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The Standard

Open mike 09/02/2014

Written By: - Date published: 7:15 am, February 9th, 2014 - 107 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

openmike

Open mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the Policy).

Step up to the mike …

 

107 comments on “Open mike 09/02/2014”

  1. North 1

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/kerre-mcivor-on-new-zealand/news/article.cfm?c_id=1502870&objectid=11198649

    More obfuscatory waffle from McIvor nee Woodham on a Sunday.

    “The commemorations at Waitangi involve coming together to share a special day with ritual, good food, fun and a few good stoushes – just like any other family get together, really, isn’t it?”.

    • Will@Welly 1.1

      Some columnists should simply write, “As a paid up member of the NACT Party, I tow the following party line …………………………” But that would be too obvious.

    • freedom 1.2

      I for one would be very interested in knowing what her [and others’] remuneration is for these opinions.

      I read fb posts that and are not only longer but have far less bias. There are tweets out there that contain more considered opinion and do so in greater depth.

      I repeat what I wrote earlier
      With Stuff and The Herald being the principal sources of daily news for the majority of kiwis, what hope does the public have of informed debate this election?

    • Paul 1.3

      Another example of the dregs that the Herald employs to sell its corporate lies.

  2. Descendant Of Sssmith 2

    As if arms dealers had any integrity anyway.

    When Antonis Kantas, a deputy in the Defense Ministry here, spoke up against the purchase of expensive German-made tanks in 2001, a representative of the tank’s manufacturer stopped by his office to leave a satchel on his sofa. It contained 600,000 euros, about $814,000. Other arms manufacturers eager to make deals came by, too, some guiding him through the ins and outs of international banking and then paying him off with deposits to his overseas accounts.

    At the time, Mr. Kantas, a wiry former military officer, did not actually have the authority to decide much of anything on his own. But corruption was so rampant inside the Greek equivalent of the Pentagon that even a man of his relatively modest rank, he testified recently, was able to amass nearly $19 million in just five years on the job.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/08/world/europe/so-many-bribes-a-greek-official-cant-recall-all.html?hpw&rref=world&_r=0

  3. freedom 3

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/9701077/Kiwis-guest-workers-in-Australia-Key

    “Key’s trip to Australia underscored the success of his Government in knocking the books back into shape after years of belt tightening – earning Key accolades from Abbott as an inspiration and a mentor. ”

    W T F ???
    knocking the books back into shape ?
    There are not enough words in the dictionary to adequately explain how flawed that statement is.

    With Stuff and The Herald being the principal sources of daily news for the majority of kiwis, what hope does the public have of informed debate this election?

    • Tautoko Viper 3.1

      “knocking the books back into shape ?” That’s garbage!!

      This from the National Party:
      “The level of public debt in New Zealand was $8 billion when National came into office in 2008. It’s now $53 billion, and it’s forecast to rise to $72 billion in 2016. Without selling minority shares in five companies, it would rise to $78 billion. Our total investment liabilities, which cover both public and private liabilities, are $150 billion – one of the worst in the world because of the high levels of private debt in New Zealand.

      Like every household in New Zealand, we know how important it is to live within our means by budgeting carefully and deciding on our priorities.”
      http://www.national.org.nz/mixed-ownership.”

      • RedBaronCV 3.1.1

        An another complete and utter lie by the Nact’s because nobody has any idea whatsoever about the value of assets that are owned by New Zealander’s offshore. Some have local tax implications but many do not and no data is collected about the capital sums involved. And of course even when they should be disclosed they may not be.

        So private assets owned offshore should be offset against private debt

    • BM 3.2

      Yep, good times ahead for NZ and you can put the down to the brilliance of John Key and his National government.

      50%+ at the next election is pretty much a certainty, especially after the idiocy of the best start debacle and then topped off with the racist bizarre ramblings of Labour party candidate Deborah Russell.

      Two real clangers and we’re only in February.

      • Tiger Mountain 3.2.1

        The tory shit sprayer seems to have turbo boost turned way down today if that is the best BM can offer.

        The brilliance of John Phillip ShonKey was certainly on show in Australia last week, he showed ’em. Sick really, National exacerbates the conditions that cause kiwi flight to Australia then the PM grovels for a few miserable concessions for the refugees from slashed and burnt and under supported NZ industry.

      • Skinny 3.2.2

        Key-National are their own worst enermy BM. Benefit bashing, dealing to the youth, poor and everyone else who didn’t turned out to vote last time.

        Voting is going to be in this year thanks to JK & Co, it’s going to be a white wash!

      • freedom 3.2.3

        There is a stumbling uncertainty in your spin today BM,
        Could it be the earworm of truth has eaten into your addled brainstem
        Is it singing an aria of enlightenment down into the ideological oubliette you call on for ideas
        Could it be there is a consciousness in there after all
        Trying to escape into the light

        There is a haunting desperation in your words
        A present lack of conviction giving you away

        Have you finally realised that despite your lies
        Your propaganda
        Your hatred
        You cannot put food on your table as easily as you once did

        Are you hurting BM? Are you feeling the pinch a little?

        Would it help you to know that hundreds of thousands of kiwis are beginning the same transformative process and are also grappling with that heart rending moment of truth

        They too are acknowledging that manure makes a lousy Amuse-bouche

        • srylands 3.2.3.1

          “Would it help you to know that hundreds of thousands of kiwis are beginning the same transformative process and are also grappling with that heart rending moment of truth”

          Good grief. BM is hyperbolic, obviously. But do you folk ever get out? I do. All around the country from the deep south to the Bay of Islands.

          The country is PUMPING. Bars and eating places are packed. The shopping malls are heaving. Every hospitality venue I went to in Westland was staffed by European travellers – I mean hundreds of them – because of a shortage of domestic labour.

          OK lets look at some empirics. 63.5% of those in the last RM survey said the country is “heading in the right direction”. That is 10% points up since DC took over as Labour Party leader.

          As far as I can find, it is currently the highest rating of this type in the WORLD. (This survey is used all over the OECD).

          http://www.roymorgan.com/morganpoll/new-zealand/nz-government-confidence

          So keep up your class warfare. You sound like a bunch of story boards from the 1950s my father used to tell me about. I guess you have always been around but now you congregte at The Standard.

          • BM 3.2.3.1.1

            This.

            For sure there’s a few people struggling but there always will be.

            Generally though most people aren’t which is why Labour’s getting no traction with the tales of woe they’re trying to push out into the media.

            Labour needs to ditch the negative shit and actually demonstrate why they’d be a better government than National.
            And by better government I don’t mean take money off one group of people and give it to another group who unsurprisingly represents their core voters.

            I want to see how they’re going to make the pie bigger so every ones better off, if they can’t demonstrate that they should just get the fuck out of the way.

            • tricledrown 3.2.3.1.1.1

              Bumptious Midden.
              More propaganda from 5 eyes.
              Broken promises is all we’ve had from your Nactional coalition
              1 year out of 5 of growth.
              Child poverty increasing.
              Middle classes paying taxes while the rich pay nothing .
              Higher real unemployment.
              Bene bullying and bashing.
              Real good paying jobs nowhere to be found except in Auckland and ChCh where living costs are sky rocketing because of Nactional party promoting property bubble speculation.

          • tricledrown 3.2.3.1.2

            Serial liar and fraudster
            The middle classes don,t agree with your pathetic propaganda.TV3 poll
            As they are getting squeezed into the working poor classes as you fully know that’s your job at 5 eyes to con Enough middle class voters into believing your BS.
            Fuck offf 5 eyed fuckwit.

          • phillip ure 3.2.3.1.3

            “..from the deep south to the Bay of Islands…”

            ..maybe next time you head to the bay of islands..mr soury-lands..

            ..maybe you should turn left @ kawakawa..

            ..and go and experience the east/west divide/gulf that is the north..

            ..go spend half a day in kaikohe..a half a day in kaitaia..

            ..go take the ‘pumping’-pulse of those places..eh..?

            ..go see the grinding miseries that define poverty like we have..

            ..and yes..greedy tory-prick class-warriors like yrslf..have..in yr own words..

            ..’always been around’..

            ..and you..are one of them..

            ..as you sit in a cafe in ‘pumping’-russell…

            ..you couldn’t care fucken less that a few short miles away..

            ..over on ‘the other’ side of the north..

            ..there are children with third world diseases of/from poverty..

            ..and lots of them..

            ..(and this all part of your handiwork..eh..?..

            ..the manifestation of yr ‘beliefs’/prescriptions for society.)..

            ..but you don’t fucken care about that..do you..?

            ..’cos you are..and always have been ..

            ..a slimy uncaring fucken tory-toad..

            ..eh..?

            ..phillip ure..

            • tricledrown 3.2.3.1.3.1

              RNZ this morning 11.30.
              The conservative right manurfacturing uncertaity.

              • i’m with pandora..

                ..i have 35 different genre/themed streams up and running..

                ..and on shuffle…

                (currently listening to ‘bugs henderson’..’it’s my own fault..baby’..(johnny winterish blues..)

                ..what was that ‘uncertainty’ being ‘manufactured’..?

                phillip ure..

                • followed by ‘blister in the sun’..violent femmes..

                  ..mmm!!!..tasty..!

                  ..then ‘nine hundred miles’..by barbara dane..

                  ..i love shuffle..!

                  ..then ‘crossroads’..by cream..live..

                  phillip ure..

              • veutoviper

                Here is the RNZ recording for this (Counterpoint section).

                It was very interesting nd worth listening to.

                http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/sunday/audio/2585086/wayne-brittenden's-counterpoint-for-9-february-2014

                • swordfish

                  Cheers, V.

                  Brittenden’s always worth the listen. Nice overview of the neo-liberal corruption of western soc dem parties.

                  Particularly liked: “social darwinism = the survival of the fattest”

                  • srylands

                    I listened to this. It was the greatest load of crap. That academic from Colorado stringing together platitudes about the evils of “neoliberalism”. Notice that Cunliffe doesn’t talk much about “neoliberalism” on the hustings. That is because the punters buying boats and ipads won’t have a fucking clue what he is talking about. And he aint stupid.

                    There is no alternative to promoting efficient markets and trade liberalisation. Cunliffe knows that. And if Labour wins that is what you will get, with some token “embroidery” on the great fabric of neoliberal policy (to paraphrase the great Paul Keating).

                    No future government will change the pillars of New Zealand economic policy. There is no alternative.

                    [lprent: I auto-spam overworked phrases when I get irritated with them from all sides. Be advised that I frequently ban the morons who make them when they cause me too much work. It is usually safer to use the actual names unless your phrase is new becasue I will only correct a few times. Assess the risk. ]

            • PapaMike 3.2.3.1.3.2

              Philip

              Your comment re turn left at Kawakawa is very pertinent.
              So why cannot Ngapuhi get their act together, as it would be for the benefit of those effective outcasts to the west of Kawakawa. Or will it ?
              All that is happening now is a fight between certain families as who is going to be rich and control and be the beneficiary of the $600,000,000, and who is going to remain poor.
              What about all the peoples of Ngapuhi ?
              They do not appear to matter.

            • Naki Man 3.2.3.1.3.3

              There are bugger all jobs in some towns up north so these people have two choices, either be long term unemployed or get a job in another town and move. Would you really want your kids to grow up in a shit hole where they will struggle to get a job? Lots of people move for work its just a matter of getting off your arse.

              • so..just de-populate the north..?

                ..that’s the naki-solution..?

                ..what a simple/simplistic world you live in..eh..?..

                ..a typical mono-brain..

                ..have you met soury-lands yet..?

                ..maybe if you both got together you could get a faux-stereo-brain thing happening..

                ..eh..?..

                ..with a bit of luck..?

                ..phillip ure..

              • Murray Olsen

                The District mayor moved. He moved the council facilities from Kaikohe to Kerikeri so he’d be closer to his developer mates as they cut down the remaining forest.

            • Murray Olsen 3.2.3.1.3.4

              Opua’s pumping too. Pumping raw sewerage from NAct yachts into the estuary and making the oysters unfit for human consumption. Out past Kerikeri is pumping as well. Pumping MacMansions into kiwi habitat, all with the connivance of the District Council.

              Auckland shopping malls are heaving? Yeah, sure. I was back recently and was amazed at how empty they were, despite everything being on sale. But then I doubt if I visit the same places SSLands does, because I actually have family and friends in Aotearoa, whereas he’s just an Aussie tourist. Or at most, a researcher for Crosby Textor.

          • freedom 3.2.3.1.4

            This is the same OECD where our wages are rated against each other despite the fact most of them have tax free allowances built in and we don’t? that OECD ?

            The same OECD which somehow forgets to highlight the skyrocketing % of debt-per-capita that NZ has suffered since National took office?

            and as for “European travellers” in the workplace,

            It is not for lack of kiwis wanting to work. It is because of the choices made by the business owners. Often explained to customers as a move made on their behalf to make their touristy guests feel more comfortable. In reality it is just cheaper than kiwi labour. These places, usually scenic in nature, or hub related, are filled with staff on short term contract deals, largely cash and/or barter based [some pay + tourist services + accommodation] where, if most of the details were actually known to you, you would be ranting against just as strongly. Let’s just say that hospitality is no different than banking, there is always some creative book keeping involved.

            Look at the explosion of Chinese tourism into NZ. Whole networks with barely a kiwi on the staff anywhere. From the minute they get off the plane to the day they depart. I guess that is because of dole bludging no hopers with no interest in working? Nothing to do with the decisions of the business owners. You know, the market gods you have so much faith in.

            srylands, I think I have mentioned this to you before but I have spent the majority of my working life in hospitality all over NZ , so don’t even try to talk about your vast expertise on that topic. Customers, as a rule, know jack about the hospitality industry. Recent discussion around bar restrictions and closing hours show how little thought is given to the workers in those industries. The fact that hospo staff might want a social life too, seems beyond most people’s consideration.

            Consideration, that is an interesting term in relation to the unemployed.
            Take this past week, where after sending off a dozen job hunt emails (with no reply of course), doing a bit of TS PPP time, finalising a business plan for a new venture that should lead to self-employment, (fingers crossed) hanging a new exhibition, overseeing the final OSH planning for an Organics Education weekend, being invited to present a new series of bone carvings to be exhibited during Matariki, negotiating the plans for a bookcase/screen for a local cafe and helping a friend get checked into a psych ward, I get called in to WINZ to spend 90 minutes explaining why I have not yet found a job and I should really fill in some boxes on a piece of paper that will help me find a career path. WTF!!!. Oh yeah it’s all those dole bludgers fault and their unwillingness to work.

            Back to you though, and your expertise. I say you know little to nothing about hospitality. The same as I know very little about moving around numbers representing money earned by other people using software programmes built by other people whilst I write meaningless reports to be read by someone maybe, all the while sitting in a chair someone else made, in an office others built, drinking coffee grown and produced by someone else. What is it you contribute again?

            -a week ago I thought I had the strength to ignore the idiots,
            but just when you think you got out, they pull you back in :)

            excuse the rant folks, i know what the report card reads – must try harder

            • weka 3.2.3.1.4.1

              Bloody good rant freedom.

              Your paragraph about your week is both a damning indictment of Bennett’s welfare reforms and a brilliant argument for the UBI. Even without the UBI I read your story and think about all the ways that WINZ could support you to be continuing with all the amazing things you are doing, instead of putting soul-destroying obstacles in your way.

              I agree re tourism/hospo jobs. Friends I’ve got living in tourist towns tell similar stories, and it’s crap to say there is a shortage of kiwi labour. As well as the wages, there is the issue of the casual nature of the work. Travellers or visitors here on work visas but who are really here for a working holiday are happy to work 20 hours one week, 5 hours the next and to be let go at no notice. Those who are permanent with high rents, kids to feed etc can’t manage with those conditions.

              The other troubling thing about the current immigration/visa/work policy is that we are creating the same problems that the UK has majorly ie ‘foreigners taking our jobs’, with the potential for the bigotry to increase substantially.

              • freedom

                I was remiss in not mentioning that the few staff I interact with at WINZ are trying hard to help. They are doing what they can, but the current environment they operate under has tied their hands. They know the work is not out there.

                They simply do not have the autonomy they used to. Their entire operational framework is now all about following whatever ‘meet this target’ law is sent down from central office. I hate seeing the difficulties the WINZ front lines are facing. The WINZ front line staff are dealing with some of this country’s greatest troubles, in impossibly difficult circumstances and doing so in a thankless, largely misunderstood and often threatening environment.

            • just saying 3.2.3.1.4.2

              Excuse it?

              Rant on

              and kia kaha

            • Will@Welly 3.2.3.1.4.3

              In the late 80’s/early 90’s when it looked like Japan was going to overwhelm the New Zealand tourist sector, we faced a similar dilemma. Japanese tourists were paying for their fares in Japan, staying in mainly accommodation controlled by Japanese shareholders, so tariffs were paid in Japan, shopping in Japanese run shops, run by Japanese operators, whose staff were paid in accounts held in Japan. Very little money at the time was actually following into the New Zealand economy.

          • tricledrown 3.2.3.1.5

            Serialiar
            5 eyed fuckwit
            Your ideology is taking us back to dickensian days.
            How much does 5 eyes pay you.
            Mcguffin.

          • bad12 3.2.3.1.6

            SSLands, you forgot a little in your elongated rant,(presumably generated by this mornings major alcohol hangover),

            The country is PUMPING, a large proportion of the flow from the pump being generated by the ongoing splurge of house price inflation and all the major banks attaching credit cards to the billions in private household mortgages those banks hold,

            The Reserve Bank is set to start raising the cash rate this year by probably a full % point by the years end which will probably translate to a 2-3% rise in floating bank rates immediately and a similar effect on fixed mortgages as they become liable for renewal,

            The abrupt halt rising interest rates will cause in the sugar rush of credit card spending will crash ‘growth’ in the final quarter of 2014/first quarter of 2015, (timed to suit the National Government re-election aspirations) and ‘growth’ will contract by 1-1.5% resulting in another 20,000 unemployed…

          • Paul 3.2.3.1.7

            Then don’t come here.
            Talk to your mates at the sewer.

      • David H 3.2.4

        Shit BM what you taking and can I have some?

        • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 3.2.4.1

          @ David H

          It is the ‘high’ (rather it is a dazed and confused state) that little twerps get from the delusional view that working for the top wealthy 0.01% Club is the same as being in that Club.

          It requires a high level of ability to believe false information, swallowing hook, line and sinker all lies propagated by a self-serving small minded and hostile bunch of ‘people’ (if you can refer to them as that – creatures? thingummies?) and requires strict obedience to that bunch of ‘people’. It requires a high degree of disconnection from oneself and ones fellow people, a lack of self awareness and an ability to lie to oneself and one’s family, friends and compatriots.

          It leads to an ability to act against ones own and one’s communities greatest interests – all in the name of the delusional belief that all this obedience somehow puts one in The Club, when really all you have become is a hollowed out approximation of a human and more closely resemble a human club (as in thing you hit others over the head with).

          Do you really want what BM is on?

          • David H 3.2.4.1.1

            Hmmm on second thoughts, maybe i’ll just keep my little foibles, and BM can just stew in his delusions.

            Phew… Thank’s Blue Leopard, saved me from a mindset worse than death.

    • Ron 3.3

      You should be grateful to Key. If Ab bott sees Key as a mentor then we should not have to wait too long before Australia is completely stuffed

    • Naki Man 3.4

      They are talking about the current account. Its not that hard to follow. Abbott is under huge pressure to do the same as National have. Don’t you like hearing what a great job National are doing.

      • Paul 3.4.1

        I expect Fairfax Media to write propaganda supporting a government that benefits the wealthy over the poor and foreign corporate interests over the civil rights of NZ citizens.
        So hearing from them ‘what a great job National are doing’ is predictable.
        After all, their largest shareholder, with a stake of approximately 14.9% is Gina Rinehart, the wealthiest person in Australia.
        NI guess naki you believe greed is good and share the same sociopathic ideals as srylands.
        Dull.

        • Naki Man 3.4.1.1

          Are you talking about all the wealthy people that have been earning a small fortune working for Gina Rinehart in the mining industry in Australia?

  4. Skinny 4

    Dear Genesis Energy,

     Thank you for the offer of a 2 year fixed term contract.

     Your offer of a price increase amounting to a 5.98 % rise per month was hotly debated in our house hold.

     However rather than be locked in for 2 years we have decided to tell you to fuck off and we will be closing our account preferring to shop elsewhere.

    Please feel free to disclose to potential 
    investors how many former loyal customer have done the same.

    Regards

    Mr Ha Ha  

  5. http://whoar.co.nz/2014/how-lapdog-journalism-led-to-the-financial-crisis-comment-and-how-our-business-media-of-the-time-manymost-still-there-pontificatingneo-lib-apologising-away-both-sucked-and-blew/

    (excerpt..)

    (ed:..and here in new zealand..the business-media were also a shocker..

    ..dutifully/unthinkingly reprinting the corporate-handouts/messages they were fed..

    ..and what compounds/(ed) this..

    ..is/was their willful(?) ignoring of the ever-growing warning-chorus internationally..

    ..with perhaps a nadir reached for them when they dutifully reprinted the absolute horse-shit/bullshit from treasury..

    ..just prior to the 2008 election..

    ..that what became known as the ‘great financial crisis’..

    would be ‘all over early in the new year’..

    of 2009..(!)..)

    (cont..)

    phillip ure..

  6. Colonial Viper 6

    US ‘privileged’ white male labor force participation rate continues to collapse.

    50 year drop accelerating.

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-02-07/white-men-still-cant-work

    • Bill 6.1

      I guess if there were also charts for black or Latino men over 20 that showed ‘Labor Force Participation’ at 72% or more, then the inverted commas might make sense. And, if further charts for white women and black and Latino women showed similar participation rates, then the inverted commas might even seem a tad justified. But only within the sphere of economic participation.

      And only a tad, because, you know, wage rates, security of employment, and job position would also have to be taken into account.

      Then, if we looked at more general indicators of privilege and discrimination and found that white men were subjected to the same systemic racism and sexism etc…then yeah, then the inverted commas would be justified. In fact, the term should rightly be dropped from the sentence/statement at that point.

      But since that isn’t the case, your inverted commas only serve to diminish the point that even systemically privileged white men are getting the squeeze. Sometimes Tat, deliberately projecting your blind spot goes beyond the cynical dismissing of important oppressions, y’know?

      • gem 6.1.1

        I think the point though is that structural advantages have not counted for much in the face of factors like offshoring of production and the financialisation of the economy. It’s a complicated picture because of all the different changes over that period, so not easy to make comparisons (another instance where ‘facts’ on their own are inadequate).
        Labour force participation for women is higher than in the 1950s because of feminism and economic changes. Partly because the population is ageing, many women work in aged care industries. And upheaval in the economy means fewer adult children live near their parents, thus more need for social services.
        I don’t know whether women in the aged care industry are better off now, where they are clearly exploited, than say 50 years ago, when they might have cared for the elderly and disabled in their family/whanau/community, and not received remuneration, but their partner earned sufficient income to support a family.

        • Bill 6.1.1.1

          I think the point though is that structural advantages have not counted for much…

          That overall economic opportunities may not be the same as in previous decades has absolutely no impact on how systemic disdvantage plays out. If people belonging to a generally privileged group are suffering more, then what do you reckon the situation is for those in generally disadvantaged groups? Are you suggesting that they might be in a relatively better position than before!?

    • QoT 6.2

      Oh shit, finally the white dudes are suffering after everyone else has been screwed to breaking point, call a fucking waaaaaaaaahmbulance.

      Like Bill said, the funny thing is how you’re diminishing your own point – about how everyone is getting hurt by the current economic situation, and how this is demonstrated by the fact that the most privileged groups in society are also getting screwed – because you just can’t handle the fact that sometimes progressive politics isn’t about directly benefiting you.

  7. Steve James 7

    This from Genesis last year when I questioned a 13% price rise. For the following to be true either each of the costs have increased by at least 13% or some have increased by much more.
    Genesis, owned wholly by us and yet lies and gouges.

    Tuesday, June 11, 2013 2:21 PM

    Good Afternoon Steve

    Thank you for your email.

    I understand price increases are concerning. We have not increased prices since April 2012 in your area. We have chosen during that time not to pass on any increased costs; however, we are unable to do that again this year and have had to pass those on to you.

    The new electricity prices reflect increases in:

    • transmission and distribution costs
    • costs associated with servicing customers
    • the expected future cost of wholesale energy
    • our margins to maintain a reasonable return
    • EC (Electricity Commission) Levies

    Genesis Energy is confident that after recent increases it will continue to provide competitive prices to consumers in Christchurch. Customers can be confident that Genesis Energy is doing everything possible to manage its costs appropriately. A number of business improvement and cost efficiency programmes are underway throughout our generation and retailing business.

    Our promise to our customers is to provide you with one of the most reliable energy sources in New Zealand and our focus is on customer service.

    Enjoy your day.

    Regards

    Raewyn
    Customer Services Representative – Administration Genesis Energy
    Phone: 0800 300 400
    Contact Us : 8.00am-8.00pm Monday to Friday
    Email: info@genesisenergy.co.nz
    Web: http://www.genesisenergy.co.nz

    • freedom 7.1

      Dear Steve

      When the wholesale price for electricity is artificially inflated and [unethically manipulated] of course the retail side of the equation will also be flawed. Why do you have so much trouble admitting accepting or even understanding that the main issue with electricity pricing is the market driven hunt for profit at the point of production and not simply the ticket clipping that occurs along the way.

      • Steve James 7.1.1

        Hello freedom

        Mainly because when I worked at Meridian I learned the prices where tendered for by the various electricity retailers; that’s just competition and makes sense because the retailers had a reasonable idea of their expected usage. So the tender included a demand and price offer. A Canadian company called Transalta (for memory) went broke because they failed to make the tender deadline in 2000 and were charged a retail rate by Meridian production.

        My observation is clear; a 13% price increase I believe cannot be justified by the response I was provided. If Genesis had simply stated “we want more profit” I would believe that; I am personally very intolerant of any fabrications of the truth. The intention of my post was to inform others of probable price gauging by Genesis. Mind you it’s got to make their shares more attractive.

        • freedom 7.1.1.1

          What about the fact the successful tender is the second highest bid and not the lowest bid?
          You know the exact opposite of what they do when they want something built!
          Does that compute in your brain at all when trying to spin the scale of the rort that is electricity production in New Zealand?

          thought not

    • Skinny 7.2

      I received the same price hike of 13% with their latest fixed term offer that makes the rise 18.98%

      I am yet to see MSM come out with decent journalistic coverage of the effects of Key-Nationals assets sales.
      This is exactly why power providers need to be regulated.

    • greywarbler 7.3

      .
      This from Steve James at 7.

      The new electricity prices reflect increases in:
      • transmission and distribution costs
      • costs associated with servicing customers
      • the expected future cost of wholesale energy
      • our margins to maintain a reasonable return
      • EC (Electricity Commission) Levies

      This point needs studying:

      • our margins to maintain a reasonable return

      This from the electricity company is a small number of words with a big meaning and effect.

      I was thinking that in a low inflation environment with static wages, these companies can find a case to give customers for raising their prices, by continually getting their assets revalued which is likely to be up or they wouldn’t follow the practice, and then applying the set percentage that they expect to receive back. And 10% has been bandied about, though tht seems quite high on non-risk investments. So obviously if something that was valued at $1 million is revalued at $1.5 million but the same set percentage is applied, the return on assets is going to provide a higher amount. This then must be sadly, passed on to the consumer as necessary and explained away as resulting from rising costs.

      This when viewed objectively, reminds me very much of the faux concern that unions involved with the ferries expressed every time they went on strike for more money at times of most demand, holidays etc.

      It’s just an entity squeezing the public for more money to them, for little or no extra services or infrastructure. Greedy unions or corporates, same attitudes, from different perspectives, result same to consumers, pay more to us. A bit of unpacking of the background to some of the supposedly rational behaviours in the production of goods and services is called for.

      • Bill 7.3.1

        Shame about the ‘greedy unions’ part of your comment. Obvious point is that the unions gain nothing from negotiations – the members do. I take your point about tactics sometimes being woefully thought out though and effects of strike action hitting the wrong target. (in the case of ferries, customers rather than than solely the bosses pocket)

  8. tricledrown 8

    Serial liar and fraudster
    No New zealander calls Westland westland you are full of shit.
    The Kiwis are all in Australia getting decent wages.
    Hundreds of foriegners bullshit again .
    You have no eye deer.
    5 eyed fuckwit sryland.

    • North 8.1

      How ridiculous is SSLands triumphalism given the speciousness of the poll enquiry as to “direction”.

      The poll question is undeniably suspect –

      “[GENERALLY] speaking, do you [FEEL] that [THINGS] in New Zealand are heading in the right direction ?…………..or would you [SAY] [THINGS] are [SERIOUSLY] heading in the wrong direction ?”

      For a start the question lacks definitional bounds – what does [THINGS] mean ?

      Secondly, the first alternative only minimally tests the respondent. It is a more or less enquiry as to the respondent’s general senses, which senses may be based on superb objective knowledge, or rank subjective ignorance. There is plenty of wiggle room.

      In contrast the second alternative tests the respondent considerably more. The respondent is required to mentally address specifics, viz. matter/s which the respondent can honourably define to him/herself, in his/her knowledge, as tending to a direction [SERIOUSLY] wrong, not just wrong, but [SERIOUSLY] wrong. There is the heightened test.

      Of course the intellectually dishonest blowhard SSLands will dismiss my point but that would be to say that ALL those who responded with “generally, right direction” see no wrong in child poverty for example. So really, this right direction/wrong direction business says little. It is specious.

      What is significant is that Mr 62% is now Mr 39% and falling. A “dislikeability” factor is operative. Don’t forget, we have KDC and “Liar Liar” yet to come. Triumphalise on and good luck in your travels through the pumping malls and bars of the nation, old goat you.

    • SHG (not Colonial Viper) 8.2

      No New zealander calls Westland westland you are full of shit.

      Wtf

  9. greywarbler 9

    Here are two good radio docos.
    The first on Income inequality –
    and amongst others featuring Max Rushbrooke, is well worth a listen. And gives interesting ‘insight’ into how Phil O’Reilly, and various economists, can explain our economy ad being as satisfctory and understandable as a ball getting balanced on a seal’s nose. Myself I feel they are dissembling. What do you think?

    was on Sunday 9/Feb/2014 at 8.15 am and is to be repeated on Radionz on Monday 10 February at 7.30pm
    and Wednesday at 12.30 a.m.

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/insight
    Insight – Sunday 9 February 2014, with Philippa Tolley
    NZ Radio Awards 2013: winner of the Best Documentary or Feature Programme & co-winner of Best Daily or Weekly series under an Hour Duration
    Insight for 9 February 2014 – Does Rich -Poor Divide Matter? ( 27′ 13″ )
    Penny Mackay investigates whether a big income gap really matters. Share Download: Ogg  |  MP3

    gap rich poor Once one of the most equal nations in the world, during the 80s and 90s New Zealand’s income gap widened faster than any other developed country.
    Equality advocates say that is too wide and is responsible for social problems including high rates of mental illness, teenage pregnancy, violence and incarceration.
    Others say obsessing about a “gap” is a distraction from tackling poverty itself.

    Penny Mackay considers both arguments and some of the offered solutions.

    Coming Up on Insight
    8:12 am Sunday 16 February: Insight: Education Solving Society’s Ills?
    Education spotlight shannon school The three main political parties, National, Labour and the Greens, started the year with major education announcements.
    Their attention put the early childhood and school sectors in the political spotlight.
    But are they beginning to expect too much from education?

    Radio New Zealand’s Education Correspondent, John Gerritsen investigates how much social and economic change the education sector can deliver, and how schools are coping with the demands being placed upon them.

  10. Bearded Git 10

    Matt McCarten brilliant today on Iwi fatcats. It’s here:

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=11198636

    • greywarbler 10.1

      Excellent, balanced and objective piece by McCarten BG.

    • tc 10.2

      Shows the arrogance and partisan politics within the upper levels of iwi, nothing new there.

      Watch the nact bundle a settlement through,full of holes, like alot of their urgency measures, then trumpet what legends they are for sorting it out.

      This will leave the subsequent claims bought about by the holes another govts issue to sort out. Par for the course really but then shonkey likes golf.

    • SHG (not Colonial Viper) 10.3

      Can’t wait to hear McCarten’s opinion on tax evasion.

  11. tricledrown 11

    Well done greywarbler.

    • adam 12.1

      Thanks Phillip I’d seen just the news rules part of that before, but the whole segment is just classic.

  12. Jenny 13

    So Andarko have found water at the bottom of the ocean.

    But what kind of water?

    Presumably it was fossil water disconnected from the main ocean for millions of years.

    How old is it?

    Are there any extremophile lifeforms in it, or is it sterile?

    Is it water left over from the time when the submarine continent that surrounds New Zealand was above the surface?

    Is it fresh water?

    Andarko may not be interested in any of these questions but others might?

    By showing no interest at all in such questions Andarko show themselves to be the scientific Philistines, heedlessly ploughing their way through the natural and human world without any thought to some of the greatest mysteries and wonders of the natural world. Their only interest is money.

    The sooner we rid ourselves of these invading marauders from our shores the better.

    You may find yourself living in a shotgun shack
    You may find yourself in another part of the world
    You may find yourself behind the wheel of a large automobile
    You may find yourself in a beautiful house with a beautiful wife
    You may ask yourself, well, how did I get here?…

    There is water at the bottom of the ocean
    Remove the water, carry the water
    Remove the water from the bottom of the ocean

    Letting the days go by, let the water hold me down
    Letting the days go by, water flowing underground
    Into the blue again, after the money’s gone
    Once in a lifetime, water flowing underground

    Into the blue again, into silent water
    Under the rocks and stones, there is water underground
    Letting the days go by, into silent water
    Once in a lifetime, water flowing underground

    You may ask yourself, what is that beautiful house?
    You may ask yourself, where does that highway lead to?
    You may ask yourself, am I right, am I wrong?
    You may say to yourself, my god, what have I done?

    Same as it ever was, same as it ever was, same as it ever was, same as it ever was
    Same as it ever was, same as it ever was, same as it ever was, same as it ever was

    Time isn’t holding us, time isn’t after us
    Time isn’t holding us, time doesn’t hold you back
    Time isn’t holding us, time isn’t after us
    Time isn’t holding us…

    Letting the days go by, letting the days go by, letting the days go by, once in a lifetime (?)

    Letting the days go by, letting the days go by, letting the days go by, once in a lifetime

    http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x12spb_talking-heads-once-in-a-lifetime_music

    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL1401/S00063/deep-sea-drilling-the-spirit-of-mururoa.htm

  13. Craig Y 14

    Colin Craig and the US Tea Party- what is the latter, and how similar are they?

    http://www.gaynz.com/articles/publish/31/printer_14572.php

  14. Tim 15

    Hopefully Our Munsta of tha Arts and Kulcha will be listening to RNZ today – Essshhpeshlee “tha…Artson Sunny” – I mean listen from start to finish and ‘especially’ the unedited portion.
    If he did/has, I imagine he’ll be weighing up eggseklee where his peshuns loi.
    I suspect he’ll go with the bitter ole Queen option. Yesssiree John – you’re gorgeous, I love you, I offer my undying leeeeeerv!
    There goes one lonely funeral

  15. greywarbler 16

    I had a look at a No Minister post about Kiwis in Australia and didn’t find much reliable information there. So I thought I would find a bit out about this immigration business in Oz.

    It seems that nearly anyone can get a SCV (Special Category Visa).
    But that has limited benefits to you which don’t change the longer you are in the country. Fact Sheet 17 has much information.
    The SCV – It allows a New Zealand citizen to remain indefinitely and live, work or study in Australia lawfully as long as that person remains a New Zealand citizen.
    The SCV is not a permanent visa and visa holders do not have the same rights and benefits as Australian citizens or Australian permanent residents……

    Changes introduced on 26 February 2001
    A new bilateral social security arrangement between Australia and New Zealand was announced on 26 February 2001. This agreement sets out arrangements for payment of age pension, disability support pension and carer payment to New Zealand citizens in Australia.

    It also recognised the right of each country to determine access to social security benefits not covered by the agreement, and to set related residence and citizenship rules according to the respective country’s national legislative and policy frameworks. In line with that principle Australia introduced a number of supplementary changes.

    As a result, the Social Security Act 1991 requires New Zealand citizens who arrived in Australia after 26 February 2001 to apply for and be granted an Australian permanent visa to access certain social security payments (including income support payments) that are not covered by the bilateral agreement.

    To support this requirement, changes were also made to citizenship and migration legislation to require New Zealand citizens to become permanent visa holders if they want to obtain Australian citizenship or sponsor their family members for a permanent visa.

    If you want to ensure some standing you get a Permanent Visa (Residency).
    http://www.immi.gov.au/skilled/general-skilled-migration/sir.htm

    When can you apply for a permanent visa?
    You can apply for a permanent visa after you have:
    lived for two years in a Specified Regional Area and worked, including being self-employed, for one year in these same areas.
    See: Specified Regional Areas, or
    obtained sponsorship under the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme.

    Which permanent visas can you apply for?
    You can apply for any permanent visa in Australia, however the Skilled – Regional (Residence) visa (subclass 887) is specifically designed for holders of a provisional skilled visa who want to apply for permanent residency.
    See: Skilled – Regional (Residence) Visa (Subclass 887)

    The Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme visa (subclass 857) has reduced eligibility requirements for holders of a Skilled – Regional Sponsored (Provisional) visa (subclasses 475 and 487) or a Skilled – Independent Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 495).
    See: Concessions for the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme Visa (Subclass 857)

    It appears that if you want to get Citizenship status you can only apply after having got a PermanentVisa.

    It seems possible that you could have dual status if the NZ Government allows this.

    • SHG (not Colonial Viper) 16.1

      Since 1 Sept 1994 any NZer arriving in Australia is automatically issued a Subclass 444 or “Special Category” Visa. The SCV allows a NZer to live and work in Australia indefinitely without needing any other sort of work or residency visa. It is not permanent; it can be revoked; you lose it by leaving Australia and you are issued a new one if you re-enter Australia.

      The SCV makes the holder ineligible for almost all Australian government welfare and financial assistance. If you’re a NZer on an SCV you can not get unemployment assistance if you lose your job, you’re not eligible for payments under the National Disability Insurance Scheme, you can not (presently) get a student loan or allowance, if your house gets burned down or washed away you are not entitled to the emergency financial assistance that your Australian neighbour gets, etc etc. If you become a burden on the Australian taxpayer (eg by going to jail) you will be put on a one-way flight to NZ upon release. A child born in Australia to parents who are NZers on SCVs does not receive Australian citizenship and is “stateless” unless the parents apply for and are granted NZ citizenship for the child by birth. A NZer on an SCV is basically a long-term guest with obligations (pay tax, obey the law) but with very few of the rights of a resident or citizen.

      Getting official Australian residency is hard. People are literally dying to get in to Australia.

      NZers on SCVs are considered no different from other immigrants where applications for permanent residency are concerned. It makes no difference that you’re already in Australia and working; if you want to become a permanent resident you have to meet the same immigration criteria as any other foreign immigrant. You must have qualifications and work in a field that Australia considers desirable (i.e. be on the “Skilled Occupations” list), be under 45 years of age, and (depending on the specific visa you’re applying for) be sponsored by your employer or be moving to a “Regional Area” where Australia needs more people in certain professions.

      There are approximately 600,000 NZers in Australia and many of them are placed in great hardship by the situation described above. I’m sure that many of those 600,000 are eligible to vote in NZ elections and would look favourably on the NZ government that helped them.

    • SHG (not Colonial Viper) 16.2

      To specifically reply to a couple of gw’s points:

      – you can only apply for Australian citizenship if you have spent two years in Australia with permanent resident status.

      – it is possible to have dual Australian and New Zealand citizenship.

      Trivia:

      – NZers who were on SCVs when the current law took effect in Feb 2001 were allowed to apply directly for citizenship if they’d been physically present in Australia for more than 12 months of the 24 months to Feb 2001. Thus Russell Crowe, who lived in Australia but was in the northern hemisphere filming first Gladiator then A Beautiful Mind during that time, did not qualify and had his Australian citizenship application rejected. And since he’s over 45 and in a nonessential profession (“actor”) he can not become a permanent resident.

      • RedLogix 16.2.1

        And here’s the nub that everyone is ignoring.

        As long as these kiwi ‘guest workers’ are in Australia, paying tax to that govt, they are not paying tax to the NZ govt who ultimately will have to pick up the tab when they return to New Zealand.

        The point is that most will not be able to retire in Australia and will almost certainly be returning to NZ and become immediately eligible for Super.

        Here is also an interesting point. Of the 850,000 odd New Zealanders who did not vote in the last election – how many would be included in this 620,000 living in Australia under this SCV?

  16. joe90 17

    Twenty five years ago we should’ve, could’ve, would’ve…..but never did a thing…

    Four former state-owned companies employed most of the Tuzla population. The contracts agreed to at the time of government sell-off stipulated that the new private owners were to advance investment in the companies, according to Deutsche Welle.

    Instead, the new owners sold the assets and halted payment to workers, leading to bankruptcy filings between 2000 and 2008. Sead Causevic, local leader in Tuzla, directed blame at the court system, saying upset workers turned to the law years ago, yet they were ignored.

    Causevic told Bosnian state TV that the “rip-off privatization” had occurred before he took office. He called the factory workers’ demands legitimate, Deutsche Welle reported.

    “It was our government that sold state assets for peanuts and left the people without pensions, jobs or health insurance,” Hana Obradovic, an unemployed graduate from Sarajevo, told Reuters.

    http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2014/2/7/bosnia-privatizationprotestsspreadtoothercities.html

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/bosnia-privatization-protests-reach-other-cities/2014/02/06/4907df00-8f65-11e3-878e-d76656564a01_story.html

  17. srylands 18

    Ipredict’s stock “There will be a Labour Prime Minister after the 2014 General Election” has just hit a 12 months low this afternoon.

    I realise this is simply one indicator, but if I was in camp Labour this would have me a little concerned.

    Last Trade Price: $0.3747

    https://www.ipredict.co.nz/app.php?do=contract_detail&contract=PM.2014.LABOUR

    • fender 18.1

      Put your mansion on Key, literally, you fucking idiot.

    • bad12 18.2

      SSLands, having nothing else of note to spray about has now become a whore touting for ipredict…

      • bad12 18.2.1

        SSLands, i realize this is only an indication but if i was in the ACT camp i wouldn’t want to be wasting money on shonky quasi-gambling websites able to manipulated with a used 20 dollar note,(you are going to need all the spare coin you have got to pay your fair share of tax as assessed by the incoming Labour/Green Government),

        Heres a few of today’s ‘predictions’ of note, National 42%, Labour 33.2%, Green 9.5 %, Internet Party 14.2%,

        Ha ha ha obviously someone like you, with a massive alcohol hangover forgot to put a . in the right place for the internet party, just goes to show how badly run that site is and how stupid you are to waste money on it…

    • mickysavage 18.3

      Yep and someone has sold a thousand shares at .38c so it will not move for a while. It also shows that someone with a bit of money is trying to give the impression that Labour’s chances are not good. And someone has also listed a thousand National PM shares at .62c so it is obviously someone trying to manipulate things.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 18.4

      In direct contradiction to that,

      NZ First to use balance of power to support Labour-led Government: $0.32

      NZ First to use balance of power to support National-led Government $0.24.

      If I were in camp Australia-based Objectivist shill this would have me a little concerned.

      • bad12 18.4.1

        Lolz, OAB, the wet dreamers will be over there as soon as they read your comment to manipulate that one as well…

    • Paul 18.5

      Still here?

  18. Draco T Bastard 19

    Man let off drink driving charge because of career
    But what career do I hear you ask?

    An ex-KGB spy has been let off a drink driving charge because it would limit him travelling overseas.

    Yep, that of consultant to spy agencies. One wonders why, in this digital age, he would have to travel at all – oh, wait, it’s to help ensure that he’s not spied upon by those same spy agencies.

    Thing is, career should never be a reason to discharge a criminal conviction. All we really see when people’s convictions are discharged because of career is rich people being treated differently from everyone else.

    The law should apply equally.

    • McFlock 19.1

      I disagree – the “career” thing is actually a clause that stops a punishment being unduly harsh. Fair enough.

      That having been said, twice the limit is pretty pissed and highly dangerous, so I’d be tending towards “fuck off, you could have killed someone” rather than discharge.

      • Draco T Bastard 19.1.1

        When a truck driver gets pulled up driving drunk he loses his license and his job. There’s no way he’s going to be let off because it’ll ruin his career. This guy’s likely to lose everything whereas the ex-KGB agent would probably still be able to maintain his career and his income although maybe somewhat reduced or he could just get a job at the GCSB. So, what does unduly harsh actually mean?

        • McFlock 19.1.1.1

          theoretically it’s based on the individual circumstances of the case interpreted via precedent.

          I agree, in this case the decision seems … odd, but the principle is sound (and indeed essential). The problem as you point out is the unequal treatment of poor people compared to the rich.

          • Draco T Bastard 19.1.1.1.1

            Yes, the poor are treated differently because they can’t afford lawyers which is a problem but that’s not the problem here – the problem is that it’s an excuse that shouldn’t exist. As Murray Olsen points out it should be applied to every single case as it limits peoples career choices. Essentially, this legal defense means that people should automatically get off criminal charges.

            BTW, there’s plenty of All Blacks that have got off assault for exactly the same reason.

            • McFlock 19.1.1.1.1.1

              I believe that the relevant section is this:

              8 Principles of sentencing or otherwise dealing with offenders

              In sentencing or otherwise dealing with an offender the court—

              (a) must take into account the gravity of the offending in the particular case, including the degree of culpability of the offender; and

              (b) must take into account the seriousness of the type of offence in comparison with other types of offences, as indicated by the maximum penalties prescribed for the offences; and

              (c) must impose the maximum penalty prescribed for the offence if the offending is within the most serious of cases for which that penalty is prescribed, unless circumstances relating to the offender make that inappropriate; and

              (d) must impose a penalty near to the maximum prescribed for the offence if the offending is near to the most serious of cases for which that penalty is prescribed, unless circumstances relating to the offender make that inappropriate; and

              (e) must take into account the general desirability of consistency with appropriate sentencing levels and other means of dealing with offenders in respect of similar offenders committing similar offences in similar circumstances; and

              (f) must take into account any information provided to the court concerning the effect of the offending on the victim; and

              (g) must impose the least restrictive outcome that is appropriate in the circumstances, in accordance with the hierarchy of sentences and orders set out in section 10A; and

              (h) must take into account any particular circumstances of the offender that mean that a sentence or other means of dealing with the offender that would otherwise be appropriate would, in the particular instance, be disproportionately severe; and

              (i) must take into account the offender’s personal, family, whanau, community, and cultural background in imposing a sentence or other means of dealing with the offender with a partly or wholly rehabilitative purpose; and

              (j) must take into account any outcomes of restorative justice processes that have occurred, or that the court is satisfied are likely to occur, in relation to the particular case (including, without limitation, anything referred to in section 10).

              [my boldface]

              I think we both agree that in this case that particular section was interpreted in an overly-lenient manner, probably because the drunk driver wore a suit to work. But should a truckie driving just over the limit on a scooter wearing a batman costume be convicted for drink-driving? I’m not so sure. Twice the legal limit in the truck? Yes.

    • RedBaronCV 19.2

      And what immigration category did he fit into?

    • Murray Olsen 19.3

      I agree. The law should apply equally. A temporarily unemployed person may lose potential career opportunities if convicted, so why shouldn’t an employed person lose real ones?

  19. The Baron 20

    I just love it when you have the gall to lecture another party on gerrymanders, Mike.

    Still forgetting about your pledge card theft in 2005 huh. Convenient.

    He who lives in the glassiest of houses shouldn’t throw too many stones, me thinks.

    [lprent: Off topic. Deliberate diversion. Moved to OpenMike. Repeat that tactic again and I’ll ban you until after the election. You have over-used that tactic in the past (and it is so 2008) ]

  20. Steve (North Shore) 21

    MMP = manipulation by:
    Winston, Sue Bradford, Steve Chadwick, I won’t bother with the rest of List Mps

    [lprent: Off-topic. Looks like a deliberate diversion because it didn’t deal with anything in the post. Repeat if you want to pick up a ban. Moved to OpenMike. ]

  21. lprent 22

    Feels weird not being around a computer all weekend and doing so much driving..

    Spent much of yesterday at Music for Matua at the winery in north-west Auckland. Some late tickets came for TS. So I used them. Pleasant environs. Music worth listening to. Good pinot and bratwurst hot dogs. Liked the limit of 800 tickets and that each ticket was allowed up to 3 kids free (parents/guardian). There were a *lot* of kids there amusing themselves away from the adults (but in view of).

    Reminded me of staff picnics at Wenderholm in the 60s. I might post some pictures for next weekend..

    Today I drove to Rotorua and back on a long holiday weekend (did anyone not take Friday off?). Would only ever do that for family. In this case my mother is in hospital because a wound wasn’t healing – maybe requires a skin graft. She was in fine shape apart from having a drip and dislike of the hospital bed.

    Was avoiding SH27 because of the boats in single lanes coming in from the Tauranga roads. Always jams badly. Slow slow traffic through Cambridge and Huntly on the way back. Avoided Hamilton using State Highway 1B… Otherwise traffic was good. The upgrades Labour put into SH1 past huntly are very effective.

    Not a bad weekend.

  22. Paul 23

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/9701076/Social-media-calls-for-supermarket-boycott

    I say good on Australians for pressurising their supermarkets to support local producers.

    If we had a decent socialist government here we would have the government, not a couple of supermarkets chains, advancing the cause of buy one’s own country’s produce…and a lot more.

    So let’s not just boycott Countdown,,
    What about all foreign owned corporations hauling their obscene profits off shore.
    Start with the Australian Banks
    Then foreign owned insurance companies, chain stores, energy companies….

    A true socialist government would take these national resources back and regain control of the country from foreign financial interests.

    They would then bring Douglas and his crew to trial for treason.

    • srylands 23.1

      What a load of crap. Trade liberalisation is the route to prosperity. There is no alternative. And thankfully we will not be getting a your choice of government.

      • Paul 23.1.1

        zzzzzzzzzzzz

      • Draco T Bastard 23.1.2

        Trade liberalisation is the route to prosperity.

        Nope, all that brings about is a few getting exponentially richer while everyone else gets poorer – exactly as we’ve seen over the last thirty years in NZ and around the world. It also brings about financial meltdown as the GFC proved once again.

        • Paul 23.1.2.1

          Notice the tired old line spewed out ‘there is no alternative.’

          • Draco T Bastard 23.1.2.1.1

            Yep. These RWNJs are getting desperate as the failure and the corruption that their policies engenders becomes more and more obvious as time goes by..

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  • Let Them Eat Scraps: Bill English’s Budget Outflanks The Left By Moll...
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    9 hours ago
  • Bloody marvelous
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    Politically CorrectedBy sleepdepriveddiva
    11 hours ago
  • Congratulations #CanonMediaAwards 2015 winners…
    ...
    Politically CorrectedBy sleepdepriveddiva
    11 hours ago
  • National Minister refers to PM as “Wild Eyed” Right-Winger!
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    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    11 hours ago
  • Truly Depressing
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    11 hours ago
  • Document Shows Elizabeth Warren Is Right About TPP
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    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    20 hours ago
  • Singing the Budget Blues
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    22 hours ago
  • Submit on Mill Rd
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    Transport BlogBy Patrick Reynolds
    1 day ago
  • Budget Blues
    Twenty five dollars a week can’t be bad, can it? For families on the breadline, it’s surely better than nothing and every little helps. And when the total spend is $790 million, that’s not peanuts, is it? – even if… ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 day ago
  • Punakaiki Fund and Snowball Effect
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    Lance WiggsBy Lance Wiggs
    1 day ago
  • Anniversary of Sri Lankan Tamil Massacre
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    frogblogBy Catherine Delahunty
    1 day ago
  • Game review: Republique
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    1 day ago
  • Rodeo: ‘Family entertainment’ or animal abuse?
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    frogblogBy Mojo Mathers
    1 day ago
  • Labour MPs are taking it to the Government in the House over their destruct...
    ...
    1 day ago
  • The price of rotten cops IV
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Best and worst New Zealand flag designs
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    1 day ago
  • World News Brief, Friday May 22
    PunditBy Daily Digest
    1 day ago
  • A hard rain is a’gonna fall.
    Although I am loathe to prognosticate on fluid situations and current events, I have been thinking about how the conflict in Iraq has been going. Although I do not believe that the Islamic State (IS) is anywhere close to being… ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 day ago
  • Got business out of town? Need a hire car?
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    1 day ago
  • An abuse of the OIA
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Saying it Loud on Climate in Christchurch
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    frogblogBy Eugenie Sage
    1 day ago
  • Calling Peak Car?
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    1 day ago
  • Australia’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy on...
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Fiji: Removing the opposition
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Budget 2015: Don’t worry about the surplus, worry about this… Whiteboar...
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    Gareth’s WorldBy Gareth Morgan
    1 day ago
  • The productivity trap – heads they win, tails we lose
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    RedlineBy Admin
    1 day ago
  • Attention leftie campaigners: Watch Lynton Crosby
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    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    1 day ago
  • Hard News: Friday Music: Out there in the world
    Friday Music posts here don't generally have much to do with my day job helping make a media TV show, but next week's Media Take is an exception. We're putting together a New Zealand music month-themed programme and one of the… ...
    1 day ago
  • Government announces plan to grow Auckland housing bubble
    The key initiative in yesterday’s budget is a plan to grow Auckland’s housing bubble. Auckland’s housing bubble is projected to take over from dairy farming as the fastest-growing sector of the New Zealand economy. Consider a typical Mangere housewife. For… ...
    Can of wormsBy Can of Worms, Opened
    1 day ago
  • Paul F Tompkins: The undisputed king of podcasts
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    1 day ago
  • Budget 2015: What does it mean?
    ...
    1 day ago
  • What next?
    It feels really, really surreal to nearly be done with my degree. And terrifying, mostly. Right now I have a single 2000 word essay remaining for Politics of Protest and then three exams mid-way through next month, and… that’s it.… ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    1 day ago
  • Solo parents forced to work; but where are the quality jobs?
    The Government is increasing the expectations of paid work from solo parents without any thought as to where the jobs will be, the Council of Trade Unions said today. “There are already 100,000 part time workers who are wanting more secure… ...
    CTUBy andrew.chick
    1 day ago
  • April-15 Patronage
    Another month and another good patronage result from Auckland Transport – particularly for rail. Patronage in April is naturally down on the madness that is March due to the combination of a 30 day month, ANZAC day, Easter and School Holidays/Uni holidays.… ...
    2 days ago
  • April-14 Patronage
    Another month and another good patronage result from Auckland Transport – particularly for rail. Patronage in April is naturally down on the madness that is March due to the combination of a 30 day month, ANZAC day, Easter and School Holidays/Uni holidays.… ...
    2 days ago
  • Children and steady-as-you-go – but how steady?
    There are three political dimensions to the budget’s star “children in hardship” item. One is John Key’s ownership. That fits his protestations of concern about disadvantaged children — though action has been slow coming. He made his pile in… ...
    Colin JamesBy Colin James
    2 days ago
  • Thoughts on budget 2015
    There’s a Herald summary here. I’ve been saying for a while that ‘neoliberalism’ – ie a belief in the efficacy of free markets, the distortionary evil of taxes and benefits and the minimalisation of the state – is dead. There… ...
    DimPostBy danylmc
    2 days ago
  • What if your MP was decided on the flip of a coin?
    The provincial election in the Canadian province of Prince Edward Island finally came to an end a couple of days ago when its last MLA was declared elected following a judicial recount.(What - you didn't know that Prince Edward Island… ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    2 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on Budget 2015
    From the outset, the slogan for yesterday’s Budget – “The Plan Is Working” – begged to be mocked. There’s actually a plan for the national economy? Who knew? And its been working for whom, exactly? Not for families in poverty,… ...
    2 days ago
  • Building better connections between Asia and the Pacific
    Speech – New Zealand Government I am delighted to have the opportunity to speak at this International Conference on the Future of Asia.22 May 2015 Building better connections between Asia and the Pacific (speech delivered to 2015 Nikkei Forum, Tokyo,… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    2 days ago
  • Budget 2015: Media releases and tertiary education coverage
    We will update this page over the next few days with media releases and news stories on Budget 2015 and its effect on tertiary education and on employment. Radio NZ: Govt tightens education purse strings The Government is expecting fewer… ...
    2 days ago

  • How many victims missing out on protection?
    Hundreds of domestic abuse victims could be missing out on getting protection orders because they are unable to get legal aid, Labour’s Justice spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.“In the last two years some 351 people who applied for legal aid for… ...
    1 hour ago
  • Government kicks hardworking whanau
    A major incentive to help young Kiwis and people on low incomes to start saving has been kicked out from under them with the National-led Government ramming through short-sighted legislation under Urgency today, Labour’s Maori Development Spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta says.… ...
    1 hour ago
  • Speculator tax political stunt gone wrong
    Bill English’s admission he doesn’t know whether National’s new speculator tax will have any effect shows last weekend’s announcement by the Prime Minister was a desperate political stunt, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “This Government is so desperate to… ...
    5 hours ago
  • The value of parenting
    This week, as part of the Budget, the government introduced a bill to address child poverty. This bill will require parents receiving income support to look for part-time work once their youngest child is three years of age rather than… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    8 hours ago
  • Another new tax, another broken promise
    National has unveiled yet another new tax in this budget – a rural broadband levy that will almost certainly result in an immediate price hike for internet and telephone connections across New Zealand, Labour’s ICT spokesperson Clare Curran said “The… ...
    1 day ago
  • Anniversary of Sri Lankan Tamil Massacre
    This is not going to be a happy story but if the Green Party of Aotearoa doesn’t want to know who else will? May 18th marks the anniversary of what is known as the ‘Mullivaikal massacre’ of Tamils in 2009 at… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    1 day ago
  • Labour MPs join youth to take part in 40 hour famine
    A team of Labour MPs took part in the 2015 World Vision 40 hour famine and we were told by World Vision and the young people, that it was the first time MPs had joined them and how appreciative they… ...
    1 day ago
  • Rodeo: ‘Family entertainment’ or animal abuse?
    Recently  TVNZ ran a story with confronting footage showing rodeo animals being punched, repeatedly shocked with electronic prods and having their tails violently twisted over their backs. It was clear that significant force was being used behind the scenes to make… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers MP
    1 day ago
  • Budget puts the squeeze on police
    The Government has cut funding to the New Zealand police force in the latest Budget, says Labour’s Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “The reduction is a whopping $15.3 million that could put front line officers at risk. ...
    1 day ago
  • Crucial social services take another hit
    The Government looks set to slash half a million dollars of funding for critical social services, including Women’s Refuge and Barnados, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni “Taking $500,000 from organisations aimed at improving the lives of vulnerable families… ...
    1 day ago
  • Saying it Loud on Climate in Christchurch
    The Government’s Christchurch consultation meeting on New Zealand’s emission targets was inspiring – not for what was in the Ministry for the Environment’s (MFE’s) defeatist video about the obstacles to changing to a low carbon future, but for what the… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    1 day ago
  • Budget silent on small business
    The Government has completely ignored one of the most important sectors of the economy – small and medium-sized enterprises – in Budget 2015, Labour’s Small Business spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. "A stunning 41 per cent of jobs were created by… ...
    1 day ago
  • Thank you John, it’s been bloody marvellous
    The departure of John Campbell is a blow to current affairs investigative journalism, Labour’s Broadcasting Spokesperson Clare Curran says. “Campbell Live stood out in its field. Its axing comes as local broadcasting in New Zealand remains in a state of… ...
    1 day ago
  • KiwiSaver cut shows no long-term plan
    National’s cutting of the KiwiSaver kickstart is incredibly short-term thinking, typical of a Budget that is woefully short on ideas to generate wealth and opportunity, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “New Zealand’s savings rate is far too low. KiwiSaver… ...
    1 day ago
  • National hits the panic button for its 7th Budget
    National has hit the panic button for its 7th Budget in a desperate attempt to look like they’re taking action to reduce our shameful child poverty rates, but they are giving with one hand and taking with the other, Opposition… ...
    2 days ago
  • Panic and back-flips can’t hide twin deficits
    National’s token measures to fight fires they have left burning for seven long years can’t hide a Budget that is long on broken promises, short on vision and fails to reach surplus, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “After being… ...
    2 days ago
  • Auckland land measure seven years too late
    National are so desperate to look like they are doing something about the Auckland housing crisis they have dusted off Labour’s 2008 inventory of government land available for housing and re-announced it, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Despite National… ...
    2 days ago
  • Access to gender reassignment surgery essential
    I was frankly disgusted to hear the Minister for Health say that funding gender reassignment surgeries is a “nutty idea”. A recent study found that in New Zealand 1% of young people identified themselves as transgender, and 3% were unsure… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    3 days ago
  • Global milk prices now lowest in 6 years
    The latest fall in the global dairy price has brought it to the lowest level in six years and shows there must be meaningful action in tomorrow’s Budget to diversify the economy, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Dairy prices… ...
    3 days ago
  • Big risks as CYF checks stopped
    Revelations that Child, Youth and Family is no longer assisting home-based early childhood educators by vetting potential employees should set alarm bells ringing, Labour Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. “Doing away with an extra mechanism for checking potential new employees… ...
    4 days ago
  • Housing crisis about real people not numbers
    The Government’s continued failure to tackle the housing crisis is seeing thousands of vulnerable Kiwis being kept off social housing waiting lists, while others, who are on the list, are being forced to live in cars and garages, says Labour’s… ...
    4 days ago
  • Housing crisis about real people not numbers
    The Government’s continued failure to tackle the housing crisis is seeing thousands of vulnerable Kiwis being kept off social housing waiting lists, while others, who are on the list, are being forced to live in cars and garages, says Labour’s… ...
    4 days ago
  • State of origin
    Kiwis are increasingly concerned about the food they give their families. New Zealand consumers have the right to know where their food has come from, particularly when it involves animals, and should be able to expect our Government to label… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    4 days ago
  • Relationships Aotearoa
    It is disturbing that Relationships Aotearoa, a voluntary organisation set up in 1949 to help couples struggling with their relationships following the upheavals of World War II, may be forced to close, says Acting Spokesperson for the Voluntary and Community… ...
    4 days ago
  • An economy that is just working for some is an economy that is not working
    The National Party presents itself as a great manager of the economy, but if the economy is only working for some we really need to question that assertion. Alongside the perpetually elusive surplus, the levels of risk in our economy are… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    4 days ago
  • An economy that is just working for some is an economy that is not working
    The National Party presents itself as a great manager of the economy, but if the economy is only working for some we really need to question that assertion. Alongside the perpetually elusive surplus, the levels of risk in our economy are… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    4 days ago
  • House prices to a crack $1 million in 17 months
    The average Auckland home is on track to cost $1 million in 17 months’ time if nothing substantial is done to rein in soaring price rises, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “Auckland’s house prices have skyrocketed 63 per cent… ...
    4 days ago
  • Vital support services can’t be left in lurch
    The National Government has big questions to answer about how a provider of services to thousands of vulnerable New Zealanders is set to fold, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. Relationships Aotearoa which provides support and counselling to families, individuals… ...
    5 days ago
  • Treasury and IRD on a capital gains tax
    Both the Treasury and IRD have been advising the National Government on the benefits of a capital gains tax. Documents released to the Green Party under an Official Information Act request show that John Key has been selective with the… ...
    GreensBy Russel Norman MP
    5 days ago
  • Charity legislation needs review
    It is unacceptable that the big corporate based charities claim  millions in annual income tax exemptions, while small community based and operated non-profit organisations  struggle to gain official charity status, Labour’s acting spokesperson for the Voluntary and Community Sector Louisa… ...
    5 days ago
  • John’s panic-Key response to housing crisis
    John Key needs to tell New Zealanders what caused his sudden change of heart that led to the Government’s scrambled and last-minute housing measures, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “The Prime Minister’s sudden rush of blood to his head followed… ...
    5 days ago
  • Keep our Assets Christchurch Campaign: An update
    I recently presented my submission to keep Christchurch Council assets at the Christchurch City Council’s public hearings on its 10 year plan on 13 May. The hearings are live-streamed and recorded so you can watch them on www.ccc.govt.nz. The Council’s… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    5 days ago
  • John Key finally admits there’s a housing crisis
    John Key’s weak measures to rein in the astronomical profits property speculators are making are an admission – finally – that there is a housing crisis, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “But yet again National is tinkering with the housing… ...
    6 days ago
  • Government stifles voices in CYFs review
    The Government’s exclusion of the Māori Women’s Welfare League in a panel on the future of CYFs is a cynical ploy to stifle views, says Labour’s Māori Development Spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta. “It's unbelievable that a significant review on the future… ...
    1 week ago
  • Speech to the Otago Chamber of Commerce
    Thank you very much for the opportunity to be here today. It’s a pleasure as always to be back in the town that raised me. Growing up in St Kilda meant that there was one thing that was a big… ...
    1 week ago
  • Key can’t just be Prime Minister for Parnell
    John Key must show New Zealanders in next week’s Budget that he is more than the Prime Minister for Parnell, and is also the Prime Minister for Pine Hill, Putararu and Palmerston North, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. In… ...
    1 week ago
  • Stop the conversions
    This week, some Waikato locals took me and intrepid photographer Amanda Rogers on a tour of some  lakes and waterways in their region, and up to the massive dairy conversions in the upper catchment of the Waikato River. It… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    1 week ago
  • More regional jobs go in Corrections reshape
    News that 194 Corrections staff are to lose their jobs will have ramifications not only for them and their families but for the wider community, Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. Prison units at Waikeria, Tongariro and Rimutaka face closure… ...
    1 week ago
  • Government’s climate meetings off to a bumpy start
    On Wednesday, I attended a hui and an evening meeting that the Government had organised in Nelson as part of its climate change consultation tour, to support the Nelson community telling the Government to take meaningful action on climate change.… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    1 week ago
  • Taxpayers the only ones left feeling blue
    Ministry of Social Development bosses could have saved themselves thousands of dollars in consultants’ fees by providing staff with rose-tinted spectacles, Labour’s State Services spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. A report out today reveals the Ministry is spending over half a… ...
    1 week ago
  • Why are the regions still facing restrictions?
    Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford is questioning why the regions should continue to be saddled with LVR lending restrictions announced by the Reserve Bank today. “Labour has been calling for the regions to be exempted from LVRs for the best… ...
    1 week ago
  • The high costs of weak environmental regulation
    Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere is described on the Department of Conservation website as “Canterbury’s largest and New Zealand’s fifth largest [lake], and an internationally important wildlife area.” But the lake is also polluted by nutrients leaching from farms in the catchment.… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    1 week ago
  • Submissions to Wellington City Council on their Gambling Venues Policy
    Every three years Councils across the country are required to check that their gambling venue policies are still fit for purpose and they can choose to consult on their policy if they are thinking of making changes. Councils don’t have… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    1 week ago
  • Reserve Bank action shows Govt out of touch and out of ideas
    The Reserve Bank’s unprecedented measures today show it understands the serious risks of the overheating housing market – in complete contrast to John Key’s refusal to acknowledge the crisis, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “The Bank is right to… ...
    1 week ago
  • Send us your snaps: 25 Years of the Green Party
    This year we've hit a milestone. We're turning 25.To help celebrate a quarter of a century, please send us your photos from the last 25 years of the Green Party Aotearoa New Zealand! Note: Photos must be jpg, gif or… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • 25 Years of the Green Party
    This year the Green Party sends 25. To help us celebrate a quarter of a century please send us you photos of 25 years of the Green Party!Photos must be jpg,gif or png and smaller than 2MB. If you are… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Bay growth plan too little too late
    Today’s Bay of Plenty growth study from MBIE is another example of Government spin - lots of talk but little action, says Labour’s Regional Development spokesperson David Cunliffe.  “This is a region that desperately needs to develop the downstream processing… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government bows to ACC pressure
     The Government has finally buckled to pressure from Labour and the New Zealand public in making a half billion dollar cut to ACC levies, but the full benefits are two years away,” says Opposition Leader Andrew Little.  “$500 million over… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • False figures cloud Auckland transport facts
    The Prime Minister should apologise and issue a correction after both he and Transport Minister Simon Bridges have been caught out misrepresenting facts on Auckland’s transport spending, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. "Both John Key and Simon Bridges have… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Govt books confirm National can’t post surplus
    The last publication of the Government’s books before the budget shows National will break its promise of seven years and two election campaigns and fail to get the books in order, says Labour’s Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson. “The Government is… ...
    2 weeks ago

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