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Open mike 13/01/2013

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, January 13th, 2013 - 80 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

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

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

Step right up to the mike…

80 comments on “Open mike 13/01/2013”

  1. It appears that the White House is not planning on building the Death Star any time soon. Tea Party followers will be relieved …

    https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/response/isnt-petition-response-youre-looking

  2. bad12 2

    We are the high and mighty Lords of Bizness, therefor if We do anything illegal it is obviously SOMEONE ELSES fault,

    The fishing company Sanfords has been fined by the US courts for dumping liquid waste in the sea off the coast of American Samoa,

    4 million bucks and a years ban from fishing in US waters seems like a fairly light punishment for dumping liquid waste,including what appears to have been some oil contaminate, and you would think that the fishing company involved would have simply paid the fine and hung it’s head in contrition,

    Not likely, on RadioNZ National News at 8.00 this morning there is a Rep from the fishing industry, i didn’t catch his name or whether or not He was attached to Sanfords, laying the blame for the waste dumping at the feet of Government inspectors,

    According to the Brainless Prick speaking for the fishing industry if those who inspect such ships on behalf of the Government had of picked up the fact that the waste piping had been altered in such a way as to allow the dumping they,( the inspectors), could have stopped the Sanford ship from leaving port here in New Zealand and the ship wouldn’t have been able to dump it’s s**t off of the coast of American Samoa,

    Anyone reading the Standard and not understanding the allusion often made in these pages to the Bizness sector being staffed at the management and board level by a bunch of psycho and sociopaths need only listen to that news item for some enlightening education…

    • Tiresias 2.1

      I heard the same piece while milking, which means I wasn’t giving it my full attention. However my impression was that the speaker as not trying in any way to excuse Sandford but was trying to draw attention to the fact that, yet again, Government regulators once again seem to have been captured by the Industy they are supposed to be regulating.

      Also I’m not sure it’s fair to see the whole incident as some devious and intricate conspiracy by Sandford management and board of directors to shave a few cents off its operating costs. The charges against the company were that it was ‘vicariously liable’ for the acts of the boat’s crew, and my money would be on this being yet another case of incompetence and carelessness at the top in leaving the detail to others further down the chain who cut corners or adopted a ‘she’ll be all right’ attitude. Certainly the damage to Sandford beside the fine far outweighs any profits this practice might have generated – Shares of Sanford fell 0.3 percent to $3.83 on the NZX and have dropped 6 percent this year. Believe me that plus the international damage to Sandford’s reputation will be of far more importance to the top brass at Sandfords than the details of the plumbing on one of its boats.

      So yes, management at Sandfords was slack and incompetent – which makes them pretty typical – as they failed to implement proceedures and appoint the right people to stop people down the chain cutting corners to save themselves a dirty chore. So everything they got they deserved. But if this wasn’t picked up, or worse still was picked up but not followed up, by regulators THAT is the real story.

      Why did the regulators let the ship sail if they had picked this up? Did they accept a back-hander from the captain to avoid a delay in sailing any repairs might have entailed? Did they turn a blind eye to it because they have become too pally with the crews they are supposed to check? Is there a revolving door between the industry and the regulators? Did the regulators receive instructions from on high not to look too closely or take too much notice of the minor stuff when compared with basic sea-worthiness, in order to ‘encourage’ the fishing industry to beef up its productivity?

      Those are the questions I’d like answers to, and at least someone has raised them on the radio.

      • Akldnut 2.1.1

        I disagree – the real story is firstly that Sanfords as a major fishing company is willing to pollute the very environment that we all (themselves included) rely on to survive and secondly that it incompetence at procedural and inspection levels need to be tightened up.

        • bad12 2.1.1.1

          If you or i saved up all our waste for a month including sewerage and then took it down to the harbour and publicly dumped it off of a wharf all hell would break loose and we would probably end up being thrown in a jail cell,

          That is the difference between us and in this instance the Board of Sanfords, everyone agrees that it is the Board which is ultimately responsible for the actions of the Company BUT the Boards of company’s found to be breaking the law are seldom, if ever, held personally responsible for the criminal actions of the company…

      • bad12 2.1.2

        Jesus, that’s a long winded advertisement on behalf of the Board of Sanford don’t you think, is it not the Board who is ultimately responsible for the actions of those who conduct the company’s business???,

        My opinion is that the Board of Sanford’s must take ultimate responsibility for the dumping of waste whether or not They knew of the practice or not, SO, they got what THEY as a company deserved including the drop in share price which effects the share-holders who in essence appoint the Board,

        Please provide ‘the evidence’ that those in Government employment tasked with inspecting the particular ship in question were in any way ‘bribed’ to ignore the particular ship’s ability to illegally dump waste into the sea,AND, ‘the evidence’ that these inspectors actually KNEW the dumping was taking place,

        Your denigration of these inspectors borders on the defamatory and is simply a reinforcement of the ‘Bizness model’ of blaming the inspectors for the criminal behaviour of Sanford’s….

        PS, the Management, including the Board of Sanford were guilty of criminal acts, nothing more, nothing less…

        • Fortran 2.1.2.1

          Drop in share price makes them more buyable for a foreign company – Chinese or Korean.
          Lower the share price the cheaper to buy.

        • Tiresias 2.1.2.2

          Yes, the Board and management at Sandford’s are ultimately responsible for their ships dumping waste at sea. No-one is disputing that, that I’m aware of.

          I’m suggesting they didn’t know it was going on. I’m even suggesting they shouldn’t be expected to know it was going on as this involves operational matters at a very low and specialist level. What they should have done and clearly failed to do was to set up the systems and employ the people who should have known and who should have stopped it. This I say is poor management and incompetence on their part which has now been rightly exposed. You seem to be suggesting that at the very highest levels of management, decisions were taken to save a few dollars in a multi-million dollar operation by tweaking some very obscure plumbing in one of their boats. I say that’s nonsense.

          You were the one saying that there are Government inspectors/regulators tasked with inspecting these boats to ensure they can’t/don’t pollute the oceans. IF that’s the case then, as the commentator on the radio pointed out, they clearly failed to do their job. This might have been because:
          a) they were incompetent,
          b) they were paid not to see it
          c) they saw it but didn’t want to ‘rock the boat’
          e) they think there’s a good chance they might be looking for work in the Industry as Marine Engineers or whatever sometime soon, or have just come from the Industry and don’t want to draw attention to things they did themselves
          f) they’ve been instructed by their own seniors not to worry about ‘minor’ or ‘technical’ breaches of the regulations as some-one above them doesn’t want the Fishing Industy hobbled with ‘trivia’.
          g) they were short-staffed and too busy to make a proper inspection.
          g) I can’t think of any others but feel free to add any other reasons the ship might have sailed in breach of the regs.

          To my mind it is important that we know why a(nother) Government agency failed to do its job properly but if you’re happy to blame all the world’s problems on evil, conniving capitalists I don’t give a damn.

          “PS, the Management, including the Board of Sanford were guilty of criminal acts, nothing more, nothing less…” Actually ‘the Company’ was found guilty vicariously for the acts of certain of its employees. Neither the ‘management’ nor ‘the Board’ were found guilty or any any way personally liable.

          • bad12 2.1.2.2.1

            Ha….Ha…Ha…For a lesson in how the capitalists shift the blame that’s just perfect, I am not the one who suggested that there are Government inspectors tasked with doing any such thing,

            The dickhead on the news this morning representing the fishing industry is the one suggesting that and then like you attempts to blame those inspectors for the criminal actions of the company,

            The piping that allowed the emptying of the ships waste into the sea might for all i (or you) know be perfectly legal, it is the actions of dumping the waste illegally that are in question,

            The point you make that the Board did not hire management of sufficient intelligence to stop the dumping of the waste is still the responsibility of the Board, the fact that the Board had not issued specific directives about the dumping of waste simply makes them as culpable as those who thought it a good idea to ditch the waste at sea,

            But hell i tend to agree it was all my fault…

      • bad12 2.1.3

        I also belatedly notice that you have abhorently blamed the ‘workers’ aboard the Sanford ship for the waste dumping, claiming, again with the provision of not the slightest scrap of evidence, that it was the workers dumping the waste to avoid having to engage in a ‘dirty chore’ at some later point,

        The fact that you make these unfounded allegations simply proves the point that i make and illuminates you personally as a prize wanker…

        • Tiresias 2.1.3.1

          Oh I agree I don’t know why the waste was dumped. However it seems to me reasonable to assume that separating waste oil for storage on board and then disposing of it ‘responsibly’ at a later stage is a dirty and onerous chore compared with just pumping it overboard.

          And I’m afraid I do blame the crew of the boat for dumping the waste, unless you are suggesting that the senior management and Board of Sanfords had themselves helicoptered out to the boat as it worked ‘off the coast of American Samoa” and did this nefarious deed themselves while the crew attended a prayer meeting or something below decks.

          As far as I can tell from the press reports none of the crew themselves have been charged with this ‘crime’ – responsibility has been quite rightly sheeted home to their employer for failing to take the proper steps to stop what should not have happened from happening.

          • bad12 2.1.3.1.1

            The ‘crew’ on a ship such as what Sanford’s use as fishing trawlers DO NOT unilaterally DO ANYTHING that they have not been told to do by a senior officer,

            IE, the crew don’t even chip paint unless the order comes from on high, you are in fact saying 2 things at once here,(in other words being a wanker),the crew may have been involved in the physical actions of turning on the taps which dumped the waste,BUT, for this to happen orders must have been given,

            This simply begs the question of the ‘practice and why the ship wasn’t put into port when the waste tanks were full which in my mind if i were running such a ship would come down to a simple matter of (a), the cost,and (b), the risk of being caught dumping the waste at sea,

            These are NOT equations that are made by the crew, on a ship such as this one there is a large amount of doubt in my mind at least that even the Captain would be making such decisions, such decisions of whether or not the ship stayed at sea fishing would be made via radio communication with the company back in New Zealand and would be based upon the gross amount of catch in the hold,

            The company in New Zealand would have weighed up the cost/risk equation against a backdrop of what would be the cost of putting into American Samoa to empty the waste or dump some or all of it in the sea thus allowing the ship to continue fishing until the ships capacity to store fish had been reached,

            The alternative, if there were even the facilities in American Samoa, were to put into American Samoa or steam home to New Zealand to discharge the waste,

            It is obvious that the company in New Zealand has opted to have the ship stay at sea fishing believing it could ‘get away’ with dumping the waste…

            • McFlock 2.1.3.1.1.1

              The ‘crew’ on a ship such as what Sanford’s use as fishing trawlers DO NOT unilaterally DO ANYTHING that they have not been told to do by a senior officer,

              While I have some sympathy for the crew, I can’t help but wonder where I might have heard that excuse before…

              • bad12

                Yeah sure Mac,are you a secret anarchist??? we all follow orders Mac, if your in the employ of someone and you don’t follow orders,(requests to direct your labour),then you don’t stay in that employment for long,

                Even if we are not in employment we all follow the orders of society as expressed within the laws and statutes of the society we inhabit, other wise that society has places such as jails and phsychiatric facilities where you are removed to,

                I assume you mean the guards excuse for having helped operate the death camps, to have objected and refused would have simply resulted in the guards being subjected to much the same treatment as the detainees in the death camp,

                The crew of fishing boats aint Green-Peace activists, perhaps you think that en masse the crew should have refused to dump the waste and joined the unemployed in the ever elongating queue so as the rest of the country could look down upon and denigrate them…

                • McFlock

                  Let’s see, the excuse list:

                  preserve one’s job
                  everyone does it
                  Nuremburg defense should have worked
                  Fishing crews aren’t environmentalists, so it’s not their job.

                  That’s a fairly morally bankrupt list.
                  Should the crews go to prison? Nope, probably not. But they are still responsible for their own actions, just as you or I am. We choose which orders we obey, and why.

                  • bad12

                    Yeah sure Mac, it’s easy for you to sit in judgement, let us all know wont you when you stand up for the ecology and lose your job as a consequence,

                    I wont hold my breath waiting for that to happen tho…

                    • McFlock

                      Actually, I said I had some sympathy for the crew.

                      But they’re still responsible for their actions. As am I.

                  • Foreign Waka

                    The bigger worry is: how much of the same is going on and the culprits are never caught? Dumping rubbish seem to be common practice – why else is it that the North Pacific and Atlantic have large “islands” of waste, mostly plastic floating just beneath the water surface? What does this do to the ecosystem in regards to weather, oxygen exchange, sea creatures and plankton etc. Seems that a lot of lip service is going on but not much else.

            • bad12 2.1.3.1.1.2

              PS, of course my comment above is me being nice to the Sanfords, we might all learn some time in the future that the dumping of waste products by the company is ‘normal practice’ in New Zealand waters,

              If we do learn this at some future point in time i for one will not be surprised in the least…

    • David H 2.2

      A link so that we can hear the offending track would be nice. Please.

  3. Lou 3

    For those of you and to all the rest of the good people in Aotearoa who are concerned about the rise in cost of prescriptions, ask yourself or your doctor – “do I really need these pills?”. Check out this link http://myscienceacademy.org/2012/08/19/world-renown-heart-surgeon-speaks-out-on-what-really-causes-heart-disease/

    • AsleepWhileWalking 3.1

      Halides (what you find in our treated water) are scientifically shown to cause hardening of the arteries. We NEVER hear about this in the news.

      A conspiracy theorist might think that our water is treated so that older people die earlier from heart disease lessening the burdern of retirement on the state and killing off the worker drones once they come to the end of their working life.

      Moral of the story? Filter your water to remove added fluoride + chlorine as much as possible.

      • Lanthanide 3.1.1

        “A conspiracy theorist might think that our water is treated so that older people die earlier from heart disease lessening the burdern of retirement on the state and killing off the worker drones once they come to the end of their working life.”

        Which would be rather contra-indicated by the massive increase in life expectancy and improvement in quality of life for those over 70 that have come about in the last 20-30 years.

      • RedLogix 3.1.2

        Filter your water to remove added fluoride + chlorine as much as possible.

        Absolute Bullshit.

        The amount of chlorine added to water in this country is very minimal, typically at about 0.7 ppm at the treatment plant and usually less than 0.3 ppm by the time it gets to your tap. That’s almost nothing.

        This is quite different to the practise overseas (often the USA) where much higher levels ( 1.5 -2.5 ppm) are commonplace AND the levels of organics in the water are neither measured nor removed. This creates a problem where the chlorine and the organics can react to create trihalomethanes which are potentially carcinogenic. In this country the plant operators monitor and control for organics and chlorine dosing very tightly. The NZ Drinking Water Standard is very advanced when compared to much of the rest of the world.

        Fluoride is also added at very low levels, also 0.7 ppm. This is not actually all that higher than what is typically found in the natural sources:

        Fluoride is usually found naturally in low concentration in drinking water and foods. The concentration in seawater averages 1.3 parts per million (ppm). Fresh water supplies generally contain between 0.01–0.3 ppm, whereas the ocean contains between 1.2 and 1.5 ppm.

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

        The treatment process actually reduces the amount of fluoride that was in the raw water to almost zero; the fluoride dosing after treatment merely returns what was taken out and then increases it to a standardised level somewhat above that. Again the level is pretty low and realistically does not represent a risk all that much higher than the natural background.

        You might also want to consider that there are water supplies in New Zealand that have been non-fluoridated for a very long time now and there has been zero evidence that this has made any difference whatsoever. People who have lived on tank water all their lives … still get heart-attacks.

        http://www.who.int/water_sanitation_health/dwq/chemicals/fluoride.pdf

        As for home filters. These have to be changed on a regular basis, otherwise they become a very real and definite health risk in themselves. If the municipal water treatment operators allowed their filter systems to operate for months or years without backwashing (the equivalent of changing your home filter) there would be a huge health risk, and prosecutions would result.

        But somehow when people at home do exactly the same thing with filters they leave in place unchanged for ages … blissfully delude themselves that they’re doing the ‘right thing’ for their health.

    • Thank you for the great read Lou, having heart disease i was interested in what the
      article was about, very informative.cheers.

    • joe90 3.3

      Oh look, Dr. Dwight Lundell has his own page.

      http://www.quackwatch.org/11Ind/lundell.html

      • @ Joe, Just goes to show you shouldn’t believe everything you read or hear (:

      • RedLogix 3.3.2

        Oh I don’t know so much joe … Dwight Lundell may have been struck off for defying the conventional wisdom … but he’s far from being alone on this topic. One for instance:

        http://eatingacademy.com/category/cholesterol-2

      • joe90 3.3.3

        My own circumstance RL where weight was never a worry the stubbornly high cholesterol level which familial comparisons indicated was unlikely to be hereditary was a concern. The first remedy was a close watch on my diet, the second was a dairy/protein watch and the third was a carbohydrate watch and still the high levels persisted. So I tried a mostly vegetarian and then for 20 or so weeks a vegan diet and apart from being perpetually hungry and a return to the fighting weight of my youth nothing really changed.

        So I’m back to eating what gandma ate and statins it is.

        VV, ae. Recently through a Whāngai connection I’ve been involved with organising accommodation for some people who, while they’re hardly destitute, are struggling financially quite simply because of the lack of education and skills and paralleled with those factors is a deep seated suspicion of the establishment.

        But it’s not the distrust of the services, police etc, that’s the worry, fuck, in the most I agree with them, it’s the anti-fluoride, anti-vaccination attitudes with a couple of world government references thrown in that are. The where and who these attitudes came from concerns me greatly.

        • Lou 3.3.3.1

          I think we might be one of two or three countries in the world where pharmaceutical companies are allowed to advertise in magazines and on tv.

          The bloke who set the theory on cholesterol that the heart foundations around the world have endorsed for too long now was a ‘marine biologist’. Ancel Keys was the same man that put cigarettes into the US Army’s “K-rations” (long time before anyone admitted that smoking was a causal effect of heart disease)

          Statin studies have been showing little effect except on men under 20 or some such age (i read these in “Sweet Poison” David Gillespie, 2010). A man (lawyer) motivated by the truth.

          Dwight Lundell may be a poor financial whizz and not a surgeon of a gold standard, but he is brave enough to go against the BIG pharmaceuticals and food manufacturers (this is dangerous or mutiny for many health workers) and point out that our bodies are treating our food like ‘foreign particles’ cos thats exactly what our ‘food’ is these days. This is besides ‘experts’ trying to sell books or trendy ideas.

          People who struggle financially are more likely to eat food that is cheaper and less likely to be real food and more likely to have added sugar to make it taste like food.

          • Colonial Viper 3.3.3.1.1

            Yep. And the more one reads up about how the American “Food Pyramid” was actually constructed by industry interests, how their recommendations for sugar consumption were reached, etc. the more cynical one becomes.

      • @Joe, The drug cartels are making billions of dollars off heart medications.
        An american doctor i visited was astonished that nz’ers with heart problems were
        given asprin to thin the blood.
        Weight doesn’t go hand in hand with a high
        cholestarol either,my mother was a tiny lady
        and had high cholestarol.

        • Colonial Viper 3.3.4.1

          A really good trick is to lower the guidelines for what counts as an “acceptable” cholesterol level bu just a smidgeon, and voila out of thin air, millions of new statin customers world wide are created, each one worth hundreds of dollars to the pharmaceutical companies.

    • Rogue Trooper 3.4

      THATS MY GIRL! (I knew you had it in you, you procrastinator you’re not!)
      (up for a little “scrabble” later;mwaaahaahaa) :)

  4. AsleepWhileWalking 4

    Worrying article in the Herald, “DESPERATE BORROWERS SIGN AWAY PRIVACY”

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10858785

    Quote: “Some loansharks even require clients to sign power of attorney, allowing lenders to make all kinds of financial decisions on a borrower’s behalf.”

    Pretty shocking for me to read that this is occuring. Something has to be done asap.

    Charles Chauvel bless him, had some legislation he was trying to get through regarding loan sharks – not sure if it has anything about this in it but I’m picking it won’t.

  5. Tiresias 5

    FWIW:

    The Agent under a Power of Attorney is REQUIRED to act in the principal’s best interest. The agent MUST always follow the principal’s directions and holds a fiduciary duty which requires him to always act with the HIGHEST DEGREE OF GOOD FAITH in behalf of their principals.

    A Power of Attorney is revocable at any time and no reason is necessary. A simple written revocation suffices – no legalese is specified as long is intent (and capacity) are apparent.

    The Agent cannot profit by any transaction where he represents the principal’s interests,
    nor make a gift or otherwise transfer any of the principal’s money, personal property or real estate to himself unless the power of attorney explicitly states he can do so.

    A court will declare a power of attorney invalid if the court finds that the principal lacked mental competency when the power of attorney was executed, or that the principal was the victim of fraud or UNDUE INFLUENCE.

    Given the above I would have thought that a Power of Attorney would be of very little use to a loanshark, particularly as a court declaring a PoA invalid could make the agent personally liable to the principal for any sums improperly disbursed.

    Of course this depends upon the debtor having sufficient access legal help to undo the damage but that’s going to be the case whatever arm-twisting methods the loanshark employs and whatever remedies Parliament might in its glacial wisdom enact into New Zealand law.

    • bad12 5.1

      Really??? has the plum in your mouth migrated to your brain thus stifling your ability to think beyond the point of ‘self interest’,

      Yes, you are quite correct in the ‘facts’ of what you say about ‘powers of attorney’, BUT, you only have to think for 1 or 2 seconds about the decile of people that ‘use’ the services of such loan sharks,

      Many do not have English as a first language, have very limited knowledge of the law, and, are obviously fucking broke and desperate, the former indicating that they would have no ability to hire a lawyer to get such matter into a courtroom in the first place even if they had the understanding of the laws that we do…

      • bad12 5.1.1

        PS, from anecdotal evidence the power of attorney gained by the loan-shark is used at the loan recipient’s bank to advance the automatic payment of the loan ahead of any other automatic payments that might be paid from that account…

      • Tiresias 5.1.2

        Which is exctly why I said what I said in my final paragraph.

  6. Jenny 6

    Time for for the Green Party to publicly promote anti-climate change legislation that will challenge Australians to demand the same?

    Or time for grubby public and backroom haggling over cabinet positions?

    As the Ausralian heatwave disaster continues to roll on.

    Blaming the citizenry for lack of action over climate change and ridiculous sanctimonious demands to use composting toilets and cycle to work won’t cut it. Central government regulatory initiative is urgently required. Instead of down playing climate change for electoral advantage, the Green Party should be actively calling for such action to be taken.

    Why won’t they do it?

    Are they corrupted?

    Are they cowards?

    Are they stupid?

    “Today’s report warns that heat waves will become hotter longer and more frequent.” ABC News.

    The climate commission was set up two years ago to inform Australians about climate change.

    Professor David Karoly is the author of that report and he joins me now from Melbourne….

    Louise Criely For ABC TV News

    Sitting here in New Zealand it may be hard to guage the psychological effect on those suffering through this heatwave, and now being informed by their climate scientists, that future heatwaves will be twice, too three times, more extreme. In my opinion Australians would be very interrested in any serious actions being promoted in New Zealand to halt climate change.

    Australia’s average temperature has increased by 0.9 of a degree since 1910, and the report says small changes in average temperature can have a significant impact on the frequency and nature of extreme weather events.

    Professor Karoly says, based on current projections of greenhouse gas emissions and climate change, the long-term outlook is even more dire.

    “We are expecting in the next 50 years for two to three degrees more warming,” he said.

    “In other words two or three times the warming we’ve seen already leading to much greater increases in heatwaves and extreme fire danger days.

    Simon Lauder ABC Radio News

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-01-12/heat-waves-exacerbated-by-climate-change/4462014

    Watch the following interview, though the camera doesn’t spend much time on her, notice the body language of Louise Criely as she begins to look increasingly uncomfortable as the interview continues, struggling not to bite her lip and shifting in her chair.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-01-12/climate-commission-predicts-more-heatwaves-bushfires/4461960

    Professor Karoly: What we have been trying to do is look at these longer term trends in the context of what we have seen in the last week or so….

    We have set a new record for;

    The hottest temperature,

    The hottest average temperature, over Australia.

    We have had more extensive heat over Australia.

    A dome of hot air has been located over Australia for the most of last week.

    We have had a longer lasting heatwave.

    We’ve six days where the average maximum temperature has been hotter than 39 degrees celcius. The previous record was only three days where the average maximum temperature was hotter than that.

    Louise Criely: So what’s your outlook now for Australian summers?

    Professor Karoly: Not every summer will be hotter than the one before. In fact this year is markedly hotter than the last couple of years when we had relatively milder and wetter conditions.

    But what we are going to find on average is more of the hot extremes and faster increases in the future, over the next 10 and 30 years, that we have seen over the last 30 years – more hot extremes, more heatwaves and more extreme fire conditions.

    Professor Karoly: Climate scientists have been talking about these increases for more than 20 years in Australia. We are now seeing exactly what was predicted more than 20 years ago

    Louise Criely: So what action should policy makers take from the report?

    Professor Karoly: We know that climate change is getting worse due to increasing green house gases in the atmosphere from burning fossil fuels.

    So if we want to slow down climate change we need to reduce the emissions of green house gases into the atmosphere. We can do that by changing our energy sources….

  7. KhandallaViper 7

    Cactus Kate has a strong take on Hpusing policies generally.
    A good read.
    http://asianinvasion2006.blogspot.co.nz/2013/01/labour-struggles-with-its-direction.html?m=1

    It actually is capitalist societies that promote buying over renting. It benefits the bankers, and those at the top of the housing ladder.

    Yes, have money in the bank and I can tell you this, banks all want to meet with you not to thank you for your money, but to get you in to debt with property so the bank actually can make money off you. Getting people into debt politically makes them slaves to voting for policies to keep interest rates lower and property valuations up. Then they pay the debt off when older and want the opposite. I do not agree with the incentives of encouraging people to get into debt who cannot afford or want it yet it is a vote winner. And in business, most entrepreneurs will tell you, never do with your own money what the bank or others will give to you and you can profit from.

    • Colonial Viper 7.1

      Cactus also correctly asks when NZ is going to benefit once more from true political debate of issues. Debate from actually different points of view on the political continuum, instead of this perennial tepid crowding into the political economic “centre”.

    • Fortran 7.2

      KV

      From time immemorial a banker’s job has always been to lend money.

      • Colonial Viper 7.2.1

        From time immemorial a banker’s job has always been to lend money.

        often at no interest I might add, because many ancient societies rejected usury.

        • McFlock 7.2.1.1

          lol

        • Populuxe1 7.2.1.2

          Except for the Romans, and the Jews were allowed to charge non-Jews interest (Deuteronomy 23:20 – “Unto a foreigner thou mayest lend upon interest; but unto thy brother thou shalt not lend upon interest; that the LORD thy God may bless thee in all that thou puttest thy hand unto, in the land whither thou goest in to possess it.”. And even Muslim banks have a form of interest that gets around their Koranic restrictions. While individuals may have preached against usury in various ancient culture, it has tended not to be observed in the breech.

      • AmaKiwi 7.2.2

        A banker’s job has always been to MAKE money.

  8. Rogue Trooper 8

    well, I been through the desert on a horse with no name, it felt good to be out of the rain, In the desert, you can remember your name…la,la,la la la la…

    was walking down the street early this morning…And I swear I heard the voices singing to me…
    I was approached by a boy (16 years old ) and his younger friend to buy some “K2″ for them from the Adult Shop (it was Closed) freakin Asparagrass.

    It’s a fine line between pleasure and pain, if you’ve done it once then you’ll do it again, it’s a fine fine line between pleasure and pain!

    As people shift from place to place, as they construct more pliable, less rooted patterns of life, what was once solid melts into air, to recall a comment of Marx.

    -Sister ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9rxgGVIrDqY )

    (Blinded By The Light) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q2-GqYkwjTM. M.A.N

  9. Jenny 9

    Australian Government Official Climate Commission Report on the Heatwave:
    http://climatecommission.gov.au/wp-content/uploads/CC_Jan_2013_Heatwave4.pdf

    Home:
    http://climatecommission.gov.au/

  10. Tony P 10

    Anybody got any idea why for the last 2 days posts from The Standard are not showing up in Google Reader?

  11. karol 11

    Rod Oram’s article today on Stuff is well worth a read, and I’d be interested in comments on it from those more knowledgeable about economics than me. he begins:

    This will be the make or break year for the Key Government’s economic strategy. If it fails to deliver reasonable growth to businesses and consumers the Government will have to defend a poor economic record in next year’s election.

    He is pretty pessimistic:

    Our dollar will remain high and our exports lacklustre so our current account deficit will increase from 4.5 per cent of GDP in the March 2012 year to 6.5 per cent in 2017; and New Zealand’s net international investment position (ie, what we owe the rest of the world) worsens from 71.9 per cent of GDP to 83.6 per cent. We will remain one of the most indebted of developed countries….

    The real reason for our poor performance lies at home. The economy is stuck in its long-standing dependence on low value commodities. Worse, the volume of commodities grows only slowly because of constraints on land, labour, capital and science.

    Then does a run-down on significant areas of the economy: export markets (government has hopes for TPP, but resistance is rising internationally), skills and safe workplaces (mixed outlook based on this government’s past record), natural resources (government may do many dodgy things that’ll upset a lot of voters), infrastructure (more RONS, resistance to Auckland rail loop).

    Oram concludes:

    The Government has taken far too long to get even this far with them; it co-ordinates, sells and executes these policies badly; there are merits in many of the policies but they are not bold enough to shift the economy to a higher growth track; and public resistance to many of the policies is rising.

  12. Rogue Trooper 12

    not wanting to rain on the “optimists” parade, however, from that Guardian article the other day (muchas gracias);
    looming on the global Horizon,
    -systematic financial crisis
    -water supply challenges
    -fiscal imbalances (oh look, Above)
    -food shortages
    -WMD proliferation
    -information breakdown
    -chronic disease in developing countries (and some developed country not a million miles from Here)
    -asset price collapse
    -retrenchment from globalization
    -pandemics / anti-biotic resistance
    -and last, yet not least ( I “Like” this one) Digital / Social Media provocation of social breakdown ;(

    anyway, back to the Fundamentalists

    previously, the inhabiting of a dual tradition that included both an intellectual engagement with texts and practical tradition learnt by a process of mimesis, for example,
    http://www.press.uchicago.edu/ucp/books/book/chicago/A/bo3760020.html
    http://www.lookstein.org/links/orthodoxy.htm

    However, large-scale migration and immersion in the societal melting-pot has disrupted the mimetic element.

    Alienation, and the turn to rigid forms of faith will be coloured by the particularities of religion and historical circumstances.

    In a “witty and profound” book, Lost in the Cosmos, Walker Perry describes how, as the scientific description of the universe dominates, and because it asserts to be “objective”, it distances people from engagement with the world around them, promoting further existential angst. Furthermore, modern media such as the internet (and tele-evangelism) can serve the Fundamentalist very well. The internet propagates words, and Fundamentalists tend to put great stock in the power of words. Little wonder that they have shown themselves to be early adopters and swift masters of communication online. In addition, there has been in recent decades an emergence of what may be referred to as a militant form of atheism, wherby individuals are as emotionally committed to to science as the sole form of truth as fundamentalists might be to the documents of their faith (Dawk ins) and it seems important to such atheists to dispatch any alternatives to their world-view.

    Julian Baggini (an atheist philosopher ) aspires to values of open-mindedness and in his discussion of militant atheists in Atheism: A Very Short Introduction, concludes “Hostile opposition to the beliefs of others combined with an inflexible conviction of the certainty of one’s own beliefs is antithetical to such values.

    All in All, religious fundamentalism and contemporary scientism are cultural cousins.:)

    • Colonial Viper 12.1

      All in All, religious fundamentalism and contemporary scientism are cultural cousins.:)

      Indeed.

      • McFlock 12.1.1

        except one generally relies on magic books, and the other insists on verifiable evidence.

        • Colonial Viper 12.1.1.1

          magic books like peer reviewed journals. And of course you need the circles of old wisemen/old wisewomen who each have their own collections of scrolls, and who pass the final judgements on what is good magic and what is not.

          • McFlock 12.1.1.1.1

            The authors of peer reviewed journals don’t normally claim to have written the infallible word of god.

            • Rogue Trooper 12.1.1.1.1.1

              Hey Flockie, sure gettin’ interestin “down on the farm” (free thought good, two legs bad )

              • Populuxe1

                Having an open mind is fine up until the point you brain falls out.

                • Rogue Trooper

                  what are you implying Pop?

                  • Populuxe1

                    Getting paranoid about peer reviewed journals is ridiculous as the findings are always presented in such a way as any scientist with the resources can recreate the experiment. Expressions like “scientism” is a poisonous bye-blow of trying to apply postmodern semiotics to the scientific method.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      any scientist with the resources can recreate the experiment.

                      Exactly.

                    • Populuxe1

                      CV, how I have missed your paranoia. The system has worked well so far, and short of the need for a Large Hadron Collider or something equally hard to come by, there are very few experiments that can’t be independently verified, or at least immediately understood, by competing scientists, companies, or even rival nations. It is impossible to argue with the process of scientific method, nor is there any need to.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      there are very few experiments that can’t be independently verified, or at least immediately understood

                      Those are two completely different things and quite different from your original assertion

                      findings are always presented in such a way as any scientist with the resources can recreate the experiment.

                      which isn’t always true any way.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      It is impossible to argue with the process of scientific method, nor is there any need to.

                      This is a statement quite suitable for the protector of a religion, or exponent of dogma.

                    • Populuxe1

                      I can’t be bothered arguing semantics with someone who apparently doesn’t know how to read a peer-reviewed paper.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      I can’t be bothered arguing semantics with someone who apparently doesn’t know how to read a peer-reviewed paper.

                      Only the priesthood appropriately trained in interpreting scripture may approach the temple.

                    • weka

                      “What is clear is that the forms of peer review are protean. Probably the systems of every journal and every grant giving body are different in at least some detail; and some systems are very different. There may even be some journals using the following classic system. The editor looks at the title of the paper and sends it to two friends whom the editor thinks know something about the subject. If both advise publication the editor sends it to the printers. If both advise against publication the editor rejects the paper. If the reviewers disagree the editor sends it to a third reviewer and does whatever he or she advises. This pastiche—which is not far from systems I have seen used—is little better than tossing a coin, because the level of agreement between reviewers on whether a paper should be published is little better than you’d expect by chance.

                      That is why Robbie Fox, the great 20th century editor of the Lancet, who was no admirer of peer review, wondered whether anybody would notice if he were to swap the piles marked `publish’ and `reject’. He also joked that the Lancet had a system of throwing a pile of papers down the stairs and publishing those that reached the bottom. When I was editor of the BMJ I was challenged by two of the cleverest researchers in Britain to publish an issue of the journal comprised only of papers that had failed peer review and see if anybody noticed. I wrote back `How do you know I haven’t already done it?'”

                      “CONCLUSION

                      So peer review is a flawed process, full of easily identified defects with little evidence that it works. Nevertheless, it is likely to remain central to science and journals because there is no obvious alternative, and scientists and editors have a continuing belief in peer review. How odd that science should be rooted in belief.”

                      http://jrsm.rsmjournals.com/content/99/4/178.full

                      The whole thing is worth the read. CV is just pointing out the Emperor is nekkid.

                    • McFlock

                      It’s a human system. But still light years ahead of religion or nutbars who think that surfing equally delusional and pseudo-scientific web pages deserves the term “autodidactic”.

  13. Colonial Viper 13

    Ellen MacArthur – Redesigning the whole system to create an inspirational Circular Economy

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eOGy683afyo

    • Bill 13.1

      Interesting link CV. Cheers. Being a cynic, my first thought was “Well, the capitalists will love it because it preserves the idea of inbuilt obsolescence.” And my second thought was to do with ‘dis-assembly’. It’s one thing to (chemically?) deconstruct carpet square fibres and bases (melting), but a computer? How does that work without the immense amounts of toxic waste that process currently entails? I’m suspicious that there’s a silver lining being promoted here while a great big black cloud is being ignored. So, I’ll away and read up on it a bit further… no democracy I notice

  14. Rogue Trooper 14

    testing smiley :)

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    Is he satisfied that all conflicts of interest that arose by the head of Food and Grocery Council Katherine Rich being a member of the Health Promotion Agency were managed in accordance with the provisions of the Crown Entities Act...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Bennett parks numbers on social housing
    Social Housing Minister Paula Bennett admitted today that well over 1000 families have been subsidised through the accommodation supplement to stay in the Ranui campground, somewhere she has previously described as not the right place for children to be growing...
    Labour | 30-10
  • 50,000 sign petition against anti-worker law
    More than 50,000 Kiwis have signed Labour’s petition against the Government’s scrapping of tea break entitlements, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “That’s the equivalent of five people signing our petition every minute for a week. It shows the...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Address in Reply Debate – Dr Kennedy Graham on UN Security Council- 2...
    In the Speech from the Throne last week the Prime Minister identified the usual domestic goals for his Government. I counted 17. They are not my subject today. I wish instead to focus on matters beyond our shores. In the...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Climate change harming ocean health
    New Zealand is responsible for one of the largest areas of sea in the world – an area 14 times the size of our land area. The National Government is promising new marine protected areas legislation with a discussion document...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Key misled public over Jason Ede
    Information contained in a new chapter of the book Key: Portrait of a Prime Minister, that Jason Ede stopped working for the National Party on the night the book Dirty Politics was released, shows Mr Key and senior ministers hid...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Greenpeace report highlights better path for NZ agriculture
    A Greenpeace International report highlights a better way forward for New Zealand agriculture than the GE and chemical mutation technologies supported by Federated Farmers, and the National Government through its research funding packages, the Green Party said today. "This report...
    Greens | 29-10
  • BNZ post record profits while leaving savers vulnerable
    A small part of the $850 million record profit posted by the Bank of New Zealand (BNZ) today needs to be set aside to protect savers' deposits in the future, said Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman today.Dr Norman was...
    Greens | 29-10
  • RBNZ U-turn shows monetary settings were wrong
    The Reserve Bank's U-turn on interest rates today shows monetary policy settings were wrong and New Zealanders have suffered unnecessarily through the loss of jobs and having to pay higher interest rates, the Green Party said today.Reserve Bank Governor Graeme...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Ports must take responsibility for shameful death toll
    Port companies must step up and take responsibility for a shameful toll of seven deaths and 133 serious accidents in the past three years, Labour MP Iain Lees-Galloway says. The frightening figures – released by the Rail, Maritime and Transport...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Please help me get my Feed the Kids Bill to Select Committee
    Last week I took over the Feed the Kids Bill that Hone Harawira had introduced to Parliament. If passed, my Bill will provide government-funded breakfast and lunch in all decile 1 and 2 schools. Hungry kids can’t learn and are...
    Greens | 29-10
  • TVNZ Outsourcing Pasifika and Maori Programmes
    I’ve always been a big fan of our state broadcaster and I’ve particularly liked their range of current events programmes. But after Friday’s announcement that TVNZ will be sacking up to 40 staff by contracting out the Pacific and Maori...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Labour urges iwi leaders to meet with National
    Labour’s Māori Caucus has called on iwi leaders and national Māori organisations to seek urgent meetings with the National Government to directly express their concerns about employment law changes which will harm Māori workers. In an open letter sent today...
    Labour | 29-10
  • ACC’s reputation needs fix, not glitz
    Restoring public trust and confidence in ACC will take a lot more than a new communications strategy or social media blitz, says Labour’s ACC spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “Under National, ACC has come to be perceived as insensitive, difficult to deal...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Lessons to be learned from police investigation
    The outcome of the so-called Roast Busters case should not put victims off reporting sexual crimes, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “This case has been mishandled from the start. Within days of police initially saying no charges had...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Anti-worker legislation is anti-Pacifica
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga, will go down in history as being part of a Government that harmed his own people through anti-worker legislation, says Labour’s Pacific Island Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio.  “Pacific people are among...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Five-year tax holiday for overseas tax dodgers
    National has just gifted a five-year tax holiday for foreign companies dodging their tax payments, says Revenue spokesperson David Clark. “Todd McClay has pretended he is doing something about overseas companies dodging their tax duties by joining an international initiative...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Traffic Jam Tax must be given the red light
    Auckland Council’s proposed Traffic Jam Tax could cost some households thousands of dollars a year just to use roads they had already paid for with their taxes and must be rejected, says Labour’s transport and Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford....
    Labour | 29-10
  • National has chance to show leadership on limos
    The National Party has the opportunity to show leadership by transitioning our vehicle fleet towards renewable electricity when a new contract to supply Government limousines for VIPs goes to tender next month, the Green Party said today. "This is a...
    Greens | 29-10
  • The Māori Party can’t have it both ways over labour laws
    The Māori Party has to fess up over its voting record on the Employment Relations Amendment Bill, says Labour’s Māori Caucus.  “It’s simply not good enough to oppose the bill at the same time  as they helped speed up its progress through...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Equal pay and the aged care sector
    Today the High Court upheld the historic ruling by the Employment Court that our Equal Pay Act could be used to consider work of equal value cases; the government has been telling the UN and ILO that it could for...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Court case perfect opportunity for Government to improve gender pay gap
    If the Government wants to halt New Zealand’s slump in international rankings on the gender pay gap it should act on the court finding that women deserve equal wages, Labour’s Women’s Affairs spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “The World Economic Forum’s...
    Labour | 28-10
  • All Auckland transport options should be considered
    All options for meeting Auckland's transport needs should be considered, including reprioritising the transport budget away from wasteful spending on motorways, the Green Party said today.Auckland mayor Len Brown is today releasing a transport report by the Independent Advisory Board,...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Another report highlights Govt failure on child poverty
    An international report measuring the impact of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) on child poverty rates, showing children in New Zealand have done worse than children in other countries, is further proof the Government needs to urgently take additional steps...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Child poverty: No more wake-up calls
    A new report which shows the National Government has made no inroads whatsoever into child poverty should do more than just set alarm bells ringing, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “UNICEF’s  latest Innocenti Report Card highlights the fact...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Eugenie Sage speaks in the 2014 Address in Reply Debate
    I congratulate you, Assistant Speaker Mallard, as Assistant Speaker and look forward to your knowledge, your fairness, and your light touch in being a referee of proceedings in this House. I congratulate also the other Assistant Speaker, Lindsay Tisch; the...
    Greens | 28-10
  • James Shaw’s Maiden Speech
    Tena Koe, Mr Speaker. I would like to take this opportunity to speak a little of the past, the present and the future. The privilege to serve in this Parliament was given to me by all those who gave their...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Govt airs real views on public broadcasting
    An admission by the Government that it is happy to experiment with Pacific and Maori audiences shows just how weak its vision for public broadcasting in New Zealand is, Labour’s Broadcasting spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. “National today admitted it doesn’t...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Does Judith Collins have a get out of jail card?
    Former justice minister Judith Collins appears to have been gifted a get out of jail free card based on the Prime Minister’s answers in Parliament today, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “Judith Collins claimed in an Official Information...
    Labour | 28-10
  • The Final Fifth: The Last Great Task for Progressive New Zealand.
    MOST OF NEW ZEALAND’S social problems are concentrated among those living at the margins of what is otherwise a relatively wealthy society. Recently released international data on child poverty has exposed an acutely stressed social strata encompassing roughly 20 percent...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • Myth Busting Rape Boasters
    In just one week a case that galvanised a nation into discussing rape culture is now being reframed as mischievous teen hi-jinx. One year ago the Roast Busters case came to the attention of the media and the public. This...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • Workers rights weakened by new laws – fightback needed
    The government’s changes to the employment laws are designed to weaken workers bargaining power – at both the individual and collective level.   30-day rule The old law required an employer with a collective agreement in place to employ new...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Simon Buckingham – Where are Labour Candidates on disability?
    For the few people who know me (hello Mum), I am proudly New Zealand’s first Autistic Spectrum Lawyer, as well as being the very bottom Candidate on the Labour Party List. (64 out of 64). Being honoured like this is...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Blockade the Budget
    The ‘Independent’ Police Conduct Authority’s report into the policing of student protests in 2012 is a whitewash The report released by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is a whitewash riddled with inaccuracies....
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • When National claim new anti worker laws provide ‘flexibility’ they mea...
    And so it comes to pass. The first law National ram through as part of their victory march are new anti worker laws they pretend will generate ‘flexibility’. The new law denigrate the unions ability to protect workers and provide...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • City Transport: A Taxing Matter
    This week the prospect of paying tolls on Auckland motorways became a hot topic. (See Mathew Dearnaley:Motorway tolling could hit some hard, NZ Herald, 30 Oct 2014.) As we might expect, the kneejerk response has been quite negative. But, as with...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Open Letter to Amy Adams: Please Reopen The Review Into Sexual Violence Cou...
    Ms Amy Adams, Justice and Courts Minister, Right now in this country it seems that although rape is illegal, it is not being prevented by the agents who uphold the law. It almost feels like rape is only illegal on paper,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Things That Make You Go Hmmmmmmm
    Every so often in politics, a public figure comes out with something so absurd and so outlandish … that it really does just make you go “Hmmmmmmmmmm”. We’re accustomed to this from certain quarters – by mid point through the...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Poverty & inequality don’t need protest marches – they need a riot:...
    The global level of inequality continues to skyrocket… Number of billionaires doubled since financial crisis The number of billionaires has doubled since the start of the financial crisis, according to a major new report from anti-poverty campaigners. According to Oxfam,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • If Key knows who Rawshark is…
    I’m sorry, what? John Key ‘given Rawshark’s name’The Prime Minister believes he knows who hacked Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater’s computer and produced the source material for Nicky Hager’s Dirty Politics, according to a new edition of a recently published...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Child Poverty stats in NZ
    Child Poverty stats in NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Crimes Act + Police Investigation = WTF
    Just to frame the farce that is the Roastbuster’s investigation and conclusion – here are the parts of the Crime Act http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1961/0043/latest/whole.html#DLM329057  the Roastbusters are proven to have violated – that the police (and some suspects!) themselves acknowledge occurred: Crimes...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Publishing Journalists’ Home Addresses Is A Tactic Of The Right, Not The ...
    I think I’m starting to get rather annoyed with the conduct of some pro-MANA people over this ongoing Parliamentary Services crew complement issue. Yes, we get that there are legitimate issues to be raised with how some political reporters in...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Aucklanders caught between a tarseal-addicted government and a weak mayor
    Len Brown’s proposal for motorway tolls to reduce congestion and provide funding for better public transport is a weak response to a critical issue. The $12 billion dollar shortfall on transport funding he talks about is mainly for projected new...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • A Very Weird Story: Deconstructing Darren Aronofsky’s Noah.
    NOAH is a curious movie. Conceived as a biblical epic, it’s target audience was originally the millions of Americans who regard the Bible as God’s inerrant word. With the sin-filled works of Hollywood forbidden to these true-believers, Christian movie-makers have developed...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • You Can Get Away With Rape In New Zealand
    Jessie Hume with last years petition against rape     The police have sent a strong message today.  In fact they’ve been sending a strong message for a while; a message that our government supports. “You can literally get away...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Roast Buster case – no charges. In the immortal words of NWA…
    Roast Busters case: No prosecutions Police are to make an announcement this afternoon on Operation Clover, the investigation into the “Roast Busters” allegations. The Herald understands the victim has been told that the alleged offenders will not be prosecuted due...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Key’s flag change distraction to cost $26million!
    No. Way. Bid to change NZ flag to cost millions The cost of holding two referendums and consulting on a change of flag has been estimated to be just under $26 million. Look. We all appreciate that the sleepy hobbits...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Why NZ Herald’s Labour Party crocodile tears are so audacious
    The front page the NZ Herald would use if they thought they could get away with it No one can take the recent columns by NZ Herald seriously… John Armstrong: Shadow lingers on National John Roughan: Labour’s leadership vote matters...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • The beginning of the end of Cameron Slater?
    Slater postings on man bizarre, court told A businessman has changed his appearance and had to install extra security at his home after Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater posted his business and personal documents online, he says. Mr Slater has...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • We are a milk power republic and Fonterra our unelected senate
    Wow. Just wow… Deputy mayor says he’ll be sacked South Taranaki deputy mayor Alex Ballantyne says he expects to be sacked because he has spoken out about the impact gasses coming from dumped Fonterra dairy products have had on his...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: “…But *actually* this is about ethics in political-game jo...
    Yesterday, a piece of mine on the recent revelations about Hone Harawira employing several gentlemen either accused or convicted of sex offences was published on The Daily Blog. Predictably, given the fierce loyalty which Hone inspires in his party faithful and...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Privilege cheque
    There was no race problem in my childhood. Living in central Wellington I was well-insulated from what was going on not so far away. This was the 60s and 70s, where the teachers enjoyed free love in the staff room...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • A brief word on Key’s claim that it will be raining carnage
    Isis will ‘rain carnage on the world’ – John Key Left unchecked Isis would “rain carnage on the world”, Prime Minister John Key says, but he has yet to make a decision on whether New Zealand troops will join a...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Meanwhile…
    ...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • How does Andrew Little win Labour Leadership and unify the caucus?
    Audrey Young’s excellent column on how the Caucus vote  is shaping up shows how Andrew Little becomes the next leader of the Labour Party. She identifies the factions as the following… Andrew Little 6: Andrew Little, David Cunliffe, Iain Lees Galloway,...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Joe Trinder – Right of response to Curwen
    You have asked that Hone Harawira deserves to explain what happened, how would he explain when his next door neighbour is an alleged sex offender. What explanation can Hone offer he wasn’t involved, Hone had no idea this offending was...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: That Hella-Weird Feeling When You Defend Tova O’Brien
    Oh dear. Yesterday morning I blogged that Hone deserved a chance to explain what exactly had happened as applies his office’s Parliamentary Services crew complement – and, importantly, that we deserve to be able to judge him on the strength of...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Canadian Green MP warns against harsh anti-terror measures
    Canada’s Green Party has provided a welcome counterpoint to Prime Minister Harper’s call for tougher anti-terrorism laws in the wake of a soldier outside the Canadian Parliament. On October 22, while she was still locked in her parliamentary office, Green...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • When is an asset sale not an asset sale? When it robs from the poor and ste...
    National have turned state housing on its head. At no time during the 2014 election did the Key Government even hint that they were going to privatise 30% of the Housing NZ stock of state homes. Not once. Key even...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part To...
    . . Continued from: Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Rua) . Bill English comes clean on National’s intentions for HNZ privatisation . On 14 October, in a report on The Daily Blog, I wrote, In...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • The Questions Have Been Asked – They Deserve An Answer
    A few days ago, allegations that had been percolating for some time about Hone Harawira employing three either accused or convicted sex offenders on his Parliamentary pay-roll came to light. (one imprisoned before working for MANA; one who found himself convicted and...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • I have seen one future, and it is bleak
    . . Back in  March 2012, I wrote this story regarding a march to support striking workers at Ports of Auckland. It appears there was some prescience about some of my observations at the time… . | | 18 March...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • US air strike war Key wants us in has killed a civilian a day so far
      The US air strike war that John Key wants us to join has killed a civilian a day so far. From the Washington Post... The United States launched its first airstrikes on militants in Syria on Sept. 23, and has continued...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • The instant Jihad syndrome
    My favourite new term is ‘self-radicalised’ – it suggests the reasons for terrorism are totally divorced from the actions of the West. This need to suddenly ramp up terror laws because of lone wolf, self-radicalised Jihadists seems convenient and counter-productive....
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • We have nothing to fear from Ebola but fear itself
    I suspect most Americans perceive Ebola like this   I can’t work out if the fear being spread within the media about Ebola is deliberate or just ignorance. Yes Ebola is a terrible plague that kills a large percentage of...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – “Meritocracy? I wish.”
    I’d like to start by linking to a post I had published at another site in support of Nanaia Mahuta for the Labour Party leadership election.  She has a reasonable chance, given that she already has the endorsement of Te...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Chocolate milk shortage and creepy Santa? Let’s talk about real news
    Child poverty is still a scarily serious problem in this country and house prices are soaring through the roof to the point where it is simply impossible for the average New Zealander to buy a home. There is also little...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • It’s time to celebrate Kiwi schools and teachers
    Some would have you believe that New Zealand’s schools are in a state of collapse, that your children are not being educated well and that things are going to hell in a hand basket.  That there is no innovation, no...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Ideological Blitzkrieg – Privatization of state housing, more charter sch...
    Pundits in pundit land will tell you that this Government is boring, that Key is the great pragmatist and that it is his ability to create elegant solutions that keeps him the firm favourite in many Kiwi eyes. This ability...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • Hegemony rules but resistance is fertile
    The Prime Minister is a puppet. Not just our current Prime Minister, but given the forces of multinational globalisation, the role of any head of state, is less as independent actor, and more as a puppet of international trends and...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • An open Letter to Sir Bob Jones: demanding a ‘liveable wage’ is not “...
    How out of touch with reality is Sir Bob Jones? You know, that white dude who invested in privatised SOEs after the selling off of our assets in the eighties and made a ludicrous and disgusting amount of money and is...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • My insecurity about the Security Council
    As I write this (on 24 October) it is international UN Day. Of course, you all knew that already, right? Well, the day celebrates the entry into force of the UN Charter in 1945. With the ratification of this founding...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Catherine Delahunty – Back in That House
    Parliament opened this week and I still find it a very odd place. Most of the people are reasonably courteous and friendly, but the rituals are archaic and the rules around issues like the swearing in oath are oppressive and...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Marae Investigates No More
    TVNZ yesterday announced the closure of their Māori and Pacific programmes department. That means they’ve chosen to stop making Fresh, Tagata Pasifika, Waka Huia and Marae Investigates to let independent producers get their hands on these lucrative contracts. This is...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • BLOGWATCH: An Un-Civil War in Labour, eh?
    Earlier today, my attention was directed to an entry that’s just recently appeared on the Slightly Left of Centre blog. It purports to contain the ‘inside word’ from a highly placed NZF source – which is funny, because I’m pretty sure...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Santanomics 101
    Santanomics could mean a number of things. It could be the study and practice of giving. Or it could mean the study and practice of rampant end-of-year commercialism. However, for me today it is the economics of erectingAuckland’s giant Santa...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • SkyCity boss misleads public over workers lost shifts
    SkyCity CEO Nigel Morrison has defended the employment practices at his company in an “Opinion” piece entitled “Human Capital key to corporate success” in the NZ Herald on Thursday. A number of his claims are misleading, contain only partial truths...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Patrick Gower interviews Social Housing Minister
    Bennett says National could sell off “thousands” of state houses but Housing NZ will still be the “dominant force” in providing social housing in NZ....
    Scoop politics | 01-11
  • The Nation: Lisa Owen interviews Mike Moore & Chris Liddell
    Lisa Owen interviews NZ Ambassador to the US Mike Moore and corporate high-flyer Chris Liddell about the US midterm elections....
    Scoop politics | 01-11
  • David Parker event – the future of work, Sun 2 Nov
    Labour leadership candidate David Parker, an experienced lawyer and businessman as well as a former senior government cabinet minister in the Helen Clark Government, will join three prominent New Zealanders in a panel discussion on Sunday to address...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Roast Busters: Turn Indignation into Action
    People raged about the Roast Buster case. The indignation was justified – it was horrible. “Where were their parents!?” Fair question. I am sure the Roast Busters’ parents and the victims’ parents all wish they had been more proactive in...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Stats NZ only have themselves to blame for postponement
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says Statistics NZ only have themselves to blame for the indefinite postponement of the release of the Food Price Index: November 2014....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • NZ Diversity Survey – benchmarking workplace diversity
    AUT University’s New Zealand Work Research Institute (NZWRI) has released a report on diversity in New Zealand workplaces....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Māori Language (Te Reo Māori) Bill
    Tutehounuku Korako, Chair of the Māori Affairs Committee, is inviting further public submissions on this bill. The closing date for submissions is Friday, 5 December 2014....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • ERA amendments a mixed bag
    The Employment Relations Amendment Act has the potential to put vulnerable workers in a more precarious position, says Equal Opportunities Commissioner, Dr Jackie Blue. However, the commissioner says the right for all to request flexible work hours is...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Sensible Sentencing calls for appeal of judicial activivism
    The Sensible Sentencing Trust is appalled that Justice Jill Mallon has today refused to apply the Life without Parole (LWOP) provisions of the Three Strikes law as enacted by Parliament....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Global Rally against ISIS – for Kobanê – for Humanity, Nov 1
    The New Zealand Kurdish Community will march in solidarity with Kurdistan as part of the “GLOBAL RALLY AGAINST ISIS – FOR KOBANÊ – FOR HUMANITY” on 1 November 2014, 2pm....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Safer roads are better for everyone
    Recent pedestrian versus vehicle incidents highlight the real issues being addressed by delegates as the 2Walk and Cycle conference concludes....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Law change creates more flexible labour market
    The Employment Relations Amendment Act, passed yesterday, will bring new flexibility to the labour market and will reduce the ability of unions to organise and to recruit....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Bumper ANZ profits mean no excuse for insecure hours
    A big rise in profits at New Zealand's largest bank needs to be reflected in a better pay offer and more security around hours of work, the bank workers’ union said today....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Count down to lowered alcohol limit
    With just a month to go until a new lower alcohol limit for adult drivers comes into effect, Police and road safety agencies are reminding drivers of the impending change....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • WorkSafe Supports Forestry Review Findings
    WorkSafe NZ says the Independent Forestry Safety Review has clearly identified the problems facing an industry in which ten workers were killed last year. “The Review’s analysis matches our own view and leaves no doubt about the need for comprehensive,...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CTU welcomes forestry review recommendations
    The CTU is welcoming the today's release of the independent forestry safety review panel findings. "These recommendations must be implemented to ensure that everything possible is done to make forestry safer." CTU President, Helen Kelly said....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Activists will confront animal abusers
    Today animal rights activists will confront a group of wealth advisers who want to build the biggest egg factory-farm in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Turia: Women’s Refuge Conference 2014
    This is a milestone moment in my life. This will be my last official address as Co-leader of the Maori Party. On Saturday night at our Hui-a-Tau, I will be standing down from that role and enabling a new co-leader,...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rodeo Code of Welfare ‘Sick Joke’
    Animal advocacy organisation SAFE says the revised Code of Welfare for Rodeos just released is nothing but a sick joke. “Rodeo animals are goaded, tormented and forced to endure needless suffering and gross mistreatment, all for the sake of so-called...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Conservative Party applauds binding referenda on flag
    The Conservative Party are congratulating the Government on the decision to hold two binding referendums to decide the fate of New Zealand’s flag – and believes it will pave the way for binding referenda to form part of New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Walk the Talk – Opposing violence against women
    Soroptimist International of Auckland have organised a walk on 22 November from Silo Park at the Wynyard Quarter through the Viaduct and back to Silo Park, to show their opposition to violence against women. This event hopes to raise awareness...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Recommendations on the Design of Pecuniary Penalties
    The Law Commission has reviewed the use of pecuniary penalties as a regulatory tool. Pecuniary penalties are financial penalties that policymakers are increasingly opting to use in place of criminal sanctions in order to punish and deter misconduct in...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Every worker will be affected by employment law changes
    Every worker will feel the effects of the government’s new employment laws and should join a union if they want to maintain and increase their wages and conditions, says New Zealand’s largest private sector union, the EPMU....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Shameful attack on all workers
    The Government has passed the Employment Relations Amendment Act slashing the rights of all Kiwi workers. “These changes are shameful. New Zealand now has some of the worst employment protections in the OECD. It is embarrassing that a country which...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Unnecessary law changes more to do with ideology
    The government’s employment law changes are simply ideological and are at odds with its approach in the related areas of health and safety and immigration law, FIRST Union said tonight....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CTU Runanga calls on iwi leaders
    Maori workers are calling on iwi leaders to speak out against the employment law changes expected to go through today. “Iwi leaders have previously spoken out when workers in Aotearoa have been under attack, we believe they should do so...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Educating children not the best solution to alcohol harm
    Alcohol Healthwatch says we need to look beyond educating children and young people to address deeply embedded attitudes and behaviours concerning alcohol....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • New code of welfare for rodeos released
    New standards to strengthen the animal welfare requirements for rodeos have been issued today by the Minister for Primary Industries, Nathan Guy....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • IPCA report riddle with inaccuracies, say students
    A report by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is riddled with inaccuracies, say students who laid the original complaint with the IPCA....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CT v The Queen – indecency convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rameka v The Queen – murder convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Auckland Council Out of Control
    Responding to the NZ Herald article that some Auckland households will face a rates rise of up to 9.6 per cent next year, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “Len Brown’s pledge to cap rates rises at 2.5 per...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Stats NZ staff escalate action with ‘no more meetings’ rule
    Statistics NZ staff have voted to escalate their ongoing industrial action in an effort to get Stats NZ back to the bargaining table with a reasonable offer. The staff, who are members of the Public Service Association (PSA), have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Rape Crisis calls for changes to criminal justice system
    Wellington Rape Crisis has added its voice to the public outcry following the announcement that there will be no charges in the teen rape gang case. Butterworth says the decision not to lay charges will not have been a surprise...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Police action justified in Blockade the Budget demonstration
    Police actions in dealing with a demonstration in Central Auckland known as Blockade the Budget on 1 June 2012 were justified and appropriate, an Independent Police Conduct Authority report released today found....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • NZDF Joins with Australia to Commemorate WWI Centenary
    A contingent of New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel will join their Australian counterparts at Australia’s first major commemoration of the First World War centenary in Albany, Western Australia this weekend....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Reserve Bank should reduce interest rate
    “The Reserve Bank should be reducing its policy interest rate, the OCR”, says CTU Economist Bill Rosenberg in response to the Bank’s announcement today that it is not increasing it....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • 2015 Stout Fellow will write about Māori & Criminal Justice
    Kim Workman, founder and advocate for the Robson Hanan Trust, which administers the Rethinking Crime and Punishment and Justspeak initiatives, has been awarded the 2015 John David Stout Fellowship at Victoria University....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • What John Key thought about ‘dirty politics’
    On September 20, John Key swept to victory to become one of New Zealand’s most successful and popular Prime Ministers. Rocked by scandal, the 2014 election campaign was one of the most brutal – and riveting – in recent history....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Trade Deal Threatens Farmers and Food Businesses
    The secret Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations are a direct threat to food businesses and farmers, and a moratorium on the release of GE crops must be enshrined in law before the TPP is signed....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • CTU announces election of new Secretary
    The contested election for the position of CTU Secretary has been won by Sam Huggard. Sam officially takes office on Monday 1 December 2014. Sam has worked in the union movement and brings a wealth of experience and a commitment...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kim Workman awarded 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship
    The Victoria University of Wellington 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship, funded by the Stout Trust, has been awarded to justice reform advocate Kim Workman. Mr Workman (Ngati Kahungungu ki Wairarapa, Rangitaane) is well known for his work on criminal justice,...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • TPPA causing concern
    Concern over the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) negotiations is being expressed in two public meetings over the next week; one at a presentation on 5th November by former councillor Robin Gwynn to the Napier City Council, the...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kiwis rally to demand justice for ‘Roast Buster’ survivors
    Over 1,500 kiwis have rallied to demand justice after the announcement of the NZ Police decision not to lay charges in the ‘Roast Busters’ saga....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • New employment law will hurt the most vulnerable NZers
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says changes to the Employment Relations Act, expected to be passed in Parliament tonight, will hurt vulnerable workers and their families more than anyone....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Consultation to close on proposed place names
    The New Zealand Geographic Board (NZGB) Ngā Pou Taunaha o Aotearoa today advised that only one month remains before public consultation closes for 18 name proposals for geographic features and places around Te Ika ā Māui (the North Island)....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Operation Clover – Statement from Police Commissioner
    I have taken a close interest in this investigation and I am confident police have conducted a thorough and professional enquiry in what has been a challenging and complex case. The Operation Clover team has ensured that victims have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Better policy would have protected children from recession
    Child Poverty Action Group says an international report released by UNICEF today shows good policy can protect and improve child well-being, even during a recession....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Outcome of Operation Clover investigation
    Police have completed a multi-agency investigation, Operation Clover, into the activities of a group calling themselves “The Roast Busters”. The 12 month enquiry focused on incidents involving allegations of sexual offending against a number of girls...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
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