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Open mike 14/03/2014

Written By: - Date published: 6:44 am, March 14th, 2014 - 153 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 …

153 comments on “Open mike 14/03/2014”

  1. Saarbo 1

    Its a bit of a Right rag but next weeks Economist has an interesting Cover Story.

    The New Age of Crony Capitalism:
    This week we introduce readers to our new crony capitalism index. “Rent-seeking” is how economists describe making money out of political connections. Some sectors of the economy, such as oil, gas, mining and banking, are more susceptible to it than others. Our index calculates the proportion of billionaire wealth made in those sectors, and indexes it across countries and over time, to indicate how crony capitalists are doing around the world

    John Micklethwait, Editor-in-Chief

    Wow, the timing is beautiful…there is going to be some twitchy National Party people when this comes out next week.

  2. mickysavage 2

    A random impertinent question first asked by Frank Macskasy, why did the Minister of Justice feel the need to visit China on an official visit?

    • ScottGN 2.1

      I guess the answer to that question could be found in the pages of the trip report the Minister submitted to the Cabinet? It was interesting to hear Winston Peters claim during QT the other day that his OIA’d copy of the report had pages redacted by Collins’ office. What was Collins doing on a taxpayer funded trip to China that her office doesn’t want us to know about?

    • Tracey 2.2

      She is getting ideas on how their “justice system” deals with government naysayers and spying on their people?

      Did she pay for the dinner personally or on her trough card? If personally when did she pay it? At the time? Last week? How do we find out, an OIA?

    • karol 2.3

      The answer are on her ministerial website.

      31 October 2013: Address to China Executive Leadership Academy Pudong (CELAP), China In it she says this in the middle of the speeech:

      Corruption

      Fighting corruption is not easy, it is a complex offence that is difficult to detect.

      Three tools are needed to fight corruption: Prevention, detection, and prosecution.

      The New Zealand model provides an excellent example of international best practice in using these tools.

      Prevention

      The first tool of prevention requires the development of a national all-of-government approach.

      New Zealand is currently developing an anti-corruption strategy that will assess our current systems, identify where the gaps and risks are, and create a plan for addressing those gaps and risks.

      The strategy will cover the prevention, detection, investigation and remedy of bribery and corruption across both private and public sectors.

      New Zealand also has a State Service Code of Conduct that applies to all public sector employees. This ensures public servants are aware of their obligations and boundaries.

      The Code is also available to the public, which increases the transparency and accountability of public servants and the public sector in general.

      Accountability is also increased through the use of public monitoring systems.
      We have two public sector surveys that monitor the integrity of the wider Government.

      18 OCTOBER, 2013 – Collins to visit China and Singapore

      The announement begins:

      Justice Minister Judith Collins leaves tomorrow for China and Singapore to meet with her ministerial counterparts, officials and practitioners in public and private law.

      Ms Collins will meet Chinese Minister of Justice Ms Wu Aiying in Beijing and discuss reforms to New Zealand’s court system and criminal procedure.

      The Ministers will discuss the established Asia Pacific Regional Office of the Hague Conference. Based in Hong Kong, the Office was established late last year to attract more countries in the area to become members of the Conference.

      Ms Collins will also visit Shanghai to address the China Executive Leadership Academy Pudong. One of the Academy’s aims is to help local and international leaders develop a global perspective.

      “New Zealand consistently ranks as one of the least corrupt countries in the world,” Ms Collins says.

      “I look forward to speaking to the Academy about our experience in building an accountable, transparent government and how these features benefit our governance system and economy.”

      • Tracey 2.3.1

        Of course she means to deal with corruption at levels well below her own. Cos when she and other pollies do it it’s “tourism” and “promoting NZ”.

      • Draco T Bastard 2.3.2

        The New Zealand model provides an excellent example of international best practice in using these tools.

        As the National Party caucus is still in parliament rather than in jail I think I’ll take that with a large truckload of salt.

      • Penny Bright 2.3.3

        What utter CRAP!

        NZ hasn’t yet ratified the UN Convention Against Corruption!

        We can’t because our domestic legislative framework is not yet in place.

        Sorry – but the Transparency International ‘Corruption Perception Index’ is not worth the paper upon which it is written …………

        Penny Bright

    • Hami Shearlie 2.4

      It’s a very good question – Now if only Judy would come clean about the reason she visited China of all places? – Still I’m enjoying the Punch a Judy Show, it was high time it happened!

  3. Ad 3

    Will we see the Prime Minister loading sandbags for Christchurch residents?

    • Tracey 3.1

      No. We may see him building a sandcastle with a selected child on high ground though.

    • floyd 3.2

      Maybe one sandbag.

      • Ad 3.2.1

        You could probably fit Judith Collins in one, and Jerry Brownlee in another. They would hold a good volume of water back, and finally do some good for Christchurch. We would give them a straw for air, and roll them out after it dries again.

  4. Skinny 4

    Going Down 10 Billion > 7 > 5 > 3 Billion? Key-National’s great swindle of our Power Assets sales. 

    Remember the hype? We could gain 10 Billion if conditions are good. That was the snake oil, and the overall revenue gathered slid from there. You can bet the only consistency will be the huge cut Australian financial brokers took scamming the deal.

    Looking at the final power generator sale, you would be right in thinking it’s a fire sale, with lucrative bonuses attached to ensure the shares move. It will be the institution and wealthy investors who will snap up the shares, after small time loyal Kiwi investors wanting to keep the shares in Kiwi ownership, are all spent buying small pockets of the other shares.

    Meanwhile power prices soar as history repeats!

    http://m.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11219192 

    • vto 4.1

      How can power prices soar?

      According the gospel we have a competitive power sector so free market supply and demand rules apply. Supply is static / increasing and demand dropping.

      So according to the gospel prices should be dropping.

      Maybe one of the disciples can explain how this is happening, you know, in a competitive sector, with decreasing demand. I mean, that’s how it works, right? After all, it is the gospel… this free market thing ….

      • Skinny 4.1.1

        “How can power prices soar”
        A Government announcing power assets are to be sold does the trick. Since June 2013 my power supply charges have increased by 18.98% and now the network line companies are getting in on the act you can probably add another 10%. ouch!

        I hear what your saying ‘the free market rules.’

        • aerobubble 4.1.1.1

          In a free market, whole suburban streets would unite and buy their common electricity from one supplier, play each supplier off against each other. But unfortunately this can’t happen since they don’t own the meters that they’ve paid for, if they did it would be easy to do. That’s why power companies can extort the smallest buyers.

          • aerobubble 4.1.1.1.1

            And its worse, now smart meters can drill down and find out what your up to, so not only are we buying into a system that extorts money from us but also pay to be spied on.

      • geoff 4.1.2

        I heard an interview on RNZ with the CEO of one of the power companies (mighty river power?).
        He admitted that the present ‘market’ system only works on the basis that prices will always increase. Sounds like a great reason to change the system to me.

        • Hami Shearlie 4.1.2.1

          That would be Doug Heffernan, wallowing in the trough since way back in the Waitemata Electric Power Board Days, on over a million a year salary I hear!

      • Hami Shearlie 4.1.3

        Exactly! You know that it’s really bad when even Hosking was asking how the market could be working when prices were going up, when he was on with Joyce and Annette King? Hosking of all people!

    • Tracey 4.2

      “We could gain 10 Billion if conditions are good”

      Isn’t a rockstar economy good?

      • alwyn 4.2.1

        Apart from Skinny’s statement above can you tell me where the figure of 10 billion was ever announced by the Government?
        I certainly don’t remember them claiming that but perhaps they did and you can provide a citation to such a claim.

        • Skinny 4.2.1.1

          Sometimes we choose to forget. Here is the link if you ‘thought
          I was pulling the figure out of my arse like Key’ did.
          http://i.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/4582922/John-Key-reveals-plan-for-asset-sales

          • alwyn 4.2.1.1.1

            Thank you. Reading this bit however shows that Key was very careful to qualify his claim in such a way as to make it quite impossible to pin down what he is claiming to be the asset sales returns. What he is quoted as saying.

            “If we could do that with those five entities … if we can make some savings in terms of what were looking at in the budget and maybe a little on the upside you’re talking about somewhere in the order of $7 to $10 billion less borrowing that the Government could undertake.”

            This claim is a very broad figure isn’t it? $7 to $10. It also includes the intended sale of Solid Energy, which was then worth quite a lot. It also includes “some savings in the budget” together with “a little on the upside”.
            No you didn’t make the story up. On the other hand Key is showing he is a very, very clever politician. He can easily argue that any figure at all is in line with what he claimed because there is nowhere at all where he has put a figure on just what the sale of the power generation companies will return. Deceptive but very clever, isn’t it?

            • Draco T Bastard 4.2.1.1.1.1

              On the other hand Key is showing he is a very, very clever politician.

              No he’s not – he proved that he is a lying schmuck.

            • Skinny 4.2.1.1.1.2

              Deceptive and tricky comes to mind, however selling our assets is already proving not too clever. In the fullness of time (sept 20th will see how clever an idea this was) we will see the true impact.

    • Colt 45 4.3

      Blame the Greens – as they’re argueing for a market based system to beat global warming – and you need everything in that system to achieve that goal. And that includes generators and retailers. Households too.

      It was their idea not Nationals.

      I feel sorry for suburban mothers who have to bath their children while innercity aspirants and the like ignore those ‘working class matters’.

      Labour should have got rid of the Greens long ago.

      • MaxFletcher 4.3.1

        “Labour should have got rid of the Greens long ago.”

        Quite how do you propose that Labour should be “got rid of [sic]” a democratically elected party?

        • Colt 45 4.3.1.1

          Next to no one from National ever left to vote for the Greens. It’s Labour that lost votes to them!

          It’s about saving seats. Do you really think Labour will win? Do you really think that Labour can’t educate Greens voters that the Greens has passed the point of madness? – the greens are part of an International Federation who espouse the view that partial birth abortion and infanticide are good!

          Live babykilling is good? – Labour is fucken mad to be associated with the Greens – as there is a rising tide of Conservatism within Western Nations – do you really think that Conservatism will go away by 2017? You’re kidding yourself if you do. Labour has to have the Greens votes by 2017 because Labour won’t get elected in 2017 with the Greens being in the picture. It’s that simple. Or do you know the ‘Truth’ that the Conservatives will raise in Parliment? That’s some gamble if you don’t know what they’ll be saying!

          Why on earth do you think you can’t get rid of the Greens[minimising them] – Jones is having a go – and I think that the Greens will get less votes the more that Labour attacks them. And those votes then go to Labour. Call them out for the sick minded tyrants they are!

          • weka 4.3.1.1.1

            Christ on a bleeding cross, now we’re getting election strategy advice from a nonsensical anti-abortion RWNJ? We need a better class of nut job.

          • framu 4.3.1.1.2

            “– the greens are part of an International Federation who espouse the view that partial birth abortion and infanticide are good!”

            piss off lunatic – and take your derranged bullshit with you

          • tricledrown 4.3.1.1.3

            Colt 45 you are a dinosaour .
            That wants women barefoot and pregnant.
            So their are plenty of children in your church for you and your mysogynist mates to fiddle.

          • Daveosaurus 4.3.1.1.4

            If you seriously think that Chemical Col is going to be able to rescue you from anything other than laughter deficiency syndrome, then you need the sort of professional help that the Internet is not able to provide.

        • tricledrown 4.3.1.2

          Colt 45 you are a shining example of chritian fundementalism that Graham Capill extoled.

      • Wyndham 4.3.2

        Hi Harriett. Go back to Kiwiblog Street.

      • Draco T Bastard 4.3.3

        What a load of bollocks. The reason why we’re losing is because of National selling our assets against our wishes, i.e, stealing.

    • David H 4.4

      Sorry the link didn’t as you on a mobile?.

      http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11219192

      This one should do it.

  5. Tigger 5

    I said this yesterday but now we have confirmation that Judith Collins is crying at her plight.

    http://m.nzherald.co.nz/entertainment/news/article.cfm?c_id=1501119&objectid=11219211

    Henceforth to me she will now be known as Gusher Collins.

    • tvone breakast..

      ..collins strives to pretend humility..

      ..fails..

      (i’m waiting for her to advise us all it’s time to ‘move on’..)

      ..phillip ure..

    • Tracey 5.2

      Isn’t she being a sensitive wee sausage? Crying? Is this Crosby Texter’s idea of Cameron Slater’s?

      • Puckish Rogue 5.2.1

        Jones may well have opened a can of worms here but will it back fire on some of his collegues?

        • Tracey 5.2.1.1

          OR Collins opened and was forced to swallow a can of worms….

        • phillip ure 5.2.1.2

          jones has once again served the rightwing..

          ..at a time when the focus was on collins..and her conflicts-of-interest/hubris/arrogance..

          ..jones draggesd a strawman across the stage..

          ..and made it suddenly all about him..

          ..and thus shifted the focus from collins..

          ..don’t you worry there..!..shane..!

          ..they are polishing those ‘board’ chairs for you..as we speak..

          ..the right/vested-interests/environment-polluters..

          ..they all owe you big time..

          ..eh..?..

          (and gee..!..i wonder how much longer cunnliffe/mccarten/the labour party will put up with this circus-clown..?..eh..?..)

          phillip ure..

          • marty mars 5.2.1.2.1

            +1 Yep jones serves those he adulates well – the right – meanwhile labour continue to offer safe harbour to him – ffs when will you learn labour – do the names douglas, prebble, and the rest of them not ring a bell – think it can’t happen again? duh – it already is.

  6. bad12 7

    Judith Collins brought close to tears???, sounds a little like the Crocodile with a whiff of smoke in the eye passing a little fluid,

    For the compulsive Liar tears are the last bastion of retreat, denial, anger, more denial and finally Emotion are all tools those who lie compulsively deploy in an effort to garner some modicum of sympathy from their inquisitors,

    Cleared of a conflict of interest by the Cabinet Office???, plausible, but, considering just who said that in defence of Collins i have strong doubts that such advice existed on the day that He made the claim,

    The fact that He, He being Slippery the Prime Minister, made the claim that the Cabinet Office had gained a translation of the relevant literature surrounding this conflict of interest which within hours was proven to be Absolute Bullshit, no translation was sought by the Cabinet Office, shows that far from being a lone purveyor of Lies, Collins appears to be in competition with the PM to see just who can slip the biggest ones past the press and the Public, Lies that is,

    So having Bullshitted everyone, attempting along the way to treat the press as mere Village Idiots, simply existing to blindly repeat His every word, about this supposed translation can any one of us now believe that the supposed advice to the PM from the Cabinet Office, (a) actually exists at all other than as a figment of the PM’s over active imagination, or (b), should such advice actually have existed on the date the PM says it did, how can such advice have the slightest shred of credibility attached to it when the conflict of interest was contained in writing, in one of the languages of China which no-one in the Cabinet Office has the slightest knowledge of,

    The levels these two, Collins and Slippery the Prime Minister, will stoop too, the gutters they will wallow in, seem to have no boundaries, and all this for a paltry 55 grand donation to the Party????…

    • Tracey 7.1

      She is probably crying cos she was caught out and thereby humiliated. Not a tear shed for the actual conflict of interest as such. She would do it again, and has probably done it in the past.

      How dare Shane Jones suggest she stays overnight in the former Hotchin Mansion without proof… Although Key claimed a few things about Cunliffe last week that weren’t true, perhaps Collins could release an audio of her challenging the PM n private for misleading people with ugly personal lies?

      For me, no proof no claim, but the hypocrisy of this is beyond overwhelming.

      • Puckish Rogue 7.1.1

        Has John Key made mention of potential cheating against anyone?

        • Tracey 7.1.1.1

          What????

          • framu 7.1.1.1.1

            yes – im confused by that one as well

            • Tracey 7.1.1.1.1.1

              I just read on another thread that apparently Collins took Jones comment as being she is cheating on her husband. I didn’t take it that way. I took it to mean she was enjoying the palatial hospitality of someone whose company’s product she just endorsed. I genuinely never thought it was a suggestion of infidelity.

              Interesting how the minds of the right work though… turn yourself into a victim of that bully Jones…

              Transference much.

              • Puckish Rogue

                Its Shane making the comment so the chances of it being sexual in nature is pretty high but I’m wondering if he had a major brain fart because listening to them on radio they seemed to get on quite well

                • Tracey

                  Well, am just saying that’s not how I took it, especially when he said she and her husband lived there while their home was being renovated. Funny, I took that to mean she and he were in the house together at the time.

                  Interesting how Collins pretended to take it, for someone recently proclaiming herself as naive. Shows her good lawyering, pounced on a chance to turn something around. Jones, of course, left that option open to her and could have just stuck with his comment that as Crusher Collins and Justice Minister, of course she knows what a conflict of interest is.

                • of course they are ‘on the same side’..that collins and that jones..

                  ..you can barely slide an ideological cigarette paper between a rightwing labourite..

                  ..and a natty…

                  ..phillip ure..

              • Disraeli Gladstone

                While I’m sure that’s how Jones meant it, I’m not surprised it’s been misinterpreted. It’s not much of a leap that “saying around the house of a friend overnight” is being taken by some as “OMG OMG OMG AFFAIR AFFAIR!”

                As much as it pains me to say it, I can see why Collins would be a bit upset.

                … though I think we can still keep calling her a “sensitive wee sausage” about it. I have no idea what made her type those words back when she was mocking Turei. That was always going to come back and get her.

                • Tracey

                  So saying that she and her husband stayed there…. a 3 some maybe but cheating.

                  Its still jones gifting the nats a chance to play victim.

                  Meanwhile mr liu is on domestic violence charges. I am sure williamson and banks and guy will be, hopefully, smidge chagrinned

          • Puckish Rogue 7.1.1.1.2

            Shane was clearly insinuating some sort of relationship and since its a bit of rumour mongering its probably sexual in nature (the insinuation) so I’m wondering if John Key has made any sort of similar claim because if he hasn’t then this might be followed by a retaliation

            I don’t recall many politicians making mention of Lens extra-marital shenanigans even though Len is closely aligned to the left and I think its because they knew if they did then it would become fair game for any other extra-marital affairs to be shown the light of day (mutually assured destruction)

            So if John Key (Nationals best assett) had mentioned something about an opposition MP doing the dirty then it would be fair enough for Shane to go on the attack but if he didn’t…well some MPs might be getting nervous

            • fender 7.1.1.1.2.1

              I’ve missed these insinuations you mention. Could you link or supply text with quotes illustrating what Jones is insinuating?

              • Puckish Rogue

                No I can’t and I can’t because its an insinuation so it would be very easy for him to proclaim innocence but he wants people to think…something

            • Pascal's bookie 7.1.1.1.2.2

              Turn it up.

              Collins can dish it out, (remember when she was in opposition, flinging barbs at Labour ministers based on whatever the latest Wishart fanstasy was), but now she’s a wee delicate flower who hates rumours? Nope nope nope.

            • Tracey 7.1.1.1.2.3

              Would you like a panadol for your headache?

        • fender 7.1.1.2

          “Has John Key made mention of potential cheating against anyone?”

          Not yet, but as he gets more and more desperate to save his corrupt machine from breakdown he’s bound to give it a go.

          If it’s a trick question, no he won’t admit to cheating NZers out of owning their future.

          • Puckish Rogue 7.1.1.2.1

            I don’t think he’ll get that desperate because if he does then his and everyone elses piccadilos will be shown the light of day (I work on the assumption that every MP has/is cheating on their significant other) plus his personal rating is (roughly) 5 times greater then Cunliffes and Nationals running in the low 40s so he doesn’t need to do anything like that

            • fender 7.1.1.2.1.1

              “I work on the assumption that every MP has/is cheating on their significant other”

              Surprised you can stomach casting a vote.

              • Puckish Rogue

                The reality is they have quite a bit of power (within their own circles), a few perks, some spending money and they spend a lot of time away from home…

                It helps when you accept everyone does it

                • fender

                  Perhaps you could put your worried mind to rest by accepting it only when it’s been confirmed.

                  Do you also think they all drink-drive, use drugs, commit murder etc. etc….

                  • Puckish Rogue

                    I’m not that bothered by it, as long as it doesn’t break any laws and they don’t promote “family values” I’m ok with it…the cheating that is

                    • McFlock

                      So you believe there were insinuations about something you’re not particularly concerned about… perhaps we can talk about the apparently blatantly corrupt minister then?

      • PapaMike 7.1.2

        Be careful with Collins she can be a bearcat – she has been hurt temporarily
        – She will bite back one of these days, and has been known to have done her homework first.
        She stuffed up – let’s get on without the personal denigration.
        Let’s have POLICY to win the election.
        Play the real game and not the man (woman).

    • RedBaronCV 7.2

      So she’s sorry her friends and relations have been involved – fair enough- that’s why you don’t do things like this but how about the rest of us? It’s our money she’s spending and our country that is being brought into disrepute while businesses that she is involved are using us to pay the bills. Where is our apology or don’t we count?

  7. “..The Unbelievable Shift Towards Rational Drug Policy..

    …2014 could be an unprecedented turning point..”

    http://www.alternet.org/drugs/unbelievable-shift-towards-rational-drug-policy

    phillip ure..

  8. Colt 45 9

    Micky Savage@

    Last week you mocked me about a spelling mistake Micky:

    LOL……….Have a look at this:

    http://www.kiwiblog.co.nz/2014/03/how_hard_is_it_to_proof_read_12_words_or_so.html/comment-page-1#comment-1290231

    Have a noice day Micky!

    • framu 9.1

      umm – your link goes to your own comment, where your reffering to your absolute nonsensical drivel from a few days back

      whats your point? – because at the moment your coming across as either drunk, developmentally challenged or just plain thick

      LOL? – very much so, but its at you

        • framu 9.1.1.1

          1) how the fuck can i tell what derranged bullshit you want someone to scroll to?
          2) if you link to something, then that is what people will assume is your point
          3) your new link still doesnt actually say anything other than proving your an idiot – because its just you saying yet more insane bullshit

          what the fuck are you actually trying to say?
          are you trying to point out your own spelling mistakes?
          What exactly?

          do keep going – this is fun – fish, barrel, gun

          • Puckish Rogue 9.1.1.1.1

            Mythbusters showed shooting fish in a barrel isn’t as easy as it sounds :)

            • framu 9.1.1.1.1.1

              heh heh – they also proved the brown note doesnt exist.

              • Puckish Rogue

                and being this is a political website it seems appropriate they also showed you can polish a turd

              • bad12

                Dolt45 is an even bigger idiot than the average ‘wing-nut’ we see here at the Standard, their appearance now seems to be on the basis of a sliding scale of intellectual ability,

                Given the increased velocity apparent in the trend i would suggest that in mere months we might expect to be greeted by simple ”Derrs’ as the comment from further newbies freshly escaped/sent from the sewer…

      • David H 9.1.2

        what he’s driveling on about is the pic at the top.

      • Murray Olsen 9.1.3

        Colt 45 is the sort of person I was happy to have forgotten about until I started reading blogs and got Facebook. Thicker than pigshit, twice as smelly, and totally deluded, but being reinforced in their behaviour on a daily basis by the troglodytes of KiwiBog. By the way, it really annoys me that Farrar, the person most lacking in Kiwiness that I could think of, should be using one of our national icons for his hate blog.

  9. bad12 10

    Economic overkill, inflation at 1.6%, GDP growth an average 3.2%, the Government accounts writ solidly in Red ink, interest rates to rise by at least 2% in 18 months,

    Structural economic vandalism, looks like it to me, just from the point of view of the Governments books, 80 billion dollars of gross Government debt, a structural shortfall in revenue of a billion dollars annually since the 2009 tax switch, 800 million dollars of due taxes annually unable to be collected, we have to be running an economy at the top end of the inflation band,

    Its as simple as that, someone has to pay for that 80 billion dollars, the structural shortfall in revenue from the 2009 tax switch has to be closed befor any of that 80 billion dollars of debt can be paid down and in the face of their being NO plan from this National Government on how to recoup the annual 800 million dollars shortfall in taxes paid,(aka tax evasion/avoidance), addressing such debt becomes a further impossibility,

    SO, without ‘other’ action to change the Red ink to that of the color Black, inflation would have to be allowed to run at 3-4% annually which equates in GDP terms to an economy with an annual growth rate of 6–6.5%, the only means, without changes to the monetary/taxation system, where this Government can even hope to have a sustainable surplus within it’s books,

    Favoring an IMF solution to solving such problems of Red ink that do exist structurally in the Governments accounts the Reserve Bank Governor seems to be all in favor of us becoming the Greece of the South Pacific…

    • Bearded Git 10.1

      I think the left has a weak argument when banging on about future interest rate rises. Inflation is largely under control and the NZ$ is very high, probably much too high, which means IMHO that despite the MSM hype there isn’t really a need to raise interest rates above their current level for the forseeable future.

      I doubt the the supposed 2% further rises will eventuate. Labour should concentrate on the present and the fact that National has borrowed $27m a day since elected.

      • Tracey 10.1.1

        hasn’t the rate just gone up because of, amongst other things, a fear of rising inflation?

        Power rises hit EVERY household in NZ, not many things do that
        Mortgage rates hit every mortgaged and most rented home sin NZ

        What do you base your belief that it won’t rise 2% over the next 18 months?

        • Bearded Git 10.1.1.1

          I have reasonable financial qualifications and experience.

          It would be economic suicide to keep raising interest rates, thus further raising the value of the NZ dollar which will choke off exports and increase import penetration, leading to inevitable further job losses in our export industries while the threat of inflation is minimal (just 1.6%) and the housing market already appears to be cooling a little.

          One of the economic pundits on TV3 last night (I can’t spell this but I think it was Shamovil Yaquob) cast doubt on the reasons for the 0.25 increase and on future increases.

      • bad12 10.1.2

        Bearded Git, an own goal!!! pushing up interest rates pushes up the value of the Kiwi$$$, or did that little fact escape you,

        The Reserve Bank Governor has said that interest rates will continue to rise, the deputy-governor said as late as this morning ”the current cycle of interest rate rises blah blah blah” in the plural so who exactly are you trying to fool while only making a fool of yourself…

  10. Tracey 11

    Collins had earlier said she and her husband had not stayed at the former Hotchin mansion, which is in Auckland’s upmarket Paritai Drive. Suggestions they had stayed there while their own house was being renovated were wrong. (how is that a suggestion of cheating on her husband, when Jones suggested they both stayed there?)

    An emotional Collins said Jones’ comments were “hurtful” but she would not elaborate on what the comments might have meant.

    This morning, Jones apologised on the Breakfast TV show for the comments but stopped short of saying whether he thought they were true or not.

    “Political banter on RadioLive has been grossly misconstrued, but I want to say something, to your viewers and to Judith in front of her,” he said.

    “Any suggestion I was imputing something of a highly personal nature to do with her and her family, or her and her husband was wrong in fact.

    “What political banter I was engaged in, I lost my customary felicity with language, but the reality remains Judith is known as Crusher Collins. Judith is the justice minister and if anyone knows what a conflict of interest is, it’s the justice minister.” Spin john and Judith spin

    Collins said she accepted Jones’ apology, but “gossip mongering” was the problem.

    “If you get down to the stage where you’re dealing with rumours, and publicising them then that is just awful,” she said. (I wonder does she include John Key saying one of Cunliffe’s donor’s was Kim DotCom? John Key saying the other donor was UNITE)? Or is that different type of rumour and gosspi Ms Collins?

    “But I accept Shane’s apology and we all make mistakes as I’ve shown and Shane has shown in the past.” ”

    For some reason I suspect Collinsis saying you can mislead, gossip, rumour monger and make unsubstantiated or incorrect comments as long as you are only deceiving the nation, not to talk about any Pollie personally?

    So Turei’s clothes? Her home?

    • Murray Olsen 11.1

      The only thing that made me think there may be something more to this story was Gusher’s response. Being hurt for staying a night at someone else’s place just doesn’t make sense. If SeaLord Jones knows of some further conflict of interest, doesn’t he have a duty to bring it to light? Or is there some new stop for the gravy train, at Chez Jones, and that’s enough to shut him up. Something stinks here, and it’s nothing to do with Gusher’s sex life.

  11. bad12 12

    A sad day on the calendar to be remembered, today is the day that un-Housing Minister Nick Smith has gleefully awaited for quite some time, to-day Nick can legally start removing the States tenants from their homes,

    Citing ‘changes in circumstances’ Smith has reassured us all that ‘only’ 800 of the tenants are the targets for the initial removal, and Smith claims, such removals are all for the benefit of other more deserving tenants,just don’t stack up under scrutiny especially when you consider the earlier words of Smith and HousingNZ CEO Sowry are taken as the ‘real’ intent of Smith’s ‘plan’,

    ”In the future i plan for the State to have 20% less houses”, Smith,”If a HousingNZ property has a value of 700,000 dollars and is empty it will be sold”,Sowry, is the real ‘intent’ of un-Housing Minister Smith as He attempts to accomplish with the least amount of ‘noise’ an asset sale, 12,000 of the States housing stock, that will match if not dwarf any of the electricity generator sales,

    ”Those initially targeted will be those paying ‘market rents’ to HousingNZ”, says the un-Housing Minister, really???

    The above almost sounds rational doesn’t it, putting aside the not inconsequential fact that Smith plans to rip these people out of communities they may have lived in for decades, it does doesn’t it, almost sound reasonable,

    After all, if such tenants are now paying ‘market rent’ to the State then surely it is no great financial burden for such tenants to move to paying ‘market rent’ in the private market,

    It only sounds ‘reasonable’ if you believe any of Smith’s LIES on a face value basis, the LIE is contained in the ‘fact’ that HousingNZ has for many years put a ‘market value’ on all it’s properties and this supposed ‘market value’ as far as rent goes has never had any basis in reality when compared with ‘actual’ private rental accommodation,

    For instance, the very home i type this from has a ‘market rent’ adjudged by HousingNZ at 180 dollars per week, my writer friend, 4 houses down, renting privately exactly the same dwelling as what i occupy, one sold into the private sector during the first National Government ransacking of the HousingNZ stock,pays a whopping 380 per week,

    So, using Bullshit as the imperative Smith will toss out 800 tenants who will then be forced to pay double their current rent to a private landlord on the pretext of helping others that are more needy,the pretext i suggest would hide the fact that the 800 homes that Smith will empty will simply be sold…

  12. Not a PS Staffer 13

    I spotted a piece on Kiwiblog yesterday that seems to have legs:

    Judith Collins states in her Beehive and other biographies that he is a member of the Fulbright New Zealand Alumni Association.
    http://beehive.govt.nz/minister/biography/judith-collins

    However a search of the list of “Alumni and Grantees” on the Fullbright website does not return a Judith Collins nor a Judith Wong Tung. http://www.fulbright.org.nz/grantees-alumni/

    Her bio lists her time at the University of Auckland. Last year she took time away from office to attend Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. That sojourn is described with most unusual language: “Ms Collins was selected to attend and completed the Leadership Decision Making (LDM) executive program….”

    Can anyone shine some light on this?

      • Not a PS Staffer 13.1.1

        It leads to a “Judith someone” and to a “someone Collins”.
        I’ve scanned through all the pages. No Judith Collins!

      • karol 13.1.2

        That hit includes several Judiths on the list, and one Collins, but not a “Judith Collins”

        I think this is what Judith Collins is part of: Fulbright NZ Alumin Association Membership.

        Full membership is open to any person who:

        1.is or was the recipient of a New Zealand-United States educational or cultural exchange award administered by Fulbright New Zealand ie. Fulbright or Fulbright-Hays Awards and Ian Axford, Eisenhower, Kennedy and Harkness Fellowships; or

        2.is or was a participant, grantee or beneficiary of similar or related programmes operated under the auspices of the United States Government including the International Visitor Leadership Programme and the Voluntary Visitor Programme.

        Collins probably can belong to that because she did that Harvard Course – probably a similar one to the one John Key has on his CV – basically a short course without any assessment – acceptance on the course and attendence is all that is required to get it on the CV.

        This is CV embellishment – Collins gets Fulbirght & Harvard on her CV via one activity & paying the Fulbright Alumni fee.

        • Not a PS Staffer 13.1.2.1

          Thank you Karol.

          • karol 13.1.2.1.1

            The Fulbright Associations are not to be confused with the Filbright Scholarship Programme – although it looks like some am to benefit from the fact that we all were confused about it.

            The Fulbright Association is an organization independent of the Fulbright Program and not associated with the U.S. Department of State. The Fulbright Association was established on Feb. 27, 1977, as a private nonprofit, membership organization with over 9,000 members. The late Arthur Power Dudden was its founding president. He wanted alumni to educate members of the U.S. Congress and the public about the benefits of advancing increased mutual understanding between the people of the United States and those of other countries. In addition to the Fulbright Association in the U.S., independent Fulbright Alumni associations exist in over 75 countries around the world.

    • alwyn 13.2

      You don’t have to have got a grant directly from the Fulbright Foundation to be a member. The names given here are merely those who got some types of award they organise. It isn’t restricted to these people though.
      In the simplest case she is probably entitled to be a full member if she attended that course. It sounds like something that would be covered by the reference to “International Visitor Leadership”.
      There are other grants mentioned that entitle you to full membership that would certainly be more prestigious than a Fulbright grant. The Harkness Foundation awards would certainly be better.

      If you have a look at who can join you get this

      “Full membership
      2.is or was a participant, grantee or beneficiary of similar or related programmes operated under the auspices of the United States Government including the International Visitor Leadership Programme and the Voluntary Visitor Programme”

      Alternatively if you look at the second type of membership it would appear that literally anyone would qualify. Just apply and pay up. All you have to do is say you approve of their aims. That sounds about as easy as joining a political party to me.

      “Associate membership
      Associate membership is open to any person who supports Senator Fulbright’s vision for international educational exchange and the mission of Fulbright New Zealand.”

      Snap. I see Karol got in ahead of me.

  13. Hami Shearlie 14

    It’s amusing how Mike Hosking is defending Judith Collins, saying she didn’t endorse any product – the same man who had a secret deal with Sky City while he was on TV1 at 7 p.m. every week doing stories on the said Sky City!! No wonder HE thinks what she did was TOTALLY OK!!

    • geoff 14.1

      One of the hypocritical privileged elite defending another privileged elite’s right to double standards.

      Fuck they’re incestual.

  14. karol 15

    David Cunliffe’s speech to the NZ Initiative (child of Business Roundtable): “NZ’s economic upgrade”

    It looks like capitalism as usual, but structured to provide more opportunities and resources for the less well off.

    Summary at the end of the speech:

    Today I have outlined the framework for New Zealand’s economic journey to a higher value, higher knowledge, higher income and renewable future.

    We want better jobs and higher wages for all New Zealanders.

    We all know that in order to sustainably lift incomes we need to sustainably lift productivity.

    We all know that just being a producer of raw materials, stuck on the treadmill of commodity price cycles, is not the way to that better future.

    Especially when our warped tax system and our inadequate savings system incentivise over-investment in real estate, and under-investment in innovation.

    New Zealand must be more than a farm to be harvested by offshore banks. We must grow our manufacturing and high-end services sectors. We must provide opportunities to inspire our best and brightest young innovators to build job creating businesses here in New Zealand.

    Today I have set out for you the crucial elements of an economic upgrade that will put us on the road to shared prosperity: Investment, Innovation and Industry.

    These require serious policy changes, not tinkering. That’s why we will have:

    *Capital gains tax to move from speculation to innovation,
    *Universal KiwiSaver to grow our onshore investment capital,
    *Monetary policy reform to back our exporters,
    *R&D tax credits to encourage innovation,
    *A series of industry and regional strategies that grow New Zealand’s wealth.

    And all of this will leverage off a sound fiscal policy based on fairness, responsibility and sustainability.

  15. captain hook 16

    Great read on the op-ed page of the Dompost this morning. It stops short of calling shifty key a liteweight pinhead but the writer is just displaying manners and good taste in opposite proportions to the noo noo headed ring in carpetbagger who was selected for the tory party bozo.

  16. Tracey 17

    interesting to compare popularity past with present:

    ” A new UMR Research poll of 750 people shows the prime minister’s favourability rating dipped by 9 per cent between October and December of last year to its lowest level since January 2010.

    The proportion of Kiwis who had a favourable opinion of Key has twice peaked at 81 per cent but the figure is now 63 per cent. The previous record was Helen Clark’s 78 per cent in April 2002.”

  17. joe90 18

    Bloodshed in Eastern Ukraine.

    http://novosti.dn.ua/

    #Donetsk

    https://twitter.com/novostidnua/media

    edit: the faerie is busy interfering with the threading

  18. freedom 19

    This is the blog where the WINZ story you might be hearing about originated. There is understandably a flurry of activity now whizzing around the woman and no doubt assistance is flowing freely, but it highlights a sad situation hundreds of thousands of kiwis are facing every day, and every day the situation is worsening.

    • weka 19.1

      Interesting to see the increasing number of comments. A few thoughts…

      What she writes about is not particularly new. One of things I notice in this story and others in the past few years is the number of people standing up and saying “me too” and saying taht they are new to WINZ. I think there is a whole new sector of NZ finally getting to understand what has been going on for a very long time. I hope those people are telling their family and friends and spreading the word. I wish they would also tell their MP and local newspaper.

      This advice given in the comments is very sound – get ALL documents photocopied, while you wait, and then get both the WINZ copy and your own date stamped. This should be beneficiary strategy 101. Also, whenever possible, take someone with you. Those two things alone will make staff sort their shit out to a considerable extent. There is nothing like evidence or a witness to make people do their job properly.

      WINZ are in the process of shifting everything onto electronic file. This means every piece of documentation they receive, every form etc has to be scanned into the person’s electronic file. I’m guessing that accounts for some of the lost documents (I bet there is a backlog of scanning or its being handed over to someone else who isn’t doing it).

      That shift to all eletronic files has privacy issues that are still not that clear. As far as I can tell, the electronic file is accessible by any WINZ staff anywhere in NZ as long as they have access to a computer. Not clear yet what the call centre has access to. I’ve not seen any debate about this publicly yet.

      The comments section also has a subthread with a variation on the painter on the roof story. Good to see people addressing that.

      • freedom 19.1.1

        Had to produce a five year plan a few weeks ago. They gave us a blank flow chart and an example chart, which held nothing of value but slogans in boxes with no real world examples of what information people should put into the boxes. An example “talk to friends about their careers” There was also a two page Q+A of ten handy points which repeated itself three times (four-depending on interpretation) that they wanted us to fill in.

        I did the chart (making a new one up one with boxes large enough to write in ( I needed more than three words per box to say what my 5 year plan was) and even wrote up the Q+A into a clearly phrased cover letter and printed both pages off. I put these into a folder, as you would expect they wanted to receive it in a tidy manner, went to the seminar and I handed it in.

        Why did I even bother?

        I looked over the contributions from the other seminar attendees. There were people handing over rolled up and twisted scraps. The few bits of text I could see looked like they had been written in the car on the way to the seminar. There were pages folded three times just dropped in front of the case worker, who seemed genuinely shocked that I had done something as simple as presenting legible pages and putting them into a folder. The case worker absently ripped the pages from the folder, which was given back to me, and proceeded to put the pages amongst the others gathering upon the table. I say amongst because one page went under another person’s ‘work’ and I had to bring it to her attention. I got the frowny face.

        I asked when do we discuss the 5 year plan we had just been asked to complete for our Focus to Work Seminar. I was told we don’t. It gets put on file. I took this to mean it gets scanned and forgotten. I asked because a crux point in my 5 year plan is getting off the benefit and back into self employment as the job drought is becoming very real. As far as WINZ is concerned, the road to self employment has been bypassed as a Road of National Significance.

        All in all I challenge anyone to say this exercise was anything but mindless busywork.

        • weka 19.1.1.1

          That’s really bad freedom, kia kaha mate. Reading that gives me brain rage. It’s worse than mindless busywork, it’s soul destroying and its poking people with velvet cattle prods and mindfucks that this is the way to salvation*, but all the while Rome burns. If you want to see the worst excesses of neoliberal fucked in the head theory, look at WINZ. This isn’t by-products of policies, this is intentional dumb shit beyond belief.

          On my worst days I think this is a deliberate set up so that NACT can start privatising welfare (see, WINZ doesn’t work, we have to let the private sector sort it out). On other days (probably worse still), I see WINZ as the outward expression of NZ’s post-neoliberal revolution psyche. This is where all the shit we haven’t wanted to look at in the past 3 decades is now coming out.

          More and more my response to that shit is to play the game to the extent that I get what I need, and then take myself outside the system to where the real people live and work and play.

          *am rewatching The Wire currently, in series 4 based in the High School. Paralells with the bureaucractic nightmare where you try and force people to do things to improve their situation, when the situation is being determined structurally by the system well outside of the control of most of the individuals.

    • Aww 19.2

      Sadly this is what Work and Income have become – worse than they ever were before.

      God help the sick and infirm when National get a third term and fully intergrate coporations in the provision of welfare/work ability testing.

  19. do you own a samsung galaxy..?

    ..and are you a bit paranoid to boot.?

    ..read on..!

    “..Samsung Galaxy back-door allows for over-the-air filesystem access..”

    http://boingboing.net/2014/03/13/samsung-galaxy-back-door-allow.html

  20. tricledrown 21

    Colt 45
    Make my day and suck on dumb and dumber bullet.
    Divide and conquer.
    Back to propaganda school for you.

  21. geoff..do you think you are intelligent..?

  22. Tracey 23

    john drinnans take on the taxpayers “union” in the herald today

    ” Astro-turfing

    I hear the NZ Taxpayers’ Union’s comments on deaf MP Mojo Mathers have damaged the lobby group’s credibility with members of the parliamentary press gallery. Comments by the lobby group’s spokesman, Jordan Williams, about the Green MP travelling from Christchurch to Masterton for an interview were pilloried as petty – though part of the problem appears to be that he was responding to journalists’ queries, rather than directly attacking Mathers.

    The comments raised the question of whether the Taxpayers’ Union was largely a promotional vehicle for the political right rather than a consumer body to report on issues like wasteful government spending, and whether it should be reported as such, thus diminishing its importance. Or perhaps, as Auckland University senior lecturer in media Dr Luke Goode says, “it’s up to the public to make its own assessment”.

    Formed by people associated with National, the union is funded by anonymous donations. It insists it’s not party political, and that it has criticised National and Act.

    The organisation was founded by David Farrar, who set up the right wing Kiwiblog website, and whose firm Curia carries out research for National. Its board also includes media trainer and PR man John Bishop – a regular on Radio New Zealand’s programme The Panel.

    His son, by the way, is Chris Bishop, a former PR man for tobacco company Phillip Morris who now works as the political adviser in the office of National election strategist Steven Joyce. Another board member is Gabrielle O’Brien, a sales executive with links to National.

    Williams, the union’s executive director, was involved in an anti-MMP campaign. Farrar insists the union is non-partisan and is aimed at identifying waste but the line-up of board members – and their wish to have National elected – means it would be under intense pressure not to attack National, especially for a media person like Farrar.”

  23. thechangeling 24

    I thought this great and needed to be put up on here somewhere with prominence:

    from: http://writehanded.wordpress.com/2014/03/13/fuck-winz-yes-i-said-it/

    Terror and humiliation – just another day with WINZ

    Posted by writehandedgirl ⋅ March 13, 2014 ⋅ 112 Comments

    I have tried to be fair. I have tried to be understanding of the good work WINZ does, and their well-intentioned policies, and to work within those structures. I have tried to be grateful for the support I do get.

    But I have had ENOUGH of the sheer and complete incompetence that ensures that I have suffered, that I continue to suffer. That I suffer like I have suffered today.

    Maybe I should start at the beginning, because you may have not been following this story. It’s a doozie so you may as well get a drink now.

    I am on a ‘Jobseeker Support’ benefit, which in itself is a misnomer. I have a job – I’m too ill to do it. I have multiple medical certificates to prove it. Recently, my benefit, and the Disability Allowance, which is the separate small payment I receive toward my medical costs, came up for “reassessment.” This meant a whole new round of forms and evidence to prove I’m entitled to the support.

    Here’s the key points from the post I wrote when this started – February 14.

    I’ve returned the multiple forms, along with every receipt I’ve kept of doctor’s visits, food bills, and medical costs like prescriptions, plus the form signed by my GP which includes details from him about how often I visit and what for.
    My case manager rang today to say they “need more proof” which I knew would happen because they always do.
    Eftpos receipts are now not considered proof of costs. I need to return to all my medical providers and get a signed printout of my annual costs. This obviously takes a lot of time and effort for a sick person. It’s not an easy ask. It causes me a huge amount of anxiety, and physically doing it causes me exhaustion and pain.
    A grocery receipt is not enough to prove my dietary requirements, I need several week’s worth to show the pattern of food I buy. They said they will then calculate the difference between the “usual” cost and “my” cost, and grant me this.
    Until I get all these things, I will live in anxiety that they are going to remove my support. Anxiety and stress make me sick. That’s written on the fucking form I gave them.

    Following this post, I got together all the additional evidence they wanted, which took considerable effort. I dropped it in to the office, somewhat gingerly, because they have a proven history of losing things.

    I wrote this post a week ago:

    My case manager informed me on 14 February (the day before I was going to Wellington for a week) that I had until 14 March to supply new information, or my support would be removed. Getting this new information wasn’t going to be an easy task for me, and it’s fair to say I felt terrified and distressed during that phone call.

    My case manager also said she would send a Special Food Grant application form to me, which I needed to provide to them along with at least a month’s worth of receipts to show my grocery expenses.

    While I was away, I made phone calls and sent emails in order to get the requested information from my medical providers. As soon as I got back, I labelled them all and took them in to WINZ. That was on 25 February.

    Since then, I have sent several emails and left several voice messages, none of which have been returned. My online account shows “no applications pending.” I haven’t received any letters or application forms in the mail. Meanwhile, it’s now less than a week until my support will be removed, and I have no idea if I have provided the necessary information to stop that from happening.

    I find it increasingly ironic that WINZ want me well enough to go back to work, yet they consistently subject me to behaviour and systems which stress the fuck out of me, and make me more ill.

    Did I say ironic? I meant frustrating, depressing, anxiety-inducing, dehumanising and debilitating.

    Yes, WINZ, I agree with you. The sooner I can go back to work, the better.

    This week, I realised I still hadn’t heard anything, so I tried again to make an appointment with my case manager. I got no response, so I just made one through the online service.

    I was incredibly nervous about the appointment. It’s pretty difficult to walk into this place when you have no idea how you’re going to be treated, and when their role is not to help you, as it would appear, but actually do all they possibly can to get you back into work – even if that’s to your detriment.

    Did you know, WINZ has an actual policy to publicly celebrate when people get work? I witnessed this today. A bell was rung, and all the workers stood up and clapped – meanwhile, the poor man who supposedly the happy recipient of this “positive reinforcement” sat still and looked utterly and completely mortified. Apparently WINZ says clients enjoy this.

    It was fucking horrifying.

    All this, while I myself was sitting meters away with tears of frustration streaming down my face. While I cried, the WINZ worker I was talking to stopped what he was doing, and clapped.

    Oops, I’ve skipped a bit. Let’s go back, shall we?

    So, I turned up for my appointment. As usual, I was seen about half an hour late. Standard WINZ procedure. Because my case manager had been unreachable (I saw her at her desk across the room), I was randomly assigned.

    The person I was assigned to, it’s fair to say, was the single most unhelpful “customer service” representative I have ever had the pleasure of dealing with.

    Here’s the key points:

    He didn’t know what was happening with my Disability Allowance – only, yes, “the system tells me it’ll stop tomorrow.”
    He suggested I talk to my case manager. When I said I’d been unable to contact her, he said I needed to “make an appointment.” Um, that’s what I thought I was doing right now?
    They have no record of the information I provided on February 25th. It’s simply not there. He suggested I go back to my doctors (more appointments I will have to pay for), and get the information again. He was totally unmoved when I burst into tears because of the stress this will cause me.
    He gave me the Special Food application that was promised and never sent. I have to get my doctor to sign it, even though he wrote to them about the food I need in the Disability Allowance Reapplication Form I gave them last month. (Another $37 appointment). Lucky I’ve been keeping all my grocery receipts.
    The interview ended with him saying blankly “I can’t help you. Ring the call centre and make an appointment” and me walking out in tears.

    So: the bus trip, the pain, the fatigue, the stress and anxiety of an appointment – all for nothing. I still don’t have any information about my Allowance. Well, I do. I know it stops tomorrow – even though I have done everything right, and provided everything as asked for, when asked for.

    I’m tired. I’m so tired of this. I almost want to force myself to go back to work because trying to stay on a benefit is more stressful than working fulltime with a debilitating chronic illness.

    Let’s just say – I won’t be going to those offices alone again.

    Update:

    I guess my presence in the office must have influenced something, because my case manager finally emailed me tonight.

    Verdict: My Disability Allowance is being reduced by $40 per week because, on paper, my medical costs have reduced. At least they dated that decision to today, which means I’m not in debt. They could have dated it from the date of reapplication, in which case I would have owed them. They took great care to point out that this was done for me.

    Don’t ever let anyone say I’m not grateful.

    • weka 24.1

      That’s at least the third time it’s been linked on ts in the past day. Maybe she could be asked if it could go up as a guest post here?

      • thechangeling 24.1.1

        Sorry if i posted it again. I honestly thought it was that damned good to have been a guest post.

        • weka 24.1.1.1

          no worries, I think it’s fine to post it again. It’s an important issue. I was thinking it needed even more attention :-)

    • bad12 24.2

      (1), the most basic of advice, and also given further up in today’s ‘Open Mike’, photo-copy everything right down to the individual supermarket receipts, make WINZ date stamp every one of your copies,(right down to the individual supermarket receipts), Never hand over your copies of such receipts unless you have been given a further set of copies,(which you have checked),

      (2), If you feel you are still entitled to the previous levels of Disability allowance DO make another appointment at your local WINZ office and demand the appeal papers so as to enable you to appeal the decision, DO NOT allow them to fob you off unless you have been given in writing their agreement to resume payments of your full disability allowance,

      At the point where WINZ realize that you are seriously going to take their absurd decisions to the appeal authority they usually capitulate and reinstate the entitlement, sometimes you have to engage in this behavior for two or three years in a row…

  24. wyndham 25

    Wyndham 4.3.2
    14 March 2014 at 1:56 pm
    Hi Harriett. Go back to Kiwiblog Street.

    Hi lprent. The above appeared under my name (wyndham) but with a capital W. There can be confusion here surely ? I’m not happy especially as the message doesn’t seem to be relevant to the thread.

    • freedom 26.1

      an article, six years old no less,

      Now the PM opening a NZ business in NZ, even if that business is owned by the wife of a Minister,
      is not really the same thing as a Minister having a private dinner with the owner of a company her husband is a director of, in the presence of a senior Chinese Government official who has influence over the importation of products supplied by the Minister’s husband’s employer.

      Not the same thing at all.

      The fact that Helen Clark’s visit was published openly in a legal magazine shows it was a public event and is more than likely clearly on record, as it was an opening of a commercial premises.

      Compare this to Collins who despite having vast experience with Cabinet realities, not only decided against all procedural briefs, to consider the dinner not worthy of being recorded in her diaries, the Minister was not forthcoming until pressured by the PM to do so and is now openly stating that she is only allowed to say the words she has been told to say otherwise there may be an issue with China.

      oh yeah Puck, I can see how you think they are comparable :roll: :roll: :roll:

    • felix 26.2

      That’s awesome.

      The Slater child has had what, a week(?) to come up with a defense for his no.1 favourite client and that’s the best he can do.

      Awesome.

  25. Penny Bright 27

    Is NZ Prime Minister taking advice on Minister for Justice Judith Collins’ CORRUPT (in my considered opinion) ‘conflicts of interest’ from his ‘party political Chief of Staff – Wayne Eagleson, instead of (Acting) Secretary of the Cabinet Michael Webster?

    FYI – just posted this:

    New Zealand Prime Minister
    John Key

    ‘Open Letter’ /OIA request to NZ Prime Minister John Key:

    ‘Nothing to hide – nothing to fear’?

    Dear Prime Minister,

    BACKGROUND:

    It has been publicly reported that Justice Minister Judith Collins had dinner with the following persons, whilst in Beijing in October 2013:

    The founder of Oravida, Deyi “Stone” Shi,
    The Managing Director of Oravida, Julia Xu
    A senior Chinese border control official (unnamed)

    (Minister Judith Collins ‘senior advisor’ Margaret Malcolm, was also reported as being present at this dinner.)

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11219241

    On Wednesday, Prime Minister John Key publicly expressed his ire that she had been economical with the truth about meetings with Mr Shi while visiting China last October.

    She revealed that apart from a previously disclosed visit to milk exporter Oravida’s Shanghai offices, she dined with Mr Shi, the company’s managing director Julia Xu, and a senior Chinese border control official while in Beijing.

    Mr Key has accepted Ms Collins’ assurances that Oravida’s business was not discussed at the dinner, but yesterday, New Zealand First leader Winston Peters challenged that in Parliament.

    “Following the botulism scare of last year, is it not a fact that her visit to Oravida was predominantly access and Customs clearance for Oravida products in the Chinese market, and that is the real reason why a People’s Republic of China border official was present at that dinner?”

    Ms Collins once again denied that, and when asked if she would resign if it emerged that she discussed Oravida’s imports to China with the border official, said: “Yes, of course, but I didn’t.”

    Ms Collins said her senior adviser Margaret Malcolm, who was also present at the dinner, would confirm that Oravida’s business was not discussed, which is exactly what Ms Malcolm did when contacted by the Herald.

    Asked whether Ms Xu had ever raised concerns with her about problems getting product into China, Ms Collins said no.

    “They were not affected by the whey powder. They’re the first exporters of fresh milk from New Zealand to China and this was not affected by Fonterra.”

    However, that is at odds with a television interview Ms Xu gave a month before the Beijing dinner.

    Ms Xu said that in the wake of the Fonterra botulism scare her company, which exports milk and other products to China, was facing additional stringent testing requirements from the Chinese border control agency CIQ (China Inspection & Quarantine Services). That added costs and caused delays.

    During the interview on TVNZ’s Q+A Ms Xu also said: “I think the Government, perhaps, could do a little more to engage in more bilateral talks to remove some of the tests or measures the Chinese Government have put on because of this false mistake.”

    Ms Collins refused to identify the Chinese border control official who was at the dinner or say which agency they worked for, and indicated she was being kept on a short leash by the Prime Minister.

    “I think you should talk to the Prime Minister’s office because I am giving you the words that I have been told that I should say, otherwise there could be an issue with China.”

    OFFICIAL INFORMATION ACT REQUEST:

    1) Please provide the name of the above-mentioned ‘senior Chinese border control official’, and the agency for whom he worked.

    2) Please provide the information which confirms that advice on this on-going ‘conflict of interest’ between Justice Minister Judith Collins and the company Oravida, of which her husband David Wong Tung is a Director,

    http://www.business.govt.nz/companies/app/ui/pages/companies/2356805

    is being dealt with, as outlined in the Cabinet Manual, by the Acting Secretary of the Cabinet, Michael Webster, not your Chief of Staff, Wayne Eagleson, from the Office of the Prime Minister:

    __________________________________________________________

    http://cabinetmanual.cabinetoffice.govt.nz/2.50

    Conduct, public duty, and personal interests

    Managing conflicts of interest

    2.69 Ministers must ensure that any conflicts of interest are promptly addressed. The Secretary of the Cabinet (and, where appropriate, the chief executive of the department concerned) should be kept informed of conflicts of interest as they arise.

    In addition, the Prime Minister should be advised in writing of conflicts that are of particular concern or that require ongoing management. If in doubt about the appropriate course of action, Ministers should consult the Prime Minister or the Secretary of the Cabinet.

    3) Please provide the information which confirms that this OFFICIAL INFORMATION ACT REQUEST will be dealt with, in the proper way, by the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet (DPMC) , not your ‘National party political’ Chief of Staff, Wayne Eagleson, as clearly outlined on the DPMC website:

    http://www.dpmc.govt.nz/dpmc

    Administrative support to the Prime Minister

    This includes preparation of replies to Parliamentary questions, and dealing with Official Information Act requests and other correspondence. A totally separate body, the Office of the Prime Minister, also advises the Prime Minister: it is the primary point of responsibility for managing political issues and relationships with other political parties and for providing administrative and media support.

    STRUCTURE

    DPMC formally came into existence on 1 January 1990, as a result of a report which recommended establishing structures to provide two separate streams of advice to the Prime Minister; one, a new government department to supply impartial, high quality advice and support to the Prime Minister and Cabinet (DPMC), and another, a Prime Minister’s Private Office (which is not part of DPMC), to provide personal support and media services, and advice of a party political nature.

    Please be reminded that I have still yet to receive an acknowledgement of receipt of the following ‘Open Letter’ /OIA request which I emailed to you on 6 March 2014.

    (It is now 14 March 2014.)

    6 March 2014

    NZ Prime Minister
    John Key

    OPEN LETTER / OIA request – re: the alleged ‘conflict of interest’ of Minister of Justice Judith Collin’s perceived endorsement of Oravida milk.

    Dear Prime Minister,

    Please provide a copy of the advice purportedly provided by the Cabinet Office, upon which you are relying, which substantiates your following reported statement:

    Prime Minister John Key said the Cabinet Office “unequivocally .. said no there’s no breach.”

    Yours sincerely,

    Penny Bright
    ‘Anti-corruption / anti-privatisation Public Watchdog’

    …………………….

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=11214597

    Collins told Oravida its milk was ‘nice’

    By Claire Trevett

    Penny Bright

    Attendee: 2009 Australian Public Sector Anti-Corruption Conference
    Attendee: 2010 Transparency International Anti-Corruption Conference
    Attendee: 2013 Australian Public Sector Anti-Corruption Conference

  26. karol 28

    John Drinnan on Exceltium’s campaign to get better funding from the Auckland Council for Auckland Rescue Helicopter Trust.

    So Michelle Boag is on the Helicopter Trust – Hooton was running PR for it with some help from WO.

    Drinnan then asks about WO’s funding, given that Slater says Hooton didn’t pay him.

    Then Drinnan gets onto how the Taxpayers Unions attacks on Mojo Mathers may have destroyed its credibility with the MSM. And he ends with this gem:

    Press gallery sources say the union was built largely on Farrar’s integrity, but
    but the Taxpayer’s Union reputation had diminished since the Mathers comments.

    DPF’s integrity?

    Edit: And Drinnan says this about the Taxpayers Union:

    The organisation was founded by David Farrar, who set up the right wing Kiwiblog website, and whose firm Curia carries out research for National. Its board also includes media trainer and PR man John Bishop – a regular on Radio New Zealand’s programme The Panel.

    His son, by the way, is Chris Bishop, a former PR man for tobacco company Phillip Morris who now works as the political adviser in the office of National election strategist Steven Joyce. Another board member is Gabrielle O’Brien, a sales executive with links to National.

  27. Ergo Robertina 29

    Tribute to Tony Benn who has died, in London, aged 88.

  28. geoff 30

    Yes.

  29. Penny Bright 31

    Try reading this for yourselves – straight from the Oravida website so you can see for yourselves all the ‘conflicts of interest’ between the National Party and this company?

    http://www.oravida.com/lwl/newsen/

    New Zealand – ‘perceived’ to be ‘the least corrupt country in the world’?

    What a pile of steaming BULLSH*T!

    Seriously – you couldn’t make this up …………..

    Penny Bright

    ‘Anti-corruption /anti-privatisation Public Watchdog’

  30. xtasy 32

    People in NZ, apart from the few enlightened here, do simply not understand the historic importance of what happened before in similar countries like Chile. It is time to learn, to awake and take note:

    Mr Hartwich of the NZ Initiative or what it is called, in front of that David Cunliffe held a speech to today, is exactly another one of the Chicago Boys that drove Chile under Pinochet!

    It is time for New Zealanders to bloody wake up, to the experiment that is continuing here, to sell more souls by forcing them into slave work, to enrich the stake holders or corporations and private enterprises, making money everywhere, now even in education (charter schools) and also welfare (outsourced services). Are you all happy to “prostitute” yourselves even more than your people have?

    I cannot believe what is going on here, it is a total shocker.

  31. xtasy 33

    Astrud Glberto, one of the older school of the musica popular movement in Brasil, as I understand it, and I listened to some of it in my early years through the nights in bed, late at night, and with that into Brasilian radio stations on shortwave radio.

    That is something younger generations do not understand, but that kind of “exotic” music was almost inaccessible for most in those days, unless you knew special contacts and connections. So we have a more “global” society, but with all available, I still find most are not even exploring anything and rather shut out and walk around with blinkers. What a bloody shame, so much culture out there, all over the continents and places. Endeavour, explore and find.

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    The National Party presents itself as a great manager of the economy, but if the economy is only working for some we really need to question that assertion. Alongside the perpetually elusive surplus, the levels of risk in our economy are… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    4 days ago
  • House prices to a crack $1 million in 17 months
    The average Auckland home is on track to cost $1 million in 17 months’ time if nothing substantial is done to rein in soaring price rises, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “Auckland’s house prices have skyrocketed 63 per cent… ...
    5 days ago
  • Vital support services can’t be left in lurch
    The National Government has big questions to answer about how a provider of services to thousands of vulnerable New Zealanders is set to fold, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. Relationships Aotearoa which provides support and counselling to families, individuals… ...
    5 days ago
  • Treasury and IRD on a capital gains tax
    Both the Treasury and IRD have been advising the National Government on the benefits of a capital gains tax. Documents released to the Green Party under an Official Information Act request show that John Key has been selective with the… ...
    GreensBy Russel Norman MP
    5 days ago
  • Charity legislation needs review
    It is unacceptable that the big corporate based charities claim  millions in annual income tax exemptions, while small community based and operated non-profit organisations  struggle to gain official charity status, Labour’s acting spokesperson for the Voluntary and Community Sector Louisa… ...
    5 days ago
  • John’s panic-Key response to housing crisis
    John Key needs to tell New Zealanders what caused his sudden change of heart that led to the Government’s scrambled and last-minute housing measures, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “The Prime Minister’s sudden rush of blood to his head followed… ...
    5 days ago
  • Keep our Assets Christchurch Campaign: An update
    I recently presented my submission to keep Christchurch Council assets at the Christchurch City Council’s public hearings on its 10 year plan on 13 May. The hearings are live-streamed and recorded so you can watch them on www.ccc.govt.nz. The Council’s… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    6 days ago
  • John Key finally admits there’s a housing crisis
    John Key’s weak measures to rein in the astronomical profits property speculators are making are an admission – finally – that there is a housing crisis, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “But yet again National is tinkering with the housing… ...
    6 days ago
  • Government stifles voices in CYFs review
    The Government’s exclusion of the Māori Women’s Welfare League in a panel on the future of CYFs is a cynical ploy to stifle views, says Labour’s Māori Development Spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta. “It's unbelievable that a significant review on the future… ...
    1 week ago
  • Speech to the Otago Chamber of Commerce
    Thank you very much for the opportunity to be here today. It’s a pleasure as always to be back in the town that raised me. Growing up in St Kilda meant that there was one thing that was a big… ...
    1 week ago
  • Key can’t just be Prime Minister for Parnell
    John Key must show New Zealanders in next week’s Budget that he is more than the Prime Minister for Parnell, and is also the Prime Minister for Pine Hill, Putararu and Palmerston North, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. In… ...
    1 week ago
  • Stop the conversions
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    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    1 week ago
  • More regional jobs go in Corrections reshape
    News that 194 Corrections staff are to lose their jobs will have ramifications not only for them and their families but for the wider community, Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. Prison units at Waikeria, Tongariro and Rimutaka face closure… ...
    1 week ago
  • Government’s climate meetings off to a bumpy start
    On Wednesday, I attended a hui and an evening meeting that the Government had organised in Nelson as part of its climate change consultation tour, to support the Nelson community telling the Government to take meaningful action on climate change.… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    1 week ago
  • Taxpayers the only ones left feeling blue
    Ministry of Social Development bosses could have saved themselves thousands of dollars in consultants’ fees by providing staff with rose-tinted spectacles, Labour’s State Services spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. A report out today reveals the Ministry is spending over half a… ...
    1 week ago
  • Why are the regions still facing restrictions?
    Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford is questioning why the regions should continue to be saddled with LVR lending restrictions announced by the Reserve Bank today. “Labour has been calling for the regions to be exempted from LVRs for the best… ...
    1 week ago
  • The high costs of weak environmental regulation
    Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere is described on the Department of Conservation website as “Canterbury’s largest and New Zealand’s fifth largest [lake], and an internationally important wildlife area.” But the lake is also polluted by nutrients leaching from farms in the catchment.… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    1 week ago
  • Submissions to Wellington City Council on their Gambling Venues Policy
    Every three years Councils across the country are required to check that their gambling venue policies are still fit for purpose and they can choose to consult on their policy if they are thinking of making changes. Councils don’t have… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    1 week ago
  • Reserve Bank action shows Govt out of touch and out of ideas
    The Reserve Bank’s unprecedented measures today show it understands the serious risks of the overheating housing market – in complete contrast to John Key’s refusal to acknowledge the crisis, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “The Bank is right to… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Send us your snaps: 25 Years of the Green Party
    This year we've hit a milestone. We're turning 25.To help celebrate a quarter of a century, please send us your photos from the last 25 years of the Green Party Aotearoa New Zealand! Note: Photos must be jpg, gif or… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • 25 Years of the Green Party
    This year the Green Party sends 25. To help us celebrate a quarter of a century please send us you photos of 25 years of the Green Party!Photos must be jpg,gif or png and smaller than 2MB. If you are… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Bay growth plan too little too late
    Today’s Bay of Plenty growth study from MBIE is another example of Government spin - lots of talk but little action, says Labour’s Regional Development spokesperson David Cunliffe.  “This is a region that desperately needs to develop the downstream processing… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government bows to ACC pressure
     The Government has finally buckled to pressure from Labour and the New Zealand public in making a half billion dollar cut to ACC levies, but the full benefits are two years away,” says Opposition Leader Andrew Little.  “$500 million over… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • False figures cloud Auckland transport facts
    The Prime Minister should apologise and issue a correction after both he and Transport Minister Simon Bridges have been caught out misrepresenting facts on Auckland’s transport spending, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. "Both John Key and Simon Bridges have… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Govt books confirm National can’t post surplus
    The last publication of the Government’s books before the budget shows National will break its promise of seven years and two election campaigns and fail to get the books in order, says Labour’s Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson. “The Government is… ...
    2 weeks ago

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