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Open mike 25/02/2010

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, February 25th, 2010 - 18 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post.

It’s open for discussing topics of interest, making announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

Comment on whatever takes your fancy.

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

Step right up to the mike…

18 comments on “Open mike 25/02/2010”

  1. Jenny 1

    “Right now there’s a revolution in local government, arguably the biggest development since the big bang of 1989.”
    Don Nicolson, president of Federated Farmers, to the Local Government New Zealand Rural and Provincial Group, 18 February 2010

    With the rise in GST to 15% tied to income tax cuts, the wealthy are succeeding, with the help of their right wing friends in parliament, to transfer the central tax burden away from themselves and onto the rest of the community.

    After this ongoing success at central government level, the battle ground for neo liberal restructuring and deregulation of the economy, is now set to move on to the local government level.

    Hoping to take the advantage of Rodney Hide’s enforced amalgamation and centralisation, of councils. Right wing business lobby group, Federated Farmers are lobbying government and the new “Super” councils themselves to be able to impose a Maggie Thatcher type poll tax, which they call a “Residents Tax”, coupled with a complete, yes complete, abolishment of property rates.

    The Fed President calls this reorganisation, part of the change in the three Fs for councils.

    “Form, Function, Funding.”

    Now that the Form and Function of councils is well under way.
    And considering the domination of new Super Councils by the Right, a fore gone conclusion, Don Nicolson says, “I do look forward to taking this third ‘F’ out of the shadows and into the light
    of day.”

    http://WWW.FEDFARM.ORG.NZ/n1912.html

    If they are successful the Feds and other right wing political lobbyists, seek to to transfer the cost of this huge rates cut for themselves and their rich business mates, by imposing a poll tax on every single adult, including pensioners and the disabled. Quoting from a speech by Federation’s President, Don Nicolson, they want a Residents Tax, “That includes beneficiaries too.”

    From Nicolson’s speech:

    “We want local government to get its tax income from every resident and not just
    those who are considered to be ‘landed’.

    The ‘landed’ should not be expected to subsidise the rest of the community as a
    result of a theoretical value placed on their property.

    Our future must be one where everyone pays for activities where everyone
    benefits equally – perhaps through a fixed charge on every adult resident.

    I believe if it looks like a tax, feels like a tax and impacts your wallet like
    a tax, then let’s stop calling it rates. Let’s call a spade a spade.

    A Residents’ Tax is our preferred outcome as it impacts 100 percent not just 64
    percent. Our starting point is that every adult should pay a Residents’ Tax.
    Handing over your hard-earned money to a local council changes the
    psychological stake you have in a community. That includes beneficiaries too.
    Building community wellbeing starts with having an investment in a place. That
    place being your community.”

    As well as a poll tax the Feds are demanding much more user pays for council services.

    The not quite overt message from Federated Farmers, is that the bulk of the urban and rural working poor are bludgers on the farm and business owners.

    As race and class are often very much intertwined you can detect the silent dog whistle behind these statements.

    Further from the Feds statement.

    “While local government has been modernised in many ways – it continues to rely
    for a large part of its income on rates based on property value. A Victorian
    notion of the landed class.

    Although councils have tools to reduce their reliance on these rates, such as
    user charges and uniform per property charges, the value of property remains
    key to allocating the cost of a council onto its community.

    Despite a growing use of targeted rates and the continued use of differentials
    by some councils, any funding system that is reliant upon property values
    places a disproportionate burden on those who either have valuable land or land
    intensive businesses.”

    • prism 1.1

      It seems that there is a desire to undermine and circumvent the established democratic processes by right wingers. Particularly came to my notice from the time of right wing Labour such as Douglas et al. Every time right wingers are elected they find a new way to strip process away from the people, and give it to this small elite band of mostly, men.
      Their accumulation of wealth, certainty that its acquisition gives them superior vision, and constant focus on gaining control over public assets to advance that vision, makes them less active citizens than crafty thieves in a position to change the laws to turn their crimes into appearing as creating public good.

      The latest ‘crime’ is calling urgency all the time on bills which mean that the policy is not properly scrutinised and analysed.
      This is really serious attack on our style of government and shows the need for some body to stop such behaviour.

      • gitmo 1.1.1

        Um China, Cuba, North Korea, Venezuela………… gotta love em right wingers circumventing the democratic processes.

        Get real we haven’t had anything apart for social democrat type govts in NZ for a very very long time.

    • Draco T Bastard 1.2

      To be honest, I don’t have a problem with everyone paying a tax (rates). Just set it at ~3% of income for every address you live at and house you own and it should be good. Prevents people who are temporarily in the doldrums from losing their homes and is likely to return more to the councils who actually need it. Council services should be free and land taxes should still exist. The deed to owning a property should become a lease.

      I’m pretty sure that the Fed Farmers will be screaming blue murder if you tried that though.

  2. Jenny 2

    Oops posted twice.

  3. prism 3

    TVs Rick Ellis says that NZs have an “almost unique appetite for local content” .
    WTF Do the USA like to watch their programs, Brits and Canadians seem to have an active film/tv business. The lack of appetite for supporting the making of our own television is a dumbing down of our country by those who only know about using the goods to make a profit. That’s not encouraging to the minority bright lights thinking and showing interesting things about us to us.
    When I was overseas in the 70s I noticed that only Switzerland mainly relied on overseas material but I think they were unique in that as in other things.

  4. prism 4

    Quote from Jenny’s blog – The ‘landed’ should not be expected to subsidise the rest of the community as a result of a theoretical value placed on their property.

    It is a fact that the value is adjusted regularly and can be questioned, and revalued, and is a fair assessment of the asset value, it isn’t some airy fairy amount not connected with reality. When you buy a property, the valuation forms the basis for the amount paid. You buy the property that is within your income level. Everybody contributes to the rating system through their habitation. Renters pay in their rent to the landlord, and the landlord pays the rates. The idea that some people are having a rates holiday is faulty and a convenient myth to gripe about. Possibly the truth is only those sleeping rough are not contributing.

    The present rating system is a good one, but needs some extra levers. Farmers tend to complain about the rates they pay. It seems the bigger they are the more complaints.

    • gitmo 4.1

      The present rating system is a bogus load of cak – increases year on year on year for little or no increase in services.

      • Lanthanide 4.1.1

        Yeah, because guess what, things get more expensive every year to run at the same level! It’s called inflation, as well as people wanting higher wages.

        If you want your rates to be frozen, expect to receive fewer and worse services as time goes on.

        Duh.

        • gitmo 4.1.1.1

          I do receive fewer and worse services each year but the rates continue to increase ….. duh de duh duh !

          • Draco T Bastard 4.1.1.1.1

            Ever consider that that might be because the rates aren’t increasing enough to cover increasing expenses?

      • Armchair Critic 4.1.2

        Once the services currently provided by local govt. are privatised the costs will do pretty much the same thing, increasing year on year, and individuals will have even less say about the practices of their monoploy service provider.

  5. BLiP 6

    Government PR printed as fact in the New Zealand Fox News Herald

    At the top of the Government’s agenda is the Injury Prevention, Rehabilitation and Compensation Amendment Bill, which cuts some ACC entitlements and raises levies, although by only half the amount that would have been enforced if the legislation had not been drafted.

    No mention of the fact that the figures are bullshit and no mention of the fact that the name of the legislation has been changed so as to eliminate the words “prevention” and “rehabilitation”. Fuckers.

  6. OK, I’ll say it, I’m pissed off. Why did the Standard mangle my blog name?

    At the moment I’m working on a new look of my blog and in my search for inspiration I decided to check the code behind blogs I like and one of those blogs is the Standard. To my surprise I found a link purporting to link to my blog but when I looked for my blog in the blog roll I could not find it. What I did find was a part of my name and sure enough when I clicked it I was linked through to my blog.

    Here is a combined screen dump of both the site and the source code:

    I was a tat befuddled about this and decided to check if this was a policy of the Standard in order to perhaps better manage the blogroll size but no, every other name with the exception of the CAFCA blog had their entire name mentioned.

    Now CAFCA or watchblog – the online tool for the Campaign Against Foreign Control of Aotearoa as it is officially named is generally known by its acronym so that makes sense but no other blog had their name changed or mangled beyond recognisability. So no Curmudgeon for The Irascible Curmudgeon or Idle fellow for Idle Thoughts of an Idle Fellow, Highway one for Born on state highway one, hell even Auckland Transport blog had their whole name mentioned. Every blog except mine had their whole name mentioned and was properly linked to their blog and that is how it should be.

    So why was the name of my blog mangled to the point of being unrecognisable? I can only come up with one thing but what a childish thing that would be.

    When I started commenting on the Standard I was almost without exception ridiculed for my opinions about the events of 911 and the international banking world to which I contented John Key belonged. In fact I was almost banned for doing so and only the opinions of a few of their steady readers kept them from banning me at that time.

    Times and some of the authors have changed and I no longer am the house nutter. In fact more and more readers of the Standards seem to openly doubt the official version of the 911 events and it seems to me that with linking to my blog even with the mangled name the Standard has made a kneefall and is acknowledging the validity of my blog and that can only be a good thing.

    After all I work hard to bring alternative information to my readers and I do so with the greatest integrity and dedication. You may not like the information I gather and in fact you may think I’m nuts but there you have it. Take it or leave it and it seems the Standard (and not the Dard or the Stand) or some of it’s authors have decided to take it.

    But… and that is a big but it seems that the Standardistas (as the Standard authors point out they are a collective) do not want to wholeheartedly admit to doing so and as far as I’m concerned they are breaking a rule that I take very seriously: Thou shall not mangle another blogs name in order to have your cake and eat it too.

    In other words if my blog is worth linking to it is worth linking to with its full name. Just like every other blog the site links too. If you can’t be bothered to do so then kindly take my mangled name of you blogroll.

    Although to do so now would be incredibly petty so come on guys, I work hard for my blog so why not give me the recognition the link suggests you think I deserve.

    [lprent: I was asked to reactivate the CAFCA blog (which has been sitting on private for a long time) last friday whilst at the pub. I still haven't plugged in the other site that was requested at the same time. At some point in the last few years I'd have turned off the site because it was moribund. There is post that I wrote last night which was telling people that I was about to do a sweep... Send me a e-mail via the contact-us page with the correct details and I'll fix it. ]

  7. Couldn’t you have just emailed the sysop politely asking for the full name to be used instead of cut and pasting your latest lengthy, rambling and paranoid blog entry? The real error seems to me that you are in the left blogs section. Surely there must be a seperate section for moon landing denialists, flat earthers and Elvis spotters you’d be more comfortable in?

    ‘Times and some of the authors have changed and I no longer am the house nutter.’

    Don’t sell yourself short, Trav.

  8. You are correct Jenny, Certainly lets be wary of the FF . Lets remember that they have always supported low wages for people who work for them .Have supported a low mininum wage for others .With their smart accountants they have for years dodged paying their fair share of tax. I well remember one FF member boasting that”:The day I pay tax is the day I sack my accountant.”
    Yet sent his sons to state schools and used the public health system .
    They were very welll organized in the last election and were bringing their families and employees in to the booths by the hundred, Although why farm workers would vote ACT /Nat beats me.

  9. George.com 10

    The speech John Key should have delivered as his maiden speech as PM.

    “Mr Speaker, I rise today as leader of the newly elected National Government to announce that during my term as Prime Minister I will maintain an unrelenting focus on dismissing cabinet ministers…”

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    Kiwis are still paying too much for ACC so that the National Government can balance its books, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. “ACC Minister Judith Collins told Cabinet levies were too high but ACC’s proposed cuts would impact the...
    Labour | 21-04
  • Collins’ memory recovery raises further concerns
    Judith Collins sudden memory of briefing the New Zealand Ambassador to China about her dinner with a Chinese border official and her husband's fellow Oravida directors raises further concerns about exactly what was discussed, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. "This...
    Labour | 21-04
  • MP to attend progressive politics conference
    Labour MP Grant Robertson will attend the Progressive Governance conference in Amsterdam later this week. “This conference brings together Social Democratic parties from around the world to discuss how progressive politics should work in the post global financial crisis environment....
    Labour | 20-04
  • Storm fans fire service commitment
    Further damage from the huge storm that battered the West Coast was prevented by the great work of our volunteer Fire Service and locals will be extremely grateful, Labour’s MP for West Coast-Tasman Damien O’Connor says. “Our region has been...
    Labour | 19-04
  • Time for Ryall to fix mistakes and help families
    Families who won a long and lengthy Court battle for financial help to support their disabled daughters and sons are now facing a new battle with health system bureaucracy and need the Health Minister's help, Labour's Disability Issues spokesperson Ruth...
    Labour | 18-04
  • Time for greater ministerial accountability
    The Green Party has today released a proposal to introduce a ministerial disclosure regime in New Zealand to improve the transparency and accountability of government.The proposal, based on the system used in the United Kingdom since 2010, would require all...
    Greens | 18-04
  • Power prices soar on the eve of winter
    On the eve of winter as New Zealanders are turning on their heaters, power prices have soared sky high, Labour’s Energy spokesperson David Shearer says. “Energy Minster Simon Bridges claimed in Parliament that prices were estimated to rise 2.4 per...
    Labour | 18-04
  • Workers can kiss goodbye to Easter Sunday off
    The Government’s decision to “reprioritise” scarce labour inspector resources by abandoning the enforcement of Easter Sunday Shop Trading laws means workers can kiss goodbye to a guaranteed day off, says Labour’s Associate Labour Issues spokesperson Darien Fenton. “The Labour Minister...
    Labour | 18-04
  • Businesses need to respect workers this Easter
    Businesses intent on flouting Easter shopping laws should face stiff penalties, Green Party industrial relations spokesperson Denise Roche said today. This Easter, at least one major garden centre chain intends to open on Good Friday despite this being in breach...
    Greens | 17-04
  • Time to deliver on 26 weeks Paid Parental Leave
    Today marks two years since Labour MP Sue Moroney's Bill extending paid parental leave to 26 weeks was drawn from the members' ballot. “It’s time the Government acted in the interests of families,” Sue Moroney says. “National has tried every...
    Labour | 17-04
  • Taxpayers robbed of $130m in Genesis sale
    Kiwi taxpayers have been robbed of $130 million by the Government in its final failed asset sale, says Labour’s SOEs spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove. “National set the price for Genesis far too low in a desperate attempt to beef up demand....
    Labour | 17-04
  • Work visa problems need monitoring
    The Government is handing out temporary work visas to migrants to work in jobs that could easily be filled by unemployed Kiwi workers in the Christchurch rebuild, says Darien Fenton, Labour’s Associate Immigration spokesperson. “In the past 12 months, temporary...
    Labour | 17-04
  • Resignation rates among cops soar
    The number of frontline officers quitting the police force is at a four-year high, with more than 350 walking off the job in the past year, Labour’s Police spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. “Since 2009 resignation rates among sworn staff have...
    Labour | 17-04
  • Service for victims of sexual violence pushed out in cold
    The Green Party is calling on Housing New Zealand to revisit its decision to evict an essential community organisation in Christchurch with only eight weeks notice.Yesterday at the Select Committee inquiry into funding for sexual violence support services the organisation...
    Greens | 17-04
  • Legal high ban worthy of wider pick-up
    Auckland Council’s ban on using legal highs in a public place is an excellent idea that should be replicated around New Zealand, says Labour’s Associate Health Spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “Auckland Council has implemented a by-law banning the use of psychoactive...
    Labour | 17-04
  • Smith sells state P-houses to first home buyers
    Nick Smith must reassure worried first home buyers that any Housing NZ houses sold under his First Home policy will be tested for P contamination after revelations that three out of seven properties sold in Wanganui tested positive for methamphetamine,...
    Labour | 17-04
  • PM’s China visit assisted Oravida, not Fonterra
    Questions must now be asked whether it was Fonterra or Oravida who really benefited from the Prime Minister’s recent visit to China, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “Before his departure, John Key said he would wait until all...
    Labour | 16-04
  • New Zealand’s use of ozone depleting gases increases
    A new Government report highlights that the amount of ozone depleting gases New Zealand is using is increasing, the Green Party said today.The report tabled in Parliament yesterday shows that total use of ozone depleting gases in New Zealand has...
    Greens | 16-04
  • Manufacturing Upgrade
    Labour is determined to support and grow our manufacturing sector. These policies grew out of the findings of the 2013 Parliamentary Inquiry into Manufacturing.  ...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Collins must admit misleading Parliament
    ACC Minister Judith Collins must front up and admit she has misled Parliament over ACC’s policy to stop paying compensation to clients who refused to fill in its privacy form, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. “Judith Collins claimed Labour...
    Labour | 16-04
  • English confirms he has no plan to raise wages
    Finance Minister Bill English has confirmed he has absolutely no plans to lift wages, Labour’s spokesperson on Labour Issues, Andrew Little says. “Bill English told the Chamber of Commerce yesterday that workers could expect a rise in average income of...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Govt careless and callous about threatened birds
    The National Government is increasing the threat to two of the world's most threatened and unique birds by opening up Victoria Forest Park to petroleum drilling, the Green Party said today.Scientists have recently published a ranking of the 100 most...
    Greens | 16-04
  • Genesis: The biggest fire sale of them all
    National has finished its asset sales with a massive bonfire of a fire sale, showing once and for all how much of a disaster this programme was, says Labour’s SOEs spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove. “Just 68,000 Kiwis bought shares in Genesis,...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Interest rates rise but only smokes increasing
    Mortgage rate rises are making life harder for homeowners, and many of them will be surprised the latest CPI figures show inflation would be zero were it not for tobacco tax hikes, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “New Zealanders...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Term One Report Card for Hekia Parata
    Assignment Teacher’s Comments Grade      ...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Hekia Parata kept exam book errors from schools
    Schools will be appalled to learn Education Minister Hekia Parata knew since January that hundreds of exam booklets had been returned to the wrong students but said nothing about it, Labour’s Education Spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Exams are stressful enough...
    Labour | 15-04
  • What has ACC Minister been doing?
    The ACC Minister needs to front up and explain what, if any, changes she has made to the broken culture of ACC rather than denying that she has any part to play in the dysfunction of her Ministry, the Green...
    Greens | 15-04
  • Promise of jam tomorrow takes the cake
    A claim by Minister of Finance Bill English that average wages will climb by $7,500 over the next four years is a cynical promise of jam tomorrow by a government whose record on wage growth is atrocious, Labour spokesperson on...
    Labour | 15-04
  • Judith Collins has to fess up on ACC blunder
    ACC Minster Judith Collins must front up and tell New Zealand how many people who refused to hand over their private details to ACC have been denied cover, says Labour’s ACC Spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “The legality of ACC’s privacy waver,...
    Labour | 15-04
  • Board of Inquiry conditions will save rivers in New Zealand
    The Ruataniwha dam decision released today has protected the Tukituki River and dashed the Government’s hope of the “one nutrient model” (TRIM) being adopted nationwide, says Labour’s Conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson. “It is a massive victory for those in the...
    Labour | 15-04
  • Labour turns wheels for cycling safety
    With more than a million New Zealanders now using cycling as an attractive alternative means of transport it is past time their safety was taken seriously, Labour’s Transport spokesperson Darien Fenton says. Due to speak to a cycling rally at...
    Labour | 15-04
  • SPEECH: Institute of Directors
    LEADING AND MANAGING OUR ECONOMIC FUTURE David Cunliffe MP, Labour Leader Speech to the Institute of Directors 15 April 2014, Auckland It's a privilege to be speaking here. The Institute of Directors has a proud history of developing New Zealand's...
    Labour | 15-04
  • More Oravida endorsements from John Key
    The use of a picture of John Key in an advertisement for Oravida’s scampi products in a Chinese airline magazine is further evidence of an unhealthily cosy relationship between the National Party and this company, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says....
    Labour | 15-04
  • Workers at Canterbury Yarns need redundancy support
    Workers faced with redundancy at Canterbury Yarns need a redundancy support co-ordinator, Green Party industrial relation