Jones out of step
Whanganui is lucky Regional Economic Minister Shane Jones understands ports and rail, and is sending $6 million our way.
But in awful news for residents with chronic and terminal pain, he apparently can't see the difference between medicinal and recreational cannabis.
In a barely intelligible rant on a current affairs show, the senior NZ First caucus member showed his lack of fitness for decision-making on such important issues when he reached back to the 1980s for the old dopehead slang "electric puha". Unbelievably, that's what he called medicines derived from licensed, bred, grown and processed CBD-based cannabis.
Manufactured medicines based on CBD are sold in calibrated doses at affordable prices in many parts of the world, and a mid-2017 poll showed 80 per cent of Kiwis think it's time we did the same.
These medicines offer relief to people for whom other medications don't work. They are life-changing for children with severe epileptic conditions and many cancer sufferers battling chemotherapy's side effects. Importantly, they lack the dreadful side effects and long-term addiction dangers of opioids, which are often the only painkillers offered for many types of severe pain.
Yet the man who holds the chequebook for $3 billion of taxpayers' money confuses medicinal cannabis with the "dope" that has proved harmful to remote Maori communities. He's uninterested in contributing to a forward-looking Ruatoria-based medicinal cannabis start-up which already has a $160m deal to export to the US and will provide many jobs in an area that desperately needs them.
Interviewer Lisa Owens asked if he was letting his personal views get in the way of a valid business project.
"No," he said. "I think what New Zealanders look for in Maori politicians like myself is to say it as it is ... I'm not going to back away from those views."
In our new morality, there are no absolute virtues. Depending on the individual and the circumstances, excess, indulgence, intoxication, arrogance and greed may all be praised as moral or condemned as immoral.
Despite its contradictions and volatility, however, it is still enforced with unforgiving conviction and authority.
The new morality says all men are rapists and potential rapists, and should be feared and contained. At the same time, it says if one of these men believes he is a woman, that is truth and moral. We all must play along. We should allow this man into women's bathrooms, and anyone who is uncomfortable with this is a bigot. Bigotry is immoral.
It is now moral to let children choose their gender from their earliest years. It is immoral to encourage them to conform to sex stereotypes.
For a man to prey on a woman is clearly immoral. Yet if he is married, for him to avoid being alone with a woman, to avoid temptation and/or the appearance of evil is immoral.
Why? Because it could hold back the careers of women who must meet with him alone.
When a woman acts sexually in exchange for receiving professional advancement, this is immoral for the man, yet moral for the woman.
In the words of Oprah Winfrey at the Golden Globes, she did this because she "had children to feed and bills to pay and dreams to pursue." Moral.
Fornication and birth out of wedlock: moral. Pornography: moral. Same-sex marriage: moral. Heterosexual marriage: depends on whether the man leads his family. If he does, that is oppression: immoral.
Efforts to protect the lives of the unborn: immoral. Exposing clinics and doctors who sell aborted foetal body parts: immoral.
I absolutely agree with the letter "Criminal imports", by Bob Walker. The powers that be are far too slack about who they let into this country. They are naive and gullible at the very least.
Extensive background checks must be done and people monitored for two years — any trouble after that, deport them. It's a privilege to come to this country, not a right. Take a leaf out of Aussies' book ... good on them for not putting up with lowlifes in their country.
As for the Gambian murderer, send him straight back to Gambia. Pretty simple, really. Why should the NZ taxpayer pay for his jail accommodation?
It would be interesting to find out how many other foreigners are in our jails. It would be a good project for some secondary school student to do.
This country is a soft touch, and everybody knows it. Successive Governments have allowed this to happen and are too slow to tighten loopholes. Will this new line-up of politicians be any different? Probably not.