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John Roughan: NZ Herald’s white elephant

Written By: - Date published: 1:33 pm, June 26th, 2014 - 70 comments
Categories: john key, Media, public transport, transport - Tags: , , ,

There is one thing that shines through in the coverage of the biography of John Key today. It is by a veteran arselicker of the right – John Roughan, veteran editorial writer and columnist for the NZ Herald. He is someone  that I have no respect for because his writing has a short-term approach to Auckland that is more  characterised by stupidity and a rabid adherence to National’s partisan campaign needs. Both as an anonymous editorial writer and in his columns.

My main impression on John Roughan was gained after the NZ Herald ran a “white elephant” smear campaign in 2007/8 against the Northern Busway as it was being built and opened. In my view the only reason that a series of idiotic columns like this one were written was to further the short term campaign objectives of the National party, just as we are seeing at present. In it, he said that

Reportedly the parking lots are already filled most weekday mornings but it has made little difference to the motorway congestion. The public transport entrepreneurs intend that we forsake the car entirely and take a bus to the busway. I hope they are right but I really don’t think so.

Still, it is a road and there is an economic use for it. It is self-contained, access is easily controlled. Eventually it could be a tollway for general traffic, the only reliable solution to congestion.

Of course in practice, the northern busway has been roaring success in its main objective of getting people out of their cars and using public transport to get to work. As you can see from the green in the graph, public transport in rush hour across the bridge took off once the Northern busway was completed.

The reality is that the only problem with busway was lack of money put into providing park and ride buildings  on the North Shore. In my view this was in no small part due to the short-sighted editorial views of the NZ Herald with its vehement objections to the whole project.

Effectively the Northern busway project has saved taxpayers and ratepayers an incredible amount of money over the long-term because we won’t need to put in a new harbour crossing for quite some time. This is quite clear from the traffic volume stats.

As the Transportblog put it when reviewing the Harbour Bridge on its birthday this year.

Seemingly ever since the bridge was first built people have been talking about the need for an additional crossing. Amazingly despite serious discussion about another crossing popping up every few years there has yet to be a firm need for it and thankfully it seems to be one of those projects that are always needed in an ever shifting few decades. Buses have helped more and more people across the harbour while the suggestion of the bridge or its clip-ons falling into the harbour has been repeatedly dismissed by the NZTA. That is a good thing as a new crossing is expected to be hugely expensive at about $5 billion which is over twice the cost of the CRL.

Needless to say John Roughan was against the idea of the City Rail Link as well. Apparently for no other reason than it was rail rather than supporting the failed vision of a city of cars that he appears to love. As the Transport blog pointed out, his view was really badly informed.

Now eventually like most mindless conservatives, after a project is built and works he comes to think it was a good idea retroactively. For instance in this column last year where he was talking about a second rail harbour crossing …

The crossing would have to be under water and probably it would be connected to the northern busway that one day conceivably could be converted to a railway, but that, too, is a solution looking for a problem.

The busway, like the bridge, is fine.

The problem lies in roads closer to home. By car it can take as long to get on to the motorway as it takes for the rest of the journey. By bus it takes too long to get to a busway station. Once on the busway, you can be in the city in eight minutes.

Of course the real issue there is the abysmal lack of bus stations with large parking buildings.  From what I have heard, one of the main reasons that people from the Shore still take cars to work in town is because they can’t find a park within walking distance of the bus stations.

What is the bet that when these start getting built that he will find some reason to oppose them as well despite every person who uses the busway knowing full well that is the underlying problem.

The reality is that whatever John Roughan initially opposes with his typical unthinking short-term approach, do the opposite and you’re likely to get a good result. As one comment on the busway said

If John Roughan was in a Marvel comic, he would be called “Never Right Man”.

I think that sums him up. I suspect that whenever I get around to reading an epub with the arselicking biography he has put out about John Key, I’m going to find those same Roughan characteristics  that I have come to despise. The same short-term stupidity, kneejerk bigotry based on failed ideology, lack of fact checking, and a chronic inability to think issues through that we see in his columns and anonymous editorials.

But it can’t be just him. It is a culture that seems to permeate throughout the NZ Herald. Just look at Jared Savage’s repeated gullible coverage of Donghua Liu‘s ever varying statements or John Armstrong’s rather strange call for David Cunliffe’s resignation over a form letter requesting information are other recent examples.

70 comments on “John Roughan: NZ Herald’s white elephant”

  1. Will@Welly 1

    Had someone like the late Michael King (with apologises to his family) written this, or even Barry Gustatson, I may have ‘considered’ this a serious read. But no. This has all the hallmarks of ‘gutter journalism’, pushed out to coincide with a general election, and to rake in a few coins before the P.M.’s popularity fades.
    John Roughan, John Armstrong, WhaleOil, it really doesn’t matter who wrote it, it is only fit for one purpose. The bin!!

  2. Luke C 2

    Great post about the success of the busway. However warn that building vast multi story car parking buildings is a very expensive way to get public transport patronage. Much better to invest in walking, cycling and feeder bus services. That is much, much cheaper, and helps decongest the whole area.
    Currently there is a perverse system where people can park for free, but feeders cost money. This needs to be reversed. Bus and rail stations much better as areas of commercial development, rather than islands in a sea of parking.

    • bad12 2.1

      Luke C, if the point is the decongestion of the transport system then the expense of providing parking buildings at a specific point of Park’n’Ride would achieve far more at far less cost than adding to the clusterfuck of motorways,

      Obviously there are the ‘purists’ in the debate who would have everyone leave their cars at home, but,in the age of personal transport how likely is that to happen,

      To a certain extent Government and in this case Local government have to bow to what the people will accept, remembering all the time that this is a democracy and attempting by rule,regulation or taxation to force people onto public transport is pretty much an open invitation to have them force you from office, Park’n’Ride i would suggest is a meeting halfway of the wants and needs of both the people and the local Government,

      Given that there is obviously far more untapped demand for more parking to facilitate Park’n’Ride my view is that parking buildings will have to be added to the current components of the system at some stage,

      Far from being totally drab monstrosities such buildings should be designed and built as multi-function entities including shopping facilities as well as apartment complexes,

      Such a system would also work extremely well to unclog the Wellington motorway system…

      • karol 2.1.1

        I’d be a user of better feeder bus systems. I much prefer it to park and ride.

        • bad12 2.1.1.1

          All well and good karol as a matter of personal choice, but, your personal choice doesn’t necessarily invalidate the point i make about ‘this’ being a democracy where an attempt to force people to use buses only will likely result in those proposing such being forced from office,

          There are two competing sets of values at play, inherent in both Luke C’s and your comments which i would describe as the ideal,

          On the opposite side of this ‘ideal’ are those who do not consider green issues vis a vis their daily commute,

          The provision of a ‘more’ and ‘better’ bus system might provoke you and Luke C to leave the car,(if you have one),at home, however the constraints on park’n’ride might just provoke even more people to take their cars all the way into the city especially on the colder wetter days…

          • karol 2.1.1.1.1

            Where I live, given the congestion around places like New Lynn and Henderson at peak times, many would go for feeder buses to train stations – if both buses and trains were faster and more efficient.

            I use my local feeder buses. They do get pretty full, even now, when they are not very reliable or frequent.

          • Macro 2.1.1.1.2

            It’s actually not about forcing people to do anything, bad, it’s simply ensuring that an efficient service is available and when it is – surprise surprise people will use it.
            Aucklands Public Transport is being modelled along the very successful lines used in Australia – in particular Perth. We even inherited their past trains, and the electric new ones are very similar to those they adopted as well. Perth is very much like Auckland – spread out and people coming in from all directions. Having used their public transport recently I can tell you that unless you have a very good reason to want to use your car – its far more efficient and cheaper to leave it at home, and enjoy your ride in comfort into the City on bus and train. And all suburbs have feeder services to the main bus and train interchanges – it works very well.

      • DH 2.1.2

        That’s pretty much my thinking on it too. Park & ride works because it retains the convenience of cars, I just can’t see large numbers of commuters ever getting a bus to a bus station to catch another bus.

        One of the problems we had with it was commuters from further north taking up many of the car parks, people from the likes of Hibiscus Coast were driving down to the park & ride and then catching the bus. The planners didn’t think about that, so now they need more car parks. I don’t see it as any big deal, car parks cost heaps less than more roads.

        • Draco T Bastard 2.1.2.1

          I just can’t see large numbers of commuters ever getting a bus to a bus station to catch another bus.

          I can but then I’ve been on buses packed with people doing exactly that.

          • karol 2.1.2.1.1

            yes. And also, I have noticed out west in Auckland, that a bus driver was waiting for a connecting bus to arrive from the city, before heading off into the suburban back streets. He waited for a while, then had a conversation over his inter-com with the driver of the connecting bus. They decided the other bus was way too delayed, so our driver then decided to head of with our bus load.

            They seem to be getting better at coordinating connecting buses/trains.

            • Macro 2.1.2.1.1.1

              With more services the patronage will increase again, ideally one very 10 mins. Then it doesn’t matter if you missed the last one by a minute there is another coming in 9. Yes I know – the knockers will say that 9 minutes is 9 minutes! But then maybe they need to look at being a little more timely themselves ;).

              • karol

                Waiting for a few minutes at a bus/train stop has its upside. There’s a feeling of being part of the community and environment rather than being closed off from it in a little metal box on wheels.

                It would help if there were more shelters that actually did keep out the wind and rain.

                • Macro

                  Yes that is a very important point. The Manukau City “interchange” if it can be called as such, is a case in point. Here is a vital hub in the South Auckland bus system sitting on the side of a high traffic area with room for one bus and one tiny shelter in a very exposed position and up to 3 or 4 busses (Intercity, Naked Bus, Airport shuttle, and Local) attempting to use this one stop at once! I have witnessed up to 100 people waiting for busses and the resulting chaos simply has to be seen to be believed.
                  It can be solved by removing some of the car park behind the bus stop giving room for busses to get off the road to pick up passengers, and building a decent shelter.

  3. fisiani 3

    a fascinating read that shows some of the reason why JK is so admired both in NZ and overseas by both left and right. he could be the first leader to take his party vote to over 50%. David cunliffe is unlucky to have to tackle such a formidable opponent with great social intelligence.

    • Sanctuary 3.1

      And to think I used to support broadband into rest home initiatives.

    • fender 3.2

      Yep

      Can you provide some evidence of “JK is so admired both in NZ and overseas by both left and right.”

      • fisiani 3.2.1

        Tony Abbott, Julia Gillard, Kevin Rudd, Barack Obama, David Cameron Angela Merkel, Stephen Harper Xi Jinping, Francois Hollande, Vladimir Putin do you want an exhaustive list of the members of the UN who gave him a standing ovation.

        • North 3.2.1.1

          Grow up you idiot acolyte FizzyAnus. Standard stuff you fool. Everyone at the UN does it. Ubiquitous. Like lift music.

    • framu 3.3

      ” by both left and right”

      so thats what fisty calls his testicles

    • Roy 3.4

      It has only just been released, so how did you come to get an advance copy, fisiani?

    • Once was Tim 3.5

      “……… admired by both left and right…..” But for the fact that your idea of the left is just a smidgeon right of centre – since that cyclical pendulum has swung so far in that direction.
      I’m supposing of course that you consider the Obama regime as being “left”, or perhaps even Australian Labor (who can’t even spell without an American rinse).
      Never mind – that pendulum is reaching its outermost swing. If not 2014, then 2017 (albeit if NZ Labour don’t wake TF soon there will be no NZ Labour).
      But I forget! I seem to remember I wasn’t going to feed you by replying to your comments since your purpose for being here is to disrupt the flow.
      Sincere apologies – as you were and are.

  4. Sanctuary 4

    “…If John Roughan was in a Marvel comic, he would be called “Never Right Man”…”

    I’ve been quoted!!!! :D

    The value of my autograph just doubled.

  5. john 5

    Criticism of writing quality lacks bite when you say ….

    “He is someone that have have no respect for because his writing…..”

    • Te Reo Putake 5.1

      Hate to resort to pedantry, John, but LP’s criticism is not based on Roughan’s grammar, but of his writing. They are two different things, after all.

    • lprent 5.2

      Fixed

      I don’t like my writing of english much either. No compiler and no real ability to test what it does makes it feel so irritating to a computer programmer who has a tool to check for simple egregious errors.

      However I usually write english in a single draft with minor editing after I research what I am going to write. After all I don’t get paid for this work.

      So my approach is in a marked contrast to John Roughan who seldom appears to think before he writes anything. He may be better at syntax, but his thinking is outright lazy and sloppy.

      I’d add that my partner Lyn, who is a writer of the infinite draft style, throws her hands up in horror whenever she gets forced to proof my posts and comments. However she will (if forced) to admit that the intent of my posts usually gets through.

      • Once was Tim 5.2.1

        “…….. John Roughan who seldom appears to think before he writes anything.” i.e. ‘think’ letalone do any actual research other than refer to the rumour, in your end oh!, or hearsay that emanates from within his little bubble – not unlike the many though that masquerade as ‘the’ 4th Estate.

        (Images and recollections of that bubble who today masquerade as a 4th Estate during their very brief tenure – as a club in premises once rented in Hobson Street Auckland. Fuck me!!! I suppose at least then, they actually cared and gave a shit even as they lolled around in a drunken stupor before going home to the missus to provide her with a beating)

        Thanks for that reminder!

    • North 5.3

      Pedant !

  6. TeWhareWhero 6

    Definition of a sociopath – with no particular person in mind of course …..

    Has a very high sense of self-entitlement – sometimes bordering on full blown grandiosity.

    Is highly manipulative.

    Converses easily and freely as long as it is on his terms.

    Lies coolly and persistently and can be extremely convincing especially when the lies are part of his complex belief about his own abilities and sense of entitlement.

    Appears to be charming and charismatic and interested in others but is actually emotionally shallow.

    Seeks leadership positions to facilitate his need to influence and dominate other people.

    Fails to recognise the rights of other and goes to great lengths to justify his own self serving behaviour.

    Is incapable of genuine remorse, shame or guilt and sees other people as opportunities or threats – his desired ends always justify the means no matter how many other people are harmed.

    Is not concerned about wrecking others’ lives and dreams and is essentially oblivious or indifferent to the devastation he causes.

    Can become incensed over insignificant matters whilst remaining essentially unmoved by things that would distress normal people.

    Likes to live on the edge and is drawn to high risk activities such as gambling.

    His need to engage in extreme risk taking is often misinterpreted as great coolness and cleverness when the risks pay off; when the risks don’t pay off, he does not accept responsibility but blames others, even when it is obvious he is at fault.

    Tends to move around a lot and demonstrates considerable entrepreneurial versatility but actually has a mediocre work ethic which is covered up by his glibness and ability to exploit others effectively and ruthlessly.

    • Mainlander 6.1

      Damn thats a long winded way to say “im jealous”

      • Colonial Viper 6.1.1

        Huh? Way to duck answering the sociopathic behaviour described

        • One Anonymous Bloke 6.1.1.1

          …and plagiarise wingnut drivel that’s so old it’s gone mouldy.

      • framu 6.1.2

        im more interested in mainlander being jealous of sociopaths

        • Roy 6.1.2.1

          Well, it’s because sociopaths can make $50 million, if they score the right sort of job.

      • TeWhareWhero 6.1.3

        Mainlander, the ‘politics of envy’ argument is a tiresome cliche and evidence of intellectual bankruptcy – or laziness – especially considering that all I did was to list the primary characteristics of a sociopath – as defined by clinical psychologists.

    • anker 6.2

      TWW @ 6 1000+ Agree entirely.

    • Once was Tim 6.3

      Ah!!! well YES exactery, but as I read through the first few lines I couldn’t help but think of Rinny.

      I think the difference is that she’s aware of it whereas most sociopaths (of which she ain’t) are not.

      Hark at me! Opinions are still free tho aren’t they? If not then when did that happen?. GreyW and Anne can probably answer. I’ll buy them both a bottle of 6.95 Cleanskin, and I’ll even vow to use a real person rather than an automated checkout.

    • jps 6.4

      Intriguing to read that when JK was down in the dumps a few years back, he had a nice long think about it while on holiday in Hawaii, then came home and sacked 2 cabinet ministers for no real reason. Just to cheer himself up I guess.

  7. Tiger Mountain 7

    “Portrait of a Prime Minister” nice title…

    This tome will likely have a similar fate to other ghost written/as told to; sports star, sports coach and vanity bios. Full price hardcover for a week or two, quickly issued in soft cover, then piled up at the Warehouse with multiple price stickers on. How did that Don Brash one sell? They will be sold at National Party fundraisers and be unwelcome gifts for some time to come.

    Glad lprent used the expletives instead of me for once! “Arselicker” is so evocative of Mr Roughan. He once called a green mate of mine “a loser, get out of my office” when this chap requested better coverage on the EcoNation project.

    • blue leopard 7.1

      You describe that book’s fate so well -funny! :lol:

    • Colonial Viper 7.2

      I mean this thing on Key was written up after just 1.5 terms in office and no legacy to speak of. WTF egocentric insanity is this, its like being famous for being famous

    • ffloyd 7.3

      Maybe Mr Liu could be persuaded to buy a signed copy for, oh I don’t know, somewhere in the vicinity of ummmm about $20.000.00.

      • Will@Welly 7.3.1

        Mr Liu is assembling a large horde of ‘newly minted’ Confederate Dollars with which to ‘buy’ his personally autographed copy.

    • Tracey 7.4

      boag, hooton and farrar will buy enough to ensure it gets to best seller

      • Once was Tim 7.4.1

        they won’t ekshly ‘buy’ it though tracey, but theyll sure as hell contribute to the number disposed of such that it appears sales are good.
        I’m still waiting for the “Roughan Story: Rough and Tumble in the World of Jonolism”.
        I’ll piss on that in public if ever it rears its very UGLY head.
        Ditto “E – Spinners: Brothers in Jonolism, Bog Crawlers Apart”
        I’d maybe even buy that one

  8. ropata 8

    Why didn’t the publisher give Roughan’s drivel a more accurate title?

    • hagiography of a hollow human who has heaps of houses
    • biography of a bankster b*stard
    • portrait of a master pillock
    • how to buy friends and influence voters (by crosby textor)
    • tales of the smiling assassin (how to exploit a small country)
  9. Vicky32 9

    Yes. Decades ago, he had a column called “From the Right” (don’t know if it still exists.)
    Rather blatant I thought!
    Vicky

  10. Mike the Savage One 10

    You can all rail on here, about this that and the other, what is right or wrong, but without having a “stake” in the corrupt media, you are lost in a country, that is not really a democracy, as it is only such in “appearance”.

    When you have journalists work with politicians, promote books about a PM, with the intention of it to “sell”, which will naturally take advantage of the “popularity” of the PM John Key, and which is made easy by the same journalist working for one of the two main media corporations running media in Aotearoa NZ, then you are fighting a lost battle, I am afraid.

    New Zealand is a corrupt country, corrupted to the core, as it is NO different to the US and the way they run politics there, only petty differences remain, as the forces that run the show, they have the money, the bought servants and other players to ensure that the communication put out is the “right” one, the one to convince people that nothing should be changed.

    Do you seriously believe that you as Labour, Greens or whatever opposition party will ever get a “level playing field” in the given environment, that commercial advertising is an evil you simply have to put up with, and that working with the MSM is necessary, hence Labour, Green and other MPs turning up on “shows” like that “Paul (corrupt) Henry Show” on TV3, and that all this will NOT affect your credibility?

    It is beyond belief, how ignorant so many here are, that they think they will influence the vote by just commenting here and on a few other blogs, by going via “Fakebook” and other manipulative, useless “social media” to reach people on a wider scale, to bring about a change. The media is owned by the ones supporting this system favouring Key and Nats and ACT, the media want nothing of your views and alternatives, the media are “commercial”, that is their focus, the employees are tied into contracts (individual ones) favouring self promotion and competition, they will do all to take advantage of artificially created trends, like the “fantasy flair” around John Key, and this is what is delivered, no true information, no facts, nothing of relevance. The seduced, commercialised, divided public individuals fall for all the crap, and will ignore you, who are hardly noticed, and vote Key in again with massive “support”, thinking they need such a “leader”.

    Did anybody see the poll on TV3 tonight, with Gower, that horrible, ugly man, another mercenary, all out for himself and ratings? You are gone, Labour, this is it, you never had a chance from the beginning, and making too many compromises to please the same voters as the Nats, that has totally discredited the party.

    Labour no more, I fear, it is all over, this is an election campaign manipulated from the beginning, and Labour was too stupid to see it, and Cunliffe has also been pressured into insignificance by a self serving ABC Club, who rather do all to preserve their own seats, and do not give much concern to the voters they are supposed to represent.

    What a shocking situation in New Zealand now, what future, with all this?

    • karol 10.1

      Never give up. I’m going out there and telling as many people as possible to get out and vote – not just writing here. And have volunteered to help out the Greens – as a kind of foot soldier.

      It’d not just about critiquing what’s wrong. it’s about getting out there and by-passing the corrupt MSM.

      Now is not the time to be negative.

      Never surrender.

      • Mike the Savage One 10.1.1

        I admire your courage and determination, if only you will get people getting your message, but best of luck!

        • karol 10.1.1.1

          What’s to lose about giving it your/our best shot?

          • Mike the Savage One 10.1.1.1.1

            The “best shot” should be well thought out, and well structured and targeted, I would say, otherwise you waste a lot of energy. I met a fair few honest, hard working advocates, and while I give them much respect for motivation, honesty, and commitment, they sadly failed to understand the necessity to use communication means and methods that may bring results, and just continued to stubbornly hammer on with what they knew best, but which achieved sadly very little attention and results.

            So quality and sophistication and technique of communication and effort is paramount in an election campaign, I cannot see that the many players on the progressive movement side have got this worked out that well, I am afraid.

            Being weak and a bit too defensive in front of the enemy MSM does not get you anywhere, and hence I feel Cunliffe for instance, he only seemed more convincing by being firm and decisive in his few communications last week, when he and Labour were on the back foot. They should never even go to the level of “explaining” and “apologizing”, they should be unapologetically assertive, focused and actually aggressive, and that may bring in some votes. When Cunliffe explains too much, and is ambiguous, it does not come across well, when he is determined, and assertive, it is different.

            • karol 10.1.1.1.1.1

              At this time in the election cycle, there’s not really time for navel gazing. Some people like to spend a lot of time strategising.

              Now is the time to just get out there and engage with people, in the best way each of us knows – and with heart!

    • Bearded Git 10.2

      Gowerat surpassed himself tonight. A quick look at the tv3 poll numbers (assuming Colon doesn’t get a seat) shows Lab/Green/IMP going up, to around 42% and National going down to under 50%.

      The MSM collectively have thrown the kitchen sink at Labour over the last couple of weeks, yet on these numbers the election remains winnable.

      I loved the way Gowerat said something like “the Greens lashed out at both parties” and then there was an interview with Russell Norman making a mild mannered comment about how the Liu affair reflected negatively on both Nat and Lab.

      Gower is now, more than ever, ensconced in his luxury apartment on Planet Key.

      Meanwhile IMP are on 1.8% and they haven’t got started yet*. Game on.

      *the Hairdo is on Nul Points. Zero. Nada. Zilch.

  11. blue leopard 11

    lprent,
    Not to do with this post – just trying to get your attention, you are welcome to delete this comment after reading it.

    There is a really creepy ‘commenter’ that is showing up. Spambot? It copies something someone has said on the thread and has slightly different names like with a different foreign looking first name and last name sistemleri or sistemeri – just thought I should point it out to you because it has just posted a few posts again now after having done it sometime overnight (early in the morning) and I think it is particularly creepy.

    I am not going to link to one of its comments but here is a link to the comment above it http://thestandard.org.nz/take-action-against-the-herald/#comment-838907 where Weka and CV go on to discuss it’s behaviour

    • karol 11.1

      I’ve sent the latest comment from this entity to moderation with a link to your comment here.

      • blue leopard 11.1.1

        Thanks Karol, I see there are a whole lot from it over the last 10 minutes or so…

        • lprent 11.1.1.1

          Turkish spambot doing something different. Using valid comments and bypassing checks. Added it to wordfence which will broadcast it around the rest of the networks

  12. Ad 12

    Great writing LPrent well done.

  13. xtasy 13

    xtasy –

    John Roughan, I have this message for you, you mercenary of the capitalist rotten system:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7F_9FEx7ymg

    If you do not like it, rot in hell, you traitor of humanity!!!

  14. Jrobin 14

    Keep positive as Karol says and don’t let the bastards get you down. TV 3 poll wasn’t that bad as it was done before the Liu claims came unstuck. They are likely to be a bit loaded to the right too given the general corruption that appears to be rotting away at media in general.

  15. gnomic 15

    The journo – this is the man who recently filled column inches by explaining to his fellow citizens how signally they failed to understand the principles behind driving through the motorway intersections controlled by traffic lights. It must be hard living among these inferior types.

    “Traffic engineers must despair at the state of human intelligence sometimes. The light controls on motorway ramps are a great idea but about half the driving population don’t get it.”

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/john-roughan/news/article.cfm?a_id=5&objectid=11240612

    His organ – the journal of the ruling classes since the 1800s. Nothing learned from history since then.

    The right honourable smirking weasel – I become almost tearful at times when thinking about the millions he relinquished to serve his country. Other times I wonder how it would have gone for John had he been head of Merrill Lynch when it collapsed. Just as well he left the sinking ship. Not that the weasel was ever going to rise to the top, a long stretch of the imagination surely.

    Too bad he had to return to NZ to wreak havoc. But how can I say such things of a great man and a great leader as I recently heard him described. Can Roughan be right about the intelligence deficit?

  16. Tom Gould 16

    You’ve got to hand it to the Tories and the tory cronies at the National Herald. It goes like this. “They were picking on me so I thought about quitting. Oh no, don’t go John. Okay I won’t, but re-elect me just to be sure. Okay John. Why not stay for a fourth term too? Maybe, if you are good to me. Okay John, I promise to be good to you.”

  17. TeWhareWhero 17

    Apologies if someone has already posted this link from a Facebook page “humans of christchurch” –

    http://www.trademe.co.nz/746833501

    Read the comments.

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    The only word to describe the latest building consent figures for Auckland is ‘tragic’, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “Whatever the Government is doing to address the Auckland housing crisis, it is clearly not working. ...
    17 hours ago
  • A whiff of a new biosecurity scandal?
    A pest which could create havoc for New Zealand’s horticulture and agriculture sector must be as much a focus for the Government as hunting out fruit flies, Labour’s Biosecurity spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “While the Ministry for Primary Industries is… ...
    19 hours ago
  • Government shrugs off health sector crisis
    Despite new evidence showing that cuts to health spending are costing lives the Government continues to deny the sector is struggling, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Health services in New Zealand are in crisis. ...
    2 days ago
  • Parata lowered the bar for failing charter school
    When Hekia Parata became aware that the Whangaruru charter school was experiencing major problems her first action was to drop standards by reducing the number of qualified teachers they had to employ, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins has revealed. “Hekia… ...
    2 days ago
  • National not being straight about the economy
    John Key and Bill English need to be straight with New Zealanders about the damage their failure to diversify the economy is doing, after new figures show export growth plunged due to a collapse in dairy exports, says Grant Robertson.… ...
    2 days ago
  • Mind the Gap
    This week the International Monetary Fund released a report on the wider economic value in closing the gender pay gap. When even the bastions of free-market economics start to raise concerns about gender pay gaps, we have to realise how… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    2 days ago
  • Labour will hold National to parental leave promise
    Labour will hold National to its promise to increase the support given to new parents of premature, multiple birth and babies born with disabilities, Labour’s paid parental leave campaigner Sue Moroney says. "I am naturally disappointed that after battling for… ...
    2 days ago
  • It was all just pillar talk
    Steven Joyce’s confession that he can no longer guarantee a pillar-free design for the New Zealand International Convention Centre shows the Government has abandoned its dream of creating an ‘iconic’ ‘world-class’ structure, says Labour Economic Development spokesperson David Clark. “Steven… ...
    3 days ago
  • Australians move on offshore speculators
    John Key might want to have a quiet word with Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott about Canberra's just-announced crack down on offshore speculators when he visits New Zealand this week, Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says."Tony Abbott's centre right government… ...
    3 days ago
  • Government at odds on overseas driver crashes
    National backbencher Jacqui Dean has spoken out about overseas driver crashes, putting herself at odds with Prime Minister John Key who is on record as saying it’s not a big issue, Labour’s Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “I’m not surprised… ...
    3 days ago
  • Human Rights and the Palestine Crisis
    Last week I heard two Palestinians speak at Wellington events about the ongoing crisis in their country. Samar Sabawi spoke to a full house about the history of Palestine and gave us a lucid and disturbing account of the situation… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    3 days ago
  • Time to take real care of our kids
    An Amnesty International report has once again criticised New Zealand’s track record on looking after our kids, Labour’s Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. The annual report, which looks at global human rights abuses highlights not only the fact that high… ...
    3 days ago
  • John Key wrong about Labour’s war vote
    John Key’s desperate claims that the former Labour Government didn’t put combat troop deployment to a Parliamentary vote are simply wrong, Labour’s Defence spokesperson Phil Goff says. “It was disgraceful that the Prime Minister ran rough shod over democracy and… ...
    3 days ago
  • Māori language bill needs work
     It is clear that the first draft of the Māori Language Bill was about structures and funding rather than the survival of te reo Māori, Labour’s Māori Development Spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta says.  “Labour is pleased that the Minister of Māori… ...
    3 days ago
  • Report proves troubled school shouldn’t have opened
    The long-awaited release of an Education Review Office report into Northland’s troubled Whangaruru charter school proves it should never have been approved in the first place, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “This report identifies problems with absenteeism and disengaged… ...
    4 days ago
  • Reply to PM’s statement on deploying troops to Iraq
    “The decision of any Government to send troops to a conflict zone is a very serious one, and it is right that this House takes time to consider it, to debate it, and, ideally, to vote on it, but we… ...
    4 days ago
  • Minister must take action on death trap slides
    Workplace Relations Safety Minister Michael Woodhouse must take urgent action to ensure inflatable amusement rides don’t become death traps for children, Labour’s spokesperson on Labour Relations Iain Lees-Galloway says. “No one wants to stop kids having fun, but horror stories… ...
    4 days ago
  • Manus Island and the New Zealand Government
    This week the Greens have participated in awareness activity about Manus Island, the refugee camp on an island in Papua New Guinea where Australia dumps asylum seekers. John Key says that he has every confidence in the Australian Government’s claim… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    1 week ago
  • Election Inquiry – Getting accessible voting on the agenda
    James Shaw has been doing a series of blogs on the Election Inquiry into last year’s general election.  I thought this was a great opportunity to raise an issue very dear to me – accessible voting. Last year’s general election… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers MP
    1 week ago
  • RMA changes no solution to Christchurch housing
    Housing will continue to be a big issue in 2015. The latest Consumer Price Index, released last month, shows both good news and bad news on the housing front. After years of being the most expensive place to build a… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    1 week ago
  • Saving kokako in South Auckland’s Hunua Ranges
    It is amazing that you can hear the song of the endangered North Island kokako in South Auckland’s Hunua Ranges, less than 50 kms from the central city. A heavy schedule of policy workshops at the Green Party’s Policy… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Let’s not turn a blind eye to human rights
    The Cricket World Cup has just opened in New Zealand, and it’s an opportunity for us to shine on the world stage. International sport can be a chance for us to build relationships with other countries, and examine what it… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Its Just Not Cricket
    This week it was my privilege to work with Sri Lankan Tamil communities in this country and host Australian journalist and human rights advocate Trevor Grant. I knew a bit about Trevor from his biography but I didn’t know just… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Time for NZ to #BeCrueltyFree
    The Government is about to progress the final stages of the Animal Welfare Amendment bill. This will be our last opportunity to get changes made to improve the bill to ensure a better outcome for animals. I have put forwards… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers MP
    2 weeks ago
  • We want access!
    Access to buildings is a big issue for many New Zealanders. It looks like that, due to the hard work and persistence of people in the disability community, the Government may finally be starting to take access to buildings seriously.… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Greens call on Super Fund to divest from fossil fuels
    The Green Party today called on the New Zealand Superannuation Fund (the Fund) to divest from fossil fuels, starting immediately with coal. The call was accompanied with a new report, Making money from a climate catastrophe: The case for divesting… ...
    GreensBy Russel Norman MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Young Kiwis’ housing crisis
    Shelter is a fundamental human need along with food, water and clean air. All humans need adequate shelter; it’s a human right. Warm, safe, stable accommodation is critical for young people to be able learn and grow and just be.… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    2 weeks ago
  • On the River Patrol in Te Tai Tokerau
    Last Wednesday, I went on a tour of some of Northland’s rivers with  Millan Ruka from Environmental River Patrol as he monitored water quality throughout Te Tai Tokerau. The dry conditions meant we couldn’t use the boat but we visited… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Opening of Parliament 2015
    Russel NormanOpening of Parliament Speech February 2015 Tēnā koutou Tēnā koutou Tēnā koutou katoa. A brief history of climate change What a summer! It's been hot, even here in Wellington, hotter than any summer I can remember. All… ...
    GreensBy Russel Norman MP
    3 weeks ago

  • Politicians’ pay increases
    “An increase of 3.5% in the minimum wage compared with 5.5% increase for politicians is appalling. It is another example of the wealthy looking after themselves and showing no regard for the poor” says Peter Malcolm, National Secretary of Income… ...
    13 hours ago
  • Invade Mexico for Guacamole Reserves Instead
    #WagePeaceNZ, founded yesterday, along with all 7 of its Twitter followers, demands that New Zealand invade Mexico for its Guacamole reserves in lieu of sending 143 troops to Iraq. ...
    13 hours ago
  • Australian Prime Minister to thank New Zealand fire crews
    The contribution of more than 400 New Zealand firefighters in helping battle bushfires across the Tasman over the past 14 years will be acknowledged tomorrow during a visit by Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott to an Auckland fire station. ...
    13 hours ago
  • A simple question for Winston Peters: Where do you live?
    "Winston Peters has set a new record, being economical with the truth only hours into his campaign," claims Northland ACT candidate Robin Grieve. ...
    14 hours ago
  • Northland doesn’t need yesterday’s man
    "It's great that Winston Peters is finally taking an interest in Northland. But frankly we don’t need yesterday’s ideas from yesterday’s men in our region," ACT Northland candidate Robin Grieve said today. ...
    14 hours ago
  • Children’s Day – 365 days a year
    Barnardos wants New Zealanders to celebrate Children’s Day on 1 March, and to recognise the effort it takes to raise great kids over all 365 days of the year. ...
    15 hours ago
  • Will MPs Put Taxpayers’ Money Where Their Mouth is?
    The Taxpayers’ Union is calling the bluff of MPs and has written to each one asking whether they will be accepting the backdated pay increases announced yesterday. Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says: ...
    17 hours ago
  • Fonterra Sneaks Round The Corner
    Fonterra’s subsidiary Glencoal has put its plans for an open cast mine on SH2 at Mangatangi on hold indefinitely. The local community is celebrating. They worked very hard with submissions on all the impacts of coal mining that you are… ...
    17 hours ago
  • How Free Is Free Speech?
    How Free Is Free Speech: Do we recommend unconstrained freedom of expression? The Chief Human Rights Commissioner, David Rutherford, will be In Conversation with Noel Cheer at St Andrew’s on The Terrace, Wellington on Tuesday 3 March 2015 from 12:15pm… ...
    18 hours ago
  • No military deployment in Iraq: Nationwide peace vigils
    Peace vigils calling for increased humanitarian assistance and diplomatic support for Middle East peace processes, and opposing the military deployment to Iraq, will be held around the country at 5pm on Thursday, 5 March, coordinated by Peace Movement ...
    19 hours ago
  • Message of Nationwide Day of Action :‘TPPA? No Deal!’
    “An amazing 22 towns and cities across New Zealand have rallied to the call for a nationwide day of action against the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) on 7 March”, according to Chantelle Campbell who is coordinating the national events ...
    19 hours ago
  • New Group Against Amalgamation
    A group of Wellingtonians have launched a campaign to resist the Greater Wellington Regional Council’s scheme to amalgamate Wellington’s existing councils. The group, Best Little Capital, has been formed by Wellingtonians Michael Moughan and Digby ...
    20 hours ago
  • Stark contrast between benefit increase & MPs’ pay rise
    Stark contrast between benefit increase & MPs’ pay rise Media release Friday 27 February 2015 Earlier this week Social Development Minister Anne Tolley announced that benefits will increase by 0.51% on 1 April. Yesterday MPs were granted a 5.5% ...
    20 hours ago
  • Sensible Sentencing challenges MPs to refuse pay rise
    “I realise this will take courage and we extend an open challenge to all MPs – or any MP from any party – to have the courage to be the first to stand up and publicly denounce this nonsense and… ...
    21 hours ago
  • Labour Party President Elected
    Labour Party President Elected Nigel Haworth has been elected as Labour Party President following a vote conducted among the constituent organisations and elected representatives of the Party. This follows the resignation of Moira Coatsworth in December 2014. ...
    21 hours ago

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