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Open mike 18/01/2014

Written By: - Date published: 6:34 am, January 18th, 2014 - 74 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

 

openmike

Open mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the Policy).

Step right up to the mike …

74 comments on “Open mike 18/01/2014”

  1. karol 1

    I have mixed feelings about Chris Finlayson’s language memo (it’s not a “jihad”, Andrea). However, it’s a worry that these little details are of such extreme concern to Mr F when I country has some extremely pressing legal issues to worry about – was Finlayson worried about language and over use of commas when he was in on a 2011 meeting in Sydney with attorney generals from the other 5 Eyes countries?

    I’m against over-use of meaningless jargon. But I have no problem with most of these words:

    Staff are forbidden to use “heads-up” and should instead plump for “early” or “preliminary indication”.

    Also out in his language jihad are “process”, “outcome”, “community”, “stakeholder” and “cutting edge”.

    In particular what is wrong with “community”, if used to actually mean a community of people? Is Finlayson just opposed to processes and communities? “Outome” is actually a word that became overused with post 80s “neoliberal” managerialism – looking for short term, easily identified results of a programme, event or policy. “Preliminary indication” just sounds like stuffy old public school.

    Finlayson’s obession with commas and “that” is just overly fussy. Looks very much old, Brit public school to me.

    Mr Finlayson, who is also attorney-general, harbours a special dislike of Oxford commas, split infinitives and any extraneous uses of “that”.

    “The minister has commented ‘commas hunt in pairs’. This would, for example, look like this’,” the memo instructs bureaucrats.

    The guide reveals Mr Finlayson has a very strict style for his letters. The address must be preceded by eight to 11 blank lines, with four lines for his signature. The font should be Arial, 12 point, and centred. “Don’t split paragraphs over pages,” the guide warns.

    According to the note: “Minister Finlayson addresses his colleagues, support party colleagues and people he knows by first name.” Opposition MPs “should be addressed by their last name”.

  2. Jan 2

    Nero fiddles while Rome burns!

    • bad12 2.1

      Indeed, i have a suggestion as to what it is Nero fiddles with as well, but, in the interests of my ability to continue to comment will leave that to the imagination…

      • Tim 2.1.1

        … and I wouldn’t mind mentioning the term some of his acquaintances use to describe him (behind his back of course) but can’t do so for the same reason.

  3. Colonial Viper 3

    Falsified: US assertion that chem weapons rockets were fired from Syrian govt territory

    Just plain bloody dodgy.

    A team of security and arms experts, meeting this week in Washington to discuss the matter, has concluded that the range of the rocket that delivered sarin in the largest attack that night was too short for the device to have been fired from the Syrian government positions where the Obama administration insists they originated.

    http://www.zerohedge.com/contributed/2014-01-16/weapons-inspectors-syrian-chemical-weapons-fired-rebel-held-territory

  4. captain hook 4

    News this a.m. in the dompost. John Hayes to stand down in the Wairarapa Electorate. It was a sinecure for him anyway as he was bloody useless. You know. Tunnel under the r
    Rimutakas and an international airport and a nuclear reactor.
    The good news is the New Zealand Labour Party have a young local candidate with juice ready to go so make sure the turnout goes his way.

    • Ron 4.1

      That cannot be correct surely. They must have an old ‘has been’ for the seat

      The good news is the New Zealand Labour Party have a young local candidate with juice ready to go so make sure the turnout goes his way.

  5. Rosie 5

    Hi Phillip,

    Things got a bit hot yesterday on Open Mike. I don’t see that as a bad thing though. I didn’t have time to make a thoughtful contribution and the talk was so intense that reply buttons ran out anyway.

    If you’ll allow me, I would like to comment on the discussion, because I think it’s important to consider The Unity of The Left, here in our little corner of the world right at the moment. Q.O.T did a great post on New Years’ day about this, so no need to repeat the message.

    I enjoy your political discussions. Personally I don’t get offended by your judgements against non vegans. I reckon, we don’t have to share a kitchen so I couldn’t really care about any thoughts you may have about my personal lifestyle choices, which incidentally, are now pescetarian, after 30 thirty years of being vegetarian.

    What I do notice though is by your condemnation of non vegans you may alienate your comrades on the Left, and discourage conversation. I wonder how many people comment here who are carnivores, and perhaps do great work in the community may feel a bit attacked or made to feel guilty about their personal decisions. I think there are commenters and authors who are doing beneficial work to the Left, that’s the feeling I get from some of the talk. Is it really fair that they are made to feel stink for being carnivores?

    I’d also add that “lifestyle choices” (I can’t think of a less daft term right now) aren’t everybody’s priority if they are struggling to get by and just coping with trying to find money to get to a Dr or get 3 meals per day. Some folks eat what they can with what little they have. To be told to eat a certain way when you have so little choice to begin with may sound patronising and very middle class to some.As if there is the luxury of choice!

    I am purposefully putting aside all arguments for and against the vegan lifestyle. I just wanted to get across that you may be alienating some folks in the way you promote the vegan lifestyle, at the expense of creating unity. A little tolerance goes a long way. I’m not telling you to cease, in fact I think the more diverse the interests of commenters the better. I’m just saying if you do want to educate folks maybe a less confrontational approach might be more readily absorbed by your audience.

    Kia Ora.

    • thanks fr yr considered comments..rosie..

      ..i try not to ‘condemn’ non-vegans..

      ..i am just trying to let people know that they can feel much better/not hurt animals..etc..etc..

      ..and..you mention ‘offending’ people by pointing these facts out..

      ..i’m sorry..but i have weighed up the ‘offending’ of other people who are pretty much on the same path as me in other ways..

      ..against the suffering of/cruelties done to animals..

      ..and the latter wins out..

      ..you also mentioned the ‘costs’ of my lifestyle/diet-choices..

      ..and i hafta say..that occaisonally i catch the price of meat etc..and it blows my mind..it is so expensive..

      ..and a healthy vegan lifestyle costs far less financially that being a carnivore..

      ..that ‘expensive’-tag is a misnomer..

      ..i do/have this uber-healthy porridge recipie..(that i have just further refined..and which my university-aged son is (again) very enthused about..)

      ..that fills the belly until mid-afternoon..

      (as just one example of cheap vegan..i should do a ‘cheap ‘n easy-vegan’ cookbook..eh..?..)

      ..i hope that helps clarify..

      ..and again..thank you for yr considered words/thoughts..

      ..phillip ure..

      • Rosie 5.1.1

        Hi phil. I don’t disagree that folks should be aware of the ethics of animal consumption – and I have spent the last 30 years explaining these things to people who asked me why I didn’t eat meat, so in some ways we may share similar views.

        I am really really really trying not to go down the road of pro’s and cons of a vegan lifestyle. I will however give support to you for your special porridge. Thats great. (I once saw on a doco, an 80+ Scotsman who had the clan system survived, would have been a chieftain, but was still loosely regarded as one anyway, who was I’m sorry to say, given the topic, still doing cattle droving. He put his longevity, vigour for life and energy for droving down to a sturdy bowl of porridge in the morning and of course a wee dram of an evening). So yes, oats are awesome. And yes to the cheap’ n easy vegan cookbook. Cheap n easy anything is always a winner.

        My only concern is the delivery of your message. Remember you are dealing with an audience who largely seem to be aware of the nature of industrial farming, going by the articles and comments and who are thoughtful about many issues. I would be surprised if there were many on this site (perhaps excluding the RWNJ’s) who mindlessly shove food in their gob without at some point in their lives considering the origin and processing of it. After that, the way I see it, is that it’s really up to them what they choose to eat. Eh?

      • Ron 5.1.2

        Well come on share it!

        ..i do/have this uber-healthy porridge recipie..(that i have just further refined..and which my university-aged son is (again) very enthused about..)

        • phillip ure 5.1.2.1

          ok ron..busy 2 nite..

          ..will put in up on general debate 2morrow morn..

          (i am seriously chuffed with this new method..

          ..i developed it because ‘the boy’ said he was going off the earlier iteration..

          ..and i was facing (to me) this uncomfortable situation of him going thru his life saying:..’

          ..”..nah..!..my old man burnt me out on porridge’..

          ..so i sat down and did a serious critique of how i was doing it..

          ..the end result..

          ..and how i could make that experience so much better..

          ..and it worked..

          ..and ‘the boy’ is back there..with bells on/enthusiastic-nods..

          ..and it is so good..(and simple/easy..much easier than the earlier model..)..

          ..you can have it without any milk of any sort..should you choose..

          ..so..2morrow..

          phillip ure..

    • Murray Olsen 5.2

      I am an omnivore, except for tofu, which I refuse to eat. I am neither offended nor put off by Phillip’s opinions on veganism. He can eat what he likes, and think what he likes about my diet. He is welcome to do the same with the colour of my clothing and the length of my hair.

      I rank arguing about diet along with arguing about religion. I am also an atheist, but this has almost no importance to me. I am unable to quote one single thing that Chris Hitchens ever said. Each to their own.

  6. Tim 6

    “I enjoy your [PU's] political discussions.”
    Ditto here, and the sense of humour, and intellect

    • Rosie 6.1

      I enjoy Phil’s humour too, and interest in music.

      • Belladonna 6.1.1

        I enjoy Phil’s contributions also, especially as a vegan I really enjoy the passion with which he defends the rights of animals to have a cruelty free existence. If his posts convince a few to stop eating meat and dairy and they convince a few more and so on, in my opinion he is doing all he can to promote a kinder world than we have now. What could be wrong with that?

        • Rosie 6.1.1.1

          “What could be wrong with that?”

          Nothing at all Belladonna. As mentioned the issue really is the delivery and the risk of alienation. Folks won’t take on board a message if they are being shouted at or judged – that approach is a barrier and may elicit the exact opposite desired behaviour.

        • QoT 6.1.1.2

          Well for a start, there’s nothing “kind” about phillip’s approach. It’s hectoring, nasty, and often personally insulting. That’s nothing new around here, but it does pretty much explode any fairytale about him as some ~beneficent teacher~ trying to ~heal the world~.

  7. enoch powell 7

    I love eating meat because it helps kill cows. Which drops methane gas levels, and has an impact on Global warming. All for the cause of mother nature

  8. Morrissey 8

    Children burned with cigarettes by Israeli soldiers in illegal settlement
    Submitted by Nora Barrows-Fr… on Wed, 01/15/2014 – 19:11

    Three Palestinian children were allegedly burned with lit cigarettes and denied access to food, water or toilet facilities after being arrested and detained by Israeli soldiers and police in September, a new report indicates. In separate incidents, the three children were allegedly assaulted and abused during arrest and transfer to the Ariel police station, which is located inside the illegal Ariel settlement colony in the occupied West Bank.

    Defence for Children International-Palestine section (DCI-Palestine) says that Israeli soldiers “severely and repeatedly beat Ali S, 14, from Azzun, Hendi S, 17, from Salfit, and Mohammad A, 15, from Tulkarem after arresting them. One soldier extinguished a cigarette butt on Ali’s lip while another burned Hendi’s arm with a cigarette, according to the sworn testimonies of the two teenagers. Hendi and Mohammad were denied access to food, water and toilet facilities for a long period. All three of them were accused of stone throwing.”

    DCI-Palestine adds that it submitted ten separate complaints in 2013 over alleged abuse and “torture of Palestinian children by Israeli soldiers and police,” but that in eight of the cases, “Israeli authorities failed to notify DCI-Palestine whether they had opened an investigation. The remaining two cases resulted in the military advocate-general’s decision to close the investigation due to insufficient evidence. Israeli authorities deem the refusal of victims to testify without the presence of a lawyer as insufficient evidence.”

    The group cites statistics by Yesh Din, an Israeli human rights organization, which reports…..

    Read more…..
    http://electronicintifada.net/blogs/nora-barrows-friedman/children-burned-cigarettes-israeli-soldiers-illegal-settlement

    And now, as a contrast to that bunch of lefty, liberal, do-gooder, self-loathing, Arabushim-loving Israeli human rights troublemakers, have a look at how a far less fastidious visitor insisted that things were “generally very relaxed” in the Occupied Territories after his regime-sponsored visit there….
    http://thestandard.org.nz/open-mike-15092013/#comment-696521

    • enoch powell 8.1

      I find it difficult to single out one country or religion for atrocities out there. Have you read what happened to children at the hands of their Muslim abductors in the Nigerian shopping mall way worse than what you just posted. How ever you never hear about it as the media don’t appear to want to upset the Muslims

      http://www.barenakedislam.com/2013/09/27/did-you-hear-about-the-horrific-torture-inflicted-by-the-muslim-savages-in-the-nairobi-mall/

      • Morrissey 8.1.1

        I find it difficult to single out one country or religion for atrocities out there.

        You find it difficult because you don’t know anything about the situation. As shown by your almost incredible choice of a racist citation—”Muslim savages”—you don’t even have the sense to present yourself as anything other than a crass ignoramus. When I first saw it, I thought your choice of moniker was a slyly humorous touch, but now I doubt you have the wit to realise how people (other than ACT party and S.S. Trust members) react to that name.

        How about you start reading a few books about the history and reality of Israel’s internationally condemned occupation of the West Bank and its imprisonment of the people of Gaza?

        Then get back to us.

        • enoch powell 8.1.1.1

          Oh but I have how come most Muslim countries in the Middle East have corrupt governments and enjoy killing each other Shia versus Sunni. It would appear that Israel is one of the few democracies in the Middle East

          • Morrissey 8.1.1.1.1

            As I said before, it is quite obvious you know nothing. Why are you here? You have reading to do.

            Off you go now.

            • enoch powell 8.1.1.1.1.1

              I have read enough to know that there is no such thing as a Palestinian ,and the people that actually claim that name come from Syria so your point is

              http://www.targetofopportunity.com/palestinian_truth.htm

              Off you go now do some reading theres a good boy

              • Morrissey

                I have read enough….

                Liar. Clearly you have read almost nothing on this subject, and certainly nothing scholarly or rigorous or intelligent. You are even so ignorant as to cite a fascist website to bolster your non-argument.

                Again, you are so out of your depth I almost feel pity for you.

                Lyn, how long will this ignorant, incendiary troll be allowed to post up his rubbish here? Intelligent and thoughtful people like Penny Bright incur bans for breaching protocol, but this fool breaches not only protocol but good taste, decency and common sense. Surely he can’t have long left here?

                • enoch powell

                  Morrissey just because people have a different view to you doesn’t make them an imbecile. Do you claim to be the almighty oracle on this subject. Please read some more am particularly interested in what Professor Hitti said about Palestine an Arab history professor. I guess he wouldn’t know as much as you though.

                  http://www.imninalu.net/myths-pals.htm

              • Rosie

                Hey! EP here’s a song for you!

                Muslamic Ray Guns

                http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AIPD8qHhtVU

                • enoch powell

                  Thanks Rosie I love the religion of peace ,and the way they express it all over the world

              • freedom

                drinking the Kool Aid is bad enough but injecting it directly into your prefrontal cortex cannot be healthy

              • Draco T Bastard

                So, according to your logic, there’s no such thing as a NZer as we all came from somewhere else.

                • Morrissey

                  Draco, you’re attempting to engage with someone who is simply not up to it. I think we should leave him alone now and let him slope off back to that home for the terminally bewildered, Kiwiblog.

          • Te Reo Putake 8.1.1.1.2

            That Israel is a democracy does not excuse them. It makes it worse.

            ps your link is bullshit.

            pps Wot moz said.

        • Grumpy 8.1.1.2

          “Muslim” is a race? Who would of thought……..?

          • Rosie 8.1.1.2.1

            And wow! “there is no such thing as a Palestinian”. That Oxfam Xmas money that was sent to a Palestinian Donkey Welfare organisation on my behalf must have been sent to an imaginary country.

      • Will@Welly 8.1.2

        Nice to see you back in the game enoch. Bit hard to lead the up-rising, to take the chosen few to the promised land, when the dear leader, is part-Jewish, and your beliefs all the way through have always been anti-Semitic.
        But enoch, just like in England, when you tried to rouse the rabble, you might have left your run a tad too late. You see, the Maori’s have not one but two parties, Pacific Islanders are well and truly established in our communities, some are even “icons”, and as for Asians, matey, well, they run so many of our businesses and contribute so much to our society. On a personal note, a night out isn’t the same if it isn’t flavoured with a curry or a goreng.
        It might be time enoch to pack ya bags and follow dear ole Jaunty Key, and keel-ho back to Blighty, and hanker down, and wait till the day Mr. Key arrives, resplendent with his titular title, a knighthood, for services rendered, in selling-off as much as he can, of NZ Inc. A despicable man, much like you, enoch powell.

      • Grumpy 8.1.3

        Pretty harrowing…….like you, I would have thought it to be further up Morrissey’s outrage scale than a bullshit unsubstantiated “report” about some spurious Israeli soldier being careless with a cigarette…..

  9. Tim 9

    @enoch
    that was a brilliant speech you gave way back when as Maggie came to power. We showed ‘em eh!
    Good to see Tarn Yabbit, his johnny cum lately sucker upper Mr Key (fresh from an Obama foto-op) really are beginning to show those pathetic suckers whose boss!. None of ya bloody ‘illegals, queue jumpers, bloody Kiwis bludging of the Australian people/ Nanny State shit eh?.
    Hey btw … that fuckn roo meat … whoooooooar!
    And you know what – apparently roos don’t fart aye – global warming solved!

  10. freedom 10

    Alert the authorities !!!
    apparently Roger has escaped from American Dad and is using the pseudonym of enoch powell

  11. Draco T Bastard 11

    Pakeha child abuse ignored – researcher

    Merchant urged the public and media to focus on real problems of child abuse, rather than making Maori the “face of abuse”.

    “The real danger I have seen from a social worker point of view is that there are a lot of children being abused but as far as the public are concerned they only seem to know about the ones that are Maori.

    “Child abuse is a problem for all people, not just for Maori.”

    As a Pākeha who grew up in an abusive household, I concur.

    • Rosie 11.1

      “As a Pākeha who grew up in an abusive household, I concur”

      Ditto…..

      This point from the article may illustrate why there is so much misconception:

      “Almost 9000 children were victims of physical abuse between 2000 and 2008, yet only 21 became “household names”‘ in the media, she said.

      Just one-third of child deaths were reported in the press, and they were predominantly Maori cases”.

      • Draco T Bastard 11.1.1

        Yes, it appears that the MSM are the cause of the massive misunderstandings across our society rather than the understanding that they should be bringing about. Another obvious misunderstanding is the one about just what the repeal of s59 actually meant.

  12. Rosie 12

    “As a Pākeha who grew up in an abusive household, I concur”

    Ditto…..

    This point from the article may illustrate why there is so much misconception:

    “Almost 9000 children were victims of physical abuse between 2000 and 2008, yet only 21 became “household names”‘ in the media, she said.

    Just one-third of child deaths were reported in the press, and they were predominantly Maori cases”.

    • Rosie 12.1

      Oopsie. Double up. Can’t delete.

    • Jan 12.2

      There is a case to consider that this may be as much a class issue as a race one. My story is not a child abuse one but my partner was abusive to me. I left him and tried to work out what to do. He was Maori, but he was also a lawyer. The pressure to stay away from authorities and the law (which, incidentally, I caved in to) was because he was a middle-class professional. Ethnicity wasn’t an issue. Considering the continuing over-representation of Maori in the under classes, do you think this causes skewing of the statistics? The middle-classes, for a variety of status and economic reasons, probably, tend not to report

      • RedBaronCV 12.2.1

        How very true Jan. There is planety of this in the higher income groups. And had you gone near them they would not have hesitated to ratify his behaviour and find every excuse imaginable to blame you

        • Jan 12.2.1.1

          It wasn’t that so much as “What will it do to his career? What will it do to his reputation? Think of the children.”

  13. Draco T Bastard 13

    David Brooks Is Wrong About Inequality

    The thing is, while growing affluence for the rich isn’t causing low and moderate incomes to stagnate, they are to a large extent results of the same forces. There is a zero-sum tradeoff between the two, so a zero-sum mentality (primitive or otherwise) is called for.

    Productive economic activity produces returns to both labour and capital. Over the last few decades, returns to labour have fallen relative to returns to capital. This has promoted sharp rises in wealth at the top and stagnating wage income for most of the public.

    He’s trying very hard to say that the economy isn’t a zero-sum game while pointing out that that is exactly what it is. Still, further down he does make some good points about the policy settings that have caused an increase in inequality across the globe.

  14. joe90 14

    If it’s ever found I suspect the truth will be stranger than anything Franz Kafka wrote.

    Data collection has a crucial role in Kafka’s novels: in The Castle, there is almost incessant talk of record-keeping and the collection of personal data is shown in all its grotesque detail. This, too, has little to do with any clairvoyant abilities on Kafka’s part and instead a great deal to do with his professional experiences: he was an official at a state-run insurance company for workers and he quicklyrealised that the emphasis on statistical assessment was something new and daunting. In his office, individual lives and catastrophes became fodder for files and actuaries. Kafka, who was sensitive to the social implications of these modern means of bureaucracy, recognised that they also altered the thinking of people affected. Anyone who deals with this kind of agency has no choice but to adapt to its routines. Kafka was surprised that the system’s worst victims did not force their way into his office but instead filled out the forms submissively, then awaited their notification.

    http://www.newstatesman.com/2014/01/death-data-how-kafkas-trial-prefigured-nightmare-modern-surveillance-state

  15. enoch powell 15

    Morrissey
    I am really interested in these comments

    Let us hear what other Arabs have said:

    “There is no such country as Palestine. ‘Palestine’ is a term the Zionists invented. There is no Palestine in the Bible. Our country was for centuries part of Syria. ‘Palestine’ is alien to us. It is the Zionists who introduced it”.

    - Auni Bey Abdul-Hadi, Syrian Arab leader to British Peel Commission, 1937 -

    There is no such thing as Palestine in history, absolutely not”.

    - Professor Philip Hitti, Arab historian, 1946 -

    “It is common knowledge that Palestine is nothing but Southern Syria”.

    - Representant of Saudi Arabia at the United Nations, 1956 -

    As I lived in Palestine, everyone I knew could trace their heritage back to the original country their great grandparents came from. Everyone knew their origin was not from the Canaanites, but ironically, this is the kind of stuff our education in the Middle East included. The fact is that today’s Palestinians are immigrants from the surrounding nations! I grew up well knowing the history and origins of today’s Palestinians as being from Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Christians from Greece, muslim Sherkas from Russia, muslims from Bosnia, and the Jordanians next door. My grandfather, who was a dignitary in Bethlehem, almost lost his life by Abdul Qader Al-Husseni (the leader of the Palestinian revolution) after being accused of selling land to Jews. He used to tell us that his village Beit Sahur (The Shepherds Fields) in Bethlehem County was empty before his father settled in the area with six other families. The town has now grown to 30,000 inhabitants”.

    - Walid Shoebat, an “ex-Palestinian” Arab -

  16. joe90 16

    Citing a liar and a fraud confirms just how fucking stupid you are.

    “Being an ex-terrorist myself is to understand the mindset of a terrorist,” Shoebat told CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360.”

    But CNN reporters in the United States, Israel and the Palestinianterritories found no evidence that would support that biography. Neither Shoebat nor his business partner provided any proof of Shoebat’s involvement in terrorism, despite repeated requests.

    Back in his hometown of Beit Sahour, outside Bethlehem, relatives say they can’t understand how Shoebat could turn so roundly on his family and his faith.

    “I have never heard anything about Walid being a mujahedeen or a terrorist,” said Daood Shoebat, who says he is Walid Shoebat’s fourth cousin. “He claims this for his own personal reasons.”
    CNN’s Jerusalem bureau went to great lengths trying to verify Shoebat’s story. The Tel Aviv headquarters of Bank Leumi had no record of a firebombing at its now-demolished Bethlehem branch. Israeli police had no record of the bombing, and the prison where Shoebat says he was held “for a few weeks” for inciting anti-Israel demonstrations says it has no record of him being incarcerated there either.

    http://walid-shoebat.blogspot.co.nz/2011/07/ex-terrorist-rakes-in-homeland-security.html

    http://www.loonwatch.com/tag/walid-shoebat/

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  • Following in illustrious footsteps
    Gaylene Nepia is campaign manager for both the national Māori campaign and for her brother Adrian Rurawhe - Labour’s candidate for the Te Tai Hauāuru electorate. Mr Rurawhe and Mrs Nepia are great grandchildren of Tahupotiki Wiremu Ratana, founder of the...
    Labour campaign | 30-07
  • Seeing life through a Maori lens
    Meka Whaitiri, MP for Ikaroa-Rawhiti, is contesting the seat for the first time at a general election. She entered Parliament through a by-election in June last year, following the death of her predecessor Parekura Horomia....
    Labour campaign | 30-07
  • Bribery
    So, it turns out that the government blew $240,000 on hosting eleven oil company executives for a four-day junket during the 2011 rugby world cup. In Parliament today Energy Minister Simon Bridges admitted that $22,000 of that spending was on...
    No Right Turn | 30-07
  • All other things being equal… except they aren’t
    US Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts likes to say that “the way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race", a sentiment ACT leader Jamie Whyte would applaud going by...
    Pundit | 30-07
  • Celebrating a great talent pool
    I've been an MP since the 1996 election, first for Te Tai Hauauru and then for Tainui, which became Hauraki-Waikato after boundary changes. I'm seeing a real energy around Labour among Māori. The talent pool that Labour is fielding in both...
    Labour campaign | 30-07
  • Labour on wages
    Great to see positive, progressive policy from Labour on wages today. The core points are: Increase the minimum wage by $2 an hour in our first year, to $15 an hour in our first hundred days in government, and increased...
    Polity | 30-07
  • Inequality: Balancing the Extremes from Credit Suisse Research Institute
    click here for this youtube clip...
    Closing the Gap | 30-07
  • Labours policies a step change for working people
    “After six long years of working life getting tougher in New Zealand workers have been given a real choice today with the announcement of Labours Industrial Relations policy package.” CTU President Helen Kelly said...
    CTU | 30-07
  • Inequality and Its Consequences Stiglitz and Feldstein
    click here for this youtube discusioon...
    Closing the Gap | 30-07
  • Australia’s corruption cover-up
    Wikileaks strikes again:A sweeping gagging order issued in Australia to block reporting of any bribery allegations involving several international political leaders in the region has been exposed by WikiLeaks. The prohibition emerged from a criminal case in the Australian courts...
    No Right Turn | 30-07
  • A bottom-up plan for inequality
    Labour released its "work and wages" policy today. The headlines? Abolishing the 90-day law and increasing the minimum wage by $2 to $16.25 an hour by April 2015. Those are fairly obvious ways of delivering to their core constituency, but...
    No Right Turn | 30-07
  • World News Brief, Wednesday July 30
    Top of the AgendaU.S., EU to Toughen Sanctions on Russia...
    Pundit | 30-07
  • Where are Labour’s billboards?
    On Sunday, I drove from Gisborne to Katikati, through Opotiki, Te Puke and Tauranga. Yesterday afternoon/evening, I made the return journey. One thing I noticed is that National Party billboards popped up regularly, mixtures of individual candidates’ billboards (simply stating...
    Occasionally erudite | 30-07
  • “Improving”
    End-of-Year process positive for Novopay, Steven Joyce, 17 January 2014:Minister Responsible for Novopay Steven Joyce says a 100 per cent completion rate for schools involved in the End-of-Year process and an accompanying low error rate are tributes to the hard...
    No Right Turn | 30-07
  • Farmers don’t set out to pollute our rivers
    It can be easy to vilify farmers. But no farmer sets out to create pollution, and the evidence suggests that many farmers are either already acting responsibly or that they are lifting their game. In particular, dairy farmers are acting....
    Gareth’s World | 30-07
  • Guide to economic evaluation part 3: What is agglomeration?
    Debates over major transport investments often get caught up in arguments over benefit-cost ratios, or BCRs. In recent years, projects such as the Transmission Gully and Puhoi to Warkworth motorways and the City Rail Link have been criticised for their...
    Transport Blog | 30-07
  • Where to now for Colin and the Conservatives?
    It’s (almost*) official – there’s no deal for Colin Craig in East Coast Bays. Murray McCully will not be knifed, thrown under a bus or given concrete shoes to go swimming in. Given that Mr Craig had already accepted he...
    Occasionally erudite | 29-07
  • Real men say sorry
    There are a couple of universal truths that all men should be aware of. Firstly, it takes a bigger man to walk away. Of course men can be accused of being weak if they don't confront their problems with violence,...
    The Jackal | 29-07
  • Why my children took part in a playful protest against LEGO’s partner...