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Open mike 11/02/2014

Written By: - Date published: 7:03 am, February 11th, 2014 - 162 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 …

162 comments on “Open mike 11/02/2014”

  1. karol 1

    This is a curious job add.

    Metiria tweeted about it.

    Here’s the ad.

    It begins:

    Our ambitious, not-for-profit enterprise seeks dynamic, multi-talented National Director to lead the organisation and revitalise progressive campaigning in Aotearoa New Zealand.

    As National Director you will lead this exciting not-for-profit from its launch, shaping its day-to-day operations and overall direction as a major new presence in New Zealand progressive politics through the next election and beyond its launch to financial sustainability. The employment is a full time equivalent role.

    What orgainsation is this?

    • Tim 1.1

      sounds like the sort of weasel words Jordan Williams would write – full of corporate-speak

    • One Anonymous Bloke 1.2

      Little Big Horn linked its evil twin yesterday.

    • mickysavage 1.3

      The person behind Action Station appears to be Megan Salole who at some stage was the National Campaign Manager for the Greens.

      Could be beneficial but do we have too many progressive organisations?

      • One Anonymous Bloke 1.3.1

        *snap* :)

      • Pete 1.3.2

        The domain registrant is Joseph Cederwell – he describes himself on his Linkedin profile:

        My passion is for protecting and reclaiming the commons by educating, and facilitating social innovation and co-operative community action and enterprise.

        As a director of Freerange Co-operative and ActionStation Aotearoa I have been exploring methods for community led governance and action.

        I am also writing freelance and editing for Project Freerange on the theme of the commons.

        • veutoviper 1.3.2.1

          From googling Joseph Cederwell and reading a couple of things quickly, I am already impressed! But early days etc etc …

          His community action ideas and values appear to align with a lot if what has been discussed on TS recently about getting community engagement and involvement – eg Rosie posts, the Dunedin Saturday get-togethers etc

          Here are a few links from Google – there are more if you google “Joseph Cederwell”

          http://info.scoop.co.nz/StandUp – April 2012; StandUp appears to be the forerunner of Action Station; Salole appears to have been involved since this press release.

          nz.linkedin.com/pub/joe-cederwall/34/766/799

          http://www.projectfreerange.com/author/joe-cederwall/‎

          http://www.teawaroa.com/team/‎

          Sorry – cannot get the Linked In link to work; but just google name.

      • Draco T Bastard 1.3.3

        Thing is we have none doing what ActionStation appears to be doing – making it all more democratic and widespread through the use of online tools.

    • Red Blooded 1.4

      Could it be something to do with this article on MSN?
      “A new political party representing the global Kiwi diaspora has been formed with plans to contest the New Zealand general election later this year.

      The Expatriate Party of New Zealand (the Expats) say they’ve gained the minimum 500 paid members required to register their party over the weekend in Perth, Western Australia.

      The membership forms collected in Perth by 10 volunteers, with a take-up rate above 90 per cent, will be submitted to the Electoral Commission over the next 48 hours for review.”

    • greywarbler 1.5

      Q. ‘What organisation is this?’
      A. Ask the GCSB.

      Now to our new export goldrush, education. Universities are businesses now. Don’t you know that? The Vice Chancellor at Otago University states the business bit peremptorily in her USA sounding voice. But may be from Canada, good right-wing things come out of Canada.

      And the 2 year contract to sponsor Otago rugby is under wraps, to keep the information warm and sheltered. Expect it to be $100,000 ish.
      If there was a tie-up with their athletic – sport studies, that would be more understandable, but nothing has been said of that. It all seems to be exposure to the brand on shirts and blah. I have heard complaints about large advertising expenditure by I think Canterbury Uni, under the influence of a financial staff member wearing a business hat (bowler?) rather than the expected academic cap and gown.

    • James Thrace 1.6

      Looks like the website actionstation.org.nz is registered to an Joseph Cedarwall who is a director of Action Station Limited along with Megan Salole who I believe used to be a national campaign manager for the Green Party. Looks like it’s more about a Get Out The Vote campaign than anything else.

      • karol 1.6.1

        Thanks everyone. It looks to me like it’s more than just a get out the vote campaign. The website mentions an issues based campaign.

        • Jenny 1.6.1.1

          Looking for “an issues based campaign”?

          You couldn’t go far wrong campaigning on climate change

          From the BBC:

          ‘Exceptional’

          Speaking ahead of the launch of a Met Office report – produced by the Centre of Ecology and Hydrology – into recent climatic events, Dame Julia said the UK had seen the “most exceptional period of rainfall in 248 years”.

          Unsettled weather at this time of year was not unexpected – but the prolonged spell of rain, as well as the intensity and height of coastal waves, was “very unusual”.

          “We have records going back to 1766 and we have nothing like this,” she said. “We have seen some exceptional weather. We can’t say it is unprecedented but it is exceptional.”

          The report links the recent extreme weather in Europe and North America to “perturbations” in the North Atlantic and Pacific jet streams, partly emanating from changing weather patterns in South East Asia and “associated with higher than normal ocean temperatures in that region”.

          BBC News January 9, 2014

          British floods become political:

          At Prime Minister’s Questions last month, Mr Cameron said he “suspected” that the recent storms to batter the UK and the extreme weather in North America were connected to global temperature changes – an argument challenged by some Conservative MPs and peers.

          He subsequently clarified the remarks, saying that although “you can’t point to one weather event and say that is climate change”, many scientists were talking of a link between the two.

          “The point I was really trying to make is, whatever you think – even if you think that (climate change) is mumbo-jumbo – because these things are happening more often, it makes sense to do all you can to… prevent these floods affecting so many people and that is exactly what we are doing.”

          Friends of the Earth climate campaigner Guy Shrubsole said this assessment was a “warning sign that cannot be ignored”.

          “By appointing an environment secretary who doesn’t take climate change seriously this government has turned its back on the science and cut flood defence spending when it should be cutting emissions.”

          BBC News January 9, 2014

          “an argument challenged by some Conservative MPs and peers”

          The term ‘Conservative MPs and peers’, should be replaced with the term ‘Ridiculous Right Wing loonies’.

          As John Key prepares to bring Right Wing climate change denier, Colin Craig into his government. The sensible thing would be to make climate change a political issue here too.

          Will it happen?

          Climate change is the government’s weak point.

          For National government their record on climate change is a “disgrace” and arguably their worst performing portfolio.

          If David Cunliffe got up and said that a government led by him, will consider canceling all deep sea oil drilling, and all planned new coal mines on climate change grounds, it would blow the whole election campaign wide apart.

          The government would be left gasping like landed guppies out of water, flapping their mouths speechless and without answers.

          60% of the population want the government to do more on climate change.

          80% oppose deep sea oil drilling.

          Can Labour and the other opposition parties continue to afford ignoring this huge constituency?

          Or, will they do a repeat of 2011?

          Will it be Deja vue all over again.

          “You know what really strikes me about climate change in the election? It’s the absence.”

          Simon Johnson at Hot Topic November 16, 2011

  2. susan wood has a bit of a first world problem..

    ..and in raising this..

    ..wood highlights perhaps the most well-known philosophical-question/conundrum..

    ..she’s quite ‘deep’..eh..?..that wood..

    http://whoar.co.nz/2014/susan-wood-is-having-a-bit-of-a-tizzy-eh/

    phillip ure..

    • amirite 2.1

      she’s just another one suffering from chronic entitleditis

      • greywarbler 2.1.1

        +1 Great word, entitleditis, it trips up and off the tongue. amirite and Dr Seuss.

        • greywarbler 2.1.1.1

          Further to amirite at 3. My comment is about Labour leaders having differing viewpoints being relayed to the media, on the attitude to passports and freedom to make one’s own moral commitments outside the country. And not a discussion on the earlier assistance and heroism in Spain and other places.

          Can you Labour people not focus your minds on vital matters for advancement in the public mind in this election year? Can you win an election, hold a successful cake stall even?

          You don’t have democratic discussions about what view the Party is taking – on radio, tv, on-line or in the paper. It’s a 101 in Political Party Management – you have immediate discussions between the Leader, the spokesperson, and a small quorum of internal leaders who then know what is happening. We live in an age of immediate communication, not written or spoken word through an intermediary travelling by sailing ship over the wide seas FFS.

    • freedom 2.2

      not a smart activity by any means, but what a sensationalist headline

      A parachute flare “crashes” in the same way a ping pong ball plummets !

    • Draco T Bastard 2.3

      Police stressed that marine flares should only be used at sea and for real emergencies.

      Police should have been saying that setting off flares is illegal unless you happen to be at sea and having an emergency.

      And, no, I don’t see you problem with the article. People don’t actually have the right to set off fireworks whenever they please. This is because it interferes with other peoples right not to be disturbed.

      • phillip ure 2.3.1

        i think draco..i was using it as an example of unthought-out/unintended consequences..

        ..for wood..

        ..eh..?

        ..and all her own work..

        ..(we so love it when the smug/hubris-riddled get flustered/first-worldy-problemy..eh..?.

        …and that reaction to their self-centered whines..is only human..

        ..eh..?..)

        ..phillip ure..

  3. amirite 3

    David Cunliffe and Phill Goff seem to be at odds with each other regarding NZ nationals fighting in Syria. Cunliffe would change current laws to stop them, Goff thinks some rightful fighting causes should be supported.
    WTF is going on in the Labour Party?

    • Te Reo Putake 3.1

      What’s going on? A democratic discussion. And one that’s been had in Labour many times. For mine, I’d like to think I’d have gone to Spain if I was around in the thirties.

    • Northshoreguynz 3.2

      Discussion, as it should.
      My take on it is that if someone wants to be a mercenary, why should we stop them? And how do you prove the organisation they are fighting for is “terrorist”

      • mickysavage 3.2.1

        The legal authority to cancel a passport is in section 8A of the Passports Act 1992 and states:

        “8A Cancellation of passport on grounds of national security
        (1) The Minister may, by notice in writing, recall any New Zealand passport, and cancel it or retain possession of it, if the Minister believes on reasonable grounds that—
        (a) the person is a danger to the security of New Zealand because the person intends to engage in, or facilitate,—
        (i) a terrorist act within the meaning of section 5 of the Terrorism Suppression Act 2002; or
        (ii) the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction; or
        (iii) any unlawful activity designed or likely to cause devastating or serious economic damage to New Zealand, carried out for purposes of commercial or economic gain; and
        (b) the danger to the security of New Zealand cannot be effectively averted by other means; and
        (c) the cancellation of the passport, or its retention by the Minister, will prevent or effectively impede the ability of the person to carry out the intended action.”

        Seems to me there are some rather high hurdles to jump and I would be interested to see how the Government justified the cancellation of Syrian mercenary’s passports.

        • ianmac 3.2.1.1

          It was said on Morning Report this morning that the parents of the two brothers requested the cancellation of passports.

          • greywarbler 3.2.1.1.1

            I wondered about that. They said that the parents had contacted a government department. I didn’t hear that the parents had asked for the cancellation of the passports. To withhold their passports might have been their desire. Cancellation is serious, and particularly bad for those already over there.

            Paul Buchanan thinks that it is an announcement that indicates to everybody that the NZ intelligence is working! And that it itself makes this public before Edward Snowden’s expected release of data.

            • Colonial Viper 3.2.1.1.1.1

              It’s extremely sad to see the so-called sovereign NZ Govt dancing like a puppet to someone elses tune.

          • veutoviper 3.2.1.1.2

            That accounts for two people; but these appear to be the only NZers of Syrian origin that the Syrian spokesman knew of.

            IIRC Key talked about 8 (?) passports being cancelled/withdrawn. So who were the others? And were they all NZers of Syrian origin or not?

        • dv 3.2.1.2

          (iii) any unlawful activity designed or likely to cause devastating or serious economic damage to New Zealand, carried out for purposes of commercial or economic gain; and

          SO and one who worked for merrill lynch should have their passport cancelled!!!!

          AND who else???

        • Colonial Viper 3.2.1.3

          Just to clarify – cancelling passports is not the same as revoking citizenship and leaving a person stateless, right?

          • lprent 3.2.1.3.1

            Depends if they are out of the country or not.

            If they are and the nearest embassy (eg if you are in Syria behind the lines and the nearest embassy or consulate is somewhere like Israel) won’t help then you effectively become stateless because you can’t cross borders.

            If in-country

    • Richard 3.3

      We have a lot of ex military employed off shore in various rolls. They too could fall under the same scrutiny.

      • Tracey 3.3.1

        Yes we do. Some masquerading as security guards in iraq and Afghanistan. .. and this govt knows exactly who they are.

    • PapaMike 3.4

      Perhaps Goff would be better at the job of Mayor of Auckland – before the General Election.
      Brown is doing Labour no favours as seen by his putdown in the Herald today over his railway.
      He has no dignity but should resign.
      Phil would make a great Mayor.

    • Draco T Bastard 4.1

      The poor little dear got upset that she and her farmer mates are actually being held to account on how animals are treated and the sustainability of their practices.

  4. miravox 5

    http://www.theguardian.com/media/2014/feb/10/the-intercept-glenn-greenwald-nsa-revelations

    A new website for the Snowden files

    featuring journalist Glenn Greenwald and funded by the billionaire founder of eBay was unveiled early Monday, with two stories about US government surveillance.

    The site, called the Intercept, reported Monday that the National Security Agency has used cell phone geolocation to help pinpoint targets for US drone strikes overseas, and published previously unseen photographs of major US intelligence facilities.

    The Intercept is part of a suite of planned sites to be published by First Look media, founded by eBay chairman Pierre Omidyar. Its editors are Greenwald and fellow journalists Laura Poitras and Jeremy Scahill.

    The Intercept will focus on reporting based on documents released by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, the site’s editors said in an introductory statement. “Our focus in this very initial stage will be overwhelmingly on the NSA story,” the statement said.

    https://firstlook.org/theintercept/

    • veutoviper 5.1

      May be well worth keeping an eye on Intercept. KDC has put up links on his Twitter site.

      I heard Paul Buchanan on Morning Report earlier talking about the expected publication of Snowden’s revelations re NZ. He thinks this will be in about two months’ time – and that Key talking about cancellation of passports of NZ citizens wanting to go to Syria is an attempt to get in first.

      http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/morningreport/audio/2585278/expert-questions-wisdom-of-passport-cancellation-announcement

      KDC has also tweeted this link to Techdirt re Snowden’s response to a recent NY Times article. Techdirt article is titled “Gov’t Officials Leak Classified Info To Journalists To Discredit Snowden For Leaking Classified Info To Journalists”. Interesting read.

      http://t.co/0Y9ms21270

      • ianmac 5.1.1

        Re Techdirt: A large part of the energy used by the “authorities” over there and probably here as well (MrKey?) is aimed at discrediting. Thanks veutoviper.

        • Colonial Viper 5.1.1.1

          Leaks of classified information which support the narrative and position of the power elite are permissible, and in fact, both tacitly and actively encouraged.

          However, leaks of classified information which counter and discredit the narrative and the position of the power elite shall be punishable by decades behind bars in a military detention facility.

  5. jeepers this is ugly from Lyn Webster a dairy farmer in Northland

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/farming/opinion/9707476/Harden-up-NZ-farming-kills-animals

    It is not all politically correct and roses out here. If farming is intrinsically cruel, that does not necessarily make farmers cruel people but it probably makes them realists.

    If the only meat you see is wrapped in cling film at the supermarket and even then it is a little bit icky for you to touch it – or you are so privileged that you can spurn animal protein and bore everyone to death about your veganism – then count your lucky stars because you are one of the world's privileged.

    Agriculture has kept this country going and it is hard work.

    The economy built on the back of this hard-fought industry might allow you to have a cushy government job, or indulge yourself in some accountancy, journalism or art and give you the power to concentrate on some highbrow thinking.

    But when your thoughts turn to farmer bashing (and you don’t grow all your own food) then have caution, you are setting sail on the sea of hypocrisy in a leaky boat.

    Stop biting the hand that literally feeds you.

    I know I’m setting myself up for the full ure treatment here but…

    Lyn Webster doesn’t take prisoners and everyone is in her sights – don’t criticise farmers? If the attitudes displayed in this article are even slightly indicative (and i think they are) then they deserve everything they get. i once started writing a short story about after the end – of oil/global warming and so on – one slight story arc was a farmer having to front up to what they had done to the environment and the animals – it didn’t end well for them…

    edit: Snap with ScottGN above

    • ScottGN 6.1

      She could have saved herself an awful lot of computer time and the rest of us from wasting our time reading this drivel if she’d just come out and said “We’re dairy farmers, NZ’s aristocracy. We run this country and we can do whatever the fuck we want ‘cos you all owe us”.

    • millsy 6.2

      Webster is a pretty nasty lady. I have read some of her writings, and a lot of them are a lot worse than that one — I think she let rip at one struggling couple who had the cheek to wish that their landlord would insulate their home or something.

      Yes, farming kills animals, etc, but it is not “farmer bashing” to suggest it should be done humanely.

      The farmers are getting more and more sensitive each day. We soon will start seeing critics of farmers being denounced in town squares by young FF members as counter-revolutionary critics of the Agricultural road.

    • weka 6.3

      The irony in discussing this here marty is that Webster and Ure are the two sides of the same coin, or the extreme ends of the spectrum. Webster basically says if you eat meat, then animals have to suffer, so shut the fuck up. Phil says, if you eat meat, then animals have to suffer, so you are evil. Not so very different.

      The thing that bothers me is that both positions leave the animals to their cruel fate. It is possible to farm humanely and it’s possible to eat meat and diary ethically. Which farmers and eaters are heading in the right direction?

      • marty mars 6.3.1

        My wife and son eat meat – organically grown and ethically killed – it is not for me but i gave up many years ago trying to impose my beliefs around (not) eating meat on others. A sustainable approach imo is based on respecting the animal throughout its life, and death. And that respecting is towards the animal for the glory and wonder that it is as a living entity and a part of the holistic whole. The big issue is scale as i’m sure you’ve mentioned before – when profit becomes the motive, big becomes better, and respecting the animal is discarded.

      • Ennui 6.3.2

        Yes it is possible to farm humanely:

        * the death of the stock need not be a cruel affair, as it is today even under the regulations. I favour, where possibly that stock are slaughtered on the farm, avoiding the transport to a killing factory and the stress and terror that causes animals. Any idiot who wishes to argue that the freezing work does not terrify the stock has never been to, or worked in one.
        * the life of the stock can be made so much better. Stock like humans require shelter and shade. NZ farmers routinely overcrowd stock in vast open areas despite the rigours of the climate. That is just plain cruel and unnecessary. Recently I was in a paddock on a really hot day and wondering where the cows were, I found them in a copse the farmer had left in the paddock (most farmers would have cut it down).

        I don’t think farmers are per se necessarily cruel, I do think that they work to the economics of the industry and that may inure them to the suffering of the stock. The answer is we need to demand more of them, and as a consequence be prepared to pay for it.

      • phillip ure 6.3.3

        @ weka..

        “..Phil says, if you eat meat, then animals have to suffer, so you are evil..”

        i have never said people are ‘evil’..

        ..(please do not put words into my mouth..)

        ..most (children especially) are just unaware of the realities behind their packaged-meat/bye-products..

        ..the pain beneath their plates..

        ..with farmers smashing in the skulls of uneconomic calves with hammers/blunt-objects..just the latest revelation..

        ..and i have long advocated abbattoirs/charnal-houses had glass walls..

        ..’cos if people saw/knew what is done in their name/diet..

        ..many would stop eating flesh/fat/bye-products..

        ..and yes..those people doing the actual torture of those animals are fucken ‘evil’..

        ..(and don’t get me started on that lowest example of the human being..the vivisector..

        ..those who earn their money from deliberately torturing/experimenting with animals..

        ..380,000 animals are tortured/killed by those ‘evil’ fucks..

        ..each and every year..)

        ..but most consumers are not ‘evil’..they are at worst ignorant/brainwashed/addicted..

        ..but of course the confirmation (pre-xmas) that dairy-products have joined meat..as proven causes of cancers..

        ..will just further advance the arguments i make on this issue..

        ..phillip ure..

      • phillip ure 6.3.4

        @ weka..

        ..”.. It is possible to farm humanely and it’s possible to eat meat and diary ethically..”

        complete and utter fucken self-deluding bullshit..

        ..and you a ‘green’..eh..?

        ..f.f.s..!

        ..phillip ure..

    • McFlock 6.4

      Her main point seems to be that because death is the outcome, all treatment and methods of killing up to that point are equivalent.

      Personally, I do not think that (at one extreme) a lifetime of abuse and torture ended by a careless and painful method is equivalent to (at the other extreme) a happy cow prancing in rainbow fields suddenly blinking out like a light bulb are equivalent.

      Without farming the cow wouldn’t exist. But that doesn’t mean it is acceptable to make the cow suffer.

  6. logie97 7

    Teacher: Key a ‘good kidd’ Today’s Herald.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11199548

    Leaving aside the flannel in the article, there appears to be one telling statement that may disprove Key’s indifference to politics at the time. (1981 and all that).

    “… John Key was a good student, Mr Hughes recalled. Subject matter was closely linked to the politics of the day, with Mr Key’s future party often in the cross-hairs. “Economics was great to teach in those days, because all of Muldoon’s controls were still there, and we were sort of free-market evangelistic … it was a great time to be able to criticise the Government and prove they were wrong.”

    Has anyone proved conclusively that Muldoon and Keynesian economics were wrong?

    Secondly, I can just imagine what might happen to a teacher today who “preached” evolution in a secondary school with such conviction.

    • Draco T Bastard 7.1

      Has anyone proved conclusively that Muldoon and Keynesian economics were wrong?

      Nope but, then again, basic common sense (something that RWNJs don’t have) tells us that economics is wrong anyway.

  7. oh dear I think going down this road is a big mistake david

    Mr Key says he would definitely beat David Cunliffe at a game of beer pong.

    The Labour leader seems up for it.

    “I could, I’m sure – if the moment arose – drink him under the table. I have body mass on my side.”

    http://www.newstalkzb.co.nz/auckland/news/nbpol/1638566970-i-could-drink-key-under-the-table—cunliffe

    I suppose if you are after the same middle then you act the same, say the same sort of things, you know to be a regular bloke – what a spew.

    • Te Reo Putake 8.1

      Good call, Marty.

      Correct response:

      “I’m no wowser, but I’m not comfortable with the promotion of excessive alcohol use. We have some real issues with alcohol in NZ, as we see in the domestic abuse figures, and problems at the sevens and in other sports. And when it comes to public drunkenness, John Key has already won the Troty, three hands down”.

    • PapaMike 8.2

      Please – what is Beer Pong – it does not seem to be a straight drinking competition ?

    • Draco T Bastard 8.3

      I don’t think that’s going after the middle but after the lowest form of life – the drunk.

  8. lprent 9

    Autoscaler was giving me a problem this morning. Was failing to turn on the web servers under load. Eventually did a nasty stall on the database.

    I’ve added a larger server and it looks like it is all ok. Heading to work.

    • greywarbler 9.1

      Thanks. There was such a delay thought something was up, have a good day lprent. With Cool Runnings.

      • greywarbler 9.1.1

        lprent
        A couple of points. I have changed to Firefox and it seems a bit better than Opera.
        But I wanted to place a comment to you under my earlier one. The site took me to the Radio program site from December, twice. I scrolled along to get here.

        And second, I have no comments in my archive after midday yesterday.
        I put some time-consuming ones through late yesterday and would like to look them up. Are they still to be recovered somewhere?

        • greywarbler 9.1.1.1

          lprent
          I note that I can access all my archives from the Opera browser but the Firefox I cannot though otherwise it seems to duplicate what is on Opera.

      • lprent 9.1.2

        Appears to be fixed now. I’ll have a look at what it does later tonight as the load drops off.

  9. greywarbler 10

    Rod Oram will be on Radionz after 11am news talking about the naughty, haughty OZ supermarkets. He is always worth listening to for good thinking.

    Geoff Bertram was on morning news about the electricity market which is so competitive that the sector PR says we are lucky and are constantly spinning round looking for the best deal. (Slight translation here.) How very tiring this competition is, who needs walking and cycle tracks and how can you afford them, when you have to stick to your computer or phone checking prices, ready to catch the latest .05c drop, so you can get a phone bill that’s affordable?

  10. “.How To Shop For Weed Like A True Expert:

    “..Think of Leafly as a Wine Spectator or a Goodreads.

    But instead of wine or books –

    – it’s a place to gather – rate – and talk about marijuana.

    The Leafly experience doesn’t conjure images of tie-dyed shirts and Cheech and Chong jokes.

    On a slick interface – with an index of over 600 cannabis strains –

    – nearly 60,000 reviews of those strains –

    – and over 36,000 reviews of thousands of dispensaries around the world –

    – it’s far more sophisticated.

    Leafly – which has been described as the “Yelp of cannabis” –

    – represents the new mainstreaming of marijuana culture-

    – bringing the oft-stigmatized leaf and its users into the daylight..”

    (cont..)

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/02/10/leafly-marijuana-app_n_4717647.html

    phillip ure..

  11. One Anonymous Bloke 12

    Astronomers have found evidence of life on Planet Gower.

    It’s visions now. It’s all become clear to Paddy, apparently.

    • veutoviper 12.1

      Not sure that it has become clear to Paddy yet. Personally I want a few more instances before I believe it.

      However, that TV3 article at least appears to quote what Cunliffe and Norman actually said re the Dotcom extradition saga and what they would do, rather than twisting their words or misquoting them. Cunliffe’s comments were thankfully very measured and recognised the legal process currently underway.

      • weka 12.1.1

        Norman seemed a bit all over the place.

        Gower seems to think that KDC can stand for parliament.

        “But what a delicious irony: Kim Dotcom might actually help John Key win the 2014 election.”

        Call me old fashioned, but isn’t the point of political opinion by journalists to express their opinion about the politics, not what they personally wish for?

      • One Anonymous Bloke 12.1.2

        1. The courts are unlikely to send the extradition warrant to the Minister for approval.
        2. If Paddy doesn’t know this he’s incompetent, and yet for the purposes of his magnificent theory he assumes it’s a done deal.
        3. The thought doesn’t seem to have occurred to Paddy that Dotcom may not like this government because they broke the law while waving guns in his face.

        The whole article reeks of the unseemly bias we’ve come to expect from this wannabe.

        • veutoviper 12.1.2.1

          @ weka.

          I agree that Norman should probably have been a little more circumspect but he is in a different position to Cunliffe.

          KDC certainly knows that he cannot stand for Parliament – but IIRC correctly, he (and Mona etc) will be able to vote, being over 18 years old; permanent residents of NZ; and in NZ for over one year. My weird sense of humour is looking forward to very large, expensive billboards on KDC’s Coatsville mansion ground for the Internet Party and against voting for Key in his own Helensville electorate.

          KDC has just tweeted two relevant tweets

          “I don’t need the help of Labour/Greens in my extradition case. John Key & his gang are already doing that with their serial-law-breaking.”

          and

          “If the Internet Party won’t poll 5+% before ballot papers are printed we’ll self destruct and put our weight behind a party adopting our policies.”

          @ OAB

          It remains to be seen, but IMO the longer things drag out and the GCSB etc fail to meet court demands re the return of data etc to KDC, the less likely the courts will agree to extradition. But it is all so complicated. I am currently trying to put a summary together of where things are at on the complicated string of legal processes underway and will post this if I get it completed. It is a really fascinating legal situation.

          Re Gower, a candidate for post-natal abortion? LOL.

          • weka 12.1.2.1.1

            “If the Internet Party won’t poll 5+% before ballot papers are printed we’ll self destruct and put our weight behind a party adopting our policies.”

            My hitherto cautious respect for the man just went up a notch.

      • alwyn 12.1.3

        Norman’s comments on the other hand are very scary.

        It seems that the reason for his trip to see Dotcom is starting to leak out. Russel has admitted that he went to Dotcom’s mansion twice in an attempt to persuade him not to start a party to run in the election. I would say that Norman is quite sure, and quite worried, that any such party would syphon votes predominantly from the Green pool of supporters.

        He says that he tried to get Dotcom not to run such a group. Now we are beginning to see what Dotcom’s price is. If you guarantee, regardless of the Courts decision, not to allow me to be extradited, I’ll not run a party in the election and will, in fact support your Green Party, seems to be the Dotcom price.

        The really scary part is that Norman appears quite willing to promise such a political interference, without even waiting for the Court’s decision in the case. Is he really willing to put justice up for sale?

        • McFlock 12.1.3.1

          You’re confusing the tory method of doing things (corruption) with the fact that norman is against the extradition anyway. KDC isn’t dumb enough to blackmail someone into doing something they were going to do anyway.

          And the main thing that with stop KDC party from significantly siphoning green votes is he donated 50k to john banks.

          • phillip ure 12.1.3.1.1

            @mcflock..

            ..i wouldn’t place too much credence in the deterrent effect of dotcom donating to banks..

            ..that was clearly a purpose-donation/connection..

            ..as the deal was that banks would quid pro quo by helping dotcom with his immigration-issues..

            ..i don’t think you can necessarily tie dotcom ideologically to banks..

            ..just ‘cos of that donation..

            ..as with all parties (esp smaller ones)..this election..(more so than any other in recent times)..it will be policies..and not ‘branding’.. that will decide peoples’ votes..

            phillip ure..

            • McFlock 12.1.3.1.1.1

              so he’s not a tory supporter, he’s only corrupt (bribing elected officials for advantageous treatment)?

              Might want to work on that spin, phil

              • i’m not spinning for him..mcflock..

                ..those are just the facts of the matter..

                ..so..if you were him..

                .and were told you could grease a politicians hand with some anonymous/’legal’-donations..

                ..and get help with yr immigration-problems..

                ..you would be too high-minded to do that..eh..?

                ..all i was doing was pointing out how false yr ‘greens won’t vote for dotcom..’cos he gave banks money’ thesis is..

                ..and for why..

                ..that’s all..

                ..phillip ure..

                • McFlock

                  Actually, yeah – I do hope that, if given the opportunity to bribe a government official, I would turn it down, and report them.

                  In the long run it usually works out better – I know some folks who ship stuff internationally, and they have a rule to never pay bribes e.g. to customs. They’re ethical folk, but it turns out that they still get their stuff processed faster and cheaper than folk who get tapped at every stage of the cycle.

                  Basically, You’re arguing that greens would lose significant (i.e. election-changing) support to someone who gave 50k to john banks because they think him corrupt, rather than ideologically tory. Unprincipled rather than wrong principles.

                  That’s pretty harsh on greens, and I’m not exactly a hippy-lover.

                  • “..Basically, You’re arguing that greens would lose significant (i.e. election-changing) support..”

                    i’m not arguing that at all..mcflock..

                    ..in fact i didn’t even say that..

                    ..i’m sayng it will be forgotten by then..

                    ..and won’t be a vote-determiner..

                    ..as you argued it will be..

                    ..i repeat..policies will determine votes..

                    ..phillip ure..

                    • McFlock

                      Riiiight, whatever.

                      So your argument is that if he makes the right sounds before the election, green voters will forget that he (according to you) bribes public officials. Because all the policies, just like all the funding, will come from him.

  12. greywarbler 13

    Why don’t schools get told to run comparative religion and caring society lessons? I would like all children to come up against ideas of thinking that society members should care about each other, and it is a vital part of living in a happy society. And learning about different ways that people try to put this idea over in each country and refer to the major religions so kids know what they are.

    I am Christian but am concerned at the way that the USA has turned it all into a business, and further are rewriting the bible and then copyright their version, and of course spread their erroneous ideas about creationism, and the bible being like a scientific document. Scrambled eggs anyone!

    • Northshoreguynz 13.1

      So riorio, what do you want us to drop? Not disagreeing, but given the crowded curriculum we have now, something would have to give.

      • greywarbler 13.1.1

        Northshoreguynz
        You asked me a question and here is what I think, on and on and on
        But I think it all is relevant. Sorry I couldn’t be snappy and concise.
        You won’t lose any marks if you don’t read it. It is Not Compulsory!
        The quick get-out of here answer is I don’t know what I want you to drop. You’re the smart ones, you work it out! And it’s riroriro to you.

        I know I know it’s tough for teachers. Seeing that education is being used as the main measure for how well a country is doing, and how advanced it is, and unemployment must not be looked at, must be presented as if it doesn’t matter. Education is the cure for all ills. It’s education that will save us, and (taking a deep breath and throwing out chest) enable us to stride into the 21st century – after a shaky start. Blah.

        On religion in schools and how it can be fitted in. All I know is that it is important that children are taught about how to get on with others, how to be strong in themselves, and then how to step back from oneself a little so as to make room for understanding others and let them have their share. And if not, it’s important to understand why, and why you don’t like them and how to deal with that.

        Sounds woolly but it’s at the base of knowing how to mediate, how to get what’s right happening and the lack of this knowledge causes a lot of the disagreements, the fights, and wars. So teaching about the ways of handling oneself, then understanding about others, their ways of understanding the world, how it is expressed through their religions and why they might be different to yours, is necessary and useful when there are demarcation and resource fights.

        And that is something that should be passed on with the three r’s, and have pride of place in the curriculum for older children as a subject perhaps to be called Society, problem solving and human values. So it is a top subject and growing more important as society gets brutalised by isolating technology and distant, disinterested, amoral parents and government.

        The other stuff can be covered in a 101 fashion so youngsters have the basics and then can go full on with something they are really interested in, in conjunction with something that will be practically useful.

        So not the short answer you would hope for. But there is a lot of importance beyond just traditional support for school to cover religion, stories about religious figures, history and how to be good.

        That’s my idea for secondary education. Knowing how to learn, knowing how to gather information and analyse it are vital skills. Knowing how humans think, and allowing for real and compassionate understandings of people and behaviour should be be incorporated into policy. This is thinking about ourselves as real people in the round (not the cold, judgmental self-portrait of perfectionist, disdainful economist’s perceptions – thinking that everyone should be judged alongside themselves, as the model base standard.)

        It’s a new world already. We are not ready for it now, and the changes are happening and we can’t conceive it, can’t perceive it, and in our minds it’s still 1970-1990. That’s when things seemed possible but we didn’t have a clear path to the future, and while we thought and fought, neo lib came along and said “We know the way.”

        “Follow us pilgrims, it will be a rocky road sometimes but we will climb and get to the heights.” Our modern Pilgrim’s Progress to Consumer Land, where bright lights shine on us from plastic angels at the mall. Until it is flooded out in one of the weather bombs that will wipe out so much of our growing and built environment. Then what do we do with all our fine arcane knowledge? Boat building and botanics anyone?

        • Northshoreguynz 13.1.1.1

          It will take me a few hours to formulate a decent reply.

          • Northshoreguynz 13.1.1.1.1

            Rather than religion as such it seems to me your arguing more for good old fashioned manners and a concern for the well being of others. In addition the teaching of critical thinking.
            I can only give you what I have experienced in the schools I have taught, Intermediate Schools, teaching Year 8s, (Form 2 in the old money.) In all cases there has been what is called a “Values Program”, where children are both taught and encouraged to value themselves, others and the environment. The teaching is not so much explicit, but is discussed in class and reinforced all the time.
            Critical Thinking is also taught, as part of every unit.

            But, and it is a big but, we only have students for 6/7 hours a day. What happens at home has more influence on “social matters” than anything a school can do.

  13. tricledrown 14

    Greywarbler every Empire uses religion to sujugate its peasants CofE Roman Catholics Now we have thw fastest growing US colonial subjugaters the Morons. Door to Door salesman.
    Soon they wll have a drive thru version mc morons!

    • greywarbler 14.1

      McMorons. How useful a term. This morning there was an item about residents around Eden Park and the trouble they have with drunken people especially those that are turned away because of bad behaviour.
      Then they are out on the street and venting their feelings there.

      The authorities can be petitioned not to let a brothel start up in your street, of the sort that can give aggro, or street people might be able to be moved along (unless they are Mongrel Mob members from Christchurch like the ones talked about in the news today in connection with poor Mallory’s death. She hadn’t paid her protection money, so they weren’t going to protect her from themselves any more. And were very brutal and vengeful about it)

      You can’t get a Park shifted easily. But it brings together all the McMorons in the city, and drops them around your district. What fun.

    • Jilly Bee 14.2

      Yes, tricledrown – those bloody C of Es or Anglicans as they are known in N Z. I blame them for having me listen to those sermons on the Gospels which convinced me Jesus was a socialist, which has kept me from voting National for the past 48 years.

  14. veutoviper 15

    I only heard snippets of this section of Nine to Noon today; but what I heard was interesting in relation to the growth in blogging in NZ and its importance, role, risks etc in respect of the upcoming general election. Will relisten to it later, but thought others may be interested if you did not hear it.

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/ninetonoon/audio/2585305/media-with-wayne-hope

  15. Ad 16

    Media reporting that Wendy Brandon, David Cunliffe’s Chief of Staff, has resigned.

    • Jilly Bee 16.1

      According to the Herald, Wendy has been suffering from a bad case of shingles for some time now http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11200043

      • bad12 16.1.1

        Big time Ouch, shingles a very painful malady, my sympathies go out to Her having recently had the grandly painful experience of what might have been shingles…

      • mickysavage 16.1.2

        Yep she has soldiered on but obviously it has taken its toll. I would not wish shingles on the National Cabinet …

        • veutoviper 16.1.2.1

          Yes you and I would! But seriously, I have had shingles twice and it is nasty and takes months to recover. Kia kaha to Wendy and I fully understand her resigning to allow someone who has the energy; etc that you do not have when recovering from shingles to take over.

  16. logie97 17

    Teaching of Values in schools and Religious instruction.

    The religion in schools programmes is governed by a strict curriculum.
    The problem appears to be for some schools like St Heliers that no one is monitoring the instructors. They are usually well intentioned lay people who confuse values with Christian indoctrination.

    There are many good values programmes that can be delivered in the schools.
    The KiwiCan trust is one. Not a hint of Christrianity anywhere to be seen or heard.

    http://www.fyd.org.nz/Programmes/KiwiCan(Year18)/AboutUs.aspx

  17. Tim 18

    Point of note (and with due regard to Stephanie Rodgers “The Politics of Nastiness” post.

    Anyone watching QT today will note Pulla Bent’s efforts to change her umij.
    Rebranding in process YES. Change in substance NO

  18. Tim 19

    Point of note (and with due regard to Stephanie Rodgers “The Politics of Nastiness” post.

    Anyone watching QT today will note Pulla Bent’s efforts to change her umij.
    Rebranding in process YES. Change in substance NO

    Oh and Hek Yea is still stuck with the colonial look, albeit with a softer ‘look and feel’

  19. i have kicked off my q-time commentaries for the yr..where i attempt..as much as possible..

    ..to take the piss..

    http://whoar.co.nz/2014/new-zealand-parliament-list-of-questions-for-oral-answer-tuesday-11-february-2014/

    (excerpt:..)

    “..(and just as joyce stands to speak..in camera next to him..brownlee lets rip with an (obviously satisfied/post-lunch) belch..

    ..and yep..!..now he’s yawning..as that lunch settles in..and he will likely go on the nod before too long..(what’s known as ‘doing a banksy’..)

    (and kate ‘collars’ wilkinson has got a big blue one on today..(collar..that is..)

    (brownlee update:..his body is still doing battle with his lunch..attempting to stifle serial-yawns..(are we keeping him up..?..)..”

    ..and the jaw-dropping ‘news’ from the session..is the admission from parata..

    ..that charter schools will receive govt funding of up to $40,000 per student..

    ..this is 8 times the funding a state school student receives..

    ..whoar..!

    ..eh..?

    ..and if that ‘news’..of such govt largesse to these charter schools doesn’t make the 6pm news..

    ..mainstream journos are obviously asleep at the wheel..

    ..eh..?

    phillip ure..

  20. ianmac 22

    Morning Report update:
    “Morning Report co-host Simon Mercep will follow his co-host and step down from the show when Geoff Robinson leaves in April, said Radio New Zealand sources familiar with the situation.

    It is understood one option being considered by RNZ would see Mercep moved to a revamped afternoon show and current host Jim Mora joining Mary Wilson on a evening current format for Checkpoint.”
    Wonder who will replace him? Mary Lamb or some kindly friend of David Farrar?
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=11200047

  21. Colonial Viper 23

    Michelle Obama’s Marie Antoinette moment

    Nothing like having your pets feasting on fine china on the tax payers dime.

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-02-10/good-thing-us-only-has-66-unemployment

    • fender 23.1

      The poor can stop dreaming of finding that non-existent job, and start wishing they were a dog instead..

      • Colonial Viper 23.1.1

        The answer is simple. Cut benefits further so that people are “incentivised” to work.

        • fender 23.1.1.1

          And simultaneously raise corporate tax to incentivise them to employ?

          • Colonial Viper 23.1.1.1.1

            No silly billy, you have to reduce corporate taxes. The last thing you’d do is raise taxes and punish “job creators.”

    • SHG (not Colonial Viper) 23.2

      You know that when dogs are allowed on chairs the End Times can not be far away.

      • Colonial Viper 23.2.1

        Filet mignon for the Presidential pooches

        Food stamp cuts for the children in poverty

        • SHG (not Colonial Viper) 23.2.1.1

          My point is that the dogs are sitting on chairs. Not eating. In fact there’s no food present. Because they’re not eating and there’s no food present that means the dogs aren’t actually eating off fine china on the taxpayers’ dime.

          They’re sitting. On chairs.

          • Colonial Viper 23.2.1.1.1

            Children in poverty, homeless

            Sheltering in damp cardboard boxes

            Presidential pooches on fine antique perches

          • greywarbler 23.2.1.1.2

            It sounds like the Oval Room in the White House has been turned into a Circus Ring. Oh, that happened a decade ago. Well i’m behind the times.

            • Colonial Viper 23.2.1.1.2.1

              The key thing that SHG has missed is how out of touch the power elite are to what is happening in their nation.

              Of course, this always happens towards the end of empire. The wealthy capital of the Hunger Games with the starvation of the outer provinces, except this is real life, not fiction.

              • greywarbler

                CV
                I notice we can get sidetracked into being very haughty about what we mean and how other people are getting it wrong, and quite often it isn’t the important point at all. I’m beginning to get antsy at this cropping up too often. We all need to rein ourselves in. Not get het-up on a bit of trivia or unimportant meme.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Which is the bit of trivia/unimportant meme? The dog tweet from Michelle Obama?

                  Haughty suggests an air of superiority, of turning ones nose up at another.

                  Whereas I was aiming for a simmering anger and mild disgust. I will try and recalibrate.

                  • greywarbler

                    CV 😀
                    Your settings seem pretty right, objectively. But the sort of spats and spits that have happened over some minor or misunderstood point lately bother me. Hares and hounds galloping over the place, when here and now the attention and concentration of thought, must be the focus.

                    Shakespeare said that the world is a stage, and we are all players. If we think on lines of organising light and sound shows on the problems and events to draw and hold people’s attention, we will get better results, at the least because we are focussed on best approach and the matter of concern.

                    We have to dramatise the things that need to receive audience attention, spotlight the important matters, and then shift that attention to another scenario. This is where we show a definite image of people, business enjoying the positive effects that will result from doing whatever will improve it. Show and tell, as with children with eager minds to learn. And try to encourage that approach to the minds of the voters, ‘We can do better by adopting this way’. Convey that to them, and make it an ongoing basic slogan for the left communication strategy this year.

  22. Penny Bright 24

    Solicitor-General expected to advise by 28 Feb 2014 if leave to be granted for private prosecution of Auckland Mayor Len Brown:

    http://www.pennybright4mayor.org.nz/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/LEN-BROWN-LEAVE-TO-PROSECUTE-Solicitor-General-Response-3-Feb-2014-1.pdf

    Penny Bright

    For more information – http://www.pennybright4mayor.org.nz

    • bad12 24.1

      Will be interesting to see what the Solicitor General has to say, hopefully reasons are given which-ever way such a decision goes…

  23. Morrissey 25

    Yet another crazed performance by Stephen Franks
    Radio New Zealand seems to have no system of quality control

    The Panel, Radio NZ National, Tuesday 11 February 2014
    Jim Mora, Lindsey Dawson, Stephen Franks

    What do we think about Schapelle Corby? Well, just before 4 p.m. today we learned what one of the S.S. Trust lawyers thinks of her….

    STEPHEN FRANKS: Neither she nor her family look particularly worthy. [1] We just look, errrr, errrrr—-what’s the word?—errrr, frivolous. I mean, is there anyone the Australian government WON’T go into bat for?

    ……Awkward silence…..

    ZARA POTTS: [dismissively, clearly unimpressed] Hmmmmm….
    JIM MORA: Okay, onto things that matter: seat widths on airplanes…..

    Later, after the 4 o’clock news, the topic for discussion was the government’s canceling of passports for New Zealanders who intend to go to Syria to fight against Assad. Franks’s fertile mind started fertilizing prodigiously….

    STEPHEN FRANKS: There’s really no difference between a New Zealand citizen going over to fight against Assad and someone going over to fight for the Republicans during the Spanish Civil War.
    LINDSEY DAWSON: [gravely] Mmmmmm, mmmmm. Indeed.
    MORA: Indeed.

    To discuss the matter, the expert talent was Otago University politics professor Robert Patman, [2] who for the first time ever in his many appearances on the Panel, was not mealy-mouthed. Today he actually had the gumption to speak plainly…..

    ROBERT PATMAN: I find it curious that the Prime Minister has claimed that this somehow justifies the recent increase in government surveillance of New Zealand citizens. It was established last year that the government’s surveillance of us went beyond the law.
    STEPHEN FRANKS: No they didn’t really.
    ROBERT PATMAN: You don’t think they did?
    STEPHEN FRANKS: It wasn’t a contumelious breach of the law…. [Franks continued in harebrained fashion for several minutes]….

    After the 4:30 news, Franks was given more rope….

    JIM MORA: Stephen Franks what’s on your mind?
    STEPHEN FRANKS: I see that iwi are to be consulted on the disposal of the Rena. I can’t believe the credence we give to identity politics, and people who are ignorant. Compare it to Singapore, which is a meritocracy.
    LINDSEY DAWSON: They had a benign dictator didn’t they?
    STEPHEN FRANKS: Well no he wasn’t really….
    MORA: He didn’t like chewing gum much!
    STEPHEN FRANKS: [with increasing urgency] No he was NOT a dictator!…

    Franks proceeded to rave disconnectedly, very much like a NewstalkZB early morning caller. He damned the “sense of entitlement” of Māori, and praised Singapore several more times. The other two were careful not to provoke him too much; although they seemed to be mildly amused by what he said, gently contradicting him every now and again, they mostly just let him rave. Animals in the wild will steer clear of a creature that is rabid; Jim Mora and Lindsey Dawson wisely treated Stephen Franks with similar trepidation.

    Sadly, Stephen Franks will appear on this programme again in the near future. Nothing he says, no matter how mad, no matter how depraved, seems to make any difference. It’s more obvious than ever that The Panel is moribund.

    [1] To get endorsed by the S.S. Trust, Corby should have chased down a boy on the street in the small hours of the morning and stabbed him to death….
    [2] http://thestandard.org.nz/open-mike-11092013/#comment-694967

    • fender 25.1

      Good stuff Morrissey. That Franks asshole is a disgusting piece of shit. No wonder he employed/cloned the Jordan Williams ass-wipe.

      • Morrissey 25.1.1

        No wonder he employed/cloned the Jordan Williams ass-wipe.

        Good point. Jordan Williams is almost a perfect mimic of Stephen Franks. He speaks with the same inflexion, the same halting delivery (to convey complexity of thought) and the same muted tone (to convey gravitas).

        And when he’s contradicted, even slightly, Jordan Williams becomes shrill and incoherent, just like his boss….
        http://thestandard.org.nz/open-mike-17042013/#comment-620413

  24. Colonial Viper 26

    The Careerists – by Chris Hedges

    I will also repost this tomorrow.

    These armies of bureaucrats serve a corporate system that will quite literally kill us. They are as cold and disconnected as Mengele. They carry out minute tasks. They are docile. Compliant. They obey. They find their self-worth in the prestige and power of the corporation, in the status of their positions and in their career promotions. They assure themselves of their own goodness through their private acts as husbands, wives, mothers and fathers. They sit on school boards. They go to Rotary. They attend church. It is moral schizophrenia. They erect walls to create an isolated consciousness. They make the lethal goals of ExxonMobil or Goldman Sachs or Raytheon or insurance companies possible. They destroy the ecosystem, the economy and the body politic and turn workingmen and -women into impoverished serfs. They feel nothing. Metaphysical naiveté always ends in murder. It fragments the world. Little acts of kindness and charity mask the monstrous evil they abet. And the system rolls forward.

    http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/the_careerists_20120723

  25. karol 27

    Since 6pm tonight, many webstes are hosting a fightback banner as part of internet action against surveillance.

    Green Party explains – see also the fightback banner at the bottom of their webpage.

    NRT also has one of these banners.

  26. Clemgeopin 28

    TPP Caution:

    Here is a news item that drew my attention about the draw backs of trade related agreements such as the TPP.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/world/americas/9709477/US-launches-new-trade-action-against-India

    • Tracey 28.1

      Why do we think that these actions are happening before the TPP? Tobacco v Aussie… US against India…

      Is it to “reassure” the good dissenting folks of the world that nothing will really change under the TPP…. and yet it will…. cos if nothing changes why do we need a TPP?

    • fender 29.1

      😀

      • greywarbler 29.1.1

        Fancy there being no information through the OIA to this perfectly reasonable request for information concerning John Key being a – shape-shifting reptilian alien ushering humanity towards enslavement E&OE

        The person typing this letter in the Prime Minister’s office must have cracked up. What a change from the usual po-faced stuff.

    • Clemgeopin 29.2

      Can not read it clearly. Perhaps you should either increase the font or copy and paste the message.
      Cheers!

    • emergency mike 29.3

      i fukn knew it!

    • Tracey 29.4

      LOL

      Not being able to show he is not, is enough for the Christians, why not for our PM?

      • felix 29.4.1

        Heh. You could always ask Colin Craig I suppose, but I can predict his answer:

        ‘He might be a reptile but I can’t say for sure if he is or not, I haven’t looked into it enough to form an opinion.’

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    The Green Party today called on the Government to secure cross-party support to sell its investments in coal mining companies.The Norwegian Parliament's finance committee agreed in a bipartisan motion yesterday to instruct the $1.2 trillion Government Pension Fund to sell… ...
    GreensBy Russel Norman MP
    2 days ago
  • Fonterra payout $13b black hole over 2 years
    Fonterra’s dramatic cut to its forecast farmgate payout over this season and next will lead to a $13 billion black hole over two years, and shows the need for a plan to diversify the economy, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant… ...
    2 days ago
  • Labour calls for select ctte inquiry into Rural Broadband Initiative
    Labour is calling for an immediate inquiry into the flailing $300 million rural broadband initiative, before companies and consumers are forced to pick up the tab for the new $150 million broadband tax, says Labour’s ICT spokesperson Clare Curran. “Rural… ...
    2 days ago
  • Public broadcasting takes big hit under National Government
    Public broadcasting funding has been cut by 25 per cent in real terms since the National Government took office in 2009, leading to the erosion of our once world-class news and current affairs culture, says Labour Broadcasting Spokesperson Clare Curran. … ...
    2 days ago
  • Hospital food plan hits another snag
    The Government has been left with egg on its face with Hawke’s Bay District Health Board today giving a plan to outsource hospital food services the thumbs down, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Doing away with local kitchens by… ...
    2 days ago
  • Hospital food plan hits another sang
    The Government has been left with egg on its face with Hawke’s Bay District Health Board today giving a plan to outsource hospital food services the thumbs down, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Doing away with local kitchens by… ...
    2 days ago
  • Wilkinson appointment wrong in principle
    The appointment of former Conservation Minister Hon Kate Wilkinson as an Environment Commissioner is wrong in principle, says Labour’s Shadow Attorney-General David Parker. “The doctrine of separation of powers requires judicial processes to remain separate and independent from the legislature… ...
    2 days ago
  • McCully doesn’t deny bribe in Saudi sheep scandal
    “In Parliament today I asked Murray McCully directly: Why is he the first Minister in history to back a multi-million dollar facilitation arrangement which in other jurisdictions is called a bribe? says Labour’s Export Growth and Trade spokesperson David Parker.… ...
    2 days ago
  • National must back our future doctors
    National must support our future doctors and agree to the calls from the Medical Students’ Association and the Young Nats to lift the arbitrary 7 year cap on student loans for medical and dental students, Labour’s Tertiary Education Spokesperson David… ...
    2 days ago
  • Taxpayer the loser after Government folds
    Steven Joyce today admitted the main exhibition hall at the New Zealand International Convention Centre is 19 per cent smaller than what was described at the time other bidders were edged out of the process, Labour’s Economic Development spokesperson David… ...
    2 days ago
  • Govt’s lack of ambition for women
    Yesterday, the Government put out a media release entitled “Number of women leaders continues to grow”. It was to inform us that the percentage of women on state-appointed boards has increased to 41.7%, up from 41.1% in 2013. Well, woo-hoo… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    2 days ago
  • Auditor-General exposes Key’s scapegoating of Council
    The National Government's blaming of Auckland Council for the city’s housing crisis has been exposed as scapegoating in the Office of the Auditor-General’s latest report, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Auditor-General says Auckland Council’s part in fixing the… ...
    3 days ago
  • Reform – not money – needed for meat sector
    The National Government continues to throw good money after bad at the meat industry instead of addressing the fundamental problem of its dysfunctional structure, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “The latest Primary Growth Partnership grant to the venison… ...
    3 days ago
  • Government cuts corners on school bus funding
    The safety of children – not cost cutting – should be the main objective behind the Government’s funding of school buses, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Buried in the detail of this year’s Budget are $19 million of funding… ...
    3 days ago
  • Women the losers under National’s cuts
    National’s poor performance in appointing women to state sector boards is set to get worse with funding cuts to the nomination service provided by the Ministry for Women, Labour’s Woman’s Affairs spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “Minister for Women Louise Upston… ...
    3 days ago
  • Help sought by agencies now asked to help
    The organisation Social Development Minister Anne Tolley has tasked with setting up an emergency hotline for stranded Relationships Aotearoa clients has just lost a bid for a government contract to launch a new national helpline, Labour’s Acting Social Development spokesperson… ...
    3 days ago
  • Wellington got loud again on climate
    On Monday night, in Wellington, I attended the last of the Government’s climate target consultation meetings. It was quite well attended with maybe 150 people, not bad for a second meeting with very little notice and, as far as I… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    3 days ago
  • Final nail in coffin for Solid Energy workers
    Today’s confirmation of job losses at Solid Energy’s Stockton and Spring Creek mines shows the urgent need for new economic opportunities on the West Coast, Labour’s MP for West Coast-Tasman Damien O’Connor says. “Our economy can no longer rely on… ...
    3 days ago
  • Ramadi proves Iraq deployment high risk, low benefit
    The fall of Ramadi and the collapse of the Iraqi Army proves Labour was right to be concerned about the deployment of our troops to Iraq, Labour’s Defence spokesperson Phil Goff says. “The fall of Ramadi brings IS fighters within… ...
    3 days ago
  • English admits new taxes on the cards
    Eight months after pledging “no new taxes” at the election Bill English today admitted he would bring in more sneaky taxes along the lines of the border tax, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Not only did National bring in… ...
    3 days ago
  • What the Dickens is going on at SDHB?
    Problems at the financially-strapped Southern District Health Board appear to stretch to its HR department with information obtained by Labour showing it still records staff leave entitlements using manual book-keeping methods. “The Board’s draft 10-year plan document forecasts a cumulative… ...
    3 days ago
  • Teachers turn backs on new professional body
      The fact that just 56 per cent of nominations for the Education Council came from registered teachers shows the profession has turned its back on Hekia Parata’s new professional body, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Answers to written… ...
    3 days ago
  • No spade work done on big building plan
      Only a quarter of the 500 hectares of Crown land the Government wants to use for new homes is understood to be suitable for building on, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “This was National’s bold new idea to… ...
    3 days ago
  • National: Seven KiwiSaver cuts in seven years
    National’s campaign of KiwiSaver cuts has reached seven in seven years as it dismantles KiwiSaver block by block, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “KiwiSaver is critical to establishing a savings culture in New Zealand but National has taken a jenga-style… ...
    3 days ago
  • Tolley’s actions contradict reassurances
    Social Development Minister Anne Tolley has serious questions to answer following the forced closure of Relationships Aotearoa just days after her reassurances she was looking at ways to keep the service operating, Labour’s Acting Social Development spokesperson Annette King says.… ...
    4 days ago
  • SkyCity downsize another broken promise
    The downsized SkyCity Convention Centre does not deliver on the promised iconic world-class centre and shows the true extent of Steven Joyce’s incompetence, Labour Leader Andrew Little said today. “New Zealanders were promised an iconic world-class convention centre that would… ...
    4 days ago
  • Te Arawa partnership model a step closer
    Councils around New Zealand have an opportunity to improve their consultation with Iwi Māori by following Rotorua District Council’s Te Arawa Partnership Model, Labour’s Māori Development spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta says. “The Rotorua District Council will today decide whether to adopt… ...
    4 days ago
  • Labour mourns Dame Dorothy Fraser
    Labour Leader Andrew Little said the party is today mourning the loss of the youngest person to join the Labour Party, Dame Dorothy Fraser, who went on to be a stalwart of the Dunedin community and tireless worker for others.… ...
    4 days ago
  • The ultimate scapegoat: PM blames fruit fly for new tax
    The Prime Minister has found the ultimate scapegoat for breaking his promise not to introduce a new tax – the Queensland fruit fly, Labour’s Biosecurity spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “John Key’s first policy upon taking office and assigning himself the… ...
    4 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… ...
    6 days 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.… ...
    6 days 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… ...
    6 days 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
    7 days 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 week 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 week 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 week 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 week 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 week 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 week 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 week 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 week ago

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