintained socialist philosophy.

Society has always had its mavericks and its eccentrics. But when they challenge, with no basis for proof, the beliefs and values that underpin and stabilise our society, they do not usually have Honours upon Honours heaped on them.  What these signified, in the eyes of many, is that his views were meeting with political approval at its highest Left-wing level in this country. On form, he regards the anti-the West UN as doing a great job. As with others who, in the eyes of many have been dubious recipients of the awards – including businessmen, politicians, and sportspeople  – the selection process appears to so often depend upon the priorities, or the agenda, of the government of the day.

When Fran O Sullivan uses her own Honours listing to argue that   governments have a responsibility in addressing how journalism is funded, she strays into the grey area of special pleading – as a journalist herself at the time when public perception of the media, at an all-time low, means that even major media corporations are losing the advertisers that fund them.  Although she states that “this doesn’t mean that the government should step in and run media…“ her argument that “a public-private partnership could be set up in some of these areas in the same way it’s made to creative arts ” will be regarded by many as a more than dubious proposition.

Government- funded print and on-line media, no matter the nature of the arrangement, is simply not acceptable. Neither our government-backed broadcasting nor television is regarded as producing an even-handed, quality product. On the contrary, standards are viewed as having markedly declined, and continuing to do so. Moreover, thanks to liberal government backing, the “creative arts” she instances have long become monopolised by sharp-elbowed in-groups of the Left distributing the literary grants among themselves and their politicised fellow travellers – while blacklisting authors and artists who will not toe their politicised line.  It is an important and relevant contention that all taxpayer funding should be removed from these well-heeled cliques, and that it should be left to the public to decide which writers and artists they choose to support on the basis of merit alone – not on their politicised agenda.

Miss O’Sullivan’s plea for government funding for the media within which she works – or even for government-owned entities such as the New Zealand Super Fund and ACC to take a stake in media companies “to ensure they were locally owned”  – will not meet the approval test of the man in the street – nor the highly intelligent home-maker – nor all those in the trades and professions  already fed up with the ever-increasing burden of government edicts, the increasing new areas of taxation – and the mounting compliance issues. Faced with a future prospect of the media “explaining” and supporting these – to satisfy the government of the day – is unacceptable.  If there is no such thing as a free lunch, O’Sullivan’s wish list is more than unrealistic. She should well know that bargains are not made on the basis of something for nothing.

Her contention is that “We’ve got to have media that acts in New Zealand’s interests….and it would be great to have a government that valued that.” But that  real thinking concerning what New Zealand’s interests really are should never be left to the media, nor to successive governments of the day, each very much with their own agenda – and each long wooing flattered or compliant journalists to help achieve this. Moreover, when the flagrant bias of our media is already so obvious in relation to the stance of highly politicised editorialists and journalists – particularly so in relation to the fact that they themselves are often quite culpably ignorant in areas where their research is far from in-depth – then the prospect of journalists being leaned even more upon by governments of the day is ominous.  The standard of most of today’s columnists is basically abysmal.

Examples? The complete lack of genuine debate,  or even well-substantiated media writing in relation to the ever-ongoing gravy train of treaty settlements  pouring into an already $40 billion Maori economy –  many now well argued to be on fraudulent grounds. That these grossly politicised settlements have long deprived the country of vital funding into health, housing and other grossly under-funded areas has been arguably a disgrace. Similarly, with the almost totally one-sided presentation of the highly dubious, man-made global warming claim – long well-challenged in reputable publications overseas – but where the New Zealand media have locked themselves into an over-comfortable relationship with the global warming cultists within this country.

Flying in the face of our media establishment’s claim to objective reporting and impartiality, its palpable bias is almost ludicrous, when one is faced with: “Stuff accepts the overwhelming scientific consensus that climate change is real and caused by human activity. We welcome robust debate about the appropriate response to climate change, but do not intend to provide a venue for denials or hoax advocacy. That applies equally to the stories we will publish in”Quick! Save the planet” and to our moderation standards for reader comments.”

Quick! Save the planet…” ? The claim of the editorial writer who produced such nonsense to promote “robust debate” that is completely its opposite is not only doubly ludicrous – it is childish. It brings me back to Fran O’Sullivan’s virtual plea – which could well be titled –“Quick! Save the media.”

We already know what the public response to this would be. New Zealanders, with good reason, are walking away from their mainstream media and the flagrant bias with which, insultingly they have long been treated. Even the ability to allow for public feedback and debate in relation to most columnists’ and editors’ pronouncements has been largely removed. Space for readers’ comments has largely gone –dissent is not encouraged. Editors reject from correspondents letters with which they don’t agree. Robust debate, as this ridiculous Stuff notification so well highlights, is largely a thing of the past, as far as our media giants are concerned.

There is far better material now available for public information and debate away from the former long monopoly of the giant media corporations, and their day is arguably over – as everyone knows – apart from those still wedded to a new Utopia – or to a past with far more rigorous standards in journalism – a past that has long gone.*

© Amy Brooke. Buy my highly relevant book “The 100 Days – Claiming Back New Zealand…what has gone wrong and how we can control our politicians.” Available through Amazon’s Kindle – or directly from my website  – http://www.amybrooke.co.nz

SHARE or LIKE us to support our move to Claim Back New Zealand www.100days.co.nz.  And DONATE to help!   Thank you!  

See – https://100daystodemocracy.wordpress.com/donations-2/

* https://nationalpost.com/opinion/rex-murphy-time-is-wrong-todays-journalists-are-not-guardians-of-the-truth#comments-area

”Rex Murphy: Time is wrong. Today’s journalists are not ‘guardians of the truth’.Contemporary journalism is frequently as wayward as the social media it deplores. It has long since given up any attempt to be objective.”

Rex Murphy
December 28, 2018
1:06 PM EST

”Time, that tattered, shrunken revenant of a once-popular news magazine, continues in its endless decline to delude itself that it has either the authority or the competence to name the “Person of the Year.” Brilliantly it named journalists — “The Guardians” — as 2018’s collective heroes, with Jamal Khashoggi given pride of place on the once-iconic cover. Time neglected to check on Khashoggi and now finds that it nominated a Qatar stooge, whose columns were midwifed by officers in the Qatar government, and whose “journalistic” career was but a distracting pendant to his many more serious activities, latterly as an anti-Saudi lobbyist, nephew to the one-time world’s biggest arms dealer, and a host of other shadowy mésalliances. The neatest summary I have read of Khashoggi, the journalist, is: “a highly-partisan operative who worked with a handler to publish propaganda at the behest of the Emirate of Qatar … in other words, an agent of influence.”

”Great cover photo for a Time “guardians of truth” issue.

”A highly partisan operative who worked with a handler to publish propaganda

”As far as journalists collectively being honoured with the ascription “guardians,” that surely cannot apply in North America or Europe if we take most of their coverage of Donald Trump as the testing ground. Trump journalism will some day earn its place in medical literature, side by side with malarial fever and LSD as engines of hallucination and fitful nightmares.

”Throw in the scandal saga of Der Spiegel, whose star investigative reporter, Claas Relotius, has been proven to be an industrial-scale fraud, a fantasist fictionist, who gulled Der Spiegel and its readers for years, and is now the face for “fake news” worldwide, and ask again how journalists could even be considered the heroes of 2018? The Relotius problem was correctly described in a Facebook post as “a product of an absurdly leftist writers’ fraternity that is increasingly seldom prepared to leave its own convenient moral comfort zone in favour of the facts.”

</mail/u/0/s/?view=att&th=167fd942fdee3887&attid=0.1&disp=emb&zw&atsh=1> Der Spiegel reporter Claas Relotius, who has admitted to fabricating stories, is seen during an award ceremony in Munich, Germany, on March 27, 2014. Ursula Dueren/dpa/AP

”Journalism is frequently as wayward as the social media it ritually deplores, propelled by a lust-like drive to the parts of a story that accord with its prejudices and predispositions. It has long since replaced the attempt to be objective with a commitment to activism and advocacy. Much of contemporary journalism does not report on the game. It sees itself as part of the game — it seeks to massage opinion, reinforce favoured perspectives, take down its “enemies” and shield its heroes.

”There is an old word, not seen much in modern writing, quite possibly in near full decay from lack of use. Which is a shame for it still remains possibly the only full semantic vehicle for certain phenomena. The word is incompossible, and its meaning (taken here from the Oxford English Dictionary) is: adj. – Unable to exist if something else exists. Two things are incompossible when the world of being has scope enough for one of them, but not enough for both.

”Much of contemporary journalism does not report on the game. It sees itself as part of the game

”To illustrate the meaning, I offer a few sentences: Environmentalism and journalism are incompossible. Hatred of and contempt for Donald Trump and honest reporting on him are incompossible.

”Place the adjective environmental to govern the noun journalism and the former swallows up, nullifies, extinguishes quite the latter. What we may call real journalists on the global warming file are, to use a familiar category, on the very sharp end of the endangered species list. The majority of environmental journalists are a choir in perfect harmony on a one-note score, the settled-science symphony of the IPCC and Al Gore.

</mail/u/0/s/?view=att&th=167fd942fdee3887&attid=0.2&disp=emb&zw&atsh=1> This combination photo provided by Time magazine shows its four covers for its 2018 “Person of the Year.”

”Trump journalism is obsessive, manic and unboundedly adversarial. Much of it is wish-fantasy in print or online. The evidence was clear from the night of his election, when that great organ of higher reportage, The New York Times, was giving Mr. Trump an eight-per-cent chance of victory, and poor Hillary a wild 92 per cent. Error of that magnitude doesn’t spring from faulty polling or inadequate assessment of the public mood.

”It is incorruptible evidence that a once great newspaper had chosen to report what its owners and reporters wanted to see as reality, its fantasy of reality, as the reality. They had cut all anchors to objectivity and fact to drift on the currents of advocacy and wish-fulfillment. On that same night, as the results came in on the networks, people saw on the crestfallen faces of the anchor “guardians” for whom “speaking truth to power” is their prayer and motto, just how unwelcome the real truth was, when their power to declare what that truth should be, had been denied them.

”This was infallibly not the year to declare journalists the heroes of our time. but then, it was Time that declared them so, so who, really, thought they were?”

© Amy Brooke – SHARE or LIKE us to support our move to Claim Back New Zealand www.100days.co.nz.  And DONATE to help!   Thank you!  

See – https://100daystodemocracy.wordpress.com/donations-2/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The real racism in our institutions. And not all women are irrational!

 

The real racism in our institutions. And not all women are irrational!

There’s little doubt that away from our long infiltrated and now Marxist-dominated universities, by far the majority of New Zealanders will agree with Professor Greg Newbold of the University of Canterbury when he challenges what is happening.

Did you know that Sandra Grey, president of the Tertiary Education Union (TEU), has come out IN SUPPORT of Massey’s VC, and said that Don Brash’s views have no place in a university?

Unbelievable!

TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN: As a member of the TEU for the past 30 years I wish to condemn in the strongest terms the letter that the TEU president has recently sent to members at Massey University. Inter alia, the message says that the (unspecified) views of Dr Don Brash ‘should not be encouraged, respected, nor accepted’ and infers that the rules of free speech should not apply in the case of Dr Brash. It also says that Dr Brash’s (unspecified) views have no place in this country and it supports the Massey VC’s decision to stop Dr Brash from speaking on campus.

To suggest that views that may contradict the opinions of some people should be banned from expression on a university campus, and that a person who holds such views should be blocked from speaking on a campus, is a direct affront to the principle of freedom of thought and speech. Any such a suggestion erodes the most sacred principle upon which a university is founded. It also undermines the basis of a free and democratic society and is reminiscent of the book-burning philosophies of Hitler, Stalin and Mao.   The TEU should stridently reject the censorship of controversial ideas and oppose the suppression of debate on matters that are of critical importance to this nation.

Greg Newbold, Professor in Sociology, University of Canterbury

https://us4.campaign-archive.com/?u=fb04aaec9ab34fde94735fa91&id=c15f1f0c2e

Reading through the extraordinary nonsense offered by Sandra Grey (link above)  in  her contention that she is all for free speech…but wants some free-speech banned  (!)  one can only marvel at the apparently delusional nature of so much of what these left-wing women are now maintaining.

But where are the good women publicly opposing them? Or what about the point some are now making, strong, centrist-right women writers, many far from feminist – who feel they are being elbowed out by their male colleagues? A touch of condescension here and there? Male solidarity? Even male ego?

Historically this has certainly been valid, regarding women as outside the brotherhood…and it seems to be still the case, from mounting anecdotal evidence. A pity if these strongest voices of all in the best position to challenge the sisterhood are not getting the support they well deserve.

Thanks to all those who have persevered, often largely because of sheer courage, of integrity, of their concern to protect their families – the family unit itself, as the most important institution of all –  in  the face of the sheer venom of what have been termed the feminazi.

The result? The tide is undoubtedly turning against the essentially totalitarian thinking and practices now being inflicted upon the public, not only by our government and our local governments,  but by our publicly funded institutions, very much including the universities.

And it is those New Zealanders who have stood up to be counted who have achieved this.  The country owes you – as will our children

What about those who have just complained – and done nothing?  Is it a lack of moral courage – or just laziness? Even though  you count.

If you have done nothing at all to help to date, there is still time…

Email, call your local MP’s office – call the universities  –write to your local paper – ring talkback. Above all, register your displeasure with the increasingly racist provisions now being foisted off on New Zealanders by parliament.

Parliament’s number is 04 817 9999.

Ring Jacinda Ardern’s office for your message to be delivered to the Prime Minister.

Ring Winston Peters’ office – and tell him why so many New Zealanders feel he let them down.

And especially – join us to help reach a tipping point of New Zealanders right around the country. www.100days.co.nz

© Amy Brooke, Convenor, The 100 Days.  See my book “100 Days – Claiming Back New Zealand …what has gone wrong, and how we can control our politicians.” Available through my  BOOK Page at www.amybrooke.co.nz, or at Amazon’s Kindle.

 

 

 

The bully boys and girls have gone too far

https://www.spectator.com.au/2018/07/the-bully-boys-and-girls-have-gone-too-far/

We all know that among human beings, in every ethnic grouping, individuals vary enormously. And I’ll always recall with gratitude the kindness of a Wellington Muslim café owner, Abdel, who, learning that we had just come from farewelling my mother, brought my sister and me a cup of coffee with an almond biscuit – and would take no payment.

Any well-justified concern at the aggressive worldwide march of Islam needs to take into account that most people share basic aims, wanting peace for their families and the best for their children. We have this in common with New Zealanders of all backgrounds – including family-minded Muslims who now regard themselves as New Zealanders and have happily become part of our communities.

However, the threat to this country from radicalised Islam targeting, propagandising, recruiting, even virtually blackmailing its own people is very real. So New Zealanders have a right to know what steps the government is taking to safeguard this country – and to limit the intake from those from Islamic background.

We should now be well aware, given what is happening right throughout Europe, and even in our closest neighbour, Australia, that when the numbers are sufficiently large, assimilation is replaced by virtual enclaves, or ghettoised settlements. Women and young girls continue to be sexually mutilated and basically enslaved by their male relatives, forced or brainwashed to wearing anachronistic, burdensome clothing,  while Islam’s deep antagonism to Christianity and the West should make us very wary of our government’s apparent naivety – if not incompetence  – in the face of its strident minority demands.

We all now well know the pattern happening world-wide. Radicalised activists from other cultures, sheltering within ethnic groups, begin to challenge majority rule – and to demand the damaging separatism which has occurred under the manipulative, ideological demands for multiculturalism.

So-called diversity, the superior merits of which we are constantly assailed with, is simply a weasel word wielded like a bludgeon to propagandise and intimidate New Zealanders beginning to ask well-overdue questions about what is happening to this country.

It is time for our politicians put their hands up to answer them. Our political parties’ responsibility is given to them by New Zealanders – to represent us, in accordance with our wishes – not to constantly over-ride them. But it is the latter which has now become entrenched.

Join our 100 Days – Claiming Back New Zealand movement – www.100days.co.nz

 © Amy Brooke

Does Susan Devoy favour censorship by prosecution?

Does Susan Devoy favour censorship by prosecution? Apparently so – with her suggestion of involving the police to charge those she fancies have committed “hate speech”.

While in every society  there are undoubtedly individuals whose form of expression is extreme, unfair, or thoroughly objectionable, there is very good reason why we have not in the past moved towards a more totalitarian society –  by removing the right to free speech.

What our Race Relations Conciliator does not seem able to take on board is the fact that  New Zealand can no longer claim to be a free society if she achieves her apparent wish – to have individuals charged with the crime of using speech she and others may find offensive.

This is a horrifically dangerous move for any government to embark upon – a new form of censorship which would have been completely unthinkable to our parents and grandparents. Only in times of war,  when loose tongues could cost lives, has any Western society risked the damage done to one of the most important of human freedoms – people’s very basic rights to speak the truth as they see it.

But there is no doubt now that individuals are under threat today, even vilified, or virulently attacked for speaking the truth as they see this – for pointing out the growing dangers threatening our society.  The form of Muslim extremism, for example, sweeping across Europe, tolerates no opposition, the least form of which is name-calling and disparaging its opponents – those with the courage still to try to warn about what is actually happening to this now troubled continent.

 It has always been recognised that whether individual opinions are considered right or wrong – an open society is the only one compatible with Western freedoms – and the underpinning of democracy. Open debate and free comment are the best remedies to counter extremism. And we should be questioning why, if Devoy has any real knowledge of what happened to those societies in the 20th century (and today) in which the climate of intimidation allowed dictatorships to flourish, she has not taken the lessons on board.

It’s happening again. From one of the best informed website journals, The Gatestone Institute, comes this reminder of what happens when the State begins to censor speech. It contains a reminder by Spiked Online editor, Brendan O’Neill, that “politically correct speech does not need protecting. The United States first Amendment exists precisely to protect the minority from the majority – and to protect unpopular opinions from those who would silence them.”  https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/12008/france-le-pen-free-speech#.WrNlggLKBas.gmail

There seems little doubt that Susan Devoy, with her aim of having suppressed speech or opinions which she finds unpalatable, thinks these should be silenced.

 This is not only an aim incompatible with democratic freedoms – (regardless of the creeping activism we have seen for some time, in relation to even our court decisions). It flies in the face of that most important reminder from The United Nations Declaration of Human Rights.

Article 19.

“Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.”

We have already in this country seen the rise of bullying and name-calling whereby radical activism uses the tactics of badmouthing thoughtful critics by targeting them as racist, or homophobic, for example. As it works by silencing all too many worried about the repercussions ensuing from standing up for their beliefs, we have started on the first step of a very slippery slope.

Ms Devoy arguably needs to think much more deeply of the consequences of her wish to involve the police to target individuals whose utterances she disapproves of. This will undoubtedly take us even further down the road of a virtual Police State that some maintain, with reason, we are already embarked upon.

©  Amy Brooke, Convener. See my book “100 Days – Claiming Back New Zealand …what has gone wrong, and how we can control our politicians.” Available through www.amybrooke.co.nz, Kindle, or HATM Publishers.

 

OIO fob-off-Selling out NZ. Is John Key just thick?

The OIO fob off? Selling out NZ? Is John Key just thick?

There’s no doubt that this National government’s ignoring of the issues posed by an increasing flow of multimillionaires from what is now acknowledged to be a predatory and aggressive Communist country, is disadvantaging New Zealanders. Allowing them to outbid our people to own our land, houses and businesses can be argued to be possibly treasonous, given that in a democracy, the first duty of the State is to protect its citizens.

This is not a question of xenophobia. Over the decades, Chinese New Zealanders have long made this country their home, assimilated well, and contributed to its prosperity. Some are themselves now extremely concerned at what seems the almost incredible blindness of this National government to what is happening.

As Spectator columnist and classicist Peter Jones points out, the Roman statesman, Cicero, took the view that the country’s security and common interests are best served by laws whose first aim is to safeguard its citizens.

Who would dispute this? It isn’t happening here.

All across this country, concern has been expressed at New Zealanders becoming second-class citizens as a result of both government policy – e.g. via the obvious inadequacy of the Overseas Investment Office (OIO) – and this National government’s fob-off of the crisis in Auckland’s housing market. Again and again we are told that this is simply a matter of not enough houses, and that more and more land needs to be freed up.

But this is not the whole answer, and dodges an equally important issue – apart from that of both central and local government’s incompetence in allowing this crisis to come about. What is being constantly ignored is the fact that the aim of building 30,000 new homes and apartments a year is grossly inadequate – if 70,000 new immigrants are now annually admitted. Moreover, if far wealthier immigrants from Communist China, now facing possibly its largest exodus in history, are able to outbid New Zealanders to confine them to the now also severely unaffordable renting market, then a great injustice is being done to the people of this country…who should be the government’s first priority.

This is an issue not only equally as important as the housing shortage, but even more so, given that we need to look at why this government is selling out New Zealanders.

John Key’s refusal to acknowledge that Auckland even has a housing crisis is extraordinary. First, because it suggests an apparent inability to face facts…He is denying what is demonstrably true. The question then: – would he peddle a blatant lie, if he knew this was the case? Surely not? Then is he being misled, deceived? Is no one telling him the truth? After all, the suspicion is growing (particularly in that the “Minister of Everything”, Steven Joyce, was more or less boasting recently of the hand he had in a pre-budget speech John Key delivered) – are these speeches simply supplied to the Prime Minister to deliver?

Is the real problem just that Key isn’t very bright? There has been no boasting about any academic record at school. He became a multi-millionaire by opting for a move into the money world. Currency trading requires a certain affinity with money-making, and arguably a gambling instinct. However, it does not necessarily equate to his being well-informed, well-read, well-grounded and well-educated – with the background knowledge of history, philosophy, and great literature which helps to produce a well-rounded, statesmanlike individual.

In fact, Key’s use of language is clumsy, ill-informed, even gauche. He can be cringemaking – as in his recent dodging the question of the name of the Islamic state leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. The Australian Defence Minister Kevin Andrews had the same problem, but adroitly dodged being cornered. Key, with his usual offhand deflection of questions he doesn’t like, is quoted as saying; “Ah look, I’ll get it wrong if I actually name his name. It’s al Jabiri something, but yeah, whatever.”

Yeah, whatever…”?

Why is National’s leader apparently unable to publicly acknowledge what’s happening in Auckland. Should we be necessarily discounting the possibility that he really is rather thick, ie. intellectually lightweight? For example, he thinks John Campbell’s nightly look at important current affairs should be “more entertaining”. Really- along the lines of Key’s named favourite TV programmes, which include Johnny English, and My Big Fat Gypsy wedding?

 The man who likes to dance on stage at “ gay” festivals, being smoodged by drag queens when he regularly attends the Big Day Out, which many conservative NZers, and even some homosexual and lesbians, deplore as crass and exhibitionistic. The man whose mouth appears to run away with him, or doesn’t seem to realise describing some women as “hot” is basically offensive to many women uses the sort of vocabulary one doesn’t expect from a Prime Minister.

We do know that Key has a disconcerting record of memory blackouts – or vagueness about what he knows and doesn’t know – or what he was told, or wasn’t told. Oh yes – and when…Some regard him as being less than rigorous with the truth of issues. However, as long as he feels “relaxed” and “comfortable” – as he regularly claims, then it appears we are meant to settle for what many regard as evasiveness.

So when Key claims there’s no housing shortage in Auckland, what are we meant to think?

Most desperate home-hunters aren’t going to be forgiving with regard to his nonsensical claims – not when the housing market is near crisis point – when the New Zealand Herald accurately reports that “first-home buyers are being hit by explosive price rises, bank lending restrictions and fierce competition amid a severe shortage of available properties…and that “the previous generation’s quarter-acre, three-bedroom dream is fast becoming unattainable for today’s house hunters”.

New Zealanders are not in the mood for being fobbed off any further. The question has to be faced fairly and squarely. Why are we being done over in our own country? Is it just a matter of more land being needed for housing; of reforming the RMA; of government culpability and its sheer incompetence with regard to making sure that affordable housing remained within the reach of New Zealanders at large?

Or has something totally new entered the equation during this last decade in particular which gravely disadvantages New Zealanders? The answer is yes, of course. And yes, too, to the fact that John Key’s government has apparently no intention of facing up to this other important issue. There is all-round silence from his National Party colleagues, who apparently couldn’t care less about the almost impossibly difficult, in many cases even sad or tragic outcomes for decent hard-working New Zealanders now losing their dream of ever owning a home.

And is this helped by the stampede of real estate agents going over to China to persuade Chinese buyers to buy our houses – even advertising in Mandarin and Cantonese? They themselves will of course hugely profit. But how much thought have they given to the fact that they are working against the interests of those most disadvantaged New Zealanders – those unable to afford a first home? Family people and others who have saved for years now know that they have no hope of achieving what was taken for granted a decade or so ago. Is this really the New Zealand we all want?

And is what the real estate agents doing actually fair to fellow New Zealanders (not just those selling expensive property at a considerable profit)? Does it even matter? Or is it now just dog eat dog – and every man for himself? If so, what has happened to this country?

It’s not just in Auckland, although the latest official figures show the average Auckland house price soared to $775,555 by January 31. Trade Me also reported very recently a 26.5% jump in prices for properties of one and two bedrooms over the past year.

Is it simply a matter of no concern to John Key and his silent colleagues that, attending a recent luxury property expo in Shanghai, realtor Bayleys Canterbury reportedly found buyers for $5.4m worth of homes in three days – and that they hope for even more sales at a similar event in Beijing in April? Bayleys’ general manager Pete Whalan described the buyers as “mega rich”. The five Shanghai deals included a block of six Pegasus townhouses sold for $2.7m to an investor, a West Melton lifestyle block bought for $1.2m by intending immigrants, and sales of houses in Christchurch’s north-western suburbs for more than $750,000.

There is a very valid point of view that any government which keeps ignoring one of the very important reasons for New Zealanders being priced out of their own homes, their own farms and land is in effect showing it doesn’t want to know. If so, this is basically a disgraceful state of affairs, and the blame for it can be laid to the feet of a government which, for all its pretence, is basically working against the interests of its own people.

With good reason, there has been a great deal of criticism in recent years about the fact that the Overseas Investment office (OIO) basically rubberstamps any application for ownership of our assets. The OIO representative whom I recently contacted for a clearer picture of what exactly is happening, and why, helpfully forwarded clarification with regard to the requirements for consent. What apparently seems to be regarded as efficiently stringent is mind-bogglingly inadequate – even farcically so.

What is apparently accepted as an important factor acting as a control on the oncoming flood of applications is that -“Applying for consent is a relatively costly process, meaning that applicants will want to be fairly sure of success proceeding with applications for consent.” Does anyone really believe that this is an adequate safeguard, given that those applying are described as not just wealthy, but mega-wealthy? These include the so-called princes of the Chinese Communist Party hierarchy, many now reading the writing on the wall for themselves and their families in China.

A similar guide to applications to acquire sensitive land stipulates that “there is likely a benefit to New Zealand. “ Likely”… only likely?!

The ways in which such a benefit can be dreamt up, drummed up, flossied up – but never eventuate – undoubtedly exist. The OIO apparently does no follow-up in subsequent years – and in fact seems to have no power to do anything about the results of undertakings which never eventuate. Moreover, throughout New Zealand there are instances of land which was once able to be accessed by the public but is closed off by foreign buyers, no longer accessible. So much for New Zealanders’ interests being safeguarded.

In reply to my specific question to the OIO whether there is a limit to the amount of New Zealand farmland that can be sold off e.g. 50%, 70% etc. the reply was basically no – there is no limit. The answer provided meaningless padding, such as -“It is a privilege for overseas persons to acquire sensitive New Zealand assets. Therefore, overseas persons who want to purchase ·New Zealand assets are required to a) meet the criteria for consent set out in the act, and b) may have conditions of consent imposed on them if consent is granted. “

And again; “However, if an overseas investor wants to acquire farmland that is more than 10 times the size of an average of average farm of that type”, the OIO “is directed that certain economic factors set out in the Act and Overseas Investment Regulations are of high relative importance”.

New Zealanders who are now accustomed to the flood of verbiage emitted by bureaucrats will know this for what it is – basically meaningless – and centring on the word “relative”. Money is already greasing the wheels when individuals with over $10 million to supposedly invest are more or less automatically allowed into this country (preferably, but apparently not necessarily, if they have no criminal record…recalling the controversy which has already accompanied some who were granted entry with just that).

China was the country’s biggest and fastest growing source of migrants last year. Shouldn’t we be concerned about this, given that New Zealand has no limits on foreign property ownership, except that sensitive land sales or deals worth more than $100m need official approval. Moreover, although China has relaxed its rules so the Chinese themselves can buy more global real estate, it bans the sale of its own land to foreigners…as do other countries from which immigrants are coming.

Then why is our government falling over itself to load the dice against our own people? Why do we have no real controls set in place so that New Zealanders do not become second-class citizens in our own country? Some argue it is already now well and truly happening.

The fact that the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment (Steven Joyce’s portfolio) has very recent stated that “it could not identify any welfare issues or find evidence of breaches of minimum employment standard law – in reply to Hutt South MP Trevor Mallard writing to it last August, is extraordinary. The issue is a highly serious one. Mallard asked for an investigation into whether Chinese workers dealing with asbestos were being paid far less than the minimum wage – even as little as three dollars an hour, and whether they were living in cramped conditions and did not have enough to eat.

The investigation has cleared the employer at the Hutt Railway workshops – although requested wage records were not released – on the grounds that because the Chinese employers of these labourers did not have a New Zealand presence, “the Labour Inspectorate was not able to require them to provide time and wage records. The Ministry had no idea how much the workers were paid.

Is this what we expect to see happening in this country – overseas employers -beyond the reach of our own law because they do not have “a New Zealand presence” whatever that means? Then why are they being allowed to operate in this country? If this isn’t a thumbing of the nose at our legal system and our sovereignty- let alone, if it is true, a straight-out abuse of the poor and the vulnerable, what is it?

This is now an enormously important issue, given the increased resentment of the worldwide disparity between the super-wealthy, cushioned by an all-too comfortable understanding across national barriers – and the equally dubious, barrier-penetrating golden handshakes given to and by these internationalists. Their fraternity and allegiances are now regarded as giving them a commonality they do not share with those fellow countrymen, who provide useful goods and services. Regarding now as having obtained their wealth basically by the manipulation of money –they are, en masse, a new phenomenon looking for safe havens to retreat or escape to.

Although their exodus is world-wide, enough of them are targeting New Zealand, overwhelmingly so from Communist China (and this includes those regarded as having obtained their wealth from the hierarchy and connections with the corrupt Chinese Party). And our Key-led government is only too willing to have them here.

Do we have a very real problem here, in that our multi-millionaire Prime Minister may tend to identify more with these equally super wealthy internationalists – rather than with his own countrymen?

From long-time sympathetic China-watcher, David Shambaugh, writing on The Coming Chinese Crack-up comes the warning. “First, China’s economic élites have one foot out the door, and they are ready to flee en masse if the system really begins to crumble. In 2014, Shanghai’s Hurun Research Institute, which studies China’s wealthy, found that 64% of the “high net worth individuals” whom it polled—393 millionaires and billionaires—were either emigrating or planning to do so. Rich Chinese are sending their children to study abroad in record numbers (in itself, an indictment of the quality of the Chinese higher-education system).

The best regional magazine of Pacific Affairs, the Australian News Weekly reports that “Mainland China has now overtaken the United Kingdom to become the largest source of immigrants in Australia since 2011…Widely-held concern that foreign purchases of houses, particularly from people born in China, are pushing up the price of housing in Australia, has prompted a federal parliamentary inquiry into foreign investment in residential real estate. There is no doubt that popular concern is driven by perceptions that Chinese buyers dominate the top end of the local property market. These perceptions have been fuelled by instances of Chinese buying multiple properties at recently-held auctions.”

The basic unfairness of New Zealanders being displaced in our own country, hopelessly outbid when faced with immensely rich Chinese house-buyers snapping up houses as fast as they come onto the market, to rent them back to New Zealanders, the renting costs alone pushed higher and higher by desperate competition from those needing somebody to live, has become a national scandal.

We are told that New Zealand has a rockstar economy, a quite simply unbelievable claim, given the noose tightening around so many of the essential services we use. Cash-strapped hospitals with insufficient nursing staff to cope, and unrealistic targets to meet; the police budget constantly being cut, so that 30 more police stations have closed, and the police stations have reduced their opening hours as police struggle to cope with yet another budget freeze. With resources stretched, responses to 111 calls are reportedly lengthening, falling below targets, and communications centres are struggling.

Everywhere over the country come the reports of businesses folding up, and shops closing down – as in Nelson, for example, where some commercial premises, even in the central shopping area, have had For Let signs up for many months – even some years, in some cases, with, one by one, other shops now closing down. In a shock to the local community, the region’s largest private logging company, Waimea Contract Carriers, with 80 trucks and employing 120 people, is now in voluntary administration.

Little by little, our industries are closing down. NZ Post plans to further layoff more than 2000 employees.

And the forecast budget surplus which John Key used as a campaign promise?

Did anyone really believe him?

 © Amy Brooke, Convener – the 100 Days – Claiming Back New Zealand