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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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  • Flawed system rates death traps as safe
    ACC Minister Nikki Kaye needs to come clean about what really lies behind the reclassification of 18 vehicles in her new motor vehicle registration system introduced today, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Sue Moroney says. "New Zealanders deserve the truth about the… ...
    3 hours ago
  • Tiwai Smelter and 800 workers left in limbo
     Workers at Tiwai smelter and the people of Southland have once again been left in limbo over their future in the ongoing debacle over whether the plant stays open, says Labour’s Leader Andrew Little.  “It’s not good enough that after two years of… ...
    3 hours ago
  • New twist in state house sell-off saga
    The Government has opened the door to buyers of state houses simply being landlords and not required to provide social services, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. The Prime Minister said at his post-Cabinet press conference buyers would not “have… ...
    3 hours ago
  • Government fees will hit charities hard
    National’s decision to ignore the concerns of charities will see the voluntary sector face hundreds of thousands of dollars in new costs if the Policing (Cost Recovery) Amendment Bill passes, says Labour's Community and Voluntary Sector spokesperson Poto Williams. “National’s… ...
    22 hours ago
  • Four out of ten for Simon’s Bridges
    The Transport Authority’s decision to fund only four of the 10 bridges promised in National’s shameless Northland by-election bribe is a huge embarrassment for Transport Minister Simon Bridges, Labour’s Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “After one by-election poll showed they… ...
    23 hours ago
  • Falling consents adding to Auckland housing woes
    Falling numbers of building consents being issued in Auckland will add to the city’s housing shortfall and fuel skyrocketing house prices, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford “The Productivity Commission found there was a shortfall of around 32,000 houses by the… ...
    1 day ago
  • So Mr English, do you have a plan?
    DIpping confidence about jobs, wages and shrinking exports are highlighting the lack of a plan from the government to diversify the economy and build sustainable growth, Grant Robertson  Labour’s Finance Spokesperson said. " Data released over the last week… ...
    1 day ago
  • Serious risks to tenants and assets in sell-off
    Overseas evidence shows there are serious risks around the Government's plan to sell off state houses to social housing providers, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “In the Netherlands – where community housing providers supply the majority of social housing –… ...
    1 day ago
  • Land of milk and money
    Kiwi families are paying over the top prices for their milk and someone is creaming off big profits, says Labour’s Consumer Affairs spokesperson David Shearer. “In 2011 the Government told us high New Zealand milk prices were a natural result… ...
    3 days ago
  • MoBIE largesse doesn’t stop with TVs and hair-straighteners
    The number of MoBIE staff earning more than $150,000 has risen 23 per cent in just a year, Labour’s Economic Development Spokesperson David Clark says. Documents obtained from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment show there are now nearly… ...
    3 days ago
  • English wants to flog state houses to Aussies
    Bill English’s admission that he would sell hundreds of New Zealand’s state houses to the Australians is the latest lurch in the Government’s stumbling, half-baked housing policy, Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “Bill English should face reality and admit his… ...
    4 days ago
  • Exports continue to fall as Government fails to diversify
    The Government quickly needs a plan to diversify our economy after new figures show that exports are continuing to fall due to the collapse in dairy exports, Labour's Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “Dairy exports fell 28 per cent compared… ...
    5 days ago
  • Government inaction leads to blurring of roles
    The Treasury wouldn’t have had to warn the Reserve Bank to stick to its core functions if the Government had taken prompt and substantial measures to rein in skyrocketing Auckland house prices, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “The problems… ...
    5 days ago
  • Courthouse closures hitting regions
    The Government’s decision to shut down up to eight regional courthouses, some supposedly only temporarily for seismic reasons, looks unlikely to be reversed, Labour’s Justice spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.“The move has hit these regions hard, but appears to be a… ...
    5 days ago
  • A Victory for Te Tiriti o Waitangi
    This week my partner, who has a number of professions, was doing an archaeological assessment for a District Council. He showed me the new rules around archaeologists which require them to demonstrate “sufficient skill and competency in relation to Māori… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    5 days ago
  • Tough bar set for Ruataniwha dam
     Today’s final decision by the Tukituki Catchment Board of Inquiry is good news for the river and the environment, says Labour’s Water spokesperson Meka Whaitiri. “Setting a strict level of dissolved nitrogen in the catchment’s waters will ensure that the… ...
    6 days ago
  • Minister for Women and National missing the mark – part two
    The Minister for Women was in front of the select committee yesterday answering questions about her plans for women. Some useful context is that we used to have a Pay and Employment Equity Unit within the then Department of Labour… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    6 days ago
  • Lavish penthouse spend confirms culture of extravagance
    At the same time thousands of New Zealanders are being locked out of the property market, the Government is spending up on a lavish New York penthouse for its diplomats, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Shearer says. News that taxpayers… ...
    6 days ago
  • Māori Television exodus cause for concern
    The shock departure of yet another leading journalist from the Native Affairs team raises further concern the Board and Chief Executive are dissatisfied with the team’s editorial content, says Labour’s Māori Development spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta. “Annabelle Lee is an experienced… ...
    6 days ago
  • Million-plus car owners to pay too much ACC
    More than a million car owners will pay higher ACC motor vehicle registration than necessary from July, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “During a select committee hearing this morning it was revealed that car owners would have been charged… ...
    6 days ago
  • Bill will restore democracy to local councils
    A new Labour Member’s Bill will restore democracy to local authorities and stop amalgamations being forced on councils. Napier MP Stuart Nash’s Local Government Act 2002 (Greater Local Democracy) Bill will be debated by Parliament after being pulled from the… ...
    6 days ago
  • Minister for Women again misses the mark – part one
    Yesterday I asked the Minister for Women about the government’s poor performance on it’s own target of appointing women to 45% of state board positions. I challenged why she’d put out a media release celebrating progress this year when the… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    6 days ago
  • Banks enter Dragon’s Den in pitch for Government’s mental health experi...
    Overseas banks and their preferred providers were asked to pitch their ideas for bankrolling the Government’s social bonds scheme to a Dragon’s Den-style panel, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. Dragon’s Den was a reality television series where prospective ‘entrepreneurs’… ...
    7 days ago
  • Global Mode bullying won’t stop people accessing content
    It’s disappointing that strong-arm tactics from powerful media companies have meant Global Mode will not get its day in court. Today a settlement was reached terminating the Global Mode service, developed in New Zealand by ByPass Network Services and used… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
    7 days ago
  • More questions – why was the Former National Party President involved wit...
    Today in Parliament Murray  McCully said the reason Michelle Boag was involved in 2011 in the Saudi farm scandal was in her capacity as a member of the New Zealand Middle East Business Council. The problem with that answer is… ...
    7 days ago
  • Minister must explain Maori TV interference
    Te Ururoa Flavell must explain why he told Maori TV staff all complaints about the CEO must come to him – months before he became the Minister responsible for the broadcaster, Labour’s Broadcasting Spokesperson Clare Curran says. “Sources have told… ...
    7 days ago
  • KiwiSaver takes a hammering after the end of kick-start
    National seems hell bent on destroying New Zealand’s saving culture given today’s news that there has been a drop in new enrolments for KiwiSaver, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson.  “New enrolments for the ANZ Investments KiwiSaver scheme have plunged… ...
    1 week ago
  • Straight answers needed on CYF role
    The Government needs to explain the role that Child, Youth and Family plays in cases where there is evidence that family violence was flagged as a concern, Labour’s Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Arden says. “The fact that CYF is refusing to… ...
    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister confuses his political interests with NZ’s interest
    The Prime Minister’s statement in Parliament yesterday that a Minister who paid a facilitation payment to unlock a free trade agreement would retain his confidence is an abhorrent development in the Saudi sheep scandal, Opposition leader Andrew Little says.  ...
    1 week ago
  • #raisethequota
    Last Saturday was World Refugee Day. I was privileged to spend most of my day with the amazing refugee communities in Auckland. Their stories have been inspiring and reflect the ‘can-do’ Kiwi spirit, even though they come from all different… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    1 week ago
  • Dairy conversions causing more pollution than ever, report shows
    The Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment (PCE) released two reports on freshwater quality and management last Friday. The water quality report shows that dairy conversions are hurting water quality and says that despite great efforts with fencing and planting, large… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    1 week ago
  • Employers want urgent action on health and safety
    Moves by National to water down health and safety reforms have been slammed by employers – the very group the Government claims is pushing for change, says Labour’s spokesperson for Labour Relations Iain Lees-Galloway. “The Employers and Manufacturers’ Association has… ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour calls on all parties to end coat-tailing
    Labour MP Iain Lees-Galloway is encouraging all parties to support his Bill to end the coat-tailing provision when it is debated in Parliament this week.  “New Zealanders have sent MPs a clear message. An opinion poll found more than 70… ...
    1 week ago
  • Government social sector reforms
    I’ve written previously about the major shake-up that is happening in the provision of government and community services. Yesterday, the Minister of Social Development spoke publically about what these reforms are likely to look like within MSD. There are major… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    1 week ago
  • PM must explain Saudi sheep scandal backflips
    John Key’s explanations of the Saudi sheep scandal continue to be riddled with inconsistencies and irreconcilable backflips, Labour’s Trade Spokesperson David Parker says. “Either he has been misled by his Minister Murray McCully or the Prime Minister is deliberately obfuscating… ...
    1 week ago
  • Independent investigation needed into claims scientists gagged
    Steven Joyce must launch an independent investigation into claims that scientists are being gagged, says Labour’s Science and Innovation spokesperson David Cunliffe. “When 40 percent of scientists say they are being gagged and can’t speak out on issues of public… ...
    1 week ago
  • Swamp kauri mining and exports should stop
    Seeing swamp kauri mining for the first time this week was a shock. Dark peaty soil had been stripped of its plant cover and giant excavators were digging into wet, swampy soil to unearth logs that had been buried for… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    1 week ago
  • MSD going down wasteful spending track
    The Ministry of Social Development is paying big salaries and forking out hundreds of thousands of dollars on management courses while at the same time looking to hand some services over to a multinational outsourcing company with an appalling track… ...
    1 week ago
  • South Auckland housing meeting highlights stark realities
    The stark realities of life for South Aucklanders in substandard Housing New Zealand and private rental homes were fully exposed at a South Auckland housing meeting today, Labour’s MP for Manukau East Jenny Salesa says. “Local people generously shared their… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • The Pope, the scientists, and the diplomats: getting there on the climate ...
    The Pope’s Encyclical on the climate: ‘On Care for Our Common Home’, has finally been released. Evoking St Francis before him, the Pope reminds us that “our common home is like a sister with whom we share our life, and… ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Green Party supports Gifted Kids Awareness Week 2015
    Providing high quality teaching that caters to the specific needs of every child is an enormous challenge, but there is no investment more rewarding for society. Gifted Awareness Week gives us a chance to think about how diverse the needs… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Truck sellers still getting away with rip-offs
    The Government has admitted its brand new lending rules are already inadequate, says Labour’s Consumer Affairs Spokesman David Shearer. “Gaping holes in the Responsible Lending Code – which came into effect this month -- mean the vulnerable will not be… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government Screws the Lid Down On Raw Milk Access
    The Government’s raw milk policy announced yesterday will make it more difficult for many consumers to access the quality product of their choice, and may even be setting up the raw milk sector to fail. The Government, in its paranoia… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Operation Desert Storm
    Blaming Saudi sand storms for the deaths of 70 per cent of Kiwi lambs born on a model farm meant to showcase New Zealand agricultural expertise is another part of the ludicrous attempt to disguise buying the cooperation of a… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister, your expensive slip is showing
    A Minister's comments at a press conference in Dunedin today show just how easily costs can blow out at the Southern DHB, Labour's Acting Health spokesman David Clark says. "Fresh from criticising everyone from members of the Board that his… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Bridges of Northland on backburner
    Transport Minister Simon Bridges today admitted no progress has been made towards his Northland by-election bribe of 10 new bridges and could only say they would be funded sometime in the next six years, Labour's transport spokesperson Phil Twyford says.… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • MP lets down Cook Island community
    The Cook Island community has been let down by National List MP Alfred Ngaro’s decision not to support a proposal that would have removed a restrictive residency requirement, Labour says. An amendment to the Social Assistance (Portability to Cook Islands,… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Time for a moratorium on all live sheep exports
    The events of the last two weeks have highlighted how weak our regulations around live exports are, particularly in relation to live sheep exports. We urgently need a moratorium on live sheep exports until they’ve been significantly strengthened. We have… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Weak growth highlights lack of economic plan
    Today’s weak growth figures are less than half of what was forecast in last month’s Budget and signal rough weather ahead, Labour’s Finance spokesman Grant Robertson says. “GDP figures showing the economy grew just 0.2% in the first three months… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Māori TV editorial interference scandal deepens
    The Maori Development Minister has misled a select committee and appears to have broken the law through editorial interference in Māori Television, Labour’s Broadcasting spokesperson Clare Curran said today. Labour has released emails between Te Ururoa Flavell’s press secretary and… ...
    2 weeks ago

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