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Open mike 17/01/2013

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, January 17th, 2013 - 163 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…

163 comments on “Open mike 17/01/2013”

  1. just saying 1

    An interesting sideline from a Herald article on the popularilty of Facebook in NZ, this morning:

    The next highest ranked site was Blogger, with a monthly unique audience of 803,000.

    Seeing as many blogs (like The Standard) don’t use the Blogger site, it might well be that about a quarter of the population visitis the blogosphere every month. That’s a hell of a lot of shut-ins sitting in darkened rooms, and an audience that politicians ignore and/or deride at their peril.

    From memory, the four most popular blogs according to the sitemeter data, are all political.

    Also, useful data in answer to R0b’s questions about the importance of the blogosphere. Maybe the answer is ‘significant and growing’.

    • tc 1.1

      With the obvious partisan nature of our MSM Blogs will continue to rise in their relevance and weight on many issues.

      It’s the new media containing fresh and open commentary that people are up for more and more these days rater than the tired hacks and pundits everyone’s seen peddling their bias for decades.

      Obama showed the power of the web via social, blog and webcast bypassing the old world media.

    • Aww 1.2

      The neat thing about websites, including blogs is that everything on the internet can be checked and tracked. Like site demographics for example. You’d think someone would be smart enough to utilise this.

      http://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/blogspot.co.nz#demographics

    • karol 1.3

      As I recall, Anthony said something about facebook having more of a role in the future than blogs. My preference is for blogs because they can have more of a group or community focus. Facebook is designed around individuals and their links and it is also increasingly becoming a means of delivering individuals to commercial interests. Yes r0b said:

      I also think that blogs may be peaking, and that other forms of media (Twitter, Facebook groups) may come to assimilate their role.

      I think blogs are a necessary corrective to the corporate dominance of the MSM. Not that everything that appears in the mainstream news/media is bad, but everything needs to be considered critically.

      • Populuxe1 1.3.1

        Not that everything that appears in blogs is impartial or fact-based either. And given most blogs only have one admin or mod, they are often just as much about the indivual – Cf. FailOil and that funny little man who looks like an evil baby (his name escapes me – sounds like “farter”?)

      • Colonial Viper 1.3.2

        FB is under pressure to demonstrate revenues matching its overblown valuation. Which means that their ads and other commercial intrusions are going to worsen over time. Making it more likely that people will get sick of the in your face salesmanship and wave goodbye to them.

    • Pete 1.4

      Google Zeitgeist also provided some interesting information about user searches.

      The top news searches were:

      Kim Dotcom
      Tongariro
      Transit Of Venus
      Belarus
      Marmite
      Margaret Mahy
      Jock Hobbs
      White Island
      Give Way Rules
      Sophie Pascoe

      Aside from Dotcom, they weren’t very political in nature. Nor were the top trending searches for New Zealanders.

      Valerie Adams
      Kimbra
      Sarah Walker
      Margaret Mahy
      Mahe Drysdale
      Nick Willis
      Lisa Carrington
      Mark Todd
      Jock Hobbs
      Martin Henderson

      As politically inclined as we are, we may be in a bubble as to what interests the average NZer.

      • millsy 1.4.1

        Speaking of Dotcom, I wonder if he will run for Parliament? I am actually picking he will, on a platform of internet freedom, copyright reform and civil libertarianism.

        I also think the extradition charges will be dropped.

        • Colonial Viper 1.4.1.1

          Is he a NZ citizen. He could stand for the NZ Pirate Party. He’d probably get in.

          • Populuxe1 1.4.1.1.1

            As the Pirate Party keeps it’s membership status secret, it’s possible he already is… Or isn’t…

  2. millsy 2

    Just when you thought Radio NZ was safe from the neo-liberal barbarians who want to turn it into just another commerical station with hate-filled talkback, endless Katy Perry reruns and crude DJ’s making fun of Louisiana trailer park inhabitants with spontaenusly combusting private parts…it looks like CEO Peter Cavanagh is resigning, and the search is on for a new CEO who would be less resistant to things like sponsorship and more commercial enroachment.

    Fate is not without a sense of irony. In 1966 a few mates sought to buy a tramp steamer, fit it out with broadcast equipment and sail into international waters to broadcast Radio Hauraki, challenging an NZBC monopoly that was seen as stuffy, conservative and set in its way, with the government going all out to stop it.

    Now, almost 50 years laters, it is the private commerical radio sector that is out of touch, stuffy and set in its ways, with the non-commercial, community sector, as well as Radio NZ seen as the innovators and the ‘something different’, and the government, at the request of the commercial broadcasters, is seeking out to smother it.

    ===========================

    Already the articles about zoning are starting to filter out. with parents paying top dollar for houses in the Auckland Grammar zone, and parents who miss out deciding to send their kids to private school instead. Nothing disgusts the new ‘mum and dad’ kiwis more than their kids having to learn along side working class and beneficary children. All sorts of bad ideas and nasty diseases can come from them.

    ============================

    Another round of tenders goes out for NZDF housing (supposedly surplus). Would love to know why the media isnt looking into this more closely.

    Some looking round Facebook and the messageboard forum reveals NZDF personell who are reportedly being turfed out of NZDF homes, as part of the Defence cuts. And another thing, while I accept that our service people want to find their own accomodation and buy their own houses (not like they cant afford it), why isnt the surplus houising being used to alleviate our housing shortages, rather than be snapped up as holiday homes and farming accomodation?

    • The Al1en 2.1

      “Nothing disgusts the new ‘mum and dad’ kiwis more than their kids having to learn along side working class and beneficary children. All sorts of bad ideas and nasty diseases can come from them.”

      One can only hope the benefits of private education makes the children turn out a lot smarter than their parents.
      It’s rightly said that inter generational benefit dependency is a bad thing.
      Sons and daughters of Epsom man, cast off your chains.

      • kiwicommie 2.1.1

        National wants a US styled class system in New Zealand, when National is finished NZ will be have even more inequality and poverty than parts of the US. The difference in the US though is that employeers care, no employeers care any more in New Zealand. One US supermarket chain Giant (which I go to) helped pay for one of their staff member’s medical treatment (to the tune of tens of thousands of dollars), don’t get compassion like that in NZ any more.

      • vto 2.1.2

        Rightly said. We are a country divided. For the first time in eons I read Rosemary McLeod’s piece in the Press this morning. Normally she is like a wishy washy laundromat but she hit a nail on the head describing how our nation is becoming more divided.

        To support this she pointed to Kawhia and the attack on the copper, plus the recent Featherston murder. She is correct, and though she did not state it, it was clear the divide is along financial lines, racial lines, lifestyle lines, the whole lot lines. I have noticed it more too in our wider circles – people are quicker now to spark up on these lines. People are unhappy, on both sides of the line.

        And this National government,,, well, it is pretty clear which side of the lines they represent. Bash the beneficiary, give money to the private schools, take money away from the local schools, bring back the class system, introduce drug testing to every sector except your own, give welfare to the farmers and the businessmen, villify the poor.

        And then you get wankers who post on here and of course publicly state the same like Wayne and King Kong yesterday who refer to people who can’t get jobs as “lazy losers’. Well it is no wonder we are divided and it is no wonder that people such as Wayne and King Kong are the ones who feel they have to cross the road for fear of being the next one to get ‘stuck’.

        There is no truer saying than one reaps what one sows.

    • just saying 2.2

      Great round-up Millsy.
      A post in itself, in fact.

    • Draco T Bastard 2.3

      …and more commercial enroachment.

      That’s possibly the most accurate misspelling I’ve ever seen :twisted:

  3. Only in America …

    Obama has proposed the restricting of the availability of assault weapons and his proposal has been met by the usual response that he wants to take away all guns from all americans, even the sane ones.

    The Republicans have responded by indicating they will oppose. The NRA has released an ad asking why should Obama’s kids be protected by armed guards but everyone else’s kids are not. I thought the answer was simple. There are far too many gun touting nuts in the States who have a pathological hatred of the President. Attacking his kids in this way is bound to harden Obama’s resolve.

    And the conspiracy theorists have started suggesting that the Sandy Hook was a Government sponsored hoax. Some poor guy who helped out some kids from the school has been harassed and accused of being part of a Government hoax. There is even a youtube video doing the rounds which hints darkly at how it is all a conspiracy to remove guns from decent Americans.

    It seems a sizeable number of Americans occupy a different planet to the rest of us …

  4. karol 4

    A piece of NZ research (findings to be published later this year) shows that “money can buy happiness”.

    Except, reading down the article, it’s more that a certain level is more likely to result in happiness than being in poverty – what a surprise!

    “Poorer people tended to report more stress, less happiness, lower levels of satisfaction with their lives, and a lower ability to meet basic needs and life necessities.

    “The comforting belief that poorer people are compensated by increased happiness and less stress is a delusion in the New Zealand context, and a dangerous one at that.”

    But when it came to the link between income and quality of life, the dollar amount wasn’t as notable as a percentage jump in pay packets, Mr Sengupta said.

    People whose income doubled from $10,000 to $20,000 reported the same boost in happiness as $100,000-earners whose income rose to $200,000.

    “Income does predict how happy people are going to be with their lives . . . regardless of how much they earn.”

    But the sample surveyed has a noticeable gender imbalance:

    The research was based on statistical analysis of phone surveys of 2746 women and 251 men.

    The median household income of those surveyed was $65,000.

    While the survey was done in 2008 the results were unlikely to vary much today, because international research showed similar results at different times, Mr Sengupta said.

    I’m not sure how that would skew the results.

    • Chris 4.1

      I remember reading a few studies like this when I was at uni – they all pretty much showed that money increases happiness significantly while it increases to a certain point. Once you get past this point (its the point where you no longer have to worry about money) the returns are diminishing.

      On a similar vein when deciding on what motivates you for a job the amount you get paid isn’t a motivating factor, it can demotivate you if it isn’t high enough though. The thing that motivates you is the potential for future pay rises.

      • vto 4.1.1

        Yep, that’s it Chris.

        Money doesn’t make one happy – that’s looking at the wrong side of the mirror.

        It is in fact that the lack of money makes one unhappy. Or rather actually – lack of ability to provide for one’s self makes one unhappy.

        Money has an effect. That effect is a negative one if there is insufficient. There is no positive effect – it merely removes the negative effect.

      • KJT 4.1.2

        Just as well for New Zealand that, for most of us, money ranks behind satisfaction in what we do, as a motivator.

        Except for financial and management types, who, it seems, will only work if they get paid hundred of thousands.

  5. bad12 5

    The Minister of Social Development has claimed National’s welfare changes,(stage 1),of being a raging success as the numbers of those receiving benefits has fallen to 2008 levels, apparently a drop of 17,000,

    Paula of course hasn’t bothered to track where these 17,000 people went after they became Her idea of a raging success,

    Should She have bothered, to find out where the individual beneficiaries ‘found work’ that is, She need look no further than the organizations of charity such as the City Missions in various cities who are now the sole means of support for a number of Paula’s success stories, with most of the other 16,000 and something having been driven from New Zealand to Australia as economic refugees,

    Never mind Paula, when ‘the dream’ for you in particular and this scummy National Government is all over you seem to have a natural talent as a travel agent,(liars not being in demand anywhere in the economy)…

    • xtasy 5.1

      Bennett was interviewed on Radio NZ’s Checkpoint, but strangely, there was nothing to be heard from Ardern, or for that sake any other politician from the opposition, putting another kind of critical spin onto this story. Shame, shame, shame to Labour, I’d say!

  6. TheContrarian 6

    Had this guy been the CEO they would have given him a big bonus.

    http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2414357,00.aspx

    • McFlock 6.1

      Hmmm.

      Should have put together a VPN from china to a server at his home, then had that flip through on the work VPN.

      Mind you, other than vetting the subbies who receive the data I’m not sure what they think the problem is: they apparently received high quality work for a price they thought was fair.

    • bad12 6.2

      LOLZ, takes employment to it’s logical conclusion, 10 years from now China will be the source of all ‘labour’ and ‘Bob’ was just getting in ahead of the inevitable,

      On a deeper note tho it simply highlights the failure of the Global Free Market Ism, should all currencies and all minimum wages of all the economies engaged in this little ‘competition’ have been of an equal value at the time the ‘competition’ began we all would have something like a coherent fully functioning economy…

  7. bad12 7

    Another Minister who it would seem has a questionable grasp on reality has Her Ministry,(Corrections), again appearing in the High Court at Auckland where an inmate of Paremoremo Maximum Security Prison, Arthur Taylor, having successfully argued before the High Court previously that the blanket ban on inmates smoking in New Zealand prisons was unlawful is now challenging Correction and the Minister over the labeling of Tobacco as ‘contraband’ thus denying the inmates who have the legal right to smoke in prisons the possession of Tobacco,

    From news reports on RadioNZ National it appears that while Corrections have conceded that inmates have the legal right to smoke tobacco in their cells ‘other’ laws allow them to ban anything they want as being contraband,

    You are excused if your reaction to such a quixotic situation is initially ”what the f**k”, and i dare recommend that the Minister in question, Judith Collins,(who else), might consider seeking psychiatric assistance as not only has Her moral compass become confused,(if She ever possessed such), but Her and Her Ministry appear to have not only been treating prison inmates unlawfully, they appear to have taken every step possible to continue that unlawful behavior simply to circumvent the previous decision of the High Court…

  8. end o times viper shorts 8

    some light hearted & amusing comments to help pass your afternoon for those not adverse to twitter – #keyinantarctica

  9. bad12 9

    In news this morning ‘the HairDo’ (from Ohariu) Revenue Minister Peter Dunne signaled moves to close at least one tax loophole to the accompanying squeals and shrieks of rage from some Bizness spokesperson from some obscure Bizness organization i missed the names of,

    Dunne says He plans on passing regulations where companies of a multi-national nature declare their profits in the lowest taxing jurisdiction in which they operate and declaring losses in the highest taxing jurisdiction,

    It seems that for more years than i find it good for my mental health to consider such companies have been allowed to claim that what produced the ‘profit’ here in New Zealand was the part of the company registered in whichever tax haven and what produced the loss was down to the New Zealand arm of of the company even when any actual ‘physical business’ that produced that loss wasn’t done in New Zealand,

    Who would have thunk it, export ya profits and import ya losses and RORT the New Zealand tax system every which way, now that’s Bizness efficiency for you,

    Sounds to me like the whole f**king lot of them need locking up in a jail cell someplace…

  10. kiwi_prometheus 10

    Gay Propaganda 101 ( co-requisites: Wymin Studies 106, Men Are Rapists And Murderers! 108 )

    Gay guy says gay All Blacks have to be outed.

    Of course he assumes that there are gay All Blacks.

    What would he know? Dream on girlfriend, LOL.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=10859605

    • millsy 10.1

      Of cource, if a gay AB came out, rednecks like you would have him lynched from the Eden Park goalposts.

      Though the rest of us would more than likely accept it.

      • kiwi_prometheus 10.1.1

        I’m not a red neck.

        I wouldn’t care as long as he didn’t go on about ‘gay marriage’.

        • millsy 10.1.1.1

          Dont like gay marriage? Dont marry a gay man, or go to a gay wedding, simple really.

          • kiwi_prometheus 10.1.1.1.1

            Marriage isn’t a “mind your own business, keep your nose out!” kind of institution – it is a social/public recognition and honouring.

            Otherwise you lot wouldn’t be so hell bent on it.

            • millsy 10.1.1.1.1.1

              We are hell bent on it because it IS a “mind your own business keep your nose out sort of thing”. There are bigger threats to society than 2 blokes getting hitched. Neo-liberalism being one. Even conservative right-wingers used to warn of the dangers of unleashing the capitalist system.

              • kiwi_prometheus

                “Even conservative right-wingers used to warn of the dangers of unleashing the capitalist system.”

                I know that.

                Parties of the Left an Right fell into the thrall of neo liberlism, plus the postmodernist/feminist/identity politics crowd have helped suck the life force out of the Left.

                “There are bigger threats to society than 2 blokes getting hitched.”

                It’s the principle. Besides its still going to be socially corrosive. And the push is coming from the radicals – feminists/deconstructionists/neo marxists – not the real Left.

                • millsy

                  Socially corrosive my arse. Youre as bad as McCroskie, who by the way, has refused to deny that he wants the Homosexual Law Reform Act 1986 repealed.

                  • kiwi_prometheus

                    When have I ever said anything like that?

                    It pisses me off when anyone who doesn’t tow the party line gets a political necklacing.

                    • millsy

                      Im talking about McCroskie, not you.

                    • McFlock

                      word to the wise: in debates involving sexuality, best avoid colourful but unpopular figurative expressions. Or at least specify what type of “necklacing” to which you refer. Somewhat distracting at first glance…

                    • Kevin Welsh

                      To be fair McFlock, the pearls did not get a mention…

            • The Al1en 10.1.1.1.1.2

              “Marriage isn’t a “mind your own business, keep your nose out!” kind of institution – it is a social/public recognition and honouring.”

              If the state denies a freedom of choice because of sexual preference, then it goes way beyond institution and social honouring. It’s discrimination at it’s basest form.
              Judging by most poll results I’ve seen, marriage equality is not much an issue unless one is a bit of a twat, so like most people, I say if it’s okay for one, it’s okay for all.

              “It’s the principle.”

              Is it bollocks. It’s just bigotry and ignorance.

              “Besides its still going to be socially corrosive.”

              I’m guessing mostly in yours and colin craig’s houses, but do feel free to march down Queen Street in opposition and get the public recognition and honouring you types really deserve.

              • Rhinoviper

                “Marriage isn’t a “mind your own business, keep your nose out!” kind of institution – it is a social/public recognition and honouring.”

                What is the purpose of a law?

                The issue is the recognition given by the state to the arrangements of people in personal relationships or in corporate relationships of other kinds. Assuming that the church and state function separately (and to argue otherwise would be to argue for theocracy – and be my guest if you wish to do so), the state has no “moral” role whatsoever. The law’s role is purely to ensure that the “mechanism” of society functions with as little friction and as much constancy as possible.

                OK, on those terms, then let heterosexual marriage be honoured as much as you like. Are laws created for the purpose of honouring? Are laws supposed to govern all social intercourse… such as the respect and honour we give to other people? Should a law determine how much respect and honour I give to another person? If not, why not? Suppose I don’t like someone – should a law tell me that no matter what I think, I should like them? The law does not require you to like or “honour” anything else, so why do you suppose that it requires you to like a gay couple?

                Laws do not exist and are not made to “honour” people.

    • Pascal's bookie 10.2

      “Gay guy says gay All Blacks have to be outed.”

      If you’re going to tell lies, it pays not to link to the thing you are lying about, liar.

      • kiwi_prometheus 10.2.1

        He says ” the reality is that having an out gay All Black is important and overdue. ”

        We all know where that is leading. After all it would hardly be a new tactic employed by radical queer activists, would it now?…

        And if there aren’t any, whats he going to do, demand an Affirmative Action quota – make it compulsory!!?

        Very assuming.

        • millsy 10.2.1.1

          Speaking of outing All Blacks, I have heard names being bandied about — not going to repeat them here though.

          • kiwi_prometheus 10.2.1.1.1

            I’m not aware of any All Blacks acting in an effeminate manner.

            • millsy 10.2.1.1.1.1

              Not gay blokes are effeminate. You’ve been watching too many ‘Carry On’ movies..

              • kiwi_prometheus

                “Not [sic] gay blokes are effeminate.”

                I bet felix and QofT don’t like those ones very much.

                And just because they might have a bit of a play now and then doesn’t make them gay either.

                • felixviper

                  Nearly there…

                • QoT

                  Your new fixation seems to be on my and felix’s sexual preferences. Interesting.

                  • Rhinoviper

                    “New”?

                    • QoT

                      Well he seems to have become bored of putting “rape culture” in scarequotes every five minutes. New shiny toys were required.

                  • McFlock

                    It’s not some weird obsession with your private lives where most people would mind their own business, think of K-P’s attention as a “social/public recognition and honouring.”

                    • kiwi_prometheus

                      Back to the crazy assertion that marriage is a private matter, “Nobody elses business!”

                      But the whole point is marriage is the public recognition of a particular relationship – that’s what you lot are demanding. You want the state and/or society to recognise a particular type of relationship.

                      Not surprising though, considering the poor philosophical foundation of neo-marxism/deconstructionism/feminism.

                    • McFlock

                      So you do actually have an unhealthy interest in speculating about the sex lives of commenters here? You weren’t just honouring them with public recognition?

                      Bit of a sick, obsessive little turd then, aren’t you? Why should anyone give a flying fuck about the moral opinions of a pervert like you?

        • Pascal's bookie 10.2.1.2

          “We all know where that is leading.”

          no we don’t. You’re just telling lies still.

          The piece explicitly talks about people outing themselves, and you claimed he said “gay All Blacks have to be outed”.

          Liar.

          • kiwi_prometheus 10.2.1.2.1

            If you read between the lines it means outed one way or another…

            He assumes there are gay All Blacks, which indicates his fixation with the issue.

            Like I said they’ve employed the tactic before.

            • McFlock 10.2.1.2.1.1

              “Read between the lines”?

              Oh, you mean “make shit up”.

            • Rhinoviper 10.2.1.2.1.2

              I assume that there are All Blacks who are mammals. That indicates that I must be fixated on mammals.

              A little more seriously, considering that there are a constant percentage of the population who are gay, and that being gay is irrelevant (since it has not been positively proven to be otherwise) to one’s ability to play rugby, then the odds are that there are or have been in the recent past and near future, if not the present, gay All Blacks.

              I also suppose that there are photons with a frequency of 6000 angstroms, without referring to any particular photon or photons in general.

              I guess that I’m one of “They” who promote the 6000 Angstrom agenda. Or the mammalian agenda. Or something.

              On the other hand, Occam’s razor would however suggest that KP is a bit of a loon who has a peculiar obsession with homosexuality verging on paranoia.

            • QoT 10.2.1.2.1.3

              “As of December 2012, 1118 players have been All Blacks.” – Source

              There are no good stats on the rates of same-sex attraction in the general New Zealand population, so let’s limit ourselves to what we can absolutely establish: people in committed relationships who’ve sought state recognition via civil union or marriage.

              (Imagine how many more are just fucking.)

              301 same-sex civil unions registered in the year ending 2011 out of (76 hetero civil unions and 20,231 marriages) = 1.5% of people in same-sex relationships committed enough to marry.

              1.5% of 1,118 All Blacks = possibly a minimum of 16-17 non-heterosexual All Blacks over the history of the team.

              Unfortunately there are no more accurate stats on actual rates of non-heterosexuality in the population of NZ, but this survey of youth returned a rate of 7.8% experiencing some level of attraction to their own sex.

              So the odds that there is currently or has been a gay All Black are pretty good.

              Of course, this probably just establishes my “fixation” with the concept of gay All Blacks, unlike the commenter who chose to initiate a conversation on the topic by blatantly misrepresenting what a columnist said and who categorically cannot accept the notion of an All Black liking the cock because it clashes with his notions of masculinity.

              • kiwi_prometheus

                You keep referring to non hetrosexuality in your stats then jump to gay in your final statement.

                You are just pulling it out of your arse.

                You are one of those deconstructionist/postmodernists/neo marxists feminists, no?

                If so you are totally contradicting your own philosophy which dismisses science and any possible objectivity or concrete reality to relate truth statements to ( statistics included).

                • QoT

                  You are one of those deconstructionist/postmodernists/neo marxists feminists, no?

                  I don’t know, old chap, you’re the one who keeps saying so.

                  All I did was use non-exclusive language while conveying my own thoughts and then echoing your own stunted understanding of human sexuality when referring to yours.

                • GregJ

                  It is quite clear that Knight is saying that those in rugby (presumably players, caoches and administraters) should be supporting elite athletes about being open about their sexuality (if they choose to do so). One assumes you either didn’t read the column properly or deliberately misrepresented it.

                  You do realise that being homosexual is no longer a crime? Stop being a prat.

                  Aaron Mauger and Adam Thomson are at least 2 All Blacks that have been supportive of LGBT issues – hell it’s even happening in the US where Baltimore Ravens linebacker Brendan Ayanbadejo has been openly supporting LGBT issues and even raised the issue of gay players in the NFL and former fringe NFL player Wade Davis has now come out openly about being gay and other gay NFL players. If there are gay players in the NFL you can be damn sure there have been gay All Blacks (and almost certainly gay players at Super Rugby and ITM cup level).

                  • karol

                    Well, there’s certainly one ex- Wales rugby captain who is an out gay man. Not someone who I would describe as effemonate.

                    And then there is an ex-Aussie rugby league player who is also gay.

                    • I must admit I was really surprised when Roberts came out. He was IMHO the toughest forward in the league at the time.

                      He came out during his career and no one seemed to batter an eyelid.

                      All I can say is RESPECT.

                    • kiwi_prometheus

                      Hello my little post structuralist tweety bird!

                      At least unlike QofT you aren’t evasive about your chosen school of philosophy.

                      But post structuralist don’t believe in an objective reality, knowable via science – so you have contradicted yourself in a previous post.

                      And here it has to be asked – you claim to be on a crusade for “inclusiveness” and “social justice”.

                      But according to post structuralism they are basically meaningless terms – arbitrary constructs you have created. No more right or wrong than the Nazi construct of “Ein Volk, ein Reich, ein Führer “.

                  • QoT

                    Along with Ayanbadejo I’ve got to plug intensely-awesome dude Chris Kluwe of the Baltimore Ravens Minnesota Vikings, who notably said gay people “won’t magically turn you into a lustful cockmonster”.

                    (Edited for team misnaming, in my defence they both wear purple)

                    • Rhinoviper

                      Well, he’s just done a Godwin Version 1.2 anyway, so debate in as light or as serious or as absurd or as sarcastic a tone as you like. A decade ago he’d have said “Feminazi” – which is version 1.0, then a couple of years later he’d have said “I didn’t call you a Nazi – I just said that you were exactly like a Nazi”, which is Version 1.1, but now it’s “Now I’m going to say that you’re saying things about me that I say that they said about Nazis!” I wonder how recursive 1.3 will be?

                    • GregJ

                      Yes – The Ravens (AFC) and the Vikings (NFC) are my 2 teams in the NFL – never really thought about them both having Purple playing uniforms before. Hmmm

                      (And although the Vikings are out of the playoffs, the Ravens play for the AFC Championship this weekend – after an extremely exciting win over the No.1 Denver Broncos last Sunday – and then hopefully it’s the Superbowl!)

                      Ravens dark wings, take to flight, Dive in and show them your might

                      Ummm – Sorry – back to the regular political discourse!

                    • Rhinoviper

                      Redacted – due to misplacement (I can’t delete). See below.

                  • QoT

                    Poor k_p. I guess because he’s in constant battle mode, he’s developed an us vs them mentality.

                    He’s left exasperated and confused when he can’t squeeze someone into one of a few leftwing pigeonholes.

                    • McFlock

                      I’m beginning to think K_P’s a satirical character in the style of Ali G or David Brent. Basically with the objective of being interviewed by Rush Limbaugh and called “too extreme”.

                      I mean, the line where he said you were pulling “gay” out of your arse is too obvious a reference to me missed by someone who is that obsessed with other people’s sex lives, but then they would have used at least an exclamation mark, and maybe a smiley face, just in case someone missed how much of a comedic talent they possessed.

                    • Rhinoviper

                      McF. Maybe, but in my experience, there really are people that thick, and lots of them. There really are people amazed and utterly baffled by the demand that they produce evidence to support their assertions and think that name-calling and robotic blithering about deconstruction, the Jews or whatever is equivalent to reasoned argument. And they vote.

                      The other side of Poe’s Law, I suppose… It doesn’t matter if KP is real or not because there are people who think like that and their arguments must be opposed publicly.

            • Populuxe1 10.2.1.2.1.4

              You do realise that statistically it’s impossible that there aren’t gay All Blacks. I really can’t do much about the rest of your woeful ignorance, but if you are going to be a pathetic bigot (probably a self-loathing closet case internalising all that homophobia), you could at least acknowledge reality.

  11. Jenny Kirk 11

    Labour’s Summer School 2013 is just over two weeks away!

    Labour’s annual Summer School is a unique opportunity for Party members of all ages from all over the country to think about and discuss some of the biggest issues our country is facing in a relaxed environment. It encourages Labour members to think beyond day-to-day politics and to push the boundaries of what we can achieve.

    This year the programme includes the first speech of the year from leader David Shearer. David will speak on Labour’s political priorities for 2013 in a media inclusive session on the Sunday afternoon.

    Where: Brookfield Scout Camp, 562 Moores Valley Road, Wainuiomata
    (only 40mins from Wellington)

    When: Friday 25 January – Sunday 27 January 2013

    Summer School is organised by Young Labour.
    You can contact them at summerschool@younglabour.org.nz.

  12. millsy 12

    Just got an OIA request back from Housing NZ.

    It seems that in the past 5 years, 864 state houses were sold. Of that number, 269 were sold in the past year (The highest number).

    ..and the HCC about outsourcing:

    “……The major activities we currently contract out include:

    • the operation of the three waste facilities such as the Refuse Transfer Station, Recycling Centre and the green waste recovery at the Hamilton Organic Centre.
    • road construction and maintenance (including footpath, street lighting maintenance)
    • waste and recycling collection
    • legal services

    Everything else from graffiti removal, CitySafe patrols, noise control, parking enforcement, parks and gardens and visitor information are all managed in-house. These are all listed in the “Our Services” section of the Annual Report….”

    The annual report can be found on the HCC website.

    • karol 12.1

      Thank-you, Millsy. Useful information. Have any other state houses been bought to replace the ones sold?

      • millsy 12.1.1

        The response I got was that “the proceeds were re-invested in new housing stock”, but there was no mention of numbers or locations.

  13. kiwi_prometheus 13

    Here’s a question that I would like an intelligent response to:

    If gay marriage is ok because it doesn’t affect a straight guy or his marriage, then surely polygamy is ok because it doesn’t affect a straight guy or his marriage?

    • Rhinoviper 13.1

      Oh, too easy. How does the restriction of marriage to straight folks affect gay folks?

      You talk in pseudo-scientistic (ref, “scientistic” = “scientism”, not science) about “objective” reality, therefore you have to prove that marriage is as grounded in objective reality as Keplerian dynamics. I’d like an intelligent, empirical response to that.

      If gay marriage is ok because it doesn’t affect a straight guy or his marriage, then surely polygamy is ok because it doesn’t affect a straight guy or his marriage?

      Aside from the deliberate and disingenuous red herring of invoking the slippery slope argument, what is your objectivist reason for calling it wrong? No metaphysics please.

      • kiwi_prometheus 13.1.1

        “How does the restriction of marriage to straight folks affect gay folks?”

        They don’t get to marry. But how has your question answered my original question?

        “you have to prove that marriage is as grounded in objective reality as Keplerian dynamics.”

        More evasiveness in the form of meaningless jargon. Are you a post modernist like Karol?

        Here’s a good example of mumbo jumbo from the oracle of Deconstructionism, Derrida:

        “The Einsteinian constant is not a constant, is not a center. It is the very concept of variability — it is, finally, the concept of the game. In other words, it is not the concept of something — of a center starting from which an observer could master the field — but the very concept of the game. ”

        You can see why I think you might be a devotee of his, Rhino, LOL.

        “deliberate and disingenuous red herring of invoking the slippery slope argument”

        Pretty straight forward question, why can’t the “No harm to YOUR marriage” argument be applied to polygamy or love between a brother and sister?

        You can’t answer it can you, Rhino, that’s why you’ve freaked out.

        • Rhinoviper 13.1.1.1

          They don’t get to marry

          Illogical, circular argument which does not address the basis for the argument.

          Are you a post modernist like Karol?

          Irrelevant insinuation and argumentum ad hominem.

          Here’s a good example of mumbo jumbo

          Distraction. A broad categorisation and insinuation is irrelevant to this case.

          Pretty straight forward question, why can’t the “No harm to YOUR marriage” argument be applied to polygamy or love between a brother and sister?

          Irrelevant. Prove empirically the basis of your argument and – this is crucial – show that it applies as an objection to marriage equality.

          You repeatedly state that your beliefs are somehow “objective”. If this is the case, it should be possible to do so using references to generally accepted scientific principles. Cite them. However you refuse to do so, instead you use the “Ew, postmodernists!” argument, which is not an argument at all. It’s name-calling – you may as well say that I’m a ginga.

        • McFlock 13.1.1.2

          um – love between a brother and sister has negative genetic repercussions in the case of procreation, but also often involves consent issues relating to the power relationships within the pre-existing familial structure, plus an issue relating the desired margin for error in addressing those issues on a case by case basis.

          Inbred, usually fucked up, and too difficult to fairly separate out the few non-fucked-up situations without letting through a few fucked up ones.

    • GregJ 13.2

      Personally I have no problem with it between consenting adults but there are much more involved legal issues with polygamy which would have to be dealt with. Although this in an American context you can look at some of the issues here .

      Don’t see why marriage between same sex couples needs to be delayed while polygamy is sorted out though.

      Would you like to move on to bestiality now? I’m sure there are some goats near you that might be interested in having that sorted out.

      • Rhinoviper 13.2.1

        And if reproduction is the determinant, what about cloning, mitosis or even mimesis? You’ve got to look out for slippery slopes – they’re everywhere! For example, is not “indoctrination” a form of spreading memes, which are encoded information, just like genes? In that case, all people involved in teaching, or any form of cultural production, or for that matter anyone who persuades anyone of anything, a shameless slut, producing countless bastard offspring?

        I say we ban mimetic reproduction! No more education, certainly not education state-sanctioned by the conferment of degrees!

        And don’t you start mentioning siblings either… Rand only knows what implied filth siblings get up to with their “familial interdependence”!

        And every corporation should have boards of infertile people of the different sexes, just as long as they don’t reproduce because all unions are somehow representative of the duality of genders but not necessarily dependent on the capacity of those involved to reproduce and… otherwise we’d have to ban the marriage of post-menopausal women… right, now I realise that not every board can have just two members, to make the point that all associations must be between opposite genders but not necessarily interfertile couples, so I suggest that there be new genders invented so that people can freely enter into state-sanctioned and assuredly secular associations having nothing to do with reproduction, nosiree, and that… oh shit, where was I? Anyway, something about inventing new sexes, as long as they’re different, no matter how many there are, and not having children, ‘cos we’d have to ban infertile people and it has nothing to do with what God, Allah, Yahweh, the Flying Spaghetti Monster or any other arbitrary deity determine and, and… because science!

        Or to cut through all that shit, since “science”, or rather a contingent stereotype of science is invoked by KP, what is the empirical, peer-reviewed and generally accepted scientific basis across all disciplines that is not grounded in any way in any metaphysics for the state to sanction and favour over any form of association over another? Current popularity is not sufficient because it has been established by an explicitly religious accommodation – hence there is an obvious bias – and moreover, it is generally justified by arguments that are metaphysical.

        • Rhinoviper 13.2.1.1

          The current legislation is about gay marriage between two people, you’re the one who has dishonestly invoked the slippery slope argument and I’ve brought up the reductio ad absurdam. Of course you’re too thick to understand that. Now you’re trying to divert matters.

          Tell me, and again, I ask you to bring up scientific evidence, since you keep ranting on about it, what is the scientific basis for your objection in relation to the current bill?

        • kiwi_prometheus 13.2.1.2

          You’ve obviously stopped taking your meds.

          • Rhinoviper 13.2.1.2.1

            Would you care to construct a logical answer on the terms that you have repeatedly stated?

            Can you?

        • KJT 13.2.1.3

          Rhino. I think I agree with you. But reading that made my head hurt.

          Can’t we just say.
          What two, or more, consenting adults do in their own home, is there own business.

          And that the law should not discriminate because of sexual orientation.

          Just do not scare the horses!

      • kiwi_prometheus 13.2.2

        So we have a polygamy supporter here! LOL

        And the pro gay marriage lot furiously deny that polygamy is next.

        That’s the problem with the PGM crowd, their revision of the definition of marriage leaves them having to accept all kinds of arrangements as marriage if they want to remain consistent.

        • McFlock 13.2.2.1

          Actually, the pro gay marriage crowd furiously deny that child-marriage or turtle-sex is next.

          Who gives a fuck about polygamy? I mean, one could argue that beyond a certain number the close relationship implied by “marriage” might not be able to be maintained (e.g. 400 husbands), but the real issue for same-sex marriage is informed and free consent between two people with a strong bond.

          • kiwi_prometheus 13.2.2.1.1

            And the whole point is your revisionist definition can’t stop the rest of the BS.

            If you think you can chuck out the gender bit because it is “discriminatory” and revise the definition to consent and love, what argument do you give for limiting it to a specific number of participants?

            In fact if you want to remove the heterosexual act of coitus bit, what is your argument for not removing sex from the definition all together – that way a couple of old mates cohabiting could get married to. Or grandma and her grandchild living with her out of circumstance?

            • Rhinoviper 13.2.2.1.1.1

              what argument do you give for limiting it to a specific number of participants?

              Well, exactly. That is what you’re trying to say, and claiming that it’s a matter for the state.

              Give me the scientific reason for the state to by legislation favour the bond between fertile individuals who produce children through the fertilisation of egg by sperm. Otherwise, you’ll have to find some pretty damn compelling arguments that somehow aren’t metaphysics and which aren’t therefore “objective”.

              • kiwi_prometheus

                Why do think I’m forced to give a scientific argument?

                It’s a philosophical one. After all this is political philosophy ( which scientific knowledge may contribute to ).

                Is it because I pointed out the deconstructionist denial of scientific objectivity – so you now fly off the handle demanding I give a scientific argument on an issue of political philosophy?

                You are definitely off your meds, mate.

                • Rhinoviper

                  Why do think I’m forced to give a scientific argument?

                  Because you claim that your assertions have some sort of basis in scientific reality, idiot.

                  It’s a philosophical one. After all this is political philosophy ( which scientific knowledge may contribute to ).

                  So it may you now say. That’s not what you said before. You said that your claims have a basis in “objective” reality, which is constant and all-pervading by definition.

                  You claim repeatedly that it is your arguments that do have a basis scientific reality. Now you deny that, suddenly invoking the vague – i.e.., meaningless – term of “political philosophy”.

                  Is it because I pointed out the deconstructionist denial of scientific objectivity – so you now fly off the handle demanding I give a scientific argument on an issue of political philosophy?

                  No, it’s because you are inconsistent even with your own explicitly stated premises and refuse repeatedly to substantiate your points according to those premises.

                  Now show me the money. This has nothing to do with deconstruction and has everything to do with you backing up your own claims on the very terms that you say supports them.

            • McFlock 13.2.2.1.1.2

              Hang on: your argument against same-sex marriage isn’t that it is harmful, just that you can’t think of any reasons why other non-traditional forms of marriage shouldn’t exist?

              I’ve responded to your polygamy and incest examples elsewhere in the thread.

              • kiwi_prometheus

                No, the Revisionist argument redefines the word marriage into nonsense. That is very destructive to society because marriage is a public good.

                • McFlock

                  Okay, what’s the “revisionist” definition, and why is it nonsense?

                • Rhinoviper

                  What is a public good? Why is “marriage”, defined as a union between fertile man and women as opposed to civil union between same-sex couples, fertile heterosexual couples, infertile heterosexual couples or marriage between infertile heterosexual couples a public good? Explain, with citations.

        • Rhinoviper 13.2.2.2

          That’s the problem with the PGM crowd, their revision of the definition of marriage leaves them having to accept all kinds of arrangements as marriage if they want to remain consistent.

          In any case, even as a thought experiment, justify your advocacy for the state recognition and limitation of marriage as being between two people of the opposite sex as opposed to any other arrangement, without metaphysics, which means that reproductive viability or performance as “role models”, real or symbolic, is ruled out.

          Why should the state recognise “marriage” in any form at all as opposed to a civil union?

          • kiwi_prometheus 13.2.2.2.1

            “Why should the state recognise “marriage” in any form at all ”

            Because it is a public good in the heterosexual form of a union between a man and a woman.

            • McFlock 13.2.2.2.1.1

              explain. As opposed to heterosexual civil union, I mean.

              • kiwi_prometheus

                Why where are you going with this…?

                • McFlock

                  Heterosexuals can have marriage or a civil union.
                  Homosexuals can only get a civil union.

                  What is the public good that exists in marriage, but not a civil union, and that should be kept away from homosexuals?

            • Rhinoviper 13.2.2.2.1.2

              Why and how is it a public good?

              Come on Mr Science, give me the peer-reviewed objective papers accepted across all relevant fields that prove this.

              Show me the money!

              By the way, is “public good” different from “legal reality”? I’d still like to know the answers to these questions if it’s the same:

              What is a “a legal reality”? Is what is legislated real? If the law changes, does the reality change? If the fact that slavery was once legal mean that slavery is always legal? Does the fact that polygamy is legal in some countries make it real everywhere, does the fact that gay marriage in some countries is legal make it real everywhere?

              • kiwi_prometheus

                “Come on Mr Science, give me the peer-reviewed objective papers accepted across all relevant fields that prove this.”

                Do you not know what Political Philosophy is?

                • Rhinoviper

                  Do you not know what Political Philosophy is?

                  I don’t care what it is if it can’t be substantiated. If it cannot be substantiated, if it does not have any recognition by anyone other than the voices in your head, then it is irrelevant.

                  It’s certainly not a science, I gather, since you refuse to provide any empirical basis for your statements, despite repeatedly saying that you had some.

                  Now how about answering a question? Any of them. Perhaps another? Which colour do you prefer, blue or orange?

                  Or, more to the point, justify one single assertion that you have made according to any objective principle with citations or according to verifiable “political philosophy”.

      • Populuxe1 13.2.3

        I’m just glad he didn’t try to compare it to paedophilia – he’s obviously that sort of moron.

    • QoT 13.3

      Awwwww, look at the brave little commenter, parroting US fundies’/Family First’s key messages like they’re his own original thoughts.

      • kiwi_prometheus 13.3.1

        Any time you want to answer the question, cupcake…

        • QoT 13.3.1.1

          Only if you answer a completely off-topic, intended-to-derail-serious-conversation question of mine first. Except I’m not an unoriginal copy-pasting MRAbot.

          • kiwi_prometheus 13.3.1.1.1

            Go find the stuff I’m cut and pasting then, wonder woman. Should be easy.

            All the crapdelicious stuff you come up with is derivative feminist received wisdom.

            • Rhinoviper 13.3.1.1.1.1

              stuff I’m cut and pasting then

              And there KP shows how his “mind” works. The twit couldn’t even pass the Turing Test.

              Come on Mister Science, produce the empirical, “objective” material to support your assertions. Prove you’re better! What’s a legal reality? Is it the same as objective reality, even is legal realities change? Does that mean by law you can change the speed of light, or does it mean that if you can’t, the speed of light isn’t subject to law and that law is not the same as objective reality?

            • McFlock 13.3.1.1.1.2

              Not exactly a new contribution. And includes a discussion on the minimean blog a week ago.

            • QoT 13.3.1.1.1.3

              I already did, sweetums. Back in September. From the record it looks like you ran away and hid rather than acknowledge that your sources were bullshit.

    • The Al1en 13.4

      That’s a really shit question.
      Marriage equality isn’t okay because it doesn’t affect anyone else, it’s okay because everyone is equal, and discrimination based on sexual preference is wrong.
      You can try linking polygamy into the argument, but ultimately the sanctity or validity of one’s marriage isn’t shaped by their neighbours marriage or a tv celeb couple’s marriage or whoever.
      You have no argument to win, especially with such poorly informed opinion.

      Q. If polygamy were legal for straights, would you oppose it for homosexuals?

  14. kiwi_prometheus 14

    Same with the “Its none of your business!” defense of gay marriage.

    Marriage is a public institution, how can anyone assert “It’s nobody elses business”?

    • Rhinoviper 14.1

      Is it a public institution or simply a tradition? What makes it a public institution as opposed to civil unions? Civil unions are explicitly secular whereas marriage is hardly marriage if it is shorn of its spiritual component – unless you are able to prove that a civil union is in essence indistinguishable from marriage – or otherwise you must prove that the state must inevitably incorporate a theocratic component, in which case, considering the various religious interpretations of marriage, you must either reconcile all religions or justify one religion in particular. You therefore have to say that someone’s religious faith is everyone’s business and – another leap – subject to regulation by the state.

      • kiwi_prometheus 14.1.1

        You are way off the mark, mate.

        “whereas marriage is hardly marriage if it is shorn of its spiritual component”

        You don’t have to get married in a Churh, you can get married by an Elvis impersonator if you really want.

        Your argument that marriage isn’t a public institution because it contains a spiritual component is La La Land stuff.

        It’s status as a public institution is a legal reality.

        • Rhinoviper 14.1.1.1

          Illogical circular argument.

          You don’t have to get married in a Churh, you can get married by an Elvis impersonator if you really want.

          OK, suppose a polygamous Mormon shows up. What is the value of a Mormon versus someone married by an Elvis impersonator? What is your position on gay Mormon Elvis impersonators? Present your argument “scientifically”.

          Your argument that marriage isn’t a public institution because it contains a spiritual component is La La Land stuff.

          Why and how?

          You invoke “science” repeatedly. Do so now, stop moving the goalposts. Justify the favouring of an institution by empirical and consistent means.

        • Rhinoviper 14.1.1.2

          You don’t have to get married in a Churh

          Then what makes it marriage then, as opposed to a civil union, remembering that there are marriages that are polygamous and therefore inevitably have – symbolically if not actually – a homosexual element?

          What is a “a legal reality”? Is what is legislated real? If the law changes, does the reality change? If the fact that slavery was once legal mean that slavery is always legal? Does the fact that polygamy is legal in some countries make it real everywhere, does the fact that gay marriage in some countries is legal make it real everywhere?

          What is a “legal reality”? Is it like physics, like – you know, science?

    • QoT 14.2

      Income tax is a public institution and I’m pretty sure mine is nobody else’s business.

      • kiwi_prometheus 14.2.1

        Come off it, completely different functions.

        Is that the best you can do?

        Better yet – if you want to revise the tax code, yeah everyone else gets to see what the fuck you are wanting to change and why and block you if it isn’t for the public good.

        • QoT 14.2.1.1

          You’re the one insisting that because marriage is a “public institution”, it must be public business. It’s not my problem if your argument doesn’t hold up to a light breeze.

        • Rhinoviper 14.2.1.2

          What is the basis for the state favouring one specific function over another? What functions do you mean? Specify, empirically.

      • vto 14.2.2

        Not in Finland. Everybody’s tax returns are publicly available. Quelle horreury

      • KJT 14.2.3

        Well. In fact I think income tax should be public.We would soon see who is ripping off the system. And it ain’t those on welfare. It would very quickly shut the cockies up, for a start.

        However, I have no wish to even think about what some people do in their bedrooms. Imagining some of our political masters having sex, is a truly mind fouling prospect.

    • McFlock 14.3

      The SIS is a public institution. Now go and say that what they do is your business.

    • Populuxe1 14.4

      A public library is also a public institution, but I have no interest in whatever horrible, low brow and probably horrific books you might borrow, if indeed you read at all – which I somehow doubt.

    • The Al1en 14.5

      One in two marriages fail.
      What have you done personally to intervene and protect this so called ‘public institution’?
      Or is it just gays and lesbians that motivate?

      Moot point this marriage equality debate – It’s a done deal in parliament, and with the support of the majority.

      Dry your eyes, mate.

  15. vto 15

    Why does everyone have such a problem with one group in society wanting its own institution separate from others? It’s not as if that is anything new now is it. In fact specific institutions and organisations and groups for separate parts of society is the way these things are going – separate parts for separate groups. And that is good – viva la difference!

    Imo gay people who want to tie a knot in it should get their own institution and leave those straight people alone ffs instead of gate-crashing someone else’s party.

    Mind you, arguing against that, single people both straight and gay and tri and buy share the same institution of singleness.

    In fact, a little further, perhaps the straight married crowd should simply wander off and set up another institution just for themselves and leave marriage to the non-straights.

    • Populuxe1 15.1

      Do you know what apartheid means?

      • vto 15.1.1

        Do you know what relevance means?

        • Populuxe1 15.1.1.1

          Yes, I do actually – that’s why I’m calling you out because you are full of shit. Every New Zealander should have exactly the same rights as every other New Zealander – anything else is apartheid and a symptom of a sick society. I’m gay, and what you think I should or shouldn’t be able to do based on that is entirely irrelevant to me and most people like me because it’s nothing to do with you and everything to do with fairness and justice.

          • vto 15.1.1.1.1

            Pop let me evaluate your reply;

            First sentence “Yes, I do actually – that’s why I’m calling you out because you are full of shit.”
            Irrelevant.

            Second sentence: “Every New Zealander should have exactly the same rights as every other New Zealander – anything else is apartheid and a symptom of a sick society.”
            I don’t disagree and there was no reason for you to think otherwise. I merely outlined that currently “apartheid” as you put it is alive and growing in our society. And endorsed by govt and many others organisations and people. It exists, so let everyone play by the same rules.

            In addition, you non-thinking egg, the rights are equal, just different institutions. No problema with same rights, as has been stated many many times.

            Third sentence: “I’m gay, and what you think I should or shouldn’t be able to do based on that is entirely irrelevant to me and most people like me because it’s nothing to do with you and everything to do with fairness and justice.”
            Why don’t you apply that to straight people too? You actually argue against your second sentence when you state that what you do is nothing to do with anyone else and you should be able to do what you like. Same with people who want an institution solely for straight people tying the knot – what they think or want is nothing to do with you either, so butt out. Get your own party.

            Get it?

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    frogblog
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    Scene IBill English bounces out of his Beehive bed with a surplus of energy, yet feeling rather lacklustre can only pour himself a glass of milk and drag himself to the balcony looking out over central Wellington. He glances over at...
    Pundit
  • Ten best paid bosses in tertiary education
    And their lowest paid colleagues Tertiary Update Vol 17 No 44 Last week the State Services Commission announced the total remuneration for chief executives and vice-chancellors at public tertiary education institutions. Prof Stuart McCutcheon earned at least $660,000. That is...
    Tertiary Education Union
  • Ten most popular stories of 2014
    This Tertiary Update’s top ten most read stories for the year included, at number ten, the massive job cuts at Manukau Institute of Technology and at number two the petition opposing those job cuts. Two more of our most read...
    Tertiary Education Union
  • Ten branches that recruited the most new TEU members
    Waikato Institute of Technology – of 142 members in September 41 joined in the last 12 months = 28.9 percent Tai Poutini Polytechnic – of 54 members in September 14 joined in the last 12 months = 25.9 percent NorthTec...
    Tertiary Education Union
  • Ten rights the government will take away next year
    …but that TEU plans to protect Next year several new laws will come into force that will remove some of your rights. It is more important than ever that you protect your rights by being active in a strong union...
    Tertiary Education Union
  • Ten Te Kaupapa Whaioranga wishes for the New Year
    For the tertiary education worker who has already got a partridge in a pear tree, and a pair of socks, here are other ten things they’ll be looking for. Sadly you will need to campaign for them rather than be gifted...
    Tertiary Education Union
  • Ten of our favourite TEU photos for the year
    ...
    Tertiary Education Union
  • City Centre Priority Cycle Routes
    An update to the Auckland City Centre Advisory Board (page 25) provides some new information about improvements to cycling planned for the CBD and include some artist impressions of just what they might look like – although unfortunately because it comes from a...
    Transport Blog
  • Males only?
    Like Vaughan Rowsell I get asked to facilitate or be on panels and speak at events a fair bit. Actually not quite like Vaughan – he’s incredibly popular, and for good reason. Vaughan’s publicly announced that he will not accept...
    Lance Wiggs
  • An OTL milestone
    I have no idea how this happened, but this is the 100th post on On The Left! Things are probably going to slow down a bit around here over the holiday break, but thanks to all our bloggers and readers...
    On the Left
  • It’s nearly Foodmass
    Christmas is coming. The halls are decked with boughs of holly (plastic), and decorated with snow (artificial). Tips for Christmas (stress-free) have been appearing since November. Children are over-excited and desperate shoppers are looking for the perfect presents for people...
    Pundit
  • No justice in the UK
    Four years ago, G4S guards killed Jimmy Mubenga by restraining him inappropriately during a deportation - effectively asphyixiating him. But today, a British jury refused to convict them:Three private security guards who restrained the Angolan deportee Jimmy Mubenga have been...
    No Right Turn
  • John Key wants arbitrary detention
    That's the only conclusion that can be drawn from his comments today about the need to lower the threshold for detention:Prime Minister John Key said the Sydney siege gunman highlighted the conundrum for authorities over protecting citizens against potential terrorism...
    No Right Turn
  • Futility: Educating an IED
    Through this year, I have sadly been lured into spending energy trying to teach Martyn Bradbury about modern political science, and what it means for modern politics. He appeared misinformed about what polls are and how they work, so I...
    Polity
  • The OIA Review
    Yesterday, the Ombudsman announced that they had begun their review of OIA compliance. They'll be looking closely at 12 central government agencies, and surveying 63 more, as well as all 27 Ministerial offices. They'll also be soliciting submissions from the...
    No Right Turn
  • Biosecurity it’s everyone’s responsibility
    Biosecurity costs New Zealand millions of dollars in attempting pest eradication and much more in ongoing management of pests in farming, horticulture, beekeeping and conservation, as well as in our own backyards and recreation areas. More work must happen at...
    frogblog
  • Equality, Efficiency and Economic Theory (Social Journal Europe)
    Dani RodrikIn the pantheon of economic theories, the tradeoff between equality and efficiency used to occupy an exalted position. The American economist Arthur Okun, whose classic work on the topic is called Equality and Efficiency: The Big Tradeoff, believed that public...
    the Irascible Curmudgeon
  • New Fisk
    Peshawar school attack: Massacre of the innocents born of ambivalence towards Taliban...
    No Right Turn
  • How we pay for a universal basic income – Whiteboard Wednesday.
    Lots of people like the idea of an Unconditional Basic Income (UBI), but can we afford it as a nation? In this Whiteboard Wednesday Geoff looks at the three parts of the Big Kahuna package – Unconditional Basic Income, Flat...
    Gareth’s World
  • This will go down well
    Back in September, Mexican police arrested a group of 43 student teachers who had been travelling to Iguala for a protest against the local government. They handed them over to a local drug gang, who murdered them. Since the massacre,...
    No Right Turn
  • AT Metro Launched
    Last week we mentioned about how Auckland Transport was launching a new PT brand. That occurred yesterday and as well as new look buses, they have also launched a new brand for their public transport operations – AT Metro. Auckland Transport has...
    Transport Blog
  • Whales, dolphins, and ‘gunshots’
    I've just returned from seven days on board SV Vega as part of a small team monitoring the impacts of seismic testing on marine mammals off the west coast of Northland. No research has been done in this area, so...
    Greenpeace NZ blog
  • Meat workers need Jobs that Count
    The CTU is supporting todays Meat Workers Union campaign to combat insecure work in a core New Zealand export industry. Photo:  ...
    CTU
  • 2014: A Venture Capital Odyssey
    Fresh off the wire from Hong Kong, from your friends and mine at io9: Hong Kong based venture capital firm Deep Knowledge Ventures (DKV) has appointed a machine learning program to its board. Called VITAL, it's an "equal member" that...
    Polity
  • Buzzfeed takes the Herald
    Here's a Herald article this week, titled (I kid you not): 20 somewhat horrible things I do to my kids that I don't feel guilty about [Facepalm] I want the Herald to be good. I really do. I know some...
    Polity
  • Sad
    There's a lot of non-cheery news out there in the lead up to Christmas. There's the Taliban school massacre, the Sydney siege, the US Torture Report, and - at a much lower level, and closer to home - the Treasury's...
    Polity
  • “I said surface, not surplus”
    Here are ten explanations, excuses or distractions Bill English might like to employ over the coming days in response to news that his long promised budget surplus looks to have disappeared....
    Imperator Fish
  • Talking terror
    [Content note: discussion of terrorism and violence] Last month I wrote about the aims of ISIS as NZ’s terror legislation ramped up, how their structure and organisation has become almost impossibly fluid, adapted to social media and the internet in...
    On the Left
  • Letter to the editor – Time to milk a tragedy again, by our Dear Leader
    . . from: Frank Macskasy <fmacskasy@gmail.com> to: Dominion Post <letters@dompost.co.nz> date: Tue, Dec 16, 2014 subject: Letter to the editor . The Editor Dominion Post . Once again, predictably, our esteemed Prime Minister has exploited a tragic situation for his...
    Frankly Speaking
  • Hard News: Word of the Year 2014: #dirtypolitics
    A transient political scandal which has been dealt with, resolved and thoroughly moved-on-from with no hard feelings at all has somehow been named as the Public Address Word of the Year 2014."I honestly can't understand how this has happened," said...
    Public Address
  • Station Boarding Stats for 2013/14
    Late last week Auckland Transport provided me with some fascinating stats related that broke down rail patronage results by station. The data is for the previous financial year -so from 1 July 2013 to 30 June 2014 – and covers 10.05 million...
    Transport Blog
  • US drones: target one, murder twenty-eight
    U.S. drones kill on average 28 unidentified people for every intended target, according to a report published by Reprieve, a group that represents civilian victims of drone strikes. The CIA launched two drone attacks, claiming it was trying to kill...
    Redline
  • US drones: target one, murder twenty-eight
    U.S. drones kill on average 28 unidentified people for every intended target, according to a report published by Reprieve, a group that represents civilian victims of drone strikes. The CIA launched two drone attacks, claiming it was trying to kill...
    Redline
  • The Sydney siege: the day after
    One of the several different faces of Man Haron Monis by Jeff Sparrow Unfortunately, we have now sufficient experience of terrorist incidents to formulate a simple rule: namely, almost everything said in the first few days after the event will...
    Redline
  • Minister ducking for cover over ‘Diplomat Case’
    Apparently the Ministerial Inquiry into what now seems to be being referred to as ‘The Diplomat Case’ ( I have a few other names for it) has been completed and is in front of Foreign Affairs Minister McCully. Initial Reports seem to...
    Greens
  • Energy users need answers on Vector share plans
    Energy Minister Simon Bridges needs to stop ducking for cover about whether or not the Government will support plans to nationalise and then privatise $2.1 billion of shares in the Auckland Electricity Consumer Trust, Labour's Energy spokesperson Stuart Nash says. “It...
    Labour
  • Turning up the heat on working conditions
    A “Jobs That Count” campaign has the full support of Labour, the party’s Labour Relations spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. Organised by the Meat Workers Union, the campaign aims to put the spotlight on job insecurity in the meat processing industry....
    Labour
  • Biosecurity it’s everyone’s responsibility
    Biosecurity costs New Zealand millions of dollars in attempting pest eradication and much more in ongoing management of pests in farming, horticulture, beekeeping and conservation, as well as in our own backyards and recreation areas. More work must happen at...
    Greens
  • Failure to diversify puts prosperity at risk
    Beyond the news that a long-promised surplus is unlikely, further embarrassment is hidden in the fine print of the half year economic and fiscal update, Labour says. "National’s failure to rebalance the economy is further exposed in projections from its...
    Labour
  • Ombudsman probe targets Ministerial integrity
    John Key is on notice that the entrenched cynical and manipulative abuse of official information requests by his Government will no longer be tolerated, Labour’s Open Government spokesperson Clare Curran says. “The announcement by the Ombudsman of a wide-ranging review...
    Labour
  • Bill English’s face is redder than his books
    The Government owes New Zealanders an apology for failing to deliver the surplus it spent four years and two election campaigns promising, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Bill English’s face is redder than the Crown accounts. This is the...
    Labour
  • Is the Health Minister accountable to the public? He doesn’t seem to thin...
    Lately I’ve been involved in a sort of farcical standoff with the Health Minister, who seems to be under the illusion that I have no right to ask questions about conflicts involving Health Promotion Agency Board member Katherine Rich, and...
    Greens
  • Irresponsible tax cuts lead to seventh successive deficit
    National's borrowing to pay for cutting the top tax rate was irresponsible and will likely lead to a seventh successive deficit, the Green Party said today. Treasury have forecast a $572 million deficit this year in its Half Year Economic...
    Greens
  • Minister closes down dissent on climate change
    Minister closes down dissent on climate change In a threatening letter to Maori leaders, Minister for Climate Change Tim Groser says he will be requiring future international delegations to toe the party line, Labour’s Climate Change spokesperson Megan Woods says. “In...
    Labour
  • Heartfelt sympathy for Sydneysiders
    The Labour Party has offered its heartfelt sympathy to the people of Sydney after the hostage situation in the city, says Labour’s Acting leader Grant Robertson.  “Our thoughts are with all those who went through this horrific and traumatic experience....
    Labour
  • Farewell at Phillipstown
    Last Wednesday, I attended the farewell for Tony Simpson, Principal of Phillipstown School. It was a very emotional event where many of us in the large crowd shed tears. Bagpipes and tiny tamariki performing kapahaka brought the house down and...
    Greens
  • The CIA Torture Report
    Earlier this week, the United States Select Committee on Intelligence released the Committee Study of the Central Intelligence Agency’s Detention and Interrogation Program.  The report, which was five years in the making, looked into the CIA’s interrogation techniques from 2001...
    Greens
  • Haere Rā 2014
    We’ve almost reached the end of the Parliamentary year so I wanted to take a moment to reflect on some of my highlights of the term in this blog post. It’s been an absolutely hectic year juggling an election campaign...
    Greens
  • Labour applauds High Court decision on Ruataniwha
    Today’s decision by the High Court on the Ruataniwha scheme is a victory for NewZealand’s environmental groups, says Labour’s Conservation spokesperson RuthDyson....
    Labour
  • A welfare system for the 21st Century
    Today Child Poverty Action Group released a background paper on ‘The complexities of ‘relationship’ in the welfare system and the consequences for children.‘ The report includes 16 recommendations to modernise our welfare system which is no longer fit for the...
    Greens
  • Welfare system out of date and out of touch
    A new Child Poverty Action Group report released today highlights another example of how our outmoded social welfare system is harming kids, says Labour’s Social Development Spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni.  “The complexities of how a ‘relationship’ is defined in the welfare...
    Labour
  • NZ should formally recognise Palestine
    New Zealand should follow the lead of Sweden, and now recognise Palestine as a separate state On 30 October, Sweden’s new government formally recognised the state of Palestine, only the second Western country to do so, after Iceland. Down here...
    Greens
  • James Shaw’s adjournment speech on behalf of the Green Party
    It is a great honour for me to speak on behalf of the Green Party in this adjournment debate. I thank my colleagues for the privilege. I became a MP only 12 weeks ago, a period of time that seems...
    Greens
  • Time to end legalised cruelty of factory farms
    We can ensure that animals are kept in safe and ethical conditions. Claims of economic impact and practicality as justification for animal cruelty just don't stack up.Use our easy e-letter to write to the Minister for Primary Industries Nathan Guy...
    Greens
  • Government can’t rely on geothermal to grow itself
    While Electricity Authority figures showing geothermal has risen from the fourth to the second highest source of power generation are a promising sign for a geothermal renaissance, there can be no cause for complacency, Labour’s Energy spokesperson Stuart Nash says....
    Labour
  • Big bickies for bosses despite subpar performance
    While public service workers are experiencing Grinch-like wage increases state sector bosses have pocketed early Christmas presents in the form of whopper pay hikes, Labour’s State Services spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. “Unbelievably State Services Commissioner Iain Rennie got an additional...
    Labour
  • Consent should come before research grants for phosphate mining
      The Government’s decision to make a grant by Callaghan Innovation to Chatham Rock Phosphate is highly questionable, says Labour’s Science spokesperson David Cunliffe.  “The fact is that the company still has to get a marine consent to mine the Chatham...
    Labour
  • A Tale of Two Farms
    Pig farming has yet again been thrust into the public view with two programmes this week on Campbell Live highlighting the very different conditions for pigs on two very different farms. The first programme exposed the awful conditions on a...
    Greens
  • Dirty Dairy Accord failing to clean up rivers
    The first monitoring report of the Sustainable Dairying Water Accord fails to show progress on cleaning up our rivers since the Accord was introduced, the Green Party said today. The Accord's targets for stock exclusion are weaker than the previous...
    Greens
  • The Indignant Kiwi: Why we need to do more to protect our national bird
    A kiwi, about to be released into the wild, was first introduced to Prime Minister John Key and German Chancellor Dr Angela Merkel on her recent visit to New Zealand. By all reports, Dr Merkel was delighted to meet the rather indignant...
    Greens
  • Conflicted interests and health promotion; my opinion.
    As it happens, I know quite a bit about health promotion. It was an area I worked in prior to becoming an MP. What differentiates health promotion from the strict biomedical model, or from health education, for example, is its...
    Greens
  • Transparency on foreign buyers register needed
    News that Overseas Investment Office officials have been working on a register of foreign buyers of New Zealand homes is a welcome surprise, but Land Information Minister Louise Upston now needs to be clear on the details of the project,...
    Labour
  • National moves on state house sell off
    The Labour Party understands the Government has decided to move ahead with a mass sell-off of state houses. Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says he has been told by sources that Cabinet agreed the plan for their sell-off this week....
    Labour
  • Back-down on expert teacher plan welcomed
    News that the Government has backed down and returned to the drawing board on its flagship ‘expert teacher’ policy will come as a welcome Christmas present to schools and teachers, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Teachers throughout New Zealand...
    Labour
  • John Key can’t duck the blame for internet and phone price increases
    Shareholders are winning out over Kiwi households in the latest episode of the long-running fiasco on copper network phone and internet prices, Labour ICT spokesperson Clare Curran said today. “As predicted last week hundreds of thousands of Kiwi households now...
    Labour
  • An astounding disregard for Māori Affairs
    I have sat on the Māori Affairs Select Committee for most of the last 12 years. I love the committee, its work, its constituency and I especially love how it works differently than other committees, with a strong commitment to...
    Greens
  • Plunging dairy payout will hit regions hard
    The plunging dairy payout will hit New Zealand’s provincial towns and farm service industries hard, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “Farmers have been bracing themselves for this expected announcement but it will be small towns and those who...
    Labour
  • Reducing inequality creates a stronger economy
    An OECD report finding New Zealand has one of the fast growing rates of income inequality shows “trickle down” economics has failed and that everyone is better off under a stronger economy, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “The Government should...
    Labour
  • Government surplus target turning sour
    The Government’s golden surplus target is under threat with today’s Crown accounts showing the deficit is $260 million worse than expected, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “It is two blows in one morning for the Government’s economic credibility after...
    Labour
  • Greens call for end to cruelty of factory farming
    The Government must end the legalised cruelty of factory farming, the Green Party said today.Footage shown on Campbell Live this week revealed yet again the appalling, but legal, conditions pigs are routinely kept in on factory farms. The conditions the...
    Greens
  • Milk price plunge creates $6b economic black hole
    The plunge in Fonterra’s forecast dairy payout to a seven-year low for farmers will create a $6 billion economic black hole, showing yet again that National’s failure to diversify is hurting the economy, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “The...
    Labour
  • Gender Pay Gap: It’s a Matter of Leadership
    The State Services Commission’s annual Human Resource Capability report for the public sector shows the gender pay gap has not decreased since at least 2010. The gap is 14% across all management roles – a slightly bigger gap than for...
    Greens
  • Pardon me Minister, but the cracks are showing
    Cracks are appearing in Cabinet ranks with the Minister of Pacific Peoples, Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga, throwing his predecessor under the bus over a huge spike in spending by advisers, Labour's State Services spokesman Kris Faafoi says. "Spending to 'staff the...
    Labour
  • Confirmation of no confidence in schools plan
    That just 90 of the country’s 2500 schools have signed up to the Government's one-size-fits all performance pay scheme confirms a wide-spread lack of confidence in it, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “The scheme, which creates ‘executive’ and ‘lead...
    Labour
  • John Key’s secret foreign buyers register
    John Key has been secretly planning a register for foreign buyers without telling New Zealanders, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Last week Andrew Little called on John Key to adopt the Australian policy on foreign buyers....
    Labour
  • Another kick in the guts for Christchurch
    The government has walked away from the people of Christchurch with Cabinet’s decision today to cut funding available through local Members of Parliament offices to assist people with their earthquake related issues, says Labour’s Earthquake Recovery Spokesperson, Ruth Dyson.  “Over the...
    Labour
  • State house sell off will make transience worse
    The National Government’s plans to sell off state housing will increase the rate of transience among the poorest families, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. The Growing Up in New Zealand study released today reveals families with children under two...
    Labour
  • Report shows need for independent food safety agency
    The inquiry into the botulism botch-up shows the decision to merge the food safety authority into the Ministry of Primary Industries was a failure, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “MPI has been severely criticised in this report for...
    Labour
  • National needs to pull their head out of the sand on climate change
    Green MPs were out across the country attending Heads in the Sand events this weekend. I spoke at the Christchurch event where a couple of hundred people mimicked the Government’s climate policy by burying their heads in the sand. It...
    Greens
  • Claims of pumping up the volume all noise
    New manufacturing figures from Statistics NZ reveal a further decline in New Zealand's export performance, highlighting the Government's ongoing failure to rebalance the economy, Labour's Economic Development spokesperson David Clark says."The National Government has adopted a volume-based approach in an...
    Labour
  • Treasury says failure to cut emissions could cost $34,000 per household
    Treasury figures, released by the Sustainability Council today, show failing to take action to cut greenhouse gas emissions will cost between $2,000 and $34,000 per household, the Green Party said. The Sustainability Council has obtained figures previously redacted from a...
    Greens
  • Greens call on the Auditor General to investigate serious conflict of inter...
    The Green Party has asked the Auditor General to investigate serious conflicts of interest over Food and Grocery Chief Katherine Rich's membership on the board of the Health Promotion Agency (the Agency)."I've asked the Auditor General to investigate because the...
    Greens
  • Central Govt to blame for Auckland rail delay
    The National Government is delaying Auckland's rail development, while pushing ahead with the expensive Puhoi to Wellsford motorway, a motorway with declining traffic volumes, benefiting fewer people and business, said the Green Party today.Yesterday, Mayor Len Brown proposed to push...
    Greens
  • Govt grants mining licence in marine protected area
    The Government is making a mockery of our marine protections by granting a mining licence for Chatham Rise Phosphate to mine for phosphate in a marine protected area, the Green Party said.Chatham Rock Phosphate was granted a mining permit today,...
    Greens
  • Mediation Between Lyttelton Port and Union Fails
    The Rail and Maritime Union (RMTU) has opted to continue its overtime ban indefinitely after mediation with the Lyttelton Port of Christchurch (LPC) failed to progress collective bargaining.   “There was no substantial shift in LPC’s position today so the...
    The Daily Blog
  • Letter from Pakistan
    I was in Peshawar last week. It is a vibrant city with a real energy to it. It is my favourite place to be in Pakistan. You feel the energy as you drive around the city. I am in an...
    The Daily Blog
  • Lyttelton Port workers begin overtime ban
    Media Release: Rail & Maritime Transport Union Lyttelton Port workers begin overtime ban Workers of Christchurch Rail and Lyttelton Port have begun an indefinite ban on overtime, according to the Rail and Maritime Transport Union. The ban was announced at...
    The Daily Blog
  • So the United States of Torture is the ally we are supporting to re-invade ...
    How easy is it to con the sleepy hobbits of muddle Nu Zilind? Very. The despicable means by which this corrupt dirty politics Government have gone about trying to use the fear and anger caused by the Sydney hostage situation...
    The Daily Blog
  • A tale of two gunmen – how the media spins
    A tale of two gunmen – how the media spins...
    The Daily Blog
  • GUEST BLOG: Jill Ovens – Auckland Hospital worker cuts – Democracy the ...
    Auckland Hospital kitchen workers tell CEO Ailsa Claire (far right) a week ago that they did not want to be contracted out. Such was the arrogance that no contingency plans were made in the event that these workers would be...
    The Daily Blog
  • Political opportunists out in force over Sydney hostage crisis
    It hasn’t taken long for supporters of New Zealand’s so-called “anti-terror” legislation passed last week through parliament to try and justify it in the wake of the Sydney hostage crisis. Before we even knew much about the gunman or hostage...
    The Daily Blog
  • NZs new hobby – hating the poor
    Last week people queued at the doors of the Auckland City Mission. They are people that are living without enough income to afford the basics let alone the extras we as a society have come to expect at Christmas. Extras...
    The Daily Blog
  • The only people who believed National’s surplus illusion were voters
    Sigh – the sleepy hobbits of muddle Nu Zilind are pretty easy to con aren’t they? National’s surplus was always a joke that would never happen, but in every single focus group, voters believed by overwhelming numbers that National were...
    The Daily Blog
  • Key’s crocodile tears over dirty politics
    John Key: Bloggers ‘not big part of my day’ Prime Minister John Key says bloggers are not a “big part of his day” but he lives in a world where he can’t ignore them. Speaking on TVNZ’s Breakfast programme today,...
    The Daily Blog
  • Why we are in inequality denial and climate change denial
        We are a country in denial over our inequality and climate change. Both issues have the same thread that runs through them. 30 years of neoliberalism has generated its own cultural narratives and myths. We have been taught that...
    The Daily Blog
  • This weeks Waatea news column – Why proclaiming Key as the Politician of ...
      This weeks Waatea news column – Why proclaiming Key as the Politician of the Year is ethically bankrupt...
    The Daily Blog
  • Britomart violence raises questions over rail staff safety
    Media Release: Rail and Maritime Transport Union   Britomart violence raises questions over rail staff safety   The Rail and Maritime Transport Union is raising serious questions over the safety of the staff on Auckland’s train network after violent incidents on...
    The Daily Blog
  • Australia stares down Siege – National Party politicise tragedy
    The Sydney siege has finished, from the reports that are breaking the gunman, Man Haron Monis is dead and one of the hostages has also been killed. The Australian Police seem to have acted incredibly professionally and the real Australian...
    The Daily Blog
  • The termination of the Internet Mana alliance
    Last week the Mana Movement and Internet Party wrote to the Electoral Commission to cancel the registration of the Internet-Mana political party. It was a decision which brought the arrangement between the parties to a natural end after failing to...
    The Daily Blog
  • Peace breaks out between Greens and Labour
    Finally some good news for the Left. Peace has broken out between the Greens and Labour. One of the greatest barriers to a real relationship between the Greens and Labour has been the uncompromising arrogance of the Labour Party Caucus...
    The Daily Blog
  • Little keeps it stupid, simple
    Labour MP drops euthanasia billA bill which would legalise voluntary euthanasia has been dropped by Labour MP Iain Lees-Galloway at the request of his leader Andrew Little. Mr Lees-Galloway had been canvassing support for his End of Life Choice Bill...
    The Daily Blog
  • Dear Ministry for Social Development,
    Dear Ministry for Social Development, I realise you probably already know this, but just a wee reminder of REALITY. You know – the reality of the vast majority of us who aren’t making ends meet and are struggling to live...
    The Daily Blog
  • Social Policy still in the dark ages when it comes to relationships
    Two years ago I became aware of the work of two very able barristers who defend low income women accused of relationship fraud. CPAG then began collecting cases and stories of horrendous misery and victimisation. Then penny was slow to...
    The Daily Blog
  • The truth about inequality
      The truth about inequality...
    The Daily Blog
  • Rather Than Sending Troops To Iraq … Brownlee May Wish To Consider Better...
    There’s something a little unsettling going on at the moment. Ok, many somethings. Of particular concern is the fact that right now, New Zealand troops are training at Waiouru for deployment to Iraq – and, assumedly, the ongoing war against ISIS. Brownlee,...
    The Daily Blog
  • West Papua’s Saralana Declaration most vital unity development for 52 yea...
    Newly elected spokesman for the unified West Papuan movement Benny Wenda is treated to a chiefly welcome at the opening ceremony of the “unity” meeting in Port Vila. Photo: © Ben Bohane/wakaphotos.com David Robie also blogs at Café Pacific. A...
    The Daily Blog
  • Helen says it all
    Helen says it all...
    The Daily Blog
  • When Fran O’Sullivan, John Armstrong and Cameron Slater are singing Andre...
    The mainstream media of NZ will never allow a Labour leader who threatens the bastions of neoliberalism from ever taking power. David Cunliffe found that out. So when the mainstream media establishment from Fran O’Sullivan to John Armstrong to even...
    The Daily Blog
  • Wisdom’s Mirror: Can Grant Robertson Slay the Neoliberal Gorgon?
    HOW TO ELIMINATE one’s rival without getting one’s hands dirty? It’s a problem with a prodigious political pedigree. King David’s lust for Bathsheba drove him to order Uriah, her unfortunate husband, placed in the front line of battle – where...
    The Daily Blog
  • GUEST BLOG: Miriam Pierard – Sweet Sixteen and able to vote?
    The level of voter participation in elections is an indication of the health of a democracy. Declining turnout across the democratic world, particularly among young people, has led to questions about the legitimacy of our governing institutions. It is time...
    The Daily Blog
  • Public Equity and Progressive Politics
    We heard from the OECD on Wednesday morning (10 Dec) [Focus on Inequality and Growth] that inequality suppresses economic growth. (Here are Radio New Zealand’s morning reports on this.) This is hardly a surprise to many economists and non-economists alike. The key point in...
    The Daily Blog
  • Analysis: Final Across The Ditch Bulletin for 2014 – Lorde Help Us!
    Analysis (Text & Audio): Across The Ditch – Selwyn Manning & Peter Godfrey Headline: Final Across The Ditch Bulletin for 2014 – Lorde Help Us! 5AA’s Peter Godfrey and Selwyn Manning.FiveAA’s Peter Godfrey and MIL’s Selwyn Manning present their last...
    The Daily Blog
  • Sharing intelligence with CIA torturers
    New Zealand’s spy agencies have long presented intelligence sharing with their US counterparts as mutually beneficial and benign. That stance has always lacked credibility and is now its impossible to justify. The just-released US Senate Intelligence Committee report shows that...
    The Daily Blog
  • Labour votes for Surveillance State. NZ First Opposes!
    A few weeks before the election, the New Zealand Labour Party decided to cash in on simmering popular discontent with the state of the surveillance state that National’s set up. Never mind their own previous and well-publicized brushes with egregious state-surveillance … they wanted people to know that...
    The Daily Blog
  • Economic ideology destroys us all
    The OECD’s latest report says “The biggest factor for the impact of inequality on growth is the gap between lower income households and the rest of the population. The negative effect is not just for the poorest income decile but...
    The Daily Blog
  • 3 simple words for the Labour Party
    I have 3 very simple words for all those Labour Party apologists who are trying to rinse Labour clean here. Get. A. Warrant. You can all try and spin this any way you want, but Labour voted for 24 hour...
    The Daily Blog
  • 2014 – Year of the angry white knuckle
    I knew Internet/MANA would have to fight National, ACT, Conservative Party, United Future, Maori Party and the mainstream media. I didn’t think they would also have to fight Labour, the Greens and NZ First as well. Apparently feeding hungry kids in...
    The Daily Blog
  • Chris Rock on cop shootings
    Chris Rock on cop shootings...
    The Daily Blog
  • Bank Lending: Restrictions and Favourites
    An important story in 2014 has been the Reserve Bank’s ‘loan-to-value ratio’ restrictions, which have made it extremely hard for first-time house buyers to get sufficient finance to buy a house. Corran Dann in TVNZ’s  Q+A (7 Dec) suggested that...
    The Daily Blog
  • This weeks Waatea news column – How should Waitangi Tribunal ruling on S...
      This weeks Waatea news column - How should  Waitangi Tribunal ruling on Sovereignty be implemented?...
    The Daily Blog
  • Labour sell us out on warrantless surveillance
    Isn’t it depressing that Labour are selling us out by voting for warrantless spying by an agency caught out smearing them? Last night Labour do what they always do, over compensate on Security issues. So terrified are Labour at being...
    The Daily Blog
  • This Is The Headline For Test Post
    This Is The Headline For Test Post Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut eget neque facilisis sapien laoreet volutpat. Nulla vel nisl nec purus interdum tincidunt. Phasellus orci sapien, vestibulum et pulvinar non, pellentesque eget leo. Sed...
    The Daily Blog
  • Question Time in Parliament Today – National Party MPs cheer graph that s...
    This is the graph the National Party were shown by Russel Norman in Parliament today and they all cheered…     …they cheered?!?!?!? That’s beyond denial, that’s just gleefully suicidal....
    The Daily Blog
  • NZ Pastor Prays For Homosexual Author To Kill Himself
    By Jayden Jameson and Jessie Hume If we ever needed a reminder that homophobia is alive and kicking in New Zealand we have Pastor Logan Robertson from the Westcity Baptist Church. The Westcity Baptist ministry could apparently be described as New...
    The Daily Blog
  • Political Journalism in the South-Pacific – a new direction for NZ influe...
    Last week, the incredible Pacific Journalism Review celebrated 20 years of promoting and supporting and standing up for Journalism in the South-Pacific. The conference at AUT featured journalists from around the pacific who have battled and fought and been punished...
    The Daily Blog
  • Antarctica minus the ice – welcome to your future
    Antarctica minus the ice – welcome to your future...
    The Daily Blog
  • REAL LIFE GUEST BLOG: Lou – 15 shifts in 12 months……permanently homel...
    This is Key’s real life – other NZers aren’t so privileged    15 shifts in 12 months……permanently homeless since May. I went to the Salvation Army yesterday on advice for emergency housing as my temporary accomodation had turned volatile. Just...
    The Daily Blog
  • Labour Party Members should be furious at reviews findings
    Let’s see The Standard use this image Well, well, well… Labour’s election review: What went wrongLabour’s review panel has reported its findings back about the party’s election campaign and the reasons for the low 25 per cent result, identifying problems...
    The Daily Blog
  • Judith Collins joins the Sunday Star Times and cements the Rights dominance...
    “I am not a Monster”, hissed Judith Collins   I don’t read the Sunday Star Times, so had no idea that they had just decided to make Judith Collins of all people a new columnist. Her appointment cements into place...
    The Daily Blog
  • Grey Lynn Festival – very Grey – Art in the Dark – very Dark
    The battle of Helm’s Deep from the Two Towers would have had better OSH conditions than Art in the Dark   Grey Lynn Festival – 2 stars So the Grey Lynn Festival happened last weekend. It’s a day where the good liberal...
    The Daily Blog
  • ‘Stalking’ Ede
      Tau Henare accuses TV3 of stalkingA former National MP has accused TV3 of stalking after one of its journalists attempted to question a former Beehive spin doctor. Today’s episode of The Nation featured an unsuccessful attempt to question former...
    The Daily Blog
  • Taxpayer Union, the NZ Herald and Len Brown’s secret hidden love den
    I love the way the NZ Herald introduced the discredited Taxpayer Union in their bullshit story about Len Brown’s secret hidden love den… ‘Secret room’ spending shows need for recall electionsA lobby group says revelations Auckland Council spent $30,000 on...
    The Daily Blog
  • Eric Garner killed by NYPD original footage
    The horror of a ultra militarised and racist American Police Force who can kill with impunity. Obama claims cameras on every office would stop this type of brutality, these cops knew they were being filmed and killed him anyway. In...
    The Daily Blog
  • Unjust to imprison us for crimes we haven’t yet committed
    Once again National and Labour have succumbed to the “law and order” brigade enabling the passage of a Bill imprisoning people for crimes they might commit in the future. The Public Safety (Public Protection Orders) Bill allows the Court to...
    The Daily Blog
  • Review into Phillip Smith’s escape submitted to Government
    A multi-agency review on the escape of Phillip Smith to South America has submitted its initial report to the Government today....
    Scoop politics
  • Len Brown gets haybales from giant chicken and Ms. Santa Cla
    Today at 10.30am, Ms. Santa Claus and a giant chicken delivered haybales to Len Brown’s office, urging Auckland City Council to decline a resource consent application sought by cage egg producer Craddock Farms....
    Scoop politics
  • Increased Abuse of Parents A Predicted Outcome
    Family First NZ says that the increasing level of parental abuse , especially towards mothers, is an unfortunate but expected outcome of the rise of children’s ‘rights’ and the undermining of parental authority....
    Scoop politics
  • Brownlee’s Misplaced War on Acronyms
    The beleaguered Minister of Defence who reportedly cannot tell an RFL (required fitness level) from an AWQ (annual weapons qualification) has declared war on military acronyms while proving the proverb about those in glass houses....
    Scoop politics
  • Fluoride risks whitewashed in rushed consultation
    Ministry of Health propose to exempt toxic industrial waste products used in water fluoridation from the Medicines Act 1981...
    Scoop politics
  • Practical Tips on Working and Living in New Zealand
    JUANderful Juan” in 7-Minute Migrante Video Project Shares Practical Tips on Working and Living in New Zealand...
    Scoop politics
  • Christmas Day in Prison
    Christmas Day in prison this year will involve swapping the main meal of the day, so that dinner will be served at lunchtime, leaving the evening meal to be sandwiches. This is standard practice for this day....
    Scoop politics
  • Alcohol advertising bans need stronger evidence
    Wellington (18 December 2014): The New Zealand Initiative’s Head of Research, Dr Eric Crampton, today urged Cabinet to look to the evidence before banning alcohol advertising and sponsorship. The Ministerial Forum on Advertising and Sponsorship...
    Scoop politics
  • EPA grants marine consent to OMV NZ Ltd
    The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) has granted a marine consent to OMV NZ Ltd to continue its development drilling programme in the Maari oil field in the South Taranaki Bight....
    Scoop politics
  • DHB puts staff and patients at risk in order to save money
    The Public Service Association (PSA) is alarmed that the Waikato District Health Board (WDHB) is proposing to cut the 4 and 2 roster system, established nationally, for mental health nurses. The PSA represents more than 210 mental health nurses working...
    Scoop politics
  • Ambivilence about alcohol marketing recommendations
    Ministers Adams and Dunn issued a media release yesterday nearly two months after receiving a final report from their Ministerial Forum on Alcohol Advertising and Sponsorship, and four years following an original announcement to review alcohol...
    Scoop politics
  • Alcohol forum recommendations: a step in the right direction
    The Forum has stated clearly that that it accepts alcohol marketing plays a role in heavy alcohol consumption and subsequent harm, and that young people need to be protected from it by regulation....
    Scoop politics
  • Court Judgment: Nicky Hager v Police on Dirty Politics Raids
    Mr Hager alleges that steps taken by the second respondent (the Police): first, in deciding to apply for a search warrant in respect of Mr Hager’s premises; secondly, in applying for the warrant; and thirdly, executing the warrant at his...
    Scoop politics
  • Holiday home hazards revealed
    Common sense ways to look after your property this summer Auckland, 18 December 2014 – Burglars aren’t the only threat to your home during the holiday season, says AA Insurance. It’s more likely to be broken water pipes, burst hot...
    Scoop politics
  • Grieving families should be able to scatter ashes in peace
    Grieving families should be able to scatter ashes in peace 18 December 2014 Funeral directors are relieved that Wellington City Council has finally dropped plans to charge families for permits to scatter ashes in public places. Funeral Directors...
    Scoop politics
  • RSA Offers Condolences To Victims Of Sydney Siege
    As an organisation representing over 100,000 New Zealanders, the RSA has today condemned the actions taken by Man Haron Monis during his siege in a Sydney café, and offered their deepest sympathies to the friends and family of Tori Johnson...
    Scoop politics
  • Kiwi activists crowdfund billboard for Simon Bridges
    Almost seven thousand New Zealanders have taken part in a crowdfunding campaign, and have raised enough money to put a billboard up in Tauranga that is directed at Simon Bridges, the Minister of Energy and Resources....
    Scoop politics
  • Leaked TISA text exposes US threat to privacy, data security
    ‘The US is demanding that New Zealand and other countries accept sweeping rules that would override privacy protections for digitised personal and other data’, according to Professor Jane Kelsey from the University of Auckland....
    Scoop politics
  • Lyttelton Port workers begin overtime ban
    Workers of Christchurch Rail and Lyttelton Port have begun an indefinite ban on overtime, according to the Rail and Maritime Transport Union. The ban was announced at a mass meeting at the Port after negotiations between Lyttelton Port of Christchurch...
    Scoop politics
  • Ban on Alcohol Advertising Could Cost Taxpayer
    Responding to yesterday's release of the report of the Ministerial Forum on Alcohol Advertising and Sponsorship, Jordan Williams, the Executive Director of the Taxpayers’ Union says:...
    Scoop politics
  • Farm safety isn’t helped by punitive fines
    Federated Farmers Health and Safety spokesperson, Katie Milne says she is concerned about the impact of the $40,000 fine for a Marlborough farm couple, who weren’t wearing helmets and carrying children as passengers. The Court case, and subsequent...
    Scoop politics
  • New online guide to NZ’s environment goes live
    The Environment Foundation* has launched a new web-based guide to the management of New Zealand’s natural environment....
    Scoop politics
  • Ban On Alcohol Advertising Just One Step
    Family First NZ says that a proposed ban on alcohol advertising at sports events as recommended by a ministerial forum is an important move, but will not solve the binge drinking and alcohol abuse issue on its own....
    Scoop politics
  • CLANZ scholarship winner to examine legal services to Crown
    Wellington in-house lawyer Tania Warburton is the inaugural winner of the research scholarship established by the Corporate Lawyers Association of New Zealand (CLANZ)....
    Scoop politics
  • Joint Australasian operation dismantles drug syndicate
    The Joint Organised Crime Task Force (JOCTF), leading a multi-agency team, has smashed a multi-million dollar international organised crime network following raids across Melbourne this morning....
    Scoop politics
  • Video: Meet Mark Gilbert, U.S. Ambassador-Designate to NZ
    Join us in welcoming Ambassador-Designate Mark Gilbert and his wife Nancy. They are arriving in New Zealand shortly and wanted to introduce themselves. Watch this video to learn about his connections with Aotearoa, and why he thinks the partnership between...
    Scoop politics
  • MIA Welcomes Review Findings
    The MIA welcomes the findings of the Health Quality & Safety Commission into child and youth mortality arising from the use of motorcycles, quads and other agricultural vehicles....
    Scoop politics
  • Quads Bikes Not for Under 16s
    Safekids Aotearoa strongly supports recommendations made in a report released today highlighting the dangers posed by quad bikes when ridden or controlled by children who are under 16 years of age....
    Scoop politics
  • Inquiry on Parliament’s legislative response to emergencies
    Public submissions are being invited on Regulations Review Committee’s Inquiry into Parliament’s legislative response to future national emergencies. The closing date for submissions is Sunday, 1 March 2015....
    Scoop politics
  • Switch off on the beach NOT at level crossings
    KiwiRail and TrackSAFE NZ have launched a new summer rail safety campaign with a message to motorists to stay focused and always look for trains at level crossings over the holidays. December is known as the month for family, festivity...
    Scoop politics
  • Report on child and youth deaths from vehicle use
    Quad bike and other off-road vehicle accidents second largest cause of child recreational deaths...
    Scoop politics
  • Inspector-General accepts apology for leak of report
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security, Cheryl Gwyn, has accepted an unreserved apology from Hon Phil Goff MP for disclosing some of the contents of her recent Report into the Release of Information by the NZSIS in July and August...
    Scoop politics
  • Santa’s naughty list shows NZPork in trouble
    Santa has provided animal advocacy organisation SAFE with an early copy of this year’s naughty list , as it prominently features many animal-abusing industries and businesses, with NZPork topping the list....
    Scoop politics
  • WWI veterans had persisting higher risk of early death
    New research on the impact of the First World War on participating New Zealand soldiers shows they typically lost around eight years of life and had an increased risk of early death in the post-war period....
    Scoop politics
  • Rainbow Wellington urges further change from Blood Service
    This week the New Zealand Blood Service (NZBS) announced the implementation of the agreed changes to blood donor deferral. For men who have sex with men (MSM) this primarily involves a reduction of the deferral period from five years to...
    Scoop politics
  • New Zealand Government signals reversal of fortune
    The Government’s robust $372 million forecast surplus from Budget 2014 will turn into a $572 million deficit, according to the 2015 Half-Yearly Economic and Fiscal Update and the Budget Policy Statement. Imports are cheaper and good export prices...
    Scoop politics
  • Time for Jobs that Count in the Meat Industry
    The NZ Meat Workers Union will launch a new national campaign to highlight job insecurity in the Meat Industry this afternoon in Palmerston North....
    Scoop politics
  • Protest at killing of schoolboys – Vigil 17/12/14
    A peaceful vigil will be held in Downtown Square opposite Britomart station – cnr of Queen and Customs St from 11-45 am: Wednesday 17 December 2014....
    Scoop politics
  • Social housing provider opens development in Johnsonvillle
    Social housing provider, Accessible Properties, will be opening eight new social housing units in a new housing development in Johnsonville tomorrow....
    Scoop politics
  • NCWNZ Wins Court Case
    ComVoices welcomes and celebrates the news that the National Council of Women of New Zealand (NCWNZ) has won its High Court case against Inland Revenue and the Charities Registration Board....
    Scoop politics
  • Cut Taxes + Cut Waste = Surplus
    Responding to the Treasury's Half Year Fiscal and Economic Update, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says:...
    Scoop politics
  • Cuts in public services likely fromBudget Policy Statement
    The horizon for workers looks gloomy with the release today of the Budget Policy statement. “Continuing real cuts in Government funding of public services are inevitable as a result of today’s Budget Policy Statement. The policy ignores the social,...
    Scoop politics
  • Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update 2014
    The Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update (HYEFU) 2014 provides the Treasury's latest economic forecasts and the forecast financial statements of the Government, including the implications of Government financial decisions....
    Scoop politics
  • Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update 2014
    The Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update (HYEFU) 2014 provides the Treasury's latest economic forecasts and the forecast financial statements of the Government, including the implications of Government financial decisions....
    Scoop politics
  • Chief Ombudsman launches major review of OIA practices
    The Chief Ombudsman, Dame Beverley Wakem, has today begun a wide ranging review of Official Information Act (OIA) practices in the public sector....
    Scoop politics
  • The Tasman Sea got a little smaller this morning
    “Our hearts and minds are with the people of Sydney: the Tasman Sea got a little smaller this morning,” said Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy....
    Scoop politics
  • A safety message for the festive season from Housing NZ
    Batteries may be required for some of the best toys under the tree this year, but they are just as essential to enjoying the greatest gift of all, says Housing New Zealand General Manager of Property Services, Marcus Bosch. “Smoke...
    Scoop politics
  • Charity Wins in the High Court
    The National Council of Women of New Zealand (NCWNZ) is delighted that the High Court has found in its favour in its case against Inland Revenue and the Charities Registration Board....
    Scoop politics
  • Government cutting back health services to dangle tax cuts
    The health service is already too stretched, and cutting further into New Zealanders’ health services to fund tax cuts is irresponsible, the CTU said today. Leaked cabinet committee papers have revealed District Health Boards need an additional $440 million...
    Scoop politics
  • Christian Network calls for prayers and understanding
    New Zealand Christian Network director Glyn Carpenter is calling for people to pray and exercise understanding over the Sydney hostage incident....
    Scoop politics
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