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Open mike 27/02/2014

Written By: - Date published: 7:03 am, February 27th, 2014 - 227 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

openmike Open mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the Policy).

Step up to the mike …

227 comments on “Open mike 27/02/2014”

  1. Paul 1

    Paul Buchanan very interesting on the government’s involvement in 5 eyes and consequences for NZ.
    http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/237394/revelations-of-nz-spying-to-come-analyst

    • One Anonymous Bloke 1.1

      Several questions arise.

      Is Waihopai and/or other New Zealand-based hardware essential to the five eyes network?

      The consequences of withdrawal? Pros and cons.

      The consequences of the status quo? Pros and cons.

  2. bad12 2

    A couple of days ago ‘Open Mike’ kicked off with the first 3 comments pointedly opposing the Labour plan to raise the age of superannuation entitlement to 67,(i really should stop living in the past i know),

    This struck a bit of a chord and in a couple of hours of comments i managed to count to 15 the number of commenters who oppose the plan to raise the age of entitlement,(that’s not an exact total as i only had the use of two hands worth of digits and thumbs,plus the use of a foot where i did notice that a thumb isn’t apparent and had to use a big toe),

    What’s it worth out there in the wider electorate in terms of votes this raising of the age of entitlement for super???, my guess,and, this includes the belief that this one policy flogged repeatedly by Phill Goff during the 2011 election campaign cost Labour then at least 2% of the vote, is that as it was last time round their is a deep vein of opposition among what could/should be the core Labour Party vote to this policy, in numbers probably 2-5% of that vote,

    CV and others have pointed out that raising the age of entitlement isn’t Labour Party policy based upon the will of the shop floor, for some unfathomable reason the decision on this was left to Labour’s MP’s, and for an even more unfathomable reason those MP’s have chosen to cling to such a vote losing hangover of the Neo-Liberal economic Ism,

    David Parker, Labour’s finance spokesman, to me a shadowy figure who says little that is publicly broadcast can hardly be trusted as anything other than a ‘Rogernome’ after the bizarre ”There is no Alternative” comment over this very issue a few weeks back, and, ACT’s backing of the same policy this week does not cast Parker in any better light,(in my opinion),

    There are Alternatives, to raising the age of superannuation, and, as i have alluded to above, this issue unless handled delicately may just cost Labour the 2014 election, trotting out the hated Ruth Richardson ”There is no Alternative” is hardly delicate and there are other options,

    (1),The status quo, leave the age of entitlement for Superannuation as it is and raise taxation to pay for the bulge in costs as the Baby Boomer generation reaches retirement age,

    (2),The status quo, leave the age of entitlement as it is, BUT,means test the pension against income from wages and assets,

    (3), The Labour policy, raise the age of entitlement to 67, there is no visible promise to not revisit this in the future with another imperative,(TINA),to again raise the entitlement age to 70 which in some overseas jurisdictions is occurring now, AND,once the Baby Boomer bulge has been successfully negotiated there is again no visible promise to lower the age of entitlement back to 65 which makes me even more distrustful of the proponents of raising the super age to 67,

    Is this one policy of Labour’s one that could be the difference of being the Government or the Opposition after the 2014 election, my view You Bet, and, Labour need back away from this policy NOW, but, NOW with a plan,

    i would propose that Labour loudly and with the maximum amount of publicity back away from the current policy of raising the age of entitlement to superannuation and propose to the electorate a Referendum on this very issue at the 2017 election,

    Such a referendum would have to include options 2 and 3 above, and, from the comments here in ‘open mike’ a couple of days ago,(i know i have to move on from the past), my view is option 2 above would be the popular view,

    If David Cunliffe intends the Labour Party to poll in the high 30’s at the 2014 election, and win the Treasury Benches i would be quite blunt in telling Him the current superannuation policy is the one policy that will stop Him doing so….

    • Rosie 2.1

      “If David Cunliffe intends the Labour Party to poll in the high 30′s at the 2014 election, and win the Treasury Benches i would be quite blunt in telling Him the current superannuation policy is the one policy that will stop Him doing so….”

      Do it. Tell him. This policy is a headache. It’s alarming that they even raised it, but are now sticking to it.

      • bad12 2.1.1

        i may in my comment above look like i might be being a little ‘shifty’ when i talk of the Baby Boomer generation as the imperative to raise the age of superannuation entitlement to 67, as the current ”narrative” has moved on from the Baby Boomers,

        Using ‘averages’ the current claim surrounding the need to raise the age for super entitlement is that ”we are all living longer”,

        i would suggest to everyone that such is simply another Neo-Liberal LIE, ‘we’ in the blinkered view of the Neo-Lib’s specifically does not include the 300–500,000 in the bottom end of the income brackets more likely as not to be providing the heavy labour to the economy in order to win their daily bread,

        myself, hell if i actually hit 65 i am going to announce a modern miracle, demand to be declared a Saint, and, also demand the right to levitate,(i’m working on the latter)…

        • Rosie 2.1.1.1

          Hi bad12. Yeah, that whole “we are living longer” is a fairly fragile argument. It’s has to be considered how well we live and how there may be a smaller percentage, i.e., those able to afford good healthcare, good housing, good food and have low stress jobs that are the ones “living longer”.

          I’m sure if it were to be analysed as it probably has some where, that those living longer in the future will only be those who have access to the above good things in life. That big chunk of lower income worker’s you are referring to above currently have decreasing access to healthcare, good housing and stable jobs, as a result of govt policy over the last thirty years, plus theres the group of those that do manual labour whose bodies will wear out faster (as you point out).

          I wonder if that “bell curve” in the stats will begin to decline as time goes on and as govt policy starts impacting negatively on longevity.

          • Rosie 2.1.1.1.1

            PS. Good luck with the Sainthood.

            • greywarbler 2.1.1.1.1.1

              I’m interested in seeing the levitation myself. Saints are usually a bit boring. I don’t think bad12 is cut out for sainthood, he should hang out in a more interesting ‘hood.

              • bad12

                Greywarbler, how would you know the extent of being intersting or not as far as the particular hood i hang out in is,

                Not cut out for Sainthood,hell born into a low socio-economic Porirua family with one parent an alcoholic and the other addicted to pharmacy products, putting aside the ‘innoncence’ question for the moment, i have done the jail tour from Invercargill to Pare Max, and, been binned a number of times so the men in white coats can check out what makes me tick, and that was just the first 22 years,

                There’s gotta be more than a couple of brownie points in a life lived less than ordinary and the way i see it all i have to do is find this God deity that everyone bangs on about and run a Slippery tax switch line or two past Her/Him to fix that ‘innocence’ issue, and, it’s a shoe in…

                • greywarbler

                  And again I say, lo to you, bad12 you are too good for sainthood. And I think I guessed pretty well that the particular hood you hang out in is far from boring and saintly. From what you say it confirms my guess. But you could make a great movie about your life, sort of like that Peter Fonda one I think called Easy Rider.
                  Have you had anything to do with Jim Moriarty?

                  • bad12

                    Greywarbler, nah i was doing my penal penance way befor Jim got involved, ah i think you have been slightly tainted in your views of the saints by the Biblical versions,

                    The drunken, womanizing, brawling Saints of old Ireland would seem to be more my ‘style’…

                    • greywarbler

                      Those old Catholics certainly seemed to enjoy the temporal in a more straightforward way than some of the sanctimonious ones that have shamed their calling of recent times.

                    • bad12

                      Lolz, old old Ireland befor the Isms of religion turned the heads of the population away from the magic…

          • Draco T Bastard 2.1.1.1.2

            I wonder if that “bell curve” in the stats will begin to decline as time goes on and as govt policy starts impacting negatively on longevity.

            I believe it will. I understand that it’s already happening in the US whose policies we’ve blindly followed for the last 30 years.

      • greywarbler 2.1.2

        It’s time we knew more about David Parker. Briefly – as per Wikpedia.
        Background
        From South. Went to Uni Otago studying law and business. Co-founded Dunedin Community Law Centre.
        Was litigation partner in law firm. Then was in business in agri-buiotech field inluding Blis Technologies where was manager.
        In parliament 2002 winning victory in the Otago seat.
        Lost in 2005 to Jacqui Dean but returned on List.
        2008 stood for Waitaki but Jacqui Dean won by over 11,000 votes, but returned as on List.

        Was in 2005 Attorney-General and Minister of Energy & Minister of Transport &
        Minister…Climate Change
        Resigned over legal query then reappointed
        Regained Energy and Climate Change Land only in 2006.
        2008 On Labour’s loss, he became Opp spokesperson Conservation ACC and Shadow Attorney-General.
        2010 Opp Leader Phil Goff appointed Parker Spokesperson for Ec Development (from Shane Jones) – Conservation went to Chris Carter.
        Parker RAN for leadership in 2011 but withdrew to support David Shearer.
        Now Labour sp/person for Finance (late 2011) and shadow Attorney-G (Feb 2013).
        At 17 September 2013 named Deputy Leader of Labour Party with Finance Portfolio.

        Where has he shown a particular interest in finance? Where has he indicated a particular interest in micro-economics or in national building? It seems as if the mantle has been bestowed by Phil Goff. And he has not been a shining success either in the electorate or good enough background to be appointed to the Finance position.

        Our problem is one of working hard and then metaphorically going out and losing our putea in the casino or pissing it away? Exactly the behaviour of a majority of hard working men of old colonial times. Time for an innovative change not the same old, same old. (And not prohibition either, not that sort of radical.)

        Raising the old age pension age to 67 and beyond is merely delaying exercising the little grey cells. Where is Poirot when you need him?

    • Enough is Enough 2.2

      Excellent comment Bad12.

      This is a policy which ACT supports. That should ring alarm bells automatically.

      Let your local Labour MP know that this is BAD policy. The Labour party should not be about austerity and cutting entitlements to the workers of this country.

    • srylands 2.3

      I think the problem is that in the next 10 years the age will lift to 67 or higher because there is no alternative. The Treasury knows there is no alternative – same applies to the financial markets, the OECD. So Labour might was well do it and get the credit from the markets and the OECD – that could be a real boost. If it stays at 65 we will look like an outlier internationally.

      An increase will also enable fiscal consolidation, higher labour market participation for those in the 60+ bracket, and avoide tax increases.

      I also think it would be a vote winner for Labour. I hope that David Parker prevails in the debate. He is s one of Labour’s more sensible front benchers.

      • millsy 2.3.1

        Too bad it will send thousands of elderly into poverty and crowd younger people out of the job market…

      • Enough is Enough 2.3.2

        drylands there is always an alternative.We have a choice

        This is the favoured alternative from ACT, Labour and people like Ruth Richardson and Roger Douglas.

        Look to the Greens for another alternative.

        A truly progressive tax system is a real alternative

        • srylands 2.3.2.1

          “A truly progressive tax system is a real alternative”

          The tax system is already highly progressive.

          • phillip ure 2.3.2.1.1

            “..The tax system is already highly progressive..”

            not really..

            ..it goes up a slight slope..

            ..and then kind of peters out..

            ..a very low top rate compared to other countries..

            ..no capital gains tax..(unlike most other countries..)

            ..and the ability to claim back all of their gst..(unlike the poor..who pay every last cent of it..)

            ..makes life for the rich in new zealand..

            ..a sweet sweet ride..

            ..’progressive’..?..

            ..nah..!

            phillip ure..

            • Danske 2.3.2.1.1.1

              Mr Ure, despite your protestations New Zealand does not need more taxes. We need less, and a more effective distribution of the tax intake.

              • @ danske..

                ..no..we need a higher top-rate..a capital gains tax..

                ..(and a tax-free band at the bottom..)

                ..a financial transaction tax on inter-bank dealings..

                ..and a focus on getting back that $5 billion in criminally-avoided tax by the (mainly) tory elites/corporates..each and every year..

                ..and then ‘a more effective distribution of the tax intake’..

                ..will be easy/in order..

                ..phillip ure..

              • weka

                “Mr Ure, despite your protestations New Zealand does not need more taxes. We need less, and a more effective distribution of the tax intake.”

                Danske, why?

              • Enough is Enough

                Danske, how daft are you?

                How can you during a debate about how unaffordable superannuation is, claim we do not need more taxes?

                • Danske

                  You are the daft one, I’m afraid. The age needs to go up. No ifs or buts.

                  • Enough is Enough

                    Danske. It is opportunity cost isnt it.

                    Old people are a drain on society. There is going to be more of them making them a bigger drain. That is a fact we all agree on.

                    The ACT/Parker solution is we simply cut entitlements to those workers who have contibuted thoughout their working lives so that rich pricks can buy another investment property further distorting the property market.

                    That is the guts of it.

                    This nation can afford to look after its elderly workers. There is no need for austerity.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      +111

                      This raising of the retirement age is nothing more than giving more of our wealth to the already rich.

                  • Pasupial

                    Danske

                    No argument, no evidence; just bald assertion.

                    Daft is too complimentary a description of your debating style.

              • James Thrace

                Danske Mobler – NZ already has some of the lowest taxes in the world.

                Deborah Russells excellent comments to ColonialViper on her guest post highlighted how the effective tax rate for high income earnings is actually low, comparatively.

                The more you earn, the less taxes you pay.

                Personally, I’d introduce the following

                Sale Tax on every property. CGT is unworkable and able to be manipulated. A sale tax on every property whether it be commercial, land or residential will raise far more income than any other tax.

                Based on REINZ sales data total residential property sales of $38.04billion, a sales tax of just 10% would bring in $3,804,000,000. That $3 billion of government income. By contrast, CGT is only expected to bring in $4 billion at optimistic best.

                A sale tax on all property would bring in well over $5 billion a year, and is unable to be avoided as it is paid at the point of purchase.

                Death Duty
                You die with millions in assets, your estate gets taxed 10% irrespective of whether its in trust or not.
                Income tax
                Leave the existing progressive system, maybe bump up the thresholds so 17.5% applies to the first $60,000, 25% up to $150,000, then 35% over $150,000 to $499,999 then
                $500,000 subject to a tax rate of 70% on every dollar earned over $500,000 which increases to a rate of 90% on every dollar earned over $750,000.

                • Danske

                  Yes, James. If up to you, we would happily become a second France (where absurd high taxes are slowly killing the country).

                  • KJT

                    Ignoring the fact that Western countries were at their most successful and prosperous when tax rates were at their highest.

                    Much more successful countries than ours have Government share in the economy over 60%.

                    Plenty of room to move.

                  • PapaMike

                    In France due to the very high taxation the second largest electoral constituency now is London.

                • just saying

                  Based on REINZ sales data total residential property sales of $38.04billion, a sales tax of just 10% would bring in $3,804,000,000. That $3 billion of government income.

                  I don’t think you have thought this through.

                  For example, I have to leave my home next year. My house is worth exactly what I paid for it 2 years ago (and continue to pay through my mortgage), and I’m on a fixed low income. How could this possibly be fair?

                  I would be made to pay $20,000 despite there being no profit or income from my home. And it is the same percentage as someone selling their home after twenty years, worth 10 times what they paid for it. So if someone bought my home twenty years ago for a tenth of what it is now worth, they would pay exactly the same tax as I would.

                  Then there is the 4% real estate agency fees on top of this. There would be no capital gain to offset any of this.

                  Simpler doesn’t necessarily mean better or fairer.

                  I’m with you on death duties being reinstated and more progressive taxation, though.

                  • James Thrace

                    Why would you be the one paying the tax as the seller? I liken it to the fact that the seller doesn’t pay GST, the purchaser does. Perhaps calling it a “sale tax” is a misnomer. Maybe a Property Tax would be more appropriate. I do not advocate for a seller paying such a tax, only a purchaser would.

                    I can already see the moaning minnies trying to make out that making buyers pay a sales tax would effectively shut them out of the market – not really. They wouldn’t be any more shut out than now.

                    Also, it’s likely that if property speculators have to pay 10% tax on every property in Auckland they buy, to rent out as a slum, while being an absentee landlord will be much less attractive to them.

                    Combine that with an inability for any type of residential landlord to treat renting a residential property out as a business and the associated tax deductions that go with that, will combine to deflate the property market slightly and have more availability of properties for first home buyers thus depressing the upward trajectory of property prices.

                    Then one step further, and allow for home owners to claim deductions on a few things such as interest payments, maintenance etc, like they do in the states.

                    Allowing home owners to claim for such things (there would have to be a $ cap on the total amount that could be claimed either during the life of the mortgage, or in a given year) means more secure and stable communities populated by home owners, rather than transient renters, which may be transient due to the landlord, or other factors.

                    • just saying

                      Also, it’s likely that if property speculators have to pay 10% tax on every property in Auckland they buy, to rent out as a slum, while being an absentee landlord will be much less attractive to them.

                      Why?

                  • Ron

                    Why on earth do you expect a capital gain. If you have added to the value of your property it will surely be reflected in the sale price. But disregarding improvements there is absolutely no reason for you to expect some sort of windfall just because you have owned the property for two years.
                    How about your car. If its two years since you purchased it do you expect a capital gain on its resale?
                    Of course not.
                    Our problem it seems to me is that all land should be owned by the state. You would then purchase the house and pay a rental to the state for use of the land.
                    On sale of the house you would get exactly what the house is worth after depreciation. As you house gets older it would eventually be worth very little and at some stage a new house would be built and sold but the land would still be owned by the state. The land never changes so one would not expect it to get very expensive. Its just dirt.
                    There are variations on this idea that would include not being able to pass it on to descendants.

                    Then there is the 4% real estate agency fees on top of this. There would be no capital gain to offset any of this.

                    • just saying

                      Who said anything about wanting a capital gain? I don’t.
                      I was commenting on the fact that the sales tax, as proposed, seemed unfair because it wasn’t related to the size of any profit made on a property.
                      I don’t want profit, but I have to leave. So, I don’t think it is fair that, in the absence of profit, I should be hit with a $20,000 bill just because I have to move house (at whichever end I end up having to pay it).

                      This would be a huge amount of money to find in my circumstances. If the money taken was part of a fairer, more extensive, and highly graduated change in taxation aimed at a fairer distribution of resources all round, and massively improved public services, I would feel differently.

                      Also, this isn’t part of a wider discussion about private property itself and especially the commodification of land. That’s a whole other conversation. I’m saying this idea would not lead to greater fairness in the actual circumstances in which we happen to find ourselves.

                      The short version is – this would just be another flat-tax like GST which would impact disproportionately on those with the least and increase the gap between the rich and poor.

              • greywarbler

                No to taxes. Taxes down, further down, further down. So you say. You and all the other believers in fairies.

          • Paul 2.3.2.1.2

            You are such a sad fool.

      • RedLogix 2.3.3

        higher labour market participation for those in the 60+ bracket, and avoide tax increases.

        I can just see their thinking. A generation ago they got the women slaving for them in their factories, offices and shops – now they want to beat another decade of our lives out of us all.

      • bad12 2.3.4

        SSLands, your support of David Parker simply adds weight to my view that He is a closet ‘Rogernome’ only to willing to shove unpopular policies down the throats of the people whether they like it or not,

        Any fiscal imperative there might be in the future surrounding superannuation entitlement is easily addressed by simply means testing the likes of YOU on income and income from assets against your ability to collect a full entitlement of Superannuation,

        Can you please stop LYING, is not Germany a member of the OECD, that particular country has in fact kept it’s age of entitlement at 65 while bringing in another entitlement of age 63,(with qualifications),

        You were linked to this fact a couple of days ago and having to continually rebut your fucking lies becomes tiresome and is one of the reasons the majority of readers and conmenters here think you are nothing but a Tr–lling shit-head…

        • RedLogix 2.3.4.1

          And anyone who shuffles out the ‘there is no alternative’ zombie also demonstrates a complete failure of imagination.

        • srylands 2.3.4.2

          Germany is high performing economy with high savings rates.

          “Any fiscal imperative there might be in the future surrounding superannuation entitlement is easily addressed by simply means testing the likes of YOU on income and income from assets”

          No. Remember I am a lowly bean counter at a firm of tax lawyers. We don’t get paid much. Or has your mate veutoviper, who has been stalking me on LinkedIn been talking to you?

          Anyway there are so few rich people in New Zealand that means testing wouldn’t save much. It also creates another army of state servants and incentives problems.

          I really encourage David parker to keep this policy. He is a good guy. Hoefully he is planning some party events to promote His policy. he will be the Finance Minister in 7 months so he deserves some respect.

          • RedLogix 2.3.4.2.1

            lowly bean counter at a firm of tax lawyers

            Yeah – really no imagination.

          • bad12 2.3.4.2.2

            SSLands, you are of course talking from a position of the bovine defecating as usual, most of the population of Auckland will be asset millionaires by the time they retire, most of these asset millionaires will have healthy Kiwisaver retirement incomes,and, at least 200,000 of them will have rental income properties,

            That’s just the middle class,

            Above that middle class there is in the upper middle class a sizable demographic, those with the coin able to purchase stolen assets with sizable shareholding along with the profitable rental property portfolios and the healthy Kiwisaver accounts,

            The sad fact is that those with the most have provided the least in actual sweat in terms of physical labour, and, the toll on physical human structures such physical toil extracts on those that do actually physically sweat for their daily bread means that in terms of longevity it will be those in the bottom third of the economy who will have little chance of reaching an age of entitlement for super of 67 or 70,

            My opinion of your employment has been changed in recent days by a little news item which stated that those involved in 5 eyes, the spying upon of their own citizens, have been educated in the insertion of human operatives into political blogs in an effort to disrupt them,

            Considering your spew of ill considered comments you would seem a perfect candidate to be one such employee, my view of the current site of your wee office cubilcle is now that it is just as likely to be located in a little office building located on Wellingtons Pipitea street as it is to be found up on the Terrace…

            • srylands 2.3.4.2.2.1

              You are simply spouting a whole lot of envy and wanting to get your hands on other peoples money. It is really unbecoming. Any politician who spouted what you spout would be dead as dead.

              Look dream all you want – there is seriously no alternative to lifting the super age, and it will happen. The forces will be overwhelming. If John key steps down in 2016, the National Government in 2017-2020 will do it.

              I repeat – this is a vote winner for Labour. It will be immensely popular. i have not met anyone who opposes lifting the eligibility age.

              And dude stop being paranoid. The GCSB are not going to bother with The Standard.

              • KJT

                Repeatedly parroting the same crap does not make it true.

                Even though it can make fools repeat it.

                • srylands

                  Saying that it is inevtiable that the eligibility age will go up to 67 is not crap. Ok the probability is not 100%. But close enough. How is that crap?

                  • Pasupial

                    Slands

                    It’s crap because the next Labour/Green government will research and budget the feasibility of a Universal Basic Income. Then in 2017 this will be instituted in place of the current rundown social security system.

                    So there is indeed an alternative, just not one you are capable of understanding. Though I do believe you when you say; ” i have not met anyone who opposes lifting the eligibility age”, as NZ Super must be a bit of a non-issue over there.

                    What’s your opinion of the Iwi n Aus protest movement?

              • Ron

                The GCSB doesn’t need to bother with blogs like The Standard because as we now know they have trained people to go out and sow havoc across the internet. The only question now is how they arrange payment to all those loyal RWNJ’s
                Maybe its an area we could look at taxing as unearned income?

                And dude stop being paranoid. The GCSB are not going to bother with The Standard.

              • bad12

                SSLands, you are advocating the perfect reason for Labour to back away from raising the age of entitlement,

                A National Government without Slippery the current Prime Minister will do it, and not long after be booted out of office for having done so,

                Seems a good idea to me…

        • Seti 2.3.4.3

          Germany has a much higher percentage of 65+ aged households living in poverty than NZ. In fact according to this OECD report NZ has the lowest percentage of its aged population in poverty

          • KJT 2.3.4.3.1

            Yes. Universal super is a remarkably cheap way of masking sure no elderly live in poverty.

            Much cheaper than processing it through ticket clipping financial institutions.

            Someone complained about the cost of churn, through the Government. 1 to 2%. How much of GDP do private banks take, again?

    • mikesh 2.4

      Introduction of a UBI would make the retirement age irrelevant.

    • KJT 2.5

      I am against means testing for the same reasons I am against income testing.

      It is inefficient, potentially unfair, and administratively costly, for little gain.

      One alternative, I would advocate others as well. Inheritance taxes are effective, universal and capture intergenerational accumulation of unearned wealth.

      Progressive taxation of income and wealth avoids the need to means/income test super.

      It is funny that most of those who want to raise the super age and/or means test also advocate saving for retirement. A bit contradictory. Save, and we will cut your pension.

      Saving for retirement as an alternative to universal super is simply, yet another privatisation. We all know how well those work for ordinary people.

      • srylands 2.5.1

        “It is funny that most of those who want to raise the super age and/or means test also advocate saving for retirement. A bit contradictory.”

        I don’t agree. For most people, national super will only provide a fraction of what is needed to live on post-retirement. So you need private retirement income to supplement national super.

        • KJT 2.5.1.1

          Incomprehension as usual Srylands?

          It is not an incentive to save if your super is going to be reduced by an amount proportional to your savings. Means tested.

          Those who advocate “saving” for super should be mindful of what has happened to so many peoples super savings in the rest of the world. Lost in the GFC.

          Having a PAYG universal super, sufficient to live on, is cheaper overall than re-circulating through a financial system which is ever more likely to fail, and have to be bailed by taxpayers, anyway. Again!

          • srylands 2.5.1.1.1

            “Lost in the GFC”

            Stop making shit up.

            That is bullshit. Looking at the returns on my managed funds, they dived for three years after 2008 but have now more than recovered. The NZX based funds are doing great. What are you on about?

            Look the reality is that most rational 20 and 30 somethings today should assume they get noting from the Gummnit in retirement. Look after yourself. That means investing in growth funds. Fuck I hope you don’t give financial advice to your kids. (Hey just wait for your government super – it will be sweet as.) yeah.

            The government super is a nice little sweetner in retirement but it should be seen as part of a much bigger package.

            • Poission 2.5.1.1.1.1

              The NZX based funds are doing great.

              The funds are asymmetrically distorted due to the impact of the large injection of repatriated earthquake reinsurance and insurance reinvestment (that has been parked there whilst they dribble out settlements)

              The large cashflows to NZ that DO NOT appear in the RBNZ external transfers,or as singularitys in the treasury models ,have an interesting effect they have forced jump like statistics in GDP etc.

            • bad12 2.5.1.1.1.2

              SSLands, it must be time for a party, you have for once in your miserable commenting existence on the Standard made part of a comment which to all the readers once it is isolated will make perfect sense,

              Your comment RE the 20 and 30 somethings planning for NO superannuation when they get to retirement age is a gem,

              Admit it SSLands, the whole Neo-Liberal dogma surrounding Superannuation has been a vicious lie all along, the REAL PLAN, all along has been for Superannuation to be scrapped full stop,

              This obviously in terms of politics has to be accomplished by incremental degrees moving the age of entitelment further and further out in terms of age,

              After all the first and most effected by these incremental dis-entitlements will be the poor, the low waged, and the low paid manual workers wont they SSLands, but then you have scant concern for those with low incomes or a shorter life-span of the ability to provide their labour to the economy and/or provide sufficiently for their retirement, these people just do not exist in your bubble do they,

              Thanks for the info SSLands, it just proves that every move made around the age of entitlement and the introduction of individual retirement savings soon to be made compulsory has been to pander to the Neo-Liberal Ism…

              • KJT

                The real plan of Srylands mob is to remove all social payments.

                The only good thing about it is that those as thick and antisocial as Srylands, will be the first to suffer.

                They do not realise that in their ideal society, they would be the ones living in the cardboard box on the street.

            • KJT 2.5.1.1.1.3

              “That is bullshit. ”

              Tell that to all the Icelanders, Cypriots, yanks, poms and Irish whose retirement savings disappeared in the GFC.
              Not to mention all the Kiwis who lost their shirts in 1987.

              Haven’t you heard of the law of gravity. What goes up must come down. I knew a lot of people in the 80’s who thought it no longer applied, also!

    • MrSmith 2.6

      Raising the retirement age is and was suicide for the Labour party, don’t they get it a great majority of there voters/members work there guts out and are broken down wrecks by 65.

      Also this policy discriminates against a large section of our society/voters Maori and Pacific Islanders who statistically don’t live as long as others in this country, how about we lower the retirement age, that party would get my vote.

    • Murray Olsen 2.7

      They need to drop this stupid policy and take finance off Parker. Why can’t they see it? I get the feeling instead that they’ll see ACT agreeing as a sign that it’s fiscally sensible. Bloody hell, where did the cat drag half of them in from?

  3. Belladonna 3

    Quite agree bad12, it is a really dumb idea. I dont trust David Parker to do what is right for the Labour Party. I still remember the scowl on his face when David Cunliffe was elected. If he doesnt believe in the principles of David Cunliffe’s Labour Party then he needs to get out.

    • Pasupial 3.1

      Raising the super age is now officially an Act idea:

      http://www.nzherald.co.nz/act-party/news/article.cfm?o_id=359&objectid=11209825

      “Unlike the ancient Inuit (who may well have rescinded their noble policy decades ago) we have not built a legend around older people “going out in the snow” to take the burden off their kin folk.”

      Above words seem to be attributed to Whyte, but may be O’Sullivan’s own.

      Cunliffe should get McCarten to have a word with Parker now!

    • Danske 3.2

      I disagree. I consider Parker a voice of moderation among some hot-heads that surround Mr Cunliffe (add to that list the newly appointed Mr McCarten).

      Parker is here to say and he should stick to his guns on how to promote business.

  4. bad12 4

    Belladonna, even on a purely political level it’s a Dumb policy, it probably cost Labour 2% of the vote in 2011 and even if Labour had of squeaked past National/ACT,(it was only a win of 60,000 odd votes), in that election they could not have had a chance of implementing such a policy as they would have had to rely upon both the Green Party and NZFirst to form a Government,

    My view is Labour can win the 2014 election simply by backing away from the policy and promising a referendum on the issue at the 2017 election…

    • weka 4.1

      What have the GP said on the matter?

      • Pasupial 4.1.1

        Weka

        I’m not aware of any specific Green Party statements in regard to the Parker/ Prebble proposal of raising the super age. However section 4 of the Income Support Policy states:

        “The Green Party will:
        Maintain universal New Zealand Superannuation for all New Zealanders 65 years and older, adjusted annually in accordance with movement in the Consumer Price Index…”

        https://www.greens.org.nz/policy/income-support-policy

        But this may become less important if section 1 is implemented:

        “The Green Party supports a full and wide-ranging public debate on the nature of UBI and the details of a UBI system, and government funding for detailed studies of the impacts of UBI. “

    • Skinny 4.2

      I agree put it to the people no vote for over 65 year olds. Be a very close call. The reasoning behind the rise to 67 was two fold. We will struggle to pay without increasing the population significantly. And too many people need to keepworking because of our poor savings record.

      • KJT 4.2.1

        “We will struggle to pay without increasing the population significantly.”

        An oft repeated meme, with no supporting evidence.

        The alternative is to leave the elderly to starve. Is that what you want?

        We supported the elderly, in their childhood, when there were much less workers, (most of their Mums did not work), and suddenly we cannot, after how much of an increase in GDP?

        Even in 2125 we still can, if we start with a modest increase in the top tax rates now, to build sustainable capability. May get as “bad” as equal to Australian levels (45% top rate plus State taxes) . And stopped sending all that money out of the country in “so called” retirement savings, to be lost in the next GFC..

        • Skinny 4.2.1.1

          I’m on record opposing the rise. I was highly annoyed our LEC carried it. I wanted it scrapped altogether. The wiser choice would have been means tested.

          • weka 4.2.1.1.1

            “We will struggle to pay without increasing the population significantly. And too many people need to keepworking because of our poor savings record.”

            There are other solutions to both those things. Were they discussed within Labour? Or was the age rise simply presented as TINA?

            • bad12 4.2.1.1.1.1

              Weka, its interesting how the ”narrative” around the imperative to rasing the age of entitlement is a constantly changing menu of points which do not stand up to scrutiny,

              First Baby Boomers is the imperative,next so as to keep the Neo-Liberal agenda moving toward it’s program of incremental gains in having a society without the provision of a Government superannuation scheme the LIE of ”we are all living longer” is trotted forth,

              3rd in line for the throne of spurious reasons to destroy Government superannuation is ”we are a nation of poor savers”,

              Since when has this ‘nation of poor savers’ been true, since forever would seem to be the only real answer to that question, but, as that nation of poor savers we have managed to provide for superannuation for how long,

              The bullshit the Neo-libs will trot out in defence of scrapping superannuation would seem to be never ending…

              • KJT

                Poor savers is another one of those myths which has no basis in fact.

                In fact we are rather good savers, overall, and, as a proportion of disposable incomes.
                http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10620031
                And from a right wing think tank.
                http://nzinitiative.org.nz/site/nzbr/files/1231%20Savings%20Working%20Group%20Serves%20Up%20Strange%20Report.pdf
                “A 2007 New Zealand Institute of Economic Research study concluded: “A review of the existing measures of household saving in New Zealand shows little evidence of a saving problem. Indeed the data that the
                proponents of saving policies have used poorly reflect the true household saving performance. Other data sources indicate that household saving is not only positive but has been rising strongly in recent years.”

                Disposable incomes for most of us are rather low, because of New Zealand’s extremely high cost of living in relation to incomes.

                Saving has reduced, as you would expect as real incomes, for most, have fallen.

              • srylands

                I think it is generally a good idea to get people working longer and reduce the burden of a pay as you go retirement income scheme. That enables spending on other priorities, such as roads. Critically it also enables tax cuts.

                So my argument is really simple – it is akin to welfare spending and less is better.

                • bad12

                  SSLands, what’s this???, an attempt to resile from your outing of the TRUE neo-Liberal agenda surrounding Government funded Superannuation in the comment you made at 1.42pm???,

                  Your little hint at tax cuts is just another piece of the picture isn’t it, lets grind the Government superannuation scheme into the dust, not because it is unaffordable per se,

                  Simply so you and your ilk can then call for more tax cuts….

                • KJT

                  “less is better.”

                  Well, yes. The less people that need their income topped up by welfare the better.

                  That means jobs, adequate wages and a functioning economy.

                  All things that do not happen unless there is both a large and functioning supportive State sector along with an efficient and competitive private sector. Which does not mean domination by a few large offshore owned duopolies, protected by, bought, legislation, favourable to them..

                  Impossible without taxes.

                  Though I notice Libertarians are happy to charge , me, taxes to provide regulation, police and army to protect, “their” wealth. (Once they have successfully stolen it from the rest of us).

                  Note how the numbers needing welfare go up, when the idealogical brain farts beloved by Srylands and co are enacted.

          • MrSmith 4.2.1.1.2

            Skinny it’s all about keeping the Hampsters on the wheels as long as they can, clearly somebody has to pay for Key and Co’s lavish lifestyle, so lets convince the suckers they have to work longer for less money then when they do retire feed them peanuts.

  5. Pasupial 5

    If we’re recycling old topics, this one from last night is a foetid peach [hat-tip to Andy (the other one) comment 25 on 26/02 Open Mike]:

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11210373

    It’s not just the disinclination to accept the long established societal condemnation of incestuous relationships (he’s the leader of Act, so won’t believe in the existence of such a thing as society). It’s also his comparison of the risks in pregnancy over the age of 35 with; “the increased risk of congenital disorders in children from incestuous relationships”:

    ” The probability of having some problem with the children is greater when the mother is over the age of 35 but I’ve never heard anyone suggest that anyone over the age of 35 shouldn’t be allowed to have sex.”

    This, mind you, is Whyte’s idea of a “virtuous” position. I’d hate to read the statements of his that he considers sleazy and manipulative. But no doubt there’ll be ample opportunity in coming months.

    • Huginn 5.1

      ‘you gotta be careful where you pokin’ – you don’t know what you’ll find’

      http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=fhd8AHbp2c4

    • weka 5.2

      Gordon Campbell –

      Well, Jamie Whyte is certainly making his mark as leader of the Act Party. If people were having difficulty telling the shaven-headed Whyte apart from that other shaven-headed guy who used to lead the Act Party, now they know – Whyte is the guy who thinks that incest should be legal. Oh, but only between consenting adults. This begs the question. Given the power dynamics within families – and the difficulties that already exist in establishing consent (and the lack of it) with respect to sexual offending outside the family, Whyte’s proposal would seem to put a new category of people, many of them women, at risk of sexual predation by their kin. Erosion of the consent defence would be a more likely outcome of the legalising of incest than the protection of those relatively rare cases where brothers and sisters fall afoul of the law when they freely and jointly seek to pursue a marital relationship.

      http://gordoncampbell.scoop.co.nz/2014/02/27/gordon-campbell-on-the-snowden-revelations-and-acts-position-on-incest/

    • KJT 5.3

      Then there is persuading the elderly to go out in the snow so wee Jamie can pay 1% less tax.

      Sorry. A bit harsh on ACT. It is also Labour party policy.

      Next. Compulsory euthanasia at 65, unless you have 2 million dollars, can burger flip for 12 hours a day, or wear nappies to work in Walmart.

    • Te Reo Putake 5.4

      If this isn’t ACT party policy, how do we explain the Epsom cuppa?

  6. “..Face it – everyone’s addicted to something..”

    http://whoar.co.nz/2014/face-it-everyones-addicted-to-something/

    (excerpt..)

    “..(ed:..yes..it has always amused/bemused me how cigarette-smoking/piss-swilling/animal-flesh/fat-addicts..

    ..seem to feel free to sneer at/hold in contempt..

    ..junkies..

    ..and to urge they continue to be chased by police/jailed..as the best treatment for that addiction..”

    (cont..)

    phillip ure..

    • bad12 6.1

      But Phillip, you consider those that cannot kick the ciggies to be ”piss weak” despite the evidence presented to you that the nicotine addiction is just as strong as the Heroin one,

      So, why wouldn’t people in turn consider you to be a ‘filthy sniveling fucking Junky’ only using marijuana as a crutch because your limited income does not allow you that which you wake up every morning craving for like nothing else on this Earth…

      • phillip ure 6.1.1

        the ignorances run both deep and wide..

        ..in that one/’prominent’-green..

        ..eh..?

        ..phillip ure..

        • bad12 6.1.1.1

          Talking of ignorance Phillip, wasn’t that very ignorance the means by which you attempted to sidestep the links provided to you showing the relative addictive strengths Nicotine V heroin…

          • phillip ure 6.1.1.1.1

            your flailings to try to justify yr weakness/inability to kick..(what for me was the easiest addiction to end..)

            ..and yr (self-justifying) clinging to that ‘nicotine is more addictive than heroin’ pile of bullshit..

            ..is becoming ever more desperate/transparent..

            ..eh..?

            ..best quit while you are behind..

            ..eh..?

            ..(get that ‘quit’-pun..?..geddit..?..)

            (and..you don’t take defeat gracefully..do you..?..

            ..always been that way..?..)

            ..phillip ure..

            • bad12 6.1.1.1.1.1

              Yawn Phillis, ever the ego game player, declares ‘itself’ the winner yet again…

              • best you just go and have another ciggie..eh..?

                ..calm yr rattled nerves..and all that..

                ..try to regroup..

                ..eh..?..

                ..(maybe a quick shot of yr favourite poison..?..from that bottle you keep stashed away for ‘special-occaisons’..?

                ..it is nearly noon..after all..

                ..and that would ‘help’..eh..?

                ..and only about an hour ’till yr next pig-fat shot..eh..?)

                ..phillip ure..

                • bad12

                  Yawn, refer to my comment at 9.49am, your way to pathetic to even consider wasting the pixels on a further answer…

  7. Rosie 7

    phillip ure, I hope you received my answer to your question on Open Mike yesterday re DTB.

    Pasupial. Yes! It was Emerald Storm Troopers! Other points noted.

    • @ rosie..

      ..yes..i saw that..

      ..but aren’t we all (sorta) on the same side..?

      ..couldn’t/shouldn’t we put all of these (however much justified) internicine-feuds/grudges to one side..

      ..and focus on winning this election/throwing this bunch of tory-bastards out..?

      ..our media is so rightwing slanted..

      ..those few other voices should be supported..

      ..perceived warts and all..

      ..to my mind..

      ..phillip ure..

      • Rosie 7.1.1

        “but aren’t we all (sorta) on the same side..?

        ..couldn’t/shouldn’t we put all of these (however much justified) internicine-feuds/grudges to one side..

        ..and focus on winning this election/throwing this bunch of tory-bastards out..?”

        Yes! Yes we are phillip. And that is exactly what I said to Martyn last year. It was extremely unhelpful of him to be giving air to his grudges, crazy imagined ones at that. I suggested to him that we need to work collectively if we’re to win, instead of him alienating those who are by nature, his comrades. It went on like that for while……………he remained petulant and after I spoke of the importance of good will he said I could take my goodwill and shove it. (words to that effect)

        Charming.

        Like I said, I’m not welcome there and I get insulted so there’s only so much I can take in the name of “working together”. I’m also more interested in being away from the keyboard and working alongside like mindeds, IRL, and that’s exactly what I’m doing. It also feel a lot safer meeting with people and discussing ideas and strategy. No pesky electronic eyes and ears.

        • KJT 7.1.1.1

          Agree Rosie, but it does not mean marching in lockstep like the N..zi, correction, National party.

          The more ideas the better.

          But. No point in throwing them out, just to end up with the NACT light neo-libs in the Labour caucus.

  8. Enough is Enough 8

    Another rat has jumped from the sinking ship.

    Ryall is gone.

    How many more from the worst government in New Zealand’s history will jump before defeat this year.

    • bad12 8.1

      Nice, i have a nice little surprise coming Tony’s way via the Opposition in a couple of month’s, He can then take this as my parting gift to the Minister of ‘Finding Novel Ways of Denying People Healthcare’,…

    • scotty 8.2

      Yeah .
      Percy needs more time to organise his tie collection.

    • Tim 8.3

      The Elna was getting too much of a beating and there are only so many different coloured ginham tableclosths, stripe tie and polka dot combinations. Retirement means he can revert to the Bob Charles knit shirt (with action gusset of course) – or perhaps even a lovely beige safari suit.

  9. Belladonna 9

    Phil – made your porridge this morning, so, so yummy. Thanks.

    • @ belladonna..chrs..

      ..i have a brew on now..

      ..banana/blueberries/passion-fruit will be the underlay..today..

      ..(i’m salivating in anticipation..)

      ..phillip ure..

  10. Skinny 10

    Longtime National MP Tony Ryall is set to join a growing list (11) of National MP’s leaving parliament. There is word from insiders that they are worried about Bill English’s balancing of the books.

    I guess it’s like a ponzi scheme, the true exstent of how badly the books really are will only be discovered after National are thrown out of office, and how the books have been cooked is discovered. It must be concerning to Joyce who is trying to hold things together that another high ranking MP calls it time.

    • srylands 10.1

      “the true exstent of how badly the books really are will only be discovered after National are thrown out of office, and how the books have been cooked is discovered”

      No. In New Zealand that would be impossible. The Public Finance Act requires the Treasury to publish a PREFU to provide an indication of the most up-to-date economic and fiscal position that an incoming government will face.

      • Skinny 10.1.1

        Yes yes I am well aware of that Shrilland. As you would also know there are many ways to massage the numbers. The social welfare figures are a classic example of fudging things. Both National & Labour have partaken in that twisted little number.

        Now while your slivering about the place, you asked a question ( regarding engaging voters) of which I’ve answered. Now I’d like you to consider sponsoring 10 enrollee’s at $10 per head to a charity of their choice, now I will be fair by adding the Taxpayer Union to the charity list, that’s dependent on them qualifying like some other Unions I have on the list.

        How say you? Ya know for the feel good factor of getting the non engaged to vote and take part in the democratic process and all.

        • srylands 10.1.1.1

          “ow I’d like you to consider sponsoring 10 enrollee’s at $10 per head to a charity of their choice.”
          Done. When it is set up, contact me with the relevant bank account details.

          • Skinny 10.1.1.1.1

            “Done. When is it setup, contact me with the relevant bank account details”

            Oh jolly good. Well I have the troops on the ground rearing to go, however like anything there is a process, all be it slightly bloated. Choosing which charities, critiquing them ( you might need to advise on the Taxpayer Union) then there needs to be an offer of intent letter that Executive Committees need to accept. And of course included is a recommendation that any donations received are ‘somehow’ forwarded as political donations to the relevant party’s. In the case of Taxpayers Union I would assume that would be ACT.

            Thanks kindly Sir I will be in touch.

      • KJT 10.1.2

        Pity that the numbers are not required to be constantly available.

        Nationl’s being in the poo would be rather obvious at the moment.

        And. They have run out of paper-boys, to tax.

        • Draco T Bastard 10.1.2.1

          Pity that the numbers are not required to be constantly available.

          That’s exactly what needs to happen and in real time as well. There may have been a reason for these things to be made available at preset times back in the days of manual working but in this age of computers and the internet there is no longer any excuse to keep the figures from the people.

      • PapaMike 10.1.3

        Regarding the PREFU it is allright as long as you leave out the unfunded $4 billion ACC account.
        And buy a bankrupt railway.

    • millsy 10.2

      Paving the way for Judith Collins to take the health portfolio and pick up where Upton and Shipley left off post 2014…..Job well done for Ryall, who was instructed by Key to ensure that health remains off the radar to ensure there was no repeat of the 1990-1993 fiascos that almost saw National lose the 93 election.

    • David H 10.3

      Should call in the SFO and let them sort out the mess.

    • wyndham 10.4

      Would that we see (urgently !) a corresponding list of Labour retirees. National appear to have now removed the bulk of their “dead” wood and can look forward to a rejuvenated caucus.
      Labour still have the ABC brigade; Mallard,Goff et al.

      • KJT 10.4.1

        LOL. National still have Brownlee, Smith, Tolley, Bennet, Parata etc.

        In fact their talent pool seems to consist of John Key.

        Not to mention their obvious lack of intelligent Women

    • ianmac 10.5

      Note that Bill English is going to be a List only MP (I think?) If so does that tell us that he can quietly slip away after they loose the Election this year. I think it is now 9 to leave National.

    • rhinocrates 10.6

      Sigh, if only it was ALL of them, Prostetnic Vogon Joyce included – and on the other side, Rogernomes like Goff, King, Mumblefuck (who considers politics beneath him anyway), Mallard, Beltway Grant, Curran (quick, give her a nice pot and make sure she gets watered regularly), Hipkins (red braces, some coke and a trip to 1987 for him)…

  11. greywarbler 11

    on 9toNoon with Kathryn Ryan – Laurie May poet punchy on social issues
    10:05 Feature: Laurie May – Alice Springs slam poet
    Anglo-Indigenous Australian Laurie May is a resistance poet from Alice Springs who challenges societal norms and perspectives on poverty through her spoken-word poetry. She is known for her clever, often humorous, wordplay and identity-politics themes. Laurie is in New Zealand to perform in Hamilton and Wellington.
    http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/ninetonoon

    Laurie May at Poetry in Motion
    Heaven Pizza, Wellington
    Wed 5 Mar 7:00pm

    Links:
    Laurie May’s Facebook page
    Hamilton Slamdown Poetry – Facebook page
    Poetry in Motion Wellington – Facebook page
    Watch Laurie’s poem Facts about Aboriginal deaths in custody – YouTube

    From eventfinda –
    (Wed 26 February, so done see Wellington. )Hamilton Slamdown Poetry’s inaugural feature poet event stars visiting Australian slam poet Laurie May. The show also includes local poets and an open mic for anyone wanting to ‘give it a go’. Koha collected will go towards funding entrants in the NZ National Poetry Slam 2014.

    From Alice Springs, Anglo-Indigenous Australian Laurie May is a resistance poet challenging societal norms and perspectives on poverty. Known for her clever, often humorous, wordplay and pointed politics of identity themes, Laurie May recently performed for five days at the Woodford Folk Festival, a long-running major creative New Year event in Queensland.
    In her first year as a performance poet, she represented Central Australia in the finals of the Australian Poetry Slam in Sydney in 2012, finishing in the top five. After that, she established a monthly event called The Dirty Word in Alice Springs, while acting as poet-in-residence at Page 27 Cafe, where she set up The Poet-Tree for people to hang their poems. She recently hosted and promoted US poet Bob Holman’s visit to Alice Springs, an event called Haiku Death Match and an upcoming show by UK raw poet Paul Case aka Captain of The Rant.

    Laurie May and Hamilton Slamdown Poetry are also visiting Fraser High School the following day.
    Poetry Slam events are fast becoming popular in New Zealand and Australia. Spoken word poets “slam” two-minute poems in competition judged by audience members and popular acclaim. It’s loud. It’s bold. It’s clever. Young (mostly), sharp, diverse and smart.

  12. captain hook 12

    I see Tony Ryall is another rat deseerting the sinking ship.
    I only remember him demeaning the dignity of parliament by trying to hand out minties in a cheap stunt.
    Cheap tony ryall.

  13. Molly 13

    Fact follows fiction with Peter Williams.

  14. amirite 14

    Story just breaking that, surprise, surprise, Tony Whittall may have bought his way out of a murder conviction, which follows to a conclusion that we badly need a corruption-free justice system.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/west-coast/9768728/Claim-of-deal-on-Whittall-charges

    • bad12 14.1

      Yes i heard that little piece of news with open disgust in my mind, if this is true the relevant Ministers should be quizzed on this in the House,

      The two tier system of Justice which operates in this country is pretty much obvious, the brown kids seen not to have a future are simply thrown into the jail system as fodder for the machine while those who offend from the ‘better’ suburbs are seen to be constantly described as having their futures blighted by even at times the entering of a conviction against their names,

      i am not advocating that such kids with the brighter future are tossed to the wolves in the form of the prison system, no-one should be sitting in a jail cell unless they have physically harmed someone or another living creature…

      • Draco T Bastard 14.1.1

        The two tier system of Justice which operates in this country…

        I think it’s probably a three tier system. There’s the rich that just don’t get charged, the middle class who will get charged but get light sentences and then there’s everyone else (mostly brown) who get thrown to the wolves.

    • Bill 14.2

      Hand him over to the families of the West Coast miners in the dead of night and let them decide what justice should be meted out. Guaranteed ‘corruption free justice system’ right there.

      And by the way, I reckon that many would be astounded at the level of humanity extended him in such a scenario. We can police ourselves and we can deliver justice to ourselves. Just a shame that we don’t.

      • rhinocrates 14.2.1

        Chris Trotter once wrote (regarding a particular, hugely dodgy land deal with Holyoake) that New Zealand isn’t really a country without corruption, we’re just good at calling corruption something else.

        • Murray Olsen 14.2.1.1

          That agrees with my experiences. The other difference from countries that are recognised as corrupt is that the entry price in Aotearoa is much higher. In some places, it’s reasonably democratic and $10 will get you off a speeding ticket. Here, you probably need somewhere around a million to get in on the act and get a law changed, or a favourable decision.

  15. Arfamo 15

    This is interesting. Child poverty, and the income inequality gap have both just now been confirmed as having been under-reported by Treasury.

    “Finance Minister Bill English has relied heavily on the MSD reports to point to a lack of evidence that inequality is increasing in New Zealand. He was not immediately available for comment.

    Treasury blamed the mistakes on human error and breakdowns in process in its relationship with Statistics New Zealand.”

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/9771016/Children-in-poverty-vastly-underestimated

    • Bill 15.1

      So, what I want to know is – Do they or don’t they believe in magic? Sometimes it seems that they do, but now it seems they are keen to be denying its efficacy…

      Treasury admitted substantial errors were made in its calculations of disposable income levels in Kiwi families for recent years, but says the results had no effect on the “real world”.

      • fender 15.1.1

        This no effect in the “real world” suggests that no matter how bad poverty gets there will be no change of policies to alleviate the problem. Good to know.

    • Hayden 15.2

      Ooh:

      This year, as Labour and the Greens sought to attack the Government amid claims that there was a growing gap between the rich and poor in New Zealand, English used Perry’s reports to point to the fact that there was no evidence that this was true.

      Today’s announcement did not change the overall trend of inequality according to the MSD reports, but suggested statements were made about them knowing the reports were based on incorrect data.

    • bad12 15.3

      We would have to ask what exactly is the use of Treasury, everything they report to any Government seems to turn out to be wrong, are the staff of Treasury simply a cadre pushing the barrow of the discredited Neo-Liberal ism using their position to downplay the negative social statistics while trumpeting the rock-star economy while all around the evidence says that Rock-Bottom as far as economic expectations is where the Governments books happen to be,

      Perhaps it is Treasury that need the ‘restructuring’ sending the gnomes en masse into the real world so as to aquaint them all of ‘real world’ effects of policies that simply deepen and further entrench poverty in the demographic with the least in society…

      • Hayden 15.3.1

        We would have to ask what exactly is the use of Treasury

        Where else would we get luminaries (ask srylands, he’ll tell you) such as Bill English and Aaron Gilmore?

      • Draco T Bastard 15.3.2

        As far as I can make out Treasury needs to be disbanded – restructuring just won’t cut it. It’s too often wrong and filled with neo-liberal economists that seem to drive that wrongness.

        • felix 15.3.2.1

          It should be sold to the private sector in order that it operate at the level of efficiency that only corporate discipline and competition can induce ;)

          • KJT 15.3.2.1.1

            I wonder how many customers they would get for a bunch of parrots repeating Cut wages, cut taxes, cut costs, cut Government, give all our assets away to wealthy foreigners, and borrow for welfare, for Rio Tinto..

            • felix 15.3.2.1.1.1

              They would get precisely their appropriate market share according to the utility their service offers.

    • Lanthanide 15.4

      I think Labour’s response to “demand an apology” is effectively that English and the government to respond, which they certainly will and they’ll dismiss whatever Labour are saying.

      A better response would be to simply point out how bad English and the government are and leave it there. Put the government on the back foot, rather than inviting a reply.

      • Draco T Bastard 15.4.1

        Actually, the better option would have been to point out that the government was purposefully lying. Blinglish used those same figures after he knew they were wrong.

        • Arfamo 15.4.1.1

          Good points, Lanth and DTB. Reading Parker’s press release again, it is too “gentlemanly”. It should just kick the bastards in the gooneys for bullshitting, not call for an apology for the error.

  16. captain hook 16

    When National took office they said they would do something about un mufled cars on the roads. It seems as if a whole new generation of little shits who need to make noise to make sure somebody knows who they are has arisen. They seem to know that National wont do anything in case they get on their tweeters and blag the government in election year.
    Perhaps the new Police Commissioner will get on to it but I wouldnt hold my breath. It seems as if public order and comfort come a long way down the list of priorities

  17. Skinny 17

    Let’s see Minister of Inovation and Employment Stephen ‘snakeoil’ Joyce try sliver out of allegations former Pike River CEO Peter Whittle paid his way out of charges over the mining disaster which 29 men tragically died.

    So it appears Joyce may have shown moral turpitude in doing a ‘behind closed doors’ deal with Whittle and his legal team.

    So instead of doing right by the families of the dead miners, by rushing through the House under urgency a Corporate Manslaughter amendment Bill. It appears highly likely these mongrels done some shady backroom deal.

    If proven correct National should be looking for a new campaign manager and Minister of I & E because Joyce needs to resign or be sacked.

  18. captain hook 18

    Joyce is keepinghis head down.
    He invited dotcom here and doesn’t want anyone to find out.

  19. captain hook 19

    and I’m getting really pissed off with the heapatitis foundation.
    I have had two arguments with them in the last week over demands for personal information that they dont need.
    Their current campaign has nothing to do with the health of any one individual but gathering information for longitudinal studies so they can get more funding.
    another score for the banal poltroons running this country.

  20. bad12 20

    Also read on stuff today, perhaps those who extoll the virtues of Health Minister Tony Ryall who claims to have raised the number of ‘elective surgeries’ undertake under His term as Minister to ‘rock-star’ proportions can explain just how many more surgeries would have been completed had Ryall managed the Governments stocks of Tamiflu with efficacy,

    The loss from the dumping of this ‘lemon’ of a flu remedy,(only 55,000 out of a million+ doses bought by the Government were ever used), are said to be in a range of 20-110 million dollars depending if the Government take up Big Pharma Roche’s(the manufacturer), offer to replace every dose dumped at half the cost of the original purchase price,(which simply proves the Government was at the least negligent and stupid for paying the original price),

    Developed for what turned out to be a falsely flagged ‘flu epidemic’ in the form of the H1N1 flu rumors of it’s efficacy have abounded since it’s public release with Roche the manufacturer refusing to release details of trials carried out with the drug pre-release,

    There is a school of thought,(tin foil hats everyone),that the ‘epidemic scare’ was a deliberate attempt to have the public of western world societies get stuck into swallowing this unproved drug en masse,

    Side issues surrounding this rumor have gone as far as alleging that after a previous failure of the US CDC to identify the correct flu that each winter comes out of Asia infecting millions upon millions in the western world, Roche in particular, having relied upon the CDC to identify the correct flu had manufactured multi-million doses of the flu jab for that particular flu which turned out not to be the predominate flu that season took a huge hit financially, having to dump most the doses of the ready to use flu vaccine jabs for that year,

    You will need another layer of tinfoil for the hat to continue reading further,

    In what we will call for now a conspiracy theory, it has been rumored quietly in some quarters that a deal was then struck between the CDC and Roche where the ‘guess’ the CDC makes annually on what will be the prominent flu in the western world for the year would be taken out of the equation,

    Instead a laboratory formulated flu, H1N1, would be spread first in Asia and then in western countries with Roche already well into the process of manufacturing 100’s of millions of doses of Tamiflu the CDC would be 100% right in it’s yearly prediction on the prevalent flu and Roche along with a well organized media blitz screaming ”Killer Flu Epidemic’ would make a ‘killing’ on supplying the world with Tamiflu,

    The above of course is not FACT, it has simply been compiled from rumor and innuendo so until such time as there is an admission by Roche, the US CDC, or, a Government it can only be reported as a fiction,

    Of interest in the world of Flu is the current one being manufactured in a number of laboratories, H7N5, said to be a far far more efficient killer by times 20 than the flop H1N1 turned out to be is said to only need a suitable host virus that will accept it as a passenger so as to enable it’s spread from human to human to occur and make it possibly the nastiest piece of chemistry outside of actual chemical weapons to exist on the planet in the year 2014…

    • greywarbler 20.1

      It’s a case of the officials trying to be sure that there were sufficient supplies of the flu vaccine and probably being gamed by the manufacturers. When they were told that there would not be supplies for a long period after ordering them the officials must have over-ordered, unwise because they had limited shelf life, but because of the scare of the dangers of the deadly flu. Possibly helped by the media.

      • bad12 20.1.1

        Greywarbler, what deadly flu are you talking about,H1N1???, the kill rate for H1N1 was the lowest in years…

        • Colonial Viper 20.1.1.1

          http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1203886/Fears-rise-effects-Tamiflu-cases-adverse-reactions-double-week.html

          In the first three days of its operation – between 24 and 26 July – no fewer than 150,000 Tamiflu packs were handed out.

          A growing number of doctors have raised concerns over whether the drug is being handed out too readily, putting many at needless risk of side effects when in the majority of instances, swine flu is a mild illness.

          The 293 cases, reported by doctors to the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, are only of suspected adverse reactions. However, those that turn out not to have been caused by Tamiflu are likely to be only a fraction of the total.

          There were 465 separate reactions reported, referring to 293 individuals.

          Around a third involved gastrointestinal problems, such as vomiting and diarrhoea.

          But there were also cases of heart and eye problems – together with 46 cases of psychiatric disorders and 48 disorders of the nervous system. There has also been one unexplained death.

          Last week England’s top doctor urged parents to continue giving their children Tamiflu if they come down with swine flu.

          Sir Liam Donaldson, the chief medical officer, appealed for calm after the release of a study which showed that 53 per cent of children who take it suffer from nausea, nightmares and other reactions.

          Sir Liam said: ‘All drugs do have side effects. It is always a case of deciding the balance between benefiting a patient from a treatment and the side effects.’

          I’d be quite keen to know how many doses of Tamiflu Sir Liam ended up swallowing himself.

      • greywarbler 20.1.2

        bad 12
        I don’t know which number flu. I know that there was concern about possible bad effects and the Tamiflu had to be ordered in advance. So the official/s overordered.

        Who decides on this type of purchase? Is there a board of doctors, immune specialists, public health, disease specialists? There is the USAs CDC – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. I guess whatever they said would stand for a lot.

        • bad12 20.1.2.1

          Greywarbler, we are talking H1N1 as far as Tamiflu goes, i can assure you the the numbers of those who died in what was touted as a ‘Pandemic killer flu year’ were lower than the norm of previous winter flu seasons in this country,

          You seem to have a faulty memory, there was a concerted media campaign at the time ratcheting up fear based around a deadly pandemic of flu,(H1N1), commenting on another web-site at the time,) and having been given a whisper),i was a lone voice loudly proclaiming this supposed pandemic killer flu as Bullshit,

          i havn’t got the year the US CDC got the yearly western world prevalent flu totally wrong in front of me,(it is the CDC who advise big Pharma what flu they will need to make the multi-millions of yearly flu jabs for), but, wrong they got it which resulted in big Pharma producing a useless flu jab that year with the loss of a corresponding amount of the filthy lucre,

          The whispers surrounding the sudden change from the ‘flu jab’ to Tamiflu started early on in the piece and were soon followed by the cries of PANIC, this years flu, (H1N1),was a pandemic killer virus and those i was ribbing over conspiracy theory and tinfoil hats then returned the ribbing with a ”now do you see it”

          And, see ‘it’ i did, this of course is all fictional, the events described may or may not have happened and we are simply discussing something theoretical…

          • greywarbler 20.1.2.1.1

            bad12
            You seem to have a faulty registration of what you see. I don’t remember everything about the flu epidemic as it didn’t make as big an impact on me as apparently it did for you.
            I merely asked what agency was the important one and referred to CDC. Not because I thought that you were going to be proved wrong about anything. So don’t make an argument when I was after a discussion.

            I wish you wouldn’t read into answers things that aren’t there. You have done it before and made critical statements that didn’t relate to the comment.

            • bad12 20.1.2.1.1.1

              Greywarbler, Lolz, i only see information contained in my previous comment, admittedly not the information you are seeking,(and it’s obvious that as it isn’t included in that comment i do not have the information you seek),

              Please point out where in the previous comment i have attempted to provoke an argument over a discussion,(specific sentence or paragraph will do fine),

              i do tho absolutely love a verbal joust having found there are far more laughs to be had in the verbals,(in this case printed versions of such), and far less chance of loosing teeth, blood and other things from previous engagements in minor physical jousts,(the number of losses in my virtually edentate gob suggesting a lack of prowess in the latter),

              Seeing as you are such a sensitive being Greywarbler i will have to try in future to be ”NICE”, i fear tho my ability to reach such a high achievement is as lacking as my ability to ensure the protection of my dentures in previous struggles of a physical nature…

              • greywarbler

                Oh bad12 it’s boring being polite, as someone said yesterday, so don’t worry ignore the above.

    • Colonial Viper 20.2

      Thanks for bringing this up bad12. Big Pharma only need a scare like this every 5 years to put the cream on top of their already huge profits.

  21. Chooky 21

    seems like we are made up of viruses

    “There are 100,000 known fragments of viruses in the human genome, making up over 8% of our DNA. Most of this virus DNA has been hit by so many mutations that it’s nothing but baggage our species carries along from one generation to the next.”

    http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/loom/2012/02/14/mammals-made-by-viruses/#.Uw5XgOOSxF8

    …and risks for vaccine production

    http://www.ecs.umass.edu/~mettu/ece597m/papers/Leung/sdarticle-2.pdf

    (PS….. calling in all crazies with big injections….run for the hills….)

    • McFlock 21.1

      No, we’re not “made up of viruses”.
      Some evolutionary developments were the result of viral infections.

      You know the thing about evolution? The ones who don’t reproduce are the ones who didn’t survive.

      • Chooky 21.1.1

        @ McFlock…OK made BY viruses ( splitting hairs imo)…Viruses are a natural part of being human and part of human evolution

        ‘Mammals Made by Viruses’

        http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/loom/2012/02/14/mammals-made-by-viruses/#.Uw5XgOOSxF8

        ‘Hunting Fossil Viruses in Human DNA’

        http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/12/science/12paleo.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

        Risks linked to endogenous retroviruses for vaccine production:
        A general overview

        http://www.ecs.umass.edu/~mettu/ece597m/papers/Leung/sdarticle-2.pdf

        • McFlock 21.1.1.1

          Indeed. Shitting yourself to death or bleeding from your eyes, or being delirious from a fever are “a natural part of being human “. So is being eaten by a lion or catching intestinal worms.

          With the glorious wonders of technology, we don’t have to deal with 99% of that shit any more.

          • Chooky 21.1.1.1.1

            sounds like you are talking about Ebola

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ebola_virus_disease

            …not the poor wee measles virus

            “With the glorious wonders of technology, we don’t have to deal with 99% of that shit any more”….some are a wee bit more skeptical …eg Tamiflu.

            The point is that viruses are not necessarily all bad …some have important functions for humans that we dont know about yet …..and we should be careful about vaccinating for everything

            ( I am off to dinner)

            • McFlock 21.1.1.1.1.1

              I thought we’d left measles behind when you started talking about fragments of virul DNA in the human genome. Or was that just measles?

              Because we vaccinate against the ones that kill people. You know, that bit about evolution that involves the deaths of the least-suited.

              • Colonial Viper

                Because we vaccinate against the ones that kill people. You know, that bit about evolution that involves the deaths of the least-suited.

                Meh, everything can kill, even the many kinds of bacteria that you have on your skin right now, so you better get real busy vaccinating yourself.

            • McFlock 21.1.1.1.1.2

              btw, ebola isn’t the only haemorrhagic fever, just the one they plugged in hollywood for a while in the 1990s.

            • northshoredoc 21.1.1.1.1.3

              “The point is that viruses are not necessarily all bad …some have important functions for humans that we dont know about yet …..and we should be careful about vaccinating for everything”

              There are many thousands of different types of viruses we recommend vaccinating against the following viral borne diseases

              Measles
              Mumps
              Rubella
              Hepatitis
              Polio

              The reason we advise vaccinating against these specific viruses is that they are proven to cause significant morbidity and mortality.

              • Chooky

                Sorry dont believe you that measles , mumps and rubella are “proven to cause significant morbidity and mortality”

                ….that is bullshit

                …most of my generation and ancestors had them without vaccination and without any long term ill- effects.

                However a friend’s sister died after getting the polio vaccine when she was a child…and that tragedy caused life long trauma to my friend and his family

                • northshoredoc

                  “Sorry dont believe you that measles , mumps and rubella are “proven to cause significant morbidity and mortality”

                  I think you could only make such a comment for one of the following reasons.

                  you didn’t understand what I said
                  you are a dunce
                  you are deliberately trying to be oppositional

                  .. or perhaps a combination of all three.

                  • RedLogix

                    And exactly how do you imagine that charming comment helped?

                    Feel better now?

                    My sense is that the major health gains came from industrial scale water and waste treatment and huge improvements in food safety. Not to mention great strides in understanding nutrition.

                    At the same time none of these things came without a cost. The overwhelming rise in chronic degenerative illnesses (cancer is now the leading cause of pre-mature death in the developed world) and obesity is closely associated with these same benefits. Clearly at some level there has been a trade-off.

                    We might not die from accidents and infectious disease as our great-grandparents did, but neither can we herald a victory over ‘morbidity and mortality’.

                    Vaccinations are of undoubted value – but us ordinary people strongly suspect that it is not an unalloyed value. Rant all you will against our obstinacy, you cannot change our experiences. For while we will respect your medical knowledge as far is it goes, you cannot tell us your knowledge is omnipotent.

                    Besides a cursory glance over the history of medical science would advise a great deal more humility.

                    • northshoredoc

                      “Feel better now?”

                      Yes and you ?

                      “Vaccinations are of undoubted value – but us ordinary people strongly suspect that it is not an unalloyed value. Rant all you will against our obstinacy, you cannot change our experiences. For while we will respect your medical knowledge as far is it goes, you cannot tell us your knowledge is omnipotent.”

                      I have never stated my or indeed medical knowledge in general is omnipotent I merely stated the facts which are the reason we (medical professionals, the MoH, plunker etc) advise vaccinating against specific viruses and bacteria is that they are proven to cause significant morbidity and mortality.

                      For anyone to suggest that these diseases don’t cause significant morbidity and mortality is plainly incorrect and ignores very very robust historical data.

                  • srylands

                    “I think you could only make such a comment for one of the following reasons.

                    you didn’t understand what I said
                    you are a dunce
                    you are deliberately trying to be oppositional”

                    I admire your persistence, but vaccine deniers are just like climate change deiners. They have the phone off the hook. Pre colonisation these guys would have been witch doctors. They experience cognitive disonance when confronted with science. Of course many of them have children, who pay the price.

                    BTW industrial scale water treatment was v useful in ending diseases such as cholera that were water borne. In did nothing for diseases such as polio or measles.

                  • Chooky

                    @ northshoredoc….lol…i am a dunce obviously….but i can still express my opinion ..i do have human rights still in this country

                    ( also one of my doctors was an even bigger dunce…because this doctor was totally opposed to vaccination and almost left medical school because of the medical mishaps /errors seen in hospitals…an extremely successful doctor too i might add)

                    ….also i am not paid for vaccinations…you are ….bias????…( conscious or unconscious)…..how much have you been paid over the years i wonder?!…this imo is really the nub of the issue

                    …there is no doubt that vaccination is good in many instances …but not in all instances….and definitely not as blanket coverage for all populations regardless of peoples wishes , their needs and their standard of living

                    • srylands

                      “there is no doubt that vaccination is good in many instances …but not in all instances….and definitely not as blanket coverage for all populations regardless of peoples wishes , their needs and their standard of living”

                      I think this better:

                      “there is no doubt that vaccination is good as blanket coverage for all populations regardless of their standard of living”

                    • northshoredoc

                      “….also i am not paid for vaccinations…you are ….bias????…( conscious or unconscious)…..how much have you been paid over the years i wonder?!…this imo is really the nub of the issue”

                      Yes a brilliant deduction, we only treat people for the cash no one is actually ill and there is no benefit from any medic treatment……. as you appear to be a bit slow that was sarcasm.

                    • McFlock

                      we only treat people for the cash no one is actually ill and there is no benefit from any medic treatment

                      Sounds like aura-realignment therapy to me :)

                • KJT

                  Birth defects in their children, infertility, death, shingles in later life, permanent disability, deafness.

                  I saw several of those personally, if you like “observational evidence”, in those a bit older than me in the generation before MMR and other vaccines.

                  Just some of the “side effects” of “childhood diseases which we vaccinate against.

                  That is why we have the vaccination schedule we have.

                  Sorry, But subjecting a child to several weeks of serious illness and the very definite possibility of serious side effects, because you refuse to vaccinate, is, child abuse. (people who say they do not smack their children have “chicken pox parties FFS)
                  Not to mention exposing, children around your child, that cannot be vaccinated because they are too young, have compromised immune systems etc, is abusing them as well.

                  Refusing to vaccinate because of of side effects is akin to refusing to feed your child because someone, somewhere, died of peanut allergy.

                  I am as sceptical about big pharma and research paid for commercially, as anyone. But vaccination has been working for two centuries now. I think we would know if their was more side effects than medical science describes.

                  Unlike. Alternative medicine, some of which is sold by “big Pharma”, (cold cures and the like) which sticks to, mostly, self limiting conditions and does not publish the, often, serious side effects.

                  Lastly. I prefer the scientific method which relies on observable and repeatable evidence, rather than hearsay.
                  When scientists have got it wrong, it is because they to, have ignored the method, or screwed up. Not because the “scientific method” is wrong.

                  I prefer to rely on Archimedes and Newton to tell me my ship floats, not magic!

          • weka 21.1.1.1.2

            “With the glorious wonders of technology, we don’t have to deal with 99% of that shit any more.”

            Yet, as marty pointed out the other day, all that tech created different sets of problems too. I’m surprised that someone hasn’t done a cost/benefit analysis, but of course this progress has less to do with what we all want and more to do with who has the power and the money.

            • McFlock 21.1.1.1.2.1

              Yeah. I wasn’t particularly impressed by that comment.
              It’s the sort of question only one with easy access to clean drinking water could ask.

              • weka

                Didn’t quite follow that. Are you saying that no-one in a priviliged country like NZ should critique technology in a big picture sense? Never mind marty, how about in this conversation?

                • McFlock

                  Nah. Just saying that being in a position to do a CBA on the benefits of the scientific method (i.e. post-Rennaisance advances) is only an option because of those advances.

                  In other words, the answer is in the impulse and ability to ask the question

                  • Well I wasn’t meaning to offend, but i was being pointed and rhetorical. Too often the proponents of science act like they forget that people are scientists and they come with all their foibles and because of that, the ‘purity’ of science is illusory therefore just because a scientist says it, does not mean it is necessarily so. I suppose for some, wielding a scientist as a sword in a discussion is a show-stopper – but not for me. I enjoy science – not just for the material benefits it affords me and society but also for the beauty and inherent enjoyment of learning some new things and knowledge itself but i’m not putting scientists on a pedestal – I’ll retain my ability and right to think for myself.

                    • McFlock

                      no offence taken.

                      I think that the ability to think for oneself is fine – I like to try it myself. But I’m not an immunologist, and I don’t pretend that googling the nutty ends of the interwebs substitutes for an advanced degree in the field.

                      I heard once that the last person who was reputed to know the sum of all human knowledge was Erasmus. I trust conventional mechanics to fix my scooter, and I trust conventional scientists to develop vaccines. And I trust my bullshit filter to separate those folk from fraudsters, crystal shills and ken fucking ring. And my bullshit filter starts screaming when people link to articles when they’ve only read the abstract, or decide that because they personally don’t know of someone who died of measles then therefore almost nobody has died of measles. And big neon signs go off when “natural” is used as shorthand for “good” and “healthy” (asbestos is natural, ffs). And then I look at the NZ cholera or bubonic plague rates, and I make an independent choice as to who’s probably correct.

                  • Ergo Robertina

                    ‘Just saying that being in a position to do a CBA on the benefits of the scientific method (i.e. post-Rennaisance advances) is only an option because of those advances.’
                    McFlock – That kind of circular thinking is about trying to control the parameters of discussion.
                    ‘Post Rennaisance [sic] advances’ are often in spite of, rather than because of, the prevailing scientific thought of the day. The vilification and alienation experienced by Ignaz Simmelweis in trying to persuade doctors to wash their hands to reduce incidence of childbed fever is a classic example, but there are many others. According to modern (purportedly positivist) science of the 1840s, something unseen by the human eye could not cause death.
                    Now, there is a university named after him, but in his time, he ended up in an asylum.

                    • McFlock

                      Thanks for saying I was trying to control the parameters of discussion. I just thought it was stating the obvious – being in a position to ask whether the eradication of smallpox was worth it relies to a certain extent on having an infant mortality rate in the region of 1/1000 rather than 300/1000.

                      BTW, the Church took 400 years to say Galileo was correct.
                      And Galen was viewed as correct for 1200-odd years until science came onto the scene.

                      So even if it isn’t instantaneous, it still beats the competitors. And Simmelweis was eventually recognised because he had the hard data rather than relying on wishful thinking.

                  • Chooky

                    @ McFlock…one of the things i have noticed in this discussion is that those who are pro vaccination dismiss any evidence which poses questions about the efficacy of vaccinations for everything and for All people, totally out of hand without looking at the evidence….it is sort of as if their mind has been made up absolutely

                    …my children have been vaccinated reluctantly and through expediency because i wanted them to go to creche….but this does not mean i dont have enormous respect for my doctor who advised against blanket vaccinations for very young babies ….nor other parents who choose not to vaccinate…and also the scientists and microbiologists who study viruses( some of these people are also anti- blanket vaccination for their children…in fact it was hearing one of these experts on the radio that made me first aware that there was controversy…this was before children)

                    …also i have a fascination with the nature of viruses….they are endlessly fascinating…they are part of the building blocks of life ….are they conscious in some primitive way?… how do they interact with humans?…what causes a harmless virus in the human body to suddenly turn virulent and attack the symbiotic host individual….are viruses necessary and helpful to the individuals natural immune system?…. do some viruses protect against worse viruses and cancer?…. are viruses an essential part of evolution?(physical and conscious)…….what causes a pandemic like the Spanish flu straight after WW1?…do viruses turn virulent when a population is under severe stress?….almost like a death wish in the host activated?( in which case there may be other ways of treating this stress rather than blanket vaccination of both the stressed population and other unstressed populations)

                    …quite frankly i dont see this fascination in the rigid pro vaccinate everybody regardless brigade…which makes me think they are authoritarian personalities…more concerned with being right… and not concerned with the science at all

                    • northshoredoc

                      “@ McFlock…one of the things i have noticed in this discussion is that those who are pro vaccination dismiss any evidence which poses questions about the efficacy of vaccinations for everything and for All people, totally out of hand without looking at the evidence….it is sort of as if their mind has been made up absolutely”

                      More lies, all vaccines are registered registered via Medsafe based on substantive data in relation to their immunogenicity and side effect profile.

                      The rest of you diatribe is so odd I don’t know where to begin…. so I won’t.

                    • KJT

                      Chooky.

                      “I know someone who knew someone whose child died after being vaccinated”, or “we think” vaccination is bad, or “we think” vaccination is being pushed by those who make money from it, or “we think” vaccination causes ADHD, is NOT, evidence!

                      Evidence is, like, thousands of children dead or disabled by polio in NZ, pre vaccinations. None afterwards.

                    • McFlock

                      KJT is right – what “evidence” do you believe has been ignored?

                      If the evidence in favour of vaccination was outweighed by the evidence against, we wouldn’t be having an argument. As it is, though, the reverse is demonstrably the case.

            • Chooky 21.1.1.1.2.2

              weka +100…technology should be critiqued….eg plunder and pollute the earth and water supplies with technology and then try and patch it all up with man made technology….this is the capitalist ‘solution’ and arrogance

              …not to say technology has not helped enormously in surgery for example…. but to claim it is the solution to 99% of the worlds problems …when it has made a fair few of them…is ‘male'( i say this because it is generally males, but not always) capitalist ethos grandiosity and lunacy

            • KJT 21.1.1.1.2.3

              Life expectancy.

              In Victorian times many did not live long enough to die of cancer, or obesity.

  22. greywarbler 22

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/checkpoint
    Rule change reinforces public’s lack of say ( 2′ 46″ )
    17:27 The government has announced that the public will not be able have a say on
    any applications to explore for oil and gas in New Zealand’s exclusive economic zone.

    Listening to Amy Adams talk airily about oil drilling being now non debatable by the public, the EPA being the only body to consider it, reminds me of listening to some of those Christian sects who quote semi-scientific factoids. Also if oil is found then people can then have a voice. And one unlikely to be heard. If there was a whiff of oil on their breath when they do the drilling nothing will stop them – they’ll charge like wounded bulls.

    She says that regulators all around the country are making decisions about matters that do not have to be notified and consulted on, like aircraft being airworthy. If these regulators round the country do make decisions about aircraft and something goes wrong then like the Bannerman crash one in Christchurch it killed a number of our precious scientists. (Pilot broke rules in air crash, says coroner – National – NZ Herald News
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid…‎
    May 31, 2006 – The Christchurch coroner has found that the deaths of eight people in … Mr McElrea outlined a series of failings by pilot Michael Bannerman …)

    It was a sad loss but was contained in one place though it could start a fire off that would rage far and wide if we had Australian tinder conditions. But with deep sea oil drilling if anything happened, it would have long-standing serious consequences, Stats of 0.2 or .02% chance of problems – interesting how that would be worked out.

    There was something on the news recently about the effect of diluted or mixed oil with water and it has bad effects which is not what oil companies want you to believe.

  23. felix 23

    Line charges on the power bill going up again, from ~$1.20 per day to ~$2 per day.

    That’s a significant leap. A couple more of those and there’ll be no benefit to feeding solar back into the grid.

    Thanks artificially created electricity market. Thanks corporate governance model. Thanks privatisation.

    • Skinny 23.1

      It is extortion that’s what it is. It’s little wonder it feel so much like ground hog day. Bring on the power shop. In the interim we get wounded the crap out of.

Important links

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Recent Posts

  • The Fundamental Need For a Lower Voting Age
    During this past election there was a significant portion of society that were silenced by the electoral system. Despite the age-old mantra of ‘no taxation without representation’ these people were denied the right to have their voices heard, despite working...
    Fundamental | 25-10
  • Rail vs Driverless Cars
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    Transport Blog | 25-10
  • The Bridge
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    On the Left | 25-10
  • 2014 SkS Weekly News Roundup #43B
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    Skeptical Science | 25-10
  • When do we reach ‘peak cow’?
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    Pundit | 25-10
  • ‘Progressives’ who side with imperialism
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    Redline | 24-10
  • ‘Progressives’ who side with imperialism
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    Redline | 24-10
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    Bowalley Road | 24-10
  • Beach Rd Cycleway stage 2 design
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    Transport Blog | 24-10
  • Taylor Swift NOT entertaining misogyny, even for laughs
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    The Paepae | 24-10
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    the Irascible Curmudgeon | 24-10
  • Neo-Liberal Economics and the danger to nations’ sovereignty. From So...
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    On the Left | 24-10
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    Left hand palm | 24-10
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    On the Left | 24-10
  • Letter to the editor – Key paints a dirty, great, big bullseye on our cou...
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    Frankly Speaking | 24-10
  • 2014 SkS Weekly News Roundup #43A
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    Skeptical Science | 24-10
  • The state of the working class in New Zealand today
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    Redline | 24-10
  • The state of the working class in New Zealand today
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    Redline | 24-10
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    Its our future | 24-10
  • We can be heroes
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    On the Left | 24-10
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    Transport Blog | 24-10
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    No Right Turn | 24-10
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    Te Whare Whero | 24-10
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    Redline | 24-10
  • De-industrialisation and the prospects for socialism
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    Redline | 24-10
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    Labour campaign | 24-10
  • Strong and comprehensive
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    Labour campaign | 24-10
  • Christchurch’s rebuild should be decided by Christchurch, not Welling...
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    No Right Turn | 24-10
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    No Right Turn | 23-10
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    frogblog | 23-10
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    No Right Turn | 23-10
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    Transport Blog | 23-10
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    Labour campaign | 23-10
  • Maiden speech – Adrian Rurawhe
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    Labour campaign | 23-10
  • Roastbusters, one year on (almost)
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    On the Left | 23-10
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    Bowalley Road | 23-10
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    Pundit | 23-10
  • Beware the sucker ploy.
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    Kiwipolitico | 23-10
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    Public Address | 23-10
  • 6 amazing renewable energy projects that we love
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    Greenpeace NZ blog | 23-10
  • China’s coal use actually falling now (for the first time this centur...
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    Greenpeace NZ blog | 23-10
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    Transport Blog | 23-10
  • As a nation drowned in the PM’s lies, sons & daughters were sent to d...
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    Politically Corrected | 23-10
  • Why I am on the left
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    On the Left | 23-10
  • Minister to attend TPP Ministers’ Meeting
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    Its our future | 23-10
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    Its our future | 23-10
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    Its our future | 23-10
  • Grant Robertson is not as much like Joseph Stalin as some would have you th...
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    Pundit | 23-10
  • Food, Fossil Fuels and Filthy Finance
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    Hot Topic | 23-10
  • National’s failed commodities export strategy exposed
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    Greens | 23-10
  • Caution needed on calls to arm police
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    Labour | 23-10
  • Govt strains to get tea break law through
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    Labour | 23-10
  • How low can you go? Mining the depths
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    Greens | 23-10
  • Fed Farmers defend GE Agriculture
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    Greens | 23-10
  • Government loses the affordable housing race
    Nick Smith is dreaming if he thinks he can deliver affordable housing to Cantabrians on his current figures, says Labour’s Associate Housing spokesperson Poto Williams. “The Minister’s announcement that the Government will build 237 new homes, most of which will...
    Labour | 23-10
  • Labour’s thoughts with Canadians
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    Labour | 23-10
  • What next for TVNZ? Outsourcing the news?
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    Labour | 22-10
  • Green Party expresses sympathy for Canadian shooting victims
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    Greens | 22-10
  • Prime Minister must honour his promise
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    Labour | 22-10
  • Kevin Hague questions the Minister of Health about Katherine Rich’s c...
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    Greens | 22-10
  • Kennedy Graham to the Prime Minister on the Deployment of New Zealand Speci...
    Dr KENNEDY GRAHAM to the Prime Minister: Does he stand by his statement that the risks to New Zealand from any commitment of military assistance to counter Islamic State militants in Iraq would be "no greater than I think the...
    Greens | 22-10
  • EPA finds Shell Oil illegally drilled two wells
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    Greens | 22-10
  • Soaring rail use in Auckland shows need for rail link now
    News that Aucklanders overtook Wellingtonians as the biggest train users is further evidence the Government needs to start work on the Auckland City Rail Link now, the Green Party said today.Auckland Transport said today that in the year to September,...
    Greens | 22-10
  • Tea breaks gone by lunch time
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    Labour | 21-10
  • Metiria Turei to lead fight on feeding hungry children
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    Greens | 21-10
  • Otago dairy farms fail basics
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    Greens | 21-10
  • A mighty totara has fallen across the Tasman
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    Labour | 21-10
  • Note to National: Must deliver on child poverty
    John Key and his Government will be held to its promise to make child poverty a priority, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “In its priority-setting speech today the Government stated child poverty would be a major focus for...
    Labour | 21-10
  • New Analysis show Government cut tertiary education funding
    New analysis done by the Green Party today shows the Government has made cuts to funding of tertiary education since 2008.Figures compiled by the Parliamentary Library show that between 2009 and 2015 Government funding to Tertiary Institutions dropped by 4...
    Greens | 21-10
  • Students doing it tough as fees rise again
    The Government is making it increasingly difficult for Kiwis to gain tertiary education as fees continue to rise and access to student support becomes even more restricted, Labour’s Tertiary Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Steven Joyce is shutting a generation...
    Labour | 20-10
  • Key misled New Zealand on Iraq deployment
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    Labour | 20-10
  • Swearing about swearing the oath
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    Greens | 20-10
  • Kevin Hague speaks in the 2014 Address and Reply debate
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    Greens | 20-10
  • Damning report on Ruataniwha dam numbers
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    Greens | 20-10
  • Church congratulated on child poverty stand
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    Labour | 19-10
  • Labour names Review Team
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    Labour | 19-10
  • Labour backs urban development plans
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    Labour | 18-10
  • New Zealand can be rightly proud of seat on Security Council
    Gaining a seat on the United Nation’s Security Council shows the sort of standing that New Zealand has in the world and the quality of the long campaign that we ran over nearly a decade, says Foreign Affairs spokesperson David...
    Labour | 16-10
  • NZ has opportunity on UN Security Council
    New Zealand has an opportunity to make a major contribution to the strengthening of international law and institutional capacity through its upcoming two-year tenure on the United Nations Security Council, Green Party spokesperson on global affairs, Dr Kennedy Graham said...
    Greens | 16-10
  • MPI still dragging the chain over causes of food bug
    The Ministry of Primary Industries’ release of Environmental Science and Research’s initial reports regarding the sources of a nasty stomach bug will be little comfort to the 127 people affected by it, Labour’s Food Safety spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “This...
    Labour | 16-10
  • Treasury officials should try working without food
    The Green Party is challenging Treasury officials to work for a week without eating properly, in light of their advice to Government that a food in schools programme is not needed."Treasury's advice was that providing food for children in schools...
    Greens | 15-10
  • Councils need to better protect our drinking water
    Environment Canterbury (ECan) is proposing several variations to its regional land and water plan that will allow for increased nutrient and other pollution from irrigation and intensive agriculture on the Canterbury Plains. Commissioners are hearing submissions on Variation 1 to...
    Greens | 15-10
  • National needs to commit to making NZ workers safe
    The National Government must do more to help make New Zealand workplaces a safer place to work in, Green Party industrial relations spokesperson Denise Roche said today.Data released by Statistics New Zealand today showed that workers in the fishing and...
    Greens | 15-10
  • Key commits to deployment before consultation or analysis
    John Key’s offer to consult Opposition parties on whether to deploy New Zealand forces against ISIS looks increasingly like a PR exercise only, says Labour’s Defence spokesperson, Phil Goff. “The presence of New Zealand’s Chief of Defence Force at a...
    Labour | 15-10
  • National must end ideological opposition to raising income
    If John Key is serious about tackling child poverty he must approach it with an open mind, and overcome his ideological block to raising incomes as a solution, the Green Party said today.Papers released to Radio New Zealand today show...
    Greens | 14-10
  • Pentagon links climate change and terrorism
    Yesterday the Pentagon launched a plan to deal with a threat that “poses immediate risks to national security”; one that “will affect the Department of Defense’s ability to defend the nation”. It wasn’t referring to Ebola or ISIS. It was...
    Greens | 14-10
  • Four Nominees for Labour’s Leadership
    As at 5pm today four valid nominations had been received for the position of Labour Leader, as follows: Andrew Little(nominated by Poto Williams and Iain Lees-Galloway) Nanaia Mahuta(nominated by Louisa Wall and Su’a William Sio) David Parker(nominated by Damien O’Connor...
    Labour | 14-10
  • Green Party calls for consultation over terrorism law changes
    The Green Party has today written to the Prime Minister asking him to engage in wider consultation prior to changing any laws as a result of the recently announced terrorism law reviews, said the Green Party today. In a letter...
    Greens | 14-10
  • MPI must name product and supermarket chain
    The Ministry of Primary Industries must name the product responsible for severe gastroenteritis affecting people around the country, and the supermarket chain distributing it, Labour’s Food Safety spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “The Ministry seems to be more concerned about protecting...
    Labour | 13-10
  • John Key dishonest about reasons for wanting to change terrorism law
    John Key is misleading the public to push through terrorism law changes under urgency, the Green Party said today. On Sunday, John Key stated that it is not illegal for someone to fight overseas for a terrorist group, such as...
    Greens | 12-10
  • Law changes shaping up to be worse than first thought
    The Prime Minister needs to be up front about exactly what changes he is planning to make to the Employment Relations  Amendment Bill, Labour's spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says.Interviewed on Q&A yesterday John Key said he did not...
    Labour | 12-10
  • Rapists, not Tinder, the threat to women
    Blame for rape and sexual assault should only ever be laid at the door of the perpetrator, not dating services or the actions of women themselves, Labour’s Associate Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. “Tinder is not the problem and women...
    Labour | 09-10
  • Safer Journeys For People Who Cycle
    You have a rare opportunity to tell the people who are making the decisions on cycling how to make it better. The Cycling Safety Panel is seeking feedback on their draft recommendations for improving the safety of cycling in New...
    Greens | 08-10
  • Subsidising more pollution will undermine water clean-up plan at Te Waihora...
    In 2010, NIWA found Canterbury’s Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere had the worst nutrient status of 140 lakes around New Zealand that it measured. In 2011, the National Government committed to spending $15 million across the country through the Fresh Start for...
    Greens | 08-10
  • Adding value not herbicides
    The HT swedes, and other brassicas, might seem like a good idea to farmers struggling against weeds but like the GE road, is this the path we want our agriculture to be treading? The Federated Farmers President, Dr William Rolleston...
    Greens | 07-10
  • ‘Blame the Planner’ bizarre approach to child poverty
    The National Government is stooping to a bizarre new low in blaming "planning processes" for poverty and inequality, after spending six years doing nothing about either the housing market or child poverty, the Green Party said today. Finance Minister Bill...
    Greens | 07-10
  • Media Advisory
    MANA Leader, Hone Harawira will not be available to speak with media today regarding his release “Recount Just One Step To restoring Credibility”. He is however available for media comment tomorrow, Tuesday the 8th of October, all media arrangements are...
    Mana | 07-10
  • RECOUNT JUST ONE STEP TO RESTORING CREDIBILITY
    “I have applied for a judicial recount of the votes in the Tai Tokerau election because it is one step in trying to restore credibility to the electoral process in the north, and, I suspect, in all other Maori electorates...
    Mana | 07-10
  • MANA SEEKS TAI TOKERAU RECOUNT
    The MANA Movement is supporting Leader Hone Harawira’s application for a judicial re-count in the Te Tai Tokerau electorate for the 2014 general election. President Lisa McNab says there are a number of serious issues of concern regarding the ability...
    Mana | 07-10
  • 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
  • Review: Perfect Place
    I went to a Perfect Place on Tuesday night, and what a delight it was. The marshmallows sweetly (and forcefully) handed out pre-show, set the tone for the next hour. Walking up the stairs at The Basement was a complete...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • 5AA Australia – NZ on UN Security Council + Dirty Politics Lingers On
    5AA Australia: Selwyn Manning and Peter Godfrey deliver their weekly bulletin Across The Ditch. General round up of over night talkback issues: Thongs, Jandals and flip-flops… ISSUE 1: New Zealand has been successful in its campaign to become a non...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • When I mean me, I mean my office & when I call whaleoil I mean not as m...
    This. Is. Ludicrous. Green Party co-leader Russel Norman put the first of what are likely to be many questions about Mr Key’s relationship with Slater, asking him how many times he had phoned or texted the blogger since 2008. “None...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • A brief word on describing the Government as ‘boring and bland’
    The narrative being sown is that this Government will be a boring and bland third term. Boring and bland. Since the election, Key has announced he is privatising 30% of state houses without reinvesting any of that money back into housing society’s most...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • More Latté Than Lager: Reflections on Grant Robertson’s Campaign Launch.
    BIKERS? SERIOUSLY! Had Grant Robertson’s campaign launch been organised by Phil Goff? Was this a pitch for the votes of what few Waitakere Men remain in the Labour Party? Was I even at the right place? Well, yes, I was....
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • About Curwen Ares Rolinson
    Curwen Ares Rolinson – Curwen Ares Rolinson is a firebrand young nationalist presently engaged in acts of political resistance deep behind enemy lines amidst the leafy boughs of Epsom. He is affiliated with the New Zealand First Party; although his...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • About Kelly Ellis
    Kelly Ellis.Kelly Ellis – As a child, Kelly Ellis didn’t so much fall into the cracks, but willfully wriggled her way into them. Ejected from Onslow College – a big job in the 70s – Kelly worked in car factories,...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • About Kate Davis
    Kate Davis.Kate Davis – Having completed her BA in English and Politics, Kate is now starting her MA. Kate works as a volunteer advocate at Auckland Action Against Poverty and previously worked for the New Zealand Prostitutes Collective. Kate writes...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Parker does a Shearer – oh for a Labour Leader who can challenge msm fals...
    Sigh. It seems David Parker has done a Shearer… Like a cult and too red – Parker on LabourLabour leadership contender David Parker says Labour borders on feeling like “a cult” and must look at its branding – including its...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • A brief word on the hundreds of millions NZ is spending on the secret intel...
    The enormity of the mass surveillance state NZ Government’s have built carries a huge price tag… Kiwis pay $103m ‘membership fee’ for spyingThe $103 million taxpayer funding of New Zealand’s intelligence agencies is effectively a membership fee for joining the...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Where. Is. Jason. Ede?
    Where. Is. Jason. Ede?...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Labour’s Din of Inequity
    Watching Labour’s leadership candidates on Q+A on Sunday, I noticed the ongoing use of terms like “opportunity” and “aspiration”, and “party of the workers”. What do these mean? We glean much from Labour, and from the media about Labour, but not...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • “Blue-Greenwash” fails the test when it comes to endangered dolphins
    National’s pre-election promises saw some wins for the environment – perhaps as the party sought to appease its “Blue-Green” voters and broaden its popular appeal. Some of the ecological gains were a long time in the making, overdue even– such...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Reasons not to be cheerful, Part #272b
    Why don’t you get back into bed? The next few years — the rest of this century — are not going to be pretty. There is an obvious disconnect between any remaining political ambition to fix climate change and the...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • OIA protocols and official advice ignored to hide Child Poverty
    It might not seem so now, but child poverty was a major election issue. What a pity we did not have the full debate. In that debate it would have been very helpful to have seen the Ministry of Social...
    The Daily Blog | 20-10
  • Previewing the 4 candidates for Leader of the Labour Party
    The extraordinary outbursts by Shearer last week highlights just how toxic that Caucus is. Shearer was on every major media platform as the ABC attack dog tearing into Cunliffe in the hope of diminishing Cunliffe’s support of Little by tearing...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – the sudden explosion of ‘left’ blogs
    Time to Teach or more people will suffer from P.A.I.D. Political And Intellectual Dysmorphia.I was on the Twitter and a guy followed me so of course I did the polite thing and followed him back. He wrote a blog so...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Ego vs Eco
    Ego vs Eco...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • We can’t let the Roastbuster case slip away
    Those of us (like me) left with hope that the police would aggressively follow through on the large amount of evidence on offer to them (let’s not forget they forgot they even had some at one point) in the Roastbusters...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Food, shelter and medicine instead of bombs and bullets
    The on-going conflict across the Middle East – due in large part to the US-led invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq – has created another humanitarian crisis of biblical proportion. The essentials of life are desperately needed in Iraq and Syria...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • The politics of electorate accommodations
    National’s electorate accommodations with ACT and United Future were a big factor in it winning re-election. Interestingly, there is another electorate accommodation scenario whereby the centre-left could have come out on top, even with the same distribution of party votes....
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Why you should join the TPPA Action on 8 November
    On 8 November 2014, thousands of Kiwis will take part in the International Day of Action to protest the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA). The rally cry for us is TPPA – Corporate Trap, Kiwis Fight Back. Why should you join...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • GUEST BLOG – Patrick O’Dea: no new coal mines
    Green Party and Mana Party policy is “NO NEW COAL MINES!” Auckland Coal Action is trying to put this policy into action on the ground. ACA after a hard fought two year campaign waged alongside local residents and Iwi, in...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Comparing Police action – Hager raid vs Roast Buster case
    This satire had the NZ Police contact TDB and threaten us with 6months in prison for using their logo.   The plight of Nicky Hager and the draconian Police actions against him has generated over  $53 000 in donations so...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • Malala Yousafzai, White Saviour Complexes and Local Resistance
    Last week, Malala Yousafzai was the co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. Since her exposure to the worldwide spotlight, her spirit, wisdom and strength have touched the hearts of people everywhere. However, there have been cynics who have argued that...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • Jason Ede is back – but no media can interview him?
    Well, well, well. Jason Ede, the main figure connected to John Key’s office and the Dirty Politics black ops is back with a company with deep ties to the National Party. One thing you can say about the right –...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Curwen Rolinson – Leadership Transitions In Other Parties: A ...
    As cannot have escaped anyone’s attention by now, the country is presently in the grips of an election and campaign that will help determine the fate of the nation for years to come. It’s gripping stuff – with clear divides...
    The Daily Blog | 17-10
  • SkyCity worker says she faces losing her house
    SkyCity worker Carolyn Alpine told the company annual shareholder’s meeting today that she faced the prospect of losing her house because the company had cut her shifts from two a week to one without consultation. The solo mother, has worked...
    The Daily Blog | 17-10
  • Greg O’Connor’s latest push to arm cops & 5 reasons not to
    I was wondering at what point within a 3rd term of National that Police Cheerleader Greg O’Connor would start trying to demand cops be armed. O’Connor must have thought to himself, ‘if bloody Key can get us and the GCSB vast new...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • You can’t have crisis without ISIS
    So the new scary bogeyman ISIS might have chemical weapons that the US secretly found in Iraq, but America didn’t want to expose this find because the WMDs were actually built and made by the US and Europe, the two powers...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • NZ WINS UN SPIN THE BOTTLE! Privately sucking up to America for a decade me...
    Oh, we are loved! Little old NZ, the 53rd state of America after Israel and Australia, gets to sit at the adults table for the special dinner party that is the UN Security Council. How delightful, a decade of privately...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • MEDIA BLOG – Myles Thomas – A World Without Advertising
    Non-commercial broadcasting and media. It’s a solution for all manner of problems ailing our tender nation… voter engagement, unaccountable governance, apathy, stupefaction, public education, science in schools, arts appreciation, cultural cringe… But no-one could’ve guessed that non-commercial media might solve...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • March against war – 2pm Saturday 25th October
    March against war – 2pm Saturday 25th October...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • Whack a mole as US govt foreign policy
    Whack-A-Mole was a popular arcade game from my youth.  It consisted of a waist high cabinet with holes in the top. Plastic moles seemingly randomly pop out of these holes. The purpose of the game was to hit as many...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • In Paean of Debt
    This week is ‘Money Week’. It’s an opportunity to promote to the middle classes, and anyone else who will listen, the virtues of wise ‘investment’. The aims are to promote the mystical (and indeed mythical) virtues of saving for the...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • The last 48 hours – Poverty denial, war denial and unapologetic abuse of ...
    The bewildering speed of events that simply end in Key shrugging and proclaiming he doesn’t really give a shit is coming think and fast as the Government suddenly appreciate the full spectrum dominance they now enjoy. Here is Radio NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Pat O’Dea – Mana 2.0 Rebooted
    Internationally the news is that Evo Morales of Bolivia won big with Left Wing policies But what are the chances that the Left will make a resurgence in this country? As the internecine struggles between the Left and the Right...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • The Blomfield IPCA letter – Has Dirty Politics leaked into the NZ Police ...
    It’s difficult to know what to make of the IPCA letter to Matthew Blomfield over Slater’s continued insistence that the hard drive taken from Matthew wasn’t stolen.  Slater has selectively cherry picked the Police referring back to his claim that Blomfeild perjured...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • Pike River Families Group Press Release
    The Families can now but hope that Solid Energy will consider closely the response of the Families’ expert mining advisers, Bob Stevenson and Dave Creedy, and the independent legal advice by Hugh Rennie QC as to why re-entry to the...
    Scoop politics | 24-10
  • On The Nation this weekend
    This weekend on The Nation… with dairy prices falling, China growing its agriculture sector, and the environmental costs piling up, we ask the Fonterra chief executive Theo Spierings if New Zealand is too dependent on milk powder and if we’ve...
    Scoop politics | 24-10
  • NZ Government Urged to Do More to Fight Ebola
    As Ebola continues to tear through West Africa, Save the Children NZ is urging the government to do more in the fight against the deadly virus....
    Scoop politics | 24-10
  • Korero Mai Ki Ahau – Saturday 25 & Sunday 26 October 2014
    Broadcast on Waatea 603AM Saturday 12.00 - 12.30pm Sunday 12.00 - 12.30pm Both shows repeated 5.00pm – 6.00pm On Sunday...
    Scoop politics | 24-10
  • Putting whānau foremost in Family Dispute Resolution
    Dispute resolution company, FairWay Resolution, has developed a uniquely New Zealand approach to family dispute resolution (FDR) that is underpinned by the cultural needs and values of the parties to a family dispute. In support of its role as a...
    Scoop politics | 24-10
  • Anglican Family Care staff to rally industrial action rises
    Public Service Association (PSA) members working at Anglican Family Care (AFC) in Dunedin will hold two rallies in Dunedin next week as they seek a fair pay offer, following a week of low-key industrial action....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Flying Visit for Adventuring Kiwi Socialpreneur
    12 Months on, this former Alexandra barista is changing lives in Buenos Aires Slums with free lunches, music, art, drama and toothbrushes...
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • March in Solidarity with Kurdistan Against ISIS Attacks
    The New Zealand Kurdish Community will march in solidarity with Kurdistan in light of the heinous genocidal attacks in Kobanê by ISIS. We will begin with silent demonstrations then commence marching. We will start from Britomart, Queen Street (outside Dick...
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • No Problem for Henare & Jones, But “No Way” for Harawira
    “Just before the election I broke the story about the gutting of Maori Television’s News and Current Affairs department by MTS’ new CEO Paora Maxwell. I pointed out that Carol Hirschfeld and Julian Wilcox, two of the country’s most experienced...
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Corruption: Positive developments for NZ but more to be done
    Global anti-corruption group Transparency International today released a report on OECD Anti-Bribery Convention enforcement and called for New Zealand to implement draft legislation to ratify the United Nations Convention against Corruption....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Government to Blame as Much as Council for Marryatt Payout
    The Taxpayers' Union is calling on the Government to fix the employment law regime that has forced Christchurch ratepayers to fork out $800,000 to former Council boss Tony Marryatt....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Unanimously Call for Commissioner to Arm Police Full Time
    In the wake of a series of recent armed offender incidents, delegates to the Police Association Annual Conference today called unanimously on the Commissioner to arm Police full time....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Bank gets behind NZ wildlife icon with sizable donation
    It will be easier than ever this summer for holiday-markers to dip into their pockets to support the yellow-eyed penguin....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • WorkSafe report raises concerns about asbestos
    The union representing construction workers in the Canterbury rebuild is surprised at WorkSafe’s conclusion that no action needs to be taken against EQC and Fletcher EQR over asbestos exposure in Canterbury homes. “This report was an opportunity...
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Union accuses SkyCity CEO of misleading public
    Unite Union has accused SkyCity CEO Nigel Morrison of misleading the public over the cut in hours for a staff member who raised the issue at the company's AGM....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Last Hurrah on the Taxpayer
    Responding to the NZ Herald report that Hone Harawira spent up $54,000 on the taxpayer in his last three months as an MP, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “It is absolutely disgraceful that an MP managed to rack...
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Press statement in relation to search of Nicky Hager’s home
    On 2 October 2014, Nicky Hager's home in Wellington was searched by police. Mr Hager asserted that documents kept at his house were protected by privilege, including because they contained information that might identify confidential sources....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • The Sam Simon arrives into Auckland for new campaign
    This morning Sea Shepherd ship, the Sam Simon, arrived into Auckland harbour after its journey from Melbourne. The ship and its 25 crew from around the globe have come to New Zealand to source supplies and prepare for the upcoming...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Low inflation – time for meaningful wage increases
    With inflation low, now is a good time for workers to negotiate for pay increases that outstrip price rises and deliver real increases in wages and salaries. “For too many people, real pay increases have been missing for several years...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Auckland Rates Rises Out of Control
    Responding to the NZ Herald report that Auckland ratepayers will face an average of a 29 percent rates increase, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “These rate rises show that Len Brown's spending is out of control.”...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Protest at New Plymouth Oil and Gas Expo
    About 30 protesters from Climate Justice Taranaki, Frack-free Kapiti, Te Uru Pounamu Action Group, Oil Free Wellington, Frack-free Manawatu and the east coast protested yesterday outside New Plymouth's biennial Oil and Gas Expo at the TSB Stadium....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • FMA warns consumers about cold-calling investment offers
    The Financial Markets Authority (FMA) is warning New Zealand consumers and investors to be wary of cold-calls asking them to buy shares or put their money into offshore firms....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Comprehensive plan needed to end child poverty
    Child Poverty Action Group says it is vital the newly re-elected National government takes a planned and comprehensive approach to reducing child poverty in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Metiria Gets Feed the Kids
    Yesterday the Speaker of the House advised that he had accepted my request to transfer my Feed the Kids (Education (Breakfast and Lunch Programmes in Schools) Amendment) Bill to Metiria Turei of the Green Party....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • DIA undercover investigation leads to jailing
    An undercover Internal Affairs investigation has led to a Hastings man being jailed for three and half years....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Call on Minister McCully to pursue the case of Balibo Five
    Media Information: Call on Minister McCully to pursue the case of journalist Gary Cunningham and the Balibo Five...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Australia and NZ actions on press freedoms alarming
    Global support for investigative journalism in Australia and New Zealand is a welcome response to law changes and a police raid, says the Pacific Freedom Forum...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Call for release of French journalists in West Papua
    West Papua Action Auckland, the EPMU Print and Media Council and the NZ Media Freedom Network call on the Minister of Foreign Affairs to speak out in support of the two French TV journalists whose trial has just begun in...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Court of Appeal: Dotcom v 20th Century Fox Film Corporation
    A The appeal is dismissed. B The 20 August 2014 order of the High Court dealing with confidentiality and the 29 August 2014 order of this Court dealing with confidentiality are set aside. C The confidentiality orders set out in...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Glassons Blasted For Glamourising Animal Cruelty
    Clothing brand Glassons have found themselves embroiled in another controversy after launching a new advert featuring a girl riding a bull. Animal advocacy organisation SAFE have asked them to remove the ad immediately as it glamourises animal cruelty....
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Smuggling honey into New Zealand isn’t sweet
    Smuggling honey into New Zealand isn’t sweet Federated Farmers Bee Industry Group applauds the tough line taken by Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) Border Staff at Auckland Airport. In deporting the couple found trying to smuggle bee products...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Taxpayers’ Union Responds to Joyce on Corporate Welfare
    Responding to Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce’s defence of corporate welfare , Jim Rose, the author of Monopoly Money , a Taxpayers Union report on corporate welfare since 2008, says:...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Speech from the Throne brings welcome focus on children
    Today’s speech from the Throne confirms the Government’s focus on children, youth and their families in the areas of health, education, youth employment, poverty alleviation and Whānau Ora; now the challenge is to ensure every child in New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • John’s Job Fairs no fix for unemployment and poverty
    “John Key has clearly been looking to the US for his latest bright idea on dealing with employment issues,” says Auckland Action Against Poverty coordinator Sue Bradford. “Job fairs where the desperately unemployed queue in their corporate best to compete...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Speech From the Throne Foreshadows More Corporate Welfare
    Responding to the Governor General’s Speech from the Throne, which outlined that the Government’s intentions for the next Parliamentary term would include further Business Growth Agenda initiatives, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Green MP to speak at panel on Rainbow Mental Health
    Hamilton, New Zealand: Recently re-elected Green Party MP Jan Logie will be a guest speaker at a panel on the mental health of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Trangender, Takataapui and Intersex people taking place on November 1st as part of the...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Evidence Supports GE Moratorium
    Federated Farmers spokesman Graham Smith's call for a 'rethink' on release of GeneticallyEngineered organisms is misguided, and instead it is time for a formal moratorium on GMOs in the environment.(1)...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Chatham Rise mining could have impact on whales and dolphins
    Wellington, 21 October 2014--Mining phosphate on the Chatham Rise, off the east coast of New Zealand’s south island, could potentially have many impacts on marine mammals like whales and dolphins, the Environmental Protection Agency was told today....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Council endorses Nanaia Mahuta as the next Labour leader
    Te Kaunihera Māori, the Māori Council of the New Zealand Labour Party, have passed a resolution to endorse the Hon Nanaia Mahuta as the next leader of the Labour Party...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Kaumatua to organise petition to end Maori seats
    Ngapuhi kaumatua David Rankin has announced that he will be organising a nationwide petition to seek support from Maori voters to end the Maori seats. “These seats are patronising”, he says. “They imply we need a special status, and that...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Announcing a New Voice for The Left
    Josh Forman is pleased to announce the creation of a new force on the Left of politics in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Public services held back by poor workplace culture
    A new report by Victoria University’s Centre for Labour, Employment and Work shows that public servants are working significant unpaid overtime to ensure the public services New Zealanders value are able to continue....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • iPredict New Zealand Weekly Economic & Political Update
    Andrew Little’s probability of being the next leader of the Labour Party has reached 70% and Jacinda Ardern is favourite to become his deputy, according to the combined wisdom of the 8000+ registered traders on New Zealand’s predictions market, iPredict....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Prison Drug Treatment Unit marks a milestone
    Christchurch Men’s Prison’s Drug Treatment Unit (DTU) celebrated the completion of its 50th six month Drug and Alcohol Programme today, with the graduation of a further twelve offenders....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Security Council seat a chance for NZ to empower women
    The UN Women National Committee Aotearoa New Zealand (UN Women NCANZ) welcomes New Zealand winning a seat on the United Nations Security Council and is calling on New Zealand to use its position to proactively promote effective implementation of the...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Waipareira and ACC sign Partnership
    Waipareira and The Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding at Whanau Centre, Henderson – marking a special day for the West Auckland Urban Maori organisation....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Humanitarian aid desperately needed in Iraq and Syria
    Global Peace and Justice Auckland is calling on the government to provide humanitarian funding for non-aligned NGOs (non-governmental organisations) in the Middle East rather than give any support whatever for the US-led military campaign in the area....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Court Judicial Decision: Dotcom v The USA: 17 October 2014
    The United States of America is seeking the extradition of Messrs Dotcom, Batato, Ortmann and Van Der Kolk. The matter has been before the Courts on numerous occasions, and no further recitation of the facts is needed....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Marshall Island poet speaks at UN climate summit
    “The fossil fuel industry is the biggest threat to our very existence as Pacific Islanders. We stand to lose our homes, our communities and our culture. But we are fighting back. This coming Friday thirty Pacific Climate Warriors, joined by...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Many tourist car accidents preventable
    Simple steps could dramatically reduce the number of accidents involving tourists, says the car review website dogandlemon.com ....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
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