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Open mike 20/08/2012

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, August 20th, 2012 - 87 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post. For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the link to Policy in the banner).

Step right up to the mike…

87 comments on “Open mike 20/08/2012”

  1. Sanctuary 1

    Another week, three more pointless fatal casualties amongst our soldiers in Afghanistan. Let’s hope their funerals don’t clash with John Key’s parent-teacher day at Kings.

    IrishBill: The politics of out presence in Afghanistan needs to be discussed but not as thoughtlessly as this. Cool your heels or you’ll get a week off.

    • LynW 1.1

      A heartbreaking waste of life.

      http://www.stuff.co.nz/world/asia/7507715/Three-Kiwi-soldiers-killed-in-bomb-attack

      At the weekend, former Labour leader Phil Goff said more combat deaths in Afghanistan were futile.

      “Sometimes you do things that involve sacrifice, but the sacrifice has to be worthwhile,” Goff said.

      “To me, further sacrifices aren’t going to bring better outcomes for Afghanistan. I’ve been to every funeral for those killed in action and they are terribly sad and your heart goes out to the families. But can I look them in the eye and say your son died because it was critical for us to be in Afghanistan? I don’t believe I can.”

      New Zealand’s Afghanistan deployment over the past five years has cost $185 million, with $32m budgeted this year.

      • AmaKiwi 1.1.1

        Will the caucus approved Labour policy please raise your hand?

        After the previous two deaths Shearer supported Key. Shearer said we should stay.

        http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10824900

        • Colonial Viper 1.1.1.1

          Every report out of Afghanistan says that the internal security situation is deteriorating. We don’t even know what is achievable there any more. Condolences to the families of the service personnel killed. Bring our boys back this year.

          • Bored 1.1.1.1.1

            My son just came out of the forces, I welcome this as I cant trust how this government will deploy our forces personnel: the downside is that he is finding suitable work scarce but has got a job.

            Recently talking to services personnel the common refrain they give is funding cuts, privatized contractors doing core services work, boats tied up for lack of crew, second rate equipment, low moral. I am not sure I want to entrust any of our young people to organisations stretched this way. Who would trust the same politicians from whence this problem originates to make decisions for our young peoples welfare? Why do we allow these politico-ciphers to send our troops into combat zones to perform “reconstruction?”

            My deepest condolences to the families, who will reconstruct their life?

          • lostinsuburbia 1.1.1.1.2

            Yep, our mission there has failed at the cost of many lives and the waste of national treasuries.

            While I support military action when neccessary and also the deployment of rebuilding teams, the campaign in Afghanistan is a failure. With a war that has gone longer than World War One and Two combined, we are facing an enemy that is resurgent and a country that is run by a disorganised band of thugs.

            While there may be some local improvements (judging from some stories about improved conditions in some towns etc), Afghanistan has turned into a strategic defeat.

            Not to say that the Taliban or its ilk are my kind of people, but given the cultural and physical problems facing NATO and its allies (like us) its time to pull out as a “victory” can not be achieved.

            Losing more kiwi soliders to show that we are “one of boys” and a mate of the USA is just not worth it.

    • CnrJoe 1.2

      Bronaghs got a dressage competition coming up in Hawaii?

    • Nick 1.3

      Maybe Key can demand his son, and his sons Kings class mates to join up and go to Afghanistan. Can just see the weaned on pickle Kings parents faces.

      • rosy 1.3.1

        +1 If a war is worth fighting then it’s worth risking your own kids, not just other people’s children… (yes, I know we don’t have conscription, it’d be worth asking Key the question though)

      • AmaKiwi 1.3.2

        I oppose foreign wars but I favor conscription. Why?

        Conscription finally brought an end to the US war in Vietnam. The US war hawks ended conscription after Vietnam so they wouldn’t have the middle class organizing massive protests against future imperialist wars. It worked.

        We would have been out of Afghanistan long ago if the sons of the wealthy and middle class risked getting killed there.

        • rosy 1.3.2.1

          A very good point, AmaKiwi.

        • LynW 1.3.2.2

          Excellent point AmaKiwi

        • Bill 1.3.2.3

          Another argument I’ve heard for conscription is that it dilutes the culture of the armed forces. Meaning that a professional army of volunteers is more likely to accept certain intellectual or moral mores that an army comprised of all types and a wider spread of ‘enthusiasm’ would be less susceptible to, or even resistant to.

          And I can see the logic, but remain firmly opposed to conscription. And in a NZ context, I’m not sure I see much, if any, reason for having armed forces. I imagine that if another country wanted to invade NZ that they could succesfully do so whether or not there was any defence force. And since defence forces are presumably for defence and not offence, then I’m willing to accept that NZ isn’t interested in invading anyone else.

          Meanwhile, if there is a desire to send people to help on genuine humanitarian projects, then can that not be done without guns and whatever other army paraphernalia? If I was going to be compelled to walk around Afghanistan or some other such like place where people looking just like me had been responsible for inflicting bloody mayhem, I’m thinking the last thing I would want is to be kitted out in army fatigues with a gun strapped over my shoulder. Might as well just put a big day glow target on me with ‘target practice’ stamped across it in the local language.

          • Draco T Bastard 1.3.2.3.1

            And in a NZ context, I’m not sure I see much, if any, reason for having armed forces.

            We will need the ability to defend ourselves for the foreseeable future – unfortunately, ours can’t being configured incorrectly and dependent upon imported weapons. There are sociopaths, they do get to be in positions of power and they do invade other countries – especially if the other country is perceived to be weak.

    • Carol 1.4

      So sad. Condolences to the families, and friends of the dead soldiers.

      And New Zealand troops are there because…..???? …. because the the US is there….?

    • Dr Terry 1.5

      Irish Bill: You call comment from Sanctuary thoughtless? I should think he reflects the way many people will be thinking right now. Key’s recent decisions are hardly beyond question, surely? Naturally, however, we have great sympathy for families of the bereaved.

  2. Richard Mayes - Wellington 2

    What the hell’s wrong with you Sanctuary?

    Three New Zealand soldiers have died, while fighting to free a nation from the most hideous religious oppression you could imagine, and your first reaction is to turn that into a barbed comment about Key.

    Have you seen that Time magazine photo of a little Afghani girl who had her nose cut off because she offended some principle of sharia law?

    THAT’s what our soldiers are fighting. If you think that’s “pointless” then you have a pretty fucked up view of the world. Grow up.

    • It’s time for our soldiers to come home Richard.  Their presence in Afghanistan is not helping.  The country is on the ropes because of continuous foreign meddling over the past few decades.

      It is time to bring the soldiers home and see if aid and compassion work better. 

    • Zorr 2.2

      Do you even remember the reason Afghanistan was invaded? It WASN’T to free the country from the grip of religious extremists because we wanted to save little girls like that – it was to pull down a structure that provided refuge to Al Qaeda. As much as the story of the little girl is horrible, it is not our duty to prevent every horror in the world, nor is it even possible, and risking the lives of our soldiers in a futile pursuit is disrespectful of their families as we are risking their lives needlessly.

      If you think it’s that important to go over there and fight to protect Afghanistan, where are your sign up papers for the army? Or why aren’t you over digging wells in Africa? etc etc

      Feel free to stop being a keyboard warrior and go out and be a real one if that is where your heart lies because at the moment your words ring hollow

    • rosy 2.3

      You do realise Richard, that the U.S. is negotiating their exit with those very same people?

    • IrishBill 2.4

      There are better ways to fight religious oppression than war.

    • Morrissey 2.5

      An ignoramus writes….

      Three New Zealand soldiers have died, while fighting to free a nation from the most hideous religious oppression you could imagine

      To “free” a nation by sending hundreds of thousands of troops to kill thousands and thousands of its civilians? Where have we heard that one before? Poland in the 1940s, Algeria in the 1950s, Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos in the 1960s, Chechnya in the 1990s, Iraq in this century…

      Have you seen that Time magazine photo of a little Afghani girl who had her nose cut off because she offended some principle of sharia law?

      Have you seen this picture? It wasn’t published in the semi-official Time magazine for obvious reasons. THAT’s what the Afghans are resisting…..

      http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/photo/2012-03/12/131462619_11n.jpg

      By the way: your use of foul language does nothing to diminish the impression of massive ignorance.

      http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/photo/2012-03/12/c_131462622.htm

    • millsy 2.6

      Richard – About 10 years ago I saw a photo of a woman who had her eyes gouged out and her nose cut off by her husband in Pakistan, I have also seen photos of women in Bangladesh who have had acid thrown in their faces.

      Are you suggesting we send troops to those countries as well?

    • prism 2.7

      Richard 2
      You need to grow up. There is a constant flow of news of disgusting
      treatment of people. Some of them perpetrated by armies ‘saving’ the country.

      We are not in Afghanistan as a crusade to save people from turning on each other viciously, after all we haven’t managed to do that in NZ. We are in Afghanistan because the USA asked us and we have tried to make a positive contribution to the people.

      That’s all we can do. Grow up yourself and put your energies into supporting positive groups attempting to aid people made by more needy after this war. Better still go yourself. The personal input and zeal and ability to find a way through the powerful philosophies different from our powerful philosophies could make a great difference in the location you operated in.

    • Vicky32 2.8

      Have you seen that Time magazine photo of a little Afghani girl who had her nose cut off because she offended some principle of sharia law?

      All due respect to you, Richard, but I would not take the word of TIME magazine for anything!
      Frankly, I am with Sanctuary…
      Listening to TV3’s coverage of it all – disgusting. War porn!

      • Vicky32 2.8.1

        Memo to Mike McRoberts – a tragedy is when anyone is killed – not just one of the American invaders…

    • Daveosaurus 2.9

      And in another theocratic shithole, religious terrorists murder medical staff. So should we invade them as well?

      • Morrissey 2.9.1

        So should we invade them as well?

        If Richard Mayes was anything other than a ranting hypocrite, he would say, “Of course we should.”

  3. Carol 3

    So the new youth benefit system starts today. RNZ News said something about a private company managing it…? Another ticket clipper creaming off money that would be better spent on those in need?

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/political/113721/new-benefit-payment-system-for-young

    Essential bills will be paid directly from their benefit and they will receive $50 per week on a payment card.

    Labour says many young people don’t know about the payment card.

    Work & Income says no individual will be transferred to the new regime until they have had the changes explained to them.

    And also from today teenage women on benefits can get financial assistance with contraception….long term…. that slipped in quietly????

    https://provider.midlandshn.health.nz/news/financial-assistance-for-female-beneficiaries-contraception

    The new grant

    The grant can help with additional costs for accessing the following types of subsidised LARC:

    *Depo-Provera injection
    * Contraceptive implants
    * Intrauterine devices (IUDs)

    Financial assistance can only be given for additional associated costs for LARCs that are subsidised by Pharmac. This could include:

    *Medical or nurse consultation fees
    * Reasonable travel costs getting to and from a consultation
    *Prescription charges
    *Any unsubsidised cost associated with accessing LARC.

    It does not include contraceptive pills or condoms.

    Who can get the assistance?

    The grant will be introduced in two phases.

    From 20 August 2012, it will be available to young women aged 16 to 18 years of age who are:

    *receiving Youth Payment or Young Parent Payments
    * partners of main beneficiaries and who are subject to the youth activity obligations

    From 15 October 2012 it will be available to:

    *women on a benefit (excluding Unemployment Student Hardship)
    *beneficiaries' female dependent children aged 16 years or older

    Payment

    GPs will receive payment for LARC services directly from the client. This may be via a payment card.

    • Bored 3.1

      Nanny State replaced by Big (Step) Sister state. Cinders may never get to the Ball.

      At-least Nanny might have embroidered Cinders dress and given her a lift to the Ball..Step Sis Paula wants to keep Cinders scrubbing the floor. Paula does not need to go to the Ball to expose her ugliness.

    • rosy 3.2

      So they’ll give teens a controversial long-acting contraception with significant side-effects, including osteoporosis, delayed return to fertility and an increased risk of STDs … but nothing to protect against STDs and HIV infection.

      There is so much wrong with this picture.

  4. I feel like an extra on the set of a huge splatter/zombie movie being directed by Bill English and Steven Joyce and the Smiling Assassin taking the lead role. I’m sure Gerry Brownlee’s cosy relationship with Sir Peter Jackson had more to it than just screwing over a few actors.

    http://localbodies-bsprout.blogspot.co.nz/2012/08/national-making-huge-slashzombie-movie.html

  5. Chris 5

    Is p bennett going to do the inaugral injection/ implant/IUD. You know,”I declare this ……..”

  6. belladonna 6

    Someone rang talkback radio over the weekend claiming that 3 horses died unnecessarily during the filming of The Hobbit. Is Peter Jackson not subjected to the same animal welfare rules as everyone else? If this is true, the media are keeping very quiet about this.

    • tc 6.1

      That’s what closed down ‘Luck’ in it’s second season shoot which had a stellar cast incl Dustin Hoffman/Michael Gambon and quality scripts.

      But then they have a media of sorts in the US whereas here….move along sheeple, nothing to see.

  7. Morrissey 7

    British state radio hack shows how to play the game
    Radio New Zealand, Morning Report, Monday 20 August 2012, 8:35 a.m.

    Brave little Ecuador is calling for expressions of support from all of the countries in the OAS. Will Grant, a reporter for British state radio, told host Simon Mercep with epic seriousness that not all the Latin American states are as “left-wing as Venezuela and Bolivia”.

    Of course it would have been more accurate for Will Grant to say they are not all as committed to democracy and free speech as Venezuela and Bolivia, but you don’t get far with the British state broadcaster by speaking plainly and honestly. Far easier to use the imprecise, vaguely worrying, almost meaningless “left wing” label to diminish the stand of Latin America’s champions of democracy.

  8. millsy 8

    Richard Prebble finally admits it.

    Rail is obsolete and has no future.

    • Bored 8.1

      Prebbo the myopic hand maiden of rich snouts in the public trough..aha might he pronounce the same of the roading projects that underscore the tax funded “subsidising” of the trucking industry?

      I am of course looking forward to the huge capital destruction that will be the idle roads built to manage multi-ton trailers, and the out of diesel tractor units littering transport companies yards. A few more years and we shall remember Prebbos words as we catch the electric train and watch the freight wagons roll by…………….

    • tc 8.2

      IF ‘Prebble’ THEN ‘No Credibility’…END.

    • Morrissey 8.3

      Prebble? Isn’t he the fellow who wrote that book with the world’s most dishonest title?

  9. Seen this?

    http://www.nbr.co.nz/article/powerful-us-senator-town-push-controversial-free-trade-deal-ck-126166

    The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement?

    What sort of ‘partnership’ EXCLUDES THE PUBLIC?

    BEWARE!

    FREE TRADE AGREEMENTS = PRIVATISATION!

    FREE TRADE AGREEMENTS ARE FOR INVESTORS – NOT THE PUBLIC MAJORITY!

    WHERE IS THE ‘TRANSPARENCY’ IN THE TPPA NEGOTIATIONS?

    Where are the ‘minutes’ of the meetings?

    Whose interests is John Key serving?

    Penny Bright
    ‘Anti-corruption campaigner’

    http://www.dodgyjohnhasgone.com

  10. prism 10

    lprent
    Hope the move went fairly smoothly – shame about the rain. I guess you or someone else hasn’t changed the format of the blog. I have lost the grid system suddenly.
    I have been advised to use Firefox so will start that but meantime – has there been any change from your end?

    • r0b 10.1

      Only Lynn can say for sure, but there’s no visible changes that I can see…

    • lprent 10.2

      No changes. In fact no updates at all. That is in the CSS, so I’d guess that you have a cache issue. You’ll probably need to tell the cache to flush.

      Move was pretty good, and the rain held off on Saturday. Despite having employed some very active movers, I still did enough back crane work packing / unpacking to have a quite sore back by sunday afternoon. This getting older is a real pain in the back.. damnit.

      We moved back into my old apartment now that Lyn’s film has mostly finished being edited, festivaled, shown on PBS, and the distribution networks have been set up. We don’t need the extra office space because there aren’t people working at our home anymore. Also the leaky building work is all over…

      But I’m loving the polished concrete floor – apartment feels a lot bigger and a hell of a lot easier with a single surface. We had the carpet and tiles all pulled up and the concrete polished. Left the bathroom in lino (got rid of the tiles there during the leaky building). A lot more functional especially since we tripled the amount of storage to cope with having two of us in there.

  11. Carol 11

    John Key, a “sad fullah” – tell it!

    http://mana.net.nz/2012/08/john-key-a-sad-fullah-is-15c-more-too-much-to-clean-the-pms-office/

    IS 15c TOO MUCH MORE TO CLEAN THE PRIME MINISTER’S OFFICE?

    “Who earns $400,000 a year and has investments of $50 million, but won’t pay his cleaner more than $13.85 an hour? Answer – John Key. What a sad fullah” said MANA leader Hone Harawira.

    • Lanthanide 11.1

      John Key doesn’t pay the cleaner personally, they’ll be hired by Parliamentary Services. Therefore this is coming out of taxpayers money, not Key’s. Talking about Key’s personal wealth is an irrelevant distraction.

      • weka 11.1.1

        What are the chances that Key has some employees/workers/staff somewhere in his life on close to minimum wage?
         
        I take your point though. Does Harawira not have an office at parliament that gets cleaned?
         
        Harawira also appears to suck at maths.

        • Carol 11.1.1.1

          Of course Harawira’s statement is not accurate literally, but it’s a point well made – it is succinctly showing up Key’s hypocrisy in keeping minimal wages so low, when he is so wealthy….. and with work that comes so close to him. These things are connected.

          I’m sure Harawira gets his offices cleaned by the same people, but he is asking for them to get more…. unlike Key and co.

  12. WHOSE INTERESTS IS NZ PRIME MINISTER JOHN KEY (STILL A SHAREHOLDER IN THE BANK OF AMERICA) SERVING???

    In November 1999, John Key was the Head of Derivatives for Merrill Lynch.

    In November 1999 John Key was also a Foreign Exchange Advisor to the New York Federal Reserve.

    In November 1999 is when the Glass Steagall Act was repealed.

    (The Glass Steagall Act effectively kept a concrete wall between boring, safe commercial banking and risky, dangerous investment banking.)

    The effect of the repeal of the Glass Steagall Act was to leave the derivatives market unregulated.

    What is regarded as the main reason for the global financial ‘meltdown’?

    The collapse of the derivatives market – WHICH NZ PRIME MINISTER JOHN KEY HELPED TO SET UP.

    WHAT ROLE DID JOHN KEY PLAY IN THE REPEAL OF THE GLASS STEAGALL ACT – GIVEN THAT HE WAS PLACED IN A PIVOTAL POSITION AT A PIVOTAL TIME?

    Whose interests is John Key NOW primarily serving, as Prime Minister of New Zealand, remembering that he is still a shareholder in the Bank of America?

    Penny Bright
    ‘Anti-corruption campaigner’

    _____________________________________________________

    http://aotearoaawiderperspective.wordpress.com/2012/08/20/are-kiwi-farmers-the-victim-of-fraudulent-derivatives/#comment-27351

    Are Kiwi Farmers the Victim of Fraudulent Derivatives?
    A fellow blogger pointed me in the direction of the fact that in 2007, 2008 and 2009 Farmers in New Zealand have been sold Derivatives Swaps. In an interesting series the Sunday Star times is shining light about this practice.

    In Britain, it’s being called a scandal. In New Zealand, there’s been barely a squeak.

    But with around one in 10 farmers in dire straits with high debt burdens and devalued farms, claims that complex “interest rate swaps” were missold to farmers who did not understand them are surfacing.

    The swaps, traditionally used by sophisticated businesses with expert finance staff, were sold in 2007, 2008 and even 2009 by some banks to farmers as insurance against interest rates – and hence floating rate farm mortgages – rising rapidly, farmers say.

    But when the opposite happened, the farmers who bought them were left locked in to high interest rates which they could not escape without paying hefty break fees.

    Already heavily indebted, some farmers have lost their farms as a result of the instruments.

    Read more…..

    _____________________________________________________

    Penny Bright
    ‘Anti-corruption campaigner’

    http://www.dodgyjohnhasgone.com

  13. Carol 13

    Another very good column from Tapu Misa: this time on “truthiness”, wannabe 3 yr old Paula Bennett and her breach of Work and Income’s code of conduct:

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10827994

    Paula Bennett so sure she’s right


    But here is where we’re supposed to let the matter lie. Is there a principle at stake, or does is it all just come down to Bennett’s rock-solid belief in her own rightness?

    Given Bennett’s defiant tone and refusal to acknowledge wrongdoing or responsibility, it was hard not to agree with Speaker Lockwood Smith’s description of her in Parliament last week as showing “less discipline than a 3-year-old child”.

    Bennett may have good political instincts; I don’t doubt that she cares about the plight of the vulnerable and disadvantaged. But social welfare deserves a more principled and less “truthy” approach.

    • Bored 13.1

      If Labour had people like Tapu Misa in their PR and comms area (as opposed to the Paganis) I would vote for them. This lady is a treasure given where she works. Perhaps cut the bull and give her a safe seat might be a better option.

  14. Mary 14

    Where is the real criticism of Bennett’s new rules for beneficiaries under 20? Surely it’s the thin end of the wedge for passing delivery of welfare over to private charity? First youth, then it’ll be everyone because government will say how “successful” it’s been. It’s then a dangerously short step to moving the whole responsibility for welfare away from government. Nobody’s pointing this out. What’s Ardern saying? -that it’s unacceptable the changes weren’t publicised well enough? Crikey, does this mean Labour in principle supports these changes? Certainly looks like it. Sell outs.

    • Bored 14.1

      Looks like Adern has an aversion to scaring the horses and saying something that might just have a little force. Does she have to run things under the nose of the “pol scientists PR” flunkies?

    • Carol 14.2

      Yes, I looked, wondered and posted about the changes above.

    • Where is all the ‘accountability’ and where are the RULES for corporate welfare beneficiaries?

      How much public monies in tax and rates could be saved at central and local government level for SOCIAL WELFARE by CUTTING OUT THE CONSULTANTS AND PRIVATE CONTRACTORS?

      Penny Bright
      ‘Anti-corruption campaigner’

      http://www.dodgyjohnhasgone.com

    • Vicky32 14.4

      Where is the real criticism of Bennett’s new rules for beneficiaries under 20?

      I heard an interesting (and a bit scary)  item on BBC WS this afternoon – to the effect that they have this system in Oz – scary because they interviewed a woman on the DPB equivalent who sounded somewhat zombie-like as she prated on about how wonderful it all is for her, having a payment card.
      Weird.
      It all adds to my disillusionment with the BBC
       

  15. Draco T Bastard 15

    A Republican shows just how out of touch with reality that he, and the rest of them, are:

    A Republican Senate hopeful sparked outrage on Sunday by suggesting that “legitimate rape” rarely results in pregnancy due to a woman’s biological defences.

    “If it is a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try and shut that whole thing down.”

    This is his reason to explain his no-exceptions policy in regards to abortion.

    Just another old white guy wanting to take control of other peoples body and life.

  16. joe90 16

    He’s a creationist loon.

    Associate Education Minister John Banks says he believes the Genesis account of the start of life on Earth.

    • Draco T Bastard 16.1

      …especially in these lamentable times.”

      If the times are “lamentable” it’s because of actions of himself and people like him who keep trying to prevent humankind from progressing and learning.

    • Pete 16.2

      He’s wrong and I already really dislike him, but I’m going to give him a pass on that (i.e. my opinion of him remains unchanged). Religious beliefs – my own liberal Catholicism included – in general are irrational. Maybe he’s reached the point where he just can’t sink any lower. I’ve met a number of creationists and they follow the same range of likeable-dislikeable as the general population. He hasn’t made it a feature of his public life until now. My guess is he’s positioning himself to join the Conservatives in 2014.

      • Carol 16.2.1

        My guess is he’s positioning himself to join the Conservatives in 2014.

        My thoughts exactly – auditioning for Craig et al. Hypocrite – using religion to waka jump! Looking for some way to continue living off taxpayers ‘ money while promoting charter schools with an agenda for the elite.

        • Tiger Mountain 16.2.1.1

          Banksie is without shame, campaigned for Mayor on “bash the boy racers” then promptly backed off that one while getting special parking arrangements for his Bentley. Who did steal his Harley anyway?

          Pete and Carol may well be onto his next opportunist squiggle.

        • bad12 16.2.1.2

          Possible??? a ACT/Conservative merger, it’s either Banks being stupid as usual or the village idiot might be trying to line up the next prop in a long line of them to keep the Slippery National Government with snouts firmly at trough…

      • ropata 16.2.2

        N.T. Wright (Bishop of Durham and renowned scholar) suggests that the mythic meaning of Genesis is far more important than historical nitpicking.

        Rev. Wright argues that the mythological part has been misunderstood and discarded by many evangelicals in favour of a reading based entirely on questions of historicity.
        “To flatten that [the text of Genesis] out is to almost perversely avoid the real thrust of the narrative … ”

        Wright suggests that questions concerning the historicity of Genesis and the historicity of Adam and Eve get caught up in contemporary cultural issues and miss the larger story [of God making Earth as a home for humanity, where he can also dwell with us, and the Fall as an archetype of the state of man].

        • ropata 16.2.2.1

          (right wing idiocy is not the only religion out there)

        • Vicky32 16.2.2.2

          Rev. Wright argues that the mythological part has been misunderstood and discarded by many evangelicals in favour of a reading based entirely on questions of historicity.

          Thanks for that, Ropata! :)

    • tc 16.4

      Banks is so full of shit that whenever he opens his mouth nothing else has a chance of emerging.

    • He’s a raving nut case Joe90.The trouble is he’s in charge of Education.
      and that’s a big worry .Along with his crazy Charter Schools and unregistered teachers our world class education is in serious danger ,State Schools, of course ,his mates Private Schools will not be affected .Lets hope the teachers unions will get organized.
      Anyone who believes that the world was created in six days must be mad that they are in charge of the nations education is madder still,

  17. Tiger Mountain 17

    Religion’s sometimes corrosive and deadly real world effects have had a good airing today via the narco-theocracy of Afghanistan. And then there is our very own Banksie, helpfully pointing out again that other countries do not have all the delusional politicians! … (beat me to it joe)
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10828170

    • Colonial Viper 17.1

      And who buys all the heroin made in Afghanistan which funds all kinds of Taleban activities…the young people of developed western countries who demand it at almost any price. The irony.

  18. Carol 18

    Greens of 3 countries critical of the TPP.

    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA1208/S00268/joint-statement-on-trans-pacific-partnership-agreement.htm

    Joint Statement on Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement
    Sunday, 19 August 2012, 7:00 pm
    Press Release: Green Party

    Joint Statement on Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand, Australian Greens, Green Party of Canada)

    As the Green parliamentary political parties of three nations whose governments are currently in the process of negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA), we are issuing this joint statement to express our serious concern at the fundamentally undemocratic and non-transparent nature of the agreement. Following the leaking of the draft investment chapter of the TPPA the Greens are extremely concerned that the TPPA agreement has the potential to undermine the ability of our governments to perform effectively. More than just another trade agreement, the TPPA provisions could hinder access to safe, affordable medicines, weaken local content rules for media, stifle high-tech innovation, and even restrict the ability of future governments to legislate for the good of public health and the environment.

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  • Time for NZ to prohibit the killing of great apes
    That ban was widely hailed, and spurred efforts in other countries to get similar bans. However, apes are still being exploited, abused and killed, both in captivity and in the wild. Examples of cruelty, neglect and abuse abound. Apes are… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers MP
    5 hours ago
  • Auckland building consents: Tragic
    The only word to describe the latest building consent figures for Auckland is ‘tragic’, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “Whatever the Government is doing to address the Auckland housing crisis, it is clearly not working. ...
    6 hours ago
  • A whiff of a new biosecurity scandal?
    A pest which could create havoc for New Zealand’s horticulture and agriculture sector must be as much a focus for the Government as hunting out fruit flies, Labour’s Biosecurity spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “While the Ministry for Primary Industries is… ...
    8 hours ago
  • Government shrugs off health sector crisis
    Despite new evidence showing that cuts to health spending are costing lives the Government continues to deny the sector is struggling, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Health services in New Zealand are in crisis. ...
    1 day ago
  • Parata lowered the bar for failing charter school
    When Hekia Parata became aware that the Whangaruru charter school was experiencing major problems her first action was to drop standards by reducing the number of qualified teachers they had to employ, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins has revealed. “Hekia… ...
    1 day ago
  • National not being straight about the economy
    John Key and Bill English need to be straight with New Zealanders about the damage their failure to diversify the economy is doing, after new figures show export growth plunged due to a collapse in dairy exports, says Grant Robertson.… ...
    1 day ago
  • Mind the Gap
    This week the International Monetary Fund released a report on the wider economic value in closing the gender pay gap. When even the bastions of free-market economics start to raise concerns about gender pay gaps, we have to realise how… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    1 day ago
  • Labour will hold National to parental leave promise
    Labour will hold National to its promise to increase the support given to new parents of premature, multiple birth and babies born with disabilities, Labour’s paid parental leave campaigner Sue Moroney says. "I am naturally disappointed that after battling for… ...
    2 days ago
  • It was all just pillar talk
    Steven Joyce’s confession that he can no longer guarantee a pillar-free design for the New Zealand International Convention Centre shows the Government has abandoned its dream of creating an ‘iconic’ ‘world-class’ structure, says Labour Economic Development spokesperson David Clark. “Steven… ...
    2 days ago
  • Australians move on offshore speculators
    John Key might want to have a quiet word with Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott about Canberra's just-announced crack down on offshore speculators when he visits New Zealand this week, Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says."Tony Abbott's centre right government… ...
    2 days ago
  • Government at odds on overseas driver crashes
    National backbencher Jacqui Dean has spoken out about overseas driver crashes, putting herself at odds with Prime Minister John Key who is on record as saying it’s not a big issue, Labour’s Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “I’m not surprised… ...
    2 days ago
  • Human Rights and the Palestine Crisis
    Last week I heard two Palestinians speak at Wellington events about the ongoing crisis in their country. Samar Sabawi spoke to a full house about the history of Palestine and gave us a lucid and disturbing account of the situation… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    2 days ago
  • Time to take real care of our kids
    An Amnesty International report has once again criticised New Zealand’s track record on looking after our kids, Labour’s Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. The annual report, which looks at global human rights abuses highlights not only the fact that high… ...
    2 days ago
  • John Key wrong about Labour’s war vote
    John Key’s desperate claims that the former Labour Government didn’t put combat troop deployment to a Parliamentary vote are simply wrong, Labour’s Defence spokesperson Phil Goff says. “It was disgraceful that the Prime Minister ran rough shod over democracy and… ...
    2 days ago
  • Māori language bill needs work
     It is clear that the first draft of the Māori Language Bill was about structures and funding rather than the survival of te reo Māori, Labour’s Māori Development Spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta says.  “Labour is pleased that the Minister of Māori… ...
    2 days ago
  • Report proves troubled school shouldn’t have opened
    The long-awaited release of an Education Review Office report into Northland’s troubled Whangaruru charter school proves it should never have been approved in the first place, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “This report identifies problems with absenteeism and disengaged… ...
    3 days ago
  • Reply to PM’s statement on deploying troops to Iraq
    “The decision of any Government to send troops to a conflict zone is a very serious one, and it is right that this House takes time to consider it, to debate it, and, ideally, to vote on it, but we… ...
    3 days ago
  • Minister must take action on death trap slides
    Workplace Relations Safety Minister Michael Woodhouse must take urgent action to ensure inflatable amusement rides don’t become death traps for children, Labour’s spokesperson on Labour Relations Iain Lees-Galloway says. “No one wants to stop kids having fun, but horror stories… ...
    3 days ago
  • Manus Island and the New Zealand Government
    This week the Greens have participated in awareness activity about Manus Island, the refugee camp on an island in Papua New Guinea where Australia dumps asylum seekers. John Key says that he has every confidence in the Australian Government’s claim… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    1 week ago
  • Election Inquiry – Getting accessible voting on the agenda
    James Shaw has been doing a series of blogs on the Election Inquiry into last year’s general election.  I thought this was a great opportunity to raise an issue very dear to me – accessible voting. Last year’s general election… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers MP
    1 week ago
  • RMA changes no solution to Christchurch housing
    Housing will continue to be a big issue in 2015. The latest Consumer Price Index, released last month, shows both good news and bad news on the housing front. After years of being the most expensive place to build a… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    1 week ago
  • Saving kokako in South Auckland’s Hunua Ranges
    It is amazing that you can hear the song of the endangered North Island kokako in South Auckland’s Hunua Ranges, less than 50 kms from the central city. A heavy schedule of policy workshops at the Green Party’s Policy… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Let’s not turn a blind eye to human rights
    The Cricket World Cup has just opened in New Zealand, and it’s an opportunity for us to shine on the world stage. International sport can be a chance for us to build relationships with other countries, and examine what it… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Its Just Not Cricket
    This week it was my privilege to work with Sri Lankan Tamil communities in this country and host Australian journalist and human rights advocate Trevor Grant. I knew a bit about Trevor from his biography but I didn’t know just… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Time for NZ to #BeCrueltyFree
    The Government is about to progress the final stages of the Animal Welfare Amendment bill. This will be our last opportunity to get changes made to improve the bill to ensure a better outcome for animals. I have put forwards… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers MP
    2 weeks ago
  • We want access!
    Access to buildings is a big issue for many New Zealanders. It looks like that, due to the hard work and persistence of people in the disability community, the Government may finally be starting to take access to buildings seriously.… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Greens call on Super Fund to divest from fossil fuels
    The Green Party today called on the New Zealand Superannuation Fund (the Fund) to divest from fossil fuels, starting immediately with coal. The call was accompanied with a new report, Making money from a climate catastrophe: The case for divesting… ...
    GreensBy Russel Norman MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Young Kiwis’ housing crisis
    Shelter is a fundamental human need along with food, water and clean air. All humans need adequate shelter; it’s a human right. Warm, safe, stable accommodation is critical for young people to be able learn and grow and just be.… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    2 weeks ago
  • On the River Patrol in Te Tai Tokerau
    Last Wednesday, I went on a tour of some of Northland’s rivers with  Millan Ruka from Environmental River Patrol as he monitored water quality throughout Te Tai Tokerau. The dry conditions meant we couldn’t use the boat but we visited… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Opening of Parliament 2015
    Russel NormanOpening of Parliament Speech February 2015 Tēnā koutou Tēnā koutou Tēnā koutou katoa. A brief history of climate change What a summer! It's been hot, even here in Wellington, hotter than any summer I can remember. All… ...
    GreensBy Russel Norman MP
    2 weeks ago

  • Politicians’ pay increases
    “An increase of 3.5% in the minimum wage compared with 5.5% increase for politicians is appalling. It is another example of the wealthy looking after themselves and showing no regard for the poor” says Peter Malcolm, National Secretary of Income… ...
    2 hours ago
  • Invade Mexico for Guacamole Reserves Instead
    #WagePeaceNZ, founded yesterday, along with all 7 of its Twitter followers, demands that New Zealand invade Mexico for its Guacamole reserves in lieu of sending 143 troops to Iraq. ...
    2 hours ago
  • Australian Prime Minister to thank New Zealand fire crews
    The contribution of more than 400 New Zealand firefighters in helping battle bushfires across the Tasman over the past 14 years will be acknowledged tomorrow during a visit by Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott to an Auckland fire station. ...
    3 hours ago
  • A simple question for Winston Peters: Where do you live?
    "Winston Peters has set a new record, being economical with the truth only hours into his campaign," claims Northland ACT candidate Robin Grieve. ...
    3 hours ago
  • Northland doesn’t need yesterday’s man
    "It's great that Winston Peters is finally taking an interest in Northland. But frankly we don’t need yesterday’s ideas from yesterday’s men in our region," ACT Northland candidate Robin Grieve said today. ...
    3 hours ago
  • Children’s Day – 365 days a year
    Barnardos wants New Zealanders to celebrate Children’s Day on 1 March, and to recognise the effort it takes to raise great kids over all 365 days of the year. ...
    4 hours ago
  • Will MPs Put Taxpayers’ Money Where Their Mouth is?
    The Taxpayers’ Union is calling the bluff of MPs and has written to each one asking whether they will be accepting the backdated pay increases announced yesterday. Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says: ...
    6 hours ago
  • Fonterra Sneaks Round The Corner
    Fonterra’s subsidiary Glencoal has put its plans for an open cast mine on SH2 at Mangatangi on hold indefinitely. The local community is celebrating. They worked very hard with submissions on all the impacts of coal mining that you are… ...
    6 hours ago
  • How Free Is Free Speech?
    How Free Is Free Speech: Do we recommend unconstrained freedom of expression? The Chief Human Rights Commissioner, David Rutherford, will be In Conversation with Noel Cheer at St Andrew’s on The Terrace, Wellington on Tuesday 3 March 2015 from 12:15pm… ...
    7 hours ago
  • No military deployment in Iraq: Nationwide peace vigils
    Peace vigils calling for increased humanitarian assistance and diplomatic support for Middle East peace processes, and opposing the military deployment to Iraq, will be held around the country at 5pm on Thursday, 5 March, coordinated by Peace Movement ...
    8 hours ago
  • Message of Nationwide Day of Action :‘TPPA? No Deal!’
    “An amazing 22 towns and cities across New Zealand have rallied to the call for a nationwide day of action against the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) on 7 March”, according to Chantelle Campbell who is coordinating the national events ...
    8 hours ago
  • New Group Against Amalgamation
    A group of Wellingtonians have launched a campaign to resist the Greater Wellington Regional Council’s scheme to amalgamate Wellington’s existing councils. The group, Best Little Capital, has been formed by Wellingtonians Michael Moughan and Digby ...
    9 hours ago
  • Stark contrast between benefit increase & MPs’ pay rise
    Stark contrast between benefit increase & MPs’ pay rise Media release Friday 27 February 2015 Earlier this week Social Development Minister Anne Tolley announced that benefits will increase by 0.51% on 1 April. Yesterday MPs were granted a 5.5% ...
    10 hours ago
  • Sensible Sentencing challenges MPs to refuse pay rise
    “I realise this will take courage and we extend an open challenge to all MPs – or any MP from any party – to have the courage to be the first to stand up and publicly denounce this nonsense and… ...
    10 hours ago
  • Labour Party President Elected
    Labour Party President Elected Nigel Haworth has been elected as Labour Party President following a vote conducted among the constituent organisations and elected representatives of the Party. This follows the resignation of Moira Coatsworth in December 2014. ...
    10 hours ago

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