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The Standard

Open mike 15/03/2013

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, March 15th, 2013 - 87 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…

87 comments on “Open mike 15/03/2013”

  1. Jenny 1

    Fonterra Cooks the Climate

    Fonterra is the third biggest single consumer of coal after Huntly Power Station and Glenbrook Steel Mill. (Dairy industry as a whole, may consume more than Glenbrook making Dairying number 2. Unfortunately figures for the total consumption of coal by the total Dairy Industry are hard to come by).

    Trend setter, Fonterra plans to dig a brand new open cast coal mine, just south of Auckland.

    Though having owned the land for nearly 20 years, Fonterra were unable to mine it for it’s known coal reserves. I surmise that Fonterra were unable, or unwilling to meet the strict Auckland Regional compliance regulations.

    But it seems, there is more than one way to skin a cat. (or a climate).

    In the creation of the Super City the Southern Auckland boundary which contained Mangatangi, (including the Mangatangi reservoir, the biggest in the country, providing the bulk of Auckland’s drinking water), was moved North.

    Who knew?

    Mangatangi, including the Mangatangi Reservoir, the Upper Mangatawhiri Reservoir and the proposed mine, are all now, in the newly created borough of North East Waikato, part of the Waikato Region where consents are easier to obtain, and compliance regulations far looser than under Auckland Regional governance.

    The prevailing winds are from the West, the Mangatangi Reservoir, in particular, is almost directly down wind of the open cast mine. Coal dust is notorious for being contaminated with heavy metal residues.

    Are the local residents of Mangatangi/Mangatawhiri concerned?

    Yes, they are.

    Should you be too?

    Yes you should.

    Anti-climate change pressure group Auckland Coal Action has teamed up with local residents of Mangatangi and Mangatawhiri to oppose Fonterra’s plans for the new open cast coal mine at Mangatangi.

    They are calling for as many people as possible to make submissions to the Waikato Regional Council.

    You can help.

    Details on how to make a submission are here:

    http://aucklandcoalaction.org/2013/02/28/submissions-on-proposed-new-coal-mine-at-mangatangimangatawhiri/

    Numbers Count.

    If you make a submission, ask for the right to speak to it.

    Remember; NUMBERS COUNT!

    Protect Auckland’s drinking water from coal dust contamination!

    Become a climate change hero!

    Be able to look your grandchildren in the eye!

    Fill in a submission form!

    Address the council!

    This is your chance!

    Have your say!

    • “But it seems, there is more than one way to skin a cat. (or a climate).”

      Australian & New Zealand Geo-Engineering Protest will be Co-ordinating a protest throughout Australia & New Zealand – Saturday 20th April

      https://www.facebook.com/AustralianGeoengineeringProtest

      • muzza 1.1.1

        VERY GOOD!

        And here is the climate change mafia scam in action: This is MUST READ!


        For people like Richard Sandor and former Vice-President Al Gore the focus on “green politics” represented the culmination of years of planning and a giant step towards a massive payday.

        With a big helping hand from then Illinois State Senator Barack Obama, Sandor’s brainchild, The Chicago Climate Exchange, opened for business in 2003 billing itself as “North America’s only cap-and-trade system for greenhouse gases…

        ” In other words, the facilitator for a scheme not quite hatched. Sandor, a long-time economist turned environmentalist shared his vision during a 1990 interview with the Wall Street Journal, saying,

        “Air and water are no longer the free goods that economics once assumed. They must be redefined as property rights so that they can be efficiently allocated.” The statement didn’t get a lot of attention back then but today seems prophetic. Sandor claims his idea of efficient allocation, also known as carbon trading, will develop into a $10 trillion industry.</B

        Read on!

        • bad12 1.1.1.1

          Who would have thunk it, where there’s a good rort involving billions of dollars to be made in a ‘money for nothing scam’ the name Goldman Saches, (sacks of gold man), is to be found wallowing knee deep in the crimes of the century,

          That article is a good read and encapsulates quite neatly my total and ongoing opposition to such cap’n’trade scams among them the Kyoto Accord and the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scam which if fully implemented on it’s proposed world-wide scale would have knee-capped our economy and society, (leaving only the money printers as the winners),

          There can in my opinion be only one way forward for New Zealand vis a vis the CO2 issue and that is for a dedicated Carbon Tax to be imposed and a withdrawal from such rorts as cap’n’trade scams,

          Such a tax would need be used to plant forests of trees and for research and development of a means by which CO2 can be extracted from the atmosphere and sequestered on an industrial scale,

          Interestingly, Solid Energy, up with the play, until it’s financial demise, had invested with an Australian firm in exploring the very question of the capture and removal from the atmosphere of industrial amounts of CO2,

          i will hunt out a link to the Australian research organization later, but, when you read the names in the article you have provided in your link you have to then wonder if there is not far far more going on within the financial kneecapping of the States miner Solid Energy than simply cynical revenue gathering from this Slippery National Government,

          i had been forming the opinion that Solid energy had been effectively ‘crushed’ because oif it’s moves into both bio-diesel and it’s planned production of diesel from lignite coal, however, the multi-billion dollar scams which are cap’n’trade schemes would in effect become dead ducks IF the means of removing CO2 from the atmosphere on an industrial scale were found and shown to be economic…

    • Janice 1.2

      Thanks, now it is clear why Rodney insisted on taking Auckland’s water dams from the super shitty despite hard lobbying. Obviously someone was lobbying harder.

  2. AsleepWhileWalking 2

    Welfare changes – UK version, with a post on FB with what is about to happen over there:

    Hi
    I work within the dwp so please don’t use my name as it could cost me my job.
    The dwp are rolling out nationally an initiative to work with 120k families whose lives are blighted by joblessness, single parents, crime and truancy. We have specially trained personnel to work closely with them to break these harmful trends and integrate them into society, improve their lives and make working the preferred options.
    However what has not been released and is being kept hush hush is that these families are to achieve certain targets working with our staff and stakeholders, professional organisations which have been hand picked to get the desired results as expediently as possible. The department is investing a great deal of resources into this project and participants are to be under no illusions that equal investment and commitment are required from them. This will not be an option where families can choose not to be involved in…..if they refuse to participate, their benefits will be stripped under sanctions. If after a period of 26 weeks results are not forthcoming and improvements tangible and sustained all benefits will be withdrawn. The adults will either have to work in any position that can be found and will be paid via fuel food and basic clothing. If the children continue to truant and participate in anti social behaviour those under 13 will be taken into
    care and those over 13 will be expected to work under the same terms as their parents with tutors twice weekly to ensure a basic level of literacy and numeracy. They will not be living with their parents but in dormitory accommodation.
    Tenders have been received and a short list drawn up for the lots as with pip. Fore runners are G4S, Deloittes, Veolia, Capita and Serco
    Myself and many other staff are horrified but are powerless to stop this. The govt are saying they will save more on what they cut on the benefits including DLA for the people in these families getting high rates for anger and behavioural problems, housing benefits and benefits for babies and children. Any of the parents having children throughout or once they’ve failed the initiative will be taken into the care of local authorities. The families will be allowed supervised access at contact centres as deemed acceptable by the people overseeing the project and the handlers for the individual families.
    This is all underway and being arranged as we speak. The govt see these families as an absolute blight on society and one way or another are determined to get rid of them in any way they can. Their view is that support and money haven’t helped, ASBO’s are a joke and seen as a badge of honour and children whether in these families or other families on low incomes are a drain on resources and they believe if they stop paying then the children will stop being born and those already here will have to either conform or to be excluded and earn their keep. To get disability allowance for children is going to be nigh on impossible which is why the reforms haven’t targeted them, new plans are underway as the perception is that ALL children need care and parents know this before having them therefore there are only very rare circumstances where additional support is justifiable.

    • karol 2.1

      What madness is this? As well as being a kind of eugenics, it’ll do nought for the society as a whole. Meanwhile, an increasing proportion of young Brits are slipping into poverty:

      Within two years, almost 7.1m of the nation’s 13m youngsters will be in homes with incomes judged to be less than the minimum necessary for a decent standard of living, according to a new report.

      The figures, which emerged a week ahead of George Osborne’s Budget, suggest that an unwanted legacy of the Coalition’s squeeze on spending will be to leave more children living close to poverty.

    • marsman 2.2

      And meanwhile John Key’s cum Lord Asshcroft, who pays no income tax in England but wants to have a say in it’s draconian rule, is rubbing his grubby hands with glee. Riots? No doubt the ‘good’ lord has donated bullet proof vests to the UK Police force as he has done in NZ where he is obviously trying to have a similar influence as well. Asshcroft and his ilk, e.g Douglas Myers, are a nasty stain on this earth.

      • marsman 2.2.1

        And meanwhile John Key’s cum Lord Asshcroft, who pays no income tax in England but wants to have a say in it’s draconian rule, is rubbing his grubby hands with glee. Riots? No doubt the ‘good’ lord has donated bullet proof vests to the UK Police force as he has done in NZ where he is obviously trying to have a similar influence as well. Asshcroft and his ilk, e.g Douglas Myers, are a nasty stain on this earth.

        • marsman 2.2.1.1

          ooops Something went wrong. Meant to put a belated correction to my above post and it popped up again.
          John Key.s CHUM is what I meant to write. Yes, have just had an eye-test and new glasses are on their way.

    • johnm 2.3

      Hi asleepwhilewalking

      Here’s another dispatch from the U$K’s class war. Artist Taxi Driver.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cL-VtIO-ZPk&list=UUGThM-ZZBba1Zl9rU-XeR-A

      The U$K has descended to new depths of privatisation madness. John Yankee wants us to get stuffed the same way, it’s coming! :-(

      • johnm 2.3.1

        Another epic rant from the Artist taxi driver wherein he covers quite a bit of territory! :-( :-)

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r5AUB2y55HQ

        As karol notes above now that North Sea Oil is going going gone. The U$K is getting to be a lot poorer, this has been grossely inflamed by the use of Public Money to bail out the feckless casino banks with the same money being extracted from those already at the bottom, austerity (In plain language a 2 trillion pound transfer of wealth from the public sector to the ailing rich to support their scum bag share market as well). John Yankee’s Chum Cameron has bailed out his bankster mates and is now privatising (Including sneak privatisation of the NHS) everything in sight to cover his wretched bum. As in Yank land: Main Street is screwed but Wall Street is rescued with their obscene bonuses.
        This is the NeoLiberal nightmare these bankster chum scumbag privatisation screwups have inflicted on the U$K and John Yankee’s doing it here with the privatisation of our power companies and the Solid Energy screw up, so they can flog it off. :-(

    • aerobubble 2.4

      Sounds like they are attacking the symptoms not the causes of inter-generational poverty. From badly designed council estates, to onerous taxation on the poorest (VAT), to needing a degree to understand eligibility

      (and even then), and if successful, the numbers of families needing the new intervention will jump as the poor (as businesses sack those getting by marginally and hire the new now state rebranded citizens who have been produced by the program).

      That’s the problem, its the former minister for the environment who couldn’t understand that mines need mine inspectors, and reserves do have benefits outside of the boundaries to fish levels, because it makes the government look mean and hard headed.

      Look I agree that the state has a duty of care to citizens to not create inter-generational poverty, but the idea that sanctions on the citizens when its the states fault the jobs aren’t there, the schools are shit, the housing estates degrade and depress, remove choice… …its just more of the same IMHO, more taking away choice, control, enforcing poor government decisions, and ignoring the reality that government can’t sweep under the carpet the problem. Bad government does not justify more bad government.

    • xtasy 2.5

      Shocking and revealing – just one more step closer to “concentration camps” for the “anti-social”, considered to be a “burden” on society.

      And as we know, Bennett and her MSD brigades just love the ideology about the so-called “bio psycho social model”, which has been perverted by the ones like Prof. Mansel Aylward, former Chief Medical Officer at DWP, and others he mentored or shares his madness about “work ability” with.

      Dr David Bratt, Principal Health Advisor for MSD and WINZ is working right now, to bring in policies from the UK, and once the sick and disabled are assessed and considered “fit” for whatever (using ATOS type outsourced assessors), they will be put into work. Once that has been implemented, NZ will endeavour to follow this kind of stuff just mentioned here.

      S*** Heil Paula, Bill and John!

  3. Hecate 3

    Re. Bergoglio, aka Francis I.

    “In another episode, Bergoglio has been accused of ignoring the pleas for help from a family that lost five of its members to the junta, including a young woman who was five months pregnant before she was kidnapped and killed in 1977. Bergoglio allegedly assigned a junior colleague to the case, who was subsequently given a note from a colonel explaining that the young woman had given birth while in detention and that the baby had been given to an “important” family. Despite his involvement in this case, Bergoglio testified in 2010 that he did not know about stolen babies until after the fall of the dictatorship.”

    http://www.countercurrents.org/oconnor140313.htm

  4. muzza 4

    Only Wall Street Wins in Detroit Crisis Reaping $474 Million Fee

    The only winners in the financial crisis that brought Detroit to the brink of state takeover are Wall Street bankers who reaped more than $474 million from a city too poor to keep street lights working.

    The city started borrowing to plug budget holes in 2005 under former Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, who was convicted this week on corruption charges. That year, it issued $1.4 billion in securities to fund pension payments. Last year, it added $129.5 million in debt, 9.3 percent of its general-fund budget, in part to repay loans taken to service other bonds.

    The debt sales cost Detroit $474 million, including underwriting expenses, bond-insurance premiums and fees for wrong-way bets on swaps, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That almost equals the city’s 2013 budget for police and fire protection.

    The largest part is $350 million owed for derivatives meant to lower borrowing costs on variable-rate debt.

    Couldn’t happen here of course, could it /sarc!

    • vto 4.1

      It’s almost time for simple outright refusal to deal with banks and finance types. Just don’t deal with them. From personal (use cash – still a requirement to be paid in cash if an employee wishes) to the big stuff. For example, the govt does not need to pay $120,000,000 to investment bankers to sell Mighty River Power, it could do it itself.

      • muzza 4.1.1

        As those given the elected responsibility, fail to protect the vulnerable people of NZ we continue to live in a farce of so called democracy.

        As the failure to address the causes of the *GFC* continues, and there is no indication that it will be halted, the scams, rip offs, poverty, inequality and financially/socially genocidal decisions/results will amplify dramatically, as we are seeing around the world, and in NZ.

        We are now into the 6th year of the *GFC*, and structurally, there has not been any changes to how the world’s financial/banking systems function, nor has there been any prosecutions of note at the highest levels of banking, which is the true indicator of the power the owners of the world’s financial systems wield!

        Have a read of my link above at 1.1.1, to get a feel for the power/influence, which the directors of our world seek to crush the rest of us under.

        We are being crushed, and yet hardly a whimper – It must be working nicely for a heap of people, to remain this quiet in NZ!

        Tick Tock

  5. Like beneficiaries are meat and drink to tories, they are the Achilles heel of the left.

    I’m quite certain that it’s not only the right wing of the nat’s voter base that think all unemployed people are work shy scum bags, but large chunks of middle NZ buy into the stereotype.
    The solution is in the hands of Labour and the Green’s to offer the alternative to the status quo, if they’re brave, competent and strategically savvy enough to do so.

    We all know that some people on benefits rort the system, fact. These people tarnish the name of those making use of the safety net. Rule one, don’t hand ammo to the enemy unless they’re blanks.
    Target these people, not with poverty penalties, but using the weapons long championed by the socially conscious – Education, training and support to equality. When the stick clearly doesn’t work, wave the ‘effing carrot.
    There’s a job for everyone, even those that don’t want one. We’re in this sinking ship together, bailing together is better than sinking alone.

    People on invalidity benefits, those people who suffer enough already, should never have to worry about money. A clear policy statement should read ‘you want anything, let us know. Otherwise just sit back and take it easy, we got your backs.’

    People on sickness benefits, another target of this government, should also be sent a clear message from the opposition. They should be told that if your doctor says you can’t work at the moment, no worries, you won’t lose your house or not be able to eat every day because of illness. We’re the caring left, get better and we’ll help you back into work when the doctors say you’re ready. The state should also provide free access to counselling and other services if needed.

    Any work organised by winz should be paid at the national minimum wage.

    Mend the net and cast it wide.

  6. Draco T Bastard 6

    Kiwis take more than a fair share

    We’re known for being clean and green, but Kiwis are still eating up at least twice their fair share of the planet when it comes to sustainability.

    Two papers released today by the Royal Society of New Zealand explore how many people the country could support sustainably – and how comfortably.

    They found that if the entire world was to live like a New Zealander, we would require more than two planets to sustain us.

    What a surprise, we’re not living sustainably.

    Some estimates had put the number as high as five.

    And those estimates are probably correct as those estimates are usually based around everyone living as the USians do. Although the US are slightly less than 5% of the population they use about 25% of the resources.

    • TheContrarian 6.1

      “They found that if the entire world was to live like a New Zealander, we would require more than two planets to sustain us.”

      I think that would apply to any western country (I’d wager to live like the yanks we’d need three planets)

      • Draco T Bastard 6.1.1

        Yep, pretty much. Why do you think I’ve come to the conclusion that we can’t afford the middle class? We can probably afford the median class but I doubt that a lot of people want to hear that.

  7. prism 7

    Looking at the Listener in the supermarket the features sounded like standard Readers Digest fare. Mostly light, magazine, time-filling reading – okay for the fish and chip shop and the determinedly ignorant.
    nz Listener recent main features
    The Lake of Shame about pollution (worthy topic)
    but then, for the anxious self-involved middle class (woman?) –
    Beating your inner critic
    Change of fortune (money etc)
    Secrets of colour
    Can Women Succeed & Still Be Liked? March23-29
    and from December last –
    Can science cure baldness?
    Diagnosis danger
    (Many people are receiving medical treatments that are doing them more harm than good – and are completely unaware of it.)

    • Rogue Trooper 7.1

      compared to the ‘net, most modern magazines are just wastage, outta date, and outta context, and advertising people outta their own minds, oh well…

    • @ Dave Kennedy (bsprout)
      Hey great post! I think you might be really onto something here.
      and LOL “The RMA roadshow”
      …the whole “governing” shebang in NZ is seeming like more like a circus, increasingly so each day,… and each day one thinks it couldn’t resemble a circus more….and then the next day dawns…and one is proven wrong….

      sigh

    • Rogue Trooper 8.2

      fantasy indeed

  8. xtasy 9

    Disappointing results of an Official Information Act request made to MSD in late Oct. 2012:

    Question(s) and Answers (summarised):

    Q 1). Information in detail about the total number of referrals made by WINZ case managers and/or regional health and disability advisory staff – of sickness benefit (SB) and invalid’s benefit (IB) recipients/applicants – to be examined under sections 44 (1) and 54B (3) of the Social Security Act 1964 by a “designated doctor” – per year from 2006 up until now, for all administrative regions in NZ.

    Answer: “The Ministry does not centrally record the number of benefit applications that have been referred to a designated doctor that have not subsequently been endorsed by a designated doctor. Rather this information is held on individual client files. Therefore this part of your question is refused under section 18 (f) of the O.I.A..”

    Q 2). Information in detail about the total number of appeals made according to section 53A (1) (b) and (ba) of the Social Security Act 1964 – against decisions made by case managers and/or other staff members, following (and relying on) recommendations by regional health and disability advisory staff, upon them receiving reports and recommendations from medical practitioners or psychologists, who conducted medical examinations according to sections 44 (1) and 54B (3) of the Social Security Act 1964. This is for appeal made by IB and SB recipients or applicants per year from 2006 up until now, for all administered regions in NZ.
    Q 3). Information in detail about the total costs for preparing, conducting and finalising appeals brought under section 53A of the Social Security Act 1964 – per year from 2006 up until now, for all administrative regions within NZ.
    Q 4). Information in detail – about the numbers of decisions by MSD and Work and Income staff upheld and/or overturned by Medical Appeal Board panels hearing appeals – per year from 2006 up until now, for all administrative regions within NZ.

    Answer(s) (2 to 4 here have been answered in summary, but indeed more questions were asked in detail and have thus been summarised):
    “The Ministry is reviewing the way in which M.A.B. data is centrally reported and monitored, this is because the Ministry has only recently developed a system that records the total number of M.A.B. appeals. Information prior to April 2011, detailed information is not able to be obtained as the information is captured on individual client files where it is most needed. As such this information is again unable to be provided under to section 18 (f) of the Act.”

    “A number of W+I staff who are involved in preparing information for the M.A.B. also perform a wide variety of other tasks within the Ministry. For this reason I am not able to answer your questions regarding the costs for preparing for a M.A.B. hearing. Section 18 (g) allows me to refuse this part of your request…”

    A table is provided to list costs for M.A.B. hearings expenses directly (not including preparation and organisation costs for WINZ):
    2005/2006 $ 129,569
    2006/2007 $ 135,872
    2007/2008 $ 91,665
    2008/2009 $ 196,412
    2009/2010 $ 610,092
    2010/2011 $ 690,646
    2011/2012 $ 449,582

    Q 5). Information about the total expenses paid to –
    a) “designated doctors”;
    b) “host” or “usual” doctors –
    for conducting examinations, completing designated doctor reports and making recommendations to MSD and/or WINZ staff – or for preparing and providing “host” or “usual doctor reports”, per year from 2006 until now, for all administrative regions in New Zealand.

    Answer (summarised): Only a table of total costs per year for designated and host doctor expenses was provided. There was a change under the last Labour government (“Working NZ”), where IB recipients/applicants no longer needed to be examined or re-examined – unless there were contradicting or unclear reports on conditions, ability to work, etc. from the client and her/his doctor:

    Fin. Year Design. Doctors Host Doctor
    2005/2006 $ 2,845,371 $ 416,168
    2006/2007 $ 2,957,330 $ 429,948
    2007/2008 $ 1,161,185 $ 156,478
    2008/2009 $ 449,176 $ 58,878
    2009/2010 $ 580,381 $ 92,274
    2010/2011 $ 451,785 $ 71,477
    2011/2012 $ 413,854 $ 70,644

    Q 6). A complete list including all names, professional or other titles, positions and medical or health related qualifications, of those persons, who were – besides of Principal Health Advisor for the Ministry of Social Development, Dr David Bratt conducting “designated doctor training” from 2008.

    Answer (summarised): Besides of Dr Bratt apparently only Dr David Rankin (Sen. Advisor in the Ministry, MBChB, Uni Otago) was involved in “training” designated doctors in 2008.

    Q 7). The complete lists of all “training sessions” held all over NZ, for the purpose of training medical practitioners or other health professionals used as “designated doctors” by WINZ for medical examinations, for the years from 2008 up to the most recent time. And also requested was a complete list of the essential, detailed training materials and presentations commonly used during training of “designated doctors” (by Dr David Bratt or other staff of MSD) since such training was commenced during the course of 2008.

    Answer: NO list for training sessions was provided, and only a mention was made that „training“ was done all over NZ between August and October 2008. Training material (incl. 7 “scenarios”) have been listed, but don’t include PDF or PowerPoint presentations, which were according to other sources being used. So there is some contradiction about the whole list of training material that was being used. No material was provided as examples! It appears from the answer that direct Designated Doctor training during joint training sessions was only done in 2008, but that other training is continuing on a one to one and ad hoc basis.

    Q 8). A summary list with the actual sundry costs, expenses, fees paid for “designated doctor training”:

    Answer: “The amount paid by W+I for Designated Doctors training sessions was $ 26,710 in 2008/09 and $ 533 during the 2009/10 financial year. These expenses related to appointment fees in order to meet with Designated Doctors.” ”I am unable to provide a further break down of actual sundry costs, expenses and fees paid for the Designated Doctors training as this information is not held in further detail by the Ministry. Section 18 (g) of the O.I.A. allows me to withhold this part of your request…”

    Q 9). Copies of ALL reports (i.e. ministerial, at policy and executive planning level, at the overseeing departmental management level, and at the levels of Principal Health and Disability Advisor positions – and below) that were prepared, authorised, released, confirmed and acted upon – for the preparation, implementation, anticipated outcomes of “designated doctor training” sessions, managed by Dr David Bratt as Principal Health Advisor, or any other person in charge of such training, from 2006 to the present day. Also included should be any reports relating to suggested and/ or implemented changes and termination of such training.

    Answer: “The training package and subsequent material is available on the Ministry’s website. I am withholding the copies of all reports that were prepared as part of the Designated Doctor training under section 18 (f) of the Act as it was part of the wider Working NZ training package that the Ministry developed between 2006 to 2008.”

    To collate the information would require staff to search through a large amount of documents to collate and assess the specific documents in scope of the request. I do not consider this an appropriate use of staff time and resources.”

    (Note: All I’ve ever been able to find on the Ministry’s website is the “Guide for Designated Doctors”!)

    Q 10). A detailed list displaying the individual annual before tax salaries for the following senior and key-role staff of the Ministry of Social Development paid through the “public purse”:
    a) Dr David Bratt, Principal Health Advisor for the MSD;
    b) Anne Hawker, Principal Disability Advisor for the MSD;
    c) the salaries paid to the 13 (or so) Regional Health Advisors in each Regional Office of MSD;
    d) the salaries paid to the 13 (or so) Regional Disability Advisors in each Regional Office of MSD;
    e) the salaries paid to the Health and Disability Coordinators in Regional Offices of MSD;
    f) the individual salaries of Social Welfare Board members: Paula Rebstock, Ian McPherson, Kathryn McPherson, Andrew Body, Reg Barrett and Debbie Packer.

    Answer:
    “I can advise that the remuneration range for regional health and disability advisors is $ 57,300 and 78,807 per annum, and for the health and disability coordinators the range is between $ 42,491 and $ 58,425, per annum as at December 2012.” “Salaries of the Principal Health and Disability Advisors have been withheld under section (9) (2) (a) “to protect their privacy”.

    The six ‘Work and Income Board’ members receive $ 26,500 each per annum, but the chairperson receives $ 58,500 per annum (which is of course besides of other incomes the persons receive for other positions they hold outside the MSD).

    So much information is being withheld for various reasons, but re question 9 above, there is information I and others have obtained that give sufficient insight into how designated doctor training was planned, and who was behind it all, under the last Labour led government!

    (Questions numbered above are summarised from a larger number of questions in the original request!) **SORRY I KNOW THIS IS LONG, BUT I FEEL TOO UNSURE ABOUT HOW TO PROVIDE A PROPER SEPARATE POST.**

  9. Pete 10

    The Royal Society of New Zealand has released two interesting papers on sustainable development in New Zealand. One looks at the carrying capcity – what we can sustainably produce to continue living in a way we have become accustomed. The second looks at the constraints on NZ’s sustainable well-being. Worth a look.

    • Rosie 10.1

      Thanks for posting those papers Pete. Looking forward to reading them when there is a chance.

    • Rogue Trooper 10.2

      on “Constraints”-summary “however, often the rate of improvement in both resource use and resource conservation is inadequate”

  10. Pascal's bookie 11

    Did Ken Ring predict this drought? (no)

    • vto 11.1

      Perhaps because it is not actually a drought? It is only drought relative to the state of the land, courtesy of us, namely thin grassland instead of thick deep bush.

      • Pascal's bookie 11.1.1

        Ring predicts rain, often when it doesn’t.

        • vto 11.1.1.1

          Yep, his weather predictions aren’t that great but some people swear by them.

          • Daveosaurus 11.1.1.1.1

            If there was anything to Ring’s woo-woo bullshit he wouldn’t be trying to make money by selling his predictions; he’d be keeping very quiet and raking it in by gambling on Lotto or on the stock market.

            • felixviper 11.1.1.1.1.1

              That’s by no means necessarily so. It depends on what it is that motivates him, among a number of other factors.

  11. Sanctuary 12

    I am currently watching the sun set over the high Andes. However, life is not all hot Sourh American girls and pisco sours at dusk. Seeing the impact of mining in the Atacama is really thought provoking. On the one hand, you’ve got real bone ride boom towns like Calama, with obvious prosperity and new wealth speinging up everywhere. On the other hand, the impact of mining for lithium is awesome, on a scale that matches the gigantic geography up here. Maybe, in this vast and desolate landscape mining is OK. But it is just so ugly. I can’t anything but toy mining being appropriate in NZ.

  12. Draco T Bastard 13

    Entire North Island drought declared

    Tararua farmer Garth Coleman said this week a drought declaration would give rural communities a boost.

    “It’s good for our morale that the rest of the country recognises we are in a difficult situation.

    What are the chances this same person would be down the pub blaming beneficiaries for being unemployed?

    • vto 13.1

      Yes, you highlight a pertinent point.

      The farming sector has been thumbing its nose at certain other sectors of the community for some time. For example, the Canterbury farming community and its theft of water resources. When that community then expects something from the community that it has shat on it is human nature is to tell the shitter to get f….d.

      Another example sits with Federated Farmers itself. It last leader Don Nicholson was one of the most obnoxious (not to mention plain ignorant) people to have held an office of that type. Don Nicholson penned an article called “Real New Zealanders” in which he called farmers and export dollar earners the real New Zealanders and everyone else less worthy.

      Quite frankly both of those examples (plus the one you mention DtB) illustrate the view that the rural sector has of those other sectors, and that is not a pleasant view. In fact it is appalling on several fronts.

      In light of that, for me, they are on their own.

      • RedBaronCV 13.1.1

        yep Don Nicholson was awful. To their credit the farmers heaved him out and put in an organic? beef farmer.
        I’d hate to judge all farmers by Nicholson. Many are just quietly getting on with trying to farm well but all the media interview, are the vocal right wing majority I suspect. Bit like any other issue. Personally , I’d like to see them take more interest in their Nact representatives. Frankly, I think they are voting for a brand that is rapidly parting company with their interests.

    • Rosie 13.2

      “What are the chances this same person would be down the pub blaming beneficiaries for being unemployed?”

      Thats exactly what I thought when I read that article. I empathise with their challenges and agree that they should receive the equivalent of an unemployment benefit. However when they do receive their funds I doubt that they will feel equivalent to anyone else who is in the same position of being without income due to no fault of their own. Something about the deserving Vs. the non deserving perhaps? I’m more concerned for the welfare of the animals, who already live a miserable existance as an industrial animal. This drought only compounds their suffering.

      In the meantime here in Wgtn we go to a full outdoor water ban tomorrow. Haven’t experienced anything like it since that drought in Akld back in the early nineties.

      • bad12 13.2.1

        Yes while not wishing to kick the farmers while they are down the current little dry spell they call a drought should be a lesson to them on a number of levels,

        The first as already discussed above is that the farming communities should consider the options that they now have in the face of this ‘drought’ which are very few and then consider the options of the jobless in the face of this current ‘jobs drought’ and the continual ‘droughts in employment’ our economy cycles in and out of,

        Secondly, SURPRISE surprise it looks like climate change might have given the dairy farmers a slight reminder, rudely interrupting the milk and money flow and hopefully pointing out to the Farmers that boom bust is on the cards for a dairy industry that has engaged in unplanned overt expansion for the past 20 years and that the writing on the climate wall says that in the coming 20 years such unplanned for expansion will cost us all dearly,

        Here’s one point of stupidity,theres enough water falls in the city of Auckland to irrigate every farm in the Waikato through the most severe droughts even if those droughts occurred annually,

        There was one hell of a haste to run a pipeline from the Waikato River to take water to Auckland but no thought given to building catchment dams in the Waikato to allow another pipeline to take excess rainfall for irrigation to the Waikato…

    • vto 14.1

      Just as well they’ve got big money printing machines eh.

      • RedBaronCV 14.1.1

        yep Don Nicholson was awful. To their credit the farmers heaved him out and put in an organic? beef farmer.
        I’d hate to judge all farmers by Nicholson. Many are just quietly getting on with trying to farm well but all the media interview, are the vocal right wing majority I suspect. Bit like any other issue. Personally , I’d like to see them take more interest in their Nact representatives. Frankly, I think they are voting for a brand that is rapidly parting company with their interests.

  13. Draco T Bastard 15

    Hey, Labour and all other idiots that want to raise the age of retirement, read this?

    “People who are shorter-lived tend to make less, which means that if you raise the retirement age, low-income populations would be subsidising the lives of higher-income people,” said Maya Rockeymoore, president and chief executive of Global Policy Solutions, a public policy consultancy. “Whenever I hear a policymaker say people are living longer as a justification for raising the retirement age, I immediately think they don’t understand the research or, worse, they are willfully ignoring what the data say.”

    Yeah, raising the retirement age is regressive – effectively taxing the poor to pay the rich.

    • Colonial Viper 15.1

      Go Labour! Go Labour ! Go Labour!

    • bad12 15.2

      That’s why the NZ Treasury, a well known nest of right wing nutters is so in favor of the policy of raising the retirement age,

      What NZ Labour is doing in that mix is anyone’s guess…

      • Draco T Bastard 15.2.1

        What NZ Labour is doing in that mix is anyone’s guess…

        They believe the same delusional economics as Treasury.

        • bad12 15.2.1.1

          Yeah i know, but i just woke up from an afternoon sleep and couldn’t get my fingers to make the accusation…

  14. Rogue Trooper 16

    Solid Energy collapse “has hit West Coast community very hard” -Tony Kokshoorn

    Drought is going to hit the meat (slaughtering) industry next
    Drought is ” affecting whole communities” (businesses servicing farming) “suffering”
    Drought (read that it may take 1% of this years growth forecasts)
    Drought “neighbours in Wellywood 😉 ignoring bans, while other neighbours are dobbing them in”
    (what a great cohesive community we have; wait until things do get tough…)

    From Syria, 100,000 refugees crossed into Jordan in ONE night; the Jordanian infrastructure is “crumbling”

    Let My Love Open The Door… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8JtYgQxetek

    although Francis is a Jesuit, did you know that the Vatican clamped down on Jon Sobrino, an advocate of Marxist-inspired theology?
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jon_Sobrino

    Oh Tilda, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gH7dMBcg-gE , The Stars (are out tonight)

    Let’s Dance http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mbxQ9bvdZgU

    ‘cos http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OrTyD7rjBpw (Black-Eyed Peas)

  15. NickS 17

    http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2011/12/what-americans-keep-ignoring-about-finlands-school-success/250564/

    – We’ve got plenty of empirical examples of why the american system of education is failure, and yet we see our government biting at the bit to role out “competition”, “choice” and charter schools…

    Then again, there are none so blind as politicians wanting to stay in power.

    • Draco T Bastard 17.1

      It’s not so much that the politicians are wanting to stay in power but that they’re wanting to enrich themselves and their rich mates at our expense without us realising it.

    • Draco T Bastard 17.2

      That’s a great article. I especially liked:

      In his book Sahlberg quotes a line from Finnish writer named Samuli Paronen: “Real winners do not compete.”

      In fact, since academic excellence wasn’t a particular priority on the Finnish to-do list, when Finland’s students scored so high on the first PISA survey in 2001, many Finns thought the results must be a mistake. But subsequent PISA tests confirmed that Finland — unlike, say, very similar countries such as Norway — was producing academic excellence through its particular policy focus on equity.

      Both of those should really frighten those that think that they’re special.

    • Puddleglum 17.3

      GREAT article NickS.

      In thinking about New Zealand’s supposed ‘long tail of failure’ (Tolley and Parata’s ‘1 in 5’ students) the following quotation is relevant:

      Samuel Abrams, a visiting scholar at Columbia University’s Teachers College, has addressed the effects of size and homogeneity on a nation’s education performance by comparing Finland with another Nordic country: Norway. Like Finland, Norway is small and not especially diverse overall, but unlike Finland it has taken an approach to education that is more American than Finnish. The result? Mediocre performance in the PISA survey. Educational policy, Abrams suggests, is probably more important to the success of a country’s school system than the nation’s size or ethnic makeup.

  16. Rogue Trooper 18

    a commercial break /
    “Philosophy, which once seemed obsolete, lives on, because the moment to realize it was missed”

    I Dor know nussink. 😉

  17. Rogue Trooper 19

    BodyCounts in The House (goes outside to enjoy sun and some caffeine)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jJ7Rjlo0aJo
    (not partial to Iced Tea)

  18. Rogue Trooper 20

    We interrupt this broadcast to cast you another broadside…
    “His thought was permanently marked by the rise of fascism, and by the failure of Marxism, both in the West and in the Soviet Union
    He and Horkheimer diagnosed the ills of modernity in “Dialectic of the Enlightenment”
    Another factor shaping his thought was existentialism which was in part a movement of rebellion against the dehumanization of people in industrial society (Tillich; check out The Courage to Be), and a response to the failure of Marx’s and Hegel’s solutions to it.
    Despite his criticisms of the existentialists, Adorno shared many of their concerns: Kierkegaard’s reinstatement of subjectivity against Hegel’s supposedly panlogistic and historicist system, Heidegger’s antipathy to technology, 😉 and so on.
    Even to ignore socio-political relations is to justify them, by suggesting, for example, that the individual is more autonomous than they are.
    The insistence on the mediated-ness of everything immediate is the model of dialectical thinking as such, and also of Materialistic thinking, insofar as it ascertains the social preformation of contingent, individual experience.
    (Do you think, that in view of our potential, and growing, control over organic processes, we cannot dismiss a fortiori the thought of the elimination of death? This may be unlikely; yet we can entertain the thought…which according to existential ontology, should be unthinkable.)
    Like Socrates and the early Plato, he wields a negative dialectic and does not, like Hegel and the later Plato, derive a positive result.
    His aim is to dissolve conceptual forms before they harden into lenses which distort our vision of, and impair our practical engagements with, reality. Reality is not transparent to us; there is a “totally other”, a non-identical, that eludes our concepts.
    When concepts fail us, art comes to our aid. Aesthetic illusion sustains the hope for an ideology-free utopia that neither theory or political activity can secure: In illusion there is the promise of freedom from illusion. Art, especially music, is relatively autonomous of repressive social structures and thus represents a demand for freedom and a critique of society.

    Although critical of Kierkegaard’s existentialism and “phenomenology”, Adorno still integrated their concerns with authority and subjectivity.

    The subject is constituted politically, yet there is hope, that THE AUTHENTIC META-PHYSICAL SUBJECT WILL SHED THIS CONDITIONING.

    as Bob sang, “Emancipate yourselves”

  19. Morrissey 25

    Josie McNaught out of her depth on “The Panel”
    Radio New Zealand National, Friday 15 March 2013
    Jim Mora, Josie McNaught, Mike Williams

    One of Jim Mora’s blander occasional guests on The Panel is the Auckland-based “arts correspondent” Josie McNaught. Regular listeners to The Panel will be well aware by now that there are just two things she seems to show any interest in. One is the lack of respect and resources for the Arts in this country. And the other is the lack of respect and resources for Arts correspondents in this country, namely, the lack of respect and resources for Josie McNaught.

    So her appearances on the Panel are usually a bit melancholic, and usually consist of nothing more than her bitterly bemoaning the sad state of affairs for redundant arts correspondents in this country. Unkind people have occasionally even slung off at her as “Joyless Josie”.

    Today, during her Soapbox contribution, Joyless Josie suddenly came unglued. Her piece, which was supposed to have been prepared carefully, started off as a low-key, rather ho-hum encomium for the sport of tennis—then suddenly segued into a mad, confused, dyspeptic, wandery anti-rugby rant. In her bilious pomp, Joyless Josie subjected listeners to a disastrous, confused mess of pottage at a level rarely plumbed on “The Panel” other than by the mediocre John “Barney” Barnett, the crazed Christine Spankin’ Rankin and the senile Garth “Gaga” George.

    Next up, the big topic of the day: did the Prime Minister willfully mislead the country when he claimed that it was the board of Solid Energy, not Key and his cronies, that insisted on plunging the company into massive debt?

    Now, as well as Josie McNaught, there were a couple of people present who did know something, in fact a great deal, about the situation. Former Labour Party president and ex-Genesis Energy Deputy Chairman Mike Williams and Herald political correspondent John Armstrong were both waiting to say something about this very important matter.

    Guess who spoke up first? Yep, you got it in one, buster: it was Not-So-Jolly Josie who had to contribute her two cents worth. “The key word here is ‘asked’, I think,” she chirped. “You can’t blame them for trying surely?”

    Mike Williams, obviously appalled and straining to be charitable, decided someone needed to start talking sense. “Just a minute! Let’s just untangle what you said,” he intoned, ominously.

    For the next few minutes Williams and John Armstrong carefully, logically, pitilessly dismantled the government’s flimsy case, while McNaught, humiliated, sat silently.

    This was yet another Guest selection fail for the Panel’s producers, unfortunately.

    • Te Reo Putake 25.1

      “Unkind people have occasionally even slung off at her as “Joyless Josie”.”

      My bullshit detector just started twitching, Moz.

  20. gobsmacked 26

    If anyone’s hanging out tonight for the next Morgan poll (sad, eh?) it will be published on Monday. According to the Twitter thing.

  21. prism 27

    Tomorrow Radionz – Kim and Hordur.
    8:15 Hordur Torfason: Iceland and democracy

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