Saturday, September 30, 2006

Don's sentiments worth repeating verbatim

Hattip: Stuff

Dr Brash said he was not denying many people identified strongly with their Maori ancestry, but it was wrong to argue the Government had failed its Treaty obligation if Maori were over-represented in negative social statistics.

"If Maori New Zealanders die more frequently from lung cancer than non-Maori do, for example, it is almost certainly because Maori New Zealanders choose to smoke more heavily than other New Zealanders do," he said.

"Similarly if there are relatively few Maori at the Auckland Law School - and that despite preferential arrangements for Maori - that is not a failing of the Government, but a result of decisions made by individual Maori.

"Nobody would suggest that because there are relatively few European New Zealanders in the All Blacks, there has been a breach of the Treaty."

On what basis do you dispute this? The only way I see is by avoiding the issue (again) and claiming that it is not the way the Treaty works. Maybe - but that is a diversionary tactic to the point. Give the responsibility to the decision maker - and maybe the decision will be different.

"But everybodies doing it"

Hattip: Stuff
As a further refutation to Labour's cries of dismay over the Auditor General's pending report into the Parliamentary services funding misspending - it is interesting to look at the ruling against Westpac - and more interestingly the comments made by the Commerce Commision regarding their prosecution:

Commerce Commission General Manager Geoff Thorn said some people had commented that non-disclosure of the charges was common practice in the New Zealand banking industry at the time.

"The commission is not swayed by that argument.

"The behaviour clearly was widespread, but illegal actions can not be justified on the basis that others were doing it too."

Once again we see the points in general practice that:
Ignorance of the law is not a defence
Lack of clarity in the law is not a defence
Past occurances of the same offence is not a defence against gettting charged this time
But I'm only one of many, is definately not a defence.

Given that everybody else has to play by these principles - the politicians had better start too.
Maybe it is time for more names like Lafayette and Robspierre to be entered into history.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Airline Services Agreement

I'll admit to being terribly surprised today at finding out that the third largest provider of trans-tasman flight services is effectively bound by a non-competition agreement.

Emirates, which provides around 12% of the trans-tasman flight capacity is bound in its Airline Services Agreement (which allows it to fly to New Zealand) to not materially affect the interests of New Zealand's national carrier (IE Air New Zealand). Most worrying however (given that a number of old bi-lateral airline services agreements apparently contain these clauses - that was an eye opener) is that New Zealand officials have recently sent communications to Emirates reminding them of this obligation.

If any one can find the reference to this - I believe it was actually Phil Goff from whom this missive was sent; at which point given this Governments posturing over increasing competition giving it the right to effectively confiscate private property, Labour really needs to explain why it is enforcing anti-competitive practices just because it has a shareholding in another enterprise.

I recently opined on how the Labour Government was continuing its march towards ensuring the utopian Socialist collective hidden beneath the veneer of capitalist endeavor (catch-22). It would seem that it wasn't far wrong.
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