Trump: “I have a lot of rich enemies. You won’t see me for a while.”

Trump at Whirlpool

The comments were made during an address Trump gave at the Whirlpool Corporation Manufacturing Plant in Clyde, Ohio.

The context of the remarks was an executive order that will mandate U.S. government agencies purchase all essential drugs from American sources.

Trump blamed the American political class for the fact that drugs are cheaper to buy in other countries [including] Canada even if they are made by the same company.

In terms of who Trump was identifying as his “enemies,” the president made reference to wealthy anonymous “middlemen” who skim profits from pharmaceutical sales.

Full article

The cost of prescription drugs is an issue in many countries and for NZ’s Pharmac.  Stocks of pharmaceuticals are low, which is why many prescriptions have monthly repeats rather than 3 months supply as was the case before.

movie review: ‘This Town’

This-Town-06

by Geoffrey Churchman

Successful homegrown comedy movies in NZ have not been particularly numerous. However, This Town starring David White, Alice May Connolly, Robyn Malcolm and Rima Te Wiata is sure to become one of them.  Being a black comedy, it is in tune with what many see as an underlying disposition in many NZ films.

Director and writer David White has created a tale with an obvious allusion to the David Bain murder case of 1994 where a whole family were killed except one son, an unharmed survivor who was charged with the murders.  The lead character Sean, David White), is a twenty something odd-job man in a rural Hawkes Bay town named Thiston (filmed around Waipukurau) who may or may not have killed his whole family by shooting them inside their house, for which he was arrested but the case was thrown out by a jury.  Being single he seeks and establishes, via a smartphone dating app, a relationship with a young twenty-something girl, Casey.  The time of year is a somewhat but not overly dry summer with long brown grass and simple light clothes are worn by most.

An ex-policewoman Pam (Robyn Malcolm) who was involved in the case is determined not to give up seeking evidence to determine whodunnit, helped by a reporter who wants to write a top-selling true crime book. Attitudes to Sean among the townsfolk are rather negative which is not too surprising when it seems to locals he must have done it, regardless of what the jury found.

Blokish themes, such a demolition derby (with pink cars!) and enough rifles to make a Texan jealous are balanced by Casey’s friends who wouldn’t be out of place in the Australian comedy movie Muriel’s Wedding from the 1990s.

Some of the cast, an array of rural Kiwi fellas and fellesses introduce themselves and brief aspects of their stories with voice-overs and followed by the series of skits that form a well crafted whole.

There is a range of visual amusement in the props such as cans of Killer Lager, posters with odd statements or questions and out of the ordinary equipment such as metal detectors (one find in a paddock is an oversize vehicle exhaust) and a very large chainsaw.

It’s nearly all good fun apart from the murder scene, now a patch of brown grass with a forlorn old fireplace, but that isn’t overly dwelt upon and the predominant mood is light-hearted

Nationwide release, originally scheduled before Lockdown, took place on 6 August.


This Town (91 minutes) is screening at the Shoreline in Waikanae.

Waikanae digital gaming company Garphill Games finalists in the Wellington Gold Awards

from the KC News website


Garphill Games

Three Kapiti companies have been announced as finalists in the Wellington Gold Awards which highlight the contribution businesses make to the region’s economy, and showcase talent and capability in the sector.

Digital gaming company Garphill Games, creative entity Maoriland and beverage company Koakoa were selected from the largest group of entrants in the Gold Awards’ 22-year history.

Both Garphill Games and Māoriland are finalists in the Creative Gold category for film, media and creative content. Koakoa is one of only seven finalists in the Emerging Gold (products) category.

Koakoa have since grown their unique brand of limencello and liquors into a booming business, taking out both national and internal awards. They are now recognised as makers of some of the most popular liqueurs and spirits in the capital, using premium local ingredients.

Full article

Waikanae home makes a statement with oversized black cladding

Pavilion House

“Contrasting criteria, such as an owner’s idiosyncrasies, are often factored into home design. Architectural designer Peter Davis was challenged to accommodate spaces for strident noise as well as serene silence when designing this handsome home in Waikanae.

“The brief was to provide room for the client’s interest in music and motorbikes, as well as quiet spaces for relaxation,” says Davis. “Above all I was tasked with creating flexible living solutions for anywhere from two people to a crowd.”

Full article

James-Hardie-downloadable-tech-sheet

damning new report from the Auditor-General about the Provincial Growth Fund

Update from the Taxpayers' Union

Damning report on Provincial Growth Fund confirms pork barrelling, conflicts, and worse

pgf

damning new report from the Auditor-General has confirmed what your humble Taxpayers’ Union has been saying about the Provincial Growth Fund all along. He found failing processes with regards to the approval of grants, managing conflicts of interests, and tracking of performance.

The Auditor-General said:

It was not always clear from the documentation why certain projects were considered for funding from this part of the Fund. . . it was difficult to find evidence of how projects had fully met the normal criteria for the Fund.

When the Auditor-General with all his expertise does a deep dive into the application documents and still can’t figure out why recipients were granted funding, we have a serious problem.

The Auditor-General goes on:

In my view, in the interests of the transparency of the overall process, it is important for the public and Parliament to have better visibility of how all the parts of the Fund operate

We couldn’t agree more. Post COVID-19, every dollar handed out from the fund is borrowed from future generations of taxpayers. New Zealanders deserve more information to shed light on whether Shane Jones’s slush fund justifies a mortgage on our future.

The report’s breakdown of spending by region shows the real motivation behind the Provincial Growth Fund. The region to receive the most funding – half a billion dollars and counting – is Northland. That’s a $3,671 election bribe for every man, woman, and child in the region that New Zealand First is targeting for votes. It is banana republic stuff and is a blot on New Zealand’s reputation for having incorruptible institutions.

Labour candidate does the right thing. But what about National in Port Hills?

Candidates

The Labour Party’s new Palmerston North candidate, Tangi Utikere (pictured left), is the City’s deputy mayor.

Last week we called on Mr Utikere to give up his ratepayer-funded salary – and now he’s agreed.

Good on him. The amount of money saved might be small in the scheme of things, but it’s an important principle: ratepayers should not be forced to pay a councillor to campaign full time for a political party they may not support. It also sends the right message about the attitude Tangi Utikere will bring to Parliament when it comes to the use of public funds.

Meanwhile, National’s candidate in Port Hills – Catherine Chu, a Christchurch City Councillor – continues to take a $114,000 salary from ratepayers while she campaigns, on top of a taxpayer-funded salary as a DHB member! As we told The Pressratepayers deserve more focus from their local representatives.

Taxpayer Briefing: The Green Party Manifesto

Greens graphic

Our Analyst, Neil Miller, was tasked with trawling through the Green Party’s 52-page manifesto so you don’t have to. Highlights/lowlights include:

  • A “wealth” tax – i.e. a tax on retirement, housing, entrepreneurship, and death for the average Auckland homeowner.
  • Not one, but two more income tax brackets above 33%.
  • “Investigating” a sugar tax.
  • A “water only” policy for sports clubs.
  • Taxpayer-funded snorkeling lessons (yes, seriously).

Clear here to read Neil’s full briefing for taxpayers.

AJ Hackett Bungy process could set chilling precedent

AJ Hackett Bungy

Crux reports that MBIE handed over taxpayer money to AJ Hackett Bungy without even confirming that private funding wasn’t available.

As one of New Zealand’s most successful tourism operators, AJ Hackett Bungy would have survived without corporate welfare. It is completely unacceptable that it received a taxpayer-funded handout of $5,100,000 (and access to a further loan of the same amount) while smaller, less well-known and less politically connected businesses continue to struggle and fail.

The least taxpayers expect is a thorough process to make sure alternatives are unavailable before public funding is provided. In this case, AJ Hackett Bungy simply stated that it had not received a response from its bank – incredibly, that single line was enough to be given a cool $5 million.

We say Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis must signal to the wider corporate community that this is not the standard process. Otherwise, businesses may pursue a strategy of making merely token attempts to secure private funding (or making no such attempts at all) before asking for a handout.

AJ Hackett’s reputation should not be tainted by handout

AJ Hackett ONZM

In our annual Jonesie Waste Awards, we nominated the handout given to AJ Hackett Bungy as an example of unfair corporate welfare, joking that AJ Hackett is the only tourism operator in Queenstown who doesn’t want to throw Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis off a bridge.

An associate of Mr Hackett’s family has since contacted us to clarify that AJ Hackett separated from his company’s New Zealand operations several years ago. He had no involvement with the lobbying for taxpayer funding.

It’s a shame that an iconic New Zealand innovator should have his reputation tarnished, through no fault of his own, as a result of a politically-motivated handout. The Taxpayers’ Union apologises to Mr Hackett, having now learned he is not liable for payments given to the company that bears his name.

If only AJ Hackett Bungy the company valued their reputation as much as Mr Hackett’s family, they wouldn’t have attempted this cosy special deal.

No Marama, tax is not “love”

Q&A clip

We’ve laughed before about commentators claiming that “tax is love”. But now our politicians are saying it too.

Here’s our response to Green Party co-Leader Marama Davidson, who made the claim on Q&A:

Marama Davidson is asking New Zealanders struggling to pay higher income taxes, fuel taxes, rubbish taxes, and tobacco taxes, to accept all this with a warm feeling of affection. That’s not just delusional, it’s offensive.

Frankly this is a grotesque, masochistic, Orwellian distortion of language. The Green Party should be ashamed.

Tax punishes productive New Zealanders and takes food off the table. For those who have recently lost their jobs, tax paid is the difference between meeting mortgage payments and losing the house. And then, come election time, politicians fritter away our hard-earned taxes on political bribes to serve their own re-election chances.

Debt Monster gets a selfie with the Prime Minister

It’s been a busy couple of weeks for the Debt Monster. Here he is posing with the Prime Minister at a campaign event in Naenae:

DM + PM

The Debt Monster is a big fan of Jacinda. He even woke up early to meet her and Grant Robertson for a breakfast event at Te Papa! Click here to watch the short clip on Facebook.

The Debt Monster is our malevolent symbol of the cost of politicians’ borrowing – set to reach $109,000 per Kiwi household in 2024.

He’s not party political – he loves to stalk any politician who vies for votes with taxpayer money. Look at this photo from Judith Collins’s recent event in Petone:

DM + Judith Collins

Judith seemed to see the funny side. She even posted on Facebook about the encounter.

The Debt monster also visited New Zealand First’s campaign launch in Auckland:

DM + Shane Jones

Who’s that in the background? Another Debt Monster??

He was hoping to hear Winston Peters’ big speech, but New Zealand First staff members wouldn’t let him in.

The Debt Monster will be an inescapable presence on the campaign trail. We won’t let politicians forget that their promises are paid for by future generations of taxpayers.

a quote very relevant in NZ as elsewhere

Thomas Sewell“It is self-destructive for any society to create a situation where a baby who is born into the world today automatically has pre-existing grievances against another baby born at the same time, because of what their ancestors did centuries ago. It is hard enough to solve our own problems, without trying to solve our ancestors’ problems.”
–Thomas Sowell

Thomas Sowell is an American economist who is currently a senior fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution. Sowell was born in North Carolina but grew up in Harlem, New York. He dropped out of Stuyvesant High School and served in the United States Marine Corps during the Korean War.

(Thanks to Margaret Stevenson-Wright)

the puerile nature of the MSM once again

from theBFD:


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The mainstream media seem intent on reducing political debate to a level that the Prime Minister’s child can understand.

While jobless numbers are stacking up and the government debt monster grows even larger, what do the media focus on?

Counting to ten in te lingo.

Yes it really is that puerile.

New National leader Judith Collins can’t count to 10 in te reo Maori and won’t commit to learning the language.

Collins was discussing her party’s current position for Maori langauage when asked if she could count to ten. Collins demurred, saying, “no, I’m not particularly good at that”.

“I can tell you this that I don’t do gotcha politics or gotcha media,” she added.

Good answer Judith, but a better one would have been along the lines of ‘I might not be able to count to ten in te reo but I can count to 210,000 and growing in jobless numbers and I can count to $50 million in state subsidies to media so you can ask silly questions like this and I can count to $140 billion in the government debt mountain. So, can I count to tekau in te reo? No, I can’t, and that’s because I’m focussing on the very real problems that this government has caused the economy.’

This government is a kunakunaku and run by poroheahea.

They couldn’t make Kiwibuild work, have failed to deliver light rail, have produced nothing but hot air and a mountain of debt and have no policies or answers to fix the problems that their actions have caused.

And all the media can focus on is childish things learned at primary school and kindy that have zero relevance to the modern world and that most of us forgot when it ceased to be relevant.

The media disgust me. But what can we expect when the Prime Minister talks to us like little children at the best of times.