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Open mike 07/12/2011

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, December 7th, 2011 - 126 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…

126 comments on “Open mike 07/12/2011”

  1. ropata 1

    Hugh Pavletich on the political circus taking the ‘garden’ out of the Garden City

    There is a attitudinal change underway in Christchurch, New Zealand, following the first major earthquake 4 September 2010, the second 22 February with the third 13 June 2011.

    To date, there have been some 7,700 aftershocks in total and they are still continuing.

    In development and construction terms, Christchurch was on its knees prior to the September 2010 event, mainly because the failed amalgamation of local authorities some 20 years earlier, had bureaucratically buggered the city, sapping it of commercial vitality and enterprise.

    Development in the wider city had degenerated very much in to a “political game”.

    Some six months prior to the September 2010 earthquake, the writer discussed within “Houston, we have a (housing affordability) problem”, where Christchurch was getting it wrong with its ‘dense thinking’. And importantly – what some of the consequences are for the wider economy.

    The bloated centralized Council “ruled” – and still does – so that now, it is at war with its community and business.

    It is very much now a contest between the romantics and realists – whatever their political persuasions.

    The three key players to date have been the former accountant / forex dealer and current Prime Minister Rt. Hon John Key, former woodwork teacher and current Recovery Minister Hon Gerry Brownlee and former chemist / television presenter and current Mayor Bob Parker. From the time of the first earthquake event, September last year, these three people never grasped what needed to be done, to maintain public morale and ensure commercial confidence was maintained.

    An effort was made during the early part of this year to address the “leadership vacuum”, by bringing on board Roger Sutton, Chief Executive of the local Orion electricity network provider, to head up the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority, responsible to Minister Brownlee.

    Sutton has failed to date. He has not replaced the civil service management team, with skilled specialist people from the private sector to support him. Sutton’s abilities appear to begin and end as a “communicator”.

    • pollywog 1.1

      meanwhile…

      EQC accused of ‘jobs for boys, girls’

      The Earthquake Commission (EQC) has been accused of “jobs for the boys and girls” after employing the daughter of its claims manager at $75 an hour

      Assessors are chosen for communication skills not for their building knowledge.

      http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/rebuilding-christchurch/6096870/EQC-accused-of-jobs-for-boys-girls

      …meaning talk to Daddy nicely.

      This is what id expect following on from Brownlees appointment of Shipley. It’s a precedent thats been set and followed from the top down.

      So if it’s alright for Gerry the Hut to dish out jobs for the boys ands girls,and pay them more than they’re worth, it’s alright for everyone to do it.

      Reminds me of Pike river where he looked the other way on safety and monitoring so everyone else did also.

      • Uturn 1.1.1

        Last week I was researching a prominent player in NZ HR and their statement was they hire based on who you know, not what you know. They want the potential connections of your wider contacts. Not at all a huge surprise in that idea, except that in context it was a statement of class division that contradicted the publicly stated aims of the organisation. If you’re out, don’t be thinking of getting in; and if you’re a client, figure on staying one. In this economic reality, that means huge increases in the gap between top and bottom. I don’t have a lot of sympathy for the middle classes, but the current attitude of class division will eliminate the middle classes faster than any yet-to-be-concieved socialist revolution. No more getting ahead. No more New Rich. Only way is down. Note to “Mum and Dad”: these guys aren’t your mates, support them at your peril.

        Further down this page Pollywog says we should enter into partnerships with these born to rule delusionaries. I’d like that to be an option, but some are clearly steadfastly committed to ideals that will never compromise, in areas of great importance to society. In those instances, the public must simply sidestep official authority. This does not require any illegal acts, only that we refind in ourselves the elements of humanity we have been taught to dismiss under the influence of consumerism and the belief that paternal government will do it for us if we’d only give them more money. (This might sound remarkably like any number of variations of trojan-horse right wing policy, but I mean it in it’s individual, humanist, sense) Sure, a responsible government can act effectively with social intiatives, but that must never abdicate our personal responsiblity. Just act, in small moments, where there is need, where things that are clearly wrong can be made temporarily right. It’s not hard. It might even feel good.

        • Ianupnorth 1.1.1.1

          The town where I live dishes out various ‘research’ and ‘projects’ to lots of people – helpful if your surname is M****son or B**ois….

          • Vicky32 1.1.1.1.1

            your surname is M****son or B**ois….

            I know what those names must be… I won’t say of course! :)

    • Spratwax 1.2

      Judging by the election results, Christchurch people seem to be very happy with how the Government is handling the recovery!

      • rosy 1.2.1

        Stockholm syndrome ;-) or the ones least happy have already left.

        • Puddleglum 1.2.1.1

          the ones least happy have already left

          Or didn’t vote. Here’s the Christchurch Central Electorate results (Candidate and Party votes) for 2011 and 2008. National and Wagner haven’t gained any more votes (even after the specials they may, in fact, have fewer). So no more people have gone to National.

          The big drop is in Labour party vote (6,000 down) and Burns’ candidate vote (4,000 down).

          Overall, party vote was down over 9,500 and electorate vote down about 8,500 (or so).

          My guess is that a lot of people simply couldn’t be bothered to vote given their circumstances, rather than that there was a sudden mass disillusion with Burns, in particular. I don’t think anyone would argue that he’s done a bad job since the earthquakes. 

          There’s still the specials, of course. 

          • seeker 1.2.1.1.1

            After seeing the report on Campbell Live last week about the stress people are under living in Christchurch and how severe stress is now really affecting so many, I believe it has also affected voter turnout. When severely stressed, everything seems too hard . This year’s election was extra hard to me, and I wasn’t even living in Christchurch.

            To me, many factors made these elections harder and far more stressful than others:

            1. I did not feel informed enough about policies and thus under prepared to make decisions. I think this was the short run up to Nov. 26 after the RWC. As Phil Goff said, “he”, but I think he could have said ‘we’, ” could have done with another couple of weeks” to thrash things out. I still couldn’t find out why Key, (‘cos I am sure it is driven by him mainly), was selling the electricity assets. I asked my nat electorate office and John Key’s office, no one could give me a straight answer. So many different answers were given, in fact, or none, in the case of the PM’s office.

            2. We not only had to vote on who to elect – and we had been waiting 3 years for this- we also had to vote in the referendum as to whether we should keep MMP. This made two, no four, huge decisions to think about.

            3. To add to the other two, there was the huge worry of the asset sales. All very well for someone to say to me -it’s simple -if you want the assets sold then vote national ,if not then vote Labour-this two days before the election. Which is when it hit me -me voting Labour gave me a voice to vote Labour, but it gave me no voice about the asset sales. why had I not realised this before?

            In the polling booth I had my say about the party I wanted, who I wanted for my electorate MP, whether I wanted MMP and what would be my second choice. OK this was a lot to decide, but I had a voice. How did I make my voice heard about asset sales,which could mean life or death to some?

            I needed another referendum sheet, but I did not realise this properly until I stood in the polling booth.

            This is where my feelings of unpreparedness and worry had come from. Thus the election was all too ‘tinpot'(never mind tea pot) and banana republic- typical national -smoke and mirrors . Give ‘em cognitive overload, and while they’re puzzling about this, slip something else under the radar.They’ll never know what hit ‘em , and by the time they wake up, it’ll be fait accomplis again. Fiendishly clever.

            No wonder I was stressed at the thought of voting. and as for the poor folks in Christchurch….Having been so devastated and shaken for so long, I bet many could not even bear to think about all these choices they had to make, let alone be upbeat enough to tramp to the polling booths. Stress can be so debilitating and almost soul destroying.

            Please God the severely stressed get through and are well enough to vote next time.

  2. logie97 2

    Charter Schools.
    Will they be measured by the all-singing-all-dancing National Standards or not?
    Is the floating of the idea of these schools an admission that this government does not believe in the ability of National Standards to lift the “tail”?

    • No one measure on it’s own will ‘lift the tail’. Identification is important (National Standards may help with this) but the problems then need to be addressed and targeted.

      Failures in education are very complex, they involve not only schools but failures in families and society.

      Different initiatives need to be tried to see what works – and different things may help in different areas and demographics.

  3. Wow.  Even the OECD is saying that the gap between rich and poor in New Zealand is too big and it is advocating for an increase in taxes for the wealthy.

    And the increase in the gap in New Zealand from the 1980s has been one of the largest.

    Banks was on Radio New Zealand this morning saying that an increase in tax will not solve the problem.  The guy really needs remedial education.  Maybe he went to a charter school when he was young?

    • An increase in tax won’t solve ‘the problem’.

      Widening income gaps, high unemployment levels and entrenched intergeneration social problems are far more complex than going back to tax rates that didn’t solve the problem over the course of a decade.

      • millsy 3.1.1

        How many hospitals were closed by National before Bill Birch cut taxes in 1996? 38.

        How many hospitals were closed by Labour after they raised taxes in 1999?

        Taxes pay for social programs, and the lower the tax, the more our schools and hospitals are starved of funds.

        • Pete George 3.1.1.1

          Tax rates don’t necessarily equate to tax take, they can cause the reverse.

          Increased funding doesn’t necessarily equate to efficient use of funds.

          • mickysavage 3.1.1.1.1

            Noooo, fortune cookie Petey is here.
             
            Tax rates only don’t equate to tax take if you have a poorly designed system and you cut out back office workers so that the tax cannot be collected.
             
            Read the report Petey before you comment.  There is a wealth of information there from a very fiscally conservative organisation and they have drawn a clear conclusion.  Which regrettably is something I have never seen you do.

            • Pete George 3.1.1.1.1.1

              Tax take is more important than tax rates. Increased tax rates can have a negative affect on tax take.

              If business conditions are improved then tax take increases and employment increases.
              If employment increases the tax take increases, demands on tax decreases, and income improves for more people.

              • Something is more important than something else.  Increasing something sometimes causes a decrease in something else.
                 
                If conditions improve some things get better.
                 
                I am just seeing if I can get even more generalised than Petey.

              • aerobubble

                Increase tax rates have many effects pro and con. Those with influence will find loopholes to get around paying tax, usually a fee to a tax accountant. With too little tax government fails to churn money through the economy and allievate poverty, too much tax and government stifle innovation and companies move offshore. Now what is happening on the ground, well skilled individuals are leaving, private debt is huge, and we’re getting worse off. Stands to reasonable person that people who talk about matching taxation with OZ are actually fed up with arguing and just want the simpliest solution. Tax threshold, GST off fresh food, CGT, and take out the distortion that is sending kiwis flying to OZ. We are over taxed, newly skilled kiwis are over taxed, and those with wealth and property are under taxed. Because those over taxed LEAVE, the under taxed stay put and talk bollocks.

              • Spratwax

                Improving business conditions will not necessarily increase tax take- the tax loopholes are still there to exploit- its just that businesses can write-off more ‘costs’ against the earnings- are you naive, stupid, or omitting the facts like most RWNJ’s. Not to mention the vast array of private tax loopholes, Trusts etc.

                I’d like to know what the corporate tax take is for a start- I’d bet it is very, very low to almost non-existant. So Pete, improving business increases tax -take from the minions that are on wages and salaries because there are more jobs? You’ve just admitted that tax-take only comes from wage & salary workers. Is that fair?

                Employment increases do not translate into income increases- maybe if you’re a CEO, but the policy of capping inflation introduced under rogernomics (and maintained by Treasury to this day) necessarily requires a policy of unemployment (around 5% minimum).

                Get with the programme Petey!

              • mik e

                Pompus Git tell me why when National have reduced the tax rate they found the tax take also reduced.

                • AAMC

                  PG needs to be put in the #museamofneoliberalism

                  Try reading some economists that are still alive Pete,

                  From Krugman yesterday…

                  “These days, you constantly see articles that make it seem as if there was a great debate in the 1930s between Keynes and Hayek, and that this debate has continued through the generations. As Warsh says, nothing like this happened. Hayek essentially made a fool of himself early in the Great Depression, and his ideas vanished from the professional discussion.

                  So why is his name invoked so much now? Because The Road to Serfdom struck a political chord with the American right, which adopted Hayek as a sort of mascot — and retroactively inflated his role as an economic thinker. ”

                  http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/12/05/things-that-never-happened-in-the-history-of-macroeconomics/

      • Tiger Mountain 3.1.2

        Could be time for a Crosby Textor memo Micky, I enjoy those, always chuckle to myself. Obvious humour but funny because of being so close to the mark.

        Blinglish on RNZ this morning said “whether trickle down works or not is really just an idea”
        The OECD says trickle down has not worked. The inequality in NZ is more than just an ‘idea’ for hundreds of thousands of citizens. The new nats trick, now that they are available for interview again, seems to be just spray words around with little regard to their veracity, and keep moving.

  4. kriswgtn 4

    Widening income gaps, high unemployment levels and entrenched intergeneration social problems are far more complex blah blah blah

    and this govt that Your LEADER is part of of is making it worse and increasing these problems dickhead

    Proud?? of course you are fukin tory

  5. In the US the senate has just passed a law that will allow the US army to take to the streets of America and to arrest people and incarcerate them where ever they want whenever they want for as long as they like without a trial and without a jury of their peers.

    In Pakistan the US shot 24 Pakistani soldiers in an army base. In retaliation the Pakistani government has closed of the main supply road to Afghanistan and Russia is threatening to do the same.

    In Iran two army bases have been blown up nuclear scientists have been assassinated and a US drone has been shot down by Iran. The Mossad and CIA have been implicated.

    Two Russian war ships and an unknown number of submarines have arrived and a defence rocket system is installed in Syria as I write this.

    Russia has threatened to bomb the shit out of the countries where the US plans to install their rocket systems aimed at Russia and China is prepared to protect Pakistan even if that means WWIII.
    Fukushima has reached a China syndrome stage in Reactor one and pumped even more tons of radioactive water into the Pacific.
    And I haven’t even started on the continued Financial collapse of Europe.
    These are some of the things you don’t find in our mainstream media. Well perhaps on page 10 somewhere in amongst the feel god crap.
    I could link this to all kinds of sources but I’m sure deep in your heart you know this is all happening so I won’t bother.

    Sort of puts everything in perspective don’t you think?

    • pollywog 5.1

      So what should i be doing ev ?

      • Tiger Mountain 5.1.1

        Wait till the appropriate apocalyptic time Polly, and adopt the “in case of nuclear war” position.

        I’m not that cynical, people uniting got the yanks and soviets to pull their heads in a bit in the 80s, and it will have to happen again or everyone will be doing what the first sentence says.

        • pollywog 5.1.1.1

          I’ve had arguments with reductionists and idealogues about getting back to basics and doing their own little bit in their own little way as if it would make a difference in the wider scheme of things and got looked at like i was the enemy for suggesting that unless corporates and gov’ts come to the party it’s all for nought and that we should be looking to build constructive socially conscious partnerships with those who may be more receptive to change rather than trying to bring them down and start from scratch.

          • Draco T Bastard 5.1.1.1.1

            The corporates will be collapsing anyway – what we need to do is ensure that they psychopaths don’t take control again.

        • pollywog 5.1.2.1

          Why do i need a still for ?

          Can’t see getting blotto every other day is gonna help and i hate hate feel of dirt under my fingernails.

          Agree on getting off the grid but i’m more likey to jump into the system boots and all and start pissing on the inside of the tent instead.

          • travellerev 5.1.2.1.1

            As my blog attests too so am I but I still tend to my veggie beds and distil my own. LOL.

            In Europe traditionally booze and cigarettes were great barter tools during times of distress. If Cris Martensen’s contention is right and I have no reason to doubt what he is saying, we are in for a massive change and massive changes are never painless. That’s why I put it in my previous comment. but I agree getting blotto everyday is most definitely not the way to go.

            • Colonial Viper 5.1.2.1.1.1

              Yeah the products of a still can get you life or death products and services after a collapse.

              Its a wonder what people will do for you for a bottle of gut rot when there is nothing else going.

  6. NickS 6

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/rebuilding-christchurch/6096870/EQC-accused-of-jobs-for-boys-girls

    My how surprising…

    And worse yet, assessors are chosen on the basis of communication skills rather than building or civil engineering knowledge.

  7. NickS 7

    /groan

    We can haz sceptical tv programs for a fucking change?:
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/6096676/Sensing-a-rise-in-psychic-beliefs

  8. In Vino Veritas 8

    Thought for the day:

    “Government does not tax to get the money it needs; government always finds a need for the money it gets.” – Ronald Reagan

    [2 minute fact check of the day: Ronald Reagan increased US Federal government spending from 32% of GDP to 34% while cutting taxes. This resulted in $1.9 trillion of borrowing that the US is still paying interest on. Under Reagan, did not tax to get the money it needed, borrowed instead. A lot like National, really. Eddie]

  9. Spratwax 9

    Just read that a coal company in the US, Alpha Natural resources, is paying US$210m in damages for one of the worst US mining tragedies in decades, killing 29 men in April last year. A federal investigation found that the mine violated safety regulations.

    Will the families of the Pike River 29 get compensation?

    • pollywog 9.1

      I think they headed that one off yesterday in anticipation of liability.

      Pike River: No money in mine’s kitty

      http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/pike-river-mine-disaster/6092596/Pike-River-No-money-in-mines-kitty

      • uke 9.1.1

        This is why limited liability is immoral.
         
        It is not enough for the shareholders whose money enabled this disaster to simply lose their “investment”. They should be held criminally accountable. Just as they “own” the profits, they should “own” the responsibilities.
         
        “Corporation: An ingenious device for obtaining individual profit without individual responsibility” (Ambrose Bierce)

        • Colonial Viper 9.1.1.1

          Swiss banks don’t fail. In Switzerland, banking boards of directors are personally liable for outstanding debts if their banks go under.

          Therefore, the ‘give a shit factor’ is much higher on those boards.

          It is not enough for the shareholders whose money enabled this disaster to simply lose their “investment”.

          It’s the directors and executive management who should be on the hook. Not the shareholders.

          • Chris 9.1.1.1.1

            Yeah I agree with this.

            You could never have shareholders having liability. Unless they are majority shareholders they generally have absolutely no control over what the companies do and need to rely on what management and directors tell them.

          • uke 9.1.1.1.2

            If shareholders were personally liable for what their money enables to happen, they would naturally take a lot more interest in what their companies are doing, whether this be polluting rivers, exploiting workers, supplying arms to dictators, etc. – I expect even less of this would occur than with making directors personally responsible.

            The whole idea of corporations was to free investors from legal obligations that arose with the “partnership” model. Limited liability is an essential component of the apparatus of capitalism.

            The documentary “The Corporation” sets it out very clearly.

  10. aerobubble 10

    How hard could this be for you to understand!
    When Key gets into any kind of trouble he’ll
    invent stuff.

    Police have time on their hands!

    Christchurch schools are failing their pupils.

    Ad hoc justifications that have no basis in fact.

    Charter Schools are needed to keep the wall of
    noise around the government going, if controvesy
    should ever go silent National voters might just
    start questioning National handling of the economy.

    How hard could this be for you to understand!

    And why do you like being lied to? Well its
    simple, TV stopped informing you, your consent
    is nolonger required for them to peddle their lies,
    now even your election mandate can be ignored, Charter
    Schools and limits on government spending ad hoc invention.

    Because as a supporter of the government you
    immediately come to their side if they are under attack,
    and media make sure to reinforce the government line.

    Poverty increasing faster, and why would the media care?
    You’re too doppy to see the carrot and stick. The
    carrot you provide by supporting a mate (govt) under
    attack and the stick that if you question government you
    could be the next target of government lying. Oh, and
    expect to be used, like Police were used to create
    consent for the calling Police in to search media organisations.

    How hard could this be for you to understand?

    Take limits on expenditure, everyone knows the
    first thingthe next government can do is to remove the cap
    citing the need to grow the economy, when the economy
    picks up – as it slows help to industries crying out
    for help. Why would National want to slow increases
    in R&D spending by government when the economy recovers?

    So its all bullshit. In fact its pork bullshit.

    Its all about who they will put on the Charter School
    consultative group and how much they pay them, ACT
    party ‘pay back’ a doner alledgedly? So let’s sum up,
    National win by looking under attack (on National
    spin doctors CHOICE). Why not talk about CGT, or poverty,
    or education (not charter).

    In many ways, Key is treatened by education and by spending,
    and thats why the spin doctors need to set the agenda in
    these areas with ad hoc attacks. Growth down grade
    means lower taxation means spending blow outs. Government
    wants to move the anti-standard debate off the education
    debate.

    Key is quite happy setting precedents, like wanting
    to over rule courts, overrule magna carta protections,
    using police to investigate media during elections, and
    even shock horror invent stuff on manifestos even before
    the election count has yet to come in!!!!

    This is nologer smart politics, its lying, and the worst
    kind of politics, dictatorship of the powerful. MMP does
    not stop Muldoonism, its just makes the Muldoonist alter
    its methods. If we want good government we need our PM to
    respect democracy, Key doesn’t.

    And how can you not understand that lies in, means lies
    out, lies corrupt the invisible hand and the informed
    consent mandate. When we let lies stand we weaken the
    debate. There is no strength in National, the fact that
    they need to believe they can just distort means they’ve
    lost. They’re losers, desperately trying to hold on to wealth
    they never earnt and they now it.

  11. joe90 12

    Came across this 2009 article from The Atlantic: The Quiet Coup.

    The crash has laid bare many unpleasant truths about the United States. One of the most alarming, says a former chief economist of the International Monetary Fund, is that the finance industry has effectively captured our government—a state of affairs that more typically describes emerging markets, and is at the center of many emerging-market crises. If the IMF’s staff could speak freely about the U.S., it would tell us what it tells all countries in this situation: recovery will fail unless we break the financial oligarchy that is blocking essential reform. And if we are to prevent a true depression, we’re running out of time.

    The article continues, waving the yellow caution flag, until this passage:

    Boris Fyodorov, the late finance minister of Russia, struggled for much of the past 20 years against oligarchs, corruption, and abuse of authority in all its forms. He liked to say that confusion and chaos were very much in the interests of the powerful—letting them take things, legally and illegally, with impunity. When inflation is high, who can say what a piece of property is really worth? When the credit system is supported by byzantine government arrangements and backroom deals, how do you know that you aren’t being fleeced?

    The pricks must be rubbing their hands anticipating all those lovely state assets just waiting to be snapped up.

  12. Colonial Viper 13

    Claims of corruption in NZ true

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/rebuilding-christchurch/6096870/EQC-accused-of-jobs-for-boys-girls

    Unfucking believable. This explains a lot.

    And this:

    (EQC) Assessors are chosen for communication skills not for their building knowledge.

    • Jim Nald 13.1

      “communication skills” can also sometimes, in some contexts, be the euphemistic expression for “spin”

    • Spratwax 13.2

      I know of a guy who works at a well-known bank (a manager)who had a son in 7th form last year and this year he got a job as an assessor in Chch- regularly flies down from Auckland to Chch. If he’s getting $75 per hr at aged 18/19 for ‘communication skills’, this country and its processes are seriously corrupt!!

    • Draco T Bastard 13.3

      That’s interesting. My nephew, a qualified builder, was approached to be an assessor but was turned down because he didn’t have the correct assessing qualification – and now we find out that they’re only employing on communication ability.

  13. Jackal 14

    Alcohol vs Marijuana

    Surely the government could work to reduce the harm caused by treating alcohol as a dangerous drug. From young people binge drinking themselves to an early death to fueling violence and drunk driving, the destructive effects of alcohol are by far the most costly to our wallets and society.

    Contrast that approximately 1000 alcohol-related deaths each year with the comparatively harmless drug marijuana, which is widely used and hasn’t killed a single person…

    • McFlock 14.1

      While I largely agree with your comment, Jackal, I do take issue with “hasn’t killed a single person”. Besides the apparent corellation with various psychoses, which I won’t debate one way or the other, claiming that inhaling burnt vegetation into one’s lungs at the rate of use in the global population has never killed anyone borders on crass hyperbole (particulalry if you take into account the tar content of leaf, which although shit is still sold for consumption). Not to mention that much alcohol-related harm involves behavioural effects of alcohol, so you’d also have to include darwin-award behaviour like driving or operating machinery while stoned.
        
      Is dope safer than alcohol on a population basis? Almost certainly.
      Is dope perfectly safe? Hell no.

      Should it be decriminalised or regulated? From a public health perspective, there is a strong case for it. The only exception would be further research into its relationship with schiziod-type disorders, but that *might* be countered by the positive effect of quality standards regulations, e.g. not putting fly spray or class A/B drugs on it to heighten the effects. Same can be said for E.

      • Mutante 14.1.1

        I’m a recovering alcoholic and booze cost me countless missed opportunities and an engagement. Works for some people but hooks others in hopelessly. Weed on the other hand I can take or leave without wanting to consume it until it’s all gone and then go looking for more. I have a stressful job so a bong and some shit TV at the end of the day is nice and relaxing. So I’m biased but I can accept that cannabis seriously disagrees with some people in the way drink did for me.

        Personally I think that all drugs should be out in the open and regulated and there should be drug education in schools not based around warmed over War On Some Drugs(tm) propaganda like DARE.

        There’s a big double standard going on when I could get a free trip to the cop shop for having a puff in the park when there’s bottle shops on just about every bloody corner.

        That said though, I think the booze culture goes a lot deeper than advertising or availability. It’s something culturally ingrained. Same with macho dickhead behavior. That’s something already present that’s just turned up to 11 by alcohol.

        • Vicky32 14.1.1.1

          I’m a recovering alcoholic and booze cost me countless missed opportunities and an engagement.

          Having had alcoholics in my family, I very much agree with you! Alcohol needs to be more regulated… at the least!

          That said though, I think the booze culture goes a lot deeper than advertising or availability. It’s something culturally ingrained. Same with macho dickhead behavior. That’s something already present that’s just turned up to 11 by alcohol.

          Absolutely agreed!

  14. Afewknowthetruth 15

    trav

    Thanks for trying to pull the discussion back to reality.

    Unfortunately, most of those who comment don’t like discussing real stuff -like peak oil, financial chicanery that will lead to a meltdown, long term environmental collapse etc. (even morality is off the agenda most of the time)- so they do their best to get the conversation back onto irrelevant and trivial matters such as tax rates. That is exactly what happened during the so-called election debates, of course: no mention whasoever of reality by either of the major parties. Let’s not have an informed public that will start making appropriate choices. No wonder Labour lost support and the turnout was so low. Fortunately not everyone is stupid.

    The period we are living through is very much like the world of 1928 combined with the world of 1938 …. ‘the market will go up for ever and there will be no war’.

    The ‘magic’ of Christmas (which is a fake festival anyway*) will keep the proles distracted and amused for the next few weeks. After that?

    * corresponding with the ‘rebirth’ of the Sun following the Northern Hemisphere winter solstice .

    • Uturn 15.1

      “* corresponding with the ‘rebirth’ of the Sun following the Northern Hemisphere winter solstice .”

      I wonder if hanging decorations of angels on christmas trees has anything to do with Odin’s nine day self-inficted ordeal hanging from the “tree of life”. A god sacrificing himself to himself for knowledge of “the secrets”- there’s an interesting idea, almost artistic.

  15. Mike 16

    Cactus Kate over at Kiwiblog seems to be confirming rumours that David Shearer announced his candidacy after meetings with such people as Hooton, Odgers, Farrar and Slater.

    http://www.kiwiblog.co.nz/2011/12/own_goal-4.html#comment-911827

    [lprent: Moved to OpenMike. It is interesting but you'd need to reframe it for the post. ]

  16. joe90 18

    A sobering read from an unusual source.

    The American Conservative: He Was 22, She Was 12.

    He was 22, a corporal in the Marines from Preston, Iowa, a “city” incorporated in 1890 with a present population of 949. He died in a hospital in Germany of “wounds received from an explosive device while on patrol in Helmand province [Afghanistan].” Of him, his high school principal said, “He was a good kid.” He is survived by his parents.

    [...]

    So who, that same week, was going to pay the slightest attention to the fate of 50 year-old Mohammad Rahim, a farmer from Kandahar Province in southern Afghanistan? Four of his children — two sons and two daughters, all between four and 12 years old — were killed in a “NATO” (undoubtedly American) airstrike, while working in their fields. In addition, an eight-year-old daughter of his was “badly wounded.” Whether Rahim himself was killed is unclear from the modest reports we have of the “incident.”

  17. Ianupnorth 19

    You know the world has finally gone mad when Fox News labels Kermit the Frog as a communist!
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/shortcuts/2011/dec/06/muppet-movies-communist-plots-revealed

  18. The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 20

    All you lefties who voted for Winsome getting a nice warm feeling inside?

    http://www.starcanterbury.co.nz/news/mp-wants-taxi-drivers-armed/1200350/

    • felix 20.1

      Why?

      You worried that your mate John Key is going to listen to that idiot or something?

      • Tiger Mountain 20.1.1

        Shooter toting cabbies and liquor store owners–ACToids, what say you? The USA, where you seem to get many of the National/ACT policies enshrines the ‘right’ to bear arms.

  19. joe90 21

    Earlier this week Strontium tainted water was released into the ocean and yesterday it was reported that Cesium has been detected in infant milk powder.

    Meiji said it is unsure exactly how the cesium got into the powdered milk, but it suspects radioactive substances emitted from the Fukushima accident may have been the source. A company spokesman told Reuters hot air used in the drying process may have contained cesium

  20. tsmithfield 22

    Hmmm… It looks like ex-Labour voters helped vote this guy in.. Nice.

    • chris73 22.1

      Be careful what you wish…

      • Colonial Viper 22.1.1

        Thank you John Key for maximising Winston’s airtime during the run up to election day!!!

      • McFlock 22.1.2

        lol – “Walther PPK”!
         
        Obviously someone’s been watching the James Bond season on TV1. I’m surprised he doesn’t demand taxis have flip-up bulletproof screens and knockout gas for when passengers get a bit frisky. :)

  21. chris73 23

    So how come no ones saying anything about the strikes at the POA?

  22. Tiger Mountain 24

    ts, see my comment 20.1.1. How can ‘hang ’em high’ National or at the very least, ACT supporters, object to Prossers call to arms? Libertarian surely. Or is the point you are making just to have a snark at certain voters for unexpected consequences of voting Winston without being properly acquainted with the NZ1 list.

    • tsmithfield 24.1

      I just think its kind of sad that many former Labour voters hate the party so much that they’d prefer to vote for a party that is fronted by a proven liar and includes at least one right-wing extremist as one of its MPs.

  23. Jackal 25

    John Key dyscalculia

    Let’s see if John Keys claim that an increase of £7 to the APD is “four or five times the cost of offsetting the carbon emissions produced” is true?

    • Chris 25.1

      He obviously said that the tax itself is set at 4-5 times the offsetting the carbon emissions, not just the increase part.

  24. McFlock 26

    No doubt this will be National’s Brighter Future in a few years…

    • Ianupnorth 26.1

      Quite possibly, everything seems to be user pay – and then they take their 15% GST on my rates too! But what’s the betting that business won’t have any charge?

  25. Herodotus 27

    Soon 100% Pure will represent Travel to NZ for 100% exotic flora and fauna experience
    hate to think of how exposed the likes of Kapiti, Codfish, Little Barrier will be. It will be left up to the organisations like friends of Tititiri, Forest and Bird to save our uniqueness. Pity our environment is not worth spending a few $$. Extinction is forever :-(
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10771535

  26. randal 28

    I prefer extirpation of invasive species a priotity.
    the gubmint commends it.
    twang.

  27. lprent 29

    My freeview is down in Grey Lynn. Anyone else….

    Analogue 4:3 urrgh…

  28. I don’t think Kate Wilkinson actually understands what it is to be a Minister of Conservation.

    Slash and burn (of jobs and species) didn’t use to be part of the job description. 

    • vto 30.1

      It shits me puddle. Shrink the Dept of Conservation and expand the Dept of Mines and Irrigation. Says it all. Says it all. Says it all.

      And what of Pike River? Is it not exactly as was expected – deadly criminal negligence by corporate and regulatory and operational individuals?

      What a fucked up case. The most ever in NZ history I would postulate.

      so sad

      edit: and South Canterbury Finance… NZ is scraping its bottom on the bottom…

    • Colonial Viper 30.2

      Sort of like the Minister for Social Welfare.

      Or the Minister for Education.

      The sad irony.

  29. Colonial Viper 31

    Southern Cross Insurance Wants Government Handouts

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/property/news/article.cfm?c_id=8&objectid=10771374

    Fucking typical, lets nick the money out of the public health system eh.

    • Draco T Bastard 31.1

      Just proves the inability of private healthcare to function without government handouts and regulations that benefit them. We need to be ramming this down Acts throat as it’s proof that the preferred economic theories are delusional.

    • rosy 31.2

      The difficult economic conditions of recent years have already had an impact. The number of New Zealanders with health insurance cover decreased by nearly 25,000 or 1.8 per cent in the year to June

      It seems to me that many healthy people simply can’t afford private medical insurance and those that have high medical needs can’t afford not to have it. The next thing is a greater loss of consultants who make most of their money in private health. A good proportion won’t work more hours in public health – they’ll be off overseas.

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    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
  • MANA to fight mass privatisation of state housing
    Announcements over the past 12 hours from the Minister responsible for Housing New Zealand, Bill English, and Minister for Social Housing, Paula Bennett, make clear the government’s intention for the mass privatisation of state housing. This comes during the middle...
    Mana | 07-10
  • Journalists have right to protect sources
    Legal authorities must respect the right of journalist Nicky Hager to protect the source of his material for his Dirty Politics book under Section 68 of the Evidence Act, Acting Labour Leader David Parker says. “It is crucial in an...
    Labour | 06-10
  • It shouldn’t take the Army to house the homeless
    National’s move to speed up its state house sell-off shows it is bankrupt of new ideas, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “National has been in office for six years, yet the housing crisis has got worse every month and...
    Labour | 06-10
  • Government must lift social housing supply, not shuffle the deck chairs
    National's decision to shift the state provision of housing to third parties is a smokescreen for the Government decreasing the provision of affordable housing, the Green Party said today."What National should be doing is increasing the supply of both social...
    Greens | 06-10
  • Election 2014 – the final count
    While we have to wait for the final booth level counts we can now see how well we did in the specials and look at electorate level data. First off special votes (and disallowed/recounted votes etc). There was a change...
    Greens | 06-10
  • We need more houses, not Ministers
    The Government’s decision to have three housing Ministers will create a dog’s breakfast of the portfolio and doesn’t bode well for fixing the country’s housing crisis, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “New Zealanders need more houses, not more Ministers....
    Labour | 05-10
  • MANA’S CHALLENGE TO THE 51st PARLIAMENT
    Ten years ago I led 50,000 Maori on the historic FORESHORE AND SEABED MARCH from Te Rerenga Wairua to the very steps of this parliament, in a march against the greatest land grab in the history of this country –...
    Mana | 03-10
  • Is this really necessary?
    No one denies chief executives should be well paid for their skills and experience, but it is the efforts of all employees which contribute to company profits, Labour’s Acting Leader David Parker says. “Salaries paid to chief executives come at...
    Labour | 02-10
  • Lyttelton Port workers also deserve pay rises
    Hard slog by Lyttelton Port workers contributed to strong financial growth for the company and they deserve to be rewarded for their work as much as its chief executive, says Labour’s Acting Leader David Parker. “Lyttelton Port chief executive Peter...
    Labour | 02-10
  • Māori Party must seek guarantees on Māori seats
    Labour is calling on the Māori Party to ensure protection of the Māori seats is part of its coalition deal with National which is being considering this weekend, Labour’s Māori Affairs spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta says. “For the third consecutive term,...
    Labour | 02-10
  • Donaghys job losses another blow to Dunedin
    The loss of 30 jobs from Donaghys rope and twine factory is yet another blow to the people and economy of Dunedin, says Dunedin South Labour MP Clare Curran. “Donaghys was founded in 1876; the company has survived two world...
    Labour | 02-10
  • Dairy price fall shows urgent need to diversify
    The overnight drop in milk prices shows New Zealand’s overreliance on the dairy industry puts our economy in a vulnerable position, says Acting Labour Leader David Parker. “Dairy prices fell 7.3 per cent overnight and have almost halved since February....
    Labour | 02-10
  • Tasks aplenty for new Health Minister
    One of the first jobs for the new Minister of Health must be to provide an honest and transparent report into surgery waiting times and exactly how many Kiwis are not having their health needs met, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette...
    Labour | 02-10
  • 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
  • ​Media release: Rail and Maritime Transport Union – Auckland move for K...
    The Rail and Maritime Transport Union is questioning a KiwiRail proposal to progressively relocate its Zero Harm personnel from Wellington to Auckland. “The purpose of the Zero Harm team is to drive KiwiRail’s performance in health and safety.  Rail is a...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • Amnesty International – Friend request from an IS militant
    There’s always that one person, that one Facebook friend, usually a musician or event promoter, who, when you so foolishly accept their friend request, will completely inundate your news feed with copious event invitations and promotions. The person who, despite...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • NZ should follow the UK and recognize the Palestinian state
    Over the past two weeks, the United Kingdom and Sweden have made headlines through their decisions to recognize the state of Palestine. They are hardly the first nations to do so. Indeed, 134 countries have, in various ways, given formal...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • The Discordant Chimes of Freedom: Why Labour has yet to be forgiven.
    WHY DOES THE ELECTORATE routinely punish Labour and the Greens for their alleged “political correctness” but not National? It just doesn’t seem fair. Consider, for example, the Crimes (Substituted Section 59) Amendment Act 2007 – the so-called “anti-smacking legislation” –...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • Hosking or Henry – Which right wing crypto fascist clown do you want to w...
    So Mediaworks are finally going to make some actual money from their eye watering contract with Paul Henry by launching a new multi-platform Breakfast show over TV, Radio and internet. This is great news for Campbell Live who have dodged...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Families need more money to reduce child poverty
    Prime Minister John Key is mistaken to rule out extending the In Work Tax Credit to all poor children (The Nation 11th Oct) and Child Poverty Action Group challenges government advisors to come up with a more cost effective way...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Kelly Ellis – Don’t shit on my dream
    Once were dreamers. A large man, walks down the road and, even from 200 yards there’s light showing between his big arms and bigger body. It’s as if he’s put tennis balls under his arms. Two parking wardens walk out...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Labour and ‘special interests’
    The media narrative of Labour is that it is unpopular because it’s controlled by ‘special interests’. This ‘special interests’ garbage is code for gays, Maoris, wimin and unionists. We should show that argument the contempt it deserves. The next Labour...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Ru...
    . . Continued from: Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Tahi) . National’s housing development project: ‘Gateway’ to confusion . Perhaps nothing better illustrates National’s lack of a coherent housing programme than the ‘circus’ that is...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Here’s what WINZ are patronisingly saying to people on welfare when they ...
    Yesterday, a case manager from WINZ called to tell me that I needed to “imagine what I would do if I did not have welfare”. I replied “Well, I guess if I couldn’t live at home, I would be homeless.”...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • David Shearer’s ‘no feminist chicks’ mentality highlights all that is...
    Mr Nasty pays a visit Shearer’s extraordinary outburst last night on NZs favourite redneck TV, The Paul Henry Show, is a reminder of all that is wrong within the Labour Caucus right now… He said the current calls for a female or...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Greenpeace 1 – Shell 0
    Greenpeace 1 – Shell 0...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – A Tale Of Two Cities
    Sunday was surreal. I went for a drive and ended up in a different country. It wasn’t intentional but those days of too many literally intertextual references seldom are. There is no doubt that the Sunday drive this week had...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Key raises terror threat level to justify war in Iraq and now the SIS need ...
    Have we learned nothing from rushing into war? It’s embarrassing Key has raised our terror threat from ‘very low’ to ‘low’ so he can justify military action in Iraq. Watching him pimp for an American war is as sick as...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Socialism? in France; Austerity in Europe
    On Sunday I stumbled upon this recent New York Times column The Fall of France by Paul Krugman. Then I caught BBC’s Newsnight interview with France’s ‘Socialist’ Prime Minister Manuel Valls. Krugman notes that the Socialists came to power on an anti-austerity mandate, but completely squandered their opportunity...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • So Snowden and Greenwald were right – again – NZ Embassies spying for A...
    Well, well, well. What do we have here… NZ embassies involved in covert intelligence work for US – reportsNew Zealand’s embassies have been involved in covert intelligence gathering work on behalf of the United States, a fresh batch of classified...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Curwen Rolinson – Why David Parker *isn’t* a credible choic...
    The one electoral contest this year that a Labour leader is sure to win heated up over the weekend with the late entry of Finance Spokesman (and interim caretaker leader) David Parker into Labour’s leadership race. I’d blogged late last...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Fran O’Sullivan’s extraordinary column
    Note how the carefully constructed flow chart above ignores the mainstream media’s complicity with Slater and Dirty Politics    I am no fan of Fran O’Sullivan’s politics and would argue long into the day against her on many of the...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Final salute to Cunliffe
    Final salute to Cunliffe...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • David Cunliffe’s statement
    I am today announcing that I have decided not to nominate for the 2014 Labour Party leadership contest. It has been a hard decision to make but it is one that I believe is in the best interests of the...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Cunliffe to quit leadership race – the losers are the Labour Party member...
    That’s all folks   And so ends the first ever Labour Party member/affiliates choice for leadership. David Cunliffe is standing down at 2pm and is supporting Andrew Little instead. What a perverse turn of events. Cunliffe was punished by an angry Labour leadership forced...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Want to see new Nu Zilind? Read the comments section of Andrea Vance’s co...
    Andrea Vance is no stooge. She is one of the few mainstream media voices who has challenged power and authority, her latest column on the outrageous attempts by Key to use fear mongering to  spook the sleepy hobbits into war...
    The Daily Blog | 12-10
  • Humanity calling Government – anyone with empathy home?
    On Friday night groups of Invercargill activists and plain ole people who care took part in the 14 Hours Homeless event – sleeping out in the balmy southern climate on cardboard and couches at our Salvation Army Citadel. It’s a...
    The Daily Blog | 12-10
  • Labour, leadership and White blokes
    David Shearer said on TV3’s The Nation this weekend that he appreciated the support Labour’s received from Maori and Pacific communities over the last few elections, but that it was important to again, secure the votes of ordinary white blokes...
    The Daily Blog | 12-10
  • Wrong priorities in media coverage of Ebola crisis
    The experts have told us that there is very little likelihood of a serious Ebola outbreak in any Western nation – unless the virus changes so that it can be spread through the air rather than just via bodily fluids....
    The Daily Blog | 12-10
  • John Key uses the same old warmongering recipe
    Less than three weeks after the election Prime Minister John Key wants New Zealand to join a war in the Middle East and extend the powers of our US-focused spy agencies the SIS (Security Intelligence Service) and the GCSB (Government...
    The Daily Blog | 12-10
  • 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
    Ngapuhi kaumatua David Rankin has announced that he will be organising a nationwide petition to seek support from Maori voters to end the Maori seats. “These seats are patronising”, he says. “They imply we need a special status, and that...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Announcing a New Voice for The Left
    Josh Forman is pleased to announce the creation of a new force on the Left of politics in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Public services held back by poor workplace culture
    A new report by Victoria University’s Centre for Labour, Employment and Work shows that public servants are working significant unpaid overtime to ensure the public services New Zealanders value are able to continue....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • iPredict New Zealand Weekly Economic & Political Update
    Andrew Little’s probability of being the next leader of the Labour Party has reached 70% and Jacinda Ardern is favourite to become his deputy, according to the combined wisdom of the 8000+ registered traders on New Zealand’s predictions market, iPredict....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Prison Drug Treatment Unit marks a milestone
    Christchurch Men’s Prison’s Drug Treatment Unit (DTU) celebrated the completion of its 50th six month Drug and Alcohol Programme today, with the graduation of a further twelve offenders....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Security Council seat a chance for NZ to empower women
    The UN Women National Committee Aotearoa New Zealand (UN Women NCANZ) welcomes New Zealand winning a seat on the United Nations Security Council and is calling on New Zealand to use its position to proactively promote effective implementation of the...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Waipareira and ACC sign Partnership
    Waipareira and The Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding at Whanau Centre, Henderson – marking a special day for the West Auckland Urban Maori organisation....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Humanitarian aid desperately needed in Iraq and Syria
    Global Peace and Justice Auckland is calling on the government to provide humanitarian funding for non-aligned NGOs (non-governmental organisations) in the Middle East rather than give any support whatever for the US-led military campaign in the area....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Court Judicial Decision: Dotcom v The USA: 17 October 2014
    The United States of America is seeking the extradition of Messrs Dotcom, Batato, Ortmann and Van Der Kolk. The matter has been before the Courts on numerous occasions, and no further recitation of the facts is needed....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Marshall Island poet speaks at UN climate summit
    “The fossil fuel industry is the biggest threat to our very existence as Pacific Islanders. We stand to lose our homes, our communities and our culture. But we are fighting back. This coming Friday thirty Pacific Climate Warriors, joined by...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Many tourist car accidents preventable
    Simple steps could dramatically reduce the number of accidents involving tourists, says the car review website dogandlemon.com ....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • RainbowYOUTH: 25 Years, 25 More
    In 1989, a group of young people in Auckland got together to form a support group for LGBTIQ youth. They called it Auckland Lesbian And Gay Youth (ALGY). After 25 years, several location changes, a name change, a brand reboot...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Outdated Oath shows need for Kiwi Head of State
    MPs are sworn in today and New Zealand Republic has written to MPs asking them to talk about why 121 New Zealanders elected by the people of New Zealand and standing in the New Zealand Parliament swear allegiance to another...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Council shouldn’t revenue grab from windfall valuations
    Auckland Council should state clearly they will not try and capture revenue as a result of the latest valuations and needs reminding that the City’s skyrocketing property values doesn’t change the level or cost of Council’s services, says...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • EPMU endorses Andrew Little for Labour leadership
    The National Executive of the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union unanimously endorsed Andrew Little for the role of Labour leader, at a meeting held yesterday. “I have been speaking to our workplace delegates at forums across the country over...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • World Food Day promotes Agroecology not GE technology
    The UN has stated that agroecology is a major solution to feeding the world and caring for the earth....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Labour Names Review Team
    Labour’s New Zealand Council has appointed Bryan Gould as Convenor of its post-General Election Review. He will be joined on the Review Team by Hon Margaret Wilson, Stacey Morrison and Brian Corban....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Contenders for Labour leadership debate for first time
    The contenders for the leadership of the Labour Party debated for the first time on TV One’s Q+A programme today....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • UN Ambassador Jim McLay on TV One’s Q+A programme
    New Zealand's United Nations Ambassador Jim McLay on TV One’s Q+A programme....
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • The Nation: RSA President BJ Clark & Ian Taylor, New NZ Flag
    Lisa Owen interviews RSA President BJ Clark and tech innovator Ian Taylor about changing the NZ flag...
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • The Nation: RSA President BJ Clark & Ian Taylor, New NZ Flag
    Lisa Owen interviews RSA President BJ Clark and tech innovator Ian Taylor about changing the NZ flag...
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • Lisa Owen interviews Foreign Minister Murray McCully
    Murray McCully says New Zealanders can expect a 5-10 year engagement against Islamic State if we join military action in Iraq and the government will take that “very carefully into account”...
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • Lisa Owen interviews Julia Gillard
    Julia Gillard says there is “sufficient evidence” to fight Islamic State and does not think it will increase the risk of a domestic attack...
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • NZ businesses to make child abuse a priority conversation
    Many leading New Zealand businesses have partnered with national child advocacy organisation Child Matters to participate in the fourth annual ‘Buddy Day’ - New Zealand’s only child abuse prevention awareness day....
    Scoop politics | 17-10
  • Tribunal decision significant for SMEs
    The Human Rights Review Tribunal decided this week in favour of an employee’s right not to work on Saturdays for religious reasons. The decision may still be appealed but the Director of the Office of Human Rights Proceedings, Robert Kee,...
    Scoop politics | 17-10
  • On The Nation this weekend
    This weekend on The Nation… New Zealand has been elected to the United Nations Security Council, but what happens next? Lisa Owen interviews Foreign Minister Murray McCully from New York about our goals for reform, what America wants from us...
    Scoop politics | 17-10
  • 1000+ supported by Te Arawa Whanau Ora
    Over 1000 individual whānau members are leading happier, healthier, more successful lives as a result of eight passionate and committed Māori organisations working at the coalface to help whānau find success....
    Scoop politics | 17-10
  • Nomination for Board Members Now Open
    CRF’s objective is to create opportunities for people from refugee backgrounds to lead fulfilling lives and contribute to every area of New Zealand society. It is an organisation that undertakes advocacy work using the strengths-based approach,...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Anglican Family Care Otago staff to take industrial action
    Social workers, family workers and support staff working for Anglican Family Care in Dunedin and South Otago will take industrial action after their employer refused a pay increase that would keep up with the rising cost of living....
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Use UN Security Council role to overcome inaction and injust
    Amnesty International welcomes New Zealand winning a seat on the UN Security Council and is calling on New Zealand to use the role to ensure the body lives up to its role of safeguarding global peace and security....
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Grisham’s ‘child porn’ comments ignorant
    World-renowned author John Grisham has come under fire by advocacy group Stop Demand Foundation, for comments it says trivialises the global child sex abuse trade....
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Latest leak of TPPA intellectual property text confirms risk
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