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Open mike 22/06/2013

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, June 22nd, 2013 - 131 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…

131 comments on “Open mike 22/06/2013”

  1. karol 1

    Spies and lies continue to be a crucial issue. Kim Dotcom has made a submission to Parliament’s Intelligence and security commission hearing on the latest GCSB amendment Bill.

    However, Dotcom’s submission argues the legislation goes much further than clarifying the law and considerably expands the GCSB’s powers.

    Dotcom and van der Kolk say the illegal spying, unlawful raid on their Coatesville home and arrest represent “an extreme present day example of what can happen when the Government and intelligence agencies misuse or misunderstand their powers.”

    • freedom 1.1

      couldn’t help but notice a very important few words missing from the story . . along the lines of:

      ‘We, the journalists and editors tasked with reporting the news, have looked at his claims regarding the proposed laws and find that the concerns raised by Kim Dotcom are completely valid and that the eleventh hour additions to the bills open New Zealand to unfettered spying on all our activities’

    • Veutoviper 1.2

      KDC posted a link to the actual Mega submission on his Twitter stream on 14 June, prior to the extension of the submission deadline.

      I haven’t read it in full yet. but here is the link.

      http://t.co/L97zSyokKP

      NRT’s post on the Cabinet papers which were only released a day before the extended submission deadline is also worth reading.

      http://www.norightturn.blogspot.co.nz/2013/06/an-admission-from-gcsb.html

    • UglyTruth 1.3

      From interview of NSA whisteleblower Russ Tice

      “NSA is copying every domesic communiction in this country word for word, content in every phone conversation like the one we are laving now, every email”

      http://www.boilingfrogspost.com/2013/06/19/podcast-show-112-nsa-whistleblower-goes-on-record-reveals-new-information-names-culprits/

      • Jenny 1.4.1

        The latest news on Edward Snowden:

        WASHINGTON — The Justice Department has charged former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden with espionage and theft of government property in the NSA surveillance case….

        Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, welcomed the charges. “I’ve always thought this was a treasonous act,” he said in a statement. “I hope Hong Kong’s government will take him into custody and extradite him to the U.S.”

        Michael di Pretoro, a retired 30-year veteran with the FBI who served from 1990 to 1994 as the legal liaison officer at the American consulate in Hong Kong, said “relations between U.S. and Hong Kong law enforcement personnel are historically quite good.”

        “In my time, I felt the degree of cooperation was outstanding to the extent that I almost felt I was in an FBI field office,” said di Pretoro.

        The U.S. and Hong Kong cooperate on law enforcement matters and have a standing agreement on the surrender of fugitives.

        Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/2013/06/21/5515373/justice-official-complaint-filed.html#storylink=cpy

        • ghostrider888 1.4.1.1

          may be a ‘ten-stretch’ according to that authority on all things American Pie, Bill O’Reilly, (just a little gallows humour). Still, the information is out now and will have influenced the terrorist communication and coordination strategy.

          • Colonial Viper 1.4.1.1.1

            If you look at how Osama was doing things for years ie using couriers with USB sticks, they were already on to it. Putin has also said that Snowden has revealed nothing that Russia did not already know. Which makes me think more and more that the systems are targeted at ordinary civilians, and low level unaware actors like private foreign companies, small governments etc

            The system also gives an amazing amount of blackmail leverage over internal US persons. Everyone from business leaders to congressmen to journalists.

            • ghostrider888 1.4.1.1.1.1

              Putin appears at the top of his game, at the G8 etc; Key, a “low-level unaware actor” if there ever was, on the world stage, has been noticeably absent from the national MSM coverage these past days; C/T U/S PR management at play some more maybe.

  2. EPIX presents the World Premiere Original Documentary, TWA FLIGHT 800, a thought-provoking ninety-minute documentary about the ill-fated Trans World Airline Flight 800 to Paris, France, which exploded on July 17, 1996 just 12 minutes after takeoff from JFK International Airport, killing all 230 people on board. The special features six former members of the official crash investigation breaking their silence to refute the officially proposed cause of the jetliner’s demise and reveal how the investigation was systematically undermined. In commemoration of the 17th anniversary of the traumatic event, TWA FLIGHT 800 premieres Wednesday, July 17, 2013 at 8PM ET.

    http://press.epixhd.com/programming/twa-flight-800/

    • Tim 2.1

      Interesting – one of those NatGeo “Seconds from Disaster” ‘sensationals’ is screening as we comment (re TWA800).

    • Paul 2.2

      The cover up surrounding this flight was documented in the excellent film critiquing the MSM called ‘Shadows of Liberty.’
      Was on at Documentary Edge Festival in Auckland this year.

      • Colonial Viper 2.2.1

        Don’t tell me, yet another conspiracy theory proving to be a conspiracy fact a few years down the track

        • vto 2.2.1.1

          Oh how surprising. I posted just below that authority has proved time and time again that it cannot be trusted.

          Iraq apparently had weapons of mass destruction – yeah right

          Syria has apparently used chemical weapons – yeah right (and aint it funny how that has been quietly dropped ……. it is almost like the US govt has finally realised that it no longer has any credibility).

          JFK got shot by a lone gunman – yeah right.

          John Key doesn’t know what his blind trust invests in – yeah right.

          John Key didn’t know about Kim Dotcom – yeah right.

          it
          goes
          on
          and
          on

          and now Brazil is imploding over the populace’s calling bullshit on authority and its lies lies lies lies lies.

          these fires of protest are going to all link up soon.

          • UglyTruth 2.2.1.1.1

            Oh how surprising. I posted just below that authority has proved time and time again that it cannot be trusted.

            I agree that trust has to be earned, but Obama’s authority (like that of many political administrations) is based mostly on the consent of the governed. You can’t legitimately argue with de jure authority, it’s just that most authority is simply assumed rather than actually being de jure.

        • Polish Pride 2.2.1.2

          Don’t you think that with the frequency that this seems to occur add to that other misinformation put out by the govts of the day that there is a problem. Sure if it happens once, maybe even twice perhaps it can slide. But when it happens so often it is systemic it is a bit disingenuous to attempt to fob it off as ….”yet another conspiracy theory proving to be yet conspiracy fact.
          If I have misinterpreted the intended tone of your post you have my apology in advance.

  3. karol 3

    Those sticky labels on fruit certainly are a nuisance. But what will be the impact on the fruit content of laser marks replacing the sticky labels?

    In the EU though they may soon be replaced by tattoos laser-printed on the skin. The lasered marks can contain barcodes or fruit information, while iron oxides and hydroxides can be used in the process to enhance the contrast of the mark.

    Previously laser marks had been banned in the EU.

    The amended EU regulations now allows the use of iron oxides, hydroxides, hydroxypropyl methyl cellulose and polysorbates for marking certain fruits.

    These are all examples of so called E-numbers and can be used to create a contrast between the laser marking and the fruit’s skin.

    Iron oxides and hyrdoxides are know as E172.

    They are natural minerals commercially made from iron powder which can be yellow, red, orange, brown or black in colour.

    Manufactured by treating a solution of ferrous sulphate or chloride with an alkali and oxidising the precipitate in hot air. As the iron present in these oxides is in the ferric form it is not very actively available to body tissues.

    E172 can be found in cake and dessert mixes, meat paste, salmon and shrimp paste.

    They are only used for coating the surfaces of things but are safe to eat because they are not absorbed into the body.

    More info on the chemicals, all of which goes over my head, at the link above.

    So, over to the scientists……

    • Colonial Viper 3.1

      Since the 1970s British scientists, health officials and the Government dismissed claims from parents and activists that some food colourings were adversely affecting children’s behaviour, causing ADHD like symptoms. Reassurances came back that there was no problem and that they were safe.

      In 2008 it was officially recommended that those food colours no longer be used, for food safety reasons.

      So that only took 4 decades for the scientists and the authorities to work out.

      • vto 3.1.1

        It is simply foolish to trust ‘authority’. Here are some other examples of things that were ‘safe’.

        245T was safe.

        DDT was safe.

        Formaldehyde was safe.

        Atomic testing was safe-ish.

        Asbestos was safe.

        Lead paint was safe.

        Today’s treated timber which goes into the walls of your family’s bedrooms is apparently safe – yeah right.

        Today’s margarine is apparently safe – yeah right.

        Today’s corporate perfect foods are apparently safe – yeah right.

        please add to the list -

        • muzza 3.1.1.1

          Not forgetting one of the most notorious of E- Numbers – E951

          The slow kill has been in effect a very long time, for those who believe many of the effects, were possibly unknown. In the case of E951, the negative effects were known, and the FDA cleared it anyway, with a little help from Donald Rumsfeld!

        • Lanthanide 3.1.1.2

          Compare your short list against all of the other products and materials that we use which are claimed to be safe and have no evidence suggesting otherwise.

          I think all-in-all, we do a very good job, and sometimes make mistakes.

          • Draco T Bastard 3.1.1.2.1

            +1

            We’re human, not gods. Still, there is that corruption that I just mentioned that needs to be looked for and stopped.

            • vto 3.1.1.2.1.1

              Yes, partly right Lanth and DtB I suppose. It’s interesting that you word it thus though “… and have no evidence suggesting otherwise” implying that it isn’t a done deal on those items. Surely caution is the best approach in this arena, and you strike me as someone relatively cautious / conservative Lanthanide.

              And yes Draco, corruption and capitalism are the issues. Best example being the tobacco industry. I guess it depends where these products originate from and who benefits from it. Perhaps it is an age old case of following the money and that will point to how it should be evaluated. Your point below about credit ratings being another prime example.

              Still, caution would be the best approach I think, given the failings in the past.

              And current failings…

              1. Treated timber is supposed to be worked using masks and gloves etc yet how many builders do you see using those when cutting etc todays’ treated timber?

              2. I fear for people who have worked in demolition in Chch CBD and housing. A colleague had window dust (outer central city) tested and it came back solid asbestos. There are countless such stories. I suspect many cases will crop up in the future as a result of Chch demolition of asbestos.

              • Colonial Viper

                Yes, partly right Lanth and DtB I suppose.

                Lanth’s point is around the lines of 99.9% of the materials are safe, so it’s not a bad hit rate. However, you only need one bullet out of a thousand to find its mark in order to maim or kill you.

                And that we are constantly being shot at all the time.
                Also – evidence of lack of safety is hardly equivalent to “safe”.

                My current favourite: forget fluoride for now, they’ve known for a year or two that thermal receipt printouts contain endocrine disrupters, altering your body’s hormone regulation.

                Who here doesn’t hold on to one of those at least every other day?

                • Populuxe1

                  Then don’t lick your thermal receipt printouts

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Hope you don’t stick yours in your pants

                    • Populuxe1

                      Gosh no, I put it in my pocket, which last time I checked was lined (I trust your pockets are too – unless you have some weird public masterbation thing going on, and Bisphenol A (the endochrine disruptor in the paper) is mainly coming at you from food containers – I’d be more worried about that.

                    • weka

                      “and Bisphenol A (the endochrine disruptor in the paper) is mainly coming at you from food containers – I’d be more worried about that.”

                      I just wrote about the flaw in this kind of argument below. What we should be worried about is the total and cumulative effect of all exposures to BPA – plastic water bottles, plastics heated in microwaves, the shit on the inside of cans of food, kid’s plastic toys, recycled paper products etc. Plus the interaction of that BPA with other endocrine disruptors and other chemicals in the environment once they reach the human body (or any other living thing).

                      Even if you want to look only at the thermal printouts, consider that BPA is readily absorbed through the skin and or when we put our fingers in our mouths (or rub our eyes even). Then consider what happens to the BPA on the receipts when you are finished with them. It doesn’t just disappear by magic does it?

                  • Rogue Trooper

                    or under your pillow

                • muzza

                  Dealt with that one years ago, when it was blown it off as *conspiracy*. Touch only the white edges of receipts, car park tickets etc, and or dispose of them, with minimal skin contact, if any, wash hands regularly.

          • weka 3.1.1.2.2

            “Compare your short list against all of the other products and materials that we use which are claimed to be safe and have no evidence suggesting otherwise.

            I think all-in-all, we do a very good job, and sometimes make mistakes.”

            There is a fundamental flaw in how we use science, that’s the problem. It’s not that science per se, as a tool, is wrong or bad, it’s that humans are in charge of it and we’re dropping the ball badly in many areas. It’s not that we have a good or bad strike rate, it’s that much of what we do that causes damage is preventable, and some of the responsibility for that lies with science, particularly on the inability of some to integrate applied reductionism into a bigger picture ie it’s the world view that is the problem, not the tool itself.

            A couple of examples.

            In the fluoridation debate, someone mentioned that there was more danger from x, y, or z in our environment than from fluoridated water. That might be true from a reductionist perspective but from a holistic perspective, it’s the ingestion of fluoride, alongside x, y, z and all the other things (endocrine disruptors, the thousands of chemicals we are exposed to that our ancestors weren’t, the changes to diet, lifestyle, exercise patterns etc that differ radically from our evolutionary driven ancestors, exposure to new or increase radiations etc etc etc), and the culmulative effect of those exposures, that is the real issue. Epidemiology and meta analyses can give us some clues about these things, but reductionist science in general simply cannot cope with such a huge range of variables. So we have to develop other tools for understanding and making decisions within society.

            And it’s not that there is anything wrong with reductionist science, it’s really bloody useful. But it needs to be used within a holistic framework in order to be safe, and unfortunately too many people treat it as a belief system, and The One True Way belief system at that. That One True Way belief system prevents some people from seeing other ways of developing knowledge and generating wise practice.

            Another example is within medicine. Reductionist approaches are very useful in some areas, and worse than useless in others. It’s the lack of appreciation of the limits to the reductionist approach that is the problem. ‘Alternative’ medicine manages some areas much better, chronic illness in particular. Why is integrative medicine (mainstream and alternative) not the dominant paradigm yet? Because the power holders within science are unable to think outside their reductionist framework and thus speak from pretty ignorant places most of the time, blocking access (and yeah, because big pharma holds most of the research money).

            I find the idea that science gets it right most of the time, so we should be grateful and put up with the small amount of fuckups incredibly uninformed and thus a big contributor to the problem. The fuckups aren’t small in number, they’re massive, and many of them are avoidable. The real question then becomes why aren’t we avoiding them?

            • Colonial Viper 3.1.1.2.2.1

              Bloody hell :shock:

              :D

            • Rogue Trooper 3.1.1.2.2.2

              metaphysical, weka :-) you have travelled a long way.

            • Draco T Bastard 3.1.1.2.2.3

              It’s not that science per se, as a tool, is wrong or bad, it’s that humans are in charge of it and we’re dropping the ball badly in many areas.

              What seems to be the problem is that some bright-spark comes up with an idea and the idea is put into practice before we know the full effects of said idea. Sometimes the full effects can’t be known until after they’ve been put into use.

              • weka

                True. So who gets to decide when/if something should be trialled on the general population or the environment before we know what the effects will be?

                I’m sure there are some instances where it’s warranted to go ahead. But they should be few. At the moment they are many, and they’re being driven by science, technology, capitalism and greedy people, not society or the communities they affect.

                • Colonial Viper

                  NZ only has 5 or 6 really pressing issues facing it. Mental health/suicide, unemployment and extreme income inequality, depletion of local resources and capabilities, dependence on imported energy etc.

                  Here’s the shocker: all these issues and more can be resolved using existing well known approaches, tools and technologies. If we actually wanted to. The rest of it is just all a smokescreen, distraction and delaying tactic.

                  So the painful truth is that for every big issue facing NZ the hold up isn’t technology. It is will power and leadership. Meanwhile people keep pretending that waiting to find a supply of unobtanium is going to resolve things.

                  • Arfamo

                    Meanwhile people keep pretending that waiting to find a supply of unobtanium is going to resolve things.

                    Many of the poorer citizens have already discovered they have a plentiful supply of it and are being bagged for not doing useful things with it, haven’t they? :)

            • McFlock 3.1.1.2.2.4

              That One True Way belief system prevents some people from seeing other ways of developing knowledge and generating wise practice.

              Fair enough. What other ways are there? E.g. to determine whether smoking causes cancer?

    • weka 3.2

      “But what will be the impact on the fruit content of laser marks replacing the sticky labels?”

      I don’t think that was the link you were intending :-)

  4. Draco T Bastard 4

    The Last Mystery of the Financial Crisis

    It’s not a stretch to say the whole financial industry revolves around the compass point of the absolutely safe AAA rating. But the financial crisis happened because AAA ratings stopped being something that had to be earned and turned into something that could be paid for.

    Corruption, corruption, corruption. Seems to be the modus operandi of capitalism.

    • Colonial Viper 4.1

      It’s the decline of civilisation.

      The impartial rule of law, standards of professionalism and conduct, due diligence and due process, are all gradually being discarded, with use of fear and power as replacements for good government (see NSA scandal).

      The few will desperately try and corner more and more of a shrinking pie.

      • UglyTruth 4.1.1

        It’s not really that due process has been discarded, rather it has been misconstrued to mean, in some cases, the opposite of what it originally meant. Personal status has nothing to do with the law of the land, it applies to men, not to persons.

        lex terre
        The law of the land. The common law, or the due course of the common law; the general law of the land. Equivalent to “due process of law”. In the strictest sense, trial by oath; the privilege of making oath. (Blacks 5th)

        Due process:
        Due process is the legal requirement that the state must respect all of the legal rights that are owed to a person. Due process balances the power of law of the land and protects the individual person from it. When a government harms a person without following the exact course of the law, this constitutes a due-process violation, which offends against the rule of law.
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Due_process

        Civilization, as the implementation of of the civil law, has always been fundamentally incompatible with the law of the land as it applies to society.

  5. Draco T Bastard 5

    Telling Time with a Broken Clock

    “The more we learn about standardized testing, particularly in its high-stakes incarnation, the more likely we are to be appalled.” — Alfie Kohn

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 6.1

      You find strawpolls interesting and believe you can treat their contents as though they are “results”. Interesting.

  6. Draco T Bastard 7

    Don’t Blame the Work Force

    THE RESEARCH Peter Cappelli, a professor of management at the Wharton School, has noted sharply different opinions between corporate executives, who typically say that schools are failing to give workers the skills they need, and the people who actually do the hiring, who say the real obstacles are traditional ones like lack of on-the-job experience. In addition, when there are many more applicants than jobs, employers tend to impose overexacting criteria and then wait for the perfect match. They also offer tightfisted pay packages. What employers describe as talent shortages are often failures to agree on salary.

    US centric but I’d say that it applies in NZ just as much.

    • Rosetinted 7.1

      DTB
      I am sure that you are right. Constant complaints from employers about education levels. No willingness to provide training to the young, or the returning-to-work. What they want is babies born immediately programmed to carry out their work requirements.

      And as one listens to them or watches them from below in seniority it becomes clear that they are not at all capable and knowledgeable about the work that is in their own purview. How do they get picked in the first place and then remain circulating up in the air like some mobile-hanging business toy above the actual workfloor?

    • Populuxe1 7.2

      My big bugbear is HR departments stuffed with overpaid and unimaginative drones who know nothing about the actual requirements of the organisations they represent and work exclusively by ticking boxes.

      • Tim 7.2.1

        HR departments AND employment agencies.

        • Arfamo 7.2.1.1

          And government CEO’s & 2nd tier managers in a lot of cases, unfortunately.

        • chris73 7.2.1.2

          I second that on employment agencies…20-somethings who’ve generally never held a job in any of the positions they advertise making you fill out tests ad nauseum which mean nothing and then say “we’ll call you if anything comes up”

          Never gotten a job through an employment agency, its always been through the company itself

  7. Rogue Trooper 8

    The Ben Bernanke Effect:
    “Saner heads prevail”
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10892228
    -“consumer staples, health care and utilities”.
    Fed Plan rattles investors
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10892158
    (MRP closed at $2.20).

    The kiwi $ has dropped around 10c / US since April
    NZX- 1% drop two days in a row.

    Global sharemarket “turmoil” around equities and commodities as Fed signals winding down of economic stimulus; 2 Trillion off global sharemarkets; wholesale sell-off of the NZ $ due inpart to the local markets relatively low liquidity, thus the money returns to where it came from.

    “Fear-on mode”; investors are not in agreement that the US economy is recovering.
    The end of cheap money? with increased expense to be price into future ‘economic recovery’ predictions / settings.the price of petrol and imported resources, including those required for the manufacturing sector.

    Now, what do the economists call it when interests rates are rising and the value of the dollar is decreasing…

    • vto 8.1

      This is so not surprising.

      The band-aids to stem the blood from the financial crisis were ……… just printed money. You know, paper. Nothing backing it. Could have been they were using toilet paper. Or photocopy paper. Or newspaper. What sort of paper was it? 80 gsm? 120 gsm? Was it lined or plain? Or – does it really matter? Paper is paper.

      I think I’ve just put some paper on the fire to spark it up again – ferocious flames and then smouldering black lumps of wood slowly cooling again. Fires and financial systems – the comparisons are uncanny.

      But who bloody cares? The printed paper firestorm has probably allowed enough of those in the know to get out of their holes and bolt to the hills …………. with real actual assets ……….. like power companies …….. wouldn’tcha just know it ………..

      • Rogue Trooper 8.1.1

        Yep, bond yields continue to climb in Europe,China attempting a controlled slow-down
        new export orders in both contracting; then there will be the further rise in insurance premiums as the re-insurers witness just how volatile the real climate is becoming, oh, and the cost of imports for the current, and future rebuilds.

      • ghostrider888 8.1.2

        bond yields continue to rise in Europe…

      • ghostrider888 8.1.3

        PRC attempting a controlled slow-down, new export orders contracting both there and in Europe

      • ghostrider888 8.1.4

        wholesale interest rates begin long-term climb

      • ghostrider888 8.1.5

        further volatility added to assets sales programme (Wgtn will be scratching their collective heads)

        • Rosetinted 8.1.5.1

          And what about the workers? What happens as a result – uh showers of dandruff?

          • ghostrider888 8.1.5.1.1

            some word is triggering ‘moderation’ so I’ll try for ‘bald patches’ :-D

      • ghostrider888 8.1.6

        new export orders contracting in both europe and our largest red-star neighbour

      • ghostrider888 8.1.7

        then there will be further rises in insurance premiums as re-insurers realise just how volatile the real climate is, and oh, the cost of imported components for the current, and future, rebuilds.

        • Colonial Viper 8.1.7.1

          Time to self insure

          State Insurance (v1.0)

          • ghostrider888 8.1.7.1.1

            an innovative dark Tabula rasa (Shearer was on the Hauraki drive show; voted for “Dust in The Wind) Do our ears deceive us?
            “It’s a little bit funny, this feeling inside
            I’m not one of those who can easily hide
            I don’t have much money, but boy if I did,
            I’d buy a big house where we both could live

            I know it’s not much, but it’s the best I can do
            My gift is my song, and this one’s for you”.

            • Rosetinted 8.1.7.1.1.1

              Thanks ghosty
              On behalf of me – I like your style and sentiments.

              • ghostrider888

                sorry about the identity crisis, had to pop into the nearest telephone box; yes, you demonstrate the same, Rosetinted; pop up an see me sometime, we’ll do brunch, sizzling.
                (comment#88) now, if I only had a gold coin for every time…

          • ghostrider888 8.1.7.1.2

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VJEVkuNsEi0
            “I guess in the Wild West…”

  8. Rogue Trooper 9

    test

  9. Rogue Trooper 10

    in reply to vto (stuck in moderation)
    Yep, bond yields continue to climb in Europe, China is attempting a controlled slow-down, new export orders in both contracting, wholesale interest rates to begin a long-term climb, further volatility introduced to the asset sales programmes (Wgtn will be scratching their heads), then there will be further rises in insurance premiums as re-insurers witness just how volatile the real climate is becoming, oh and the costs of materials for the current, and future, rebuilds.

  10. ghostrider888 11

    will try that again;
    yes, bond yields continue to climb in Europe, China is attempting a controlled slow-down, new export orders in both contracting, wholesale -interest rates begin long-term climb, further volatility introduced to the asset-sales programmes (Wgtn will be scratching their collective heads), then there will be further rises in insurance premiums as re-insurers witness just how volatile the real climate is becoming, oh, and factor in the costs of imported materials for the current, and future, rebuilds.

  11. ghostrider888 12

    Indian monsoon flooding due to monsoons 4.5 times the normal levels

    • Colonial Viper 12.1

      Yes but well within historical norms (please reference Noah), so nothing to see here.

  12. North 13

    Rerun of 3’s The Vote from Wednesday night.

    Rankin – The Weetbix Remedy – trotted out immediately after the Mangere Budgeting Centre guy challenges her to feed a family of 4 or 6 or whatever on $80 left in the weekly budget.

    Dangerous egocentric cow ! Marie Antoinette was at least honest about her black heartedness.

    We’re meant to accord Rankin, Tamaki, McCoskrie respect and credulity ??? They are disgraceful utterly self-focused antagonists of the poor. Ardent protagonists of the pitiably ill-treated haves, for Christ’s Sake.

    Two of three sucking God. The other one sucking the Conservative Party.

    • vto 13.1

      I thought that program had a major blundering fundamental flaw – and that was the actual question. It was very poorly formed.

      Of course parenting is the main determinant around how children are raised and child abuse.

      The issue should have been something along the lines “Has poverty caused a decline in parenting skills and therefore an increase in child abuse”, not an either-or between parenting and poverty. Major oversight imo.

      and it was interesting to see McCroskie in action – a man of no doubt good heart but woefully short on knowledge, wisdom, judgment and understanding. So woeful that it would seem he does his organisation more harm than good. Hone was brilliant – if I can get my head around some of Mana’s other policies then my vote would very nearly head their way.

      • weka 13.1.1

        The issue should have been something along the lines “Has poverty caused a decline in parenting skills and therefore an increase in child abuse”, not an either-or between parenting and poverty. Major oversight imo.

        I think a better question is :”Is poverty good for children?”

        As for has poverty caused a decline in parenting skills, well that’s one way to look at it but I think it’s more to do with capitalist and neoliberal agendas. Obviously colonisation has had a massive detrimental effect on Maori whanau, but it’s not just poverty in the sense of how much income a family has. It’s also the suppression of culture and language, the institutionalist racism and for much of post-contact history that huge denial of the validity of Te Ao Maori, the consequential PTSD, as well as the loss of economic bases and the pressures from Eurocentric capitalism that led to the move to cities and fragmenting of iwi and hapu. Given all that I think most Maori parents do really bloody well. That some families have been abandoned within that and are now being blamed is hypocritical.

        In regards to Pakeha parenting, well we were the ones that were sending our kids out to sweep chimneys around the time of colonisation, so let’s just say that our own history of child abuse is pretty long. If we want to look just at recentish history again it looks like the neoliberal agenda is central: my parents’ generation often raised kids within their home town and had the support of extended family, but my generation often raise kids away from such support. Women quite rightly got emancipation from marriage, but were denied financial emancipation in a meaningful way, so have often been left to raise kids on their own. The shift from one income households being viable to the necessity for two incomes has come from capitalism’s need to accommodate feminism without allowing it any real power to change the structure of society (which would undermine the greed ethos). The shift from people as citizens and part of a community to consumers is another huge change that’s happened in the last 3 or so decades and that, alongside neoliberal tools such as user pays, is engraining self-centred, anti-community attitudes in people that will take generations to reverse. Humans have raised children successfully within extended family groups within small communities for all of our evolution. To change that now is perilous but that’s what we are doing.

        Sure, individual parents have some choices within all that, but not as many as most think, and if we want to look at solutions as a way of prevention, then it doesn’t really work to look at individuals* – the problem and the solution are in the things that hinder or help successful families and individuals have limited control over those (some have no control).

        *except where they can be helped, and where they can tell us what isn’t working.

      • Saarbo 13.1.2

        agree!

    • millsy 13.2

      Weetbox for breakfast lunch and tea.I really dont think that it is really acceptable, or healthy to be feeding kids (or mum and dad for that matter) a subsistence diet of weetbix. No only would they go without the nutrients that are not in that food, it would be utterly demoralising to go for months, weeks and possibly years eating the same food, because you simply do not have the money to buy anything else. Plus people need something hot in their bellies as well. Not soggy weetbix.

      Ironically Rankin has being a single mother on a benefit and knows what it is like. Ironically how those who point the finger at the poor come from that background.

      • Colonial Viper 13.2.1

        Weetbox for breakfast lunch and tea.I really dont think that it is really acceptable, or healthy to be feeding kids (or mum and dad for that matter) a subsistence diet of weetbix. No only would they go without the nutrients that are not in that food, it would be utterly demoralising to go for months, weeks and possibly years eating the same food

        Concentration camp rations

        While John Key buys $3500 celebrity chef dinner tickets for him and his wife.

        Sounds fair to me, he’s earned it, and those poor people are clearly slackers and bludgers

        • unpcnzcougar 13.2.1.1

          I agree that the question was worded incorrectly. This is such a contentious issue. We know there are bad parents and we also know that people genuinely struggle. Until such time that as a country we can throw more money at the problem I really don’t know what the solution is. I do believe that society is judged by how we treat the less fortunate amongst us.

          Personally, I would like to see us mine and drill more to make the country more wealthy. This can be done on probably half percent of land throughout the whole country. The scaremongering that is done by the Greens and celebrities over this issue is not helpful. If anyone else has a better solution then we should be telling our MP’s. Taxing people more I don’t think will work. We already have 49% of income tax coming from 11% of individual tax payers

          What is not helpful are comments about Key as a rich prick etc. He is a self made man and there are many others like him. He didn’t grow up with a silver spoon in his mouth. Had he, then sure throw all the brickbats you like at him. Let’s not drag down people who are successful. Let’s encourage more – there are many out there especially in technology that are employing lots of kiwis. As history shows change is inevitable and we must learn to adapt and also to help people to adapt by encouraging a different skill set in workers and students to face the future.

          • Rogue Trooper 13.2.1.1.1

            15 years until the planet “cooks”
            http://www.nzherald.co.nz/environment/news/article.cfm?c_id=39&objectid=10891901
            -“NZers have a record of profound deafness”
            -“our emissions record since 1991 is one of the worst of developed countries”

            and in the Left / Green lane…

            “Public Transport must have priority over motorways” -Pat Baskett : Odds are against us.

            but you carry on.

          • Colonial Viper 13.2.1.1.2

            What is not helpful are comments about Key as a rich prick etc. He is a self made man and there are many others like him.

            He was a senior Bankster in a Bankster Organisation which made its money from skimming off from the productive parts of society and ordinary workers while leaving nothing but debt, leverage and fragility.

            Further, he had the benefit of growing up in a well made state house with inexpensive rentals, after NZ generously extended rights to stay to his foreign born Mum.

            Not sure what you consider “self made” in any of that.

            Personally, I would like to see us mine and drill more to make the country more wealthy.

            I’d only agree with you if NZ majority owned and operated all such new operations itself, and the majority of monies from the minerals stayed onshore.

            • Rosetinted 13.2.1.1.2.1

              I think Al Capone would be regarded as a self-made man by the money-worshippers who admire those with plenty and don’t pay much attention to who has been ripped off, sometimes literally, in getting it.

          • weka 13.2.1.1.3

            Personally, I would like to see us mine and drill more to make the country more wealthy. This can be done on probably half percent of land throughout the whole country. The scaremongering that is done by the Greens and celebrities over this issue is not helpful. If anyone else has a better solution then we should be telling our MP’s.

            NZ is a very wealthy country already. Our problem isn’t that we don’t have enough wealth, it’s that some people believe that the solution to some people having heaps of money and others having not enough is to steal from the environment and future generations. But tell me this, what happens when you’ve drilled and mined all the stuff in the earth, and you find that there are still poor people in NZ? What then?

            Taxing people more I don’t think will work. We already have 49% of income tax coming from 11% of individual tax payers

            You don’t have to tax ‘people’ more. You just have to rearrange how taxes are collected. Take GST off food, put a tax on financial transactions beyond basic households. Capital Gains Tax. There are lots of ways, and MPs already know what they are.

            • Colonial Viper 13.2.1.1.3.1

              “Taxing people more I don’t think will work. We already have 49% of income tax coming from 11% of individual tax payers”

              This is very likely a distortion of the truth. It ignores for instance what share of total income the top 11% take. I’m guessing it is way more than 49%. It also discounts all other taxes eg GST

              • Rosetinted

                meancat
                “Taxing people more I don’t think will work. We already have 49% of income tax coming from 11% of individual tax payers”

                You don’t show signs of understanding why a large proportion of income tax is coming from a small percentage of people. All your comment is slanted to imply that they are paying too much or more than their share.

                The reason why tax is not coming from a larger percentage is that the vast majority are getting low to medium incomes. Enough for some tax, enough to live on, but actually just enough to borrow on to fool themselves that they are doing OK. The reason why payments aren’t going to taxation to the government, but coming from below the living wage level to the interest payments on credit cards.

                And under present conditions NZ can never get wealthy, no matter how much is mined or extracted. Some people will get a job in the present, until the resources are all used up, all sent overseas for a quick buck. Then back to the future – moans and wails and do bloody nothing intelligent but look for some vulnerable people to blame and kick. Nice end for us with your type of recipe for the future.
                Hemlock pie, with added flavouring of essence of vicious circle.

          • Draco T Bastard 13.2.1.1.4

            Until such time that as a country we can throw more money at the problem I really don’t know what the solution is.

            The best solution is to get rid of money and go to full democracy with the understanding that the economy is there to support everyone and not just a few sociopaths.

            Personally, I would like to see us mine and drill more to make the country more wealthy.

            That would actually do the exact opposite. Once we’ve dug everything up then what do we do?

            He is a self made man…

            Yep, such a self-made man he had massive state subsidies growing up which he’s now taking away from the majority and giving to other rich pricks through tax cuts for the rich.

            There is no such thing as a self-mad man.

            Let’s not drag down people who are successful.

            Key is a successful parasite and needs to be removed from the host.

            • Rosetinted 13.2.1.1.4.1

              Did you know leeches have a valuable medical use, and I think suck up pus from a wound cleaning it out in an efficient and sterile way (if they are carefully grown to maturity in such conditions).
              Perhaps jonkey wasn’t raised and matured in a healthy environment and his poor abilities to serve the needs of the public is the result.

              I looked at Wikipedia. His father sounds as if he had principles. Key was born in 1961 but his father died in 1967, so he was only six then and very young for that loss.

              His father was an English immigrant and a veteran of the Spanish Civil War and World War II.[2] He died of a heart attack in 1967. Key and his two sisters were raised in a state house in the Christchurch suburb of Bryndwr, by his mother, an Austrian Jewish immigrant.[3][4]
              He attended Aorangi School, then Burnside High School, and earned a Bachelor of Commerce degree in accounting from the University of Canterbury in 1981.[3][5] He has attended management studies courses at Harvard University.[6]

              Notice that Key was from the lower south island. Could that be regarded as a National Party stronghold? Brownlee, English, Key with connections there?

          • millsy 13.2.1.1.5

            And what if the air and water is poisoned?

      • Rosetinted 13.2.2

        All single or solo mothers aren’t equal. With assistance from family it can be manageable with some energy and money left over to move up and off. Without helpful family and if you have the millstone of trying to mitigate the effects of some dorky sperm provider, or even a father who is uncommitted and won’t learn parenting skills and responsibilities, then difficulties multiply and crush.

        Weetbix has a use, just not the only thing – the pollies have to remember we aren’t horses. They like oats so do I but I need more than some greens, a carrot and an apple which are other things horses enjoy. The job of helping parents provide for their kids needs some money, and some guidance through parental education classes. How to do good things when you’re on a budget, and what kids need for growth, and how to use psychology to not give in to demands for chips, coloured drinks etc.

        • North 13.2.2.1

          It would be instructive I’m sure were the likes of Rankin and Tamaki required to actually verify their throwaway lines – “I came from a poor household……poverty……blah blah blah”.

          Completely punting but I suspect that such protestations are very frequently self-serving and self-congratulatory bullshit typical of the “I’m alright Jack” types who express them.

          Glossed to the point of dishonesty and devoid of any consideration of the relativities of the times in which they “endured” and “triumphed” over the “deprived” lives they claim.

          The social amorality to which they pontifically subscribe well accommodates scope for bullshit.

      • North 13.2.3

        The selfish neo-liberal cargo-cult coupled with the vainglorious and socially delinquent explains alot.

    • Rogue Trooper 13.3

      I did a write-up of The Vote, on Thursday’s , Child, “Throw me tomorrow”; just tragic some of the Talking Heads in this country; oh for a ‘forward roll’ to a Habermas, Foucault, Eco or Sakharov.

  13. ghostrider888 14

    Miko Peled : “The General’s Son”
    http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/saturday
    raised as a Zionist, now a Middle East peace activist
    -“the IDF, a terrorist organization”
    -“occupation; illegal, immoral and unsustainable”
    -“Israel has sowed the seeds of it’s own destruction”.

    • Rosetinted 14.1

      Ghosty
      This guy was good. Very sane and centred. And has a background of family fighting for Israel from the first. And who was similar to Eisenhower when he finished fighting, with some advice on future peaceful direction that wasn’t received.

      He doesn’t think it will be easy, only a few thousand supporters in Israel I thought I heard. Though numbers wanting change are growing.

  14. Polish Pride 15

    very good RBE vs Libertarianism discussion both systems talk about anti corporatism

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IVUz6uUi9AU

  15. Rogue Trooper 16

    Mortgage rates begin rise
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10892222
    months earlier than predicted; hold on to your hats.

    • Rogue Trooper 17.1

      the East / West divide (as a working-class man living in Christchurch with Cosgove as an MP at the time, I found his views on many things difficult to empathise with, yet he can be dogged on the Nats).
      the ‘Shearer / Cunliffe cabals ride again.

  16. Rosetinted 18

    Is milk reconstituted from powder? I have heard that asked. The answer has always been no. But the actual practices are more complex. There is a lot of fiddling around connected with a minimum standard set for protein of 3% also one for fat. The milk varies during the year and so protein may need to be boosted with milk powder to reach the standard. But the standard has become the maximum too. So milk will be diluted so that protein rich milk is not being ‘wasted’ on the milk consumer.

    Look – listen. http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/thiswayup
    13:15 A listener’s question about how fresh our milk is, and what goes into it. With
    Dr David Everett.

  17. ghostrider888 19

    “Sleepwalking” into the largest refugee (humanitarian) crisis in our lifetime”
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/article.cfm?c_id=2&objectid=10892194

    been following the spread of Mers, and the commentary of the international health community
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/article.cfm?c_id=2&objectid=10892193
    “world’s single biggest threat to public health”

    Singapore chokes on record-breaking levels of smog from Sumatran forest-burning
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/article.cfm?c_id=2&objectid=10892191
    (cloud-seeding to be attempted)

    “standing on the outside, looking in”
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/article.cfm?c_id=2&objectid=10892192

    Porn Studies: is it all academic?
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/article.cfm?c_id=2&objectid=10892165
    -30% of bandwidth
    -70% of men (must be a lot of fundies) and 30% of woman
    -average length of visit- a 12 minute quickie
    -90% of all content, verbally, and / or , physically, abusive towards women.

    • weka 19.1

      The porn studies article is very interesting, thanks.

      “-90% of all content, verbally, and / or , physically, abusive towards women.”

      Says it all really. And there are people that believe that that doesn’t have any effect in the real world.

  18. ghostrider888 20

    100.7 Bay FM- the underdog is coming off the leash
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7OyytKqYjkE
    “Well, any man with a microphone
    can tell you what he loves the most
    and you know why you love at all
    if you’re thinking of the Holy ghost
    (and every breath that is in your lungs
    is a tiny little gift to me).”

    • Te Reo Putake 20.1

      100.7 Bay FM is the coolest provincial station ever! Playlist sample here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EfFPzrHni20

      Any chance they’re going to put the station up on the web?

      • ghostrider888 20.1.1

        I think so too, from my wide experience of recorded music; not sure about the web, Hauraki have an interactive site. I find the music on both very motivating, contemplative at times and conducive to reflection.
        On the bay in general, imho, considering all the challenges facing NZ society and the climate, it is a very sensible place to choose to settle, particularly Hastings, generally sheltered from the extremes of both. :-D

      • ghostrider888 20.1.2

        btw, excellent track…when the music’s over, Reed flows on.

  19. Tim 21

    I’ve just had a bright idea (or maybe not – depending on your point of view).
    It was inspired by “the weekend social” thread, AND the fact that I just went through various call centres/options on ‘intelligent answer phone services’ that didn’t fit ANY condition that allowed me to report arcing on a lampost (with an identifiable & specific location; nearest street address/lampost number/phase colour et al). 20 minutes later – the responsible body was identified, and an assurance that within 24 hrs later – it would be fixed – we’ll see.

    Anyway @ lprent – how about a “funny thing happened on the way to the forum” thread.
    I could kick it off if you like?

    ……. “once upon a time, I was walking down Featherston St in Wellington when a Destiny Church ‘black shirt march’ was taking place. I was with a young fella that I had employed in the role as “Contract Systems Administrator”.

    Coming in the opposite direction (and wearing the obligatory “black T”) was a ‘young bloke’ my accomplis had once had sex with…..
    … perhaps he was now cured

    ..etc.

    OR…..

    (concerns what Lange once, in passing, talked about a moratorium on Whaling Season)

    Maybe not …. bit too much like “Truth”

  20. Colonial Viper 22

    British GCHQ brag its got more access to everyone’s internet data than the other members of the Five Eyes Agreement (incl NZ)

    They even reckon that they have better access than the US authorities. And they spy on the British public, thanks to numerous clever little loopholes. Given the timing, the previous UK Labour Govt must have been well on the scheme as well.

    It doesn’t seem to matter which side of the House they sit on.

    Can anyone spell global conspiracy theory.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2013/jun/21/gchq-cables-secret-world-communications-nsa

    • weka 22.1

      “Essentially, we have a process that allows us to select a small number of needles in a haystack. We are not looking at every piece of straw. There are certain triggers that allow you to discard or not examine a lot of data so you are just looking at needles. If you had the impression we are reading millions of emails, we are not. There is no intention in this whole programme to use it for looking at UK domestic traffic – British people talking to each other,” the source said.

      Yeah, right. Or maybe it’s just NZ that does that.

      Hang on, “There is no intention in this whole programme at this stage to use it for looking at UK domestic traffic – British people talking to each other,” the source said.”

      FIFT

      “The criteria are security, terror, organised crime. And economic well-being.

      An interesting phrasing.

      CV, what do you think is going to happen after this? I’m guessing everyone will express outrage and then go back to their flat screen tvs, gmail accounts and FB pages.

      • Colonial Viper 22.1.1

        The most terrifying aspect of this is that a relatively small group of people now have the tools and the technology needed to blackmail and coerce any member of parliament, any member of the judiciary, any person of authority, any member of a jury, at will.

        Today we know that several people a year (sworn staff and civilian employees) are found guilty of accessing NZ police systems inappropriately to look up info on spouses, ex’s, celebrities,etc. Imagine a system 100x more powerful than that now. What are the temptations.

        Essentially these systems guarantee the end of democracy (although not necessarily the illusion of democracy) within a very short amount of time.

        Ironically the systems also create the conditions which destroy the possibility of any true capitalism or market place activity. Imagine that Boeing (US) and BAE (UK) are bidding on a new billion dollar project against Airbus (EU).

        Through their top secret security clearances and government contacts, Boeing and BAE can now have access to every single email, txt message, email attachment, phone call, made by executives on the BAE bid team.

        Overall the result I think you will see: an acceleration of the development of societal stagnation like was seen in surveillance states like East Germany.

        BTW it looks to me like they could have taken down General Patreaus with that sex scandal with his biographer, when he was head of the CIA, using this system. They will also have a full set of intercepts relating to Barack Obama’s time as an Illonois Senator, especially from the time that he became prominent as a potential up and comer.

  21. Colonial Viper 23

    3 former NSA whistleblowers say Snowden succeeded where they had failed

    If you can, watch the embedded video too. Props to USA Today for running this. There is still a lot of very good things about the US.

    Scary stuff – comment that the US Government deliberately detached itself from the Constitution after 9/11. That the spying programmes seemed more about generating revenues for private companies than anything else. That Snowden’s revelations are really only the tip of the iceberg. That every American is essentially being treated like a foreigner now.

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2013/06/16/snowden-whistleblower-nsa-officials-roundtable/2428809/

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  • CTU welcomes forestry review recommendations
    The CTU is welcoming the today's release of the independent forestry safety review panel findings. "These recommendations must be implemented to ensure that everything possible is done to make forestry safer." CTU President, Helen Kelly said.  Photo:  ...
    CTU | 30-10
  • Herald vs Hosking-in-Herald on teabreaks
    The New Zealand Herald editorial today is distinctly unimpressed with the government’s decision to remove mandated tea breaks for workers: It is a pity that almost the first legislative act of the Government's new term is an act abolishing mandatory...
    Polity | 30-10
  • Forest Safety report first step in making our forests safe to work in
    Our forests are a very dangerous place to work. Between 2008 and 2013 there have been 32 fatalities and more than a thousand serious harm incidents in this industry. The Council of Trade Unions and First union have been doing...
    frogblog | 30-10
  • Ghost Dancing?
    Ghost Dancing circa 1890: With the buffalo effectively exterminated, the material basis for the Native American cultures of the Great Plains was destroyed. The Ghost Dance, it was believed, would reconstitute the basis for an independent indigenous existence. Has the...
    Bowalley Road | 30-10
  • I have seen one future, and it is bleak
    . . Way back in March, 2012,  I wrote this story regarding a march to support striking workers at Ports of Auckland. It appears there was some prescience about some of my observations at the time… . | | 18...
    Frankly Speaking | 30-10
  • WINZ: Bureaucratic Befuddlement and Confustication
    Yeah, I know. Confusticate isn’t a word, unless you’re quoting Urban Dictionary. Definition: This word is the coalescing of the English words “confuse” and “complicate”. It refers to anything of, or relating to the process of being both confused and...
    On the Left | 30-10
  • The idiot
    Here’s why this Steffan Browning/Ebola/Homeopathy thing is a really big deal for the Green Party. (a) Historically they’ve been stereotyped by their opponents as a bunch of nutters (b) The main focus of the party for the past five years –...
    DimPost | 30-10
  • The idiot
    Here’s why this Steffan Browning/Ebola/Homeopathy thing is a really big deal for the Green Party. (a) Historically they’ve been stereotyped by their opponents as a bunch of nutters (b) The main focus of the party for the past five years –...
    DimPost | 30-10
  • Climate change and New Zealand cities
    Environmentalists sometimes have an uneasy relationship with cities. Because they concentrate a lot of people and economic activity in relatively small places, they also concentrate a lot of negative environmental effects. All that concrete, all that energy being consumed, the...
    Transport Blog | 30-10
  • Got a mystery? Just ask John!
    Tuesday, November 24, 2009John Key has learned the identity of the entertainer guilty of an indecency charge through the grapevine of people circumventing the suppression order....
    Pundit | 30-10
  • Shameful attack on all workers
    The Government has passed the Employment Relations Amendment Act slashing the rights of all Kiwi workers. “These changes are shameful. New Zealand now has some of the worst employment protections in the OECD....
    CTU | 30-10
  • Blocked
    It is safe to say before the election last month I was fairly prolific in the blogosphere as we headed to an election. Was it because there was a glimmer of hope for we on this side of the coin?...
    My Thinks | 30-10
  • Blend with the Bruntletts Group Ride
    While Vancourerites Chris and Melissa Bruntlett are here for their Auckland Conversation talk, Generation Zero, Frocks on Bikes and TransportBlog have organised a slow, family friendly ride around the city centre. The map is below. The ride is designed to be self-directed so...
    Transport Blog | 30-10
  • New research quantifies what’s causing sea level to rise
    There have been a number of studies that have come out recently on ocean warming and sea-level rise. Collectively, they are helping scientists coalesce around an emerging understanding of climate change and its impact on the Earth. Most recently, a...
    Skeptical Science | 30-10
  • Rawshark – Is she Maori or Pakeha?
    Cameron Slater blamed someone for being behind the hacking of his emails and passing them on to Nicky Hager. And then he named someone he thought was Rawshark. John Key says someone told him who Rawshark is but he ain’t telling. @B3nRaching3r is...
    Te Putatara | 30-10
  • Employment law: it’s toasted
    In an early episode of Mad Men, when the company’s going for the Lucky Strike account, sleazebag antihero Don Draper asks the client exactly how cigarettes are made. They talk through the process, mentioning the tobacco is toasted – and...
    On the Left | 30-10
  • Owners of the wind
    Thirty-odd years ago in the Kingdom of Denmark lived some brave people who disliked nuclear power and loved renewable energy. Determined to keep their country clean and safe, they began building their own wind turbines. Today, thanks to these passionate...
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 30-10
  • Te Wakaputanga – What we did not learn at school
    This week saw the 179th anniversary of the signing of Te Wakaputanga, the Declaration of Independence of the United Tribes of Niu Tireni. Most of us did not learn about this fundamentally critical document at school, we barely learned about...
    frogblog | 30-10
  • NZ goes backwards on gender equality
    It is no coincidence that in the same week New Zealand is singled out for going backwards on child poverty under National,  we’ve also dropped in global rankings for gender equality. In one year New Zealand has dropped from 7th...
    frogblog | 30-10
  • TPPA Bulletin #58
    NATIONAL DAY OF ACTION 8 NOVEMBER 2014 Auckland, Hamilton, Raglan, Tauranga, Rotorua, Gisborne, New Plymouth, Napier, Palmerston North, Levin,Wellington, Nelson, Christchurch, Timaru, Dunedin,Invercargill. REGIONAL UPDATES Auckland (1:00 pm at Aotea Square): speakers include Robyn Malcolm (Actors Equity), Bunny McDiarmid (Greenpeace), Dayle Takitimu...
    NZ – Not for sale | 30-10
  • Contact’s big solar buy-back drop bad news for Kiwis with solar
    The Green Party are calling for a law change to establish an independent umpire to set fair and reasonable buy-back rates after Contact Energy announced, from today, new small scale solar and wind generators will receive 50 percent less for...
    Greens | 01-11
  • John Key’s asset sales outed by his own Minister
    National needs to come clean about the motivations behind selling state houses after Paula Bennett's asset sale admission, said the Green Party today.On Saturday, Paula Bennett, the Minister for Social Housing admitted, in a televised interview, that the sale of...
    Greens | 01-11
  • James Shaw speaks on the four Bills formerly known as the Accounting Infras...
    The assurance industry is a critical component of our economic framework. The idea that there is a trusted independent watchdog of the public interest underpins investor confidence and ensures financial probity on behalf of our country's leading institutions. New Zealand...
    Greens | 31-10
  • ANZ needs to look after its workers after another super profit
    The ANZ bank needs to acknowledge the super profits it makes are coming at the expense of its workers, the Green Party said today.Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited (ANZ) 2014 full year results show a lift in performance...
    Greens | 31-10
  • James Shaw’s maiden speech
    Tena Koe, Mr Speaker. I would like to take this opportunity to speak a little of the past, the present and the future. The privilege to serve in this Parliament was given to me by all those who gave their...
    Greens | 31-10
  • Feed the kids members bill
    Education is the best route out of poverty. But hungry kids can't learn and are left trapped in the poverty cycle. Let's break that cycle lunchbox by lunchbox. We can feed the country's hungry kids, if we work together.I have...
    Greens | 31-10
  • Feed the kids members bill
    Education is the best route out of poverty. But hungry kids can't learn and are left trapped in the poverty cycle. Let's break that cycle lunchbox by lunchbox. We can feed the country's hungry kids, if we work together.I have...
    Greens | 31-10
  • National’s “Auckland housing boom” a fizzer
    Falling Auckland consent numbers show the Government’s housing policy is going backwards contrary to wild claims by Building and Housing Minister Nick Smith that we are on the cusp of a massive construction boom, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    Labour | 31-10
  • Job losses major blow to Bay community
    Job losses at Wattie’s Hastings plant will hit families and the community hard, Hawke’s Bay-based Labour MP Stuart Nash and MP for Ikaroa-Rawhiti Meka Whaitiri say. “I know a number of the Wattie’s staff and these job losses will be...
    Labour | 31-10
  • Local job losses major blow to Bay community
    Job losses at Wattie’s Hastings plant will hit families and the community hard, Hawke’s Bay-based Labour MP Stuart Nash and MP for Ikaroa-Rawhiti Meka Whaitiri say. “I know a number of the Wattie’s staff and these job losses will be...
    Labour | 31-10
  • Zero tolerance for forestry accidents a must
    The Government must adopt a zero tolerance approach to workplace accidents in the forestry sector to stop people being killed, Labour’s Forestry spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “It is time for the Government and the forestry sector to put an end...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Return to less holidays on the cards?
    John Key needs to lay his cards on the table regarding the Government’s intentions around holiday pay and annual leave entitlements, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “A day after National pushed through laws that take away the legal...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Forest Safety report first step in making our forests safe to work in
    Our forests are a very dangerous place to work. Between 2008 and 2013 there have been 32 fatalities and more than a thousand serious harm incidents in this industry. The Council of Trade Unions and First union have been doing...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Catherine Delahunty Speaks on the Employment Relations Amendment Bill
    Kia ora, Mr Assistant Speaker. He mihi nui ki te Whare Paremata. Welcome to the glorious 19th century, dressed up in the not-so-new flexibility-speak. At the final moment of this bill, let us drop the charade. The Government has a...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Ruataniwha Feds refuse to present a balanced view
    A bid to sell the Ruataniwha water project to Hawkes Bay farmers has turned in to an incredibly one sided affair, says Labours spokesperson on Water Meka Whaitiri.  “It’s being promoted as ‘Ruataniwha it’s now or never’ and it promises...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Worker’s rights dealt severe blow with Bill’s passing
    The passing of the Employment Relations Amendment Bill is another blow to workers' rights in New Zealand, the Green Party said today.This afternoon, National's Employment Relations Amendment Bill passed with the support of Act and United Future."This bill will force...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Barriers to reporting sex crimes must go
    Both the Government and police need to take action to ensure that, in future, sexual abuse victims know they will be taken seriously, Labour’s Associate Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. “The young women involved in the Roast Busters case, and...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Te Wakaputanga – What we did not learn at school
    This week saw the 179th anniversary of the signing of Te Wakaputanga, the Declaration of Independence of the United Tribes of Niu Tireni. Most of us did not learn about this fundamentally critical document at school, we barely learned about...
    Greens | 30-10
  • NZ goes backwards on gender equality
    It is no coincidence that in the same week New Zealand is singled out for going backwards on child poverty under National,  we’ve also dropped in global rankings for gender equality. In one year New Zealand has dropped from 7th...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Kevin Hague questions the Minister of Health on management of Katherine Ric...
    Is he satisfied that all conflicts of interest that arose by the head of Food and Grocery Council Katherine Rich being a member of the Health Promotion Agency were managed in accordance with the provisions of the Crown Entities Act...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Bennett parks numbers on social housing
    Social Housing Minister Paula Bennett admitted today that well over 1000 families have been subsidised through the accommodation supplement to stay in the Ranui campground, somewhere she has previously described as not the right place for children to be growing...
    Labour | 30-10
  • 50,000 sign petition against anti-worker law
    More than 50,000 Kiwis have signed Labour’s petition against the Government’s scrapping of tea break entitlements, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “That’s the equivalent of five people signing our petition every minute for a week. It shows the...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Address in Reply Debate – Dr Kennedy Graham on UN Security Council- 2...
    In the Speech from the Throne last week the Prime Minister identified the usual domestic goals for his Government. I counted 17. They are not my subject today. I wish instead to focus on matters beyond our shores. In the...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Climate change harming ocean health
    New Zealand is responsible for one of the largest areas of sea in the world – an area 14 times the size of our land area. The National Government is promising new marine protected areas legislation with a discussion document...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Key misled public over Jason Ede
    Information contained in a new chapter of the book Key: Portrait of a Prime Minister, that Jason Ede stopped working for the National Party on the night the book Dirty Politics was released, shows Mr Key and senior ministers hid...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Greenpeace report highlights better path for NZ agriculture
    A Greenpeace International report highlights a better way forward for New Zealand agriculture than the GE and chemical mutation technologies supported by Federated Farmers, and the National Government through its research funding packages, the Green Party said today. "This report...
    Greens | 29-10
  • BNZ post record profits while leaving savers vulnerable
    A small part of the $850 million record profit posted by the Bank of New Zealand (BNZ) today needs to be set aside to protect savers' deposits in the future, said Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman today.Dr Norman was...
    Greens | 29-10
  • RBNZ U-turn shows monetary settings were wrong
    The Reserve Bank's U-turn on interest rates today shows monetary policy settings were wrong and New Zealanders have suffered unnecessarily through the loss of jobs and having to pay higher interest rates, the Green Party said today.Reserve Bank Governor Graeme...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Ports must take responsibility for shameful death toll
    Port companies must step up and take responsibility for a shameful toll of seven deaths and 133 serious accidents in the past three years, Labour MP Iain Lees-Galloway says. The frightening figures – released by the Rail, Maritime and Transport...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Please help me get my Feed the Kids Bill to Select Committee
    Last week I took over the Feed the Kids Bill that Hone Harawira had introduced to Parliament. If passed, my Bill will provide government-funded breakfast and lunch in all decile 1 and 2 schools. Hungry kids can’t learn and are...
    Greens | 29-10
  • TVNZ Outsourcing Pasifika and Maori Programmes
    I’ve always been a big fan of our state broadcaster and I’ve particularly liked their range of current events programmes. But after Friday’s announcement that TVNZ will be sacking up to 40 staff by contracting out the Pacific and Maori...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Labour urges iwi leaders to meet with National
    Labour’s Māori Caucus has called on iwi leaders and national Māori organisations to seek urgent meetings with the National Government to directly express their concerns about employment law changes which will harm Māori workers. In an open letter sent today...
    Labour | 29-10
  • ACC’s reputation needs fix, not glitz
    Restoring public trust and confidence in ACC will take a lot more than a new communications strategy or social media blitz, says Labour’s ACC spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “Under National, ACC has come to be perceived as insensitive, difficult to deal...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Lessons to be learned from police investigation
    The outcome of the so-called Roast Busters case should not put victims off reporting sexual crimes, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “This case has been mishandled from the start. Within days of police initially saying no charges had...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Anti-worker legislation is anti-Pacifica
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga, will go down in history as being part of a Government that harmed his own people through anti-worker legislation, says Labour’s Pacific Island Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio.  “Pacific people are among...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Five-year tax holiday for overseas tax dodgers
    National has just gifted a five-year tax holiday for foreign companies dodging their tax payments, says Revenue spokesperson David Clark. “Todd McClay has pretended he is doing something about overseas companies dodging their tax duties by joining an international initiative...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Traffic Jam Tax must be given the red light
    Auckland Council’s proposed Traffic Jam Tax could cost some households thousands of dollars a year just to use roads they had already paid for with their taxes and must be rejected, says Labour’s transport and Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford....
    Labour | 29-10
  • National has chance to show leadership on limos
    The National Party has the opportunity to show leadership by transitioning our vehicle fleet towards renewable electricity when a new contract to supply Government limousines for VIPs goes to tender next month, the Green Party said today. "This is a...
    Greens | 29-10
  • The Māori Party can’t have it both ways over labour laws
    The Māori Party has to fess up over its voting record on the Employment Relations Amendment Bill, says Labour’s Māori Caucus.  “It’s simply not good enough to oppose the bill at the same time  as they helped speed up its progress through...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Equal pay and the aged care sector
    Today the High Court upheld the historic ruling by the Employment Court that our Equal Pay Act could be used to consider work of equal value cases; the government has been telling the UN and ILO that it could for...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Court case perfect opportunity for Government to improve gender pay gap
    If the Government wants to halt New Zealand’s slump in international rankings on the gender pay gap it should act on the court finding that women deserve equal wages, Labour’s Women’s Affairs spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “The World Economic Forum’s...
    Labour | 28-10
  • All Auckland transport options should be considered
    All options for meeting Auckland's transport needs should be considered, including reprioritising the transport budget away from wasteful spending on motorways, the Green Party said today.Auckland mayor Len Brown is today releasing a transport report by the Independent Advisory Board,...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Another report highlights Govt failure on child poverty
    An international report measuring the impact of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) on child poverty rates, showing children in New Zealand have done worse than children in other countries, is further proof the Government needs to urgently take additional steps...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Child poverty: No more wake-up calls
    A new report which shows the National Government has made no inroads whatsoever into child poverty should do more than just set alarm bells ringing, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “UNICEF’s  latest Innocenti Report Card highlights the fact...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Eugenie Sage speaks in the 2014 Address in Reply Debate
    I congratulate you, Assistant Speaker Mallard, as Assistant Speaker and look forward to your knowledge, your fairness, and your light touch in being a referee of proceedings in this House. I congratulate also the other Assistant Speaker, Lindsay Tisch; the...
    Greens | 28-10
  • James Shaw’s Maiden Speech
    Tena Koe, Mr Speaker. I would like to take this opportunity to speak a little of the past, the present and the future. The privilege to serve in this Parliament was given to me by all those who gave their...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Govt airs real views on public broadcasting
    An admission by the Government that it is happy to experiment with Pacific and Maori audiences shows just how weak its vision for public broadcasting in New Zealand is, Labour’s Broadcasting spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. “National today admitted it doesn’t...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Does Judith Collins have a get out of jail card?
    Former justice minister Judith Collins appears to have been gifted a get out of jail free card based on the Prime Minister’s answers in Parliament today, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “Judith Collins claimed in an Official Information...
    Labour | 28-10
  • The Final Fifth: The Last Great Task for Progressive New Zealand.
    MOST OF NEW ZEALAND’S social problems are concentrated among those living at the margins of what is otherwise a relatively wealthy society. Recently released international data on child poverty has exposed an acutely stressed social strata encompassing roughly 20 percent...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • Myth Busting Rape Boasters
    In just one week a case that galvanised a nation into discussing rape culture is now being reframed as mischievous teen hi-jinx. One year ago the Roast Busters case came to the attention of the media and the public. This...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • Workers rights weakened by new laws – fightback needed
    The government’s changes to the employment laws are designed to weaken workers bargaining power – at both the individual and collective level.   30-day rule The old law required an employer with a collective agreement in place to employ new...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Simon Buckingham – Where are Labour Candidates on disability?
    For the few people who know me (hello Mum), I am proudly New Zealand’s first Autistic Spectrum Lawyer, as well as being the very bottom Candidate on the Labour Party List. (64 out of 64). Being honoured like this is...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Blockade the Budget
    The ‘Independent’ Police Conduct Authority’s report into the policing of student protests in 2012 is a whitewash The report released by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is a whitewash riddled with inaccuracies....
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • When National claim new anti worker laws provide ‘flexibility’ they mea...
    And so it comes to pass. The first law National ram through as part of their victory march are new anti worker laws they pretend will generate ‘flexibility’. The new law denigrate the unions ability to protect workers and provide...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • City Transport: A Taxing Matter
    This week the prospect of paying tolls on Auckland motorways became a hot topic. (See Mathew Dearnaley:Motorway tolling could hit some hard, NZ Herald, 30 Oct 2014.) As we might expect, the kneejerk response has been quite negative. But, as with...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Open Letter to Amy Adams: Please Reopen The Review Into Sexual Violence Cou...
    Ms Amy Adams, Justice and Courts Minister, Right now in this country it seems that although rape is illegal, it is not being prevented by the agents who uphold the law. It almost feels like rape is only illegal on paper,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Things That Make You Go Hmmmmmmm
    Every so often in politics, a public figure comes out with something so absurd and so outlandish … that it really does just make you go “Hmmmmmmmmmm”. We’re accustomed to this from certain quarters – by mid point through the...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Poverty & inequality don’t need protest marches – they need a riot:...
    The global level of inequality continues to skyrocket… Number of billionaires doubled since financial crisis The number of billionaires has doubled since the start of the financial crisis, according to a major new report from anti-poverty campaigners. According to Oxfam,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • If Key knows who Rawshark is…
    I’m sorry, what? John Key ‘given Rawshark’s name’The Prime Minister believes he knows who hacked Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater’s computer and produced the source material for Nicky Hager’s Dirty Politics, according to a new edition of a recently published...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Child Poverty stats in NZ
    Child Poverty stats in NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Crimes Act + Police Investigation = WTF
    Just to frame the farce that is the Roastbuster’s investigation and conclusion – here are the parts of the Crime Act http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1961/0043/latest/whole.html#DLM329057  the Roastbusters are proven to have violated – that the police (and some suspects!) themselves acknowledge occurred: Crimes...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Publishing Journalists’ Home Addresses Is A Tactic Of The Right, Not The ...
    I think I’m starting to get rather annoyed with the conduct of some pro-MANA people over this ongoing Parliamentary Services crew complement issue. Yes, we get that there are legitimate issues to be raised with how some political reporters in...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Aucklanders caught between a tarseal-addicted government and a weak mayor
    Len Brown’s proposal for motorway tolls to reduce congestion and provide funding for better public transport is a weak response to a critical issue. The $12 billion dollar shortfall on transport funding he talks about is mainly for projected new...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • A Very Weird Story: Deconstructing Darren Aronofsky’s Noah.
    NOAH is a curious movie. Conceived as a biblical epic, it’s target audience was originally the millions of Americans who regard the Bible as God’s inerrant word. With the sin-filled works of Hollywood forbidden to these true-believers, Christian movie-makers have developed...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • You Can Get Away With Rape In New Zealand
    Jessie Hume with last years petition against rape     The police have sent a strong message today.  In fact they’ve been sending a strong message for a while; a message that our government supports. “You can literally get away...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Roast Buster case – no charges. In the immortal words of NWA…
    Roast Busters case: No prosecutions Police are to make an announcement this afternoon on Operation Clover, the investigation into the “Roast Busters” allegations. The Herald understands the victim has been told that the alleged offenders will not be prosecuted due...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Key’s flag change distraction to cost $26million!
    No. Way. Bid to change NZ flag to cost millions The cost of holding two referendums and consulting on a change of flag has been estimated to be just under $26 million. Look. We all appreciate that the sleepy hobbits...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Why NZ Herald’s Labour Party crocodile tears are so audacious
    The front page the NZ Herald would use if they thought they could get away with it No one can take the recent columns by NZ Herald seriously… John Armstrong: Shadow lingers on National John Roughan: Labour’s leadership vote matters...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • The beginning of the end of Cameron Slater?
    Slater postings on man bizarre, court told A businessman has changed his appearance and had to install extra security at his home after Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater posted his business and personal documents online, he says. Mr Slater has...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • We are a milk power republic and Fonterra our unelected senate
    Wow. Just wow… Deputy mayor says he’ll be sacked South Taranaki deputy mayor Alex Ballantyne says he expects to be sacked because he has spoken out about the impact gasses coming from dumped Fonterra dairy products have had on his...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: “…But *actually* this is about ethics in political-game jo...
    Yesterday, a piece of mine on the recent revelations about Hone Harawira employing several gentlemen either accused or convicted of sex offences was published on The Daily Blog. Predictably, given the fierce loyalty which Hone inspires in his party faithful and...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Privilege cheque
    There was no race problem in my childhood. Living in central Wellington I was well-insulated from what was going on not so far away. This was the 60s and 70s, where the teachers enjoyed free love in the staff room...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • A brief word on Key’s claim that it will be raining carnage
    Isis will ‘rain carnage on the world’ – John Key Left unchecked Isis would “rain carnage on the world”, Prime Minister John Key says, but he has yet to make a decision on whether New Zealand troops will join a...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Meanwhile…
    ...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • How does Andrew Little win Labour Leadership and unify the caucus?
    Audrey Young’s excellent column on how the Caucus vote  is shaping up shows how Andrew Little becomes the next leader of the Labour Party. She identifies the factions as the following… Andrew Little 6: Andrew Little, David Cunliffe, Iain Lees Galloway,...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Joe Trinder – Right of response to Curwen
    You have asked that Hone Harawira deserves to explain what happened, how would he explain when his next door neighbour is an alleged sex offender. What explanation can Hone offer he wasn’t involved, Hone had no idea this offending was...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: That Hella-Weird Feeling When You Defend Tova O’Brien
    Oh dear. Yesterday morning I blogged that Hone deserved a chance to explain what exactly had happened as applies his office’s Parliamentary Services crew complement – and, importantly, that we deserve to be able to judge him on the strength of...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Canadian Green MP warns against harsh anti-terror measures
    Canada’s Green Party has provided a welcome counterpoint to Prime Minister Harper’s call for tougher anti-terrorism laws in the wake of a soldier outside the Canadian Parliament. On October 22, while she was still locked in her parliamentary office, Green...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • When is an asset sale not an asset sale? When it robs from the poor and ste...
    National have turned state housing on its head. At no time during the 2014 election did the Key Government even hint that they were going to privatise 30% of the Housing NZ stock of state homes. Not once. Key even...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part To...
    . . Continued from: Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Rua) . Bill English comes clean on National’s intentions for HNZ privatisation . On 14 October, in a report on The Daily Blog, I wrote, In...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • The Questions Have Been Asked – They Deserve An Answer
    A few days ago, allegations that had been percolating for some time about Hone Harawira employing three either accused or convicted sex offenders on his Parliamentary pay-roll came to light. (one imprisoned before working for MANA; one who found himself convicted and...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • I have seen one future, and it is bleak
    . . Back in  March 2012, I wrote this story regarding a march to support striking workers at Ports of Auckland. It appears there was some prescience about some of my observations at the time… . | | 18 March...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • US air strike war Key wants us in has killed a civilian a day so far
      The US air strike war that John Key wants us to join has killed a civilian a day so far. From the Washington Post... The United States launched its first airstrikes on militants in Syria on Sept. 23, and has continued...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • The instant Jihad syndrome
    My favourite new term is ‘self-radicalised’ – it suggests the reasons for terrorism are totally divorced from the actions of the West. This need to suddenly ramp up terror laws because of lone wolf, self-radicalised Jihadists seems convenient and counter-productive....
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • We have nothing to fear from Ebola but fear itself
    I suspect most Americans perceive Ebola like this   I can’t work out if the fear being spread within the media about Ebola is deliberate or just ignorance. Yes Ebola is a terrible plague that kills a large percentage of...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – “Meritocracy? I wish.”
    I’d like to start by linking to a post I had published at another site in support of Nanaia Mahuta for the Labour Party leadership election.  She has a reasonable chance, given that she already has the endorsement of Te...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Chocolate milk shortage and creepy Santa? Let’s talk about real news
    Child poverty is still a scarily serious problem in this country and house prices are soaring through the roof to the point where it is simply impossible for the average New Zealander to buy a home. There is also little...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • It’s time to celebrate Kiwi schools and teachers
    Some would have you believe that New Zealand’s schools are in a state of collapse, that your children are not being educated well and that things are going to hell in a hand basket.  That there is no innovation, no...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Ideological Blitzkrieg – Privatization of state housing, more charter sch...
    Pundits in pundit land will tell you that this Government is boring, that Key is the great pragmatist and that it is his ability to create elegant solutions that keeps him the firm favourite in many Kiwi eyes. This ability...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • Hegemony rules but resistance is fertile
    The Prime Minister is a puppet. Not just our current Prime Minister, but given the forces of multinational globalisation, the role of any head of state, is less as independent actor, and more as a puppet of international trends and...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • An open Letter to Sir Bob Jones: demanding a ‘liveable wage’ is not “...
    How out of touch with reality is Sir Bob Jones? You know, that white dude who invested in privatised SOEs after the selling off of our assets in the eighties and made a ludicrous and disgusting amount of money and is...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • My insecurity about the Security Council
    As I write this (on 24 October) it is international UN Day. Of course, you all knew that already, right? Well, the day celebrates the entry into force of the UN Charter in 1945. With the ratification of this founding...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Catherine Delahunty – Back in That House
    Parliament opened this week and I still find it a very odd place. Most of the people are reasonably courteous and friendly, but the rituals are archaic and the rules around issues like the swearing in oath are oppressive and...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Marae Investigates No More
    TVNZ yesterday announced the closure of their Māori and Pacific programmes department. That means they’ve chosen to stop making Fresh, Tagata Pasifika, Waka Huia and Marae Investigates to let independent producers get their hands on these lucrative contracts. This is...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • BLOGWATCH: An Un-Civil War in Labour, eh?
    Earlier today, my attention was directed to an entry that’s just recently appeared on the Slightly Left of Centre blog. It purports to contain the ‘inside word’ from a highly placed NZF source – which is funny, because I’m pretty sure...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Santanomics 101
    Santanomics could mean a number of things. It could be the study and practice of giving. Or it could mean the study and practice of rampant end-of-year commercialism. However, for me today it is the economics of erectingAuckland’s giant Santa...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • SkyCity boss misleads public over workers lost shifts
    SkyCity CEO Nigel Morrison has defended the employment practices at his company in an “Opinion” piece entitled “Human Capital key to corporate success” in the NZ Herald on Thursday. A number of his claims are misleading, contain only partial truths...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Patrick Gower interviews Social Housing Minister
    Bennett says National could sell off “thousands” of state houses but Housing NZ will still be the “dominant force” in providing social housing in NZ....
    Scoop politics | 01-11
  • The Nation: Lisa Owen interviews Mike Moore & Chris Liddell
    Lisa Owen interviews NZ Ambassador to the US Mike Moore and corporate high-flyer Chris Liddell about the US midterm elections....
    Scoop politics | 01-11
  • David Parker event – the future of work, Sun 2 Nov
    Labour leadership candidate David Parker, an experienced lawyer and businessman as well as a former senior government cabinet minister in the Helen Clark Government, will join three prominent New Zealanders in a panel discussion on Sunday to address...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Roast Busters: Turn Indignation into Action
    People raged about the Roast Buster case. The indignation was justified – it was horrible. “Where were their parents!?” Fair question. I am sure the Roast Busters’ parents and the victims’ parents all wish they had been more proactive in...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Stats NZ only have themselves to blame for postponement
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says Statistics NZ only have themselves to blame for the indefinite postponement of the release of the Food Price Index: November 2014....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • NZ Diversity Survey – benchmarking workplace diversity
    AUT University’s New Zealand Work Research Institute (NZWRI) has released a report on diversity in New Zealand workplaces....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Māori Language (Te Reo Māori) Bill
    Tutehounuku Korako, Chair of the Māori Affairs Committee, is inviting further public submissions on this bill. The closing date for submissions is Friday, 5 December 2014....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • ERA amendments a mixed bag
    The Employment Relations Amendment Act has the potential to put vulnerable workers in a more precarious position, says Equal Opportunities Commissioner, Dr Jackie Blue. However, the commissioner says the right for all to request flexible work hours is...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Sensible Sentencing calls for appeal of judicial activivism
    The Sensible Sentencing Trust is appalled that Justice Jill Mallon has today refused to apply the Life without Parole (LWOP) provisions of the Three Strikes law as enacted by Parliament....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Global Rally against ISIS – for Kobanê – for Humanity, Nov 1
    The New Zealand Kurdish Community will march in solidarity with Kurdistan as part of the “GLOBAL RALLY AGAINST ISIS – FOR KOBANÊ – FOR HUMANITY” on 1 November 2014, 2pm....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Safer roads are better for everyone
    Recent pedestrian versus vehicle incidents highlight the real issues being addressed by delegates as the 2Walk and Cycle conference concludes....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Law change creates more flexible labour market
    The Employment Relations Amendment Act, passed yesterday, will bring new flexibility to the labour market and will reduce the ability of unions to organise and to recruit....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Bumper ANZ profits mean no excuse for insecure hours
    A big rise in profits at New Zealand's largest bank needs to be reflected in a better pay offer and more security around hours of work, the bank workers’ union said today....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Count down to lowered alcohol limit
    With just a month to go until a new lower alcohol limit for adult drivers comes into effect, Police and road safety agencies are reminding drivers of the impending change....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • WorkSafe Supports Forestry Review Findings
    WorkSafe NZ says the Independent Forestry Safety Review has clearly identified the problems facing an industry in which ten workers were killed last year. “The Review’s analysis matches our own view and leaves no doubt about the need for comprehensive,...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CTU welcomes forestry review recommendations
    The CTU is welcoming the today's release of the independent forestry safety review panel findings. "These recommendations must be implemented to ensure that everything possible is done to make forestry safer." CTU President, Helen Kelly said....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Activists will confront animal abusers
    Today animal rights activists will confront a group of wealth advisers who want to build the biggest egg factory-farm in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Turia: Women’s Refuge Conference 2014
    This is a milestone moment in my life. This will be my last official address as Co-leader of the Maori Party. On Saturday night at our Hui-a-Tau, I will be standing down from that role and enabling a new co-leader,...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rodeo Code of Welfare ‘Sick Joke’
    Animal advocacy organisation SAFE says the revised Code of Welfare for Rodeos just released is nothing but a sick joke. “Rodeo animals are goaded, tormented and forced to endure needless suffering and gross mistreatment, all for the sake of so-called...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Conservative Party applauds binding referenda on flag
    The Conservative Party are congratulating the Government on the decision to hold two binding referendums to decide the fate of New Zealand’s flag – and believes it will pave the way for binding referenda to form part of New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Walk the Talk – Opposing violence against women
    Soroptimist International of Auckland have organised a walk on 22 November from Silo Park at the Wynyard Quarter through the Viaduct and back to Silo Park, to show their opposition to violence against women. This event hopes to raise awareness...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Recommendations on the Design of Pecuniary Penalties
    The Law Commission has reviewed the use of pecuniary penalties as a regulatory tool. Pecuniary penalties are financial penalties that policymakers are increasingly opting to use in place of criminal sanctions in order to punish and deter misconduct in...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Every worker will be affected by employment law changes
    Every worker will feel the effects of the government’s new employment laws and should join a union if they want to maintain and increase their wages and conditions, says New Zealand’s largest private sector union, the EPMU....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Shameful attack on all workers
    The Government has passed the Employment Relations Amendment Act slashing the rights of all Kiwi workers. “These changes are shameful. New Zealand now has some of the worst employment protections in the OECD. It is embarrassing that a country which...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Unnecessary law changes more to do with ideology
    The government’s employment law changes are simply ideological and are at odds with its approach in the related areas of health and safety and immigration law, FIRST Union said tonight....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CTU Runanga calls on iwi leaders
    Maori workers are calling on iwi leaders to speak out against the employment law changes expected to go through today. “Iwi leaders have previously spoken out when workers in Aotearoa have been under attack, we believe they should do so...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Educating children not the best solution to alcohol harm
    Alcohol Healthwatch says we need to look beyond educating children and young people to address deeply embedded attitudes and behaviours concerning alcohol....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • New code of welfare for rodeos released
    New standards to strengthen the animal welfare requirements for rodeos have been issued today by the Minister for Primary Industries, Nathan Guy....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • IPCA report riddle with inaccuracies, say students
    A report by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is riddled with inaccuracies, say students who laid the original complaint with the IPCA....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CT v The Queen – indecency convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rameka v The Queen – murder convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Auckland Council Out of Control
    Responding to the NZ Herald article that some Auckland households will face a rates rise of up to 9.6 per cent next year, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “Len Brown’s pledge to cap rates rises at 2.5 per...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Stats NZ staff escalate action with ‘no more meetings’ rule
    Statistics NZ staff have voted to escalate their ongoing industrial action in an effort to get Stats NZ back to the bargaining table with a reasonable offer. The staff, who are members of the Public Service Association (PSA), have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Rape Crisis calls for changes to criminal justice system
    Wellington Rape Crisis has added its voice to the public outcry following the announcement that there will be no charges in the teen rape gang case. Butterworth says the decision not to lay charges will not have been a surprise...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Police action justified in Blockade the Budget demonstration
    Police actions in dealing with a demonstration in Central Auckland known as Blockade the Budget on 1 June 2012 were justified and appropriate, an Independent Police Conduct Authority report released today found....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • NZDF Joins with Australia to Commemorate WWI Centenary
    A contingent of New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel will join their Australian counterparts at Australia’s first major commemoration of the First World War centenary in Albany, Western Australia this weekend....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Reserve Bank should reduce interest rate
    “The Reserve Bank should be reducing its policy interest rate, the OCR”, says CTU Economist Bill Rosenberg in response to the Bank’s announcement today that it is not increasing it....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • 2015 Stout Fellow will write about Māori & Criminal Justice
    Kim Workman, founder and advocate for the Robson Hanan Trust, which administers the Rethinking Crime and Punishment and Justspeak initiatives, has been awarded the 2015 John David Stout Fellowship at Victoria University....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • What John Key thought about ‘dirty politics’
    On September 20, John Key swept to victory to become one of New Zealand’s most successful and popular Prime Ministers. Rocked by scandal, the 2014 election campaign was one of the most brutal – and riveting – in recent history....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Trade Deal Threatens Farmers and Food Businesses
    The secret Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations are a direct threat to food businesses and farmers, and a moratorium on the release of GE crops must be enshrined in law before the TPP is signed....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • CTU announces election of new Secretary
    The contested election for the position of CTU Secretary has been won by Sam Huggard. Sam officially takes office on Monday 1 December 2014. Sam has worked in the union movement and brings a wealth of experience and a commitment...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kim Workman awarded 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship
    The Victoria University of Wellington 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship, funded by the Stout Trust, has been awarded to justice reform advocate Kim Workman. Mr Workman (Ngati Kahungungu ki Wairarapa, Rangitaane) is well known for his work on criminal justice,...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • TPPA causing concern
    Concern over the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) negotiations is being expressed in two public meetings over the next week; one at a presentation on 5th November by former councillor Robin Gwynn to the Napier City Council, the...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kiwis rally to demand justice for ‘Roast Buster’ survivors
    Over 1,500 kiwis have rallied to demand justice after the announcement of the NZ Police decision not to lay charges in the ‘Roast Busters’ saga....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • New employment law will hurt the most vulnerable NZers
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says changes to the Employment Relations Act, expected to be passed in Parliament tonight, will hurt vulnerable workers and their families more than anyone....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Consultation to close on proposed place names
    The New Zealand Geographic Board (NZGB) Ngā Pou Taunaha o Aotearoa today advised that only one month remains before public consultation closes for 18 name proposals for geographic features and places around Te Ika ā Māui (the North Island)....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Operation Clover – Statement from Police Commissioner
    I have taken a close interest in this investigation and I am confident police have conducted a thorough and professional enquiry in what has been a challenging and complex case. The Operation Clover team has ensured that victims have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Better policy would have protected children from recession
    Child Poverty Action Group says an international report released by UNICEF today shows good policy can protect and improve child well-being, even during a recession....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Outcome of Operation Clover investigation
    Police have completed a multi-agency investigation, Operation Clover, into the activities of a group calling themselves “The Roast Busters”. The 12 month enquiry focused on incidents involving allegations of sexual offending against a number of girls...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
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