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Open mike 19/07/2012

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, July 19th, 2012 - 128 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…

128 comments on “Open mike 19/07/2012”

  1. Jenny 1

    Agents of New Zealand’s secret police, the SIS, possibly acting on behalf of Fiji’s dictator, crack down on members of a pro democracy group sheltering in New Zealand, raiding several houses in the Auckland area. The SIS raided the home of democratically elected Fijian MP Rajesh Singh and took away personal property belonging to him and his daughter.

    Colonel Mara, who is wanted on charges that he was plotting to overthrow Bainimarama, fled Fiji in May last year and has refuge with the Tongan royal family, to whom he is related, in Nuku’alofa.

    Mara was in Auckland two weeks ago.

    Singh said a woman who he named said she was from the SIS and that she had a warrant to search his place.

    He asked for a copy of the warrant but was told it was classified and he could not have it.
    She was accompanied by three plain clothed police.

    They took away the computer and cell phone and gave him a blank receipt for it, which included the SIS’s 0800 number.

    “They said: ‘We heard Mara came here’ and I said: ‘Yes, Mara comes here every time, we have been friends for 40 years’.”

    They told him they had “credible evidence” that Mara and another New Zealander were planning to assassinate Bainimarama and his attorney general Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum.

    “I said that was news to me… I said it never happened, we never talked about those things.”

    Singh and others visited were members of a small Auckland based group, Coalition for Democracy in Fiji which is called for the restoration of democracy.

    stuff.co.nz

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/world/7303392/Raids-over-alleged-Fiji-assassination-plot

    Coming hard on the heels of the Dotcom fiasco. Where the police, (no doubt with secret police involvement), made raids on the say so of the FBI and the US government.

    Questions need to be asked;

    Does a legal representative of the Fijian people have less legal and diplomatic and privacy rights than his illegal usurpers, in that his home can be raided and his possessions and personal information can be taken without any publicly accountable justification or diplomatic protocol? What, if any, diplomatic safeties or controls are afforded for Mr Singh’s personal information obtained in this raid?

    Is the regime using their continuing links with our security forces to intimidate Rajesh Singh and other democracy activists sheltering in New Zealand?

    Will the Fijian military through their contined links with our security forces be able to obtain information from Mr Singh’s private files to intimidate democracy activists in Fiji?

    Are the police force and the SIS at the behest of the regime, helping the regime prepare a case for extradition against Colonel Mara, either here, or in Tonga?

    Will the information gathered here, be used in court for an extradition hearing against Colonel Mara?

    What New Zealand laws if any cover our secret police, or regular police to raid peoples homes and seize property on the say so of (legal, or illegal), foreign powers?

    To avoid abuse. Shouldn’t there be some specific legislation in place to cover such matters?

    Shouldn’t a court ordered warrant be required?

    Why was Rajesh Singh not allowed to see the warrant?

    Why was the warrant secret?

    Can this warrant be obtained through an OI request?

    If not why not?

    Were the plain clothes officers accompanying the unnamed SIS officer from the Secret Police, or the regular police?

    Did they have the power to arrest and detain as well as seize property?

    What links, secretive or otherwise, do our secret police, or our regular police have with the Fijian secret police, or indeed with the illegitimate Fijian regime?

    Do our secret police have operatives in Fiji?

    Do these agents regularly share information with the Fijian Secret Police?

    Are they in regular contact with the Fijian Secret Police?

    Is the sharing of information between our secret police force and the Fijian Secret Police mutual?

    What laws, if any, protect Fijian citizens in Fiji, from being betrayed to the dictatorship by our secret police?

    Were our secret police acting on any evidence at all, apart from the Fijian dictator’s claim of a plot?

    Who’s interests is the SIS trying to protect? Legal foreign residents of New Zealand, or an illegal foreign regime?

    What legal rights do our secret police have to act on behalf of a foreign dictator?

    Was this action approved by the Minister of the SIS?

    If not why not?

    Was this a legal action?

    Why has the Prime Minister refused to comment?

    Did he see the “credible evidence”?

    Did he think it was credible?

    If the evidence was indeed “credible evidence” why have no charges been laid?

    Did this “credible evidence” come via the regime?

    Or, was it collected independently?

    What weight should be given to evidence collected by illegal agents of an illegitimate regime?

    Should the police and the secret police be allowed to operate on such evidence without any public safeguard, or democratic oversight?

    Will private information and data taken from Rajesh Singh by the SIS in this raid be passed on to the Fijian authorities?

    Will any of the names and contact details of Rajesh Singh’s friends and associates remaining in Fiji and extracted from his phone and his daughters laptop computer be handed on to the regime?

    Will their safety and freedom and be put at risk?

    Will the Prime Minister give a catagorical assurance that the information collected by our secret police in this raid will not be passed on to the Fijian SIS, or the Fijian police, or other agents of the regime?

    This latest scandal comes not only on the heels of the Dotcom fiasco but the Terror Raids fiasco and the Ahmed Zowie fiasco.

    All three fiascos share the same MO. Police and secret police acting on secret information not made available to the public, and supplied by foreign powers.

    Like Ahmed Zowie Rajesh Singh is the legally elected cabinet minister, legally and peacefully and democratically elected yet he is being hounded by our police and secret police on behalf of the criminal regime that illegally imposes their authoritarian rule on his country.

    The rule of law seems to not matter as much to our police and secret police as the rule of authority.

    The conclusion is that the police and the secret police are free to make conservative foreign policy political decisions without any recourse to our democracy and which increasingly result in more and more bizarre and undemocratic outcomes.

    Isn’t it way over time that there should be some public accountability in these dealings with foreign powers and the secret evidence supplied by them, and to them?

    In my opinion if a foreign power wants our state forces to act on their behalf, then they should have to make open notifiable requests through proper legal, political and public, diplomatic channels. And then after proper deliberation our democratically accountable political leaders will properly decide if they will act on these requests or not.

    This is how a democracy should work.

    Instead we have extra-judicial actions by secret and regular police that always end up in embarrassing,though deadly serious, political embarrassments. (for a democracy, that is)

    • Kotahi Tane Huna 1.1

      Colonel Mara is a person of legitimate interest to our security forces. They wouldn’t be doing their job if they didn’t keep an eye (or two or three) on him.

      But like Jenny says: where are they getting their information from?

      And why aren’t they on his side? Fiji’s dictator and his minions are not welcome here. Why are we harassing their victims?

      • Anne 1.1.1

        And why aren’t they on his side? Fiji’s dictator and his minions are not welcome here. Why are we harassing their victims?

        Precisely.

    • Vicky32 1.2

      He asked for a copy of the warrant but was told it was classified and he could not have it.

      A classified warrant? What on earth use is a classified warrant? That’s a legal absurdity. Questions must indeed be asked!

  2. = our so called leaders are just corrupt bastards. What else could it possibly be?
    Garbage in garbage out, humans are trash, that is why we get trash as leaders.

  3. L'Heure 3

    The Labour ship is now drifting into the fifth year of the Goff/Shearer doldrums.
    The same bit players are performing the trimmer, pitman and bowman roles. All of the ordinary passengers are a bit un-sure as who actually is the real helmsman. Some are wondering who the guy calling himself the helmsman really is.
    And outside of smug central Wellington, half a million non-voters are saying…..nothing…and are uninspired….and are deaf to their Labour voting parents….and their kids believe the Greens are the party of ideas…..and uncle Jack says Winston will sort it…and the Labour activists are saying they will keep their chin up…..and the Labour Caucus only wants to hear good news…and a few smooth ones are telling them what they want to hear…
    Quel dommage…

    • Kotahi Tane Huna 3.1

      :roll:

      • Bill 3.1.1

        Well, aye KTH. That emocion (or whatever you call them ) kind of encapsulates the general reaction of people observing the Labour Party rather well :-)

        But never fear. The ‘blandists’ can always trundle out Robertson. Now theres a guy with vision in his head and fire in his belly! :roll:

    • Carol 3.2

      And who are you supporting Mr Now-is-the-Hour?

      • Te Reo Putake 3.2.1

        L’heur is a pretty transparent plant, as were the two other hit and run posters from the other day. I’m guessing that in the absence of Labour scoring any own goals lately, the C/T and friends meme is to accuse Labour of ‘doing nothing’ and hope the infantile left will run with it. Those polls must be really getting to them, eh?
         
        National’s decline and Labour’s rise under Shearer are the underlying trends at the moment. The media have reported the constitutional review in a mainly positive way, too, so that’s all to the good. And good on the Greens, too. Their polling momentum has stalled, but they have maintained a solid presence in double figures, something they’ve never been able to do previously. They’ve manged to achieve a level of polling credibility no other green party anywhere in the world has enjoyed.
         

        • BillODrees 3.2.1.1

          http://www.roymorgan.com/news/polls/2012/4802/

          We should all look to the positive in any situation.  Without hope among the activists, we will never get to the Enrolled Non Voters or the switching voters.  There is much good in the revised rules. They will re-energise those who want great new policies and strategies that will significantly improve the quality of life of all Kiwis. Not just the few.  

          TPR, The link to the Morgan polls (avove) shows National slightly ahead and Labour slightly behind where they were when we lost in 2008.   What Polls are you getting your positive outlook from? I’m hearing a mixture of cynical resignation and angry frustration from Labour people. 
          Keep up the positive messaging. 
           

          • Te Reo Putake 3.2.1.1.1

            Cheers, Bill. The difference between 2008 and now is that National is on the rack now and it was on the rise then. ACT and the MP were still credible parties back then and took a further few percentage points away from the left and to the right. So the right camp was massively ahead of the left on the night.
             
            However, a repetition of National’s 2008 result now, with ACT and the MP only providing 2 or 3 seats, instead of 8 or 9*, would almost certainly mean a Labour/Green government would be formed. The difficulty National face is that the votes that ACT and the MP got in 2008 dropped dramatically in 2011 and barely exist now. Worse, those votes have not gone to National in significant numbers, so there is no consequent rise in National polling.
             
            Frankly, National’s only hope of retaining power lies with Winston Peters going dog again and that’s a slim chance indeed.
             
            *getting a server error at the RM site, so relying on memory for how many ACT/MP seats there were in 2008.

            • BillODrees 3.2.1.1.1.1

              TRP, The calculations, doing the numbers, and all that, has to be done. All parties do it.   Positive thinking can’t hide that we have failed to get any advantage despited the Natz cocking up repeadly, and alienating many demographics.

              What makes us differant from the Natz is that we want government power in order to bring about change. The Natz want power in order to maintain the status quo. That is why they are called conservatives. 
              Why are 500,000 less well off people, ENVs,  not among the numbers we are counting?  

              The current Labour leadership is not promoting any real change. That makes them conservative in my eyes.  To give that 500,00 hope and motivation to vote we have to genuinely, convincingly and clearly show that Labour will make a change.  I’ve no confidence in the current Labour leadership’s understanding of what is needed to make a real change for Kiwis.  

              Cunliffe has shown that he can think change, sell change, implement change and make it successful.

              Labour membership bit their lip when the caucus narrowly selected and unknown untested Shearer.  He was certainly not the choice of those who saw him in the leadership debates.  
              We have watched second rate performances  from Shearer, Jacinda, Grant and now the latest from the hapless Parker.  If this continues Key will win a third term. 
              Like the majority of members, I want us to NOT repeat the mistake we made with Phil.  We didn’t “retire” Phil soon enough.  Never again.

              We are ready for Cunliffe. 
               

              • Colonial Viper

                What makes us differant from the Natz is that we want government power in order to bring about change. The Natz want power in order to maintain the status quo.

                And another home truth: when out of power (which looking back 50 years is more often than not), Labour has no levers to pull to effect change in society.

                When out of power, National still has every corporate lever, sponsor and primary producer at its disposal to influence society.

                When it is said that Labour is disconnected from the electorate – it is true in more ways than one.

  4. rosy 4

    While you were sleeping….
    Is this the Syrian ‘end game’ playing out now?

    Four senior members of the Bashar al-Assad’s inner circle have been killed in a bomb attack on the national security building in Damascus, in what amounts to a grave crisis for the ruling regime. The blast killed defence minister Dawoud Rajha and his deputy Assef Shawkat – Assad’s brother-in-law. Also killer were the interior minister Mohammad Shaar and the assistant vice president, Hassan Turkmani. The blast occurred during a meeting of cabinet ministers and security officials, according to state TV.

    • Two groups have claimed responsibility for the explosions. Liwa al-Islam, an Islamist rebel group whose name means “The Brigade of Islam”, said on its Facebook page that it “targeted the cell called the crisis control room in the capital of Damascus.” The Free Syrian Army also claimed responsibility for the attack, according to spokesman Qassim Saadedine. “This is the volcano we talked about, we have just started,” he said. Security sources have blamed the attack on a bodyguard for the regime’s inner circle, according to Reuters.

    • The US defence secretary, Leon Panetta, says the situation in Syria is “spiralling out of control”. He called on the international community to “bring maximum pressure on Assad to do what’s right to step down and allow for that peaceful transition” The Russian foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov says a “decisive battle” is under way in Syria. A UN vote on the future of its monitoring force in Syria, due to take place today, has been cancelled.

    • The Syrian government has vowed to wipe out those responsible for the blast, amid fears of increased bombardment against opposition strongholds. In a statement issued by the military it blamed the attack on “hired hands”. It said it was “more determined than ever to confront all forms of terrorism and chop any hand that harms national security”

    Hope for the best, but expect the worst seems to be the talk. Full-blown civil war, how dreadfully awful.

    • muzza 4.1

      Yes its all going nicely to plan in the ME.

      And oh look, it must have been Iran!

      http://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/article.cfm?c_id=2&objectid=10820646

      “All the signs point to Iran,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a statement, which claimed this was the latest in a string of attempts to attack Israelis in Thailand, India, Georgia, Kenya, Cyprus and other places”

      NZH gets its copy of the propaganda distribution bulletin from the Associated Press as usual, gotta make sure those kiwis down there know who the evil doers are!

      • Bill 4.1.1

        “For some time we have been following the intentions of terror organisations like Hezbollah, Hamas and Iranian and Jihad elements, to carry out terror throughout the world,” he said in a statement.

        Hmm. Except when the intention of those Jihad elements is the destabilisation and overthrow of the Syrian government. Oh, that’s right. The entire situation in Syria was and is a popular uprising of the people. No Jihad elements there. Nope. None.

        • Colonial Viper 4.1.1.1

          Its an election year, and because the US economy is sliding into the toilet, a war will be required. Look out for the horrific false flag justification coming up on cue.

      • Draco T Bastard 4.1.2

        NZH gets its copy of the propaganda distribution bulletin from the Associated Press as usual…

        Which probably gets it direct from Israeli special forces.
        Peace, Propaganda and the Promised Land

      • Vicky32 4.1.3

        And oh look, it must have been Iran!

        When I heard the first item on the radio I had a WTF moment…

    • Bill 4.2

      “The US defence secretary, Leon Panetta, says the situation in Syria is “spiralling out of control”.”

      Did they report that she was clapping her hands with glee and doing a little faux whirling dervish dance on the way to the champagne at the time?

    • rosy 4.3

      Jeez.. imagine if Switzerland had this lack of compassion at the beginning of WW11:

      Israeli defence minister Ehud Barak says Israel will stop Syrian refugees from entering the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights if they try to flee there. AP reports.

      Barak told reporters after touring the Golan on Thursday that Syrian refugees, who have already started fleeing to Turkey and Jordan, might also start fleeing toward the Israeli-held territory.

      He added: “If we have to stop waves of refugees we will stop them.”

    • Vicky32 4.4

      Syrian end game…

      I had the same thought when I heard the news this morning…

  5. Judge David Harvey is a tough, uncompromising, intelligent and dedicated Judge with considerable knowledge of technology and the internet. He is that much of a geek that he had a PC on his desk in 1985. Rumour has it he used to play Quake online.

    His retweeting of a Russell Brown tweet and his reference to it could at an extreme level be interpreted as the slightest suggestion of bias. And so he has recused himself. It is a real shame. If we wanted a Judge who actually understood the technology issues and was tough enough to make up his own mind up I cannot think of a better Judge than Judge David Harvey.

    • Dv 5.1

      Are judges able to ask the advice of other judges?

    • Kotahi Tane Huna 5.2

      The way the FBI has behaved is enough to create bias in even the most impartial observer.

    • deuto 5.3

      +1 to you comments on Judge Harvey. I recall him commenting frequently on a couple of newsgroups way back before blogs came to the fore. I was really pleased that he was one of the main judges in the various Dotcom court actions because of his internet etc knowledge, and agree that it is a real shame that he has stepped down, but he really had no other choice.

      Don’t know much about Judge Dawson, other than that he was the first DC judge to release Dotcom and the others on bail. A quick check of Google did not provide a snapshot of his career; but reading a couple of articles revealed that he was in private practice in Palmerston North (commercial and conveyancy) before being appointed a District Court judge in 2003 in PN; did a two year stint in Vanuatu where he was seriously threatened after a hard hitting review of police actions relating to the death of a suspect; and more recently has been a North Shore DC judge.

      • Vicky32 5.3.1

        I recall him commenting frequently on a couple of newsgroups way back before blogs came to the fore

        I remember meeting him at Norcon in 1981, or another sf con in 1982… anyone who goes to sf cons is a good person by me! (He’s a Christian, btw… :) )

  6. rosy 6

    hmmm the Minister of Tourism is not doing his job properly

    Air New Zealand’s departing chief executive Rob Fyfe and his outspoken chairman John Palmer have rung alarm bells about the country’s diminishing appeal as a destination for long-haul tourists. Appearing before MPs at Parliament, the pair called for urgent action by Government and the industry to promote New Zealand as an attractive destination..

    “Clearly we are losing position relative to other key markets long-haul.” The number of airlines servicing New Zealand remained healthy “but we actually need to attract customers to those airlines because airlines will disappear very quickly if their seats aren’t full”, he said. “That’s what we’re currently experiencing.”…

    Palmer said the industry had to accept it had done a poor job of promoting New Zealand and do something about it.

    “I think there’s a case for initiative taking place on an organisation-by-organisation basis with involvement both from the minister and Tourism NZ.”

    The Minister of Tourism reckons she’ll be right. Especially with a national convention centre and a new hobbit film.

    • Dv 6.1

      AirNZ has real skin in the game and has been acknowledged as a well run out fit (by the Min of Tourism).
      It seems to me airnz would have a very good handle on the situation and the PMs comments were glib.
      AirNZ are also running smaller planes between Japan and NZ because the traffic has dropped.

    • marsman 6.2

      Isn’t that the same Palmer who was shown on TV last night proclaiming that flogging off part of AirNZ would be good for the economy and that the 80% of the population against it were being emotional and didn’t understand and the Govt had done a poor job of selling the idea. Cut to Russel Norman who called him arrogant.

      • deuto 6.2.1

        He was also interviewed on Morning Report today where he claimed that it would be difficult to recruit a new CEO for Air NZ if it was 100% government owned.

        http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/morningreport/audio/2525530/soe-chair-says-total-public-ownership-deters-top-managers.asx

        The chairman for Air New Zealand, John Palmer, says the company would have found it more difficult to replace its incumbent chief executive, Rob Fyfe, were the airline totally owned by the Government. Mr Palmer also chairs the 100% state-owned Solid Energy. (4′16″)

        • KJT 6.2.1.1

          That is almost funny.

          Yeah. they may have to find somebody competent from within the organisation who can do a good job for $300k.

          They were Lucky with Fyfe, but research shows that the overpaid star managers that are parachuted in are almost always less effective, and much more expensive, than promoting someone, who knows the business, from within. Fyfe was an exception.

          You only have to look at the million dollar managers who alienated Telecoms customers and staff.

          http://kjt-kt.blogspot.co.nz/2011/04/kia-ora-corporatism-and-neo-liberalism.html

          “””The corporations with the largest income gap between Directors/Managers and employees have proven to be the least functional.

          The star managers paid in millions have proven to be much less effective than, lesser paid, experienced promotions from within the organisation.
          Twenty year research into Management effectiveness study
          “companies that exclusively promote CEOs from within outperform companies that recruit CEOs from outside the company.”””

    • Draco T Bastard 6.3

      Appearing before MPs at Parliament, the pair called for urgent action by Government and the industry to promote New Zealand as an attractive destination.

      Difficult to do that when this government is trying hard to turn NZ into a lunar landscape for the benefit of the mining multi-nationals and the global economy is teetering on the edge of collapse.

      • Colonial Viper 6.3.1

        At least Air NZ is doing its bit for domestic tourism by making sure NZers are charged at maximum rates for leaving our shores.

  7. Carol 7

    RIP The Maori Party.

    Showed show much promise and high ideals once. Shame.

    • Anne 7.1

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dw4Tcv3lKTk&feature=related

      How about a rendering of this song everytime Turia and Sharples appear in public.

    • Tiger Mountain 7.2

      The MP has at least done the country one great service, providing a real world example of the inbuilt flaws of identity politics in a parliamentary setting. The usual negative stats have headed North since Tari and Pita got aboard the tory bus.

      • marty mars 7.2.1

        I’m not sure about this being an example of identity politics flaws, it seems to me that their lowering of their standards around identity politics was the issue. When they sided with key instead of tangata whenua their fate was sealed. I certainly agree with the negative stats – that is a good point seldom mentioned.

  8. Carol 8

    So Turia was upset that Key had insulted the Waitangi Tribunal, and, this includes the Maori Council’s role in the Tribunal. Key continued to say he preferred to negotiate with directly with Iwi leaders. Turia & the Mp wanted an apology.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/maori/news/article.cfm?c_id=252&objectid=10820485&ref=rss

    The Government sees the way forward over water issues with Maori in negotiations with the Iwi Leaders’ Forum – however Key’s comments won’t have helped that relationship.

    Te Runanga-a-Iwi o Ngapuhi chairman Sonny Tau, who also sits on the forum, said it supported the council’s right to take the issue to the Waitangi Tribunal.

    However, he believed the ultimate solution to the issue would be a political rather than a legal one.

    But the government argues that negotiation can occur after the sale of Mighty River Power, while the Tribunal want it to be decided before the sale:

    Its third report is due in September, with advice on allocation of fresh water resources, but that leaves no time for the Government to address Maori concerns before shares in Mighty River Power are sold.

    “And that goes to the nub of the action before the Waitangi Tribunal,” Ryall acknowledges.

    “In terms of the claim that’s been made to the tribunal they’ve already got a clear view that they want to get the issues around water dealt with before the floats, and obviously we think there’s a separate process for that.”

    Ryall said the Government believed allocation issues, including how Maori interests fitted into those, could be dealt with after the sale.

    Now Turia and Sharples are claiming that they have a victory with Key saying he won’t stop Maori going to court over water rights.

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/political/110965/maori-party,-pm-agree-on-further-talks-on-water

    But all they’ve got is a deal saying exactly what Key was saying a couple of days ago – that government will deal directly with Iwi (and Hapu) leaders:

    It says the two parties have agreed that when the Waitangi Tribunal report is issued that, as part of developing their respective responses, they will jointly discuss the matter.

    The statement says that for the Maori Party, the debate is not about ownership, but about protecting the rights and interests of hapu and iwi with respect to water.

    It says the Maori Party and the Government will continue to support a process of negotiation between hapu, iwi and the Government over water rights.

    And it says the Government has undertaken not to legislate over those rights and interests.

    Interviews with Hone Harawira and Shane Jones a little while ago on Morning Report: One of them said it’s about the government following a divide and conquer strategy….. and no apology for insulting the Tribunal and Maori Council, while the Mp are supporting Key’s marginalisation of both the Tribunal & Council.

  9. dd 9

    This website is entirely different depending on if Pete George is banned or not.

  10. Chris 10

    So Sharples was “pleased”with the outcome of their meeting with Twat Key.Oink oink!

  11. Campbell Larsen 11

    What a coincidence – the Herald has turned off comments on its Editorial, a bit sensitive to criticism it seems…

  12. urban rascal 12

    And cue end game, prod china and russia enough so they react next year over Iran. Make them villains, reboot the 1%’s military industrial profits. I hope people really are as awakened to this as they all claim to be.

    Media Lens is awesome for anyone who doesn’t get their emails and appreciates transparency on foreign affairs.

    http://www.medialens.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=690:libyan-elections-burying-the-amnesty-report&catid=25:alerts-2012&Itemid=69

  13. higherstandard 13

    “How members discharge their duties is a matter for them as members of the House and any attempt to dictate the way that they carry out their responsibilities could be regarded, in my view, as fettering the privilege of the House to control its own operation.”

    Magnificent satire.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10820608

  14. Have YOU made the switch yet from Mercury Energy?

    (Mercury energy is 100% owned by Mighty River Power)

    OK FOLKS! TIME TO HELP PUSH ‘PEOPLE POWER’ TIME!

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/waikato-times/business/7306585/Mighty-River-Power-seminar-disrupted-by-asset-sales-opponents?comment_msg=posted#post_comment

    MY COMMENT (yet to be published)

    Don’t be greedy and selfish NZ ‘mums and dads’ and ‘grandmas and granddads’!

    Think of your children and grandchildren and the children and grandchildren of those who are struggling now to pay power bills?

    Think of the vulnerable elderly – who can’t afford to have a heater on in winter.

    Do YOU want a profitable Mighty Power dividend on the backs of the vulnerable poor whose power prices are bound to increase?

    If so – what sort of New Zealander are YOU?

    If YOU are a decent, ethical, socially and fiscally responsible New Zealander – YOU will pledge NOT to invest in Mighty River Power, and to take action that cannot be ignored!

    IT’S PEOPLE POWER TIME!

    Time to SWITCH OFF / SWITCH FROM Mercury Energy – 100% by Mighty River Power! Time to use the market against the market.

    There is precedent for this.

    In 2008, (already privatised) Contact Energy raised their power prices 12% and doubled Directors fees. In 6 months Contact Energy lost 40,000 customers and their profits halved.

    Switch to Genesis or Meridian (NOT Contact Energy – because it’s already privatised).

    http://www.powerswitch.org.nz

    Penny Bright
    ‘Anti-privatisation’ /’Anti-corruption’ campaigner

    http://www.dodgyjohnhasgone.com

    • fnjckg 14.1

      xcellent: u the bomb!

    • Chris 14.2

      I assume you know that they are planning to privatize Genesis and Meridian as well?

    • millsy 14.3

      Mind you, all the power companies heavily outsource their work anyway, and they all use the same contractors, who work with data from different retailers all the time.

      I should know, the company I work for reads the power meters for them. To the point where the meter readers have reads for MRP, GEN, Pulse, NOVA in their runs at times.

      Ever since I first started working for the company I work for, I have thought that it would make more sense to have the local network company to the meter reading, recon, disco, special and final (and there are also check and recheck reads as well), but no, the way work is allocated and contracted is a huge fucking mess, and that is one of the reasons why power prices are so high.

  15. fnjckg 15

    aha moment(time)(th-c not for every-body, everytime;never say ever) Say Now.

    realisation, was “using” “sphere”,had visualised sphere yet not completely helpful in behaviour, either.

    mastery ongoing, every day, weep alone(not lonely) for People; time of great sadness to see, and in my time, tears as typing.

    have lived among people all my life, never left country.
    Looked a-round entire country though ‘cept up north. (practice behaving way into typing-2 finger slow)
    only use machine as tool, including emotional tool (art).

    TRIAL

  16. fnjckg 16

    Ah, understanding.

    adoption-not necessarily helpful if early and no bond established

    temperament, sensitivity

    and content in adopting mother

    possibility of subsequent biological children and implications if added to content

    Authoritarian Parenting DEFINATELY not helpful; out of the mouth comes much to re-pair

    from the rod comes much harm and memory

    memory is difficult to master as it brings suffering

    TRIAL

    (ah, editing. much to learn)

  17. urban rascal 17

    What are these crazy dis-jointed stream of conscience posts all about? So hard to make sense of.

    [lprent: A good question. However they appear to be written by a human and being in OpenMike they are by definition on topic. But I'll keep an eye on it in case we have someone trying to learn how to troll. ]

    • higherstandard 17.1

      I think it may be Trevor Mallard’s strategy document.

    • fnjckg 17.2

      streams of consciousness; thinking like a sphere, analagous to “blogosphere”
      lots of ideas, experiences and learnings are bought together. i am self-taught at “putting back” via a machine as opposed to “taking”, that is, exchanging money with a machine.

      Iteration helps me and it helps some learning
      conceptualise that the signals you send via machines do not go in a line, they go like in a ball of string (check out string theory)
      these signals may be forwarded on, or captured and filed, etc, building up a “profile”

      some of the people in the “ball of string” USE that profile for self-interest.
      when i read blogs regularly, i build up profile of contributors personality, their balance of emotional content and contribution.

      consider autism, experiencers of autism think and emote in an alternate way to people who may have been educated in a catholic school (as i live with a catholically raised flattie, i empathise with the challenges aroused by their indoctrination.

      i have “taken” much to re-place what was never developed; costs society dreadfully non-adaptive,
      non-functional parenting.
      have had to reparent self consequently with tax-payer dollars so i imagine AUTHORITARIAN
      parents reading this looking. this is not helpful, beginning requests and commands with Do, Dont, No, Not etc.
      was seeking and found blogworld and “played” but learning to master play.

      segmented posts as i got “shaped” away from stream of consciousnes to narrative
      oops,tea cold
      sooo, maybe-maybe not, when comment made, goes to universe, which is great, but caution is wise as a box comes up on my desktop requesting Mic and Camera; i not mind, faced death many times voluntarily so ready for right meaning, know what i mean?

    • fnjckg 17.3

      dear oh dear, what has world come to. was going to share Left wing thinking built up upon experiential, emotional, academic and vocational learning for the “sphere” from a working class background but understanding not clear so will take up art i thought up when blocked yesterday.
      (dreadful categorisation “troll”) generations that evolved from X not helpful in the agregate employing such heuristcs.
      all the best.

      • Rosie 17.3.1

        Hi fnjckg. Sorry your tea went cold. I understand your words but have to admit your format threw me a bit. As it happened I was listening to some NZ HipHop that was on Radio Active at the time of reading your post and that beat combined with your words really gelled. Practice in the front of the mirror with some beats then take it to the streets.

        • McFlock 17.3.1.1

          Interesting about the beat thing.
                   
          I must confess I need to be in the right zone for poetry – most of the day I’m dealing with computer programmes and empirical data, so it’s probably safe to say I’m hardly every in the more abstract zone these days.
               
          My brain probably threw an ‘invalidliteral’ exception that failed to – er – parse muster.
                   
          Each to their own, though – in addition to people willing to call a spade a spade the world needs people prepared to call it “yon metal crescent that pierceth our mother Earth”.

          • Rosie 17.3.1.1.1

            Chuckling here McFlock. Of course your brain was busy in workaday technical mode and such a flourish of words would be baffling, as it was to me (not that I was working mind you). But like you say each to their own. All power to F + all the other letters in his/her name for their expressive stance and socio-political interpretation. Kia Kaha.

            • fnjckg 17.3.1.1.1.1

              thank you; i grew up here in this beautiful environment.felt very safe here when international winds
              stormy through vietnam on; became hardened.

              i have been a slave to excess; emancipation takes time for all PEOPLE

              neither troll or shrill; playing as in reparenting through the teachings of UT.DTB.J9 and the clearly insightful people who often contribute.(jackal u rascal)
              not an idealogue; a sensitive human being initially squeezed in a box
              not “guilt” by offences; yet to learn

              have concept of blogosphere like ball of string, not line like e-mail chain.
              master ball of string

              challenge for machine is files; not files in human being:Flow

      • urban rascal 17.3.2

        “troll” in the context you mention describes persons or entities posting on the internet to provoke reactions while having no real intention in participating in the debate. Often posting outlandish responses to generate anger fueled responses to remove rational thought from peoples arguments.

        “Shill” is more inline with what you on initial appearance seemed to act like. A poster who in league with other groups outside of forums posts extreme posts that are used to ferment public opinion against the views of that forum and degrade the integrity of the discussions on the site.

        You are however it seems, neither of these. I speak only from a vantage of not understanding your messages.

        • Uturn 17.3.2.1

          Neither troll nor shill,
          VERSIFORM
          I’ve counted 4, possibly five angles so far.

          From here it looks like a recursion theory that reflects the same theme, but in different arrangements; each with different perspective on the same view. To do that you have to know the original material inside out, topside upside down, right and left, light and dark. Very hard to do if it doesn’t come naturally. Tried something similar but simpler once, and failed.

          While the material seems personal, inside each standard theme, there are references to historical and current practical knowledge to unlock the arrangement of the next image. There’s more to it than that, of course. That’s only the stuff I’ve noticed. Remember, when you’re typing with two fingers, nothing happens by chance.

          So either this person (soul, formally known as,) possesses an ability to think in rare ways or they are being themselves in a way rarely seen. Will be interesting to see where it goes, how fast it travels (but don’t take that as an encouragement to show us how fast it can travel) and what form the information settles on.

          Take care JC/J.E./SH: A death is still a death.

          Travel too fast with rationality and push the darkness outwards
          and the piece missed or denied, you’ll see emphasised.
          Over-reach and drag the darkness inside,
          and you’ll see analogous reflection.
          Illumination, from all angles.
          Something worth dying for?

      • freedom 17.3.3

        Hi fnjckg never stop creating,
        but sometimes creativity paused
        in society requires some formality simplify intentions
        how vast are transcription vaults
        does it foment comprehension art dialogues people differences are all necessary voices
        effort perseverance will applaud the new cast unless masks silence the words
        the labels are on everyone the necessary devices to protect the stability

        jug on

    • gareth 17.4

      I’m sticking with my ‘Phill U with a worn out full stop button on his keyboard’ theory

      • fnjckg 17.4.1

        Phill U? Gareth Morgan?

        (i support minimum universal income; not a zero sum)
        must be acknowledged that all PEOPLE are at different places and stops on way.
        but learning helps people on way

        i brushed up on economic and political “theory” foundations and origins before commencing comments

        only motivation is to be helpful.this only blog i contribute to (cept slight turn for cam on comments)
        (Master of machine/sl to ghost)
        ( i began exhorting ghosts, led to more fear at times)
        as indicated, community via blog meets many human Be-ing needs, once those needs understood and moderation applied.(not censorship) ,polemic return to a-round the middle.
        (puppet easy to master for darkness, but darkness is not light; without light, cannot see way)
        i see cam’s irony with an image of humungus behind mask; need to master stories.

        self-knowledge leads to greater mastery by PEOPLE of being

        moralisation not helpful
        push/push back: lead follow

  18. Te Reo Putake 18

    How’s that Brighter Future looking? Not so flash, as it happens; another couple of hundred direct and indirect jobs on the line in Hamilton.

    • freedom 18.1

      and this confusing little situation in the incremental destruction of F&P NZ,
      who do we believe???

      “Members of the Engineering, Printing & Manufacturing Union and FIRST Union were told at a meeting on Wednesday afternoon that one of Fisher & Paykel’s fridge production lines is being discontinued in Auckland and sent to the company’s Thailand factory.”
      http://www.epmu.org.nz/news/show/173403

      “Mr Broadhurst said “no, there’s not been a production line shut down, there’s been no changes to our staff in the last six weeks, so all of this and particularly the comments around Thailand are just a work in progress.”
      http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10820724

      • Te Reo Putake 18.1.1

        Well, one of them sounds like the truth and the other sounds like typical employer weasel words.
         
        I was appalled by what F&P appear to be doing in Thailand. These comments from the First Union’s Robert Reid in the EPMU press release shows F&P’s strategy of de-unionisation and wage minimisation for what it is:
         
        Robert Reid, General Secretary of FIRST Union, said that workers were disappointed that yet another manufacturing line is closing and going overseas, and it reflected a complete lack of strategy from the government on jobs.
        He said that FIRST Union has been assisting the workers at the company’s factory in Rayong, Thailand to form a union, and he had visited the workers three times in recent years, where low wages was a significant problem for them.
        “We are doubly disappointed that not only is Fisher & Paykel exiting from good jobs that are paid well above the minimum wage in New Zealand, but when it goes to Thailand, it is refusing to collectively bargain for any wage rate other than the minimum wage in that region of the country.”
        “Thailand is already a low wage country, and Fisher & Paykel needs to pull back from its stubborn approach to wage negotiations with the Thai workers, and start paying workers properly when it does shift production overseas,” Robert Reid said.
         

        • Tiger Mountain 18.1.1.1

          “when good companies go bad” F&P have not been good for a very long time, sacking hundreds in Dunedin and scuttling off to Exploitation Alley (Maquiladoras) in Mexico as well as Thailand. Good on FIRST for paying attention and trying to do something in an internationalist vein.

          And what about that other warm fuzzy kiwi corporate Fonterra? they have a much touted International Agreement signed by the NZ Dairy Workers Union, IUF and Fonterra. But in reality in places like Sri Lanka, China and even Nestle they give the workers the one fingered salute. Sporadic success in Latin America though where there is a reasonable level of organisation such as ATILRA in Argentina.

  19. yeshe 19

    we have a shameful and scummy guvmint … how low will they go ?

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10820686

    CUT IN PAYMENTS TO LAWYER ‘INSTITUTIONAL RACISM’

    Meanwhile Maori Council has also said it intends to complain to the Human Rights Commission after legal aid payments for its lawyer at the hearing were cut at the last minute, jeopardising its ability to continue with the claim.

    Maori Council chair Maanu Paul said the Legal Services Agency decided yesterday it would fund Mr Geiringer at a much lower rate than it had initially agreed to, which he said was institutional racism.

    “The Maori Council has a statutory duty to protect all Maori, but if the Crown through the mystery of justice, breaks an agreement and that forces our barrister to say he has to consider whether he can continue with the claim, it prejudices the whole system of justice for Maori.”

    He said Mr Geiringer was now considering whether he could carry on with the case.

    Mr Geiringer told the Waitangi Tribunal this morning he had considered not appearing for his closing submissions today because Legal Services told him yesterday it was halving the hourly rate it had originally agreed to fund him at.

    It was also drastically cutting the number of hours he would be paid for.

    He said the changes were in breach of an earlier undertaking by Legal Services and meant he would only be paid for the hours he spent before the Tribunal and did not take into account any preparatory work. He said that meant he had effectively been working for less than the minimum wage over the past week of the hearing.

    He said the changes meant his costs for working on the case over the past four months would not be covered, threatening the viability of his legal practice.

    He said the original undertaking by Legal Services would have ensured his costs were covered and paid him a modest amount on top of that.

    Lawyer Donna Hall said that it meant the Maori Council was not on an even playing field with the Crown’s army of well-paid solicitors at the hearing.

    “This does go to equity between the parties to be able to present their cases.”

    Tribunal chief judge Wilson Isaacs said he had some sympathy for Geiringer’s plight, but it was not the job of the Tribunal to get involved in the matter.

    By Claire Trevett | Email Claire

    • urban rascal 19.1

      That is blatantly underhanded. No wonder Key said he wasn’t worried about it going before the courts. He can just run their lawyers practices into the ground.

    • OneTrack 19.2

      What is the actual rate he is now getting?

      • Carol 19.2.1

        It can’t be that much because, not being paid for preparation time means he’s effectively being paid less than the minimum wage – as in the article quoted above.

  20. Jackal 20

    Keys assurance to the Maori party means nothing

    Keys assurance to the Maori party that National will not legislate away any rights to water is patently false and has been used to score a cheap hit on the previous Labour government.

    • freedom 20.1

      But John Key always keeps his word, he never lies or reneges on a deal or- oh hang on
      that’s Beaurepairs i’m thinking of.

  21. bad12 21

    NZfirst Winston Peters in select committee hearings yesterday gave Maori Party vice-Prez Ken Mair a bit of a wind-up over the Maori Party support for ‘saving their people’ from the evils of smoking by rack raising the price of a packet of filtered ciggies to $20 and beyond,

    Besides Whanau Ora, a grand slush fund, ooops sorry a policy by the Maori Party to help Maori families in need, the anti-smoking ‘saving our people’ policy of attempting and failing to deter smokers form their addiction with tax increases seems to be just about ALL that Maori will get from the Maori Party’s coalition with the National Government,

    The 2 are of course intrinsically related, Whanau Ora and ‘saving our people’ by rack raising tobacco taxes, as one policy is in fact paying for another,

    In effect Maori, along with everyone else aint giving up the fags in droves, such is the nature of addiction, SO, Turia and the Maori Party are in effect taking the food off of ‘their peoples’ tables,(and bad diet will kill them all a damn sight faster than tobacco will), and then giving part of it back if they kiss the arse of the Whanau Ora slushy hard enough,

    Winston Peters should open up an office in the middle of Whanga’z and use that to inform ‘Tariana’s people’ exactly who, how, and, why the price of the cigarettes they are addicted to has gone up so much that its now taking the food off of their tables…

    • bad12 21.1

      PS, just for the Professor of something or other that was trotted into the Health Select Committee at the Parliament yesterday to keep the ‘faithful’ firmly on message about the ‘evils of tobacco’,

      Lumping ‘Heart Disease’ into the deaths ’caused’ by tobacco use is hardly proven science, unless of course science is now ‘he smoked and died of heart disease therefor smoking killed him,

      Japanese % of population who smoke = 24%
      Japanese deaths from heart disease per 100,000 = 30

      New Zealand % of population who smoke = 19.9%
      New Zealand deaths from heart disease per 100,000 = 127.3

      Spot the difference can you Prof ???…

      • urban rascal 21.1.1

        As someone that until a month ago smoked 10 a day, I hope that the health cost of smoking is overblown. But i’ve been to my dentist and I know the damage that it did to my gums in the 5 years I smoked so can’t be good. But i’d love a reason to start again, trust me.

        • bad12 21.1.1.1

          Aha, and the reason you would love to have a reason to start smoking again is called addiction, i know people that gave up smoking 20 years ago,

          They cannot stand to be anywhere near people smoking, coz it makes them want to light up, i have been smoking the stuff, mainly unfiltered, for 43 years, and, there’s nothing wrong with my gums,

          I don’t doubt that there are adverse health effects as a result of tobacco use, BUT, the more i dig, the more i find that there are LARGE ANOMALIES in the supposed facts we are fed by the anti-smoking lobby, health professionals, and, politicians like Tariana Turia,

          What i don’t doubt tho is the addictive nature of nicotine, i and the Treasury who advised the Government that rack raising the tobacco excise tax was an extremely effective means of raising revenue as very few of the users could quit the addiction knows this also,

          If Turia and the Maori Party were in the least bit interested in ‘saving their people’ from the evils of such tobacco use they could and should have treated the product just as they have treated ‘party pills’ and subjected it to banning until proven safe,

          Doing so while allowing the present cohort of addicted users access to the product via a prescription only regime while refusing to register anyone under the age of 18 so as to be able to access such a program is in fact the only way that New Zealand will ever reach the declared Nirvana of being ‘smoke-free’,

          But then, like i say, it’s nothing about smoke-free NZ, it’s about revenue gathering and providing for particular politicians slush funds…

          • urban rascal 21.1.1.1.1

            Yep it’s not fair that they are pin-pointed this over other things.
            My grandfathers both died of heart attacks and stroke while living more active jobs than my own. I wouldn’t want to gamble myself on the anomalies, but I have always expressed doubt towards the stats.

            I remember a few years ago some friends laughed me out after I found a medical report that concluded that smoking cannabis likely removed many toxins from tobacco from the lungs as the cannabis “tar” is absorbed by lung tissue, transferring tobacco tar where it can be broken down. It appeared in the mainstream newswire earlier this year from Harvard. Was great to finally be able to laugh them out. So I expect that a lot of the stats are misleading.

            Just like HIV stats are highly debatable.

      • McFlock 21.1.2

        Um – bullshit.
                 
        You might also want to control for diet and exercise factors rather than just looking at the smoking rate, not to mention tobacco consumption per smoker.
            
        Yes, imo the anti-smoking brigade are instinctively going to an authoritarian kneejerk reaction that is disproportionate to the problem, but don’t be in denial about the real risks of smoking. Don’t become as bad as ASH with their data, such as issuing press releases about ‘research shows draconian measure X will help smokers quit’ when it turns out that the ‘research’ consisted of interviews with a dozen patsy smokers who already want to quit and are probably prepared to blame anything except themselves. 

        • bad12 21.1.2.1

          Not sure who you is calling BS on McFlock, if it is i you will have to be a bit more specific…

          • McFlock 21.1.2.1.1

            Your japan:nz comparison leaves out massive confounding factors such as diet and exercise
                 
            The trouble is that ASH fundies are perfectly happy to use bunk science themselves, but will call others on the drawbacks of simple comparisons like your one above. 
                 
             

            • bad12 21.1.2.1.1.1

              Confounding or compounding???as far as factors go that is???

              How else can i view such stats??? whats being broadcast by the media via the people who should know is the simplistic ‘he smoked and died of heart disease therefore smoking killed him’,

              The discussion has been subtly turning from ‘smoking could contribute to heart disease’ to ‘smoking causes heart disease’

              The figures i provide above, the ‘Japanese comparison’ say only one thing to me, it’s bullshit, the Japanese have higher rates of smoking than we do but barely a quarter of the rrate of heart disease that we do, so at best the link between smoking/heart disease is tenuous,

              But, makes damn fine press when you can lump those figures into the half of smokers are killed by the product,

              Now that’s the real bullshit…

              • McFlock

                Look, if someone dies of heart disease many people who know them say “ooo it were probly their smoking that did it”.
                   
                But that’s not how population statistics work.

                Smoking is not the only factor that affects heart disease – lifestyle and probably genetic factors, as well as relative health systems, also affect it. They will also affect (“confound“) the relative HD rates between nations. And for rough back-of-the-envelope statistical purposes the smoking rates in Japan and NZ are the same. 
                         
                Basically, about 60 or 70 years of solid research has gone into the effects of smoking. And is still going on. Smoking does cause heart disease. 
                      

                • bad12

                  And what the Japanese statistics actually say, besides the fact that 4% more of them smoke than us is that per 100,000 their rate of heart disease deaths is way out of proportion to what it should be when compared to ours IF smoking tobacco products was a MAJOR cause of heart disease,

                  You may choose to conveniently write off the % difference in the actual smoking rates,(such a really really scientific way you do so too), but the actual difference in the rate of death from heart disease is too far out of the park to dismiss as some small statistical anomaly,

                  When as a % of population the number of Japanese who smoke is 4% above that of the New Zealand population IF the use of tobacco products was to be a MAJOR CAUSE of heart disease such a statistical anomaly for heart disease deaths among users, Japan 30 per 100,000, New Zealand 127.3 per 100,000, should not exist and the fact that it does suggests that we are as easily fooled by BULLSHIT from the men in white coats as what we are by the suits of the corporate and political world…

                  • bad12

                    PS,what the figures suggest re: the death rate from heart disease is that as our rates of smoking are reasonably close that the numbers of heart disease deaths are weighted far far higher on the basis of diet and lifestyle then any amount of smoking in the two country’s further tending to suggest that smoking has very little connection at all…

              • mike e

                Sad12 even with half the death rate thats still makes it the most dangerous drug by ten times any other drug.
                So sad one start eating sushi get charcoal filters and safer Japanese cigarettes.
                It still makes cigarette smoking a dumb and dangerous thing to do.
                What your actually saying is that the rest of the world suck twice as much.

                • McFlock

                  *any* other drug? I’d love to see some stats on that…

                  • mike e

                    McF alcohol kills nearly 600 a year although new research shows that could be much higher and is understood thats another reason deaths from smoking in Japan are lower because Japanese men consume much lower quantities of alcohol.

                • Vicky32

                  It still makes cigarette smoking a dumb and dangerous thing to do.

                  Vi prego per l’ennessima volta..
                  I mean, I beg you for the millionth time, as this is not America, could people here please stop using the word ‘dumb’ to mean stupid! To me, just doing that is a sign of stupidity in itself. This usage of ‘dumb’ is an insult to people with disabilities, and I heard something on Radio NZ that told me that NZ began its gallop towards being culturally American in the 1950s. An  old man being interviewed by Kathryn Ryan at the beginning of the year spoke about how his deaf mother was surrounded by teenage boys chanting ‘dummy, dummy’ at her, whenever she left the house. Back then, I give the barstewards the benefit of the doubt, they have have simply been attacking her for being mute. However I doubt it – it’s likely that they were stupid enough to assume that a deaf woman was intellectually disabled.
                  Imagine how furious I get every time I hear a teenage woman on TV exhorting me to ‘sort out my dumb debt’.

              • higherstandard

                Smoking is a leading cause of mortality in japan

                http://www.japantimes.co.jp/text/ed20120129a2.html#.UAepde13EQI

        • Olwyn 21.1.2.2

          The question that interests me is this one: What puts the wind into the anti-smoking lobby’s sails? Do not say health, though that will be true for many of its supporters. However, concern for other people’s health does not explain the force with which the message is driven home. And people in the past did not think that smoking was good for your health either; they cheerfully referred to their fags as coffin nails as they puffed away. But decent housing, adequate food, job security and affordable dentistry also play a very big part in health, but are never spoken of with the same urgency. How about “adequate, affordable housing for everyone by 2025?” or “a living wage for all within 15 years?” Not going to happen is it? The tobacco war seems to have arisen in the US, and I suspect the big players are big tobacco versus big insurance. There is a huge catchment of people alive now who have smoked at some time in their lives, and the insurance industry would be all too pleased to find reasons for not honouring agreements with them.

          • McFlock 21.1.2.2.1

            aye, but insurance companies just raise the premiums on smokers.
                 
            My personal theory is that the result is a combination of ex-smokers being the most zealous inquisitors coupled with the tobacco industry’s complete mishandling of the issue. Lying about the health effects while working on ways to make it as addictive as possible was old school capitalism, but they didn’t realise that the new model was that you had to pretend to give a damn. 
                         
            What they should have done was go through several iterations of ingredient labelling and advisories on safe levels of consumption while funding real research into health effects (not the laughable snow-jobs that were published) and professing concern all the way. That way they could have steered the debate without the multi-billion dollar backlash and extermination craze.

            • rosy 21.1.2.2.1.1

              My personal theory is that the result is a combination of ex-smokers being the most zealous inquisitors coupled with the tobacco industry’s complete mishandling of the issue

              Add to that the marketing targeting people some deem should be protected – the young. That makes me angry every time I think about it. Get them while they’re young and they’re customers for life. There’s lots of marketing that goes on that some people are barely aware of – especially through films, music and events. Booze companies have noted and copied.

        • Vicky32 21.1.2.3

          and are probably prepared to blame anything except themselves.

          You don’t get the psychology of it, I’m afraid! It’s all about getting us to blame ourselves, trust me on this. I have two sons (one a cardiac nurse) who are both obsessed about smoking and denigrating smokers, and they, along with every health professional I’ve come across (many more this year than any other!) are heavily into inducing guilt.
          It works. Smokers will all put up with all sorts of ill-treatment and abuse because they feel guilty. I know I do!
           

          • McFlock 21.1.2.3.1

            I’m talking about the ones who tell ASH surveys that if they so much as see anyone think about having a cigarette then they are overwhelmed by an uncontrollable urge to smoke.
                     
            Not the ones who are so used to being ostracised and bullied that they think they deserve it. 

            • Vicky32 21.1.2.3.1.1

              Not the ones who are so used to being ostracised and bullied that they think they deserve it.

              As yes, I see.
              As an example of bullying, there’s my son who works on a cardiac ward at Welly hospital and who will screech and eff and blind about patients who go out (IV drip and all) to smoke in the wind and rain – if he had his way, they’d be cast out and not allowed back.
              First, whose fault is it that they’re standing in the wind and the rain? Not theirs… :)
              Second, if I was facing an angiogram, I’d smoke too! Seriously, I’d sooner die than have an angio, (yes, that’s just me, other people can handle the prospect) but as I won’t touch alcohol (which bizarrely, my son and his colleagues would approve of!) I gotta cope somehow.

              • McFlock

                Next time he mentions it, ask whether addiction is a genuine illness. Then point out that refusing access to smokers (i.e. the only place they can receive treatment is a place where their addiction is not permitted and therefore they cannot go for any useful length of time) is discrimination on the basis of disability.
                       
                It never seems to compute. 

      • Vicky32 21.1.3

        Japanese % of population who smoke = 24%
        Japanese deaths from heart disease per 100,000 = 30
        New Zealand % of population who smoke = 19.9%
        New Zealand deaths from heart disease per 100,000 = 127.3

        Very interesting!

  22. Carol 22

    There was an interest question and secondaries from Annette King on the way the government has spread misinformation about the costs and activities of local government.

    http://www.parliament.nz/en-NZ/PB/Business/QOA/d/7/9/50HansQ_20120719_00000009-9-Local-Authorities-Financial-Statistics.htm

    Hon Annette King: Why did not the Minister of Local Government or the Prime Minister inform the public, local government, and the media that the data being used by the Government to justify local government reform was inaccurate, but instead chose to keep quiet and let the media report the misinformation, to the detriment of local government?

    Hon DAVID CARTER: The reason driving the Better Local Government reforms is fundamentally that the rate of council increases over the last decade has been more than twice the rate of rate increases over the previous decade. That is why this Government believes Better Local Government reform is necessary.

    Hon Annette King: Can he confirm that his department, in a recent briefing to him and in two recent inquiries, found no evidence that councils had broadened their functions since 2002, and has he been informed by Local Government New Zealand as to what the cost of forcing councils to amend their long-term plans would be?

    Hon DAVID CARTER: To the first question, yes; to the second question, no.

    Hon Annette King: I have a number of documents I wish to table. The first one is a letter to me from David Carter, dated 16 July, telling me that the incorrect figures will not be replaced, because the correct figures would detract from the focus of the reform.

    All parties tend to use stats for their own ends, but this NAct government has elevated it to a prime MO.

  23. There is something funny (not ha ha) about this supposed statement from key to the Maori Party last night.

    Mrs Turia was asked whether that meant that should a court decision subsequent to the tribunal find that Maori did have proprietary type right over water, the Government would not legislate against that.

    She said: “That was what they told us tonight”.

    ‘They’ – not nice Mr Key, or The Prime Minister, or Johnny – no it is the ‘they’. I wonder who ‘they’ are. The use of ‘they’ implies wriggle room to me but who will do the wriggling, I’m not too sure. To date I have not heard key say it or agree with Tariana’s statement. Has anyone?

    http://mars2earth.blogspot.co.nz/2012/07/sullied-waters.html

    edit- just heard on the radio key deliberately not say it when directly asked

    • Carol 23.1

      Wriggle room? You mean like here in Question time today?
      http://www.parliament.nz/en-NZ/PB/Business/QOA/b/a/b/50HansQ_20120719_00000001-1-Water-Rights-Prime-Minister-s-Statements.htm

      Grant Robertson: Can he confirm the joint announcement he made last night with the Māori Party leadership that no matter what the outcome of the tribunal and subsequent court action, he will not legislate, even if that outcome was that Māori had a proprietary-type right over water?

      Hon BILL ENGLISH: The Prime Minister stands by the statements made in the statement that was released.

      nice catch marsman!

    • mike e 23.2

      mm he was mumbling( lying)

    • bad12 23.3

      I would imagine that the next stop for the Maori Council will be the High Court and i can well imagine that on the back of what is likely to be a highly scathing report of various Governments action/inaction since 1840 along with various Courts having already expressed their view that Maori do own various specific Lakes,Rivers and Streams, the High Court are highly likely to grant an injunction stopping the sale of Mighty River Power until such time as a negotiated settlement of ALL the claims to both the water and the bed of the Waikato River has been reached,

      For Slippery the Prime Minister there’s political capital to be harvested from dragging this out until 2014 as an election issue, the Maori party as well will be watching it’s polling to see if it can get any traction whatsoever for it’s polling which has Flavell being berated by his own electorate about being played like a fool by Turia,(and in particular Her trip to the Waitangi Tribunal hearings),

      The ‘deal’ here as i see it is that if the ‘issue’ of who owns the lakes,rivers, and, streams is still alive as we close in on the 2014 election, National lead by Slippery will go all out with the racism of a Brash-like Iwi/Kiwi campaign and the Maori Party at an opportune time in 2014 will with a nod and a wink from Slippery ‘walk’ from the coalition in an attempt to ressurect a Maori Party that is to all extents and purposes now a foot-note in Maori political history….

      • Ed 23.3.1

        I think you are confusing “ownership” with “rights” and “control”. That may suit some political agendas, but may not be helpful to anyone (except, as you point out, to those seeking to mislead).

        Issues that are important to all New Zealanders involve ensuring that some users are not able to withhold water from those downstream beyond agreed levels (particularly relevant for those operating a hydro- dam, or that river and lake levels are controlled to avoid deterioration of banks (applies to most rivers and lakes), and that pollution does not detract from waterways by killing fish, endangering heath, reducing natural enjoyment and tourism potential etc.

        If a sale is deemed to lock in current levels of “water rights” by current users, that may not be sufficient protection for the future.

        The issue of who is able to use and control water (in many and various ways) is indeed alive, but that is not necessarily ownership. I do not own other vehicles on the road, but I am glad they are constrained by traffic rules, Warrant and registration requirements etc. Why perpetuate use of a term that through abuse by the right has become ambiguous, emotional, and misleading in most contexts?

        • bad12 23.3.1.1

          Um no,not confusing ‘ownership’ vis a vis Maori ‘rights’ to Lakes, Rivers, and, Streams, i am simply being literal in light of article 2 of the Treaty of Waitangi, (English version),and, at least 3 Native Land Court rulings from 1883 onward where 3 different Hapu have taken 3 different cases to that Court over Lakes, Rivers,and, Streams, and, in Paki V Crown in the Court of Appeal in more recent times the Court held the view that the Poukani Block owners ‘owned’ the land upon which sit 3 of the dams that generate power for Mighty River Power and under the Lakes that these dams created,

          Yes across the country there are ‘water rights’ issued by Regional Councils which in light of Article 2 of the Treaty of Waitangi, (English version), and, subsequent Court decisions i see as of dubious legality and as such ‘consents’ of use have a finite term would not see them as being able to be altered on the basis of the Crowns inability to provide ‘water rights’ through proxy organizations, (Regional Councils),because i do not believe that the Crown ‘legitimately’ owned or had the legal right to dispense consents of use for water in the Rivers, Lakes, and, Streams,BUT, for Maori to simply cancel such water use consents would in itself be a breach of the Treaty as the issue befor the Tribunal cannot disenfranchise private owners or in this case ‘users’,

          Having said that though, there is nothing to stop ‘water rights’ in the future being a matter for Maori to decide, which of course would be one of the concerns in a negotiation with the Crown should or when such takes place,

          This is my view of the issue, while some Maori do see my point of arguing such an issue from the Pakeha perspective of ‘ownership’ it is not necessarily a view held by either the Maori Council at the current Waitangi Tribunal hearing or the Iwi Leaders Group who for the past 4 years have been in largely secret discussions with the Prime Minister over the issue of ‘water rights’ or ‘ownership’…

        • bad12 23.3.1.2

          As a PS:,this is from the closing address Maori Council Lawyer Felix Geringer gave to the Waitangi Tribunal on behalf of the New Zealand Maori Council,

          ”Hapu had in 1840 a relationship with water for which the closest cultural equivalent with modern English concepts is one of ownership,of full blown property rights”, unquote.

          And that as Mr Geringer so succinctly puts it is exactly what i am saying…

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    Labour | 29-10
  • Traffic Jam Tax must be given the red light
    Auckland Council’s proposed Traffic Jam Tax could cost some households thousands of dollars a year just to use roads they had already paid for with their taxes and must be rejected, says Labour’s transport and Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford....
    Labour | 29-10
  • National has chance to show leadership on limos
    The National Party has the opportunity to show leadership by transitioning our vehicle fleet towards renewable electricity when a new contract to supply Government limousines for VIPs goes to tender next month, the Green Party said today. "This is a...
    Greens | 29-10
  • The Māori Party can’t have it both ways over labour laws
    The Māori Party has to fess up over its voting record on the Employment Relations Amendment Bill, says Labour’s Māori Caucus.  “It’s simply not good enough to oppose the bill at the same time  as they helped speed up its progress through...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Equal pay and the aged care sector
    Today the High Court upheld the historic ruling by the Employment Court that our Equal Pay Act could be used to consider work of equal value cases; the government has been telling the UN and ILO that it could for...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Court case perfect opportunity for Government to improve gender pay gap
    If the Government wants to halt New Zealand’s slump in international rankings on the gender pay gap it should act on the court finding that women deserve equal wages, Labour’s Women’s Affairs spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “The World Economic Forum’s...
    Labour | 28-10
  • All Auckland transport options should be considered
    All options for meeting Auckland's transport needs should be considered, including reprioritising the transport budget away from wasteful spending on motorways, the Green Party said today.Auckland mayor Len Brown is today releasing a transport report by the Independent Advisory Board,...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Another report highlights Govt failure on child poverty
    An international report measuring the impact of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) on child poverty rates, showing children in New Zealand have done worse than children in other countries, is further proof the Government needs to urgently take additional steps...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Child poverty: No more wake-up calls
    A new report which shows the National Government has made no inroads whatsoever into child poverty should do more than just set alarm bells ringing, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “UNICEF’s  latest Innocenti Report Card highlights the fact...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Eugenie Sage speaks in the 2014 Address in Reply Debate
    I congratulate you, Assistant Speaker Mallard, as Assistant Speaker and look forward to your knowledge, your fairness, and your light touch in being a referee of proceedings in this House. I congratulate also the other Assistant Speaker, Lindsay Tisch; the...
    Greens | 28-10
  • James Shaw’s Maiden Speech
    Tena Koe, Mr Speaker. I would like to take this opportunity to speak a little of the past, the present and the future. The privilege to serve in this Parliament was given to me by all those who gave their...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Govt airs real views on public broadcasting
    An admission by the Government that it is happy to experiment with Pacific and Maori audiences shows just how weak its vision for public broadcasting in New Zealand is, Labour’s Broadcasting spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. “National today admitted it doesn’t...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Does Judith Collins have a get out of jail card?
    Former justice minister Judith Collins appears to have been gifted a get out of jail free card based on the Prime Minister’s answers in Parliament today, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “Judith Collins claimed in an Official Information...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Solid Energy decision delay sensible
    Today’s announcement by the Board of Solid Energy that it will delay making a final decision on re-entering the Pike River mine is a sensible move, Labour’s MP for  West Coast-Tasman Damien O’Connor says. “It has been clear for some...
    Labour | 28-10
  • New York Green Bank off to a $1B start
    New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced late last week the New York Green Bank’s first NZD$1 billion tranche of green energy investments. The projects, which are difficult for the private sector to finance, are now possible by New York Green...
    Greens | 28-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Blockade the Budget
    The ‘Independent’ Police Conduct Authority’s report into the policing of student protests in 2012 is a whitewash The report released by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is a whitewash riddled with inaccuracies....
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • When National claim new anti worker laws provide ‘flexibility’ they mea...
    And so it comes to pass. The first law National ram through as part of their victory march are new anti worker laws they pretend will generate ‘flexibility’. The new law denigrate the unions ability to protect workers and provide...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • City Transport: A Taxing Matter
    This week the prospect of paying tolls on Auckland motorways became a hot topic. (See Mathew Dearnaley:Motorway tolling could hit some hard, NZ Herald, 30 Oct 2014.) As we might expect, the kneejerk response has been quite negative. But, as with...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Open Letter to Amy Adams: Please Reopen The Review Into Sexual Violence Cou...
    Ms Amy Adams, Justice and Courts Minister, Right now in this country it seems that although rape is illegal, it is not being prevented by the agents who uphold the law. It almost feels like rape is only illegal on paper,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Things That Make You Go Hmmmmmmm
    Every so often in politics, a public figure comes out with something so absurd and so outlandish … that it really does just make you go “Hmmmmmmmmmm”. We’re accustomed to this from certain quarters – by mid point through the...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Poverty & inequality don’t need protest marches – they need a riot:...
    The global level of inequality continues to skyrocket… Number of billionaires doubled since financial crisis The number of billionaires has doubled since the start of the financial crisis, according to a major new report from anti-poverty campaigners. According to Oxfam,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • If Key knows who Rawshark is…
    I’m sorry, what? John Key ‘given Rawshark’s name’The Prime Minister believes he knows who hacked Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater’s computer and produced the source material for Nicky Hager’s Dirty Politics, according to a new edition of a recently published...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Child Poverty stats in NZ
    Child Poverty stats in NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Crimes Act + Police Investigation = WTF
    Just to frame the farce that is the Roastbuster’s investigation and conclusion – here are the parts of the Crime Act http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1961/0043/latest/whole.html#DLM329057  the Roastbusters are proven to have violated – that the police (and some suspects!) themselves acknowledge occurred: Crimes...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Publishing Journalists’ Home Addresses Is A Tactic Of The Right, Not The ...
    I think I’m starting to get rather annoyed with the conduct of some pro-MANA people over this ongoing Parliamentary Services crew complement issue. Yes, we get that there are legitimate issues to be raised with how some political reporters in...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Aucklanders caught between a tarseal-addicted government and a weak mayor
    Len Brown’s proposal for motorway tolls to reduce congestion and provide funding for better public transport is a weak response to a critical issue. The $12 billion dollar shortfall on transport funding he talks about is mainly for projected new...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • A Very Weird Story: Deconstructing Darren Aronofsky’s Noah.
    NOAH is a curious movie. Conceived as a biblical epic, it’s target audience was originally the millions of Americans who regard the Bible as God’s inerrant word. With the sin-filled works of Hollywood forbidden to these true-believers, Christian movie-makers have developed...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • You Can Get Away With Rape In New Zealand
    Jessie Hume with last years petition against rape     The police have sent a strong message today.  In fact they’ve been sending a strong message for a while; a message that our government supports. “You can literally get away...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Roast Buster case – no charges. In the immortal words of NWA…
    Roast Busters case: No prosecutions Police are to make an announcement this afternoon on Operation Clover, the investigation into the “Roast Busters” allegations. The Herald understands the victim has been told that the alleged offenders will not be prosecuted due...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Key’s flag change distraction to cost $26million!
    No. Way. Bid to change NZ flag to cost millions The cost of holding two referendums and consulting on a change of flag has been estimated to be just under $26 million. Look. We all appreciate that the sleepy hobbits...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Why NZ Herald’s Labour Party crocodile tears are so audacious
    The front page the NZ Herald would use if they thought they could get away with it No one can take the recent columns by NZ Herald seriously… John Armstrong: Shadow lingers on National John Roughan: Labour’s leadership vote matters...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • The beginning of the end of Cameron Slater?
    Slater postings on man bizarre, court told A businessman has changed his appearance and had to install extra security at his home after Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater posted his business and personal documents online, he says. Mr Slater has...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • We are a milk power republic and Fonterra our unelected senate
    Wow. Just wow… Deputy mayor says he’ll be sacked South Taranaki deputy mayor Alex Ballantyne says he expects to be sacked because he has spoken out about the impact gasses coming from dumped Fonterra dairy products have had on his...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: “…But *actually* this is about ethics in political-game jo...
    Yesterday, a piece of mine on the recent revelations about Hone Harawira employing several gentlemen either accused or convicted of sex offences was published on The Daily Blog. Predictably, given the fierce loyalty which Hone inspires in his party faithful and...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Privilege cheque
    There was no race problem in my childhood. Living in central Wellington I was well-insulated from what was going on not so far away. This was the 60s and 70s, where the teachers enjoyed free love in the staff room...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • A brief word on Key’s claim that it will be raining carnage
    Isis will ‘rain carnage on the world’ – John Key Left unchecked Isis would “rain carnage on the world”, Prime Minister John Key says, but he has yet to make a decision on whether New Zealand troops will join a...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Meanwhile…
    ...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • How does Andrew Little win Labour Leadership and unify the caucus?
    Audrey Young’s excellent column on how the Caucus vote  is shaping up shows how Andrew Little becomes the next leader of the Labour Party. She identifies the factions as the following… Andrew Little 6: Andrew Little, David Cunliffe, Iain Lees Galloway,...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Joe Trinder – Right of response to Curwen
    You have asked that Hone Harawira deserves to explain what happened, how would he explain when his next door neighbour is an alleged sex offender. What explanation can Hone offer he wasn’t involved, Hone had no idea this offending was...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: That Hella-Weird Feeling When You Defend Tova O’Brien
    Oh dear. Yesterday morning I blogged that Hone deserved a chance to explain what exactly had happened as applies his office’s Parliamentary Services crew complement – and, importantly, that we deserve to be able to judge him on the strength of...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Canadian Green MP warns against harsh anti-terror measures
    Canada’s Green Party has provided a welcome counterpoint to Prime Minister Harper’s call for tougher anti-terrorism laws in the wake of a soldier outside the Canadian Parliament. On October 22, while she was still locked in her parliamentary office, Green...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • When is an asset sale not an asset sale? When it robs from the poor and ste...
    National have turned state housing on its head. At no time during the 2014 election did the Key Government even hint that they were going to privatise 30% of the Housing NZ stock of state homes. Not once. Key even...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part To...
    . . Continued from: Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Rua) . Bill English comes clean on National’s intentions for HNZ privatisation . On 14 October, in a report on The Daily Blog, I wrote, In...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • The Questions Have Been Asked – They Deserve An Answer
    A few days ago, allegations that had been percolating for some time about Hone Harawira employing three either accused or convicted sex offenders on his Parliamentary pay-roll came to light. (one imprisoned before working for MANA; one who found himself convicted and...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • I have seen one future, and it is bleak
    . . Back in  March 2012, I wrote this story regarding a march to support striking workers at Ports of Auckland. It appears there was some prescience about some of my observations at the time… . | | 18 March...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • US air strike war Key wants us in has killed a civilian a day so far
      The US air strike war that John Key wants us to join has killed a civilian a day so far. From the Washington Post... The United States launched its first airstrikes on militants in Syria on Sept. 23, and has continued...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • The instant Jihad syndrome
    My favourite new term is ‘self-radicalised’ – it suggests the reasons for terrorism are totally divorced from the actions of the West. This need to suddenly ramp up terror laws because of lone wolf, self-radicalised Jihadists seems convenient and counter-productive....
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • We have nothing to fear from Ebola but fear itself
    I suspect most Americans perceive Ebola like this   I can’t work out if the fear being spread within the media about Ebola is deliberate or just ignorance. Yes Ebola is a terrible plague that kills a large percentage of...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – “Meritocracy? I wish.”
    I’d like to start by linking to a post I had published at another site in support of Nanaia Mahuta for the Labour Party leadership election.  She has a reasonable chance, given that she already has the endorsement of Te...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Chocolate milk shortage and creepy Santa? Let’s talk about real news
    Child poverty is still a scarily serious problem in this country and house prices are soaring through the roof to the point where it is simply impossible for the average New Zealander to buy a home. There is also little...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • It’s time to celebrate Kiwi schools and teachers
    Some would have you believe that New Zealand’s schools are in a state of collapse, that your children are not being educated well and that things are going to hell in a hand basket.  That there is no innovation, no...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Ideological Blitzkrieg – Privatization of state housing, more charter sch...
    Pundits in pundit land will tell you that this Government is boring, that Key is the great pragmatist and that it is his ability to create elegant solutions that keeps him the firm favourite in many Kiwi eyes. This ability...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • Hegemony rules but resistance is fertile
    The Prime Minister is a puppet. Not just our current Prime Minister, but given the forces of multinational globalisation, the role of any head of state, is less as independent actor, and more as a puppet of international trends and...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • An open Letter to Sir Bob Jones: demanding a ‘liveable wage’ is not “...
    How out of touch with reality is Sir Bob Jones? You know, that white dude who invested in privatised SOEs after the selling off of our assets in the eighties and made a ludicrous and disgusting amount of money and is...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • My insecurity about the Security Council
    As I write this (on 24 October) it is international UN Day. Of course, you all knew that already, right? Well, the day celebrates the entry into force of the UN Charter in 1945. With the ratification of this founding...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Catherine Delahunty – Back in That House
    Parliament opened this week and I still find it a very odd place. Most of the people are reasonably courteous and friendly, but the rituals are archaic and the rules around issues like the swearing in oath are oppressive and...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Marae Investigates No More
    TVNZ yesterday announced the closure of their Māori and Pacific programmes department. That means they’ve chosen to stop making Fresh, Tagata Pasifika, Waka Huia and Marae Investigates to let independent producers get their hands on these lucrative contracts. This is...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • BLOGWATCH: An Un-Civil War in Labour, eh?
    Earlier today, my attention was directed to an entry that’s just recently appeared on the Slightly Left of Centre blog. It purports to contain the ‘inside word’ from a highly placed NZF source – which is funny, because I’m pretty sure...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Santanomics 101
    Santanomics could mean a number of things. It could be the study and practice of giving. Or it could mean the study and practice of rampant end-of-year commercialism. However, for me today it is the economics of erectingAuckland’s giant Santa...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • SkyCity boss misleads public over workers lost shifts
    SkyCity CEO Nigel Morrison has defended the employment practices at his company in an “Opinion” piece entitled “Human Capital key to corporate success” in the NZ Herald on Thursday. A number of his claims are misleading, contain only partial truths...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Review: Perfect Place
    I went to a Perfect Place on Tuesday night, and what a delight it was. The marshmallows sweetly (and forcefully) handed out pre-show, set the tone for the next hour. Walking up the stairs at The Basement was a complete...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • 5AA Australia – NZ on UN Security Council + Dirty Politics Lingers On
    5AA Australia: Selwyn Manning and Peter Godfrey deliver their weekly bulletin Across The Ditch. General round up of over night talkback issues: Thongs, Jandals and flip-flops… ISSUE 1: New Zealand has been successful in its campaign to become a non...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • When I mean me, I mean my office & when I call whaleoil I mean not as m...
    This. Is. Ludicrous. Green Party co-leader Russel Norman put the first of what are likely to be many questions about Mr Key’s relationship with Slater, asking him how many times he had phoned or texted the blogger since 2008. “None...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • A brief word on describing the Government as ‘boring and bland’
    The narrative being sown is that this Government will be a boring and bland third term. Boring and bland. Since the election, Key has announced he is privatising 30% of state houses without reinvesting any of that money back into housing society’s most...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • Roast Busters: Turn Indignation into Action
    People raged about the Roast Buster case. The indignation was justified – it was horrible. “Where were their parents!?” Fair question. I am sure the Roast Busters’ parents and the victims’ parents all wish they had been more proactive in...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Stats NZ only have themselves to blame for postponement
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says Statistics NZ only have themselves to blame for the indefinite postponement of the release of the Food Price Index: November 2014....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • NZ Diversity Survey – benchmarking workplace diversity
    AUT University’s New Zealand Work Research Institute (NZWRI) has released a report on diversity in New Zealand workplaces....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Māori Language (Te Reo Māori) Bill
    Tutehounuku Korako, Chair of the Māori Affairs Committee, is inviting further public submissions on this bill. The closing date for submissions is Friday, 5 December 2014....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • ERA amendments a mixed bag
    The Employment Relations Amendment Act has the potential to put vulnerable workers in a more precarious position, says Equal Opportunities Commissioner, Dr Jackie Blue. However, the commissioner says the right for all to request flexible work hours is...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Sensible Sentencing calls for appeal of judicial activivism
    The Sensible Sentencing Trust is appalled that Justice Jill Mallon has today refused to apply the Life without Parole (LWOP) provisions of the Three Strikes law as enacted by Parliament....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Global Rally against ISIS – for Kobanê – for Humanity, Nov 1
    The New Zealand Kurdish Community will march in solidarity with Kurdistan as part of the “GLOBAL RALLY AGAINST ISIS – FOR KOBANÊ – FOR HUMANITY” on 1 November 2014, 2pm....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Safer roads are better for everyone
    Recent pedestrian versus vehicle incidents highlight the real issues being addressed by delegates as the 2Walk and Cycle conference concludes....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Law change creates more flexible labour market
    The Employment Relations Amendment Act, passed yesterday, will bring new flexibility to the labour market and will reduce the ability of unions to organise and to recruit....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Bumper ANZ profits mean no excuse for insecure hours
    A big rise in profits at New Zealand's largest bank needs to be reflected in a better pay offer and more security around hours of work, the bank workers’ union said today....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Count down to lowered alcohol limit
    With just a month to go until a new lower alcohol limit for adult drivers comes into effect, Police and road safety agencies are reminding drivers of the impending change....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • WorkSafe Supports Forestry Review Findings
    WorkSafe NZ says the Independent Forestry Safety Review has clearly identified the problems facing an industry in which ten workers were killed last year. “The Review’s analysis matches our own view and leaves no doubt about the need for comprehensive,...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CTU welcomes forestry review recommendations
    The CTU is welcoming the today's release of the independent forestry safety review panel findings. "These recommendations must be implemented to ensure that everything possible is done to make forestry safer." CTU President, Helen Kelly said....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Activists will confront animal abusers
    Today animal rights activists will confront a group of wealth advisers who want to build the biggest egg factory-farm in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Turia: Women’s Refuge Conference 2014
    This is a milestone moment in my life. This will be my last official address as Co-leader of the Maori Party. On Saturday night at our Hui-a-Tau, I will be standing down from that role and enabling a new co-leader,...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rodeo Code of Welfare ‘Sick Joke’
    Animal advocacy organisation SAFE says the revised Code of Welfare for Rodeos just released is nothing but a sick joke. “Rodeo animals are goaded, tormented and forced to endure needless suffering and gross mistreatment, all for the sake of so-called...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Conservative Party applauds binding referenda on flag
    The Conservative Party are congratulating the Government on the decision to hold two binding referendums to decide the fate of New Zealand’s flag – and believes it will pave the way for binding referenda to form part of New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Walk the Talk – Opposing violence against women
    Soroptimist International of Auckland have organised a walk on 22 November from Silo Park at the Wynyard Quarter through the Viaduct and back to Silo Park, to show their opposition to violence against women. This event hopes to raise awareness...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Recommendations on the Design of Pecuniary Penalties
    The Law Commission has reviewed the use of pecuniary penalties as a regulatory tool. Pecuniary penalties are financial penalties that policymakers are increasingly opting to use in place of criminal sanctions in order to punish and deter misconduct in...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Every worker will be affected by employment law changes
    Every worker will feel the effects of the government’s new employment laws and should join a union if they want to maintain and increase their wages and conditions, says New Zealand’s largest private sector union, the EPMU....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Shameful attack on all workers
    The Government has passed the Employment Relations Amendment Act slashing the rights of all Kiwi workers. “These changes are shameful. New Zealand now has some of the worst employment protections in the OECD. It is embarrassing that a country which...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Unnecessary law changes more to do with ideology
    The government’s employment law changes are simply ideological and are at odds with its approach in the related areas of health and safety and immigration law, FIRST Union said tonight....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CTU Runanga calls on iwi leaders
    Maori workers are calling on iwi leaders to speak out against the employment law changes expected to go through today. “Iwi leaders have previously spoken out when workers in Aotearoa have been under attack, we believe they should do so...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Educating children not the best solution to alcohol harm
    Alcohol Healthwatch says we need to look beyond educating children and young people to address deeply embedded attitudes and behaviours concerning alcohol....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • New code of welfare for rodeos released
    New standards to strengthen the animal welfare requirements for rodeos have been issued today by the Minister for Primary Industries, Nathan Guy....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • IPCA report riddle with inaccuracies, say students
    A report by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is riddled with inaccuracies, say students who laid the original complaint with the IPCA....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CT v The Queen – indecency convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rameka v The Queen – murder convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Auckland Council Out of Control
    Responding to the NZ Herald article that some Auckland households will face a rates rise of up to 9.6 per cent next year, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “Len Brown’s pledge to cap rates rises at 2.5 per...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Stats NZ staff escalate action with ‘no more meetings’ rule
    Statistics NZ staff have voted to escalate their ongoing industrial action in an effort to get Stats NZ back to the bargaining table with a reasonable offer. The staff, who are members of the Public Service Association (PSA), have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Rape Crisis calls for changes to criminal justice system
    Wellington Rape Crisis has added its voice to the public outcry following the announcement that there will be no charges in the teen rape gang case. Butterworth says the decision not to lay charges will not have been a surprise...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Police action justified in Blockade the Budget demonstration
    Police actions in dealing with a demonstration in Central Auckland known as Blockade the Budget on 1 June 2012 were justified and appropriate, an Independent Police Conduct Authority report released today found....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • NZDF Joins with Australia to Commemorate WWI Centenary
    A contingent of New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel will join their Australian counterparts at Australia’s first major commemoration of the First World War centenary in Albany, Western Australia this weekend....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Reserve Bank should reduce interest rate
    “The Reserve Bank should be reducing its policy interest rate, the OCR”, says CTU Economist Bill Rosenberg in response to the Bank’s announcement today that it is not increasing it....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • 2015 Stout Fellow will write about Māori & Criminal Justice
    Kim Workman, founder and advocate for the Robson Hanan Trust, which administers the Rethinking Crime and Punishment and Justspeak initiatives, has been awarded the 2015 John David Stout Fellowship at Victoria University....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • What John Key thought about ‘dirty politics’
    On September 20, John Key swept to victory to become one of New Zealand’s most successful and popular Prime Ministers. Rocked by scandal, the 2014 election campaign was one of the most brutal – and riveting – in recent history....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Trade Deal Threatens Farmers and Food Businesses
    The secret Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations are a direct threat to food businesses and farmers, and a moratorium on the release of GE crops must be enshrined in law before the TPP is signed....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • CTU announces election of new Secretary
    The contested election for the position of CTU Secretary has been won by Sam Huggard. Sam officially takes office on Monday 1 December 2014. Sam has worked in the union movement and brings a wealth of experience and a commitment...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kim Workman awarded 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship
    The Victoria University of Wellington 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship, funded by the Stout Trust, has been awarded to justice reform advocate Kim Workman. Mr Workman (Ngati Kahungungu ki Wairarapa, Rangitaane) is well known for his work on criminal justice,...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • TPPA causing concern
    Concern over the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) negotiations is being expressed in two public meetings over the next week; one at a presentation on 5th November by former councillor Robin Gwynn to the Napier City Council, the...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kiwis rally to demand justice for ‘Roast Buster’ survivors
    Over 1,500 kiwis have rallied to demand justice after the announcement of the NZ Police decision not to lay charges in the ‘Roast Busters’ saga....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • New employment law will hurt the most vulnerable NZers
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says changes to the Employment Relations Act, expected to be passed in Parliament tonight, will hurt vulnerable workers and their families more than anyone....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Consultation to close on proposed place names
    The New Zealand Geographic Board (NZGB) Ngā Pou Taunaha o Aotearoa today advised that only one month remains before public consultation closes for 18 name proposals for geographic features and places around Te Ika ā Māui (the North Island)....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Operation Clover – Statement from Police Commissioner
    I have taken a close interest in this investigation and I am confident police have conducted a thorough and professional enquiry in what has been a challenging and complex case. The Operation Clover team has ensured that victims have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Better policy would have protected children from recession
    Child Poverty Action Group says an international report released by UNICEF today shows good policy can protect and improve child well-being, even during a recession....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Outcome of Operation Clover investigation
    Police have completed a multi-agency investigation, Operation Clover, into the activities of a group calling themselves “The Roast Busters”. The 12 month enquiry focused on incidents involving allegations of sexual offending against a number of girls...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • False birth registration brings home detention
    A Whangarei woman who attempted to register the birth of a fictitious child to claim a sole parent benefit was sentenced to six months home detention in the Whangarei District Court today....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Family of Robert Ellis demand a proper investigation
    The family of a New Zealander killed in Indonesia are growing increasingly concerned at the lack of information they’ve received, and the handling of the investigation into his murder....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Minister of Health must account for aged care workers’ pay
    The New Zealand Federation of Business and Professional Women (BPW NZ) congratulates rest-home worker Kristine Bartlett on her landmark claim for equal pay from her employer and successfully pursuing this to the Court of Appeal....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
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