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Open mike 07/03/2013

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, March 7th, 2013 - 79 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…

79 comments on “Open mike 07/03/2013”

  1. Jenny 1

    Fonterra cooks the climate, Auckland Coal Action calls on everybody including farmers to protest.

    http://aucklandcoalaction.files.wordpress.com/2013/03/mangatawhiri-mine-leaflet.pdf

    Will farmers attend tonight’s meeting in Mangatangi?

    Will trade unionists?

    Will the Green Party?

    Climate Change has the power to beggar us all.

    As Helen Kelly writes: “We’re all beneficiaries now”

    We all need to address this crisis collectively, Naomi Klein writes:

    …..it’s time to come together, for real, and fight to preserve and extend what you care most about — which means engaging in the climate fight, really engaging, as if your life and your life’s work, even life itself, depended on it. Because they do.

    Naomi Klein

    Read more: http://thephoenix.com/boston/news/148879-id-rather-fight-like-hell-naomi-kleins-fierce/#ixzz2MraubGko

    http://thephoenix.com/boston/news/148879-id-rather-fight-like-hell-naomi-kleins-fierce/

    • RedLogix 1.1

      Worth quoting from that Naomi Klein interview:

      Each has a tough-love message for their own constituency — McKibben for an insular environmental movement that’s been woefully ineffective on climate; Klein for a left, including many in the Occupy movement, that has failed to grapple with the seriousness and urgency of the climate crisis. Look, they’re saying, this is it: science tells us that time is running out, and everything you’ve ever fought for is on the line. Climate change has the ability to undo your historic victories and crush your present struggles. So it’s time to come together, for real, and fight to preserve and extend what you care most about — which means engaging in the climate fight, really engaging, as if your life and your life’s work, even life itself, depended on it. Because they do.

      There are so many threads to this fight:

      “The climate crisis,” Klein told me, “is the ultimate indictment of capitalism, certainly the model of capitalism that we have, and the solutions to the climate crisis are the same as the solutions to the economic crisis.” That means restoring democracy and reinvigorating the public sphere, reining in and re-regulating corporations, re-localizing our economies, taxing polluters and the wealthy to put a stiff price on carbon and bring basic fairness into the system, and building alternatives to limitless profit and unsustainable growth. The book’s argument, she said, is “an attempt to weave together disparate movements under the banner of rising to meet the greatest crisis humanity has ever faced.”

      Absolutely there is one point we must face up to. The right instinctively understood absolutely from the outset that climate change was an existential issue for unrestrained capitalism; that any meaningful response from the left had to be quashed regardless of the science or the ultimate cost to humanity. The capitalists have absolutely, consciously chosen to eat the future.

      Jenny … however irritating many people find her … is still absolutely correct. Yesterday I wrote a post about how this government is politically footling about quietly dismantling and neutering the mechanisms of environmental protection in this country. It’s a real and present issue. Yet the politics of this will all be rendered utterly moot and pointless if catastrophic climate change burns up our beloved and precious land anyhow.

      • marty mars 1.1.1

        Good interview

        “That means restoring democracy and reinvigorating the public sphere, reining in and re-regulating corporations, re-localizing our economies, taxing polluters and the wealthy to put a stiff price on carbon and bring basic fairness into the system, and building alternatives to limitless profit and unsustainable growth.

        The only way to do that is revolution and even that is probably too late – they and us just will not change our habits or attitudes without personal contact with the effects of climate change and many of us are interwoven with capitalism overtly and covertly.

        Sad in some ways but we are fucked because we are the capitalists and we have eaten the future – there is no them and us on this issue.

        The question for me is what are we doing personally to adjust to the realities that are on the doorstep and creeping over the windowsills. Have we even begun to adjust our reality yet or do we need another superstorm to blow our house or community away and to make us realise that money is actually… nothing.

      • Draco T Bastard 1.1.2

        The capitalists have absolutely, consciously chosen to eat the future.

        QFT

        And that’s the message that the left needs to be talking about when it comes to climate change, the re-regulation of capitalism and protecting the environment.

        • aerobubble 1.1.2.1

          I disagree. Capitalism is a gun, you can shoot yourself in the foot, or use it to see off danger.
          The problem is the left does not hold capitalism up to the light, that National, Key, ACT, are
          actually not capitalists any more than any union member is. Its how government distorts
          capitalism that has created massive disparity, inequality, environmental instability, resource wastage. The left failed to hold the right to account, the right turned into a zombie plague, and now we have nobody on the right who actually reveres democracy or the rights of the individual, even property rights are pretty much destroyed if your beach home is flooded by rising sea levels, etc, etc.

          Isn’t it obvious that the tired communist ranter was actively re-enforcing the status quo?

          Why is Labour so inept, because it knows it doesn’t want to go hard left (correctly) but
          is still incapable of holding up capitalism to the light. Capitalism isn’t the problem,
          capitalism is part of the solution, the economic facet that allows citizens to consent,
          question, control, society. The money supply, the printing press, is the sole responsibility
          of the government, yet when National deride the Greens for wanting to use it, where are
          the Greens and Labour deriding National anti democracy, neo-liberal mantra, that only
          banks can print money. Silence in face of the corrupt practices endemic, the zombie plague
          continues.

          The last thirty years of western governments has been to
          place the power into a private politburo (media-corporate without government oversight).
          Its as if fascism and communism have been merged and destroyed both our very
          livelihoods and our communities at the same time.

          • Colonial Viper 1.1.2.1.1

            You also have a point. Crony corporate capitalism is the main poison. A normal sphere of capitalist creative destruction where the Government was naturally a major force in the markets on behalf of the people, would be a significant improvement.

          • red rattler 1.1.2.1.2

            You are very confused AB
            The CC is not an aberration of capitalism, it is clear evidence that capitalism itself must destroy the planet as it goes into self-destruct.
            Do you really think that capitalism can be reformed in the window of a decade or so before we hit the point of no return, if we havnt already?
            We need revolutionary change, now.
            That means a popular revolution by the vast majority who are workers, farmers, or unemployed as the result of capitalisms declining trajectory.
            We are seeing instances of this in various struggles going on internationally from SA to Syria to right now Bulgaria and soon, bet on it, China.
            We should turning our talents to mobilise this huge global majority as a democratic force to make this revolutionary change.
            Let’s no fester over whether this will be called clean capitalism, 21st century socialism, occupy, or fuckemism.
            The capitalists will not give up without a fight, already they jail, rend, murder, drive people to suicide, and otherwise try to wipe out serious opposition.
            So an an organised armed majority of revolutionaries bent on survival is our starting point. You have to take your chances that you are on the right side and make the right decisions.
            As Lenin said in as many words ‘suck it and see’.

      • Jenny Kirk 1.1.3

        I have taken the liberty of copying from a Forest & Bird Alert and Govt details of public meetings to be held next week, and following week, throughout NZ re proposals to change the RMA.

        This follows on from Red Logix’ concerns yesterday about the govt “dismantling and neautering the mechanisms of environmental protection ….. It’s a real and present issue” ……

        Forest & Bird E-Alert

        Save the RMA!

        Your right to have a say in what happens where you live is at risk with planned changes to the Resource Management Act.

        This might seem a boring issue for lawyers and planners and Wellington bureaucrats. It’s not. It’s a real threat that will affect you.

        As of this coming Monday, it’s time to stand up for the RMA law that has done so much to keep New Zealand the way New Zealanders like it.

        You will probably know last week Environment Minister Amy Adams put out a discussion paper, in which she outlined her plans to change important parts of the Resource Management Act.

        Overall, what she suggests would shift the balance away from the environment, towards economic efficiency and development.

        It would also shift it very strongly towards Ministers and central government, away from communities.

        Mrs Adams is rewriting the RMA as an economic development tool – not the framework for sustainable environmental management that it’s been for a quarter century.

        Next week, the Government will begin a series of ‘consultation’ meetings on the changes – starting this coming Monday. It’s a rushed process, of which we’ve been given almost no notice, and we say that these meetings are a sham. It adds another to the long list of examples, such as with Christchurch, where this government has ignored our constitutional conventions, democratic processes, and people’s right to have their say.

        But we can change that. A strong turnout from our branch members, all echoing the same message – that the RMA is fundamentally good law, and these changes are completely unacceptable – will show the decision-makers that New Zealanders, who love their environment, do have something to say that can’t be ignored. We’ve done it before, when we said ‘no’ to mining our national parks, and the RMA matters just as much.

        (See below for) a list of meeting times.

        ……………
        Next week, we’ll be updating our website with suggested questions and ‘the good, the bad and the really very ugly’ about the discussion paper, so keep checking back at this page.

        And please forward this message to anyone else who might want to come along.

        We hope to have a Forest & Bird Field Officer at each meeting, to answer media questions.

        Public meetings and hui (extract from Govt website)

        Public meetings and hui are being held throughout the country during March 2013. The details for the meetings are in the table below. If you would like to attend a meeting or hui you do not need to RSVP.

        A number of venues are yet to be confirmed. This table will be updated as new information is available.
        Mon 11 MARCH Public meeting Dunedin Kingsgate Hotel 10 Smith Street 12 – 2pm
        Tues 12 Public meeting Greymouth Kingsgate Hotel 32 Mawhera Quay 12 – 2 pm
        Public meeting Wellington Kingsgate Hotel 24 Hawkestone St, Thorndon 1 – 3 pm
        Wed 13 Hui Gisborne Emerald Hotel 13 Gladstone Road 1 – 4 pm
        Thurs 14 Public meeting Rotorua Copthorne Hotel 111 Fenton St 11 – 1 pm
        Hui Distinction 39 Fenton St 6 – 8 pm
        Fri 15 Public Meeting Invercargill Ascot Park Cnr Tay St and Racecourse Rd 12 – 2 pm
        Public meeting Whangarei Kingsgate Hotel 9 Riverside Dr 12 – 2 pm Hui 3 – 5 pm
        Mon 18 Public meeting Tauranga Classic Flyers NZ 9 Jean Batten Drive, Mount Maunganui 11 – 1 pm
        Hui Maungatapu Marae 2 – 4 pm
        Tues 19 Public meeting Hawke’s Bay Hawke’s Bay Opera House 101 Hastings Street South 2 – 4 pm
        Hui 5- 8 pm
        Wed 20 Public meeting Queenstown Copthorne Hotel & Resort Corner Frankton Rd & Adelaide St 1 – 2.30pm
        Hui Taupo Great Lakes Centre 5 Story Pl 5.30 – 8.30
        Thurs 21 Public meeting Palmerston North Kingsgate Hotel 110 Fitzherbert Ave 12 – 2 pm
        Hui Whanganui Kingsgate Hotel 379 Victoria Ave 6 – 8 pm
        Public meeting Hamilton Kingsgate Hotel 100 Garnett Ave, Te Rapa 11 – 1 pm
        Hui 3 – 5 pm
        Fri 22 Public meeting Christchurch The Atrium 455 Hagley Avenue 1 – 3 pm
        Hui 4 – 6 pm
        Mon 25 Hui New Plymouth Quality Plymouth Int’l Cnr. Courtenay & Leach St 2 – 4 pm
        Public meeting 11 – 1 pm
        Public meeting Auckland Copthorne Hotel, 196 Quay St 12 – 2 pm Hui TBC 3 – 5 pm
        Tues 26 Public meeting Nelson Tahuna Function Centre 70 Beach Rd Tahunanui 3 – 5 pm
        Hui 6 – 8 pm
        Wed 27 Final Hui Wellington Kingsgate 24 Hawkestone St, Thorndon 12 – 2 pm

        r0b: I have taken the liberty of removing the bold markup from this comment.

        • Jenny Kirk 1.1.3.1

          rOb – that’s okay – I really only wanted the bold on the bit introducing it …. but somehow can’t make bold work on only one part of the message.

        • Jenny 1.1.3.2

          Death by committee.

          Sounds like a great big fat diversion.

          Way to go to kill a campaign. Suck the oxygen right out of the room.

          And suck the life force out of committed activists. Meanwhile back in the real world…..

          Coal miners gear up to expand their mining operations and local communities and their supporters gear up to stop them.

        • RedBaronCV 1.1.3.3

          Good business for the Kingsgate chain. Now how did they get that. Mot of those are small venues.
          Notice how many of the meeting times are when people can’t go or not for long as they are at work. Consultation – rubbish.

  2. AsleepWhileWalking 2

    Yesterday Xtasy commented: “Out of mischief, I think that all beneficiaries in this country should simply have their interests registered, and in the final minute withdraw or cancel it, turning the whole exercise into a gigantic shambles!

    Now what about that strategy???

    Yes more than the 340 thousand beneficiaries could do so, it could be half the population, who opposed all this, thus upset the whole registration and sales process, creating immense costs and inconveniencing the government in their plans.”

    What if beneficiaries registered their interest en mass meaning the share parcels were then limited to $2000 for each applicant? I noticed on the website when I registered that you have to agree not to assign your shares to an overseas party (or words to that effect).

    Q. Could beneficiaries like me assign or presell their share parcel in the above situation slightly above par value without actually paying money??

  3. Skinny 3

    Listening to RNZ this morning I heard that IRD are disappointed in the low number of tax cheats who are high income earners ( top tax bracket) coming forward to fess up they are cheating the system. IRD have allowed a grace period for these evaders/dodgers to come forward which ends on the 31st of March. Sounds like they are stepping up their efforts to catch these thieves. 

    How about sending them to a mandatory jail sentence to stop this rort?   

    • Pascal's bookie 3.1

      I’ve alwasy thought that the tax payer should be accountable for the tx they avoided, and that all epanlty payments should be split 50/50 between the tax payer and their accountant.

      Are accountants held accountable at all for the schemes they invent? There is an implicit assumption that an accountants job is to minimise tax for their client, when it should be to get it right.

      • DH 3.1.1

        “Are accountants held accountable at all for the schemes they invent?”

        Nope, it’s all care and no responsibility. If they make a mistake in your tax return it’s you that has to pay & who gets hit with the penalties. There is the tort of negligence but that’s often a hard one to win and very costly to pursue unless the sums are small.

    • tc 3.2

      Just check all those extra ‘front line’ service resources the NACT gave them at it.

    • RedBaronCV 3.3

      Now is the time to dob in all those ex brothers in law who don’t pay child support.

      QOT if you are out there, as I feel you may have good contacts in this area, put the word out to all who have gone for an admin review to raise the point with the IRD tipline – that should net the first 10,000 dodgers.
      And all the well off in your area whose kids are getting student allowances – show social responsibility towards these people.

  4. AsleepWhileWalking 5

    Another disability fail: Blind unable to use rail ticketing machines

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10869641

    • tc 5.1

      The rail system is pretty much a fail for the disabled, watched a person in a wheelchair getting left at a station beacuse the conductor never came down with the ramp, so the driver just left.

      Then there’s all those level crossings without pedestrian gates that should operate with the barrier arms, 2 in Mt eden spring to mind. Kingdon St in newmarket should be the template for them all.

      • karol 5.1.1

        It’s a poor system, and definitely a fail for those with disabilities. The ticketing machines are not self explanatory to first time users with good vision. First time I attempted to load money on my Hop card, I gave up as the train was due, and ended up buying a ticket on the train.

        The last time I took a train from my local station, 2 or 3 others were struggling trying to work out how to pay for a ticket.

        • Draco T Bastard 5.1.1.1

          Not the same response as other people.

          I’ll have to point out that I haven’t used them yet myself as i hardly ever use trains and I’ve still got the Snapper/Hop card and not the proper AT Hop card.

  5. johnm 6

    The Artist Taxi Driver comments on the death of Hugo Chavez.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0mJCkHM7L9A&list=UUGThM-ZZBba1Zl9rU-XeR-A&index=2

    The U$ and U$K will be eyeing Venezuela’s oil wealth probably by supporting elites to take over the country.

  6. And so Nick Smith wants to “smash” Auckland’s metropolitan urban limit even though it is shortly to be replaced by the “rural urban boundary” which he seems ok with.

    And the difference between the two?

    The MUL is slightly stronger and permits less development outside it’s boundary whereas the RUB will be slightly more permissive.

    But they are both designed to change Auckland into a compact urban form.

    The repercussions of not having a MUL are clear through experience throughout the world, more sprawl, more need to rely on a car for transport, a less economically viable city and destruction of fertile land as the city expands. Development becomes more expensive and environmental damage increases.

    Smith is using violent language to try and deflect criticism of the Government for not doing anything about housing affordability. Now they can blame Auckland Council.

    It was good for Len Brown to stand up to Smith this morning. But stand by as National gets ready to undermine environmental protection and Auckland’s right to design a unitary plan so that Auckland grows the way that locals want it to.

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/morningreport/audio/2548392/housing-minister's-focus-is-to-open-up-land-supply.asx

    • tc 7.1

      Smith was brought back specifically to bully and shout his way through the hollowman script, Heatley was way too soft.

      On a related matter I see Granny reporting a likely $28m windfall for the developers on housing corp land being flogged in sandringham so more affoprdable stock can be built.

      Affordable and auckland in the same sentence…..mmmmm.

      • Draco T Bastard 7.1.1

        Actually, it’s more the $28m windfall and affordable in the same sentence that’s the problem. It’s another proof of the dead weight loss of profit and most won’t see it.

      • DH 7.1.2

        “On a related matter I see Granny reporting a likely $28m windfall for the developers on housing corp land being flogged in sandringham so more affoprdable stock can be built.”

        I was just reading that article. Terrible reporting, writer doesn’t know the difference between nett & gross. The $28m is what they’d expect to sell all the houses for, not how much profit they’d make on them.

        I’d have thought a site like that would be a good start on medium/high density housing, building town houses looks to be a waste of good land really.

        Article here;

        “Developers picked to net $28m from Crown land selloff”

        http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10869717

        • bad12 7.1.2.1

          Yes and all those 100,s of HousingNZ ‘new affordable houses’ will be built in ummm aaah ummm,

          Just another CON by the Slippery lead National Government, it’s flog it off to the developers as far as the land goes with a promise of ‘more affordable houses’ that has yet to materialize and undoubtedly wont…

    • karol 7.2

      micky, I was thinking to post about this issue this morning. Do you mind if I copy and paste your comment in full?

    • Janice 7.3

      I wonder how far Smith would get if he stood up in Wellington and demanded housing development in their Green belt? Hopefully he would be run out out of town on a rail, tarred and feathered or both. I suspect a few of the NACT mates want to build in the Waitakeres, and so why not, the Kauri are dying and they are not going to spend any more money on that, once they have all died out, then they can build up there. They will run right over Len.

  7. AsleepWhileWalking 8

    Re: Anna Guy.

    Would a Maori woman without the blue eyed and blond “cute” factor get this much cover for any of the extreme life crisis situations she goes through, arguably more than being the wife of someone suspected of murder but not found guilty.

    • tc 8.1

      Like to see how she goes hosting a show like ” So you think you know your husband..’ or ‘ Guilty ? you be the judge.”

      Her continued exposure in the mag’s etc I find just a bizzarre indicator of modern society.

  8. prism 9

    Further to my comments on deficiencies in the census enquiries. The interview this morning with the head of NZ ambulance service at St Johns made the point that they rely heavily on volunteers in the smaller towns, rural etc. The fire fighter volunteers were referred to as essential but he voiced the worry that this didn’t get so taken for granted that they were further loaded with being pseudo-ambulance workers replacing some of the ambulance services now provided.

    Where in the census did it ask about this type of volunteering? The wording seemed to be slanted towards those looking after elderly or disabled others. A true picture of the volunteer work put into the nation would amaze I believe. Those providing national service like firefighters should have a special place with their own numbered question.

    But for all volunteers needed is more information over an average week’s activity, not four weeks (need to zoom in). Then with daily hours indicated, and particulars about the work involved and how often during the year this occurs would organise the data into usable information.

    • Ennui in Requiem 9.1

      Hello Prism, nice to see you.

      • prism 9.1.1

        Hello ER hope you’re over you’re stomach bug. Oh wait, that’s the other one. You’re the one who never gets boring. I don’t think we’ll have time for boredom this year.

  9. Rio Tinto – aussies biggest employer of indigenous people – no wonder walsh is smiling

    The spin

    “We are not doing it to point-score and I am not doing it because of the competition. I am doing it because it makes good business sense and it is the right and proper thing to do,

    The truth

    Walsh says there is nothing contradictory about the need to slash costs inflated by the rising price of materials while expanding indigenous involvement; great synergies exist between both objectives.

    “The truth is we are changing the nature of jobs, they are becoming more sophisticated, but we still need people to carry out maintenance and repairs.”

    Smile why you destroy the earth, make money for yourself and your mates and oh, while you create a supply of people to carry out maintenance and repairs.

    • veutoviper 11.1

      The Dotcom case just gets more and more interesting – the April court hearings certainly will be!

      Here is the Herald article on today’s Court of Appeal hearing, although it is almost word for word the same as the Stuff one.

      http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10869764

      There does not appear to have been any further reporting on the very secret two day High Court hearing which started on Tuesday relating to the search and seizure of evidence.

      http://t.co/ZPyMlK4vVO

      A secret hearing regarding evidence in the Kim Dotcom extradition case is underway at the High Court in Auckland, with lawyers likely to be locked inside for two days.

      The material under discussion is so confidential that even Dotcom’s lawyers are not allowed in the courtroom, with an amicus, or “friend of the court”, instead acting as an intermediary.

      Justice Helen Winkelmann will oversee the discussion, which is believed to centre on evidence regarding police actions on the day of the helicopter raid on Dotcom’s Coatesville mansion last January.

    • Treetop 11.2

      A person would not want to be the Attorney General as the out come was unfavourable. I bet the phone has been running red hot from the beehive to Mexico.

      GCSB and Police can both be sued.

      Wonder what Dotcom has tweeted on twitter!

    • Ugly Truth 11.3

      The copyright industry is corrupt to the core. Affiliates of media corporations like Warner Brothers distributed file sharing software which in turn drove the copyright infringement allegations used by the corporations to argue for legislation like SOPA.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WJIuYgIvKsc

  10. vto 12

    What is wrong with this situation……..

    On te radio this morning there was a farmer describing the ‘drought’ conditions and indicators. One of the indicators he said was that one of the river catchments was at its lowest in five years! Five whole years!

    • Colonial Viper 12.1

      He’s probably doubled his watertake since 2008 so yes its a real crisis…

      • McFlock 12.1.1

        indeed, it’s such a shame that he can’t run twice as many cows as he used to…

  11. aerobubble 13

    Bennett recently came out with the shocking news that a man had been on a benefit for 25 years, her entirely inappropriate apology for the failure of MSD to help this citizen to find gainful employment, seem to leave me with the impression that he should have been thrown off the benefit and starved to death by now as it was not her problem, her ministry’s problem. I would suggest that government should be fined when people have not been helped by WINZ, and where WINZ cannot help, government step in and help create jobs when the unemployed languish in perpetual dependency.
    Oh, wait, that what Labour did do, and got many (not all obviously) people into work.

    • Draco T Bastard 13.1

      Someone who’s been on the UB for 25 years has other issues. Getting a job may help but probably not.

    • bad12 13.2

      To simply concentrate on this one individuals length of time on ‘the dole’ is ludicrous, until such time as unemployment in the Gisborne region becomes a factor of 1 person then the individual is simply fulfilling a useful social function,

      He is surviving upon the least amount possible over a long period thus allowing others to gain employment and a higher standard of living,(perhaps),

      The real question here is: if this particular individual in Gisborne found employment in the economy would this lower the amount of unemployed in Gisborne or for that matter the New Zealand economy???,

      The answer to that is a big NO,under the auspices of the Neo-liberal economic paradigm THERE WILL BE BETWEEN 2-6% OF THE WORKFORCE ABLE TO WORK UNEMPLOYED, full stop,

      There are NO ifs or buts to that little equation and given such economics it is pointless to be chasing people around over the length of time that they are unemployed…

      • aerobubble 13.2.1

        Yes and No. The state failed to address the employment problem, maybe there is a job for this individual. You are correct though, its pointless expecting government to say sorry, and then do the right thing, instead government gets out and dictates that the outlier is somehow a representative sample, and means they can roll out a program of onerous costly coercive intervention on all which will just move the problem on that insecurity for some is a necessary part of our culture (as long as its hidden and tax payers pay to hide it!).

  12. veutoviper 14

    Mai Chen’s article in the Herald online this morning on the Supreme Court decision on Maori water rights vis a vis the partial sale of Mighty River is well worth reading – “Amber light flashing over sales”

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=10869635

    Mai discusses the possible implications of the Court decision further down the track

    …The court has also left it open over what may happen should the Crown fail to honour the commitment it made during the hearing that the sale process would not be relied upon to argue against Maori rights in water, or if the current reforms are seen to be an empty exercise. It may be that in enabling the part sale of the company to proceed, the court has also created a leverage point for claimants further down the track. …

    On a related note, FYI Penny Bright – yesterday I had a call from Genesis Energy with a good one year deal which meant that all things going to plan, I am about to become an ex-customer of Mercury Energy. Once the Supreme Court decision was out, I had decided to move from Mercury anyway, but being somewhat of a procrastinator had not yet done anything about it. I was one of the many thousands who left Contact a few years ago when they or rather their directors became too greedy.

    Yes, I know, Genesis is also on the starting blocks to go to partial sale; but if this happens during the one year deal or is about to, I will just move to someone else at the end of the one year contract.

  13. framu 15

    “Prime minister John Key has made a lasting impression on Colombia – donning a sombrero at a joint press conference with President Juan Manuel Santos.”

    jesus wept andrea vance, ive seen some pathetic reporting in my time, but “prat puts on hat” is a new low

    • Blue 15.1

      The Herald is no better. In an otherwise serious article, Claire Trevett chimes in with a question about how hot John Key thinks the Mexican President’s wife is:

      However, Mr Key feigned ignorance when asked about the beauty of Mr Pena Nieto’s wife – a stunning actress.

      “I didn’t notice,” he said, when asked before adding “Bronagh told me to say that.”

      http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10869703

      Serious question here – does this sort of crap serve any legitimate purpose in political reporting?

      At best it’s ‘entertainment’ for idiots, at worst it is promoting Key’s ‘great Kiwi bloke’ image for free.

      • Pascal's bookie 15.1.1

        Check out this cozy little deal:

        http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10815746

        It’s about the directors of MRP getting some extra money to do the job that they signed up for, but this bit:

        It came as a Treasury document revealed directors at the company expected their daily fees to increase and wanted the Government to do it so they didn’t have to at the first shareholders’ meeting.

        That’s talking about their ‘expectation’ of fees increasing post float.

        They want the government to do it now so they won’t have to get the approval of shareholders. That kind of implies that asking the shareholders would be awkward, or undignified, or something.

        But hang on a second, the govt is retaining 51%.

        So asking the government now, or asking the shareholders after listing is of no material difference. Except for the look of the thing, for all concerned.

        snakes, the lot of them.

    • freedom 15.2

      “The New Zealand media will love this. Can’t wait to watch this back home.”
      that is not rain on your neck

    • Murray Olsen 15.3

      I suspect Key just insulted the entire population of Colombia and showed them what a moron he is.
      Claire Trevett would have insulted Mexico if anyone there knew who she was.
      Bloody schoolkids, the lot of them. Emotionally stunted retards who know nothing except hero worship and allegiance to a bullshit neoliberal bankruptcy.

  14. My goodness I didn’t think tuna could get that big – I wonder how old it was.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10869767

    We know very little about the oceans and seas – I wonder if we’ll ever learn…

  15. The privatisation of power is proving to be the catalyst for a popular uprising in Bulgaria.
    Escalating power prices by privatised power corps have become the last straw.
    The right wing regime has been forced to resign.
    The question is: will the people be fooled into handing over there newly won power to a bunch of political crooks or not.
    They are demanding that the people directly vote for MPs without party intermediaries.
    This is halfway to forming their own socialist government based on local, regional and national democratic councils, as this revolutionary left article points out.

    http://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/europe/councils-in-bulgaria/

  16. fatty 18

    Rand Paul talking for 9 hours. Impressive, considering he’s never said anything that’s worth listening to. http://israndpaulstilltalking.com/

  17. Jenny Kirk 19

    Look out for this tomorrow – copied from Hot Topic

    Symptoms too serious to ignore: a call to face up to NZ’s critical risks
    Gareth Renowden

    This post is syndicated from Hot Topic » Gareth – Original Post

    A loose affiliation of New Zealand’s great and good will launch an appeal to parliament next week, asking for a dispassionate and non-partisan risk assessment of the “unprecedented threats to our collective security” facing the country as a result of climate change, fossil fuel extraction and economic uncertainty. The Wise Response group features poets, writers, All Blacks, academics, surgeons and scientists amongst its first 100 supporters1, and will launch its appeal at a public meeting in Dunedin on March 8th.

    In its appeal the group identifies critical risks in five areas:

    1. Economic security: the risk of a sudden, deepening, or prolonged financial crisis. Such a crisis could adversely impact upon our society’s ability to provide for the essentials, including local access to resources, reliable supply chains, and a resilient infrastructure.

    2. Energy and climate security: the risk of continuing our heavy dependence on fossil fuels. Progressively restricting their extraction, importation and use could promote a switch to genuine renewables and encourage smarter use of existing energy and energy systems while creating better public transportation. Such responses would simultaneously lower greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

    3. Business continuity: the risk exposure of all New Zealand business, including farming, to a lower carbon economy. To mitigate this risk, all businesses could explore both market and job opportunities in reducing the human ecological footprint, finding substitutes for petroleum-based goods and services, increasing efficiencies and reducing waste in food and resources. This would position New Zealand as a market leader in low-carbon technologies and living arrangements.

    4. Ecological security: the risks associated with failing to genuinely protect both land-based and marine ecosystems and their natural processes. We believe that such protection is essential for both the maintenance of indigenous biodiversity and ultimately, all human welfare.

    5. Genuine well-being: the risk of persisting with a subsidised, debt-based economy, preoccupied with maximising consumption and GDP. An alternative is to measure progress by means of indicators of community sustainability, human well-being, more equitable wealth-sharing and environmental resilience, and to incorporate full-cost pricing of harmful environmental impacts.

    The group is looking to build support both inside and outside parliament for a detailed risk assessment of how these issues might impact New Zealand, and is hoping this will lead to:

    …robust cross-party strategies and policies to avert these risks and give future generations the very best chance of security, peace, social justice and opportunity for all.

    There’s much to like in the group’s appeal statement, but what I find most encouraging is that a diverse group of prominent New Zealanders is looking to make our politicians face up to the harsh realities of the modern world. I don’t imagine that John Key and his government will pay much attention — they’re too wedded to the all growth, all the time dogma for that — but with luck and persistence, the group may be able to start building a consensus around the things that we really need to do as a nation. That’s something I’m only too happy to support.

    The Otago Daily Times lists Brian Turner, Wayne Smith, Fiona Kidman, Glenn Turner, David Thom, Philip Temple, Anne Salmond, Julian Dean, Owen Marshall, Morgan Williams, Chris Trotter, Bruce Burns, Richard Langston and Anton Oliver amongst others.

  18. Morrissey 20

    Stephen Franks loses it when he hears the dread word: “democracy”
    “The Panel”, Radio New Zealand National, Thursday 7 March 2013
    Jim Mora, Stephen Franks, Ali Jones

    A group of prominent southerners has called for a risk assessment for the whole of New Zealand. They are concerned about the environment, and the government’s attacks against local democracy. Of course, Stephen Franks, ACT lawyer, lawyer for the S.S. Trust and general far right whacko, is not impressed by all this outrageous talk about democracy….

    JIM MORA: A group of prominent southerners has called for a risk assessment for the whole of New Zealand. They are concerned about the environment,

    JIM MORA: Professor Sir Alan Mark joins us. Professor Mark, good afternoon.

    PROFESSOR SIR ALAN MARK: Good afternoon.

    MORA: Stephen Franks has compared this campaign to the ill-fated Citizens for Rowling in 1975.

    PROF. ALAN MARK: It’s actually far more like the Save Manapouri campaign, and the anti-nuclear ships campaigns.

    STEPHEN FRANKS: [spluttering] They were all ABSOLUTELY USELESS! Utterly useless! You couldn’t PAY me to go to this. I see it as Morning Report crystallized!

    ALI JONES: I see it a real lack of democracy in Christchurch. It is a real problem. And I complained about the last government too, so it’s not narrowly political.

    PROF. ALAN MARK: The Resource Management Act is being gutted.

    STEPHEN FRANKS: That was a DEMOCRATIC DECISION! The government is responding to what the people want! I’m just concerned that there are these SLOGANS! Where are the new ideas?

    ALI JONES: I think it’s really spurious for Stephen to suggest that democracy is an excuse.

    FRANKS: Oh, it’s just a big MOAN. Whining without producing solutions!

    [Franks continues to drool, spit, snarl, slobber and yelp for several minutes while his interlocutors maintain a horrified silence….]

    Those who want to move past Franks’s ranting denunciations and see what Professor Mark’s group are on about might like to look at this….
    http://www.odt.co.nz/lifestyle/magazine/247834/what-are-risks

    • RedBaronCV 20.1

      I think Steve may have his knife into the RMA. Thre was a electoral meeting in Wellington a while back when he was standing as a candidate for something or other and most of his spiel consisted of telling the audience how the RMA consent from the Council for his driveway/garage? had cost $35000. Real man of the people stuff, a lot of people don’t even earn that much in a year.

    • North 20.2

      Frankly, (sorry), Stephen Franks is one of your “came-to-it-later-in life-after-shades-of-parading-as-a-lefty”, right-wing nutbars. Douglas, Moore, Caygill et al. I was at VUW 33-37 years ago. Focused on the same “discipline” as said Stephen.

      Kia Ora re the train trip through the Soviet Union Stevo. Authorities stopped the train for hours at western border ??? A mate of mine travelled with you.

      I know.

    • geoff 20.3

      I’m enjoying these reviews, Morrissey, keep em coming. It’s actually much better than listening to the show. Sorry if that sounds like faint praise.

  19. Jenny 21

    John Key’s Bad Will Tour.

    http://thedailyblog.co.nz/2013/03/07/go-to-hugo-chavezs-funeral-john/

    I thought the main reason John Key was going to Latin America was to drum up support for our bid for the revolving seat on the UN security council.

    Way to shoot yourself in the foot, John.

  20. FYI folks!

    This is a significant legal victory, locally, nationally and internationally>

    Statement by one of the successful Appellants, Penny Bright.

    OCCUPY AUCKLAND WINS HIGH COURT APPEAL!

    Mainstream media coverage:

    Occupy Auckland barrister Ron Mansfield explains the ruling of Judge Ellis:

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/checkpoint/audio/2548345/court-ruling-paves-way-for-more-action-by-occupy-movement.asx

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10869644

    http://tvnz.co.nz/national-news/occupy-auckland-protesters-win-appeal-against-eviction-ruling-5361876

    http://tvnz.co.nz/national-news/occupy-auckland-protesters-win-appeal-against-eviction-ruling-5361876/video

    http://www.3news.co.nz/Occupy-eviction-went-too-far—ruling/tabid/423/articleID/289259/Default.aspx

    http://www.3news.co.nz/Legal-victory-for-Occupy-Auckland/tabid/423/articleID/289280/Default.aspx

    http://www.bizbilak.com/news/occupy-auckland-protesters-win-appeal-against-eviction-ruling-tvnz

    Please be advised, that as an Appellant in my own name, at no time did I express an opinion as a ‘Spokesperson’ for Occupy Auckland.

    A copy of the Appeal decision of High Court Justice Ellis is available on

    http://www.occupyaucklandvsaucklandcouncilappeal.org.nz

    a website for which I take full personal responsibility for content.

    Also on this above-mentioned website are copies of my key legal submissions, as an Appellant in my own name, so people can read them for themselves.

    The main reason I organised the setting up of this website, was to counter the defamatory lies about myself being spread by Suzette Maree Dawson, which she has published on her own private websitehttp://occupysavvy.com

    Suzette Maree Dawson published on her above-mentioned private website a statement by Ben Cooney (‘Redstar’) during his livestream video coverage of the protest against the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) protest on 8 December 2012:

    “There’s Penny Bright – SIS informant”.

    The FACTS are, that I was one of 12 people responsible for organising Auckland anti-Springbok Tour protests in 1981, I was named in Muldoon’s SIS list as a ‘subversive’, and have never been able to get a copy of my SIS file.

    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO0711/S00086.htm

    If people think I’m going to put up with these sorts of filthy defamatory lies, when I have had a proven track record going back over 40 years as an activist – think again.

    I strongly recommend that those involved in the ‘protest’ / ‘activist’ movement, exercise commonsense and due diligence?

    If people come from nowhere, with no proven track record in the ‘protest’ / ‘activist’ movement, and make a beeline for controlling the message, or means of getting the message out – act in ways which cause dissension or conflict within the group, spread misinformation / disinformation about people, without facts and evidence to back it up – BEWARE!!!

    Being involved in ‘media’ gives such people the ability to mix and mingle and take photos from inside the ranks of the ‘protest’ movement.

    Where exactly are those photos going?

    BEWARE of those who act like the 1%, without openness, transparency or democratic accountability.

    Why is it that as a (successful) Appellant in the Occupy Auckland Appeal, I cannot post this information up on the Occupy Auckland facebook page?

    WHO are ‘Admin’ currently responsible for the Occupy Auckland facebook page, and why am I being blocked?

    I note a Press Release up on Scoop – in the name of Occupy Auckland.

    Who put out this Press Release?

    On whose authority?

    As a NAMED APPELLENT in this Occupy Auckland vs Auckland Council Appeal – I for one was never contacted by this now mysterious, anonymous and apparently secretive ‘Occupy Auckland’ – who do NOT have permission or any authority to speak on my behalf.

    http://auckland.scoop.co.nz/2013/03/vindication-for-occupy-auckland/

    WHO now are ‘Occupy Auckland’?
    Without transparency – there is no accountability.

    When / where was the Occupy Auckland General Assembly that discussed the Appeal, and authorised this Press Release?

    I note that Suzette Maree Dawson and her private website ‘occupy savvy’ did NOT attend the hearing of the Occupy Auckland vs Auckland Council Appeal, and did not publish any of my legal documents, which arguably played a role in helping achieve this significant victory for Occupy Auckland, both locally, nationally and internationally?

    Remember Rob Gilchrist – the Police informant who infiltrated the animal rights movement?

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/sunday-star-times/features/760466/The-activist-who-turned-police-informer

    Learn the lessons folks!

    I for one, am not interested in working with ‘idiots, sheep, amateurs, saboteurs or provocateurs’.

    Decent people, with good hearts, brains, guts and a basic understanding of the principles of natural justice, are those with whom I will work, on an issue by issue basis, where we have common cause.

    In New Zealand, we have the basic human right to ‘freedom of association’.

    Those who choose to associate with Suzette Maree Dawson and/or Ben Cooney – that is your right and your choice.

    But – please be advised that if you choose to associate with Suzette Maree Dawson and/or Ben Cooney, I will choose not to associate with you.

    (The same applies to Linda Anne Wright – but that’s another story – update coming soon….)

    FYI – here are ‘Minutes’ of Occupy Auckland General Assemblies – 1 February 2012 and 15 February 2012, which record agreed decisions on a number of matters:

    MINUTES OF OCCUPY AUCKLAND GENERAL ASSEMBLY WEDNESDAY
    1 FEBRUARY 2012

    RESOLVED BY CONSENSUS:

    “That Occupy Auckland endorse/support the PRINCIPLE of a draft Action Plan to prevent ‘White Collar crime, corruption and corporate welfare.”

    OCCUPY AUCKLAND (General Assembly 1/2/2012) SUPPORTS THE PRINCIPLE OF A DRAFT ACTION PLAN TO PREVENT CORRUPTION – ‘WHITE COLLAR’ CRIME & ‘CORPORATE WELFARE’ IN NEW ZEALAND [DRAFT DISCUSSION DOCUMENT ONLY]

    1. Get our anti-corruption domestic legislative framework in place so NZ can ratify the UN Convention Against Corruption.

    2. Set up an NZ independent anti-corruption body tasked with educating the public and PREVENTING corruption.

    3. Change NZ laws to ensure genuine transparency in the funding of candidates for elected public office and political parties at central government level

    4. Legislate for an enforceable ‘Code of Conduct’ for NZ Members of Parliament (who make the rules for everyone else).

    5. Make it an offence under the Local Government Act 2002 for NZ Local Government elected representatives to breach their ‘Code of Conduct’.

    6. Make it a lawful requirement for a publicly-available ‘Register of Interests’ for NZ Local Government elected representatives.

    7. Make it a lawful requirement for a publicly-available ‘Register of Interests’ for NZ Central Government staff responsible for property and procurement, (including the Ministry of Health), in order to help prevent ‘conflicts of interest’.

    8. Make it a lawful requirement for a publicly-available ‘Register of Interests’ for NZ Local Government staff, and Directors and staff employed by ‘Council-Controlled Organisations (CCOs) responsible for property and procurement.

    9. Make it a lawful requirement for details of ‘contracts issued’ – including the name of the contractor; scope, term and value of the contract to be published in NZ Central Government Public Sector, and Local Government (Council), and ‘Council-Controlled Organisation (CCO) Annual Reports so that they are available for public scrutiny.

    10. Make it a lawful requirement that a ‘cost-benefit analysis’ of NZ Central Government, and Local Government public finances be undertaken to prove that private procurement of public services previously provided ‘in-house’ is cost-effective for the public majority. If not – then return public service provision to staff directly employed ‘in-house’ and cut out these private contractors who are effectively dependent on ‘corporate welfare’.

    11. Legislate for a legally-enforcable ‘Code of Conduct’ for members of the NZ Judiciary, to ensure they are not ‘above the law’.

    12. Ensure that ALL NZ Court proceedings are recorded, and audio records made available to parties who request them.

    13. Make it a lawful requirement for a publicly-available NZ Judicial ‘Register of Interests’, to help prevent ‘conflicts of interest’.

    14. Make it a lawful requirement for a publicly-available NZ ‘Register of Lobbyists’ at Central Government Ministerial level.

    15. Make it a lawful requirement at NZ Central and Local Government level for a ‘post-separation employment quarantine’ period from the time officials leave the public service to take up a similar role in the private sector. (Help stop the ‘revolving door’).

    16. Make it a lawful requirement that it is only a binding vote of the public majority that can determine whether public assets held at NZ Central or Local Government level are sold; or long-term leased via Public-Private –Partnerships (PPPs).

    17. Make it unlawful for politicians to knowingly misrepresent their policies prior to election at central or local government level.

    18. Make laws to protect individuals, NGOs and community-based organisations who are ‘whistleblowing’ against ‘conflicts of interest’ and corrupt practices at central and local government level and within the judiciary.

    19. Legislate to help stop ‘State Capture’, a form of ‘grand corruption’ arguably endemic in NZ – where vested interests get their way at the ‘policy level’ before legislation is passed which serves their interests.

    [Feedback to Occupy Auckland can be sent c/- Penny Bright waterpressure@gmail.com to assist further debate/discussion/workshopping ]
    ____________________________________________________________________________

    MINUTES OF OCCUPY AUCKLAND GENERAL ASSEMBLY WEDNESDAY 15 FEBRUARY 2012

    Minute-taker: Penny Bright

    MINUTES OF THE OCCUPY AUCKLAND GENERAL ASSEMBLY HELD ON SUNDAY 12 FEBRUARY 2012 WERE AGREED BY CONSENSUS OF THOSE WHO WERE PRESENT AT THAT MEETING TO BE A TRUE AND ACCURATE ACCOUNT:

    ……

    ANNOUNCEMENTS: 15 FEBRUARY 2012 NEW EVENTS:

    1) ‘AOTEAROA IS NOT FOR SALE’ PUBLIC MEETING:

    DATE: Friday, 17 February 2012TIME: 7pm VENUE: Trades Hall, 147 Great Nth Rd, Grey Lynn

    GA (General Assembly) agreed that Penny, on behalf of Occupy Auckland to take the following proposal (passed by unanimous consensus at the Occupy Auckland GA, Sunday 12 February 2012), to the above-mentioned ‘AOTEAROA IS NOT FOR SALE’ PUBLIC MEETING:

    1) That Occupy Auckland support the new group that was formed on Thursday 9 February 2012, at the Unite Office 6A Western Springs Rd, Kingsland – ‘Aotearoa is not for sale’, particularly focusing on opposing the proposed ‘partial privatisation’ of State-owned assets.

    2) That Occupy Auckland help organize opposition to proposed State-Owned asset sales, by making available to the public, hard copy ‘submission’ forms which can be sent to Treasury, who are organizing the ‘consultation’, (‘submissions must be in by 5pm 22 February, 2012).

    3) That Occupy Auckland concentrate on public ‘outreach’ activities, co-ordinating with as many other interested parties / groups as possible, preferably on a daily basis, including, but not limited to publicizing:

    a. Opposition to State-Owned asset sales.

    b. Opposition to the NZ Food Bill.

    c. Support for the Ports of Auckland workers.

    d. Support for the Tamaki Housing Group.

    e. Collecting signatures for the petition for an inquiry into the Huljich Kiwisaver prosecutions.

    f. Collecting submission forms opposing the sale of State-Owned assets.

    That the suggested public ‘outreach’ point be opposite the Auckland Town Hall on Queen Street, but if there are other events on at that time we go there.

    That the form of this public ‘outreach’ be, banners on fence, fold-up table and chairs, clip boards, and ‘protest ponchos’. Penny is prepared to help organise this activity. …..”

    ______________________________________________________

    Penny Bright
    Occupy Auckland Appellant (in my own name).
    ‘Anti-corruption campaigner’

    2013 Auckland Mayoral Candidate

    [lprent: Good win. Too long.. ]

  21. Ennui in Requiem 23

    Just looking at the Chavez RIP column got me thinking: for the Left Chavez was a real hero, flaws and all. On the news tonight people in Caracas were crying, wailing for their “Hero”. Like our own Michael Joseph.

    Shearer??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

    • Colonial Viper 23.1

      Not much chance that Shearer is going to be PM for 2 terms let alone 4.

  22. North 25

    I see Keith Locke saying that Key should go to Chavez’ funeral. And that he’s screwed up not doing so (or at least that’s how it’s reported on Stuff where it’s highlighted as a snub).

    Yeah, I see that. Possibility of impressing Latin America etc, and that’s Locke’s reported line.

    Well actually, to be fair, if he did contrive to go, I’d lash him as a showboat prick.

    John Key whose heart beats for Wall Street is not fit to attend the funeral of a man whose heart beat for his people.

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    15 hours ago
  • March ’15 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    There are now over 300 blogs on the list, although I am weeding out those which are no longer active or have removed public access to sitemeters. (Let me know if I weed out yours by mistake, or get your stats wrong).… ...
    16 hours ago
  • the stone in Winston
    The Greens made a good choice in not standing a candidate in the Northland by-election but the win from Winston and NZF is not good news for them.I like the Green Party and I'd be happy if they were dominant… ...
    17 hours ago
  • Secret squirrel
    The New Zealand Herald reports: Labour has attacked the degree of secrecy about the preparation of a New Zealand troop deployment to Iraq. The ABC in Australia revealed yesterday that New Zealand troops had begun training with the Australian Defence… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    17 hours ago
  • A victory on freshwater
    Fresh water quality is one of the big environmental battlegrounds in New Zealand, with the government hellbent on destroying it for the profit of its cronies in the dairy sector, while the public understandably wants rivers which are safe to… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    18 hours ago
  • Member’s Day
    Today is a Member's Day. And the big question is what will the parties do in expectation of the shift in the balance of power when the Northland by-election results are finalised? Will they filibuster to prevent ballots or preserve… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    18 hours ago
  • Midweek lunch break
    Sit back and relax to these soothing, beautiful Wrestlemania 31 gifs. Best. Entrance. Ever. Dean. Fucking. Ambrose. Ronda. Fucking. Rousey. Super. Ladder. Plex. RKO. Outta. Nowhere. ...
    Boots TheoryBy Stephanie Rodgers
    18 hours ago
  • No spy, no fly
    A really disturbing report out of the US: The United States Justice Department has moved to dismiss a lawsuit in which American Muslims allege that that twenty-five law enforcement officials, particularly FBI agents, had them placed on the No Fly… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    18 hours ago
  • Will the Govt’s new HomeStarter scheme make it easier to buy a house?
    The Government is defending a new subsidy scheme for low and middle income couple who build a new home, but the Labour Party says it will add to the housing crisis. New Zealanders on the hunt for their first home… ...
    18 hours ago
  • Invercargill to become New Zealand’s Capital City
    At a specially called press conference this morning, Prime Minister John Key announced that Invercargill was to become New Zealand's new capital. The news was unexpected as there had been no awareness that moving the capital was even being considered.Key… ...
    19 hours ago
  • Not in my backyard!
    As we have written before on Transportblog, we think that choice in housing and transport markets is really important. In particular, Aucklanders need to be able to choose not to live in apartments. Therefore we must act now to ban… ...
    Transport BlogBy Peter Nunns
    19 hours ago
  • The Nashing Of Labour’s Teeth: Why Being Green Ain’t Getting An...
    Red In Tooth And Claw: Stuart Nash, winner of the provincial seat of Napier, clearly intends to build Labour's vote by savaging the Greens. IF THE GREENS want a glimpse of their future with Labour, then they should listen to… ...
    19 hours ago
  • Hard News: The other kind of phone tapping
    When I was a lad, we didn't have your fancy smartphones. We didn't have mobile phones at all, which meant there was much greater need for public payphones and they were consequently more numerous. The funny thing was, there was… ...
    20 hours ago
  • The Age of Sustainable Development
    It is profoundly depressing to hear pundits and politicians talking about the prospects for economic growth with no reference to either equity or environmental constraints. In the case of New Zealand a “rock star” economy can apparently develop accompanied by… ...
    Hot TopicBy Bryan Walker
    20 hours ago
  • Asbestos needs a ban and a plan – petition presented
    Workers have today presented a petition signed by over a thousand New Zealanders calling on the Government to ban the importation of asbestos and develop a comprehensive plan for the removal of all existing asbestos in New Zealand.  Photo:  … ...
    CTUBy andrew.chick
    20 hours ago
  • Genius from google
    PacMan on google maps. I'm guessing for today only. Complete genius. Sweet! Just click on the PacMan logo on the bottom left and you're off. The Courtenay Place end of Wellington is easier to play than the Parliament end.… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    20 hours ago
  • Hard News: The GCSB and the consequences of mass surveillance
    Fewer whistleblowers, more corruption, less stability.That's the assessment of longtime Pacific journalist Jason Brown of the impact of the revelation that the GCSB has been conducting "full take" collection of communications in Samoa, Fiji, Solomon Islands and other Pacific nations… ...
    20 hours ago
  • Paid Parental leave increases – but more work needed
    Workers are pleased that, from today, paid parental leave increases from 14 to 16 weeks, but unfortunately New Zealand is still well behind the support that other countries offer to new parents, the Council of Trade Unions said. Photo:  … ...
    CTUBy Huia.Welton
    21 hours ago
  • QOTD: snark vs smarm
    From the epic On Smarm by Tom Scocca at Gawker: Snark is often conflated with cynicism, which is a troublesome misreading. Snark may speak in cynical terms about a cynical world, but it is not cynicism itself. It is a theory of… ...
    Boots TheoryBy Stephanie Rodgers
    21 hours ago
  • Birkenhead Transport orders triple-articulated double decker bus
    Birkenhead Transport announced today that it is planning replace its entire fleet with a single triple-articulated double decker bus. The bus is 57m long and over 4m tall. The Walfisch 57 double decker triple-bendy bus. Owner, managing director and part… ...
    21 hours ago
  • The X Factor NZ: That summer feeling
    Improvements have been made, true contenders are emerging and Dominic Bowden only grows in power.   X Factor NZ judges Shelton Woolwright, Natalie Bassingthwaighte, Stan Walker and Melanie Blatt. Photo: The X Factor NZ A good X… ...
    21 hours ago
  • MPs back animal testing ban
    From left, owner of Crumpet the Rabbit Greta-Mae McDowell, Green Party MP Mojo Mathers and #BeCrueltyFree campaigner Tara Jackson. MPs have unanimously supported a ban on animal testing in New Zealand for finished cosmetic products and their… ...
    22 hours ago

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  • Many regions need by-election levels of support
    Northland is not the only region struggling under the National Government, but unfortunately places like Gisborne, Whanganui and Tasman do not have by-elections on the horizon, Labour’s Economic Development spokesperson David Clark says. “A desperate National Party has thrown money… ...
    15 hours ago
  • Real changes must come from CYF review
    A well-overdue revamp of Child, Youth and Family cannot be just another cost cutting exercise, Labour’s Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. “Labour has been pushing for a review for some time. It was part of our policy at the election. ...
    15 hours ago
  • Latest Air NZ plan carries on regional snub
    Christchurch Labour Members of Parliament have secured a meeting with Air New Zealand boss Christopher Luxon following the airline’s decision to cut its Christchurch to Tokyo summer flights.  They are also calling on the Minister of Transport Simon Bridges to… ...
    2 days ago
  • Carmel Sepuloni back in Social Development role
    Andrew Little has reinstated Carmel Sepuloni as Labour’s Social Development spokesperson following the sentencing of her mother in the New Plymouth District Court today. “It has been a tough time for Carmel, but we both agreed it was appropriate she… ...
    2 days ago
  • Government taking Kiwis for April Fools
    Many Kiwis will be wondering if the joke is on them when a raft of Government changes come into effect tomorrow, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “First is ACC and National’s unwillingness to end its rort of Kiwi businesses which… ...
    2 days ago
  • Time to show RMA housing affordability plans
    Labour is challenging the Government to reveal its plans to make housing more affordable through amending the Resource Management Act, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “Labour remains willing to consider the proposals on housing affordability on their merits and… ...
    2 days ago
  • John Key now admits no broad support for RMA changes
    John Key has now been forced to admit that he never had the broad political support to gut the Resource Management Act, says Labour’s Environment spokesperson Megan Woods. “Cornerstone legislation such as the RMA should never be changed without genuine… ...
    3 days ago
  • National’s changes leave student bodies in chaos
    The chaos created by National’s scrapping of compulsory student association membership may force the 86-year old Union of Students Association to fold, Labour’s Tertiary Education spokesperson David Cunliffe says. “National’s 2011 Voluntary Student Membership Act has left student associations with… ...
    3 days ago
  • Tragedy must be impetus for better training
    The Police Minister needs to explain why unsworn and inadequately trained custody officers were put in a situation of caring for a medically unwell prisoner on a busy Saturday night, Labour’s Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. Commenting on an IPCA… ...
    6 days ago
  • Government must be more transparent on investor state clauses
    The Government must be more transparent around the draft investor state dispute settlements in the TPPA, says David Parker, Labour’s Export Growth and Trade spokesperson. “Labour is pro trade, and is proud of the FTA we negotiated with China, which… ...
    6 days ago
  • Protect university staff and student voices
    The Green Party believes ensuring student and staff representation on university councils is important. National recently passed a law reducing the size of university governance councils while increasing the proportion of the members nominated by, guess who… Steven Joyce. The… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
    7 days ago
  • C’mon Nick what’s the truth on the RMA
     “Nick Smith has got to fess up and tell us what is happening to his much vaunted RMA reform, Labour’s Environment spokesperson Megan Woods says.  “With just a day and a half to go before the polls open in Northland,… ...
    7 days ago
  • SSC salaries sink National’s spending spin
    Massive pay rises at the State Services Commission prove National’s claims of clamping down on spending in the public sector are simply fantasy, Labour’s State Services spokesman Kris Faafoi says. “Salaries in this one department are almost $70,000 more than… ...
    7 days ago
  • We can fix Christchurch and keep our assets
    The Christchurch City Council is seeking public feedback on its proposed 10 year plan for Council revenue and spending. This is probably one of the most significant 10 year plans ever to be written by a local council because of… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    7 days ago
  • Epidemic of serious assaults in our prisons
    Labour wants stab proof vests and pepper spray for all corrections officers to keep them safe from the epidemic of serious prison assaults that are occurring around the country’s jails, says Labour’s Corrections Spokesperson Kelvin Davis.  “There have been five… ...
    7 days ago
  • Listen to the locals Hekia!
    Minister Hekia Parata needs to understand what consultation is, Port Hills MP Ruth Dyson says. “It means you have to listen to what people say in their submissions and then be able to demonstrate you have considered their views when… ...
    1 week ago
  • Thanking our caregivers
    Let’s celebrate and thank our caregivers. This week is caregivers’ week. It’s a chance to acknowledge the thousands of women, and occasional other person, who are caring for the elderly and disabled in our country. They hold people’s lives in… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    1 week ago
  • Mana Post shop the best outcome for community
    Labour MP for Mana Kris Faafoi has welcomed the move to place the services from the Mana Post shop to a local small business. “This is the best outcome for the community we could ask for. All the vital services… ...
    1 week ago
  • Roundup: UN finds it “probably” causes cancer
    At last the UN has spoken out against the widely-used weedkiller Roundup. The UN’s International Agency for Research on Cancer has identified glyphosate, the principle ingredient in Roundup, as a probable carcinogen. They also include as probable carcinogens the insecticides… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    1 week ago
  • World water day: eight rivers in one day
    Our photo journey started by the Waioweka (also known as Waioeka) River which flows from Te Urewera to Opotiki, and is surrounded by beautiful forest. The water looked great! Kopeopeo Canal It contrasted greatly with the Kopeopeo Canal near Whakatane,… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    1 week ago
  • We all benefit when education meets everyone’s needs
    As Dyslexia week comes to a close,  Dyslexia NZ have reminded us that around 10% of our citizens are dyslexic and are entitled to better support. One of their strongest arguments is that failure to provide identification and support for… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    1 week ago
  • Big change starts small
    Today marks Race Relations Day in New Zealand. Race Relations Day coincides with the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.  The United Nations General Assembly chose this day as it marks the day in 1960 when 69 peaceful… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Israel, Palestine and the question of statehood
    The knife-edge election in Israel complicates the Middle East situation, even more than usual. The Prime Minister-elect, Binyamin Netanyahu, is moving to form a government. Netanyahu has indicated that, during his term, a Palestinian state would not be established. That… ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Christchurch transport goes backwards
    The Green Party has a vision of a liveable, accessible Christchurch with a sense of identity and strong connected communities. Instead, 2013 census figures released by Statistics New Zealand reveal a fractured community, and tell a story of frustrated Christchurch commuters… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Super Fund should divest $140 million in high risk coal
    The Green Party is calling on the New Zealand Super Fund to divest their $140 million investment in coal companies that are vulnerable to becoming financially stranded according to a damning new report from Oxford University. The Smith School of… ...
    GreensBy Russel Norman MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Learn to count with Mark Osborne: 0 + 1 = ?
    The adage about the first casualty of war being truth is one that might often be applied to the political battle for hearts and minds, and of course votes. A rather unfortunate example of this has been arriving in the… ...
    GreensBy David Clendon MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Is it still a safety net when the holes are this big?
    Over the last few weeks I’ve been wondering how safe our income support system is for people, especially those with cognitive or learning disabilities. I’ve been trying to support a young man who was severely injured in a workplace accident… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Pasifika – protecting the Pacific needed now more than ever.
    Over the weekend thousands of Aucklanders flocked to celebrate our city’s diverse Pacific communities and cultures at the annual Pasifika festival and the Greens were there to join them. The Pasifika festival has been held every year for 23… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Sounds Stakeholders Seek a Sustainable Future
    It was heartening to see a large number of people who care about the Marlborough Sounds come together at the Marlborough Marine Futures’ forum in Picton on March 8. Fellow Green MP Steffan Browning, who lives in Marlborough, and I… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    3 weeks ago

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