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The Letter 17/03/2014

The Letter


Someone must have called an election. First David Cunliffe says Labour is going to change the rules for foreign investment. Now Winston Peters is sure foreigners are stealing our fish. The Letter suspects if it was not election year and Judith Collins had been meeting with an EC civil servant Labour would not be claiming “scandal”.


The 2013 Census reports there are half a million Asian New Zealanders. The Number of Maori is over stated as a person only has to say they have a tiny fraction of Maori blood to be recorded as Maori even though they may regard themselves as being of another ethnicity. (There are people who are less than 1/200th Maori. They are known at universities as “quota” Maori). Commentators opined last week that the Maori seats may decide the election. Unlikely. The reality is the Asian vote will be decisive.

Strategic mistake

Chinese New Zealanders have no doubt who Cunliffe and Peters are attacking. John Key’s public reluctance to be in coalition with Peters is very good politics. The Asian community has taken note. Asian leaders have also noted with alarm Cunliffe’s statements that Labour would like to be in coalition with NZ First. Labour to quote President Obama “is on the wrong side of history” and could in 2014 suffer a reverse in the immigrant vote that could damage the party for years.

Most popular NZ Chinese politician

The best known and most popular Chinese politician is Kenneth Wang . Kenneth was an ACT MP. We have attended Chinese functions with Kenneth Wang and seen how well he is regarded. Kenneth has recorded the highest electorate vote by any ACT candidate outside of Epsom and Wellington Central. He is the reason ACT does so well with the Asian vote. The party is keen for him to take a senior position in the campaign. If Kenneth accepts, ACT could become the natural party for New Zealand Chinese and be a major barrier to a Labour/NZ First government.


Nobel Prize winner for economics psychologist Daniel Kahneman says most people are poor at statistics. When we were on the African Savanna we needed to be able to spot lions and hostile humans so no computer can match our human face recognition. We did not need to know probabilities to know it was time to run. This inability to do numbers is Kahneman’s theory why many of us make bad economic decisions like having Lotto as our retirement scheme. The evidence seems to be mounting that David Cunliffe is innumerate. We do not know if he can add or not. The evidence is he does not know what figures mean. He just does not understand the meaning of census data or overseas investment. A person who knows what figures mean could not have made his mistake in the baby bonus speech.

Figures sing to him

You only have to read an article by Dr. Jamie Whyte to realize figures sing to him. In one article he quotes the BMA (British Medical Association) saying “Anorexia nervosa affects about 2 percent of young woman and kills a fifth of suffers”. (The Times 30 May 2000). Does something in that statement seem wrong to you? Figures have meaning to Dr. Whyte so he knew it could not be right. As he says “There are three and a half million British women between the ages of 15 and 25. If 2% of them suffer from anorexia nervosa, that is 70,000. And if a fifth die from it, we should expect 14,000 young women to die from it a year”. Jamie Whyte says he thinks the public would notice an epidemic. Just 855 young women died in 1999 and only 13 from anorexia nervosa.

In the land of the blind

Jamie Whyte is going to be devastating in parliament. Most MPs could not balance their cheque books. Many have difficulty realizing the difference between their money and the taxpayer’s. Once there are more than 5 zeros their minds mist over. Jamie Whyte is giving us a taste of what he will do as he has begun posting critiques of politicians’ speeches. David Cunliffe’s latest effort according the Herald was to establish his economic credentials. Jamie Whyte’s analysis shows David Cunliffe has made a fool of himself. Cunliffe has actually got the effects of devaluation around the wrong way. It makes great reading. www.act.org.nz

No disclosure

The Letter revealed that David Cunliffe was not the only Labour leadership contender to receive $1,500 from a prominent businessman. The MP concerned has not outed himself. Under parliament’s lax disclosure rules the statements did not need to be filed until 1 January and then follows three months when MPs can remember “gifts” or simply change their declaration. The Registrar has ruled that MPs who are not trustees but simply beneficiaries of trusts need not disclose gifts at all. The filings are not public until 1 July. You would have to be arrogant and reckless to think that you do not have to disclose that your leadership primary was financed by big business. Does that sound like someone we know?

More leaving

Usually reliable sources say two more National Party MPs have indicated they are going to retire. Regardless of the election result National will have significant renewal. Only Ross Robertson has announced his retirement from Labour. Trevor Mallard, Phil Goff and or Annette King are not going anywhere. But David Cunliffe says "We don't need to go through a culling process to get renewal; it is going to happen naturally through the swing of the pendulum." Yeah Right.

Monday 17/03/2014

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