Academic tells us to use Maori stars for planning

Associate Professor Janet Stephenson, University of Otago, made a remarkable statement today in Newsroom.

The current nationwide pause as a result of Covid-19 is an extraordinary opportunity, and probably the only one we will get, to redesign our economy so that it no longer threatens life on this planet.

We could agree there’s a nationwide pause in the Covid-19 crisis as our leaders consider our options. We might agree this represents a tremendous opportunity to take a new direction, implement improvements, enhance our strengths and destroy our vices, and who can say about future opportunities?

But what a sting in the tail — threatens life! Who knew? Still, most of us will want some evidence for that.

There’s no doubt Prof Stephenson has swallowed the propaganda, because there is simply no evidence that we threaten life. She certainly mentions none, confident that the long barrage of deceitful, twisted spin has dulled our rational mind, though her own thinking isn’t too sharp — here’s her final paragraph:

In the night sky we can see the Southern Cross, or Māhutonga, as seven bright stars – five in the cross and two below, the ‘pointers’. By using these seven whetū as a constellation to guide every decision and every investment from here on, we would be on track towards achieving a sustainable future together.

Here’s a professor actually recommending stars to guide our national decisions and investments. Barking mad. It’s unclear whether we stumble blindly through that alien process or seek an ancient or modern Maori Astrologer to assist us, no doubt paying handsomely for it.

There’s no solid science in her qualifications, just “sociology, planning and human geography.” She’s “passionate about collaborative, interdisciplinary research,” and her research interests include “indigenous resource management.” That wouldn’t include white indigenous resource management, I guess.

A friend and frequent commenter here told me:

It’s frightening that our Universities are advocating Maori Astrology to guide our every decision. I’d rather read my tea leaves each morning.

It’s frightening all right. I hate breaking those little bags; the leaves go everywhere.

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Janet has been Director of the Centre for Sustainability since February 2011. Her academic background is in sociology, planning and human geography. She joined the Centre as a Senior Research Fellow at the end of 2008, having previously taught in the Geography Department at Otago University from 2002-2008.

She chairs the National Energy Research Institute, and is the New Zealand Universities’ on the Cross-Agency-Government Committee for the Ministry of Transport’s Transport Knowledge Hub.

I don’t know what’s wrong with the universities. It’s the same all around the world. More than 99.99% of the professors are not cranks — like Lindzen, Curry, Ridd, Happer, Giaever, Kelly, de Freitas, Carter …


The statisticians that may have killed New Zealand
– Sir Ray Avery

Oh well it was nice knowing you for nearly 30 years.


“The current nationwide pause as a result of Covid-19 is an extraordinary opportunity, and probably the only one we will get, to redesign our economy so that it no longer threatens life on this planet.” I am not a New Zealander, so it’s not for me to say whether New Zealanders should redesign their national economy at this starry-eyed lady’s bidding. However, if I were one, I think that before I accepted her proposition, I would expect her to explain and prove, with real, solid evidence, that the New Zealand economy is presenting a real and significant threat to life on this planet. Has she done that yet? Or is she expecting New Zealanders to simply take her word for it and knuckle down to doing as they are told by this fully-accredited, high-ranking academic officer of the Global Cult of Apocalyptic Climate Alarmism (a.k.a. the ‘Green Blob’ – motto: ‘Don’t think: Act’)? I ask only for information. “In the night sky we can see the Southern Cross, or Māhutonga, as seven bright stars – five in the cross and two below, the ‘pointers’. By using these seven whetū as a constellation to… Read more »


FYI, New Zealand has made a commitment to have net zero carbon dioxide emissions by 2050. Every Member of Parliament in the House voted in favour of the Bill with one abstention.


“FYI, New Zealand has made a commitment to have net zero carbon dioxide emissions by 2050.”

Thanks, Simon. However, I knew this already from reading the linked article.

“Every Member of Parliament in the House voted in favour of the Bill with one abstention.”

Thanks, again. I didn’t know that.

However, the NZ nation is not just the Members of the NZ Parliament, is it? The NZ nation is the whole NZ community, which consists essentially of its people.

So, was this virtually unanimous decision of the NZ Parliament endorsed by the NZ people in a nationwide democratic referendum? If so, how big was the majority in its favour? Was the people’s decision also virtually unanimous?

Or, were the people of New Zealand simply not consulted about the matter? In that case, I think Prof. Stephenson’s assertion that “We’ve made a commitment as a nation to get to zero net carbon by 2050,” could not possibly be true, because the NZ people would not have made it and they are the NZ nation.


“The people” have not been consulted on a number of issues recently, or at least sidelined.
These include:
Gun law reform
Abortion law
Votes for prisoners
Zero Carbon Bill


In one case, a peaceful submitter to the Gun Law submission process was visited by a dozen armed policemen.

NZ 2020

Not a place I can comfortable call home anymore.


Thanks, Andy. This confirms what I suspected about Janet Stephenson’s “We’ve made a commitment as a nation to get to zero net carbon by 2050”, i.e. that the NZ nation has not made any such commitment in reality, even though all the necessary legal protocols may have been followed and all the necessary legal documents duly signed and sealed.

Just because something is legal, that does not make it true or legitimate, of course. This ‘zero carbon by 2050’ government decision is patently arbitrary and undemocratic besides being unreal as a decision of the nation. Has anyone ever challenged it in the courts?

I found the report of armed police searching the family home of the peaceful gun-law submitter quite chilling. The NZ police would seem to be becoming a law unto themselves if they can act like that with impunity.

Man of Thessaly

Kia ora Rick, and thanks for showing an interest in our laws.

Andy has been a bit misleading above, to say that the NZ public “have not been consulted … or at least sidelined” on the Zero Carbon Bill
In fact, there were two public consultations – one before it was drafted, and one as part of the Parliamentary process.

In the first, 91 per cent of the 15,000 respondents said they wanted a net-zero 2050 emissions target.
In the second, the summary of the more than 10,000 submissions says 82% supported the bill and 8% opposed.

As to “sidelined”, Andy doesn’t seem to have submitted either time (unless he did it anonymously), so he can hardly complain. Parliament’s overwhelming support reflects the public support. Andy may be sad he was in the minority, but that doesn’t give him any reason to complain about the democratic process. It is certainly open to challenge in the courts, but nobody has done so.


No you are right. No one has the time to make submissions. The economy is already being bombed back into the dark ages because of COVID19.

So why do we need a zero carbon economy when there is no economy?


Hi, Man of Thessaly. Thanks for your informative reply, which I’ve only just seen because I appear to have stopped receiving email notifications of new comments to this blog for some reason, so I only caught it by accident when I checked in a little while ago. (RT please note.) OK, I accept that the NZ public have been invited to participate in two government consultation exercises and I accept your statement of the results as you’ve reported them. Thanks for clarifying this point. However, I’m afraid it still does not prove Prof. Janet Stephenson’s contention that “We’ve made a commitment as a nation to get to zero net carbon by 2050”. That could only be true if the whole nation voted for it, which apparently it has not done to date. As to Andy not having any reason to complain about the ‘democratic process’, I cannot answer for him, of course. However, I would like to point out here that public consultation exercises generally do not meet the necessary conditions for definition as ‘democratic’ processes, since they are usually advisory and not binding on the government and do not normally garner responses… Read more »

Man of Thessaly

Hi Rick, You seem to have a narrow and unrealistic interpretation of Prof. Stephenson’s statement. As NZ is a representative democracy, I think it’s perfectly reasonable to say “we’ve made a commitment as a nation” when due process has been followed and Parliament has made a decision. You are wrong – the process of proposing and passing the Zero Carbon Bill met all the “necessary conditions for definition as a democratic process”. Some might quibble about the shortened consultation period, but on the other hand there was an unusually large number of oral submissions by the public to the parliamentary committee. Certainly nothing was rushed through without scrutiny. The alternative is that there are only 10 decisions in NZ history for which that statement is true (there have been 10 referenda). You seem to come from Australia – in your case, there would only be 44 referenda, plus 4 plebiscites, over more than a century. And most of them are deathly dull! Surely the nation can stand behind more than just those few decisions. I suspect you don’t actually hold that view, and that (like Andy) you’re just whining about a democratic decision… Read more »


and that (like Andy) you’re just whining about a democratic decision that you don’t like.

Actually I don’t really care, but I am interested to know how we are going to pay all the carbon Ponzi schemes when we have no money left.


Hi Man of Thessaly, You say: “You seem to have a narrow and unrealistic interpretation of Prof. Stephenson’s statement.” ‘Narrow’? Yes, since her statement was unambiguous. She said simply: “We’ve made a commitment as a nation to get to zero net carbon by 2050”. Is there some subtle nuance there that I’ve missed seeing somehow? How could I have interpreted it differently? But ‘unrealistic’? MoT, all I have done is to point out that the nation could not possibly have made that commitment because the nation did not vote for it. What is unrealistic about that? “As NZ is a representative democracy, I think it’s perfectly reasonable to say ‘we’ve made a commitment as a nation’ when due process has been followed and Parliament has made a decision.” When ‘representative democracy’ is a contradiction in terms and the nation didn’t actually make the commitment but only their notional ‘representatives’ made it for them? I think that you are the one being unrealistic here, MoT. “You are wrong – the process of proposing and passing the Zero Carbon Bill met all the ‘necessary conditions for definition as a democratic process’.” How could it have… Read more »

Man of Thessaly

Ah, sorry if I offended you by implying that you’re Australian! That’s a pretty serious accusation from a Kiwi perspective. I was guided by RT’s visitor tracker, but clearly it’s unreliable.

It doesn’t matter whether you believe in representative democracy. New Zealanders do – affirmed most recently in a referendum in 2011. So, again, it is perfectly valid to say “We’ve made a commitment as a nation to get to zero net carbon by 2050”.

I don’t believe your protestation that you’re not whining about the decision. If so, you would be objecting to the system of government, not about an academic’s remarks on our climate change laws. Here’s a list of other decisions you may want to contest: Should keep you busy for a while.


Hi MoT, I am not offended by your thinking I was Australian. I don’t know what your Kiwi issue with Australians might be, so I don’t know what you thought you were accusing me of either. Why don’t you just tell me what it is, instead of beating around the bush in this obscure manner? You say it doesn’t matter whether I believe in representative democracy because New Zealanders do. All five million of them, you mean? How do you know what all those people believe, or don’t believe in? You cite the 2011 NZ Referendum as evidence that New Zealanders do believe in ‘representative democracy’, but I must tell you that this is no evidence at all, because the voters were not given any alternative, ‘non-representative democracy’ options to vote for and the question “Do you believe in representative democracy?” was not on the ballot paper. [See: .] Your argument that the central government’s decision to commit the nation to ‘Zero carbon by 2050’ is sufficient by itself to make the nation’s commitment valid may be true in NZ constitutional law, but it is nevertheless untrue in reality. Real commitment is… Read more »


Thanks, Richard. I did get the email – two copies, in fact, plus multiple copies of several other comments in this thread, numbering ten in all. I’ll let you know what happens when another comment is posted here.


Hi Richard. Two email notifications of Man of Thessaly’s latest reply to me received today. No worries for me if none for you either.

Richard Treadgold

Hi Rick. My flow of blog emails is quite variable, with many missing. I may ditch this new commenting system and replace it with something more reliable. Don’t like changing the system stuff, everybody gets discombobulated by that, but if it doesn’t suit our needs I should do it. I’ll ask for advice from the programmer.

Brett Keane

Yes RT, it would be nice if you could find my lost answers to our questions, or attempts thereto…. Nearly had it ready to click comment and bang, gone-ski!. Oh well, plenty of time now to do it again, but differently. Brett

Michael Jameson

Are you truly from a region in Greece or are you associating yourself with the traditions and myths associated with Greek mythology, Thessaly is the land of the mythical Centaurs; the birthplace of Achilles; the father of Medicine, Asclepius; and the area where the battle between the Titans and the Olympian gods, known as Titanomachia, took place. A belief in myths would have been helpful if you think the first effort of “Have your say” was a discussion document. No opportunity was given to discuss the merits of a warming climate; the increase in crop yields, and the greening of the planet that was occurring with the increase in CO₂ atmospheric density. All documents were prepared on the basis that most of the warming was due to anthropogenic causes, the increase in warming was dangerous to life on our planet, and therefore how draconian should the control measures to turn off CO₂, CH₄ and NO₂ emissions to be. How much consultation took place when Miss Ardern announced the cessation of any exploration for liquid hydrocarbons and associated Natural Gas which had not had licences issued. I sat in and listened to presentations given… Read more »

Man of Thessaly

Blistering? “Foaming at the mouth”, I would’ve said. What sane adult writes such a stream-of consciousness 400-word paragraph ranging from Greek mythology to the voting age, with a little climate change in the middle?
Come back when you can write coherently. Then I’ll happily tackle your many delusions.


Rick, more nonsense old boy. NZ is a representative democracy. Decisions do not need to be unanimous in parliament, or accepted by the majority of the population for that matter.

However, the consensus of climate scientists is, to all intents and purposes, unanimous, and endorsed by every scientific institution and society on the planet. So while it’s not a scientific certainty, it’s close enough to be a sound basis for a proper risk assessment.

No rational and informed person believes or says NZ is destroying the world, but it is doing its share.

No rational and informed person believes science is decided in courts of law.

In fact, on analysis, your comments are merely bigly-word gibberish.


“Rick, more nonsense old boy.” That’s alright, Nick. I know you can’t help it, old bean. “NZ is a representative democracy.” ‘Representative democracy’ is a chimera – a fictional creature which cannot exist in the real world. What people call ‘representative democracy’ is really elective dictatorship underneath its camouflage of high-sounding names and idealistic descriptors. Only direct democracy can be truly democratic and only then when it is designed according to cybernetic principles; otherwise it is just mob-rule – the tyranny of the majority. “Decisions do not need to be unanimous in parliament, or accepted by the majority of the population for that matter.” That doesn’t make them democratic though. “However, the consensus of climate scientists is, to all intents and purposes, unanimous, and endorsed by every scientific institution and society on the planet.” Do, please, put a different record on the turntable, Nick. This one really has passed its use-by date, you know, and it’s very boring. “No rational and informed person believes or says NZ is destroying the world,….” Indeed, they don’t. Only mad and hysterical climate cult fanatics, such as members of Extinction Rebellion, could be expected to say a… Read more »

Michael Jameson

Simon, the fact that 119 voted for the passage of the bill but have yet to give their constituents anything truly scientific and supported by empirical data in support of their precipitate, unscientific, emotive and racist legislation, simply gives reason as to why politicians have gained the regard and respect they have. 119 politicians deciding a course the Nation should take does not mean it is the correct course and cannot be changed. Reading your various writings, I can only reach the conclusion you are a born follower with a closed mind.


The more likely conclusion is that the scientific evidence is so overwhelming and compelling that politicians of all persuasions realise that there is no alternative but to reduce net CO2 emissions to zero by mid-century.

Man of Thessaly

This is quite simple, RT. There is no shortage of evidence, but you are in the small minority of people who are unable to be convinced, let alone overwhelmed or compelled. Most people are – almost all scientists, and a huge majority of the general public who may not understand all the science but place the same trust in climate scientists as they do in doctors, engineers and other experts. You, however, will not be convinced by any evidence: as you wrote on this site a while ago: “You’ll never convince me that a mere puff of gas will much heat that huge mass…”. It’s not a question of the evidence, but of your immovable position as a matter of faith.

You’re well-informed and know all the sources of information on climate change. No reader of this blog can provide evidence that you’re not already aware of. The real question is why you (and a small minority of others) are immune to being convinced by it.

Man of Thessaly

RT, I have no interest at all in repeating for your benefit the evidence that has been shown to you so many times. You have stated in writing, and demonstrated here many times, that no evidence will convince you. Yours is a position of faith, and faith is impervious to evidence.
Observations clearly show that the top of the atmosphere has daylight and shadow, yet Mack refuses to believe it. Similarly, you refuse to believe, despite actual observations, that CO2 warms the atmosphere or that the same global warming can warm the oceans.

I am interested in the reasons behind your position, which is why I asked you about it. But it bothers me not at all that you behave this way. New Zealand and global climate policy remain well-informed, and your little blog can’t change that.


Maybe you should instead be explaining to us what weight has to do with infra-red absorption.


Was 82,000 scientific papers not enough for you? How many do you need?


The seven stars are a metaphor. Five goals, two pointers:
1. Radically reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
2. Preparing for the impacts of climate change.
3. Restoring the vitality of natural systems.
4. Increasing local, regional and national self-sufficiency.
5. Developing a circular economy.
6. Being socially responsible.
7. Working together.
Maybe try reading the article first.


A “circular economy” is easy to describe
I have a couple of AirBNB units that no one wants to rent anyone
Everyone else in my town with these units is in the same boat.
If we rent each others units, we all create a “circular economy” that gives each other money, with the additional advantage that we pay GST and income tax on our income.


Astrology must be one of the new hard sciences taught at Otago University. First you complete a course in tent erecting. followed by a year of intense crystal-ball gazing. Graduation then takes place, followed by year of internship with other circus people.

Man of Thessaly

@Mack: Haha, it’s pretty funny seeing a bloke sneering at Astrology who believes “there’s no day and night at the TOA”!


Well, you know there is day and night at the TOA if you sit in a space station whizzing round and round the Earth with the camera focused on Earth’s horizon. Nice photography and a great illusion but hardly scientific. What does the radiometric measurements from satellites ERB Acrim PREMOS tell us ? yes… there is 1360watts/sq.m incoming Solar radiation arriving at the TOA 24/7… they tell us that there is no “day and night” at the TOA. Their measurement is never interrupted by a “sunset”. They get their solar reading 24/7….. 24/7… it? What part of the words 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, do you not understand?

Man of Thessaly

No, you’re wrong. The TOA is actually half in daylight, half in shadow. So are most Earth-orbiting satellites, although there are more possibilities: the PREMOS instrument flew on the Picard satellite, dedicated to solar observation; so it has a dawn-dusk sun-synchronous orbit and is almost always in sun. The ERBS and ACRIM satellites have more regular orbits, and spend about half their time in shadow. They do not “get their solar reading 24/7”.
Check it out here:|26033|15354 The web page even tells you whether the satellites are currently in sunlight or not.


“The TOA is actually half in daylight, half in shadow”
Not for a full-year it isn’t. It’s a YEARLY global average. The AVERAGE over 1 YEAR. The Earth travels around the Sun in one YEAR. They wait ONE YEAR and then get the TSI….so the whole of the TOA is covered in that period of ONE YEAR. This is broken down to a single number they provide for the YEARLY GLOBAL AVERAGE ie 1360 watts/sq.m.
It’s REAL, MEASURED by the satellites. It’s the final mathematical result… the final answer….at the bottom of the page… the net result. You cannot take this final average answer and then go working on it any more….dividing it down.
It’s irrelevant whether the satellites are stuck in the Sun or not….see if your perverse pea brain can get around what I said… with a YEARLY GLOBAL AVERAGE ….standing on the real Earth’s surface…..”the Sun also shines over your head at night-time, too.”

Man of Thessaly

No, again you are wrong. 1360 W/m2 (give or take a few) is the annual average TSI at the earth’s orbit, but it is NOT the annual global average. To get a global average, you need to average the total radiation intercepted by the Earth’s disk over the whole Earth’s surface. And as has been explained to you several times, this means dividing by 4.


No, you ignorant clown, the Earth goes round the Sun… the Sun doesn’t go round the Earth in space just above the TOA. .
Boy, I’ve got a right one here.

Man of Thessaly

… and that is such a non sequitur, I’m assuming you’ve finally realised what a colossal blunder you’ve made, and are hoping to change the subject.


Nah wrong, mate ….the colossal blunder is made by every university science department….do try to keep up…
Nice, playing, Thessalface.

Brett Keane

Centaurus, in the real world of course, the Holder Inequality over-rules that Flat Earthism, because Curvacieousness, a lovely thing that is more than desirable, it is a Law of Physics, mathematically inexorable but ignored by those who were toking when they should have been at Lectures. Brett Keane

Maggy Wassilieff

The Southern Cross (Crux) constellation does not include the Pointers.

The Pointer star systems – Alpha Centauri and Beta Centauri – are part of the Centaurus constellation.
Both Alpha Centauri and Beta Centauri are triple star systems.

Ian Cooper

The Southern Cross (Crux Australis) and the Pointers can be useful for several things once you know what to look for. First & foremost is direction. You can use either Crux or the Pointers to find south. The most rudimentary form is to measure out 4.5 lengths of the cross from the bottom star as Crux appears on our flag. This gets you to the South Celestial Pole (SCP). From the SCP drop a line to the horizon & you have south. Another version incorporates the 9th brightest star Achernar, on the opposite side of the SCP, Follow a line along the long axis of Crux to Achernar. Find halfway and drop a line to the horizon. It doesn’t matter at which time of the night you are looking because both Crux & Achernar are circumpolar, they don’t set below a true horizon anywhere in NZ, the only country in the world that can make that claim BTW. As the Earth rotates stars in the southern sky appear to rotate around the SCP in a clockwise motion. We can therefore use Crux, the Pointers & even Achernar as points on a giant 24… Read more »


Since none of our resident advocates for ‘the science’ of dangerous man-made climate change appear willing and able to explain that ‘science’ and to support their explanation with compelling evidence, I must say that I find their perpetual prevarication, obfuscation and false sceptical posturing here totally unconvincing and rather pathetic really. They appear to have no real talent for science themselves, yet they persist in telling everyone else either to study ‘the science’ or else let ‘the scientists’ tell us all what to think and believe, as if they knew what ‘the science’ actually consists of and who ‘the scientists’ actually are. Why should we believe that they even know what they are talking about, let alone accept what they say as God’s own truth as they seem to want us to do? As far as I can see, these people have the intellectual maturity of kindergarten children, which makes them dependent thinkers who always need someone else (preferably someone in authority) to work things out for them and tell them what they need to know about the real world because they cannot work anything out for themselves. They would not know real… Read more »

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