Archive for the ‘New Zealand’ Category

So how does a life sentence for Brenton Tarrant serve anyone?

August 26, 2020


Brenton Tarrant, the Christchurch terrorist, was today sentenced to spend the rest of his natural life in prison without any possibility of parole.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said there was no reason to speak his name any more and he deserved to have a lifetime of “complete and utter silence”.

The sentence serves no one.

I can only conclude that abolishing the death penalty is a form of sanctimonious cowardice.

The Christchurch terrorist (51 killed, 49 injured) has pleaded guilty and will probably be sentenced to a life sentence this week. He is 29 years old. If he gets parole after 17 years he will be out on somebody’s streets in 2037 at the age of 46. If not, he is going to cost New Zealand a great deal. He will either be subject to the righteous wrath of other prisoners or he will live in isolation. With the expected security to protect him from others in prison, the total cost of his imprisonment is likely to be more than 50 million dollars. If he gets transferred somehow to a prison in his native Australia, the cost will not be any less.


A minimum of 17 years is required for a murder committed as part of a terrorist act, and Tarrant has admitted to 51 such murders (among other crimes). ……. 

To lock Tarrant up in perpetuity will be very expensive. He is currently costing just over NZ$4,930 a day due to the extra levels of security, considerably more than the average of about $338 for a standard prisoner. The next two years alone will cost New Zealand taxpayers about $3.6 million. The final sum for the 29-year-old terrorist will depend on how long he lives and the ongoing level of security he requires. If he has a normal life span the cost may be in the tens of millions per decade.

He has been variously called a maggot, an animal, less than human, not human ……..

What then is the virtue in keeping him alive?

By what scale does his life weigh heavier than those of his 51 victims?  Before any of those 51 were killed, it would have been right and perfectly acceptable if an armed guard had shot the terrorist dead. However, after the 51 were dead, capital punishment is no longer acceptable. Clearly the lives of the 51 no longer count once they are dead.

And where went justice?


New Zealand keeps the Union Jack – who’s surprised?

March 24, 2016

I always thought this referendum was a pointless and expensive (NZ$26 million) exercise in futility.

Differentiation from Australia was supposedly one of the key drivers. Another fundamental mistake made by the new flag proponents, I think, was to connect it to the utterly failed and discredited concept of “multiculturalism”. They would have had a better chance if they had connected it to multi-ethnicities. The new design with the addition of the Union Jack would also have had a better chance of being adopted.

Did anybody really expect any other result?

From a tweet by Elle Hunt

NZ flag referendum

nz could have been

nz could have been

Reanalysis reveals no significant global warming in New Zealand in the 20th century

October 31, 2014

New Zealand has one of the longest temperature-time series available.  In the past it has been reported that this data-set  confirms the view of global warming of just under 1ºC per century. But that is now highly suspect. A new paper reanalysing the data has been published and shows that the trend is less than one-third of what has been previously assumed.

de Freitas, C.R., Dedekind, M.O. and Brill, B.E. 2014. A reanalysis of long-term surface air temperature trends in New Zealand. Environmental Modeling and Assessment, do1 10.1007/s10666-014-9429-z.

AbstractDetecting trends in climate is important in assessments of global change based on regional long-term data. Equally important is the reliability of the results that are widely used as a major input for a large number of societal design and planning purposes. New Zealand provides a rare long temperature time series in the Southern Hemisphere, and it is one of the longest continuous climate series available in the Southern Hemisphere Pacific. It is therefore important that this temperature dataset meets the highest quality control standards. New Zealand’s national record for the period 1909 to 2009 is analysed and the data homogenized. Current New Zealand century-long climatology based on 1981 methods produces a trend of 0.91 °C per century. Our analysis, which uses updated measurement techniques and corrects for shelter-contaminated data, produces a trend of 0.28 °C per century.

Dr. Craig Idso writes:

De Freitas et al. report that, whereas the previous analysis yielded a trend of 0.91 ± 0.30°C per century, their analysis – which used updated measurement techniques and corrects for shelter-contaminated data – produces a trend of only 0.28 ± 0.29°C per century, which is a heck of a lot less than what had previously been believed to have been the case.

The significance of de Freitas et al.’s work is two-fold. First, the authors report that the old, contaminated data with the inflated warming trend has been “widely used as inputs for societal design and planning purposes” all across New Zealand. Second, de Freitas et al. note these data are “extensively used in hindcast verifications for regional and local models.” However, as the saying goes, “garbage in equals garbage out.” Therefore, at best, the corrected New Zealand temperature trend, which is three times smaller than the uncorrected version, calls into question all results, findings, conclusions, and policies built upon or derived from the old contaminated data record. And at worst, it invalidates them.

Given the great importance of starting with the proper baseline, one would hope that with so much at stake in terms of economics, personal freedoms, and governance, much greater care and scrutiny would be applied to ensuring the quality and reliability of near-surface air temperature records. But obviously, such has not been the case for New Zealand. And it begs the question as to where else temperature records might be less than par.

To obtain a “global temperature”, raw temperature data from available sites is massaged, applied to geographical grids, corrected, adjusted, “filled-in” and otherwise homogenised. But the algorithms used to make these adjustments inevitably carry the preconceptions and misconceptions of the adjusters. As raw data is reviewed it is becoming increasingly obvious (in the US, in Australia in Germany and now in New Zealand) that “adjustments” that have been made over the last 20 years have been plagued by “confirmation bias”. Rather than a clear-cut warming record what is apparent is that many data-sets have been adjusted to “cool the past”.

Snow in Auckland gives conditions not seen since the 1930’s

August 15, 2011

It’s only weather but it is also only a matter of time before some climate “scientist” claims that it is all perfectly consistent with global warming.

Auckland had snow for the first time in 30 years and Wellington was enjoying “once in a life time” snow. The storm was a ‘once in a lifetime’ event and similar conditions had not been seen in Auckland since the 1930s.

A cyclist is seen riding after heavy snowfalls have blanketed large parts of New Zealand

New Zealand is experiencing its heaviest snow in decades, with meteorologoists describing the flurry in Wellington as a once in a lifetime event. Photograph: EPA

New Zealand Herald

Snow has fallen in downtown Auckland for the first time in 80 years as a ‘once in a lifetime’ polar blast spreads across New Zealand, forecasters say. Widespread reports of snow emerged this afternoon as bitterly cold and stormy conditions set in around Auckland. this afternoon confirmed snowflakes had fallen in Auckland city centre for the first time since the 1930s. 

Its head forecaster Philip Duncan said snow flurries could hit amid expected bitterly cold conditions this evening. “If Auckland is getting reports of snow flurries now at the warmest point of the day that makes you wonder about what might be coming tonight.


The country may be blanketed in snow, but there is plenty more to come, with the cold conditions expected to continue until Thursday, and significant snowfalls expected for many areas during that time. Further snowfalls are expected in the southern and eastern parts of the South Island, and southern and central parts of the North Island.

The snowfalls should ease on Wednesday and were unlikely to continue down to sea level. Snow fell in Auckland for the first time in more than 30 years as the country shuddered from a polar blast that brought joy to children and angst for motorists.

The snow that has covered New Zealand today will freeze overnight creating treacherous driving conditions, police warn. Many state highways around New Zealand were closed, including the Desert Road and Rimutaka Hill road in the North Island and the Lewis Pass and Arthurs Pass in the South Island. …. 

MetService head forecaster Peter Kreft told NZPA the polar blast was “of the order of a 50 year” event and warned it could last for several more days. “It’s a once in many decades event. We are probably looking at something like – in terms of extent and severity – maybe 50 years,” he said.

Residents of Wellington were also revelling in the snow:

Residents of Wellington, New Zealand’s capital city, are taking delight in the unusual sight of snowflakes falling in what forecasters are describing as a once in a lifetime event.

Services across the country on Monday were disrupted by the snowfall, which were accompanied by heavy rain and high winds. Mail delivery in many areas was cancelled, as were several flights. Some roads were closed and recreational facilities such as libraries and swimming pools were shut.

Wellington rarely gets snow – the few inches it got on Sunday and Monday is the most in at least 30 years – and people have been taking to the streets to photograph the event.


Greenpeace ruled to be a political advocacy group not a charity

May 11, 2011

It has been obvious for years that many environmental groups such as Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth and even the World Wildlife Fund have been hijacked by “activists” to become political advocacy groups. They have all done some good in the past in the name of protecting the environment, and some of their individual projects are still admirable but for the most part they have lost sight of humans within the environment. They have all generally crossed the line and gone over to trying to impose their world view onto others. Alarmism and prohibition and “authoritarianism” rather than persuasion have become their main tools. Good science has often been replaced by scare-mongering.

But in New Zealand there is a small glimpse of sanity returning and for these political  advocacy groups being seen for what they are. The New Zealand Herald reports:

Greenpeace loses charity status case

Greenpeace New Zealand’s political activities mean it cannot register as a charity, the High Court has decided.

Greenpeace appealed against a 2010 ruling by the Charities Commission which found its promotion of “disarmament and peace” was political rather than educational and while it did not directly advocate illegal acts, Greenpeace members had acted illegally.

In his judgment Justice Paul Heath found the commission was correct in its judgment and turned down the Greenpeace appeal.

“Non-violent, but potentially illegal activities (such as trespass), designed to put (in the eyes of Greenpeace) objectionable activities into the public spotlight were an independent object disqualifying it from registration as a charitable entity,” the judge said.

Greenpeace’s pleas for disarmament and peace could be seen as an independent purpose and its political activities were not necessary to educate members of the public on the key issues of Greenpeace, Justice Heath said. Greenpeace’s lawyer Davey Salmon argued all of the organisation’s primary purposes were charitable and the engagement of charities in political advocacy was more acceptable now in 21st century New Zealand. comments:

In a story making headlines in the New Zealand Herald (May 10, 2011) climate skeptics around the world will now be consulting lawyers in their respective countries to assess whether similar legal challenges may be made against the disgraced former charity.

In the U.S and Britain environmentalist activists have for decades sought to influence policymakers by a swath of unlawful protests often involving criminal damage and trespass. Several prominent UN climatologists have long aligned themselves with and been apologists for the radical and unlawful acts of these environmentalists. 

As a consequence of the shock New Zealand ruling Greenpeace’s political activities mean it will be de-registered as a charity and thus lose the prestige and tax advantages associated with that status. 

NASA’s problematic climatologist, James Hansen, flew to London to be an ‘expert witness’ to testify in the defense of climate activists prosecuted for such crimes. Hansen flew to the UK in the case of the “Kingsnorth Six”, who had climbed up E.ON’s coal plant. The six had used Greenpeace’s climate change defence – that their actions were designed to prevent immediate harm to human life and property from climate change – and were acquitted.

Human vultures out after Christchurch quake

February 25, 2011

Amid the stories of resilience and indomitable spirit that represent the heights to which human behaviour can ascend come also the stories of the human vultures and the depths to which behaviour can fall.

Police sickened by Christchurch looting

A view shows a damaged cathedral after an earthquake in central Christchurch February 22, 2011. A strong quake hit New Zealand's second-biggest city of Christchurch on Tuesday for the second time in five months, toppling buildings, causing multiple fatalities, trapping people beneath rubble and sparking fires.

Damaged cathedral after an earthquake in central Christchurch February 22, 2011: Photograph by: HO Credit: REUTERS

New Zealand police said Friday they were “sickened” at a spate of looting, email scams and bogus appeals for charity in the wake of the deadly Christchurch earthquake.

…. They said residents in the stricken city had reported conmen posing as government officials, wearing reflector vests and brandishing fake identification, going door to door trying to gain access to properties.

Looting and burglaries, including one at the home of a woman feared dead in the disaster, have also been reported, while fraudulent emails soliciting charity donations were also doing the rounds.

“I am frankly sickened by people like this, who see this disaster as an opportunity to prey on vulnerable people,” police superintendent Russell Gibson told Radio New Zealand.

District commander Dave Cliff said drunken disorder was also on the rise in the city, where stressed residents have endured two major earthquakes and thousands of aftershocks in the past six months.

Generators being used to restore infrastructure were among the items stolen.

The consumer affairs ministry warned of an email designed to look like it was from the Red Cross which redirected Internet users to a website where they were asked for credit card details.

“The scam website has the same look and feel as the genuine Red Cross website,” it said.

Another fraudulent email claimed to be from Donate4Charity NZ, a legitimate British-based charity, the department said.

65 dead and 200 trapped in Christchurch quake

February 22, 2011

New Zealand Herald.

Rescue workers on the collapsed Pyne Gould Guiness Building in central Christchurch. Photo / Mark Mitchell

Rescue workers on the collapsed Pyne Gould Guiness Building in central Christchurch. Photo / Mark Mitchell

Prime Minister John Key has told reporters that the death toll from today’s magnitude 6.3 earthquake stands at 65, and Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker said it could quite possibly double. …. TVNZ reports up to 200 people remained trapped in damaged buildings……..

The earthquake shook the city at 12.51pm while streets were crowed with shoppers and office workers. It was not as powerful as the 7.3 that struck in early morning hours of 4 September last year but was much shallower, leading to greater damage.

Scientists put the epicentre at 10km southeast of the city – apparently in the middle of the harbour at Lyttelton, the city’s coastal port – at a depth of only 5km. .. Christchurch has suffered a long series of after shocks following last year’s quake and they continued after the big one today. One tremor of 5.7 occurred five minutes after the main shock and there was another of 5.5 at 2.50pm.

Late in the afternoon after shocks were still occurring in the magnitude 4 range on the Richter Scale. The city’s iconic cathedral in the central square survived September without little damage but its spire fell today and the rest of the building was badly damaged. Christchurch mayor Bob Parker said the damage was much more severe than in the great 7.1 quake almost six months ago.

48 pilot whales put down as 107 die on New Zealand beach

February 21, 2011

Daily Mail:

All members of a pod of 107 pilot whales that stranded on a remote New Zealand beach have died, including 48 that were euthanised. The stranded whales were discovered by hikers on Sunday near Cavalier Creek on Stewart Island, off the southern tip of New Zealand’s South Island.

Conservation department staff flew to the area and found that about half of the group were already dead and the others were dying, the the government’s conservation agency said in a statement.

Grisly: 107 pilot whales were found stranded on a remote beach in Cavalier Creek on Stewart Island, off the southern tip of New Zealand's South Island

107 pilot whales were found stranded on a remote beach in Cavalier Creek on Stewart Island, off the southern tip of New Zealand's South Island : photo AFP

The whales were well up the beach and the tide was receding, leaving little chance of keeping them alive until more rescuers could arrive. …… Pilot whales are about 13 feet to 20 feet (4 meters to 6 meters) long and are the most common species of whale in New Zealand waters.

Whale strandings are common in New Zealand. Last month, 24 pilot whales died after stranding on the North Island. In December 2009, more than 120 whales died in two separate beachings near Golden Bay and on the east coast of North Island.

Many unexplained deaths of marine mammals could be caused by soundwaves from underwater military sonar equipment, zoologists believe. They think the signals may cause bubbles in the animals’ tissue, in the same way as divers can suffer decompression sickness known as ‘the bends’. …


Spring blizzards in New Zealand

September 22, 2010

The Southern Hemisphere is still facing bitterly cold weather.

Southland, New Zealand

The 1st of September is usually designated as the start of spring in New Zealand. Lambing is in full swing but six days of blizzards are being called the worst spring storm in living memory. Cars, lambs, and buildings have all fallen victim to the unusually heavy, wet snow that has fallen in Southland. Seven trampers were rescued by helicopterafter being caught in the snowstorm that has swept South Island national parks. A roof of a stadium collapsed in Southland under the weight of wet snow. A sixth day of snow, rain, wind, hail and sleet was forecast for the already battered coastal belt from Colac Bay in Southland, parts of Central Southland, the Catlins, Owaka and Clinton. Three snowfalls of up to 15cm since Saturday had left ground conditions so wet and muddy that newborn lambs had nowhere dry to go.

A ewe shows concern for her lamb

BARRY HARCOURT/The Southland Times

Exactly how many lambs have been killed will not be known until tailing but at an expected average price of $80 for each lamb, the cost to farmers could be measured in millions of dollars. In recent days, the Owaka Lions Club has collected up to 400 dead lambs a day from the 19km Owaka Valley Rd, for which farmers receive 50c each.

Federated Farmers adverse events spokesman David Rose said he estimated half the farms in Southland were affected. “The spring storm of 2010 is, frankly, the worst in a generation, with farmers going back over 50 years for anything this bad.”

MetService warned that temperatures would plunge in the Southland tonight as a cold front crosses the region. It said significant snowfalls were expected overnight, mainly above 200m, where 10-15cm is possible, especially in the Catlins and hilly areas exposed to strong southwesterlies. Localised blizzards and snow drifts are possible. The Fire Service in Invercargill said it had been flat out working three pumps to drain properties around the city swamped by melting snow.

The North Island has also received its share of the snow fall.

The Rimutaka Hill Road was closed following 2-6cm of snow accumulating on the hill above 400m from 3am to 7am this morning. It has since reopened with cars only allowed across in escorted convoys, one way at a time. The Manawatu Gorge road has reopened following a slip which closed it yesterday. Snow is also falling on the Central Plateau this morning, with 4-12cm accumulating on the Desert Road between 3am and 12am this morning. Another 3-6cm are expected over the next couple of hours. Drivers are warned the road may close.


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