Labour Party Grandees Considered to have a Matchmaking role
The long duration of the New Zealand government’s post general election coalition negotiations indicate that the New Zealand First Party minority but tie-breaking faction will coalesce with the Labour Party.
The main reason is that New Zealand First Leader Winston Peters MP, the one who unilaterally calls the shots, has two key policies that blend with Labour’s. They are:-
New Zealand First’s immigration policy which amounts to cutting back intakes only to those with essential skills.
The re-entry to the abandoned Pike River mine which entombs the bodies of the brave miners who perished in the explosion there.
New Zealand First’s policy to cut immigration back to the bone chimes with the historic doctrinal Labour ambition of raising wages.
This requires that demand for labour outstrips supply.
Something which is hard to do with a liberal immigration regime in place.
It runs though counter to the operational policy of the installed National government to stimulate growth through immigration.
So there would have to be an awkward National back down, and a personal one, by caretaker prime minister Bill English
Meanwhile, Mr English has repeatedly and personally set his face on a re-entry to the doomed Pike River mine. A comedown here will mean considerable loss of face.
A re-entry, however symbolic, will be welcome on the West Coast which always votes Labour.
There are signs too that the Labour Party’s grandees, who tend to have more influence than their National Party counterparts, are weighing in behind a coalition with Winston Peters.
Bryan Gould, a New Zealand-born member of the British Parliament, and once tipped as a likely leader of the UK Labour Party, has issued a communique warning of the dangers of getting in too deeply with the Chinese.
This indicates a clear tilt toward Winston Peters who has been issuing the same type of warning, and who favours a re-balance with the North Atlantic.
A further dowry that Mr Peters can bring to Labour is his campaign positioning as champion of farmers.
The inability of the National government to boil down the nation’s agricultural water problem into digestible policies allowed Mr Peters to successfully insert himself into the confusion.
Mr Peters has worked with Labour before.
It was Mr Peters also who produced the recognisable ace welfare card in recent times, his Super Gold Card giving pensioners substantial discounts on essentials, notably public transport .
The option for the caretaker National government is to know that their time is up. Temporarily. Sit out the next three years and hope for the worst.
Then, having lost no face, having been seen to have stood behind its principals (something it often finds hard to do) and then to resume its normal course as it sees it, as the natural party of government.
| From the MSCNewsWire reporters' desk || Monday 16 October 2017 |||
Cloture regime must be imposed to stop endless coalition “negotiations”
Several weeks after its general election New Zealand remains rudderless under what is now officially described as a “caretaker” government.
A minority party, New Zealand First, will dictate the makeup of the government that will eventually take power.
The impression internationally is of an unstable nation, more of a Latin one than a Westminster one.
There is in existence no statute defining for example the limit of the post-election coalition deliberation duration.
There is for example no statute which promulgates an incentive to an early conclusion of negotiations such as that another general election must be held if agreement cannot be reached after perhaps 10 days.
Politico-jurists such as Sir Geoffrey Palmer (pictured) dedicate themselves to the propounding of a New Zealand constitution similar to the one that underpins the United States.
It is now obvious though that this crusade needs to be approached from a tactical point of view, rather than the all-encompassing one of the omnibus constitution.
Proportional representation was imposed by the Allies after World War 2 on the Axis nations of Germany and Italy.
The purpose was to prevent any one party from having overwhelming power of the type that might see ushered in another fascist regime.
In New Zealand the reason given was for minority interests, specifically Maori ones, to be guaranteed of having their own nominal representation.
In the event, this last MMP election saw Maori parties washed out of Parliament.
New Zealand’s proportional representation electoral system was the result of a referendum in 1993
On the win of the prestigious ‘Best National Event of the Year’, TAFT Chief Executive, Suzanne Porter, says “This is an award that recognises Taranaki, our partnerships and our loyal WOMAD audience as much as the festival. We thank our WOMADers and partners for their support and look forward to celebrating with them at the 2018 festival” .
TAFT Board of Trustees chair, Charles Wilkinson added "This award brings together a culmination of years of expertise, dedication and professionalism that's been given to this festival by our most wonderful staff. I congratulate Suzanne Porter our CEO and her dedicated crew for what they have so deservedly achieved at these national awards. I am so proud of them, as is my board, and I am so excited that we now have a line that we can exceed to take our Festival to an even greater level."
WOMAD NZ were finalists for three national awards in this year’s 2017 New Zealand Event Awards presented last night at a gala ceremony at Sky City in Auckland. They received nominations for ‘Best National Event of the Year’ and the the public voted ‘Eventfinda / New Zealand’s Favourite Event of the Year’. And WOMAD NZ’s Marketing and Communications Manager, Cleopatra Wood, was named as a finalist in the ‘Emerging Event Professional’ category. Suzanne Porter says of this nomination “We are incredibly proud of our marketing manager, Cleopatra Wood, for her nomination. The calibre of finalists is a true testament to her great achievements working on WOMAD”.
The 2018 Event The full WOMAD NZ 2018 festival line up is being announced in Wellington on the night of Wednesday October 18th. Previously announced artists for the 2018 festival include Los Angeles saxophonist, composer and jazz superstar KAMASI WASHINGTON, the Indian classical and progressive sitar virtuoso ANOUSHKA SHANKAR and classic Kiwi band DRAGON who will be joined by many more exciting and eclectic artists from across the globe.
The internationally established three day festival brings together international artists to celebrate the world’s many forms of music, arts and dance. Set in the stunning 55-acre Brooklands Park and TSB Bowl of Brooklands, New Plymouth, WOMAD NZ has rightfully gained a reputation as one of the most beautiful outdoor festivals in the world.
The main stage is set at the base of a natural amphitheatre and not only provides a stunning setting, but an acoustic experience second to none. The other three stages are located throughout Brooklands Park, with every square inch oozing the vibrancy of the family friendly WOMAD.
Since the first festival in the UK in 1982, founded by Peter Gabriel and Thomas Brooman, WOMAD has held more than 160 festivals worldwide with 2018 seeing the festival celebrate its 14th anniversary in New Plymouth. In its tenure, WOMAD has had 150,000 visitors through its gates and generated over 100 million dollars for the local Taranaki economy.
As an organisation, WOMAD now works in many different ways, but their aims are always the same - at festivals, performance events, through recorded releases and through educational projects, they aim to excite, inform and create awareness of the worth and potential of a multicultural society.
WOMAD New Zealand 2018 is on at Brooklands Park, New Plymouth, from March 16 to 18. Tickets on sale from womad.co.nz
Many believe that New Zealand’s Hollywood suburb Miramar, is in fact Miramax
Beleaguered show business mogul Harvey Weinstein remains the foreigner whose influence detonated the most extraordinary and unexpected New Zealand commercial development of the last century.
The film industry
Lugubrious, ponderous, quick tempered, and impulsive, it was Mr Weinstein who backed the film that launched the third, and ultimately successful wave of New Zealand film making.
This was The Piano with its all -star global cast and subsequent global take up.
So successful was it that Mr Weinstein was to use the piano theme again, in Beautiful Girls.
Then Mr Weinstein went on back New Zealand’s Heavenly Creatures.
Then he gave the initial show of support to the most spectacular product series of New Zealand cinematography in the form of the Tolkien saga.
The one man hit-factory’s New Zealand touch was so accurate in the entertainment industry here that many believed that that the locational hub of the New Zealand industry was actually Miramax instead of being in fact Miramar.
Mr Weinstein’s (pictured) touch is often considered to be behind the comet-like careers of others with New Zealand backgrounds, notably that of Russell Crowe of Master and Commander fame.
New Zealand and Mr Weinstein were lucky enough to collide at the very height of the Miramax golden touch at the cusp of the last century and this one.
Subsequently Miramax went through a series of corporate revolving doors that began to sap the company’s blend of intuitive show-picking along with the personalised business side of the equation needed to sustain it.
Like a protagonist in one of his own films Mr Weinstein failed to foresee the imminence of his own demise.
Sycophants encouraged him in his foolish belief that he was bigger than the game.
Then he got himself on the wrong side of history.
He was oblivious for example to the screamingly obvious fact that as a highly visible, even ghoulish , personification of the big-donor Democratic- Clintonesque epoch, his once acquiescent protectors were melting away.
It was now that the East Coast media, stung by accusation after accusation to the effect that they believed that only Republicans were capable of doing bad things, sought to correct the impression that it had given.
It went looking for a counterbalancing Democratic scalp to put up on its masthead spear.
In terms of notoriety, vulgarity, and sheer name recognition there were none bigger than Harvey Weinstein’s.
Victoria University – Chicago Survey still remains the last word
We are told by former prime minister Jim Bolger among select others that what Winston Peters MP really wants is “respect.”
Yet what precisely is respect these days and who exactly has it?
One thing is obvious and it is that the Right Honourable Winston Peters MP PC does not believe that he has enough of it.
Otherwise he would not be so actively seeking more of this elusive commodity.
Our starting point to putting flesh on the bones of the elusive respect is what became known as the “Congalton” report on the status of occupations here.
This report named after its driving force A.A Conglaton of Victoria University was a joint venture with the University of Chicago.
It was one of the rare academic reports to have generated a strong response outside the university, as well as the usual fluttering of the dovecotes inside.
In the midfield of the occupations in terms of status that of politician appeared under that of journalist or “news reporter” as it was described in the survey.
Standing unrivalled in the top three positions of this survey were in order :-
Would Mr Peters have thus been accorded more respect had he remained just a solicitor instead of chancing his arm as a professional politician?
There have been numerous other such reports since the Congalton one.
These though have been adjusted around the funding available to complete them and therefore have been of a modish and thus tendentious nature woven around gender and ethnic pivots.
In the context of today’s debate the ascendancy of the occupation of news reporter over that of politician remains the outstanding condundrum.
This was prior to the university-isation of journalism. Before it became feminised. Before its pseudo -professional “investigative” era
In those days news reporters did just that. They reported the news.
It is hard to discern any other clues.
One might be in the old city & guilds type of grading qualifications such as in Pitmans.
Still, this must be set against the status from which National member of parliament were drawn in those days which then as now was from a farming-professional one.
Or the notably much stronger profile in those days of the Labour members, drawn from a union-academic background.
Mr Peters meanwhile is no politico-literary slouch and enjoys quoting from David Lloyd George among whose utterances are those to the effects of the “baubles” of office and “the glory of the unadorned name.”
In the event Lloyd George was hardly immune to such temptations having succumbed to the title of Earl Lloyd-George of Dwyfor, OM, PC.
Is there something familiar about this?
Australasia’s long-established Customised operator Out-Distances competition with long-range journeys onto the Roads less Travelled
Australasian tour operator Odyssey Traveller anticipated the narrow ultra-specialised consumer requirement so evident today.
Now of course the customised preference drift has become the dominant leisure industry direction echoed so distinctly in outward and inward packaged travel everywhere.
Tailored around the knowledge-seeking experience Odyssey’s expeditionary-style tours are sharply defined around just a few time-frame durations, notably of nine and 30 days.
Focussed on the 50 plus age sector Odyssey’s concentration on the exclusivity of small travelling groups means that the operator can mould its offerings to conform to traveller preference rather than the other way around.
The Sydney-based Odyssey is owned by the Australian and New Zealand universities.
In an academic-dimension lightbulb moment a generation ago these universities conjured forth Odyssey because saw the future in adding an adventure element to what had previously been academic field trips.
In recent years Odyssey CEO Mark-Banning Taylor (pictured) has tightened up still further on this sharp destination emphasis by sending tours into regions which people have long read about, but who have never encountered anyone who has actually ever been there.
These destinations include nations such as Togo and Benin, Madagascar, and Papua New Guinea.
He has similarly sharpened his profile on inward tours by emphasising subject areas over destinations, basing them for example on studies of Australasian ethnicity, arts, flora and fauna, photography, pioneering, and so on.
In fact he has let expire the organisation’s agency arrangements in order to concentrate on Odyssey’s own inward intellectual tours.
He has similarly enhanced the perspective on Odyssey’s outward tours.
For example, with the resurgent interest in battlefield travel, those of antiquity to those of modern times, Odyssey has expanded its range of tours encompassing the Pacific theatre, North Africa and Europe. Odyssey has also nudged still further to their geographic extremities its standard tours to the Russian/Asian landmass.
Iran is a particular thrust at the moment, with departures guaranteed years ahead for these small groups.
According to Mr Banning-Taylor the objective is to implant tour members directly into the environment and its culture with the minimum of distraction.
This applies across the swathe of the tours including such mainstays as the one that “Island Hops” through Scotland’s Western Isles.
Here members will find themselves lodged in remote crofts and listening to Gaelic as part of everyday life.
A particular strength of Odyssey is considered to be its carefully selected local guides who must be local residents and accredited to a tourism authority.
Similarly the company’s tour “leaders” as they are described are drawn from those who have had a vocational, often academic, association with the region being visited.
The tour planning starting point tends to be at the learning end rather than with the destination itself.
In other words, what are party members going to acquire in a knowledge sense from their experience that they did not know before?
Observes Mr Banning-Taylor: “We ask ourselves, ‘what do people of curiosity really want to discover, see for themselves?’ “
This is a particular characteristic of the Odyssey inward tours which deliberately cater for these special fine-focus interest groups.
Aside from the obvious ones of terrain, settlement and ethnicity, we also find, for example an emphasis devolving onto governance, national character, and how these came about.
One example is a tour for those curious about Australian literature.
Here, the tour takes in visits to the homes in which the authors once lived and takes party members through the institutions and landscapes that determined their output.
This fine-slicing embraces broader gauge interests such as the tours of Australasian distinctive cuisine and wine regions that are sectored into regional specialities, terroirs and marques.
Odyssey according to Mr Banning-Taylor, seeks always to put plenty of distance between what it offers its travellers and the general Australasian tourist concept of looking at the familiar sights.
In its central Europe offering for example is one on the Hapsburgs with reference to their pioneering role in the entertainment industry as we know it today.
It turns out that this is a variant on the usual Danube type of experience insofar as it takes into account the little-understood fact that it was the Hapsburgs who liberated live entertainment and thus gave the world Mozart and Beethoven among other luminaries. Similarly a tour of Provence features this connectivity between past and present with an emphasis on the walled cities of Avignon and Carcassonne which turns out to be where the global heritage and conservation movement as we know it had its beginnings.
Odyssey’s intellectual point of embarkation features a notable sociological emphasis that some may interpret as downright serious.
For example a South American tour is one into Peru centred on the influence of women in regard to the matrilineal nature of the Inca society which was pretty much wiped out by the patriarchal Spanish colonisers.
The tour includes contemporary manifestations of the subsequent resurgence in the status of women especially in textile design and development, thus blindingly indicating the linkage between perceived economic value and civil rights.
Symbolically the expedition is capped by two nights in the middle of Lake Titicaca on Suasi Island owned by a prominent Peruvian womens activist.
In operational terms an enduring shared worry of both providers and their clients is that offered tours will in fact not take place because they are under-subscribed.
It is no consolation to would-be travellers that their deposits will be recovered should there be insufficient bookings to launch it. Time has been allocated, arrangements made.
To this end Odyssey from its long experience categorises certain tours as guaranteed.
Other tours such as the pioneering ones into the paths less travelled are cited as being dependent on a minimum number of takers, usually as low as three people.
A recent tour to see the world’s largest ever dinosaurs in Argentina is just one example “You could say that we are in a joint venture,” noted Mr Banning-Taylor
“A client seeks from us a memorable experience—it is up to us to be candid about the need to find a few others who wish to share in it.”
He summarises the Odyssey endeavour as being quite literally one of an applied taste test.
“Would your Odyssey travellers’ tales stand up at a dinner party; command some attention?
“We like to think that if you have been on an Odyssey tour, then, yes, they would.
“Our objective is taking travel quite some distance beyond sightseeing.”
Similarly Odyssey itself travels just a little bit further also in a community sense
It is known that Odyssey via its board allocates surpluses to university types via a series of cash scholarships for students across New Zealand & Australia of AUD$10,000 who demonstrate financial need and academic performance.
| From the MSCNewsWire REporters desk - travel || Monday 27 September 2017 |||
As a House of Lords Member a Lord Peters can serve in a New Zealand government cabinet
Knowingly or unknowingly New Zealand caretaker prime minister Bill English has it within his gift to put renegade electoral balance of power holder Winston Peters MP on the high road.
The one that leads to the House of Lords.
Former National Party prime minister Jim Bolger signalled that Mr Peters wanted “respect.”
This can now be interpreted beyond the abstract sense in which until now it has been taken.
Neither does it take the form of a knighthood.
Mr Bolger has deliberately stood aside from this diluted form of ennoblement.
Mr Peters will do so, if he has not already done so.
It is within a New Zealand prime minister’s patronage or gift to recommend to Buckingham Palace a candidate for the House of Lords.
The last such candidate was the late Lord Cooke of Thorndon, an eminent jurist.
Mr Peters displays many of the characteristics of this former Wellington law lord.
He is also a lawyer. He is at ease with formality, and protocol.
He is consistently pro monarchist.
He has long been an advocate of Commonwealth trade preference.
Early last year he addressed the House of Lords on this topic in the context of Brexit.
His speech widely publicised in Great Britain was ignored here.
Why then cannot Mr Peters be similarly dispatched to the House of Lords by a coalition friendly Labour government?
The reason is that as a Labour Party initiative such a bold move would be much, much, more difficult if it could be implemented at all.
The action by the last Labour government in eliminating the British honours here was one of string of slaps across the imperial face dating from the Norman Kirk era.
Such an elevation will require also the endorsement of the British prime minister.
Premier Theresa May is likely to have doubts about sponsoring into the House of Lords a new member who is part of a Labour Party. Mrs May would need to be assured that such a candidate was not going to add to the Brexit dissonance.
Neither is it widely understood that as a member of the House of Lords Mr Peters, now Lord Peters, could still serve as a member of a New Zealand government cabinet.
He could not of course continue to sit as a Member of Parliament.
No insoluble problem here to a delicately balanced National-led MMP coalition because the next one on his list would simply slide in at the bottom.
By House of Lords standards Mr Peters at 72 is not very old.
An operational problem is the financing of a member of the House of Lords from New Zealand.
Robin Cooke QC, Lord Cooke of Thorndon, was able to look after the costs of his own membership of the House of Lords.
In the instance of Mr Peters an obvious solution is for his deployment to be part of the operations of New Zealand House.
Mr Peters, now Lord Peters, as a New Zealand cabinet member with an international role would therefore become an official deftly positioned to push the national cause simply by being part of the establishment instead of a mere observer looking in.
Couched in bitter-sweet terms here is part of Mr Peters’ somewhat prescient pre-Brexit appraisal of the position that he delivered to the House of Lords last year……
………The Commonwealth the UK will find in 2016 is quite different to the one it turned its back on in 1973. Infrastructure has come on in leaps and bounds. The days of the Commonwealth having nothing but raw commodities are gone.
It is now a dynamic powerhouse, crossing every time zone and trading session in the world. It covers nearly 30 million square kilometres, almost a quarter of the World’s land area. It’s members can be found in every single inhabited continent. Together, we have a population of over 2.3 billion, nearly a third of the world’s population. In 2014 the Commonwealth produced GDP of $10.45 trillion, a massive 17% of gross world product. Seen that way the Commonwealth could be a colossus.
GreenSky London arrived on the scene a few years ago, an ambitious project led by British Airways to produce renewable aviation jet fuel from East London’s garbage.
Now, a group of four companies established a new partnership to prepare the business case for a commercial scale waste-to-renewable-jet-fuel plant in the UK. Subject to the successful completion of all development stages, the aim is to achieve a final investment decision in 2019.
British Airways spokesperson Cathy West said: “The government needs to support innovative aviation biofuels projects such as this if they are to progress. Aviation fuels are not eligible for incentives that road transport fuels receive, making it difficult to build a business case to invest in UK aviation fuels projects. This affects investor confidence.”
This week, the Department for Transport published changes to the Renewable Transport Fuels Obligation (RTFO), and for the first time, sustainable jet fuel is to be included in its incentive scheme. These changes to the RTFO are designed to promote sustainable aviation. Once implemented, they are expected to provide long-term policy support for this market.
Ultimately, BA speculated that the UK policy shift could stimulate as many as a dozen advanced biofuels plants in the UK by 2030.
The technology involved was a gasification system by Solena that would convert municipal solid waste to syngas, and it planned to convert that syngas to liquid transport fuels using Velocys’ micro-channel Fischer-Tropsh technology.
The plant would take hundreds of thousands of tonnes per year of post-recycled waste, destined for landfill or incineration, and convert it into clean-burning, sustainable fuels. The jet fuel produced is expected to deliver over 60% greenhouse gas reduction and 90% reduction in particulate matter emissions compared with conventional jet fuel, thereby contributing to both carbon emissions reductions and local air quality improvements around major airports.
The UK still sends more than 15 million tonnes of waste per year to landfill sites, which not only damages the natural environment but also releases further greenhouse gases affecting climate change.
The planned plant will produce enough fuel to power all British Airways’ 787 Dreamliner operated flights from London to San Jose, California and New Orleans, Louisiana for a whole year. It would be the first plant of this scale.
The jet fuel produced at the plant will deliver more than 60 per cent greenhouse gas reduction, compared with conventional fossil fuel, delivering 60,000 tonnes of CO2 savings every year. This will contribute to both global carbon emissions reductions and local air quality improvements around major airports.
Capacity is not entirely clear, since the business plan is under development, but there are three keys. First, a 60 per cent GHG savings, and 60,000 tonnes of CO2 savings budget. And, conventional jet fuel produces roughly 19 pounds of CO2 per gallon burned.
Back of the envelope math suggests a project of around 11.5 million gallons (42m litres) per year.
| A Biofuel digest release || September 28, 2017 |||