“I support the protest 100 percent. I don’t agree with you that my rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are extinguished by a government declaring a pandemic. To me those rights are absolute. If anything, I would wish the protest be more intense given the damage Parliament has inflicted on the people I love and the community of which I am a part.”
– Rodney Hide’s letter to the ACT Leader.
On January 27, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern warned New Zealand that Covid modelling predicted an explosion of Omicron cases: “The range of modelling meant that we’ve undertaken scenario planning for as little as 1000 a day to over 50,000 a day. We do not know whether or not we would reach such high numbers, but we must be prepared for that based on the international evidence. The best thing we can do is act preventatively so that means get your booster…”
With Waitangi Day case numbers of 208, the forecasts of up to 50,000 cases a day by Waitangi weekend, peaking at about 80,000 each day a few weeks later, produced by the US-based Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation have been shown to be wildly inaccurate.
Quite why Jacinda Ardern was quoting their figures, when her Government has already paid Auckland University’s Te Punaha Matatini $6 million for local Covid modelling, is not clear – unless, of course, the PM wanted exaggerated modelling to scare New Zealanders into getting their boosters.
As the American journalist H.L. Mencken famously noted, the use of fear tactics by Governments is commonplace: “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed – and hence clamorous to be led to safety – by an endless series of hobgoblins, most of them imaginary.”
Fearmongering has certainly been a hallmark of the Ardern administration. Coupled with punitive constraints never before seen in our democratic society, exaggerated predictions of tens of thousands of Covid deaths have been regularly used to justify lockdowns and other draconian restrictions that has allowed the State to intrude into the lives of New Zealanders in an unprecedented way.
The flow of information has also been tightly regulated, not only through ‘gagging orders’ issued to Government ministers, and obstruction from the public service, but through $55 million in public funding to ‘bribe’ the media. Controlling the narrative has been the Prime Minister’s obsession: “I want to send a clear message to the New Zealand public. You can trust us as a source of information… Remember that unless you hear it from us it is not the truth.”
When questioned about the inaccuracy of the Waitangi weekend modelling, Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins admitted: “I’ve always been pretty sceptical about the models. They are useful. It’s better to have some modelling than no modelling. It’s a little bit like the weather forecast. Some nights they say it’s going to rain tomorrow and it turns out being a nice sunny day.”
Health Minister Andrew Little also admitted scepticism: “It’s helpful to a degree – how accurate it is? I don’t know.”
Such concerns about the accuracy of modelling raises an obvious question: Why are they spending so much money on modelling if they don’t believe the results will be accurate? The answer, of course, is that the predictions can be used to justify their agenda.
While it’s easy to observe the inaccuracy of the exaggerated Covid modelling being used by Jacinda Ardern to justify authoritarian rule, it’s not so easy to see just how wildly inaccurate the climate change modelling is that she is using to justify her dangerous zero-carbon policy agenda, since those models predict outcomes decades into the future.
Yet, on the basis of exaggerated and chronically inaccurate modelling, she has declared a climate emergency and is forcing New Zealanders to sacrifice our economic wellbeing and living standards.
As a result of changes she’s made to the Emissions Trading Scheme, the price of carbon has rocketed up over 400 percent, from under $19 a tonne when she took office in 2017, to $77 today.
With the carbon tax now forcing up the price of electricity and petrol – adding an extra 17 cents a litre at the pump – the flow-on inflationary impact on all goods and services throughout the economy cannot be ignored.
When the Emissions Trading Scheme was first introduced, Westpac warned the inflationary impact of a carbon tax would become a major headache for the Reserve Bank: “Westpac suggested higher electricity and petrol prices will add between 0.3 and 1 percentage point per annum to the consumer price index over the next three years… A carbon price of $15/tonne would lift petrol prices by 10 percent and residential power bills by 7 percent, while $50/tonne would make petrol prices jump 16 percent and electricity by 20 percent.”
As well as higher power and petrol prices putting pressure on inflation, Westpac noted other risks include higher oil prices, greater fiscal stimulus, a tighter labour market, and persistently high food prices. We are now experiencing all of these, with the fiscal stimulus associated with the Ardern Government’s reckless $70 billion in Covid spending resulting in a massive blowout of debt from $55.7 billion at the end of June 2019, to a peak of $165.5 billion in 2024.
Inflation has now increased to 5.9 percent, and interest rates are on the rise.
It is in this climate of spiralling costs and rising interest rates that our socialist Prime Minister is planning even more severe emissions restrictions as she moves New Zealand ever closer to a State-controlled economy. Stressing the importance of New Zealand doing its “fair share”, late last year she announced our United Nations emissions reduction targets would be increased from 30 percent below 2005 levels by 2030 to 50 percent. This will require a brutal “reset” of our economy, even though New Zealand’s contribution to global emissions is an infinitesimal 0.17 percent.
In contrast, the world’s three largest producers of man-made greenhouse gases have all extended their target dates for reductions, from 2050 to 2060 for China and Russia, and 2070 for India.
In other words, at the behest of a Prime Minister who claims climate change is so dire that unless we start making reductions right now, we will be responsible for some sort of planetary collapse, New Zealanders are expected to sacrifice our economy and living standards.
Meanwhile, the three big emitters are making promises they will never need to keep, because they know that in the intervening 40 years, the public around the world will finally wake up to the fact that they are being conned by their political leaders, and this zero-carbon madness will finally be dropped.
The British Government is now in the throes of being held to account for their climate policies as they are forced to face up to the damage they are causing.
Last week the Times of London ran the headline, ‘Britons facing biggest drop in living standards’, stating, “In a bleak assessment of the year ahead, the Bank of England warned people that take-home pay would fall by five times the amount it did during the financial crisis of 2008. It will be the worst hit to real incomes since comparable records began in 1990.”
The Daily Mail did not mince words as it described the “self-inflicted misery” of energy policy: “Successive governments ignored warnings about the insanity of having no long-term strategy to safeguard energy security. Now the chickens have come home to roost. How unnecessary this is. For Britain sits on an energy goldmine. We have vast unexploited reserves of oil, gas and shale. But hypnotised by the apocalyptic alarmism of eco-activists, our politicians have pursued an aggressive green agenda, shunning these abundant power sources. It means we are left at the mercy of unreliable renewables and importing high-priced energy to stop the lights going out.”
And the Daily Telegraph asked a question that should be asked in New Zealand: “The big political question is whether the country is prepared to pay for net zero now that people can see the implications of a policy that will do nothing to combat global climate change for as long as the world’s biggest CO2 producers refuse to change their own practices.”
This week’s NZCPR Guest Commentator Richard Reaney, an Otago University graduate who has studied Climate and Paleoclimatology for over 40 years including being awarded a Cambridge University Visiting Scholarship to Scott Polar Research Institute in 2005, puts all of this into perspective, in his excellent analysis of the reality of climate change, when he says:
“The eruption of the Tongan volcano in the Pacific on 14th January was likely the biggest recorded anywhere on the planet in more than 30 years, according to expert volcanologist, Shane Cronin. It is said to have put up over 3.2 million tons of CO2 in the 10 days since the eruption began. This equates to over 116.0 million tons per annum if emissions continue at the same level.
“This by way of comparison is more than New Zealand has ever put up. This level totally makes farcical any measures by NZ to control or reduce emissions. In fact it highlights that it is Nature and Natural Processes that control climate, not Mankind.”
And that is the point. With 97 percent of all greenhouse gases produced by natural processes, and only 3 percent by mankind, those political leaders who are trying to claim that driving your car, cooking on a gas barbeque, or using a coal-fired boiler will tip the planet into some sort of global warming apocalypse, are delusional. Carbon dioxide is necessary for life on earth. It’s if carbon dioxide levels get too low to sustain plant photosynthesis that we all need to panic!
A new reality is now emerging for our Prime Minister. The polls are turning as she becomes an increasingly polarising figure. While the recent 1News-Kantar poll put her well ahead as preferred Prime Minister, when her negative rating is taken into account, her net approval rating fell below that of National’s Christopher Luxon.
It’s not just within New Zealand that she’s losing support. Her Government’s recent decision to refuse an emergency space in MIQ to a pregnant Kiwi journalist so she could return home to have her baby, has exposed the heartlessness of Jacinda Ardern’s regime to the world.
After reporting on the fall of Afghanistan last year, Charlotte Bellis had returned to Qatar, only to discover she was pregnant – and living in a country where it is illegal for unmarried women to be pregnant. As a result, she began urgently applying to return to New Zealand, but failed every time to secure an MIQ spot. So, in desperation, she contacted the Taliban to see if she and her New York Times photographer partner could move to Kabul. Ironically, the Taliban have been kinder to her than our Prime Minister.
Outlining her plight in the Herald, her case highlights the cruelty of an administration that has turned away thousands of New Zealanders desperate to get home – including dozens of pregnant women – while granting priority status to DJs, sports stars, and other celebrities.
The international news coverage of the scandal shows the PM is now being mocked around the world, for showing less compassion than the Taliban!
And, as a result of the controversy, a timetable has now been set for opening up the borders and phasing out MIQ. With Omicron seen the world over as being not much worse than the annual flu, and many countries now abolishing all Covid restrictions, the time has surely come for our Prime Minister to follow suit.
In an interview with the PM last month, Herald Political Editor Claire Trevett wrote: “The collateral damage of Covid-19 is everywhere: inflation, house prices, her goal of fixing inequality and child poverty are all things she will now face being blamed for. Asked if it has felt like she has been on a war footing for the last two years, she says ‘yes, it does’. And now? ‘Like I’m still on it’…”
But it’s not just the Prime Minister who feels she’s been on a war footing. New Zealanders are under siege as Jacinda Ardern’s authoritarianism and deceit threatens our freedom and liberty, divides our families, imposes cruel and unnecessary mandates, and through her obsessive promotion of Maori supremacy – to appease greedy rent-seekers – she is now undermining the Rule of Law and Democracy itself.