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Open mike 05/01/2013

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, January 5th, 2013 - 78 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post. For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the link to Policy in the banner).

Step right up to the mike…

78 comments on “Open mike 05/01/2013”

  1. AsleepWhileWalking 1

    This is what I would watch if the one of the resident teenagers hadn’t gone through all my Gigs for the month in the first couple of days. Wondering if I will get my first warning letter for illegal downloading. I hate holidays.

    http://maxkeiser.com/2013/01/04/us-dollar-will-collapse-in-2013/

    Keiser quote: “I think they need better metaphors than fiscal cliff. It’s more like a bottomless pit, it’s a bottomless pit of debt.” and “The country is diving into this bottomless pit of debt…”

  2. millsy 2

    Kiwiblog (July) and No Right Turn (Feb) celebrate their 10 year anniversaries this year. I have to congratulate both David Farrar and Idiot/Savant for the commitment they have made to their blogs, making several posts per day, despite juggling other commitments (work, family, etc) over this decade. They started in a world of PC’s running Windows XP or winME or even win95/98 (with a few nerds running Linux or Macs), where the large majority of internet connection in NZ households was still dialup, and Google was just finding its feet, and they have carried on through to the age of iPads, Smartphones, Android, tablets, Facebook, Twitter and Win 8, and with Ultra-Fast Broadband being rolled out round the country.

    The internet is littered with defunct blogs, there being a growth spurt of blogs between 2004-2008, particularly in the months before the 2005 election, most of which are now defunct. Blogs that are still around from that period include:

    Just Left
    Frog Blog (the first blog sponsored by a political party)
    Sir Humphreys
    Tumeke
    The Standard (of course)
    The Hand Mirror

    Russell Brown has kept a blog since 2003 , and an online column since 1999 so I think he needs to be mentioned, and I think the first political blog was NZPundit, set up in late 2002.

  3. NoseViper (The Nose knows) 3

    For those interested in getting rid of the greedy hand of neo-lib economics and getting an economic system that helps us positively then you’ll be interested in Kim Hill’s first interviewee this morning. economist Steve Keen. Listen to the radionz audio.
    Link to his site http://debunkingeconomics.com/

    asleep while walking
    Steve Keen warns that Brits are going down. Their debt to GDP (I think that’s the measure) is at about, 215% or more while USA’s was about 120%. So he says it is going to be interesting, as in ‘May you live in interesting times’.

    • Colonial Viper 3.1

      their debt to GDP (I think that’s the measure) is at about, 215% or more

      Actually a better measure (hat tip Kyle Bass of Hayman Capital) is the percentage of government debt servicing to total government revenue. Hardly anyone publishes this measure, you have to usually work it out from official statistics yourself.

      Japan is actually more stuffed than the UK is. Currently they are spending approx 25% of their entire government tax take on debt servicing, and rising. A 300 or 400 basis point rise in their borrowing costs, and their entire tax take will be wiped out, spent on debt servicing.

      This is why all these countries are printing like mad to keep their own borrowing interest rates at near zero percent. They can’t afford to do anything else at this point. This is all going to end very badly.

      Speaking of Kyle Bass this recent presentation of his will open your minds as to what is really happening in the “markets”

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JUc8-GUC1hY

      • bad12 3.1.1

        Well no, it is more than obvious that ‘the Neo-liberals’ are all quite happy with the current system of economic management which simply hands all responsibility to ‘The Banks’ to ‘produce money’ and therefor essentially ‘run’ the economy,

        Having washed their own hands of any ‘responsibility’ the Neo-libs, specially the political arm of the Ism have then in turn absolved the Banks of the responsibility of the current economic failure,

        There can then in such a system of Political and Financial Sector irresponsibility be only one means of changing such a system which is reached via it’s ongoing collapse,

        Keen’s actual words for what He sees as the next stage of collapse of the Ism for the British economy were ‘it should be fun’…

        • RedLogix 3.1.1.1

          Paraphasing someone else whose name I can’t recall; the UK economy is seventy million people crammed onto a small island with no visible means of support

          • Colonial Viper 3.1.1.1.1

            Yep. 15x NZ’s population on a land area a bit smaller than NZ.

          • bad12 3.1.1.1.2

            LOLZ, there used to be a law against that, ‘being a rogue and a vagabond with no visible means of support’…

      • NoseViper (The Nose knows) 3.1.2

        Colonial viper
        Happy New Year to you – right through the 365.

      • Rogue Trooper 3.1.3

        flowed into Chinese tele after a shower(you know how it is) and it was footage of Japanese Naval fleet and exercises?

    • bad12 3.2

      Keen is an interesting economist, and, it helps that it was Kim Hill interviewing Him as She is one of the few who has the ability to question someone like Keen in such a way that we all can understand (most) of what He is on about,

      Keen who recently addressed the US Senate on the implications of actually dropping off the ‘fiscal cliff’ was probably instrumental in convincing more than a few of the Republicans to side with Obama,(temporarily), in ‘averting’ the immediate implications of the ‘cliff’,

      While i agree with Keen whole-heartedly on his diagnosis of Neo-liberal economics and those who promulgate such i find His ‘solutions’ a little too complex when there are in fact far simpler measures than can and should be taken which in my mind would provide far more benefits to society and overall have the same out-comes as Keen desires…

      • RedLogix 3.2.1

        I’ve been following Keen closely since 2006 and own a copy of Debunking Economics. The last chapter of the book is a summary of where he sees the various alternate strands of economics might lead us, along with his view of their strengths and weaknesses. (And the previous chapter takes a refreshing view of Marx, with a twist to the standard view of ‘the labour theory of value’.)

        In addition to Marxian economics the main alternatives are:

        1. Austrian economics which shares many of the features of the neoclassical economics, but without the slavish devotion to the concept of equilibrium

        2. Post-Keynsian which is highly critical of the neo-classical economics , emphasises the fundamental importance of uncertainty and bases itself on Keynes and Kalecki.

        3. Sraffian economics, based on Sraffa’s concept of the production of commodities by the means of commodities.

        4. Complexity Theory and Econophysics, which apply concepts from non-linear dynamics, chaos theory and physics to economic theory.

        5. Evolutionary economics, which treats the economic system as an evolving system along the lines of Darwin.

        I’d suggest Keen engages with elements of all of these schools of thought to some degree; “they all have strengths in areas where neo-classical theory is fundamentally flawed, and there is a substantial degree of overlap and cross-fertilisation between the schools”.

        “I would probably be regarded as a partisan for the post-Keynsian approach. However I can see varying degrees of merit in all five of these schools of thought, and I can imagine that a twenty-first century economics could be a melange of all five.”

        I’d suggest this is why Keen doesn’t put up too many simple answers … he’s intellectually curious and honest enough to see the whole field as a massive “Work In Progress”.

        • bad12 3.2.1.1

          (5), Evolutionary economics would seem a must have, the problem being the Neanderthal’s are still in the ascendency,

          A smart evolved economy would have in terms of counting the beans viewed the Christchurch earthquakes as an accounting loss of growth on one side of the ledger and then ‘printed’ an amount of monies of an equal amount to regain such a loss,

          The global financial fiasco and the relevant for Governments loss of income should have been treated exactly the same as above,

          Given that 1% of inflation is easily measured,(and if we were anything but economic Neanderthals the deflation of recessions would also be measured and become part of the overall equation for Governments), such printed monies are easily introduced to an economy while still giving full regard to prescriptive economics such as the Reserve Banks inflation targets,

          In simple language the current 300+ million being borrowed weekly by the present Government could have instead simply been printed and spent where the current borrowing is being spent with no inflationary expectation and more to the point no added Government debt which is sleep walking us as a country into much the same position as the PIGS economies of Europe…

        • Colonial Viper 3.2.1.2

          Keen’s recent interest in the field of thermodynamic economics (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=14vVhhNvWX0) is actually helping to shore up a several decades old yet nascent field known as ‘Ecological Economics’.

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ecological_economics

        • red rattler 3.2.1.3

          But if you drop the labour theory of value you drop Marx, Ricardo, Adam Smith etc and pick up with the neo-classical revival at end of 19th century.
          If something other than labour creates value, what is it?
          The inherent limit to capitalism is its inability to screw enough surplus value from labour to return profit on the growing mountain of wealth. Money that cannot be exchanged for value loses its value (as all the psuedo-money in the form of bits of paper or computer entries dissappear), assets become asses and capitalism goes into a tail spin.
          Any number of radical economists can document all these effects, but they can’t explain them without the labour theory of value.
          Two good guides to Marxist economics for our time are Michael Roberts especially his book ‘The Great Recession’ and in his blog http://thenextrecession.wordpress.com/
          Here he is on Keen and Krugman http://thenextrecession.wordpress.com/2012/04/21/paul-krugman-steve-keen-and-the-mysticism-of-keynesian-economics/

          and Andrew Kliman http://akliman.squarespace.com/
          Roberts review of Kliman’s ‘The Failure of Capitalist Production’ with hundreds of comments http://thenextrecession.wordpress.com/2011/12/08/andrew-kliman-and-the-failure-of-capitalist-production/

          • Colonial Viper 3.2.1.3.1

            But if you drop the labour theory of value you drop Marx, Ricardo, Adam Smith etc and pick up with the neo-classical revival at end of 19th century.
            If something other than labour creates value, what is it?

            Richard Wolff, Marxian economist, explains that the labour theory of value was a tool used by Marx to introduce his class analysis, but that it is the class analysis itself (and ideas of surplus generated by the economic system) which are the more crucial.

            I have also read other writers say that for many products and services these days, automation and computerisation has taken labour almost right out of the value equation.

            http://www.dogma.lu/txt/RW_ClassTheory.htm

            • red rattler 3.2.1.3.1.1

              Wolff has his view, but there are Marxists and Marxists. Here’s my take.
              One cannot separate the labour theory of value from class analysis in Marx and say which is more important. In Smith and Ricardo the LTV contradicted the existence of profit so they had to fudge extra arguments to justify profits.

              Left Ricardians (Sraffa) said that this proved that capitalists paid wages below their value, right Ricardians said that this was a fair exchange since capital arose through thrift and saving – a reference to the ideology of Robinson Crusoe who saved his own wealth and so became the model of a self-made capitalist (Friday of course performing slave labour in the background).

              Marx resolved the problem by critiquing the ahistorical assumptions (Robinsonism) underlying political economy. He showing that under capitalism, it was not labour as such that produced value but labour-power which was now a commodity. Commodities had exchange value and use value. Both took on a specific form under capitalism. The exchange value of labour power was equal to the socially necessary labour time required to reproduce it. It’s use value was its ability to produce more value than its own value. This arose because workers were dispossessed and forced to work longer than necessary labour time to work surplus labour time and produce surplus labour. Hence for Marx the labour theory of value took on a specific form under capitalism as a result of a specific form of social or class relations.

              With this theory Marx could show that as labour saving technology reduced labour time in the production of commodities, it did not eliminate labour power as the source of value. Moreover, historically increasing labour productivity would create an insoluble problem for capitalism because the attendant rise in the rate of exploitation rose it could not keep up with capital advanced. Living labour could not valorise (realise a profit) on the total dead labour (accumulated capital). Hence the other contentious question for Marxists that Roberts and Kliman (cited above) address. Short version – capitalism has reached the end of the road and we better be ready to pick up the pieces.

              But the fact that no other source of value exists apart from the living labour power of the working class (of course acting on nature – and how!) explains why capitalists continue to attack the working class to extract more profits, but that this cannot stop their profits falling and the system crashing and bring the planet down with it.

              If there was another source of value they would have found it by now and dispensed with all of us as a mere drain on their profits. Fortunately we survive as their gravediggers and we will do that for free.

              • Ad

                Thoroughly enjoyed all the links and debate you plural have provided. But why not take up IrishBill’s challenge and write some policy ideas down that touch New Zealand’s reality? More than one line wish lists, more than others’ books.

                Write a post between you. Set it out clearly and carefully, and don’t let “political reality” enter too soon in the drafting. Test out on this site whether it would work in people’s lives, not just whether there’s ideological alignment. You will get huge support. Trust me.

    • tc 3.3

      Yes well worth a listen and a bloke who pulls no punches especially when discussing his peers and their stupidity at excluding the major cause of the GFC being the banking sector even now after its clear they caused it.

      Very scathing on those who claim to predict the future saying they belong in a padded cell.

      Makes some very succinct assessments about the bankstas and deconstructs the terminology, and assumptions using historical references certainly one of Kim’s best IMO

  4. stever 4

    Great article (link below) with two great quotes, which perhaps need constant repetition so as to re-educate us all:

    “The welfare state exists because competitive, choice-driven, capitalist economies by definition create winners and losers.”

    “Democratic politics exists only to make the powerful answerable to the vulnerable. Without that exchange, it is nothing. The [government] – the right – overturns that link and despises the welfare state for giving the vulnerable protection from the powerful. They think that without protection, the vulnerability would disappear. ”

    This is written about the UK…but as we’re both (NZ and UK) following the same Crosby/Textor plan these days, it applies to us too!

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/jan/04/labour-spent-too-much-banks

    • Olwyn 4.1

      That is a very good article, and your quotes are very apt, especially this one: “Democratic politics exists only to make the powerful answerable to the vulnerable. Without that exchange, it is nothing.”

      In all of the Western countries, political tension has arisen between deal-making and representation. It would be easier for politicians if deal-making was simply assumed, and constituents voted as fans rather than as people expecting representation, which of course makes a travesty of democracy.

      Many of the vulnerable once made up a working constituency with muscles of their own to flex, which permitted a connection between representation and deal-making. Thirty years of neo-liberalism has changed all that, and parties of the left must now either represent this constituency without meaningful bargaining chips, or, under cover of branding, make deals that bypass their representation. So while we long for a Gandhi, we have a system that privileges the deal-making BAU technocrat. I think that only the growth of grass roots resistance can alter this state of affairs.

  5. Wow.

    Fran O’Sullivan in this morning’s Herald sounds like a socialist. Go Fran!

    An excerpt:

    while the US is not simply dependent on a small number of primary exports (the standard definition of a banana republic), it arguably does boast an entrenched plutocracy that runs the national economy through the established power structure.

    It’s a plutocracy whose very excesses make a mockery of the cut in living standards that ordinary Americans have had to bear since the global financial crisis left Main Street liable for Wall Street’s cavalier behaviour.

    The most egregious example was the breathtakingly arrogant decision by Goldman Sachs last week to help 10 of its executives dodge the fiscal cliff tax increase for higher-paid Americans by accelerating the delivery of US$65 million in stock awards, including for CEO Lloyd Blankfein, to take place in 2012 instead of this month.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/article.cfm?c_id=2&objectid=10857357

    • RedLogix 5.1

      What it tells you is that even tory acolytes like Fran can see the writing on the wall.

      The absolute, crucial fundamental of all human affairs in this world is trustworthiness; and even Fran can see that these people are lying, thieving toads who shouldn’t be trusted any further than I can spit upwind into a stiff nor-westerly howling over the tops.

      • Colonial Viper 5.1.1

        The truth is that the top 0.01%’ers like Lloyd Blankfein are more than happy to screw to the wall the top 1%’ers like O’Sullivan and Armstrong.

        The sooner that the single-millionaire class of elite realise that they are the next herd of sacrificial lambs in line at the slaughterhouse, the better off all of us are going to be.

    • tc 5.2

      Yes Fran, as mr smith in the matrix said. ‘hear that Mr Anderson, that’s the sound of inevitability…’

      You’re next Franny along with all you folk worth less than say about 50 mill who think you’re part of the upside, more like fodder for the uber wealthy.

      Don’t worry mickey normal service will resume from the Nat fan club at granny, they call this ‘balance’ she’d get credibility if she drew the line between this breathtaking arrogance and the same arrogance her govt shows towards its own people.

  6. Morrissey 6

    “Sir” Paul and his horrifying colleagues

    Here’s something I wrote in 2004—more evidence that Paul Holmes should be shunned by the community, not knighted…

    Newstalk ZB continues to be outlet for vilest bigotry
    http://groups.google.com/group/nz.politics/browse_thread/thread/a2c55b4659dac92b/65f2a3b5244fdf8?q=

  7. tc 7

    Anyone got some details on why this move of the Interislander to Clifford bay from picton is good for NZ. Typically glossy fact and detail light piece on TV3 last night.

    Smells like a giant contract is in the works for some govt mates to build a port etc and maybe the transport lobby are tired of driving through the top piece of the south island. A number of about half a billion was tossed about as a cost…..savings and detailed rationale anybody.

    • Fortran 7.1

      Cliffords Bay was first muted in early 1981 I believe, and has been “reviewed” ever since

    • Andre 7.2

      Seems like transport want it. And a nice contract to build it for someone. Seems easy just to put a ferry all the way to c/church.

      • NoseViper (The Nose knows) 7.2.1

        Andre 7.2
        Yeah that’s the way I see it. Another way of wrecking viable business for some ideological goal which will leave swathes of us poorer. Picton will be poorer, Nelson citizens and tourists will have to travel further.

        It will be costly and there will be large sums of money invested and pipelines propped up to the Treasury for efficient movement of money away from government, which hasn’t got it anyway. Perhaps they will put a tax on toilet paper – that’s a common universal disposable item that hasn’t been touched as yet! But there will have to be austerity measures brought in also to pay for this important edifice that will be so good for transport companies, the National government’s friend, who look to have their back scratched – here, and lower here, and to the side there….

        Train tracks will have to be laid to the new port, or is it a cunning plan to amputate the remaining countrywide train service? It’s a very open bay and there will need to be a lot of at- sea work which will bring mud and other land materials into the seemingly clean waters. What effect will this have on the fish stocks and travelling fish in that area? Is there a working brain with a heart also that has NZ interests foremost in the NACT Party?? I wonder whether we can break the dormant celebrity culture attitude that Rules OK in NZ voters today?

  8. Rogue Trooper 8

    Everything Zen
    Mickey Mouse has grown up a cow
    Dave’s on sale again
    Raindogs howl for the century
    Sixteen Trillion Stones at stake
    As you search for your demi-god
    As you fake with a saint
    There’s no sex in your violence
    Everything Zen, I don’t think so.

    “fu$k TARDs”-a quickie with space between estranged “family?

    -Sly

  9. Rogue Trooper 9

    “These visions of the real world were laced through with patterns and connection and correspondences. They were accompanied by a feeling of intense, calm excitement. I felt that I was seeing the truth, that all things were like this and that the universe was alive and conscious and full of urgent purpose”
    -Phillip Putnam, author of His Dark Materials (BIG is “good';mitre Cutty Sark off)
    Small is Beautiful http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Small_Is_Beautiful a study of economics as if people mattered.
    Pullman has a point; “when Christianity became the religion of choice for the powerful, the struggle over meaning was compounded by the struggle for authority”.

    a conclusion is that religious organizations can be destined to become, more or less, fight clubs-
    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0137523/

    “The Authority is a religious, deathly force, the enemy of freedom and progress.
    “one cannot convince a “master” of his error because (the unseen error) was taken as an integral part of the system which bestowed him a “master” and thereby legitimized him”

    to paraphrase Denys Turner, a philosophical theologian, intellect is the place of light, for the light in which we see, and reason, and judge (hi Viper / s), and calculate, and predict and explain…that light is in us, but not of us.

    “The point is that the most valuable spiritual insight lives on a knife-edge between pure intuition and careful discernment. You need both to keep your balance”. Refusing to acknowledge the insights of the ages leads to the construction of Baggy Trousers reality.

    -naughty boys in nasty schools Headmasters breaking all the rules having fun and playing fools
    smashing up the woodwork tools trying not to think of when the Forex bell will ring again.

    -Bugs

  10. Rogue Trooper 10

    a word or more from Abraham;
    breathing food water sex sleep homeostasis excretion
    body security employment resources family health
    friendship family intimacy
    self-esteem respect
    achievement
    spontaneity
    creativity
    ethics

    an un-prejudicial problem solving acceptance of the facts.

    covenanter http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Covenanter
    covenantor-party which subjects itself to a breech

    10: The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming (Hang on…help is on it’s way, They’ll be there as fast as they can…) not the realities themselves. For this reason it can never by the same sacrifices repeatedly endlessly year after year make perfect those who draw nearly every last drop of blood (have you seen the front page of todays Dominion?)

    24:Let us consider how we can spur each other on toward agape and good deeds.

    11:11Through the blessing of the upright a city is exalted, but by the mouth of the wicked it is destroyed.

    11:14 For the lack of guidance a nation falls, yet many advisors make victory sure.

    V For Victory http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/V_for_Vendetta_%28film%29

    -from The Horses Mouth
    ( Ride the Kings highway baby, weird scenes inside the gold mine, driver where you takin’ us
    Lost in a Roman wilderness of pain. The “west” is the “best” Ride the snake, the ancient snake, he’s old and his skin is cold. And he walked on down the hall, he went to the room where his sister lived, and…then he paid a visit to his brother, and then he He walked on down the hall
    Father, “yes son”…
    Mother…I want to Wake Up

    this is The End
    Beautiful Friend

    -from The Horses Mouth

  11. Fortran 11

    Happy Birthday WWW. – 30 years old tomorrow.

    • Colonial Viper 11.1

      I don’t think the world wide web came into existence until the early 1990’s.

      • Fortran 11.1.1

        Sorry old chum – first tingle of lettering Transmission Control Protocol was made just at the end of 1982. It actually failed but was resurrected early in 1983 by Sir Tim Berners-Lee.
        Others had tried sort of words as far back as 1981 at University College London, but B-L created the current www/ ability next week 30 years ago

      • felixviper 11.1.2

        Yeah I don’t know where you’re getting 30 years from.

        What happened Jan 6th 1983?

    • Te Reo Putake 11.2

      Both sorta right, but CV is technically correct. The World Wide Web was theorised in the late eighties and crystalised in 1990. Fortran is right to point to the TCP as a significant step though; it established the means for the web to exist.

    • lprent 11.3

      Nope. The world wide web was :-

      On August 6, 1991,[9] Berners-Lee posted a short summary of the World Wide Web project on the alt.hypertext newsgroup.[10] This date also marked the debut of the Web as a publicly available service on the Internet.

      I think you’re looking at the start of the TCP/IP network

  12. Foreign Waka 12

    This morning, all business news channels, papers etc point out that seeks statistics reveal that the average wage has risen by more than 5% and is in the vicinity of 90 -100k pa.
    The audacity to report and print such utter rubbish and untruth leaves me breathless.
    On the Front page of the Dom is an interview with a family who, with both adults working, are certainly not getting that kind of money on a joint income, let alone single. A little box on the same page shows a family budget that comes straight out of Alice in Wonderland. These figures and assumptions can only originate from people who are so far removed from reality that one shudders to think that their rubbish may have influence on any political commentators, politicians etc.
    If I count all the people I know and work with there is only a very small number of people who would qualify for an income as reported by seek. The average income is more like 38k and the ratio between high and average earners is more like 1% to 99%. What is the purpose of such kind of reporting?

    • millsy 12.1

      I didnt get my wage rise. In fact I feel like I work for hours and hours and I still get the same amount of money,

      • Foreign Waka 12.1.1

        Yep, and if you translate this to hourly pay it maybe a wage cut in real terms. You are not alone, these figures from seek must be coming from a small talk fest of even higher paid people to sooth their conscience – if they have any.

  13. Dv 13

    It would be interesting to compare a budget for a high income person, same over 300 k.

  14. NoseViper (The Nose knows) 14

    5% for the elite, 1.5-1.75% for the working peasants, even the well educated ones though of course we have all imbibed that higher education will provide with higher salaries. Inflation around the 3% mark on the items measured, what it really is for the average joe and josie one doesn’t know.

  15. NoseViper (The Nose knows) 15

    Interesting stats on food costs as researched by Otago Uni since the 70’s so that gives continuity of figures from 20/2/2011 Sunday Star Times.

    Otago University’s department of human nutrition has calculated the weekly cost of purchasing a healthy diet in five major centres since the 1970s.
    Last year, it determined a “basic” food bill for a man, woman, adolescent boy and girl, ranged from $274 a week in Auckland, to $263 in Christchurch. Add in the use of convenience and imported foods, some out-of-season fruits and vegetables, more expensive cuts of meat and some speciality foods, and that grocery bill would grow to $426 and $411.

    The reality? According to the latest from Statistics NZ, the average weekly household spend on food is $178.
    And the reality for those queuing at the country’s foodbanks? Last year, the median income for a government beneficiary was $269.

    IT’S TWO days after J… N…’s invalid’s benefit payment when the Sunday Star-Times meets him at Wellington’s Downtown Community Ministry. He has $5 left until his next pay day and just bread and jam in his cupboard. His last meal was an omelette, cooked at home last night.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/sunday-star-times/features/4676276/Hunger-pains

  16. NoseViper (The Nose knows) 16

    Food basket info –
    Food basket info

    More detail on food info for ordinary families

    There is quite a lot of info on google under Otago University food survey and other keywords

  17. Rogue Trooper 17

    sadly, El Presidente is still unwell
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q7Qyz3VnrZI

    -od Reichenbacher ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carl_Reichenbach ) sounds clearer than these “enhanced coercive interrogation techniques” of the C.I.A-Zero Dark 30

  18. Rogue Trooper 18

    Googlein’ North Korea and the “tea-baggers” are not very hot on the idea-Boehner to have a hard time “corralling” Republicans, even, yet more “chaos” to come (in the hands of a two-pack-a-day smoking gun)

    ae-aequo animo-aerie-aerogrammaticemancipation

    -odd (odzooks, what agadfly gadabout gadoid) :)

    ps, that Lauda Finem looked interesting, nonetheless.

    pps annus mirabilis http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Annus_mirabilis 1666 was a year of plague and Fire also 2+0+1+3=

    :) (Past The Mission and I smell the roses; “Baker Baker” baking a cake…)

    -Puck (better do some work now)

  19. Hello.

    I’m endevouring to install a flash mp3 player for my website over the weekend, but probably not, so temper the anticipation. :lol:

    I’ve removed all content, for now, but if you still want a listen (and read of the lyrics), I’ve put up a selection of songs from side one and two Red/Green here

    https://soundcloud.com/theal1en/sets/human-r-evolution

    ta

  20. xtasy 20

    FINALLY!!!

    Someone has posted the TOTAL list of WINZs 290 “designated doctors” AND details on the ACC Forum website!!! Dr David Bratt, Principal Health Advisor of great bias, who has scared and humiliated so many, he must start to get bloody worried.

    So if you want to check, go on the safe side next time, do some analysis, research, or even prepare to challenge any of the ones on the list, there you go. It is NOW in the open, who works for WINZ and does the at times “dirty” work for them:

    http://accforum.org/forums/index.php?/topic/13301-what-to-do-if-you-are-required-to-see-a-winz-designated-doctor/page__p__138090__hl__%2Bdavid+%2Bbratt__fromsearch__1#entry138090

    • xtasy 20.1

      See the bottom of their thread, there is a PDF link offered, which can be downloaded!

    • Bill 20.2

      Thankyou for that xtasy. Much appreciated. Damn. The pdf attachment now appears to be locked down behind password and sign in requirements.

      • AsleepWhileWalking 20.2.1

        Ahem. Unlock-pdf.com

      • xtasy 20.2.2

        Bill – sorry for that!

        Perhaps register as a user of ACC Forum? That would solve the problem.

        They have some interesting topics there also, including some about WINZ and their doctors and advisors.

    • AsleepWhileWalking 20.3

      Personally I’m more concerned about the Regional Health Advisors who have

      – no duty of care towards clients

      – questionable scope of practice (if any at all)

      – little to no oversight because the legislation is carefully worded to ensure they cannot be held accountable for their advice. They give “advice” but the decision is made by the case manager, who basically follow the advice even if it is contrary to what a Registered Healthcare Provider has said.

      pass judgement over clinicians signed applications for Disability Allowance, IB and pretty much anything related to health care. In other words your doctor can say one thing but the RHA can disagree and then it is up to you to prove they are wrong.

      • xtasy 20.3.1

        AWW – You are onto it. A medical practitioner can always be complained about to the Health and Disability Commissioner, if a face to face consultation and examination or assessment is conducted, and in some cases it may end up with the Medical Council, who then have to take measures to discipline a doctor who did not abide by the Code of Ethics of NZMA, which the Council also accepts and claims to uphold.

        A Regional Health Advisor or Regional Disability Advisor is not bound by the Code, at least not in the position held within MSD. Only if there may be issues of law, which though need to be provable, then such a person may in some cases be possible to be taken to court, for breaching natural justice of whatever. That is very difficult and near impossible to do though, as they keep their cards close to their chests, and as MSD protect their staff.

        I know of one RDA, who is also acting RHA, who has questionable “qualifications” and not in areas for physical medical treatment, care or diagnosis, yet that one has been making (partly very flawed) recommendations about persons with physical health problems. Terrible stuff is going on in that area, but so many beneficiaries are too afraid and poorly informed to defend themselves, hence these people get away with far too much.

        • Mary 20.3.1.1

          “A Regional Health Advisor or Regional Disability Advisor is not bound by the Code, at least not in the position held within MSD.”

          How does that work?

          • xtasy 20.3.1.1.1

            They would only be ‘bound’ by the Code of Ethics of the NZ medical profession, if they would be acting in their roles as “treatment providers”, which the RHA and RDA clearly are not.

            Also third party assessments that medical practitioners do (in roles as designated doctors for WINZ) are treated a bit differently to normal own doctor assessments, but the Health and Disability Commissioner still deals with any issues that arise in such third party assessments, if there is a face to face examination or assessement. If it would be done “on the books”, the Commissioner would not deal with any complaints.

            You can read all this by going to the websites of the Medical Council, the NZ Medical Association and the Health and Disability Commissioner’s website. There is information on all this.

          • xtasy 20.3.1.1.2

            See the following information:

            http://www.mcnz.org.nz/news-and-publications/statements-standards-for-doctors/

            http://www.mcnz.org.nz/assets/News-and-Publications/Statements/Non-treating-doctors.pdf
            (see points 23 and 24)

            http://www.mcnz.org.nz/assets/News-and-Publications/Statements/Employer-Guidelines-for-Health-Providers.pdf

            Doctors can be held accountable under their Code of Ethics when they “practice” medicine, which is usually providing treatment and performing tasks directly in their roles as health service providers.

            MSD RHAs and RDAs are “advisors”, and they act in their roles not to deliver medical (treatment) services to patients, they simply give advice as a MSD or WINZ employee. Sadly it is treated a little differently, and others and I have discussed this repeatedly, read about the rules, and there is a gap in the law, which MSD is able to exploit and use.

          • xtasy 20.3.1.1.3

            Mary –

            See also this typical standard job description for a Regional Health Advisor:

            http://www.bfound.net/Company/210-20120504151043.pdf

            It is intentional that the scope of responsibilities is set rather widely, and also look at the kind of experience they ask for. They list various health professions, even social worker being one, so any tertiary qualification as a social worker, or a nurse, a rehab professional of whatever sort, that gives them the authority to make recommendations on ALL cases put before them!

            I know a RHA who has no proper “medical” qualification, but only in counselling, in social work, in working “with” psychologists, teachers, other counsellors and so on, but without such own skills.

            They are simply “advising” case managers, who make the decisions about medical issues clients have. But it is also written on the WINZ website somewhere, that they usually will follow those recommendations. It is an arrangement set up to intentionally make it near impossible to hold one person as MSD staff responsible. They can always pass the buck, and say, I was only doing my duty.

            Yet the true “decision-makers” are the RHAs, the RDAs, and in certain cases the PHA (Dr D. Bratt) and/or PDA (Anne Hawker), but they are protected by the systemic setup, able to hide behind the frontline curtains.

  21. beatie 21

    Excellent article about the ‘bio-physical’ theory of disability underlying the Natz benefit ‘reforms’.

    http://blacktrianglecampaign.org/2012/05/31/a-tale-of-two-models-disabled-people-vs-unum-atos-government-and-disability-charities-by-debbie-jolly-dpac/

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    Greens | 15-10
  • National needs to commit to making NZ workers safe
    The National Government must do more to help make New Zealand workplaces a safer place to work in, Green Party industrial relations spokesperson Denise Roche said today.Data released by Statistics New Zealand today showed that workers in the fishing and...
    Greens | 15-10
  • Key commits to deployment before consultation or analysis
    John Key’s offer to consult Opposition parties on whether to deploy New Zealand forces against ISIS looks increasingly like a PR exercise only, says Labour’s Defence spokesperson, Phil Goff. “The presence of New Zealand’s Chief of Defence Force at a...
    Labour | 15-10
  • National must end ideological opposition to raising income
    If John Key is serious about tackling child poverty he must approach it with an open mind, and overcome his ideological block to raising incomes as a solution, the Green Party said today.Papers released to Radio New Zealand today show...
    Greens | 14-10
  • Pentagon links climate change and terrorism
    Yesterday the Pentagon launched a plan to deal with a threat that “poses immediate risks to national security”; one that “will affect the Department of Defense’s ability to defend the nation”. It wasn’t referring to Ebola or ISIS. It was...
    Greens | 14-10
  • Four Nominees for Labour’s Leadership
    As at 5pm today four valid nominations had been received for the position of Labour Leader, as follows: Andrew Little(nominated by Poto Williams and Iain Lees-Galloway) Nanaia Mahuta(nominated by Louisa Wall and Su’a William Sio) David Parker(nominated by Damien O’Connor...
    Labour | 14-10
  • Green Party calls for consultation over terrorism law changes
    The Green Party has today written to the Prime Minister asking him to engage in wider consultation prior to changing any laws as a result of the recently announced terrorism law reviews, said the Green Party today. In a letter...
    Greens | 14-10
  • MPI must name product and supermarket chain
    The Ministry of Primary Industries must name the product responsible for severe gastroenteritis affecting people around the country, and the supermarket chain distributing it, Labour’s Food Safety spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “The Ministry seems to be more concerned about protecting...
    Labour | 13-10
  • John Key dishonest about reasons for wanting to change terrorism law
    John Key is misleading the public to push through terrorism law changes under urgency, the Green Party said today. On Sunday, John Key stated that it is not illegal for someone to fight overseas for a terrorist group, such as...
    Greens | 12-10
  • Law changes shaping up to be worse than first thought
    The Prime Minister needs to be up front about exactly what changes he is planning to make to the Employment Relations  Amendment Bill, Labour's spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says.Interviewed on Q&A yesterday John Key said he did not...
    Labour | 12-10
  • Rapists, not Tinder, the threat to women
    Blame for rape and sexual assault should only ever be laid at the door of the perpetrator, not dating services or the actions of women themselves, Labour’s Associate Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. “Tinder is not the problem and women...
    Labour | 09-10
  • Safer Journeys For People Who Cycle
    You have a rare opportunity to tell the people who are making the decisions on cycling how to make it better. The Cycling Safety Panel is seeking feedback on their draft recommendations for improving the safety of cycling in New...
    Greens | 08-10
  • Subsidising more pollution will undermine water clean-up plan at Te Waihora...
    In 2010, NIWA found Canterbury’s Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere had the worst nutrient status of 140 lakes around New Zealand that it measured. In 2011, the National Government committed to spending $15 million across the country through the Fresh Start for...
    Greens | 08-10
  • Adding value not herbicides
    The HT swedes, and other brassicas, might seem like a good idea to farmers struggling against weeds but like the GE road, is this the path we want our agriculture to be treading? The Federated Farmers President, Dr William Rolleston...
    Greens | 07-10
  • ‘Blame the Planner’ bizarre approach to child poverty
    The National Government is stooping to a bizarre new low in blaming "planning processes" for poverty and inequality, after spending six years doing nothing about either the housing market or child poverty, the Green Party said today. Finance Minister Bill...
    Greens | 07-10
  • Media Advisory
    MANA Leader, Hone Harawira will not be available to speak with media today regarding his release “Recount Just One Step To restoring Credibility”. He is however available for media comment tomorrow, Tuesday the 8th of October, all media arrangements are...
    Mana | 07-10
  • RECOUNT JUST ONE STEP TO RESTORING CREDIBILITY
    “I have applied for a judicial recount of the votes in the Tai Tokerau election because it is one step in trying to restore credibility to the electoral process in the north, and, I suspect, in all other Maori electorates...
    Mana | 07-10
  • MANA SEEKS TAI TOKERAU RECOUNT
    The MANA Movement is supporting Leader Hone Harawira’s application for a judicial re-count in the Te Tai Tokerau electorate for the 2014 general election. President Lisa McNab says there are a number of serious issues of concern regarding the ability...
    Mana | 07-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – “Meritocracy? I wish.”
    I’d like to start by linking to a post I had published at another site in support of Nanaia Mahuta for the Labour Party leadership election.  She has a reasonable chance, given that she already has the endorsement of Te...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Chocolate milk shortage and creepy Santa? Let’s talk about real news
    Child poverty is still a scarily serious problem in this country and house prices are soaring through the roof to the point where it is simply impossible for the average New Zealander to buy a home. There is also little...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • It’s time to celebrate Kiwi schools and teachers
    Some would have you believe that New Zealand’s schools are in a state of collapse, that your children are not being educated well and that things are going to hell in a hand basket.  That there is no innovation, no...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Ideological Blitzkrieg – Privatization of state housing, more charter sch...
    Pundits in pundit land will tell you that this Government is boring, that Key is the great pragmatist and that it is his ability to create elegant solutions that keeps him the firm favourite in many Kiwi eyes. This ability...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • Hegemony rules but resistance is fertile
    The Prime Minister is a puppet. Not just our current Prime Minister, but given the forces of multinational globalisation, the role of any head of state, is less as independent actor, and more as a puppet of international trends and...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • An open Letter to Sir Bob Jones: demanding a ‘liveable wage’ is not “...
    How out of touch with reality is Sir Bob Jones? You know, that white dude who invested in privatised SOEs after the selling off of our assets in the eighties and made a ludicrous and disgusting amount of money and is...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • My insecurity about the Security Council
    As I write this (on 24 October) it is international UN Day. Of course, you all knew that already, right? Well, the day celebrates the entry into force of the UN Charter in 1945. With the ratification of this founding...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Catherine Delahunty – Back in That House
    Parliament opened this week and I still find it a very odd place. Most of the people are reasonably courteous and friendly, but the rituals are archaic and the rules around issues like the swearing in oath are oppressive and...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Marae Investigates No More
    TVNZ yesterday announced the closure of their Māori and Pacific programmes department. That means they’ve chosen to stop making Fresh, Tagata Pasifika, Waka Huia and Marae Investigates to let independent producers get their hands on these lucrative contracts. This is...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • BLOGWATCH: An Un-Civil War in Labour, eh?
    Earlier today, my attention was directed to an entry that’s just recently appeared on the Slightly Left of Centre blog. It purports to contain the ‘inside word’ from a highly placed NZF source – which is funny, because I’m pretty sure...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Santanomics 101
    Santanomics could mean a number of things. It could be the study and practice of giving. Or it could mean the study and practice of rampant end-of-year commercialism. However, for me today it is the economics of erectingAuckland’s giant Santa...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • SkyCity boss misleads public over workers lost shifts
    SkyCity CEO Nigel Morrison has defended the employment practices at his company in an “Opinion” piece entitled “Human Capital key to corporate success” in the NZ Herald on Thursday. A number of his claims are misleading, contain only partial truths...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Review: Perfect Place
    I went to a Perfect Place on Tuesday night, and what a delight it was. The marshmallows sweetly (and forcefully) handed out pre-show, set the tone for the next hour. Walking up the stairs at The Basement was a complete...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • 5AA Australia – NZ on UN Security Council + Dirty Politics Lingers On
    5AA Australia: Selwyn Manning and Peter Godfrey deliver their weekly bulletin Across The Ditch. General round up of over night talkback issues: Thongs, Jandals and flip-flops… ISSUE 1: New Zealand has been successful in its campaign to become a non...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • When I mean me, I mean my office & when I call whaleoil I mean not as m...
    This. Is. Ludicrous. Green Party co-leader Russel Norman put the first of what are likely to be many questions about Mr Key’s relationship with Slater, asking him how many times he had phoned or texted the blogger since 2008. “None...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • A brief word on describing the Government as ‘boring and bland’
    The narrative being sown is that this Government will be a boring and bland third term. Boring and bland. Since the election, Key has announced he is privatising 30% of state houses without reinvesting any of that money back into housing society’s most...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • More Latté Than Lager: Reflections on Grant Robertson’s Campaign Launch.
    BIKERS? SERIOUSLY! Had Grant Robertson’s campaign launch been organised by Phil Goff? Was this a pitch for the votes of what few Waitakere Men remain in the Labour Party? Was I even at the right place? Well, yes, I was....
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • About Curwen Ares Rolinson
    Curwen Ares Rolinson – Curwen Ares Rolinson is a firebrand young nationalist presently engaged in acts of political resistance deep behind enemy lines amidst the leafy boughs of Epsom. He is affiliated with the New Zealand First Party; although his...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • About Kelly Ellis
    Kelly Ellis.Kelly Ellis – As a child, Kelly Ellis didn’t so much fall into the cracks, but willfully wriggled her way into them. Ejected from Onslow College – a big job in the 70s – Kelly worked in car factories,...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • About Kate Davis
    Kate Davis.Kate Davis – Having completed her BA in English and Politics, Kate is now starting her MA. Kate works as a volunteer advocate at Auckland Action Against Poverty and previously worked for the New Zealand Prostitutes Collective. Kate writes...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Parker does a Shearer – oh for a Labour Leader who can challenge msm fals...
    Sigh. It seems David Parker has done a Shearer… Like a cult and too red – Parker on LabourLabour leadership contender David Parker says Labour borders on feeling like “a cult” and must look at its branding – including its...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • A brief word on the hundreds of millions NZ is spending on the secret intel...
    The enormity of the mass surveillance state NZ Government’s have built carries a huge price tag… Kiwis pay $103m ‘membership fee’ for spyingThe $103 million taxpayer funding of New Zealand’s intelligence agencies is effectively a membership fee for joining the...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Where. Is. Jason. Ede?
    Where. Is. Jason. Ede?...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Labour’s Din of Inequity
    Watching Labour’s leadership candidates on Q+A on Sunday, I noticed the ongoing use of terms like “opportunity” and “aspiration”, and “party of the workers”. What do these mean? We glean much from Labour, and from the media about Labour, but not...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • “Blue-Greenwash” fails the test when it comes to endangered dolphins
    National’s pre-election promises saw some wins for the environment – perhaps as the party sought to appease its “Blue-Green” voters and broaden its popular appeal. Some of the ecological gains were a long time in the making, overdue even– such...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Reasons not to be cheerful, Part #272b
    Why don’t you get back into bed? The next few years — the rest of this century — are not going to be pretty. There is an obvious disconnect between any remaining political ambition to fix climate change and the...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • OIA protocols and official advice ignored to hide Child Poverty
    It might not seem so now, but child poverty was a major election issue. What a pity we did not have the full debate. In that debate it would have been very helpful to have seen the Ministry of Social...
    The Daily Blog | 20-10
  • Previewing the 4 candidates for Leader of the Labour Party
    The extraordinary outbursts by Shearer last week highlights just how toxic that Caucus is. Shearer was on every major media platform as the ABC attack dog tearing into Cunliffe in the hope of diminishing Cunliffe’s support of Little by tearing...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – the sudden explosion of ‘left’ blogs
    Time to Teach or more people will suffer from P.A.I.D. Political And Intellectual Dysmorphia.I was on the Twitter and a guy followed me so of course I did the polite thing and followed him back. He wrote a blog so...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Ego vs Eco
    Ego vs Eco...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • We can’t let the Roastbuster case slip away
    Those of us (like me) left with hope that the police would aggressively follow through on the large amount of evidence on offer to them (let’s not forget they forgot they even had some at one point) in the Roastbusters...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Food, shelter and medicine instead of bombs and bullets
    The on-going conflict across the Middle East – due in large part to the US-led invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq – has created another humanitarian crisis of biblical proportion. The essentials of life are desperately needed in Iraq and Syria...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • The politics of electorate accommodations
    National’s electorate accommodations with ACT and United Future were a big factor in it winning re-election. Interestingly, there is another electorate accommodation scenario whereby the centre-left could have come out on top, even with the same distribution of party votes....
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Why you should join the TPPA Action on 8 November
    On 8 November 2014, thousands of Kiwis will take part in the International Day of Action to protest the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA). The rally cry for us is TPPA – Corporate Trap, Kiwis Fight Back. Why should you join...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • GUEST BLOG – Patrick O’Dea: no new coal mines
    Green Party and Mana Party policy is “NO NEW COAL MINES!” Auckland Coal Action is trying to put this policy into action on the ground. ACA after a hard fought two year campaign waged alongside local residents and Iwi, in...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Comparing Police action – Hager raid vs Roast Buster case
    This satire had the NZ Police contact TDB and threaten us with 6months in prison for using their logo.   The plight of Nicky Hager and the draconian Police actions against him has generated over  $53 000 in donations so...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • Malala Yousafzai, White Saviour Complexes and Local Resistance
    Last week, Malala Yousafzai was the co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. Since her exposure to the worldwide spotlight, her spirit, wisdom and strength have touched the hearts of people everywhere. However, there have been cynics who have argued that...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • Jason Ede is back – but no media can interview him?
    Well, well, well. Jason Ede, the main figure connected to John Key’s office and the Dirty Politics black ops is back with a company with deep ties to the National Party. One thing you can say about the right –...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Curwen Rolinson – Leadership Transitions In Other Parties: A ...
    As cannot have escaped anyone’s attention by now, the country is presently in the grips of an election and campaign that will help determine the fate of the nation for years to come. It’s gripping stuff – with clear divides...
    The Daily Blog | 17-10
  • SkyCity worker says she faces losing her house
    SkyCity worker Carolyn Alpine told the company annual shareholder’s meeting today that she faced the prospect of losing her house because the company had cut her shifts from two a week to one without consultation. The solo mother, has worked...
    The Daily Blog | 17-10
  • Greg O’Connor’s latest push to arm cops & 5 reasons not to
    I was wondering at what point within a 3rd term of National that Police Cheerleader Greg O’Connor would start trying to demand cops be armed. O’Connor must have thought to himself, ‘if bloody Key can get us and the GCSB vast new...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • You can’t have crisis without ISIS
    So the new scary bogeyman ISIS might have chemical weapons that the US secretly found in Iraq, but America didn’t want to expose this find because the WMDs were actually built and made by the US and Europe, the two powers...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • NZ WINS UN SPIN THE BOTTLE! Privately sucking up to America for a decade me...
    Oh, we are loved! Little old NZ, the 53rd state of America after Israel and Australia, gets to sit at the adults table for the special dinner party that is the UN Security Council. How delightful, a decade of privately...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • MEDIA BLOG – Myles Thomas – A World Without Advertising
    Non-commercial broadcasting and media. It’s a solution for all manner of problems ailing our tender nation… voter engagement, unaccountable governance, apathy, stupefaction, public education, science in schools, arts appreciation, cultural cringe… But no-one could’ve guessed that non-commercial media might solve...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • March against war – 2pm Saturday 25th October
    March against war – 2pm Saturday 25th October...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • Whack a mole as US govt foreign policy
    Whack-A-Mole was a popular arcade game from my youth.  It consisted of a waist high cabinet with holes in the top. Plastic moles seemingly randomly pop out of these holes. The purpose of the game was to hit as many...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • In Paean of Debt
    This week is ‘Money Week’. It’s an opportunity to promote to the middle classes, and anyone else who will listen, the virtues of wise ‘investment’. The aims are to promote the mystical (and indeed mythical) virtues of saving for the...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • The last 48 hours – Poverty denial, war denial and unapologetic abuse of ...
    The bewildering speed of events that simply end in Key shrugging and proclaiming he doesn’t really give a shit is coming think and fast as the Government suddenly appreciate the full spectrum dominance they now enjoy. Here is Radio NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Pat O’Dea – Mana 2.0 Rebooted
    Internationally the news is that Evo Morales of Bolivia won big with Left Wing policies But what are the chances that the Left will make a resurgence in this country? As the internecine struggles between the Left and the Right...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • The Blomfield IPCA letter – Has Dirty Politics leaked into the NZ Police ...
    It’s difficult to know what to make of the IPCA letter to Matthew Blomfield over Slater’s continued insistence that the hard drive taken from Matthew wasn’t stolen.  Slater has selectively cherry picked the Police referring back to his claim that Blomfeild perjured...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • Pike River Families Group Press Release
    The Families can now but hope that Solid Energy will consider closely the response of the Families’ expert mining advisers, Bob Stevenson and Dave Creedy, and the independent legal advice by Hugh Rennie QC as to why re-entry to the...
    Scoop politics | 24-10
  • On The Nation this weekend
    This weekend on The Nation… with dairy prices falling, China growing its agriculture sector, and the environmental costs piling up, we ask the Fonterra chief executive Theo Spierings if New Zealand is too dependent on milk powder and if we’ve...
    Scoop politics | 24-10
  • NZ Government Urged to Do More to Fight Ebola
    As Ebola continues to tear through West Africa, Save the Children NZ is urging the government to do more in the fight against the deadly virus....
    Scoop politics | 24-10
  • Korero Mai Ki Ahau – Saturday 25 & Sunday 26 October 2014
    Broadcast on Waatea 603AM Saturday 12.00 - 12.30pm Sunday 12.00 - 12.30pm Both shows repeated 5.00pm – 6.00pm On Sunday...
    Scoop politics | 24-10
  • Putting whānau foremost in Family Dispute Resolution
    Dispute resolution company, FairWay Resolution, has developed a uniquely New Zealand approach to family dispute resolution (FDR) that is underpinned by the cultural needs and values of the parties to a family dispute. In support of its role as a...
    Scoop politics | 24-10
  • Anglican Family Care staff to rally industrial action rises
    Public Service Association (PSA) members working at Anglican Family Care (AFC) in Dunedin will hold two rallies in Dunedin next week as they seek a fair pay offer, following a week of low-key industrial action....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Flying Visit for Adventuring Kiwi Socialpreneur
    12 Months on, this former Alexandra barista is changing lives in Buenos Aires Slums with free lunches, music, art, drama and toothbrushes...
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • March in Solidarity with Kurdistan Against ISIS Attacks
    The New Zealand Kurdish Community will march in solidarity with Kurdistan in light of the heinous genocidal attacks in Kobanê by ISIS. We will begin with silent demonstrations then commence marching. We will start from Britomart, Queen Street (outside Dick...
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • No Problem for Henare & Jones, But “No Way” for Harawira
    “Just before the election I broke the story about the gutting of Maori Television’s News and Current Affairs department by MTS’ new CEO Paora Maxwell. I pointed out that Carol Hirschfeld and Julian Wilcox, two of the country’s most experienced...
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Corruption: Positive developments for NZ but more to be done
    Global anti-corruption group Transparency International today released a report on OECD Anti-Bribery Convention enforcement and called for New Zealand to implement draft legislation to ratify the United Nations Convention against Corruption....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Government to Blame as Much as Council for Marryatt Payout
    The Taxpayers' Union is calling on the Government to fix the employment law regime that has forced Christchurch ratepayers to fork out $800,000 to former Council boss Tony Marryatt....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Unanimously Call for Commissioner to Arm Police Full Time
    In the wake of a series of recent armed offender incidents, delegates to the Police Association Annual Conference today called unanimously on the Commissioner to arm Police full time....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Bank gets behind NZ wildlife icon with sizable donation
    It will be easier than ever this summer for holiday-markers to dip into their pockets to support the yellow-eyed penguin....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • WorkSafe report raises concerns about asbestos
    The union representing construction workers in the Canterbury rebuild is surprised at WorkSafe’s conclusion that no action needs to be taken against EQC and Fletcher EQR over asbestos exposure in Canterbury homes. “This report was an opportunity...
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Union accuses SkyCity CEO of misleading public
    Unite Union has accused SkyCity CEO Nigel Morrison of misleading the public over the cut in hours for a staff member who raised the issue at the company's AGM....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Last Hurrah on the Taxpayer
    Responding to the NZ Herald report that Hone Harawira spent up $54,000 on the taxpayer in his last three months as an MP, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “It is absolutely disgraceful that an MP managed to rack...
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Press statement in relation to search of Nicky Hager’s home
    On 2 October 2014, Nicky Hager's home in Wellington was searched by police. Mr Hager asserted that documents kept at his house were protected by privilege, including because they contained information that might identify confidential sources....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • The Sam Simon arrives into Auckland for new campaign
    This morning Sea Shepherd ship, the Sam Simon, arrived into Auckland harbour after its journey from Melbourne. The ship and its 25 crew from around the globe have come to New Zealand to source supplies and prepare for the upcoming...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Low inflation – time for meaningful wage increases
    With inflation low, now is a good time for workers to negotiate for pay increases that outstrip price rises and deliver real increases in wages and salaries. “For too many people, real pay increases have been missing for several years...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Auckland Rates Rises Out of Control
    Responding to the NZ Herald report that Auckland ratepayers will face an average of a 29 percent rates increase, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “These rate rises show that Len Brown's spending is out of control.”...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Protest at New Plymouth Oil and Gas Expo
    About 30 protesters from Climate Justice Taranaki, Frack-free Kapiti, Te Uru Pounamu Action Group, Oil Free Wellington, Frack-free Manawatu and the east coast protested yesterday outside New Plymouth's biennial Oil and Gas Expo at the TSB Stadium....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • FMA warns consumers about cold-calling investment offers
    The Financial Markets Authority (FMA) is warning New Zealand consumers and investors to be wary of cold-calls asking them to buy shares or put their money into offshore firms....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Comprehensive plan needed to end child poverty
    Child Poverty Action Group says it is vital the newly re-elected National government takes a planned and comprehensive approach to reducing child poverty in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Metiria Gets Feed the Kids
    Yesterday the Speaker of the House advised that he had accepted my request to transfer my Feed the Kids (Education (Breakfast and Lunch Programmes in Schools) Amendment) Bill to Metiria Turei of the Green Party....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • DIA undercover investigation leads to jailing
    An undercover Internal Affairs investigation has led to a Hastings man being jailed for three and half years....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Call on Minister McCully to pursue the case of Balibo Five
    Media Information: Call on Minister McCully to pursue the case of journalist Gary Cunningham and the Balibo Five...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Australia and NZ actions on press freedoms alarming
    Global support for investigative journalism in Australia and New Zealand is a welcome response to law changes and a police raid, says the Pacific Freedom Forum...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Call for release of French journalists in West Papua
    West Papua Action Auckland, the EPMU Print and Media Council and the NZ Media Freedom Network call on the Minister of Foreign Affairs to speak out in support of the two French TV journalists whose trial has just begun in...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Court of Appeal: Dotcom v 20th Century Fox Film Corporation
    A The appeal is dismissed. B The 20 August 2014 order of the High Court dealing with confidentiality and the 29 August 2014 order of this Court dealing with confidentiality are set aside. C The confidentiality orders set out in...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Glassons Blasted For Glamourising Animal Cruelty
    Clothing brand Glassons have found themselves embroiled in another controversy after launching a new advert featuring a girl riding a bull. Animal advocacy organisation SAFE have asked them to remove the ad immediately as it glamourises animal cruelty....
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Smuggling honey into New Zealand isn’t sweet
    Smuggling honey into New Zealand isn’t sweet Federated Farmers Bee Industry Group applauds the tough line taken by Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) Border Staff at Auckland Airport. In deporting the couple found trying to smuggle bee products...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Taxpayers’ Union Responds to Joyce on Corporate Welfare
    Responding to Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce’s defence of corporate welfare , Jim Rose, the author of Monopoly Money , a Taxpayers Union report on corporate welfare since 2008, says:...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Speech from the Throne brings welcome focus on children
    Today’s speech from the Throne confirms the Government’s focus on children, youth and their families in the areas of health, education, youth employment, poverty alleviation and Whānau Ora; now the challenge is to ensure every child in New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • John’s Job Fairs no fix for unemployment and poverty
    “John Key has clearly been looking to the US for his latest bright idea on dealing with employment issues,” says Auckland Action Against Poverty coordinator Sue Bradford. “Job fairs where the desperately unemployed queue in their corporate best to compete...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Speech From the Throne Foreshadows More Corporate Welfare
    Responding to the Governor General’s Speech from the Throne, which outlined that the Government’s intentions for the next Parliamentary term would include further Business Growth Agenda initiatives, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Green MP to speak at panel on Rainbow Mental Health
    Hamilton, New Zealand: Recently re-elected Green Party MP Jan Logie will be a guest speaker at a panel on the mental health of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Trangender, Takataapui and Intersex people taking place on November 1st as part of the...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Evidence Supports GE Moratorium
    Federated Farmers spokesman Graham Smith's call for a 'rethink' on release of GeneticallyEngineered organisms is misguided, and instead it is time for a formal moratorium on GMOs in the environment.(1)...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Chatham Rise mining could have impact on whales and dolphins
    Wellington, 21 October 2014--Mining phosphate on the Chatham Rise, off the east coast of New Zealand’s south island, could potentially have many impacts on marine mammals like whales and dolphins, the Environmental Protection Agency was told today....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Council endorses Nanaia Mahuta as the next Labour leader
    Te Kaunihera Māori, the Māori Council of the New Zealand Labour Party, have passed a resolution to endorse the Hon Nanaia Mahuta as the next leader of the Labour Party...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Kaumatua to organise petition to end Maori seats
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    Scoop politics | 20-10
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    Scoop politics | 20-10
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    Scoop politics | 20-10
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    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Prison Drug Treatment Unit marks a milestone
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    Scoop politics | 20-10
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  • Court Judicial Decision: Dotcom v The USA: 17 October 2014
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    Scoop politics | 19-10
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