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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 inquiry into petrol margins
    It’s time for an inquiry into petrol companies as margins are once again at the high levels that prompted concerns late last year, says Labour's Energy Spokesperson Stuart Nash. "Over the December January holiday period, petrol importer margins jumped to… ...
    3 days ago
  • More talk as Auckland congestion worsens
    The main impact of the Government’s agreement with Auckland Council today will be simply to delay still further decisions needed to relieve the city’s traffic congestion, says Labour’s Auckland Issues Spokesperson, Phil Goff. “Government has been aware for more than… ...
    4 days ago
  • Serco inquiry extended
    A two month delay to the Government investigation into prison fight clubs shows the extent of problems within the Serco circus, says Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “My office received a tsunami of complaints so I’m not surprised the terms… ...
    4 days ago
  • Truck Shops ignore consumer laws
    A damning Commerce Commission report out today highlights the failure of the Government to protect poor and vulnerable families from unscrupulous truck shops, says Labour’s Consumer Affairs Spokesperson David Shearer. “The report found that 31 out of 32 firms it… ...
    4 days ago
  • Taihoa at Ihumatao says Labour
    Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford has called on the Government to rethink its controversial Special Housing Area in Māngere. Auckland Council is today meeting to discuss the development which borders the Otuataua Stonefield Historic Reserve. This project is to get… ...
    4 days ago
  • Figures suggest National deliberately excluded farming
    Figures showing the dairy industry would be categorised as high risk if there were a further five severe injuries within a year, strongly suggests National designed its flawed system to deliberately exclude farming, Labour’s spokesperson for Labour Issues Iain Lees-Galloway… ...
    4 days ago
  • Bleak report on the state of our children
    A damning conclusion by the Children’s Commissioner today that ‘we don’t know if children are better off as a result of state intervention, but the indications are not good’ should make fixing CYFs a top priority for this Government, says… ...
    4 days ago
  • Dodgy data used to justify axing KiwiSaver kickstart
    National’s agenda to run down KiwiSaver has become even clearer from a scathing critique of the Government’s justification for axing the $1000 kickstart, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Since National came to power they have not only continually undermined… ...
    4 days ago
  • Unsecure website risks Ashley MoBIEson hack
    Experts have raised security concerns that vulnerabilities in MoBIE’s half million-dollar website could lead to a possible Ashley Maddison-style hack, says Labour’s Economic Development spokesperson David Clark. “The real issue here is not what data is immediately available, but what… ...
    5 days ago
  • Democracy still the loser in Canterbury
    The Government has demonstrated once again how arrogant and out of touch it is in denying Cantabrians the same democratic rights as the rest of the country, says Labour’s Environment spokesperson Megan Woods.  “The Environment Canterbury Bill which has been… ...
    5 days ago
  • Waiver cost still a mystery
    The Government still has no idea what it’s going to cost community and voluntary groups to get a waiver from the fees police will charge to carry out checks on their staff and volunteers, says Labour’s Community and Voluntary spokesperson… ...
    5 days ago
  • China exports fall 27 per cent in a year
    Exports to China have fallen by 27 per cent over the last 12 months - showing that the looming economic slowdown should have been expected by the Government, says Labour’s Economic Development Spokesperson David Clark. “The Chinese economic slowdown should… ...
    5 days ago
  • National should support all families for 26 weeks
    Families with multiple babies, and those born prematurely or with disabilities, are the winners from moves to extend paid parental leave to 26 weeks but the Government must give all babies the same head start in life, Labour’s spokesperson for… ...
    5 days ago
  • National’s health and safety shambles puts school camps at risk
    Reports that schools are considering scrapping student camps and tearing out playgrounds highlights just how badly National has managed its health and safety reforms, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Schools have been left completely in the dark about the… ...
    5 days ago
  • National’s asset stripping agenda hits schools
    National’s fire-sale of school houses and land is short-sighted, mean-spirited, and will have huge unintended consequences that we will pay for in years to come, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. Documents obtained by Labour show the Ministry of Education… ...
    5 days ago
  • Takahe massacre supposed to get all New Zealanders involved in conservation
    The Minister’s claim that a  botched cull of one of New Zealand’s rarest birds was a way of getting all New Zealanders involved in conservation is offensive and ludicrous, Labour’s conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson says.  “An email from Minister Maggie… ...
    6 days ago
  • Serco circus rolls on with revelations of fight club practice
    Further revelations that a Serco prison guard was coaching inmates on fight club techniques confirms a fully independent inquiry needs to take place, says Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “The Minister’s statement today that a guard was coaching sparring techniques… ...
    6 days ago
  • Government targets put ahead of students’ education
    The Government must urgently reassess the way it sets NCEA targets after a new report found they are forcing schools to “credit farm” and are undermining the qualification, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “A PPTA report released today says… ...
    6 days ago
  • ER patients in corridors as health cuts bite
    Patients are being forced to wait for hours on beds in corridors as cash strapped hospitals struggle to keep up with budget cuts, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King. “People coming to the emergency room and being forced to wait… ...
    6 days ago
  • Not too late to fix Health and Safety for New Zealand’s workers
    The Government and its minor party supporters are showing an arrogant disregard for workers’ lives by not agreeing to a cross-party solution to the botched Health and Safety bill, Opposition leader Andrew Little says. “Yesterday I wrote to the Prime… ...
    6 days ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Council of Infrastructure Development
    Tēnā Kotou Katoa. Thank you so much for having me along to speak today. Can I begin by acknowledging John Rae, the President, and Stephen Selwood, the chief executive of the Council for Infrastructure Development. ...
    7 days ago
  • Reserve Bank points finger at Govt inaction
    In scathing criticism of the Government’s inaction, the Reserve Bank says Auckland housing supply is growing nowhere near fast enough to make a dent the housing shortage, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. Reserve Bank deputy governor Grant Spencer today… ...
    7 days ago
  • Chickens come home to roost on climate change
    The Government’s gutting of the Emissions Trading Scheme has caused foresters to leave and emissions to rise, says Labour’s Climate Change spokesperson Megan Woods. “The release of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Facts and Figures Report for 2014 on the ETS… ...
    7 days ago
  • Website adds to long list of big spends at MBIE
    The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s $560,000 outlay on its new website is further evidence of excessive spending by Steven Joyce on his pet project super ministry, Labour’s Economic Development spokesperson David Clark says.  “Hot on the heels of… ...
    7 days ago
  • Brownlee warned over EQC repairs but ignored them
    Gerry Brownlee was warned that EQC’s underfloor repairs weren’t being done properly by industry experts, the cross party working group and in public but he arrogantly ignored them all, says Labour’s Earthquake Commission spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove.  “Today’s apology and commitment… ...
    7 days ago
  • Serco wants in on state house sell off
    The Government must keep scandal plagued outsourcing company Serco away from our state housing after their disastrous record running Mt Eden prison, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. "Today it has emerged that at the same time Serco was under… ...
    1 week ago
  • Come clean on Pasifika education centre
    Minister Peseta Sam Lotu-Iinga needs to come clean and tell the Pasifika communities if he’s working to save the Pasifika Education Centre or shut it down, Labour’s Pasifika spokesperson Su’a William Sio says.  “I’m gutted the Pasifika Education Centre funding… ...
    1 week ago
  • Time for NZTA to work on alternatives to flyover
    The High Court decision rejecting the New Zealand Transport Agency’s attempts to build the Basin Reserve flyover must now mean that NZTA finally works with the community on other options for transport solutions in Wellington, Grant Robertson and Annette King… ...
    1 week ago
  • Shiny new system leads to record truancy
    Record high truancy rates shows the Government’s much-vaunted new attendance system is an abysmal failure, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Data released today shows truancy rates have spiked more than 15 per cent in 2014 and are now at… ...
    1 week ago
  • Woodhouse wrong about quarries
      The Minister for Workplace Relations and Safety Michael Woodhouse was wrong yesterday when he said limestone quarries were covered by the farcical Health and Safety legislation, says Labour’s Associate Labour spokesperson Sue Moroney.  “He said he ‘understood’ limestone quarries… ...
    1 week ago
  • Taxpayers money spent on culling one of our rarest birds
    It beggars belief that four endangered takahe were killed by incompetent cullers contracted to the Department of Conservation and the Minister must explain this wanton destruction, says Conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson. “It must not be forgotten that there are only… ...
    1 week ago
  • Housing NZ must immediately move family
    Housing New Zealand must immediately move a Glen Innes family whose son contracted serious and potentially fatal health problems from the appalling condition of their state house, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “Te Ao Marama Wensor and community workers… ...
    1 week ago
  • No understanding of the value of overseas investment
     The Government has now admitted it has absolutely no idea of the actual value of foreign investment in New Zealand, says Labour’s Land Information spokesperson Stuart Nash.  “It is crucial that the Government starts to understand just what this overseas… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Another bridges bribe from Simon Bridges
    Simon Bridges is embroiled in another bridges-for-votes controversy after admitting funding for a replacement bridge in Queenstown is “very much about… the 2017 election”, Labour’s Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Transport Minister is today reported as telling Queenstown locals… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Saudi tender process reeks of SkyCity approach
    The tender process for the $6m investment in a Saudi sheep farm reeks like the SkyCity convention centre deal and once again contravenes the government’s own procurement rules, says Labour’s Export Growth and Trade spokesperson David Parker. “The $6m contract… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Maori Party should stand up for workers
    The Government’s proposed Health and Safety Reform Bill does not go far enough to protect those in specific industries with the highest rates of workplace deaths, says Maori Development Spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta. “We are told that Maori workers are more… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister must explain budget blowout
    Māori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell must explain a budget blow out at Te Puni Kokiri, after the organisation spent more than 2.5 million dollars over their budget for contractors, says Labour’s Associate Māori Development spokesperson Peeni Henare.  “For the… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Successful effort to raise the issue of GE trees in proposed standard
    Many thousands of people submitted on the proposed National Environmental Standard –  Plantation Forestry (NES-PF).  A vast majority of the public submissions were particularly focussed on the NES having included GE trees in its mandate. People want these provisions removed,… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Fair Share Friday – Thoughts and Reflections
    As part of our Fair Share  campaign, Green MPs have been doing a series of visits to community groups across the country to have conversations about inequality in New Zealand and what communities are experiencing on the ground. I visited… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Crucial Auditor General investigation welcomed
    The Auditor General’s decision to investigate the Saudi sheep scandal is important, necessary and welcome, Labour’s Trade and Export Growth spokesperson David Parker says. “The independent functions of the Auditor General are a cornerstone of the New Zealand system of… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • KiwiSaver sign-ups continue to fall
    New KiwiSaver sign-ups in July were 45 per cent below the monthly average, despite John Key saying axing the kickstart “will not make a blind bit of difference to the number of people who join KiwiSaver”, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Contact bows to pressure
    Contact Energy’s decision to cut its pre-pay rates to be in line with its customers who pay monthly is good news and the company deserves credit for responding so quickly, says Labour’s Consumer Affairs Spokesperson David Shearer.  “Two months ago… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • I’m pushing for a ‘fair go’ for solar
    My Fair Go For Solar Bill was pulled from the Members’ Ballot last week and is set for a vote in Parliament. In this blog post I explain some of the background to the bill and how it aims to… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Key must explain why Health and Safety Bill pulled
    John Key must explain why his Government is delaying the Health and Safety Bill when Pike River families have travelled to Wellington specifically to register their opposition, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “Yesterday afternoon John Key suggested the bill may… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Diving for sustainable scallops
    Last week, there were calls for scallop dredging to be banned in the Marlborough Sounds, following scientific report saying that 70% of the Sounds had been lost from dredging, trawling, and sedimentation from forestry. At the same time we see… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Backdown whiff in state house leasing option
    Bill English’s admission that the Government is looking at leasing large numbers of state houses to non-government providers has the whiff of a backdown, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “This is an acknowledgement by Bill English that he has… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Housing crisis downgrade threatening banking sector
    The out of control Auckland housing market is now threatening the banking sector, with Standard and Poor’s downgrading the credit rating of our banks out of fear of the bubble bursting, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “Today we have… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Good money after bad for failed experiment
    The National government are throwing good money after bad with their decision to pump even more funding into their failed charter school experiment, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says.  “There are already major problems with several of the first charter… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • National borrows Labour’s idea on urban development
    Labour's Associate Environment spokesperson Phil Twyford says he welcomes the Government's adoption of Labour's policy for a National Policy Statement on urban development, and has called on the Government to take up Labour's offer to work together on these issues.… ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Toothless OIO never refused a single farmland sale
    The Overseas Investment Office has approved more than 290 consents from foreign investors to buy sensitive land in New Zealand, but has not turned down a single application says Labour’s Land Information spokesperson Stuart Nash  “The Minister of Land information,… ...
    3 weeks ago

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