Saturday, 27 January 2018

Wheelers Corner 04 28th January 2018

Wheeler’s Corner
“Connecting Citizens Who Care“. Every Monday at 4 pm on Access Manawatu 999AM” Join Peter’s blog  

 04 28th January 2018

1. Don Brash carried out a flying visit the Palmerston North and Feilding on Wednesday spending Hobson’s Pledges cash via a half page ad in the Manawatu Standard…that’s a few thousand bucks folks…in an effort to boost his disciple Don Esslemont in his strange desire to oppose a Maori Ward for Palmerston North.
Well in an effort to present an unbiased view I’m simply going to inform you of what the Manawatu Standard wrote. Part A was written by Richard Mays:
Donald [Brash] number 1
“Don Brash, controversial spokesman for lobby group Hobson's Pledge, is to visit Manawatū on Wednesday to rally support for petitions that seek to overturn local council decisions on Māori wards.
Both the Palmerston North City Council and Manawatū District Council voted last year in favour of Māori wards.
Hobson's Pledge is a lobby group dedicated to removing what it sees as legislative favouritism for Māori.
Unattributed pamphlets inviting Manawatū District and city residents to sign a petition demanding a binding poll on Māori wards had been circulated to voters through letterboxes and rural mail boxes.

Brash said Hobson's Pledge was financing the petition.
"A number of locals are unhappy about what has happened and we are keen to support them call for a poll on the issue," he said.
In Palmerston North, the council voted in favour of a Māori ward, even though two thirds of the submissions were against it.
In Feilding, consultation on establishing a ward took place between the council and local marae, six of them voting in favour, four against and two abstaining. In November, six councillors voted for wards, with four against.

Brash said he would be spending the morning in Feilding and the afternoon in Palmerston North. It was up to local petition organisers, Manawatū District councillor Andrew Quarrie, who voted against the ward proposal, and Don Esslemont, in Palmerston North, how they made use of him.

However, the yellow petitions pamphlets, separately worded for both local authority regions, didn't carry any acknowledgement of Hobson's Pledge.
"I don't know why [the petitions] don't refer to us. We weren't trying to hide the fact that we were funding it," Brash said.
"We didn't want the issue clouded by someone from outside. It has got to be something local ratepayers express their views on."
When asked why the local petitions were not attributed to Hobson's Pledge, Esslemont said "it never crossed my mind".
"We never asked [ourselves] the question whether we should put anything on it."
Donald number 2 [Esslemont]

As well as the anonymity, there was some confusion about the delivery of the petition pamphlets. Some city suburbs missed out, while some Feilding residents reported that Palmerston North pamphlets ended up in their letterboxes.
Esslemont said he had only been made aware of the problem on Thursday and was talking about it with the distributors.

Next Wednesday, he said Brash would spend time around Feilding's Manchester Square and Palmerston North's The Square, talking with people about signing the poll petitions, which have to be submitted before February 21. A poll required the signatures of 2727 registered city electors and 1004 registered district council voters.
If a poll on the issue was necessary in Palmerston North, it could cost between $100,000 and $125,000.
In the Manawatū District, council spokesman Paul Stein said the poll would cost between $80,000 and $100,000

Part B.
From: Jimmy Ellingham a Manawatū Standard news director.

Māori ward opponents 'didn't think' about telling us who they are

Don Brash isn't sure why Hobson's Pledge didn't put its name to pamphlets about its views on Māori wards.

OPINION: Everyone has the right to express their views.
It's one of the wonderful things about living in a democracy and means people can broadcast all sorts of opinions, no matter how stuffy.
So it was when a pamphlet headlined "We want a vote on Māori wards" turned up in Palmerston North and Manawatū letterboxes.

Such wards are proving a divisive issue in local-body politics and both the Palmerston North City and Manawatū District councils have voted in favour of their establishment.

Opposition has been loud and clear. Two-thirds of pubic submissions in the city were against the move,[ but only two turned up to speak to the issue] while the Manawatū council vote passed by six to four.[and the PNCC council voted 11 to 4 in support of Maori Wards]
According to the pamphlet, if 2727 people sign an online petition in Palmerston North, the council must hold a binding poll on the issue.
The pamphlet's authors were firm: "We believe that Māori wards are not necessary for council decisions... all of which are for the benefit of everyone, irrespective of ethnicity.

"The added cost of red tape of a Māori ward is the last thing ratepayers need."

Leaving aside the dubious claims that such a ward would come with extra costs, there was a surprising omission.

Nowhere on the pamphlet, not once, did the authors reveal themselves. Contact details merely point to a Feilding PO Box and anonymous email address.

It turns out lobby group Hobson's Pledge is behind them, but, like an anonymous online comment, it's difficult to give its opinions any weight if it's not upfront about them.

It's also tempting to conclude the group was too gutless to put its name to its views, especially given the, for some, toxic association with former National and ACT leader Don Brash, who late last year spoke out against Radio NZ announcers using Māori language on air.

Palmerston North petition organiser Don Esslemont said of leaving the Hobson's Pledge name off the pamphlet: "It never crossed my mind": Seriously? Did it not occur to Esslemont that we might want to know who is telling us to oppose Māori wards, so we can develop an informed view on what is said?

Brash, who the group is wheeling out in Manawatū this week, wasn't sure why the pamphlets didn't refer to Hobson's Pledge.

The war of the wards is a legitimate local-government issue, but in the battle of open debate, the most vocal forgot their basic introductions.

Jimmy Ellingham is a Manawatū Standard news director.

Bull-Shit Ad used by Hobson/s pledge caption
With all this press coverage as well a half page ad in the paper, you think that the supporters would pour out in their hundred, all those who opposed Maori Wards but failed to turn up to speak to their submission to the council, only two actually spoke against Maori Wards.

The Manawatu Standard was kind in its remarks on the massive turn out of anti-Maori Ward rate payers…there was around ten supporters and ten opposition members of the public who turned up to greet their great white leader Donald Brash ex-Nats leader and ex Act Party leader and co-leader of Hobson’s Pledge, a far North racist structure best known for its false advertising as demonstrated in this ad: Every last one of the happy youth live outside of New Zealand…not one belongs to Hobson’s Pledge…or even knows who Hobson was!

One last point: I received this information on Friday:

Hi Peter
Donald Esslemont went into the Plaza after the main event in the Square at about 1.30pm seeking signatures for his petition. When I saw him approaching other diners; I challenged him about lack of authority to do so, his response was "It's a public place". I phoned the Plaza management who confirmed it is not a public place and they do not permit polling, petitions etc. They said they would remind all their retail outlets and look out for Hobson's Pledge supporters. Email ends.

It would appear that both Donald's failed to follow the rules…is this a sign of their general lack of intelligence? Remember these are the elderly old white males who preach ‘One law for all, but it would seem not for them...

Peter J Wheeler

CAUTION: This message and any accompanying data are intended to be received only by the individual or entity identified and may contain information that is privileged, confidential and subject to copyright Thank you.

Saturday, 20 January 2018

Wheeler's Corner 03 21st Febuary 2018

Wheeler’s Corner
“Connecting Citizens Who Care“. Every Monday at 4 pm on Access Manawatu 999AM” Join Peter’s blog  

 03 21st February 2018
1. Below in italics is a review of George Monbiot’s latest book
How Did We Get into This Mess? : Politics, Equality, Nature

Leading political and environmental commentator on where we have gone wrong, and what to do about it

“Without countervailing voices, naming and challenging power, political freedom withers and dies. Without countervailing voices, a better world can never materialise. Without countervailing voices, wells will still be dug and bridges will still be built, but only for the few. Food will still be grown, but it will not reach the mouths of the poor. New medicines will be developed, but they will be inaccessible to many of those in need.”

George Monbiot is one of the most vocal, and eloquent, critics of the current consensus. How Did We Get into This Mess?, based on his powerful journalism, assesses the state we are now in: the devastation of the natural world, the crisis of inequality, the corporate takeover of nature, our obsessions with growth and profit and the decline of the political debate over what to do.

While his diagnosis of the problems in front of us is clear-sighted and reasonable, he also develops solutions to challenge the politics of fear. How do we stand up to the powerful when they seem to have all the weapons? What can we do to prepare our children for an uncertain future? Controversial, clear but always rigorously argued, How Did We Get into This Mess? Makes a persuasive case for change in our everyday lives, our politics and economics, the ways we treat each other and the natural world.
[George Monbiot ends here]

So that’s the formal review, as I read the book over the holidays I was simply spell bound by the truths that he revealed. In chapter 24 he wrote of how hypocritical are our leaders who beg us to save power by using economy light bulbs switching off our TV at the outlet point, etc. etc. While at the same time is giving or paying huge and massive discounts, to those searching for new oil and gas supplies.

They even are permitting open cast mining while supporting the introduction of electric powered cars. It just doesn’t make sense. It’s so typical of today’s political leadership, you know preach ‘Thou shall not kill’ while murdering thousands by the use of drones.

After reading just what the 1% is doing to the world so as to continue to profit out of human destruction and environmental degradation…are our politicians all dumb wits and are they treating the public as a bunch of idiots…it would appear that that is the case.

Some of the Neoliberal nutcases who started the bulk of our problems were very popular with the masses.
Just two crazy neoliberals
Margret Thatcher [UK] and second rate Hollywood Actor Ronald Regan [US] both held very strange views on present day society, they both along with others believed that the market should rule…when coupled with their acolytes such as our own Roger Douglas and his motley crew of Richard Prebble etc. Followed by the angry anti-social Ruth Richardson who was followed by the even stranger Don Brash and later the pony tail lover John Key, with these leaders its not hard to understand just how the coal and oil and gas big boys have ripped off the world around them.

The deal done by Canada in exporting [via a pipe line] tar sands to the United States is obvious proof of how the International scene is being manipulated by the fossil industry environmental destruction machine.   
Peter Grove comments on last week’s Wheeler’s Corner
Good sentiments expressed in 02 14th January.I watched Oprah's contribution at the Golden Globes and was full of admiration for her views, even in respect of the fact she spoke from a position of some degree of privilege; Self-earned no less, which makes her a person head and shoulders above most of us.

The comments from the Joseph Rountree Foundation were a sobering reflection of the years of Tory Rule in UK.

We can really consider it to be a reflection of the nine years of Tory rule in this country: One which has pandered to the rich, and the Road Transport Lobby among others, to the detriment of New Zealanders of every persuasion.
Much capital has been made of the new Kapiti Expressway which cost $630million only to reveal faults in the seal, once in use. How can it be after all the fanfare, that travel times Kapiti - Wellington are now longer than they were on the original two lane roadway?

Returning to the Joseph Rountree Foundation findings; Since 1979 Tories have held power for a total of 24 years to Labour's 10 years. Therein, obviously, is the reason for the appalling destitution in the UK.

It augurs well for Jeremy Corbyn and his avowed policy 'For the many, not the few.'
If you can find a copy of the video 'I Daniel Blake' please watch it…It gives a realistic portrayal of the travails ordinary Brits face when trying to access government Social Services. It seems our own Social Welfare dept. has copied many of their Pommy counterpart's tricks. The video could be available in the library. Peter G.
Fred Hirst

Press Release:
Newly elected Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern stated that climate change is New Zealand’s 'nuclear-free moment' and indicated her Government would show strong and responsible leadership against this threat by putting “passion into action, by taking bold and decisive measures to protect our future and our children’s future”.

Yet on 20 Dec 2017, the same day that France declared it had ceased issuing new oil and gas permits, the NZ Government issued a new 12-year oil and gas exploration permit  off the Southern Taranaki Coast -  the same habitat as the critically endangered Maui dolphin. 

The early opportunity to show leadership  by cancelling the petroleum Block Offer process and cease fossil fuel subsidies and exploration which are driving climate change, has been lost. The fossil fuel industry and its workers require strong incentives to transition to renewable, sustainable, clean energy initiatives and development. Global action needs to be taken urgently for the sake of our planetary health due to the inevitable and severe climate change consequences of fossil fuel use, now occurring with increasing frequency - extreme temperatures; flooding and coastal erosion; drought ; cyclones and bush fires. Those most at risk include our Pacific Island neighbours and other indigenous peoples; those living with socio-economic deprivation; women, children and elderly people; those with chronic health conditions; those living in countries with weak health systems and those communities dependent on agriculture for  food and economic viability.

In 2012, the International Energy Agency reported ‘Only a third of the carbon contained in proven reserves of fossil fuels can be released into the atmosphere by 2050 if the world is to keep below the 2°C target', agreed in December 2009 at the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC). This warning was repeated in a scientific paper published in Nature (January 2015; McGlade C and Ekins P; 517:187-190): 'To have at least a 50% chance of keeping below the agreed 2°C target, it is estimated that a third of known global oil reserves, half of gas reserves and over 80 per cent of coal reserves should remain unused from 2010 to 2050'. ie. fossil fuels needs to stay in the ground.

In response to the issuing of the Taranaki exploration permit on 20 Dec 2017, NZ leaders from Greenpeace, Forest & Bird , 350 Aotearoa and WWF called on the Government, in an open letter, 'to put an immediate end to new exploration for oil, gas and coal in New Zealand. This would powerfully complement the Government’s commitment to passing the Zero Carbon Act, and show its commitment to achieving its 2050 goal of net-zero emissions. Your government has an unprecedented opportunity to create a stable, resilient and low-carbon future for all New Zealand’s people – including those whose livelihoods currently depend on fossil fuel extraction. A Just Transition means supporting the creation of jobs in sustainable industries at the same time as winding down existing fossil fuel industries, rather than expanding them'.
Fred Hirst on behalf of 'It's Our Future Manawatu'
Contact: 06-3570064

Peter J Wheeler

Saturday, 6 January 2018

Wheeler's Corner 01 7th Jan 2018


Wheeler’s Corner
“Connecting Citizens Who Care“. Every Monday at 4 pm on Access Manawatu 999AM” Join Peter’s blog

 01 7th January 2018
My poor friend Don Esslemont is at it yet again, telling half truths about the Councils decision to allow Maori Wards.
When the Councillor’s took the intelligent route, by agreeing to introduce a Maori Ward they proved that intelligent individuals could collectively reach an intelligent position on social issues that confront us these days.

After all, we citizens elected Councillor’s to represent us on council, and the massive majority voted for a Maori Ward. [70%] This was a very progressive and enlightened step to take. They had listened to various views on the subject and after doing so even some very conservative Councillor’s changed their past approach to this issue by voting for Maori Wards. And I might add there wasn’t a Maori among them.
Ten of the fifteen councillors’ plus the Mayor reached the intelligent conclusion that the time for a Maori Ward had arrived. Only one Councillor wasn’t present to vote. [Those who voted against are marked with a cross, while the absent Councillor is marked with a question mark].

It is important to understand that if the Don Esslemont / Don Brash emotionally charged drive to roll back the Councils intelligent vote succeeds just what that cost will be.
Council advice is that it will cost approximately one hundred thousand dollars of rate payer’s money to conduct a poll of all rate payers regarding the introduction of a Maori Ward. Not only that but it will be a retreat for better relationships and race relations in general.
Yet it won’t cost one dollar to have a Maori Ward if we simply accept their intelligent decision. 

I’m sure that we would all agree that one hundred thousand dollars could be better spent than asking all those who had already put their trust in the election of our councillor’s to accept their conclusion than part with yet more money to appease a bunch of non-progressive and possibly aging group of backward thinkers like my poor friend Don E.

In the past the Government [s] designed a system to ensure that Maori and others could not succeed in progressing representation in the local communities in which they live.
The concept of wards especially sent a shiver up the spines of our law makers. So they created a system that specifically introduced a safety valve to ensure that a democratically elected Council decision could be rejected by those politically inclined.

This kind of manipulation of society has ensured domination over real social change since 1840.

You may recall a past Prime Minister’s comments on this subject. He wasn’t a left-wing PM. He was Jim Bolger…a National Party Leader. You can listen to him here: He was open to change, he understood what was taking place.
If Jim Bolger can learn why can’t the Esslemont / Brash / Hobsons pledge mob reach the same conclusion? Even Winston Peters has seen the light!

Ignore the Don Brash / Esslemont crowd and their costly petition and join the thousands who prefer to live for the future of Aotearoa rather than wallow in the dark past of colonial dictatorship. [Earlier blogs on this subject]

2. It could be said the 2017 was the year of the tweet: US President Trump’s ability in regard to the English language only extends to the child like use of the twitter fad… this was his very latest effort:
 In the East, it could be the COLDEST New Year’s Eve on record. Perhaps we could use a little bit of that good old Global Warming that our Country, but not other countries, was going to pay TRILLIONS OF DOLLARS to protect against. Bundle up!
We are all aware of Trumps inability to accept that climate change is a reality, and maybe we should feel sorry for him as an individual and for the US as a whole.

I for one am not over concerned by the idiotic outbursts of a ‘childlike’ President who acquired his position via his wealth and a corrupt political system that has seen voting numbers fall below 50% because of massive exclusions and a general attitude of ‘What the hell’. The main concern of mine relates to what this dumb President may do in the near future. His finger is only inches away from the dooms-day button which if pushed could destroy the world as we know it. His cowboy like behaviour in regard to North Korea should be a major concern for the world at large. To think that he is the supreme commander of the US Military and its destruction machine is frightening to say the least.
History proves that the Americans just LOVE war, and this simply proves the point, America has been at war 222 out of the last 239 years.

War of course has been very rewarding for America, not through the winning of wars but via their continuation. Hence it could be said that the US has never won a war, they lost in Korea, they lost in Vietnam, they lost in Laos, they have yet to win in Afghanistan and Iraq, and they keep losing in the South American arena…In both the second and first world wars which they entered late after making huge profits, they were just a part [but an important one] in other nations success opposing dictatorships.

But most importantly these days; their private and corporation arms sales are booming and they along with the British and other arms manufactures’ who supply other American / UK backed dictatorships such as Saudi Arabia and Israel to name but two of their biggest customers.

Will 2018 see a decline or an increase in America ‘War’ activities, will Trump do as he said he might ‘wipe North Korea off the map? Those are questions we must ask seriously, remember. We caved into Saudi Arabia with an eleven million dollar bride for a non-existent farm.
2018 could well be a defining year for New Zealand both nationally and internationally; will we stand for peace or will we follow the corrupt United States in using technology to supply those who would continue to murder thousands in their pursuit of wealth at the expense of human life and by the continuation of bombing of countries like Yemen, Iraq, Afghanistan and occupied Palestine.

These are the serious questions facing our new Government. How we respond will be a defining moment in what makes us different. New Zealand has at times stood up to the bullies. The question is will we do so again. John Key and Bill English gave in to every US demand; will Jacinda Ardern do the same? 2018 may give us some indicators.


To learn about the latest saga of Donald Trump go to:     

Peter J Wheeler

CAUTION: This message and any accompanying data are intended to be received only by the individual or entity identified and may contain information that is privileged, confidential and subject to copyright Thank you.