Thursday, November 19, 2020

Aotearoa or New Zealand?

 Did anyone notice the irony of new Tourism Minister Stuart Nash speaking at Summit Aotearoa  saying " ‘Brand New Zealand’ is paramount"?

The government and the public service are determinedly moving to Aotearoa as the name of this country.

But the world they want to court knows it as New Zealand.

A government running with the hares and hunting with the hounds...

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

On whether our falling fertility rate matters

Talking to Heather du Plessis Allan on NewstalkZB this afternoon (the article was generated before the interview).

Update - Kerre McIvor picked up the theme and some of the interview this morning. Great. Exactly what the report was intended to generate. Discussion.

Two worlds

Using the Maternity Report web tool I have extracted birth profiles for the most southern region of New Zealand, the Southern DHB and the most northerly region, the Northland DHB. Ministry of Health definition, "Deprivation quintiles of residence range from 1 (least deprived) to 5 (most deprived)."

Note the almost mirror-like reversal of deprivation quintiles. In Southland most babies are born in the least deprived quintile whereas in Northland most babies are born in the most deprived quintile. What a fascinating contrast.

Just for good measure let's throw in the middle of the country, the Wellington region, Capital and Coast DHB:

Comparatively New Zealand is a great place to be born in but whereabouts in NZ predicts a great deal about outcomes.

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Lowest birth rate ever

 StatsNZ today on September 2020 data:

The total fertility rate was 1.63, the lowest on record in New Zealand. 

This trend began in 2008. There have been 12 straight years of falling fertility which includes Maori fertility.

Some will welcome this fall. I don't. The essence of life is procreation and family. Used to be, grandchildren living overseas was a major regret for my generation. Soon it will be, no grandchildren at all.

The main reasons for the decline are females putting off having children until their thirties. The window gets smaller and conceiving gets harder. 

And more females are remaining childless by choice.

The trend is a major demographic development mirrored across the developed world and being slowly echoed in India and very faintly echoed in the African continent. Countries that don't have falling TFRs are experiencing only slight upturns (from already low rates) due to aggressive fertility encouragement policies. When I last looked Hungary and Japan were two but both are still under New Zealand's current level.

Monday, November 16, 2020

Colin James on Seymour

Colin James makes this prediction (echoing earlier statements elsewhere not least by National's leader):

David Seymour will have trouble managing his disparate bunch of new MPs. 

I think I know what 'disparate' means. Different from each other. But let's check a google definition to be safe:

 essentially different in kind; not able to be compared.

Well I am very pleased about that. A party that represents individualism - individual rights must not be subjugated to collective rights - should feature free thinkers with varying interests.

You wouldn't want ACT to behave like a herd of sheep, very similarly to one another.

Seymour may have trouble managing them but does he want to? He needs them to be able to manage themselves.

They are all mature people. Worldly even.

There are bound to be political missteps in an environment where the media is salivating for a slip-up and not past precipitating one.

But parliament was overdue for some new blood that's not running through the veins of conformists.