web analytics
The Standard

Open mike 28/07/2012

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, July 28th, 2012 - 153 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post. For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

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

Step right up to the mike…

153 comments on “Open mike 28/07/2012”

  1. Jenny 1

    In Japan, it is renewables, or nothing.

    This is the real debate.

    The Japanese people in rejecting nuclear power, are also rejecting fossil fuels, and in what could be the start of a global historical shift, are opting for renewables instead.

    A nationally known advocate for renewable energy looks set to win a major local election, scaring the pro-nuclear government.

    Interestingly this election win for this well known proponent for renewable energy, Tetsunari Lida, is in a “conservative stronghold”.

    (This blows out of the water Assad apologist Colonial Viper’s claim that middle class voters will not support renewable energy, which he argues is why the Labour Party must continue supportjng coal mining, deep sea oil drilling, fracking, lignite to diesel, etc. etc. blah, blah, blah.)


    The debate in Japan is not whether to switch from nuclear over to fossil fuels, but whether to switch from nuclear over to renewables.

    If there is any modern industrial country with the reputation for innovation and the technical and industrial might to carry it out, it is Japan.

    That such technical possibilities are feasible is undeniable.
    All that is missing, is the political will.
    The Fukushima disaster may be the impetus to create that political will, in Japan, (at least).

    If the mass production of wind and solar becomes Japanese public policy, there is little doubt that this would transform the world market for renewables, lowering their cost and raising their availability, vs fossil fuels and nuclear.

    Renewable Energy Candidate Set To Win

    “Japan Pm Atomic Energy Stance on Trial in Local Poll”


    > “If Yamaguchi goes against the ‘nuclear village’ and votes for a green candidate, it would certainly put a lot of wind in the sails of the anti-nuclear movement,” said Jeffrey Kingston, director of Asia studies at Temple University’s Japan campus, referring to the powerful nexus of atomic industry interests.
    > “A lot of politicians are very scared about the election because there is really deep anger at the two main parties. There is a lot of frustration and people are ready for change.”
    > Demonstrations outside Noda’s office in Tokyo protesting the resumption of operations at two Kansai Electric Power Co reactors in western Japan have grown week by week.

    What I wouldn’t mind seeing, if it exists, is a hard hitting Japanese version of the scientifically rigorous Scientific American plan. See below;


    (I would expect that the Japanese version of this plan would drop the North American fixation, and love affair with, the private automobile instead putting greater emphasis on more energy efficient public transport, which would lead to even more savings.)

    • Carol 1.1

      Interesting. I suspect that the reason Japanese favour renewables is the same reason that they previously embraced nuclear power – they don’t produce enough oil/fossil fuels themselves and would need to rely on a lot of imports. Whereas renewables would make them more energy-independent.

      I don’t think the case is totally the same in NZ, with, perhaps more access to NZ fossil fuels. Nevertheless more investment in renewables would also help to make NZ energy-independent.

      • Draco T Bastard 1.1.1

        Even if we do have more fossil fuels around it would still be better for us to go full renewable. Use the oil/hydrocarbons as feedstock into industrial processors.

    • weka 1.2

      That is good news if Japan is turning its ability to innovate to renewables.
      However, renewables are oil derivative processes (realistically you can’t make solar panels/batteries or windfarms without cheap oil). This shouldn’t be forgotten, including in NZ. We should be using the oil, gas, coal, minerals in conservative amounts to powerdown, not to try and replace our current lifestyles with wind and solar.

      • Draco T Bastard 1.2.1

        However, renewables are oil derivative processes (realistically you can’t make solar panels/batteries or windfarms without cheap oil).

        I’m pretty sure you’ll find that it’s possible to build them without use of oil at all and to do so economically.

        • weka

          Care to explain how Draco? Obviously, theoretically one could, but in the world we live in now? And do you mean in a way that maintains our current consumption/lifestyles?

          • Draco T Bastard

            Glass can be made without use of oil and has been for centuries. More specifically it can be made using power generated from our present renewable sources. Glass is a mass ingredient in both solar panels and solar water heaters.

            Metals are a little more difficult but, again, they’ve been mined for millennia without oil. That said, I’m sure fuel powered mining tools could be converted to using electricity fed, again, from existing renewables. The real problem with mining is actually the use of poisonous chemicals to separate out the metals but I’m sure we can over come that as well with a bit of R&D.

            Basically, our present renewables gives us the ability to bootstrap other renewables.

            I never advocate maintaining our present consumption levels as they’re unsustainable.

            • Colonial Viper

              Metals are a little more difficult but, again, they’ve been mined for millennia without oil.

              This Caterpillar mining truck drinks 240L of diesel per hour. It can carry a couple hundred tonnes of mineral ore around.


              Maybe you’re thinking of going back to mining with hand tools and beasts of burden, which can certainly be done, but lets not kid ourselves: we’d have to accept a 95% drop in metals refining volume to do it.

              Put another way: going to renewables 100% is going to require a huge amount of energy to be embedded. And we are going to need fossil fuels as a source of that energy.

              • Draco T Bastard

                And as it’s only used in mines can be easily powered by electricity.

              • Jenny

                You are so full of it, CV. Bucket wheel excavators the biggest mining machines on earth, are all electric, including the mobile conveyor belts which follow them. Far more efficient than the Caterpillar mining trucks. Using less energy they are the fastest and most efficient method of mining. Also all underground mining and machinery is either electric or pneumatic. Keep up all the lies and excuses for continuing the fossil fuel economy CV. By the way, answer the question; Do you, or do you not support the use of gas weapons against the FSA by Assad?

                • weka

                  How do you make the mining machinery (and mine the minerals to make the mining machinery) without cheap oil?
                  How do you make the factory that makes the mining machinery, without cheap oil?
                  And then there are the machines (and metals) needed to make the factory that makes the mining machinery that mines the metals to make the solar panels
                  What Draco is saying is correct, but not on an industrial scale. 

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    Any industry, no matter how small, is industrial scale by definition. NZ industry already runs on 70% renewables. That can easily be increased even if we’re limited to only using the renewables to do so.

                    How do you make the factory that makes the mining machinery, without cheap oil?

                    The same way they’re made today – with electricity. The same technology that can power trains can power mining machinery and factories to produce that machinery.

                    With cheap oil gone the economics change but they don’t disappear. The biggest changes will be the dropping of profit (there’s no way we will be able to maintain such a loss) and the move to making things locally again and actually having to live within the hard physical limits set by the local renewable resource base.

                    We’re not about to drop back into the 15th century.

                    • Colonial Viper


                      Come back to me in 10 years or 20 years guys.

                      I’ll be right and we’ll all be fragged.

                    • weka

                      ” NZ industry already runs on 70% renewables.”
                      Do you mean that 70% of it’s energy use is generated from oil derived renewables? All the other things needed to run NZ industry will be oil dependent as well.
                      I think there are too many unknowns for use to know what will happen. But I know that after the Chch quake and the Japan tsunami, supply chains for thing like subaru parts and car windscreens got interrupted for a while. There were SI businesses who couldn’t access stock because their computing systems were centralised in Chch and were down. Things  got back to normal reasonably quick, but only because the rest of the world was functioning relatively well. In the same way that our food supplies are very vulnerable, so too is industry. It’s not going to take much to knock things over. If we had transitioned to a NZ manufacturing economy while we still had cheap oil, maybe it would have been better. But I think we have missed the boat. I still believe that NZ has the capacity (knowledge, adaptability, skill) to manage a powerdown, including domestic manufacturing, but I don’t see how we can realistically switch to solar and wind in the way you mean.
                      Maybe you could say what level of functioning we might have. I don’t think 15thC so much as shades of Cuba. Only the whole world will be going through it at the same time, which will make the world of difference.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      We’re not about to drop back into the 15th century.

                      Actually I agree. 1940′s and 1950′s. Look it up.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      1940s/50s energy use initially but with modern technology. In other words, we’ll be doing a lot more with the same amount of energy.

                      Do you mean that 70% of it’s energy use is generated from oil derived renewables?

                      Yes, what we already have now but that is enough to bootstrap to more. We already make glass so we can do the solar water heating. That saves a huge amount of energy that can then be used to build other stuff. As an example we’re capable of building the infrastructure to make computers and we will have the energy to do so.

                      The knowledge and resources will still be there. We just won’t be able to use them as fast as we do now and, due to the hard limits that will be imposed that’s going to mean stronger regulations elsewhere on that resource use. Houses built to passive house standards and existing houses retrofitted as well as possible. Torn down and replaced if that’s the better option.

                      It will take time to do but that’s something that communities have – unless the RWNJs take power as they have a tendency to destroy communities.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      1940s/50s energy use initially but with modern technology. In other words, we’ll be doing a lot more with the same amount of energy.

                      No we won’t. Yes there will remain elements of modern tech, but we’ll only be doing marginally more with the same energy, and the net effect is going to be a massive drop in peoples standard of living.

        • aerobubble

          I think if oil prices are pushed significantly higher, then making devices that accumulate energy will replace burning the same oil in private automobiles to get the milk from the corner shop.
          But while we continue this myth of market innovation, that will solve all our energy woes, it maybe possible that we use up so much of the non-renewable resources that we don’t have enough energy inputs to both feed ourselves and build all these new energy capture devices.
          i.e. there’s going to be a tipping point when we switch from just wasting oil to shrinking the future energy supply. You must note that solar devices do break, so we need to get to a point where we have sufficient numbers before we pass the point of no return.

          And let’s not even consider the high energy cost from abating climate carbon, sequestration, flood preventions, erosion prevention, etc.

          • Colonial Viper

            In a world of depleting energy we are going to find that a lot of things are simply left undone and unachieved. If you look around now, you can already see clear signs of it.

            • Jenny

              Though no efforts are spared supporting dictators who murder and torture. Eh CV?

              • muzza

                Jenny, here is a link , (bit commercial, but serves a purpose), which works through some of those the CIA have “removed”, and “supported”, because “it suited theirs, or someones who directs thems, interests”


                • Jenny

                  I suppose CV next you will be denying that the Americans had a revolution against the British empire in 1775 because they had military assistance from the French imperialists.

              • Bill

                Jenny, why support either side? I mean, if the ordinary Syrian in the street was calling the shots I’d be fully supportive of them (of course!). But they ain’t calling the shots, just dodging them.

                Ask yourself why western or international agencies are talking to Syrian orgs that were set up in exile and not one – that’s not a single one – that we would describe as coming from civil society. They’ve been sidelined because the interests of the Syrian people are kind of irrelevent from the viewpoint of the main actors and their backers.

            • weka

              Can you give some examples, CV?

            • Colonial Viper

              Jenny – prepare to be disappointed.

              • Jenny

                Colonial Viper I have never been part of a political movement that has ever been disappointed. I am too old to start now.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Except you don’t get that the energy predicament modern civilisation finds itself in cannot be solved via politics. Politics can only give cover to the inevitable retrenchment in process. Yes, the economy is really going to rebound next year. Or the year after that. Or the year after that, etc.

                  Though no efforts are spared supporting dictators who murder and torture. Eh CV?

                  Hey, what do you think of reports of many thousands of foreign fighters infiltrating into Syria and participating in the ‘civil war’. That’s a good thing to you, right?

                • Colonial Viper

                  Why do progressive liberals always fall for “Humanitarian Wars”?

                  Sunday morning special for you Jenny. Article contains a section on the Syrian conflict too.


                  • Jenny

                    CV, a better question might be, “Why do progressive liberals support mass murderers and torturers?”

                    Better than the simplistic 1950s cold war, euro centric, Islamaphobic old rubbish, provided in your link.

                    Read instead, a sober, realistic leftist appraisal of the revolution in Syria from British Socialists Yusef Khalil and Lee Sustar.


                    • Colonial Viper

                      Estimates of several thousand up to 20,000 foreign fighters in Syria now. Many paid for by private interests out of Qatar, Saudi Arabia, etc.

                      You good with that?

                    • Bill

                      Hmm. See, there’s socialists then there are socialist worker types. And they’re not the same thing at all…the latter having a penchant for following ‘the party line’, celebrating centralism and, well… sorry to be blunt, but for being not the sharpest pins in the pack.

                  • muzza

                    The same way of thinking can be applied to how the average simpleton falls for most things they are told.

                    People can’t even begin to understand just how few thoughts are in fact their own, and mental weakness the inevitable outcome of having been programmed.

            • Colonial Viper

              weka – we will never have supersonic passenger travel across the Atlantic again. Something we once did but will never achieve once more. Men will never step foot on the moon again (or Mars for the first time). Again something we achieved once but never again. And although we have fission power stations, we will never have fusion power stations. CPUs will get faster yes but otherwise real world physics will fail us.

              Also there will never be a World War again. Missiles UAVs and bombers might get sent around the world, but energy constraints will mean that millions of soldiers will never be sent into war again.

              • Draco T Bastard

                Men will never step foot on the moon again (or Mars for the first time).

                I actually think you’re wrong there. Don’t need oil to launch into space – just electricity.

                Also there will never be a World War again.

                No, but IMO there will be significant local disputes around the world in the near to medium term.

                • Colonial Viper

                  I actually think you’re wrong there. Don’t need oil to launch into space – just electricity.

                  You are so so so so so so so so so so wrong.

                  There isn’t a single space programme in the world powered solely by electricity.

                  How do the mission controllers get from home to the Control Centre again?

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    It’s not a question of how they get there but how will they get there. Electric buses and electric trains comes to mind. Fuel powered cars are not an option.

              • Jenny

                We’re not about to drop back into the 15th century.

                Actually I agree. 1940′s and 1950′s. Look it up.

                Colonial Viper

                Grease is the word, eh CV, or in your case oil. Your climate change apologist behaviour is all explained.

                The same as your take on foreign affairs, also very dated.

                Wake up to the 21st Century CV, where climate change is a serious threat that must be addressed instead of excused.

                You should also move with times and recognise that the cold war is long over, and that it no longer a bi polar superpower dominated world. The Soviet Union no longer exists and American power is waning.

                Not everything is a CIA plot. You only come across as a paranoid nutcase plugging this particular conspiracy theory in this day and age.

                But above all that CV,. Your dismissal of the power and reality of the Arab spring racist. What you are saying in effect, is that the Arabs are to cowardly and reliant on foreigners to ever attempt to overthrow murderous dictators like Ben Ali, or Mubarak, or Assad.

              • Jenny

                Estimates of several thousand up to 20,000 foreign fighters in Syria now. Many paid for by private interests out of Qatar, Saudi Arabia, etc.

                You good with that?

                Colonial Viper


                I am more concerned about your continuing support for torture and mass detention of civilians and the murder of unarmed protesters. And your continuing refusal to condemn the use of gas weapons against those who have risen up against these criminal acts.

                The fact that you have not a hint of shame or self knowledge shows your sickness of spirit.

                It reminds of a similar comments previously made by you, excusing the millions that may die as a result of climate change.

                You may see yourself as a leftist but your politics are to the right of the Climate Change Apologist ACT Party.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Estimates of several thousand up to 20,000 foreign fighters in Syria now. Many paid for by private interests out of Qatar, Saudi Arabia, etc.

                  You good with that?

                  Colonial Viper


                  You do realise that its not a civil war by the Syrian people for the Syrian people, once you have large numbers of opportunistic foreign combatants on the ground?

                  It reminds of a similar comments previously made by you, excusing the millions that may die as a result of climate change.

                  You may see yourself as a leftist but your politics are to the right of the Climate Change Apologist ACT Party.

                  *Shrug*. Climate change is the minor problem facing humanity, energy depletion the major one.

                  • Jenny

                    Sez you

                    • Colonial Viper

                      And I am pretty sure that I have it right. Within 10 years shortages* of liquid fuels are going to cause significant problems for normal operation of the globalised economy. Within 20 years it will be an emergency situation.

                      *The way it will happen, it may not look like an actual shortage. There will be lots of fuel around for purchase, just very few businesses and people who can afford it.

                    • Jenny

                      Within 10 years shortages* of liquid fuels are going to cause significant problems for normal operation of the globalised economy. Within 20 years it will be an emergency situation.

                      Colonial Viper

                      I don’t doubt it. But what is your solution?

                      On your past comments, accelerating climate change with more drilling, more fracking, more coal mining, converting coal to diesel. Generally increasing and generating more and more CO2 pollution the climate be damned.

                      Vociferously rejecting any calls to cut back.

                      You have excused your support for continuing the fossil fuel economy with a classic piece of misdirection by scapegoating the middle classes.

                      Though not an out and out denialist you have acted as a conscious apologist for climate change.

                    • Jenny

                      Within 10 years shortages* of liquid fuels are going to cause significant problems for normal operation of the globalised economy. Within 20 years it will be an emergency situation.

                      Colonial Viper

                      CV, as with your out of touch and racist ravings about events in Syria. And your ill informed prejudice against people you term, “middle class”.

                      This patently ridiculous statement by you has very little in common with the reality.

                      On most available measures, supply is likely to be outpacing demand for the next couple of decades. The supply drivers have been huge finds in Russia, in deep water deposits off the coast of Brazil, in the eastern Meditteranean, Kenya, Angola, and off the Falklands, to cite only a few. More importantly, new-ish extraction methods such as the process of hydraulic fracturing (aka fracking) have unlocked vast new sources of oil and gas.

                      Such is the forecast rise in production, Canada’s oil output by the end of the decade could almost be the same as the current volume from Iran, OPEC’s No. 2 producer. Even if the extraction practice involves dirty and very expensive technology, and even if the fall off in such fields tends to be steep, the size of the North America fields alone seems likely to be a game changer for the next couple of decades, at least. And these happen to be the crucial decades, if runaway climate change isn’t to become a reality. At the very least what we are talking about is a shift in the current balance of fossil fuel use – from OPEC to non-OPEC suppliers, and with more emphasis in future on natural gas vis a vis oil – rather than the wholesale replacement of fossil fuels altogether. The main brakes on production will not be a lack of fossil fuel supply but (a) a lack of capacity in pipelines to handle it…..

                      Has the idea of Peak Oil… Peaked? And if so, does the planet stand a chance?

                      Gordon Campbell


                      Colonial Viper and other climate change apologists, are doing their best to make sure that people and the planet don’t have a chance.

                      … “The world’s energy system is being pushed to breaking point,” according to Maria van der Hoeven, executive director of the International Energy Agency. “Our addiction to fossil fuels grows stronger each year. Many clean energy technologies are available but they are not being deployed quickly enough to avert potentially disastrous consequences.” On current form, she warns, the world is on track for warming of 6C by the end of the century – a level that would create catastrophe, wiping out agriculture in many areas and rendering swathes of the globe uninhabitable, as well as raising sea levels and causing mass migration, according to scientists. “Energy-related CO2 emissions are at historic highs, [van der Hoeven added] and under current policies we estimate that energy use and CO2 emissions would increase by a third by 2020, and almost double by 2050. This would be likely to send global temperatures at least 6C higher within this century.”

                      Due to the resilience of the fossil fuel industry and the help of useful idiots like Colonial Viper the political battle against climate change is being made so much harder.

  2. Carol 2

    The pay differential between highest and lowest paid people in NZ has grown. However, some businesses have seen a decrease in the differential. The worst offenders, with increased pay gaps between CEOs and employees are:

    Telecom (though unusually their employees are generally well paid)

    Apparently their big pay gap is justified because it is the result of a large number of part time, casual or seasonal workers – as though that s good for workers?

    Companies with low differences in pay were
    Skellerup, PGG Wrightson, Contact Energy, Nuplex
    The Warehouse
    NZ Refining
    Air NZ

    The pay gap is still not as big as that in the US, but it is still not a good look.

    The CEO of TrustPower says workers aren’t motivated by high pay anyway – at least he is not one of the CEOs getting the biggest (highest differential) salaries amongst CEOs’


    The average pay for the CEOs during the year was $1.44 million, up 3.3 per cent from $1.39m in 2010. The average for their employees, estimated by dividing the total pay bill by the number of staff, was $63,960, up just 0.8 per cent on the previous year.
    Despite the smaller pay gap in this country [compared with the US], Council of Trade Unions president Helen Kelly said the issue was significant.

    ‘‘It feeds into the concerns people have about the rich getting richer,’’ she said.

    ‘‘It is about a relativity issue and what the research suggests is that gap contributes to a whole lot of negative social indicators.’’

    Meanwhile many teachers in Waikato schools are forking out to pay for food for hungry students, even though many charities are also feeding children:


    One school, that did not have a food provision programme, estimated half of its pupils were turning up to class hungry, while another said it was only concerned for one family.

    Schools also said teachers and staff were using personal resources to feed students, with one principal providing eggs and bread to ensure children had the food they needed to learn.

    However, Ms Cox said there were a high number of schools with positive initiatives, including school gardens, cooking classes and breakfast and lunch programmes.
    Charities such as St Vincent de Paul delivered 16,000 school lunches to 19 Hamilton schools last year and, as of May this year, 12 Waikato schools were on the waiting list for KidsCan support. About 2900 Waikato students are also in the KickStart breakfast programme.

    NZ in 2012…. such a great place for children to grow up! [whoops, sorry, I'm not qualified to comment - don't have any children, and I can afford to feed myself]

    • One school, that did not have a food provision programme, estimated half of its pupils were turning up to class hungry

      Has any research been done on why children arrive at school hungry? I can guess a few reasons, but it would help to know and analyse the causes in order to address the problem effectively.

      I grew up in a relatively poor family but always had food available. I often went to school hungry because of getting up too late and morning laziness.

    • rosy 2.2

      This “…large number of part time, casual or seasonal workers…” might have an awful lot to do with “…estimated half of its pupils were turning up to class hungry…” that.

    • Kotahi Tāne Huna 2.3

      The effects of increasing inequality in New Zealand are well documented – an entirely uncontroversial conclusion.

      The trite not only have no policy to address it, they deny the science too.

    • prism 2.4

      Carol 2
      Your last sentence made a good point. The pathetic attempt by controllers to prevent analysis of their performance and prevent broadcasting of facts with pre-emptive criticism of the bearer of bad news is rife. It’s deja vue all over again, the emperor’s clothes etc.

  3. Carol 3

    Looks like Dotcom and his lawyers are going to keep asking questions about the NZ Government’s alleged collusion with the FBI, and members of the US government and Hollywood industry. And Danya Levy in today’s Stuff is also repeating the questions:


    So what was the involvement of the New Zealand Government in the FBI-requested raid? And was it, as Dotcom has suggested, in cahoots with the US Government and the American film industry to bring down Megaupload and its flamboyant creator?
    Dotcom has claimed his arrest was the result of US Vice-President Joe Biden personally ordering the closure of Megaupload on behalf of his friends in the film industry, which was working with the New Zealand Government.

    Mr Biden is apparently a close friend of former senator Chris Dodd, who now heads the Motion Picture Association (MPA).

    In a story which made headlines around the world, Dotcom has recently claimed that Mr Biden met Mr Dodd, Hollywood studio executives, and MPA Asia head Mike Ellis in June last year.

    Mr Ellis, who it is claimed is also an extradition expert and former superintendent of the Hong Kong police, then flew to New Zealand and met the Minister of Justice at the time, Simon Power.
    BRENT Webling confirms that Mr Power met Mr Ellis, but says they discussed changes made to the Copyright Act two months earlier, which introduced a three-notice regime to discourage illegal file sharing. “He never had anything to do with the FBI. The whole thing is a bit fanciful really.”
    “There is concern over whether or not New Zealand exercised sufficient checks and balances on the police and provided their own scrutiny of the assertions that the United States was making in order to protect the rights of New Zealand residents.”

    Dotcom could yet sue both the New Zealand and US governments for the wrongs he believes were committed against him, Mr Rothken says.

    So the questions about Key’s government’s involvement in the case, and who knew what and when, are not going away any time soon.

    And the way Dotcom tells it, crony capitalism looks pretty international.

    • Colonial Viper 3.1

      And the way Dotcom tells it, crony capitalism looks pretty international.

      Yep – they designed a world where the power and flow of capital globally was unimpeded by pesky things like the rules and regulations of sovereign nations.

  4. Morrissey 4


    Julian Assange has done us all a service. He needs support
    by Eamonn McCann, Belfast Telegraph, Friday, 6 July 2012

    Sympathy seems in short supply for Julian Assange, the Australian-born founder of WikiLeaks currently holed up in the Ecuadorean embassy in London.

    Swedish authorities want to talk to Assange about allegations of sexual assault in Stockholm. He says he fears that, if he travels to Sweden, he might be extradited to the US on charges of espionage arising from WikiLeaks’ publication of 250,000 classified diplomatic documents.

    Assange’s supporters insist the allegations are spurious. The robust feminist and anti-war campaigner Naomi Klein says: “Rape is being used in the Assange prosecution in the same way that women’s freedom was used to invade Afghanistan. Wake up.”

    Whatever the truth of what happened in Stockholm, Assange’s apprehensions about what might happen in the US are far from fanciful.

    The head of the US Senate’s intelligence oversight committee, California Democrat Dianne Feinstein, told the Sydney Morning Herald last weekend that, “I believe that Julian Assange has knowingly obtained and disseminated classified information which could cause injury to the United States … He has caused serious harm to US national security and should be prosecuted accordingly.”

    In light of that, and given seemingly permanently heightened US anxieties about ‘homeland security’, Assange’s nightmare glimpse of himself shuffling in a jump-suit in Guantanamo Bay can hardly be dismissed as an invented ploy for evading the Swedish police. So it’s puzzling that few in the mainstream media seem concerned about his plight. …

    Read more: http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/opinion/columnists/eamon-mccann/julian-assange-has-done-us-all-a-service-he-needs-support-16181288.html#ixzz21r2I2N7B

    • McFlock 4.1

      Why didn’t the UK send him to the states?
      Why are the swedes more likely to?
      Why didn’t he ask for asylum in the UK?

      • Colonial Viper 4.1.1

        The answers are only going to be speculative McFlock, as you know. But I’ll suggest that the UK would never ever grant Assange asylum (and would never consider such a request seriously).

        Why didn’t the UK send him to the states?
        Why are the swedes more likely to?

        McFlock, a decision to extradite or consider extradition isn’t a probabilistic event. It is a political and legal decision made case by case. And few of us here are experts in the UK and Swedish case law and political posture on this.

        In any case, under international law, Assange has the right to request asylum and Ecuador has the right to go through due process to consider that request.

        Further, Swedish authorities are now quite welcome to question Assange in their embassy, the Ecuadorian govt says. That would allow Sweden to decide, finally, whether or not to lay criminal charges against Assange.


        • McFlock

          At last you finally admit that at least some of your opinions on this matter are purely speculative.
          Hypothetically, what would convince you that assange is abusing asylum to avoid accountability for sex crimes?

          Let’s say I was equally adamant that he was doing that: I’d be disproved if as soon as he got off the plane in Stockholm he was whisked to guantanamo and the swedes dropped all charges, and a few years later swedish govt documents confirmed it. That would be pretty damning in your favour.
          But I can’t logically think of any hypothetical outcome where you or morrissy wouldn’t still be saying that it was all a political conspiracy. 

          • Morrissey

            But I can’t logically think of any hypothetical outcome where you or morrissy wouldn’t still be saying that it was all a political conspiracy.

            It is a conspiracy. The U.S. and the U.K. are conspiring against a dangerous, popular political dissident. The fact we can see it happening in front of us doesn’t change what it is.

          • Colonial Viper

            Hypothetically, what would convince you that assange is abusing asylum to avoid accountability for sex crimes?

            I think you have to trust the Ecuadorian government to go through their checks and due process; and the question you ask here will certainly be one that they consider.

            If Ecuador do judge that Assange is abusing their hospitality and the asylum process, they’ll kick Assange out on to the footpath without hesitation.

            Until then, I’m happy for them to follow the processes and procedures of the international law that you say you hold dearly.

            BTW Sweden can now question Assange in the Embassy, and having done so could lay criminal charges against him. Formal criminal charges would ratchet pressure up on Assange enormously.

            • McFlock

              So you don’t accept the Swedish justice system.
              You don’t accept the UK justice system.
              But Ecuador is A-OK. 

              • Colonial Viper

                So you don’t accept the Swedish justice system.
                You don’t accept the UK justice system.

                Both the Swedish and UK justice systems recognise the international system of asylum for those claiming protection from political persecution. I’m quite fine with that.

                By the way, Ecuador has said it will allow Swedish authorities to question Assange within its own Embassy. This will allow the Swedish justice system to progress its investigation further, potentially allowing charges to be finally laid against him. This is a good development for the women who allege that they have been assaulted by him, is it not?

                • McFlock

                  So why didn’t he claim asylum in the UK again?
                  As to interviewing suspects when you are incapable of arresting them – what would you do if at the end of the interview you wanted to arrest them? You’ve just guaranteed long term evasion. And of course confirmed the imminence of arrest to the protecting nation.
                  But then, waiting 3 weeks for the Ecuadorians to decide whether  he’s pissed off the yanks enough that it excuses sexual assault on the basis that Sweden is merely a client puppet of the US? What’s 3 weeks compared to the delay he’s already inflicted?

                  • Colonial Viper

                    So why didn’t he claim asylum in the UK again?

                    No idea. Although it would be interesting to know, the reason doesn’t affect the current situation does it?

                    As to interviewing suspects when you are incapable of arresting them – what would you do if at the end of the interview you wanted to arrest them?

                    You lay criminal charges, which allows the processes of the Swedish justice system to move forwards (prosecutors can be chosen, court dates set, etc), changes the landscape of diplomatic negotiations between UK Ecuador Sweden, and ratchets up the pressure on Assange, his supporters and on Ecuador.

                    Not exactly nothing, all of that.

                    But then, waiting 3 weeks for the Ecuadorians to decide whether he’s pissed off the yanks enough that it excuses sexual assault on the basis that Sweden is merely a client puppet of the US? What’s 3 weeks compared to the delay he’s already inflicted?

                    Ignoring your constant and implicit presumption of guilt, Sweden is free to wait as long as it wants. Of course, officially, they state that what they want is the ability for their criminal investigators to question Assange.

                    Well, there is an opportunity right here, right now, if they want it.

                    • McFlock


                      So why didn’t he claim asylum in the UK again?

                      No idea. Although it would be interesting to know, the reason doesn’t affect the current situation does it?

                      It does provide a certain amount of context, however. If the threat of political persecution were real, surely the UK would be just as likely to grant protection?

                      As to interviewing suspects when you are incapable of arresting them – what would you do if at the end of the interview you wanted to arrest them?

                      You lay criminal charges, which allows the processes of the Swedish justice system to move forwards, changes the landscape of diplomatic negotiations, and ratchets up the pressure on Assange and on Ecuador.
                      Not exactly nothing, all of that.

                      Why does the diplomatic landscape need changing? 
                      We’ve already seen what happens when you give Assange a chance to avoid an investigation. Laying charges when he isn’t in custody would just give him the impetus to try harder.

                      But then, waiting 3 weeks for the Ecuadorians to decide whether he’s pissed off the yanks enough that it excuses sexual assault on the basis that Sweden is merely a client puppet of the US? What’s 3 weeks compared to the delay he’s already inflicted?

                      Ignoring your constant and implicit presumption of guilt, Sweden is free to wait as long as it wants. Of course, officially, they state that what they want is the ability for their criminal investigators to question Assange.
                      Well, there is an opportunity right here, right now, if they want it

                      “Implicit presumption of guilt”? Forgive me for taking a developed-nation justice system at face value. Sorry, two of them. All I’ve said is that I want him to face the investigation 100%, without bargaining or offering less than full cooperation. And yes, fleeing jurisdiction does not count as full cooperation.
                      At first I could have gone either way. The behaviour of him and his supporters has led me to suspect that he probably did it. But that’s what courts are for – all that suspicion does is make Sweden’s actions more reasonable. After all, he could just be a paranoid nutbar who believes it is all a conspiracy to get him to guantanamo, and the situation just a big misunderstanding between him, the cops and the women involved. 
                       But the only way it can be sorted one way or another is an unimpeded investigation. The Swedes feel they need him in custody to ensure this. Given his flight habit, I tend to agree.

                    • Vicky32

                      Well, there is an opportunity right here, right now, if they want it.

                      It appears that they don’t!

                  • KJT

                    Both the UK and Sweden have shown they are happy to deliver people, including their own citizens, to the US authorities for “rendition” and torture.

                    Rather a heavy punishment for what sounds more like lack of communication than rape. As the first Swedish prosecutor decided.

                    • McFlock

                      In that case, why is Sweden more likely than the UK to deport him to the states?
                      And the complainants’ lawyer requested a review of the decision to drop the case. So maybe it’s a bit like our cops dropping the case against Banks. Maybe Mallard will ask for a review on that, which resuts in a different decision.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      In that case, why is Sweden more likely than the UK to deport him to the states?

                      McFlock stop implying that because the UK has not yet extradited Assange to the US, it means that Sweden will not either.

                    • McFlock

                      McFlock stop implying that because the UK has not yet extradited Assange to the US, it means that Sweden will not either.

                      So why is Sweden more likely to? That’s your / his / teamassange’s entire justification for Assange not going to Sweden to face the sexual assault investigation: that there’s an unacceptable likelihood that the US will nab him. If Sweden is more likely to do so than the UK, you must be able to point to some difference between Sweden and the UK. 
                      Otherwise it’s just bullshit. 

                    • Colonial Viper

                      If Sweden is more likely to do so than the UK, you must be able to point to some difference between Sweden and the UK.

                      Otherwise it’s just bullshit.

                      Nah your reasoning is off. You’re looking for speculation when the facts speak for themselves.

                      The UK has not extradited Assange to the US, even after (as you point out) a lengthy period of time and multiple opportunities to do so. The UK has therefore shown that it offers at least some level of sanctuary from extradition, for Assange.

                      Why leave that for a whole new unpredictable ball game in Sweden.

                    • McFlock

                      So you have no basis for thinking that Sweden is more likely to do a rendition that the UK, but you don’t think that Assange should ris it?
                      Even though Assange was happy to go to Sweden, right up until he was being investigated for sexual assault. 

                    • Colonial Viper

                      As I said, the UK has demonstrated a measure of safety for Assange. Why leave that in return for no assurances from Sweden?

                      Being charged under the 1917 Espionage Act of the United States is not really a laughing matter as that is a nasty piece of work. But I understand your point of view – that the rapist Assange deserves everything coming to him.

                    • McFlock

                      So just to be clear, you have absolutely no reason for thinking that Sweden is any less safe than the UK.
                      You just agree to Assange’s decision to take extreme measure to avoid going to Sweden.
                      Even though the only difference is the the fact that Sweden is investigating him for sexual assault.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      The relative and proven safety of the UK for Assange over the last 18 months or so is a major factor to be considered here. You can’t just ignore it.

                    • McFlock

                      Nor can you ignore the fact that Assange felt Sweden was perfectly safe to visit voluntarily. Right up until the police found probable cause to investigate him for sexual assault.
                      Somehow, it seems that rendition isn’t the thing he fears the most about returning to Sweden. 

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Sure McFlock, instead of facing 4-5 years in a comfy well appointed Swedish correctional facility, Assange has decided that he would prefer a lifetime of exile in Ecuador, of all places.

                    • McFlock

                      Ronnie Biggs spent longer on the run than he was sentenced to serve in jail.
                      But more importantly, you neglect the lengths that some people will go to in order to avoid fronting up to their actions.
                      Or the effects of extended stress and possibly paranoia. 

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Paranoia? You mean that every single email, phone call and txt message from or placed to Julian Assange in the last 2 years hasn’t been intercepted and read by the western intelligence services?

                    • McFlock

                      Didn’t say that.
                      I just meant that the stress of pissing off a superpower for several years might just mean that someone misinterprets a legitimate, run of the mill sexual assault investigation at the lower end of the scale as a massive conspiracy to get him into the clutches of the US.
                      Even if it isn’t.
                      So then he flees, so the cops issue a red notice, which reinforces his paranoia, etc etc etc. 

        • Morrissey

          That would allow Sweden to decide, finally, whether or not to lay criminal charges against Assange.

          There are no grounds to lay criminal charges against Assange.

          • just saying

            The relative and proven safety of the UK for Assange over the last 18 months or so is a major factor to be considered here. You can’t just ignore it.

            reply for CV at 4112:

            And if Assange had scuttled to Sweden to avoid answering the same charges laid in Britain you’d be saying exactly the same thing, only with a little more justification given Sweden’s less cosy relationship with the States than Britain “enjoys”.

            edit how’d you do that McFlock – replying in the right place to a comment that has no comment box available?

        • Draco T Bastard

          Further, Swedish authorities are now quite welcome to question Assange in their embassy, the Ecuadorian govt says.

          And if they don’t then, IMO, it’s prima facie evidence that the extradition was for other purposes.

          • Morrissey

            And if they don’t then, IMO, it’s prima facie evidence that the extradition was for other purposes.

            Quite correct. Now we’ll see how truthful the Swedish regime’s claims are.

    • Murray Olsen 4.2

      I agree with Naomi Klein on this one. There’s too much that’s weird about what happened in Sweden, and I don’t mean in Assange’s bedroom. The Americans will do almost anything to make an example of Assange and Sweden is not the home of human rights that it used to be.

  5. rosy 5

    Olympic regeneration pictures – before and after. The first couple are fine but the people who appreciate the nature reserve, and cycle route lost out big time, I reckon. And replacing the garden allotments with … does my head in, really.

    • Carol 5.1

      Indeed, the loss of some natural elements. Did they deliberately choose shots including rubble etc in many of the before photos?

      And what has happened to the travelers, other residents, and the workers in the (now) demolished factory?

    • weka 5.2

      Does my head in too rosy :-( Apart from the one with the wrecked cars, all the photos look worse after ‘regeneration’. Getting rid of allotments, travellers, trees, and wildflowers…. covering up an old brick wall with wooden screening, wtf? I’m also struck by the loss of interesting built landscape.
      Replacing an old timer’s allotment with a McDonalds, that has to be the epitome of where the Brits are heading.

      • Bill 5.2.1

        “Replacing an old timer’s allotment with a McDonalds, that has to be the epitome of where the Brits are heading.”

        Ground beef pensioners Tuesday?

  6. Ad 6

    So, this is from the NZHerald this morning where Fran O’Sullivan spends an entire article praising David Parker of Labour:

    “One (CEO) said “if you closed your eyes and just listened to Parker speaking – it could just as easily have been someone from National”.

    This, on top of his comments at the same event that “Labour’s view on mining outside of Schedule 4 was the same as National’s” is worrying.

    Firstly he is choosing to frame the debate as about National, not about New Zealand and Labour together.

    Secondly he is seeking to pander to the highest business elite first rather than stake out an independent ground for New Zealand and Labour.

    Parker gives me the same sense as Shearer: an inability to actually lead. Plenty of capacity to be agreeable, certainly kinder than Joyce, Brownlee, English, or Key.

    But Labour’s Shearer and Parker seem to neither be tough enough to spark imagination, nor independent enough to be inspiring.

    Labour needs a lot more in its leadership than this if it is to win. With these two, I don’t yet get the sense that Labour will win in 2014 yet.

    • Morrissey 6.1

      Parker looks and sounds like a Blair apparatchik.

    • Carol 6.2


      Don’t they realise that since the GFC the time when appeasement of the wealthier businessmen and corporates might have been necessary, is well gone!?

      Parker looks and sounds like just another uninspiring suit to me.

      • Ad 6.2.1

        …and these are the guys who want to cement their leadership position in with a leadership challenge only possible if 67% of caucus say it it’s time for a change in their jobs.

        I honestly think Labour needs a chance for a good old fashioned clean-out of the leadership, before the 2014 election, unless we get something seriously inspiring, and oppositional, happening pretty damn fast.

        • David H

          They didn’t listen to the rank ‘n’ file when we wanted Cunliffe, and they put in this pantywaist Shearer, and their cronies. Now they are wondering why the polls have them where they have been all year, in the Crapper, and that’s where they will stay, until they learn to listen to the electorate. But no they had their own agenda’s, and noses firmly in the trough, so they can’t listen. So I figure the Nats will get in in 2014 by default, as the Labour party will still be in the doldrums. Unless they wake up and have a clean out.

          • Draco T Bastard

            So I figure the Nats will get in in 2014 by default, as the Labour party will still be in the doldrums. Unless they wake up and have a clean out.

            Better option – we get another party to step up to the plate with actual social policies.

    • Fran makes a very good point:

      Finally – some eights months after the election – somebody high up in Labour is trying to give due thought to what they would do in power, rather than simply jumping on every contentious issue and hammering the daylight out of the Government.

      If that filtered down to party supporters then Labour might at least start real recovery and prepare for their next stint in government.

      A big problem is that many of those remaining active push for a more left Labour, but that won’t attract back the moderate support Labour needs to rebuild support.

      I expect the symptom of trying to score petty points will continue here.

      • Ad 6.3.1

        Well, Pete, a current counter-factual to your point is the Green Party.

        - They have generated massive publicity for themselves with straight campaigns such as the TV7 and No Asset Sales campaigns, remaining both principled and fun at the same time.

        - Norman continues to position himself as increasingly credible, while not losing any of Greens’ ideals.

        - The Greens’ competition for TV news airtime is increasingly matching that of Labour.

        So this is what Labour could be: popular, campaigning, uncompromising, media-darlings, and attractive both to its members and to progressives generally including those within Labour.

        What we need is more inspiring idealism right now, not less. The greens show that this works.

      • millsy 6.3.2

        So you think Labour should be National-lite then?

        Some choice that would be.

      • Socialist Paddy 6.3.3

        I know you guys do not like people replying to Pete but …

        I am amazed that so many RWNJs offer advice to the Labour Party on what it should do to improve its chances. The advice is inevitably that it should become more like National lite.

        My own advice is to listen carefully to the advice that the RWNJs offer. And do the opposite. 

        • felix


          Or better yet, disregard it entirely lest you end up playing shell games with their intentions.

    • Raw Seer 6.4

      The gap between the very comfortable and the PAYE worker widens: Parker proposes longer working lives for the poor. Tax breaks, options, schemes and ‘neutral’ CGT for the very comfortable: rigid inexorable PAYE for the poor; Parker proposes longer working lives for the poor. A mouse? No. A rat.

      Labour Front Bench: Please go.

    • BillODrees 6.5

      Choice No1. Win the support of Fran O’Sullivan ala Parker and the EMA ala Shearer’s apologetic approach to working conditions.  That gives ???? extra votes from people who might want to change from Key. If the weather is nice on election day and the souffle rises nicely. 

      Choice No 2.   Win the hearts and minds of the dis-enfranchised, the PAYE non-tax manipulators,  women who are offended by Bennett’s values, Maori who are fed up with their leadership, those who didn’t vote National but stayed at home because Phil Goff and Annette King were un-inspiring, students who are not being given hope by the political elite, parents who want their children back from Aus and UK, business people who want to export at a realistic exchange Rate, young couples who want to buy houses without competing with untaxed speculators, and so so so many more.

      Shearer and Parker are clueless. Not a single cojones, let alone an inspirational thought, between the pair of them.  

    • DH 6.6

      “One (CEO) said “if you closed your eyes and just listened to Parker speaking – it could just as easily have been someone from National”.

      I thought the same when reading his speech that was posted here a while back. One topic is a dead giveaway on who’s really left & who’s right; foreign investment. Parker supports it which tells me all I need to know about him.

      • bad12 6.6.1

        Bye bye Sir(spit)Roger Douglas and a big Hello to His clone, David Parker, could Labour’s candidate for Minister of Finance be a prozac chewing carbon copy of Douglas???,

        You bet your life He can,please don’t quote me on the prozac,that’s just an incidental i threw in for light relief, because for US, us being the normal every day grunts pushing the heavy wheel of capitalism,(mostly uphill), the David Parker as revealed in this mornings Granny-Herald piece isn’t just a kinda strange quietly spoken bloke from Labour, he’s downright f**king dangerous,

        Parker is talking the talk of the NZDollar being priced above it’s true value, and, intimating that Labour will move to lower that value without saying how is an out-right act of f**king Slippery proportions simply because of the inflation involved if Parker as Douglas did befor Him uses the primitive tool of simply devaluing the NZDollar we all suffer immediate inflation without having gained a thing,

        The business lobby who seem to ‘own’ both Parker and Shearer have everything to gain from a Labour devaluation of the NZDollar and the raising of the superannuation age to 67 but for the grunts in the trenches of capitalism Parker and Shearer have nothing to offer us,

        The Capital Gains Tax much heralded by Labour is a non-entity, sure such a tax will go a little way to dampen the speculation in the Housing Market but as the average house price in Auckland is 450-500 thousand dollars the horse bolted over this when Labour where last in power and did nothing, meanwhile that particular horse grew old and is now in the knackers yard awaiting it’s transformation into pet-food,(as seems to be the wish of the present Labour leadership),

        Does not Parker/Shearewr and the rest of Labour realize that the world has seriously moved on from 2008, the last time ‘they’ sat in the seats on the Aye side of the House, even the Member for Dipton, Bill English, hardly known as the deepest thinker among the space cadets from anti-depressant-land now admits that the ”Crisis within Capitalism” is going to last far far longer than ‘books balanced by 2015′ and on into the glorious future we sail,

        Parker is now advocating a housing crisis in particular in Auckland that started out as a speculative bubble but is now one of supply and demand particularly at the low end of the market whether that’s buying or renting be addressed with moderate taxation???,

        Parker plans to sort that with a ‘Capital Gains Tax’???, for Gods sake don’t these wonks ever get out into the real world once in a while…

        • Colonial Viper

          Parker is now advocating a housing crisis in particular in Auckland that started out as a speculative bubble but is now one of supply and demand particularly at the low end of the market whether that’s buying or renting be addressed with moderate taxation???,

          Parker plans to sort that with a ‘Capital Gains Tax’???, for Gods sake don’t these wonks ever get out into the real world once in a while…

          This is Labour believing in the same “market signals” and “market incentives” bullshit of the neoliberals. Orthodox smarket economics, in other words.

          What Labour should do:
          1) Have the state build tens of thousands of quality, low cost houses and apartments in Auckland.

          2) Place a 2% levy on all mortgages worth over $500K.

          3) Place a stamp duty of 2% on any entity who already owns an Auckland property but is purchasing another.

          4) Put in place structures which make it easier for secure, low cost long term residential leases to be created.

          However, we wouldn’t want to be seen as “intervening” in the market place would we?

          • bad12

            Ummm, perhaps this is Labour believing in such neo-Liberal market signals Bullshit because that is exactly what they are,

            In other words, Labour still whole-heartedly believe in Roger-spit-nomics-spit…

          • Draco T Bastard

            1) Have the state build tens of thousands of quality, low cost high density houses and apartments in Auckland and rent them out @ 25% of income and make them available on a need basis.


            • Colonial Viper

              Yeah could go with that too, Draco. But with a simple condition: tenants are responsible for looking after the properties and keeping them in good condition, excepting normal wear and tear.

              You fail to do so, you lose the property and someone else who will look after it gets it.

    • muzza 6.7

      Parker, does he really sound like someone who can appeal to the average Kiwi, nah course not!

      Oh, Parker the Parliamentarian for Global Order, yeah he’s working for you, just the rest of them!

      Wondering when people will work it out, probably when its too late as usual.

      PS – Greens supporters, you are also being lead down the garden path by Russel, if you cant see this, there is little you won’t be fooled by!

    • aspasia 6.8

      Do we have the text or a link for Parker’s speech yesterday? Where does Fran O’Sullivan get her labour market flexibility reference from?

      • bad12 6.8.1

        ”Labor market flexibility”, that’s where those without a profession and working near the minimum wage get to bend over and spread them right???…

        • muzza

          YUP, and it will happen in various ways..

          -More legal and illegal immigration from other slave nations
          -Continued attacks on unions
          -Future legislative attacks on labor law
          -TPPA et al

          etc etc etc….

    • Murray Olsen 6.9

      Why did the CEO need to close his eyes? I think which party people like Parker end up in is usually an accident, depending on who first gave them a political pamphlet at university or something. They say what they think people will want to hear, without having the brain cells to realise that the business executives aren’t going to change their vote anyway.

  7. lostinsuburbia 7

    Or this is what you get when you ignore housing and immigration problems


    I use to work for a local authority in East London and can attest to the squalor that so many people are left living in

    • prism 7.1

      Does this mean that the great Ken Livingstone as leftie Mayor of London was unable to do anything about housing conditions? Or that Boris Johnson who solved the congestion problem in the CBD was useless too when it came to housing? I have a book on the social conditions in London in the early 19th century, surely in the early 20th century they can do better.

      • lostinsuburbia 7.1.1

        There were housing targets in such times as “the London Plan” but they never kept up with the population increases in London. Newham and the other East London Boroughs are also at the forefront of illegal immigration problems – and as these people are outside the system, they felll prey to predatory landlords.

        You also had banks and mortgage brokers willing to loan money without doing proper checks on properties, resulting in large mortgages being given for illegal flat conversions etc – which just drove people to do more of it.

        It could be really upsetting to see people, especially families, living in conditions reminiscent of a a dickens novel. I personally visited properties where flats were in basements or under stairs with no access to sunlight or fresh air, where cockroaches were crawling up th walls, or where there were “extensions” built from nothing but plastic sheeting (not so good in such cold a climate).

        The same things could be found in the number of “businesses” that turned up in residential areas, like nightclubs in rear sheds. East London is the neo-liberal dream and is what you get if you allow for business to self-regulate and for the market to be in control.

        • prism

          lostinsuburbia 7 1 1
          Gosh. That’s hard to have to see and think about. There is an argument here for the option of needy people coming forward and being on a list for managed housing whether legal or illegal. That way one can have an idea of the problem and some way of preventing mass disasters through disease, and even bombing and other attacks from these people who have so little and such little opportunity to get better and have nothing but anger and nothing to lose.

          The Immigration in every country has one desire – to enforce the rules as much as possible and get people out. So a definite ruling step-change would be required to allow over-stayers or illegals to put their hands up for help.

          And apart from the slack lending agencies, and slack building and rental controls that allowed the worst of these housing installations (almost each an art installation in itself), there was the rort of private public enterprise. Some private guys got hold of the supply of tons of housing that should have been managed by the state or local govt and these guys made a packet out of supplying rooms to exist at the edge of misery, with tenants teetering on the edge of clinical depression. I haven’t got a link but I read about it – probably happened in the 1980s. Probably in Maggie Thatcher’s time – the tin bitch.

          • lostinsuburbia

            Yeah it wasn’t nice. There is certainly a need to do something, even at a minimum there is a major Heath risk (I had to get screened for TB during the course of my work over there). After all modern town planning came about in part due to the poor health and sanitation found in European cities during the industrial revolution.

            Despite some housing affordability policies supply can’t meet demand there. You also get Councils poaching housing in other areas as they have run out of their own social housing.

            The UK immigration situation is interesting, with the number of “colleges” and “students” present. Their enforcement is a joke too. It’s not an easy problem, certainly you want to avoid suffering but when you only have limited resources for health. Housing etc the fair allocation of resources can be a pretty fraught affair

            While the problem is far more “intense” there, NZ and particularly Auckland has similar problems, with people living in garages etc. deregulating the supply of land etc las the Nats is not going o solve the problem, after all it’s there mates who do all the land banking and lobby the Govt to build expensive motorways etc to their properties.

            • Herodotus

              after all it’s there mates who do all the land banking and lobby the Govt to build expensive motorways etc to their properties.- Evidence please or is this some generalization without any factual basis
              Deregulating land supply as an answer is a fallacy – why? Because you need to link green fields with existing infrastructure e.g. water supply, storm water management, fibre, gas, roading networks to name a few, then you have the RMA to sort out. Try getting a private plan change thru the council system? it takes years to even get things underway let alone the hearing process.
              Then you have to find a kind bank to fund the process over many years without a great asset base and major risk associated to underwrite the debt.

              • lostinsuburbia

                You just have to look at the RONS. They fail their own business cases, but the Nats still push them. Some one is profiting from them including raising land prices in places which aren’t appropriate for lots of growth.

                Deregulating land supply also doesn’t work as developers drip feed new sections onto the market in order to keep their margins up. And greenfield costs are subsidised in part by all ratepayers. Sure development contributions go someway to covering costs but the Council ends up covering the rest, artificially driving development to green fields (rather than intensification).

                Greenfields will be part of the future of our major centres, but we are going to need to intensify too. Suburbia can not sprawl forever.

  8. prism 8

    This morning on Radionz there was an excellent interview by Kim Hill with an author on the subject of the stripping of the world’s resources often at the cost of stripping those of the poor people who made their lives on the land. It also has examples of Kenya growing beans for overseas supermarkets and earning good money for the indigenous growers but who are being clobbered by the carbon miles thing. He makes the point that if grown in heated glasshouses in Britain or wherever they would be high also.
    (This will be on audio soon)
    9:05 Fred Pearce
    Fred Pearce is the environmental and development consultant for New Scientist magazine. He writes regularly in The Guardian newspaper, and is the author of a number of books. His latest is The Landgrabbers: the New Fight Over Who Owns the Earth (Eden Project Books, ISBN: 978-1-905-81174-8).
    Also interesting -
    James Henry: hiding $21 trillion
    Lead researcher for a report commissioned by the Tax Justice Network which outlines how the super-rich are hiding at least $21 trillion in accounts outside their home countries. (35′47″)
    Download: Ogg Vorbis MP3 | Embed

  9. prism 9

    Parker seems set for the high dive, what about Cunliffe? I still have the idea he’s okay, can we get behind him? Is Ardern another clever middle class woman that is good at managing the status quo with feelings of concern for the general public but little fire to do anything? Or am I wrong. Just my feeling and I feel too that this sounds like a PG question but I am truly interested in what the thinking is.

    • muzza 9.1

      If Cunliffe was really what he comes over as , he would leave the Labour party and go it alone.

      Its like those on this site who support Labour believing that “their team” will save us, which of course is utter nonsense.

      These people are living a live theatre, and are actors, nothing more than that, and the suckers who fall for it, are the whingers who can’t wrap their limited capacity for lateral thought around why things are getting worse, rapidly!

      Adhern, just another cog in the wheel being used in a role. She has been involved for about 10 years now, so is married to the system, just like the rest!

      Any entity that is a threat to the establishment, will get rounded on from all angles, and so FOS fawing over Parker, tells you all thats needed about him!
      A singular person with the right message, delivered at the right time, from the heart, would show exactly what the system sees as a threat!

      • Colonial Viper 9.1.1

        If Cunliffe was really what he comes over as , he would leave the Labour party and go it alone.,

        You need to think statements like this through before making them.

        Cunliffe would need to get his entire LEC and a good chunk of his electorate membership on side first. He would have to be prepared to lose all support from the larger Labour Party infrastructure, and he would need to be prepared for Labour to run a strong candidate against him in the electorate.

        Next, for his move to accomplish anything in a bigger context, he would have to create out of nowhere, or somehow acquire, a nation-wide party infrastructure. From scratch, this is something which takes the better part of a decade to build (look at the Greens, see the problems Mana is having).

        Without all this, Cunliffe would be yet another in a long line of single MP political parties who have fuck all say and influence.

        Not so easy is it.

        • muzza

          “You need to think statements like this through before making them”

          –Bit like posting a response having assumed put no thought into it. I could have given some further information, so Ill retro fit my thoughts for you CV.

          I made no claims that it would be easy, of course its not any easier than if perhaps DC feels that he might be biding his time with the aim of one day securing the leadership, and halting, then in his wildest dreams turning the right seeking ship back towards the left once more. Who knows, it could happen, but I would bet there is not a snowballs chance he can, or would be allowed to achieve that achieve that. Not without the complete destruction of the Labour party to minority status, and rebuilding from the ground up!

          Integrity has very few forms, staying as part of a broken, lying, corrupt party which has sold out, surrounded by individuals who blatantly have, leaves one open to questions about integrity.

          That is how I see it, and that is how I meant my comment to be taken!

  10. bad12 10

    The ‘Fix’ for the economy from a Governance perspective is relatively simple,

    (1),devalue the NZDollar by increasing the money supply,(ie: print the stuff),diluting the NZDollar by Quantitative Easing means a devaluation,AND,immediate cash resources the Government can use,

    (2),spend the monies printed building high density State Housing in the cities where demand is the highest,such a spend need be configured into the inflation target so as to keep the expectation at 3-3.5%,

    Printing and spending such cash upon high density housing solves 2 of the most pressing problems for any future Government,the dollar is devalued suiting both exporters and NZ manufacturers wishing to increase production and sale within New Zealand,

    Building high density housing (especially in Auckland),creates employment,creates households,reduces the major problem of supply and demand for low cost rental properties, takes part of the ‘heat’ out of the property market,

    (3),either reverse the National Government’s tax cuts so that the cuts that now apply to the top earners apply instead to the bottom earners or introduce a Financial transactions Tax which directly targets the top 40% of income earners …

    • Colonial Viper 10.1

      yeah all these are pretty good ideas.

    • prism 10.2

      bad12 10 Like

      • bad12 10.2.1

        You can see my point further out in time??? even the ‘Dipstick from Dipton’ is now happily admitting that the huge ‘f**k-up in capitalism isn’t going away any time soon,

        SO,the reality is that IF the economy is to be operated from within the present ISM for any length of time then ‘real wages’ are going to keep being depressed in favor of the ‘haves’ in society,

        While that could and should have us waving our shovels and wrenches in anger we cannot simply sit back and wait for the inevitable ‘next crisis of capitalism’ when there are in fact ‘elegant solutions’ to age old problems far more accurately addressed through smart use of the economy…

  11. DH 11

    Brian Gaynor shows the mindset of ‘investors’ in his latest article;

    “Incentives key to luring lots of asset buyers”


    Last comment tells it all;

    ” This would be a fantastic outcome particularly as it would discourage flipping by individual shareholders and institutional shareholders would have to buy shares on the market because they may not receive their full application.

    This could boost Mighty River Power’s share price in the pre-bonus period,…..”

    In other words he thinks he’ll get a nice easy tax-free capital gain courtesy of the taxpayer.

  12. prism 12

    I see Anthony Robbins showing John “technicality” Banks. It reminds me of the landscape designer in Britain called Capability Brown. So do we have Technicality Banks?

  13. RedBaron 13

    I’m not in favour of this sale but is there some way to put a .
    I don’t want to give money to a NACT government but is there any point in buying some shares either at the float or just after if the price dips and putting them in a trust to be returned to the people of NZ. In the meantime the Greens/Labour/ Maori council could have the proxy vote the dividends to buy more shares and as a significant minority shareholder make sure the company assets say put.

    Better than a political donation perhaps or maybe some of the base funds say 50% could be returned over a long period of time when they return to taxpayer ownership.

    Next project is to make sure that future right wing governments can’t pull this stunt again.

    • bad12 13.1

      Well it would ‘seem’ from the public utterances of both David Shearer and Russell Norman that there is NO intention by either the Labour or Green party’s to put the ownership of these stolen State Owned Assets back in the hand of the Government,

      Basically both Party Leaders, showing no f**king Leadership whatsoever are claiming some sort of fiscal responsibility in their pledge NOT to buy back the assets,(and giving a kick in the nuts to all those who have protested the sales),

      What Shearer and Norman should be telling both the country and those who will be buying the shares is that the Government will be buying those shares back and those that buy those shares will be TAXED at a suitable rate so as to facilitate the repatriation of those shares back into the hand’s of the Government,

      When the likes of Shearer and Norman take to the 40% who back National and profit highly from having done so at the expense of the rest of us with some REAL TAXATION that matches for that 40% of National Party backers the pain continually and casually inflicted upon the bottom 40% of society by National and the right wing Party’s, then and only then will we get a fairer and equitable society…

  14. Fortran 14

    After what this column has called Fran O’Sullivan recently I am amazed she is even quoted.

  15. Rosie 15

    Interesting chat you are having today………….

    Although the topic of Paid Parental Leave, alongside Maggie Barry’s inappropriate and nasty attack on Jacinda Ardern, has been discussed in full on the Standard I’d like to add this little clip from TV Central. Click on Wednesday 25th July. Its a short, approximately 3 minute, news bulletin about events in central North Island.
    Funnily enough, academic, Theresa Riley was scheduled to talk about her seminar in Hamilton. The topic was social perceptions of child free couples in New Zealand, and follows on from her book “Childfree in New Zealand: How couples who choose not to have children are preceived”. The first 1.20 minutes is an interview with Sue Moroney follwed by a very brief interview with Theresa Riley. It’s very apt that they included that after the bit about PPL given Maggie Barry’s outburst the other day. Maggie should have a listen to this:


  16. Georgecom 16

    A list of organisations wanting to set up Charter Schools has been posted on the NZH website today.

    The jusitification for John Banks Charter Schools was to help deal with underachievement in the likes of South Auckland and Christchurch.

    Looking through the list I can identify many faith based and interest services wanting ‘alternative education’. Nothing now stopping them chasing that option now however.

    So unless this idea of ‘addressing underachievement’ is Neo-liberal BS with intent to open up education for privatisation, I expect a number of the applicants will be told “no thanks”.

    The list includes these faith based and special interest groups:

    String Theory Schools: A for-profit Philadelphia US based education management organisation which links academic education with the arts.

    Think Global Schools: San Francisco based non-profit organisation which operates a “travelling high school” in three different cities around the world each year.

    Maharishi Foundation of NZ: The local branch of adherents to the Transcendental Meditation technique pioneered by the Beatle’s guru Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.

    Chapman College: Rotorua based co-ed non-denominational Christian school.

    Mt Hobson Middle School: Private Remuera Christian school.

    Manukau Christian Charitable Trust: Involved with the St Andrews Christian Preschool in Manurewa and established the Sunshine Christian Preschool and the Hilltop Community Centre.

    New Zealand Christian Proprietors Trust: Operates a network of Christian schools including Kingsway School in Silverdale, Jireh Christian School in Henderson, KingsGate school in Pukekohe, and KingsView school in Queenstown.

    Rangitaiki Independent Schools: A “boutique” private school near Whakatane.

    St Stephen’s and Queen Victoria Schools Trust Board: Administers the assets of the famous Anglican schools for Maori which closed a decade ago.

    Tu Toa: Palmerston North secondary school with an emphasis on top level sport and Maori values.

  17. bad12 17

    Ever gone to sleeep one night and woken the next day wondering if the alien shape-shifters had transported you off to a parallel universe,

    This morning was one such experience for me when i had a peek at what was on offer from the Granny-Herald on-line,

    Firstly, and well discussed above i have a face full of Fran O’Sullivan openly touting for the Labour Party,(stranger things might have happened, but, that was back on Earth),and, reminding me that my view of the Labour Party as the Socialism of for and by the middle classes quite happy to Govern in the interests of the 40% who vote National and damn the 40% on the bottom of the economic pile is still current,


    It takes me two reads of the John Armstrong piece, believe me most of what He writes doesn’t normally get 1 whole read on any given day when i havn’t been kidnapped by the Lizard-people and enclosed in a time-warp reflecting at me a reality i know only too well but isn’t really,

    Armstrong overnight seems to have grown a rather large pair and is now saying that Slippery’s National Government has no ‘economic’ reason to sell to the people of New Zealand assets they already own, and, that there can only be one reason for Slippery’s National Government to be selling such shareholdings in the assets we all own,

    The reason of course that John Armstrong seems to have just clicked onto to and that most of us have known for quite some time is simply ELECTION BRIBERY although Armstrong is far too polite to actually use those words,

    Right from the word go tho as far as the Slippery Prime Minister and National have been concerned it’s all been about shifting the wealth into the hands of those 40% who support National at the expense of the rest of us,

    Right from the word at the point of the tax cuts which benefitted that top 40% who support National with the Slippery Prime Minister telling the faithful to save them, the politics of asset sales have been about one thing, ELECTION BRIBERY…

    • Colonial Viper 17.1

      That’s right, even the Herald has figured out that its coming time to throw National off the Treasury benches, and replace them by putting National on to the Treasury benches.

  18. lefty 18

    I think it is time for Labour affiliated unions to step up and save their party.

    All they have to do is present the caucus with a social, political and economic programme and give them the choice of adopting it or losing all union support.

    No matter how convinced the Labour right is that they need the support of big business they can still count, and know they are well and truly stuffed if the unions start to campaign against them.

    Under MMP the unions have the choice of putting their weight behind the Greens, Mana or any other party.

    They should not bluff – they should be prepared to kill off the Labour Party if it does not do as it is told. It is the only way their support is going to be treated seriously.

    The right do not allow the left to capture their party and it is difficult to understand why workers organisations have allowed the right to capture theirs.

    Time to take it back

  19. felix 19

    DPF must be losing his touch.

    Throws out a perfectly good invitation to attack teh maori but his pets are too busy hating teh gay to pick it up.


Important links

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Letter to the Editor – Transparency in government – do we have it or no...
    . . from: Frank Macskasy to: Dominion Post <letters@dompost.co.nz> date: Fri, Aug 22, 2014 subject: Letters to the Editor . The Editor Dominion Post . Some National Party supporters are keen to over-look allegations of wrong-doing and dirty politics in...
    Frankly Speaking | 22-08
  • Letter to the Editor – The Marianna’s Trench or Pluto?! WTF was Key hol...
    . . from:      Frank Macskasy to:           Sunday News <editor@sunday-news.co.nz> date:      Fri, Aug 22, 2014 subject: Letter to the editor . The editor Sunday News . He says he doesn’t know about Judith Collins...
    Frankly Speaking | 22-08
  • Letter to the Editor – Just what is the Prime Minister’s role?!
    . . FROM: Frank Macskasy SUBJECT: Letter to the Editor DATE: Fri, 22 Aug 2014 TO: The Listener <letters@listener.co.nz. . The editor The Listener . John Key says he knew nothing about the activities of his one-time media consultant, Jason...
    Frankly Speaking | 22-08
  • A life working for social justice, David Shearer
    I believe New Zealand can be the best country in the world, where everyone can get a fair go and anyone prepared to work for it can achieve their dream....
    Labour campaign | 22-08
  • Key’s pathetic excuses
    Aug 15, 2014Aug 18, 2014Aug 18, 2014Aug 19, 2014Aug 20, 2014...
    The Jackal | 22-08
  • Is Whale Oil a journalist (2)?
    Some time ago, I wrote about Cameron Slater’s claim to be a journalist, which he is invoking for the purposes of protecting his confidential sources. The District Court ordered him to turn over his sources in a defamation case brought...
    Media Law Journal | 22-08
  • Government considering starting CRL on time
    I’ve long suspected the realities surrounding the City Rail Link and its close relationship to some of the biggest development projects in Auckland would in some ways force the governments hand and require an earlier start than 2020. Yesterday the...
    Transport Blog | 22-08
  • Poll of polls
    Polity's poll of polls is up to date, over at the Poll of Polls page. The short version, good to use as a more-or-less pre-Dirty Politics baseline, is: National: 50.4% Labour: 26.4% Greens: 12.0% NZF: 4.6% InternetMANA: 2.3% Conservative: 2.1%...
    Polity | 22-08
  • Primary Teachers Rise Up!
    I have been a primary teacher for 35 years and for over half of that time I have been an active member of the New Zealand Educational Institute, New Zealand's largest education union. NZEI Te Riu Roa represents 50,000 members, including...
    Local Bodies | 22-08
  • Friday melts, weird weather and whales (it’s been a long time…)
    It’s been a long time since my last post: apologies for that. You may blame a bad cold, an urgent need for root canal work, the peak of the truffle season (and truffle tours for culinary heroes1 ), the start...
    Hot Topic | 22-08
  • John Key’s Top 69 Lies – Today No. 29: It’s a left-wing smear campaig...
     Key: 'Left wing smear campaign'   Key continues to back Collins    John Key is wrong. He is not the victim of a smear campaign, and here's why: First, let's define "smear campaign". Wikipedia: A smear campaign, smear tactic or simply smear is...
    Arch Rival | 22-08
  • How Many National MPs are Corrupt?
    Reading through the ‘dumps’ of information allegedly showing Scumbag Adulterer Cameron Slater’s messages with National Party Hacks, there is a lot of discussions about money changing hands, Tobacco Companies making ‘donations’, and so on. Not only has Key’s Office and...
    An average kiwi | 22-08
  • Tolley feeds Slater too
    Because of Nicky Hager's excellent book, Dirty Politics, we know that a number of senior National party officials and Ministers have been caught out supplying information and content to the Whale Oil Beef Hooked blogsite, information that Cameron Slater uses...
    The Jackal | 22-08
  • Unsurprising
    No bloggers have signed up to join the Online Media Standards Authority. This isn't really surprising. For a start, membership costs $500 a year (and ten times that if too many people complain) - well beyond the means of most...
    No Right Turn | 22-08
  • Nelson fishing museum satire or not?
    Apparently, unless Fairfax is now taking on The Civilian in the field of satirical news, the Minister of Conservation Nick Smith and fishing magnate Peter Talley are planning a fishing museum in Nelson. And the Minister considers this "ambitious new...
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 22-08
  • Steering By The Real: Chris Trotter Responds To Paul Buchanan.
    Uncharacteristically Idealistic: Normally a cool-headed realist (as befits an expert in international relations) Dr Paul Buchanan has taken issue with Chris Trotter's "cynical" Bowalley Road posting Dirty Politics - Is There Any Other Kind? by offering a passionately idealistic defence of...
    Bowalley Road | 22-08
  • This should not have taken five years
    Back in 2009, after the Herald was given information showing that National MP Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi was suspected by the Immigration Service of paying off a woman at the centre of allegations he had made bogus job offers, Immigration Minister...
    No Right Turn | 22-08
  • Poll of Polls update – 22 August 2014
    The latest Herald Digipoll has just been released, and with a polling window running from 14 August to 20 August, the entirety of the polling was completed following the release of Dirty Politics. The results show a sharp fall of 4.9% for National. However,...
    Occasionally erudite | 22-08
  • Hard News: In The Green Room
    Next Thursday, John Key and David Cunliffe will meet in the first TVNZ leaders' debate. At the same time, Green Party co-leaders Metiria Turei and Russel Norman will appear in The Green Room, a "companion" debate streamed live online.I'll be...
    Public Address | 21-08
  • Walking in Manukau
    Just over a month ago I was out at Manukau City, at the open day of the new MIT, which doubles as Manukau station. This is a brilliant facility, with world class integration of land use and transport. If you...
    Transport Blog | 21-08
  • World News Brief, Friday August 22
    Top of the AgendaThai Junta Leader Appointed PM...
    Pundit | 21-08
  • Review finds community water fluoridation safe and effective
    A press release from the Royal Society of NZ today. I think the “take home message is: “The panel concluded that the concerns raised by those opposed to fluoridation are not supported by the scientific evidence” A review of the...
    Open Parachute | 21-08
  • Seismic testing stopped in Norway but coming soon to Northland
    Seismic testing for oil in the Arctic Barents Sea, commissioned by the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate has been stopped four days after it began and one month ahead of schedule after Greenpeace exposed it to the media. But off the coast...
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 21-08
  • Hard News: Friday Music: A Strange Road
    It was one thing when the Electoral Commission declared Darren Watson's 'Planet Key' song and video to be an "election programme" under the Broadcasting Act. But quite another for it to then find it to also be an "election advertisement"...
    Public Address | 21-08
  • More proof
    Adam Bennet in the Herald reports: New evidence has emerged appearing to contradict Prime Minister John Key's claim he was never told by the SIS it intended to release politically sensitive secret documents to Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater. But...
    Polity | 21-08
  • Up Front: Oh, God
    I'm not a militant atheist. I've always been grateful that I was raised by a good Christian woman; one who believed in kindness, and giving, and generally not being a judgemental homophobic arsehole. Those people's voices are largely missing from...
    Public Address | 21-08
  • New Fisk
    Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script...
    No Right Turn | 21-08
  • Key fails to keep his lies straight
    When evidence emerged yesterday that John Key had been briefed on Cameron Slater's expedited OIA to the SIS, he was quick to deny it. Apparently when the SIS director and the Ombudsman referred explicitly to "discussions with the Prime Minister",...
    No Right Turn | 21-08
  • Enter the Mad Butcher
    One aspect of the disgusting messages between National party propagandist Cameron Slater and his accomplice Aaron Bhatnagar that hasn't been picked up on by the mainstream media yet is their discussion about Peter Leitch AKA the Mad Butcher.This part of...
    The Jackal | 21-08
  • NEWSFLASH: John Key Clone Used to Fake News Conference
    Incredibly “Left Wing Smear” Campaigners have used a time machine, travelled back to August 8th 2011, with a Clone of John Key (That they made days before, using number eight wire and Oravida Milk Powder), and held a News Conference...
    An average kiwi | 21-08
  • Norway in sneak attack on the Arctic
    The Esperanza has been in Svalbard, in the Arctic, for a few weeks now and we recently became aware of something urgent and disturbing. A seismic company called Dolphin Geophysical, commissioned by the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate, has begun seismic mapping...
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 21-08
  • Vote Choice: Social Media Round-up
    We will return to our regularly scheduled coverage of party leader’s position on abortion. Meanwhile, this week’s Vote Choice series focuses on what we have heard from supporters across social media. We’ve also listed some interesting resources that can help...
    ALRANZ | 21-08
  • “Dirty Politics” and The Teflon Man
    . . The release of Nicky Hager’s book, “Dirty Secrets” has unleashed more of a political firestorm than many had anticipated. (Or, perhaps some did.) The glare of publicity has been shone like a laser-beam into the darkest, most noisome...
    Frankly Speaking | 21-08
  • “Dirty Politics” and The Teflon Man
    . . The release of Nicky Hager’s book, “Dirty Secrets” has unleashed more of a political firestorm than many had anticipated. (Or, perhaps some did.) The glare of publicity has been shone like a laser-beam into the darkest, most noisome...
    Frankly Speaking | 21-08
  • Is Penlink worth it?
    As the Council puts together its 10 year budget over the coming months there will be some really big questions that need to be addressed in the area of transport. When to start City Rail Link? How fast to build...
    Transport Blog | 21-08
  • Abandoning Science – And The Planet
    Weeping For The Planet: The famous "Crying Indian" advertisement, produced by Keeping America Beautiful, struck a deep chord with Americans when it first screened on "Earth Day" - 22 April  1971. It was a time when both the Left and the...
    Bowalley Road | 21-08
  • Peters: With Real Representation, Real Progress
    Speech – New Zealand First Party Early this month, the New Zealand First candidate for Tauranga, Clayton Mitchell, organised a meeting between local city councillors and myself. You will recall that back then he and New Zealand First gave a...
    Its our future | 21-08
  • The Green Party’s campaign video
    The Green Party's 2014 election campaign opening broadcast.A cleaner, fairer, smarter New Zealand.http://greens.org.nz #LoveNZ...
    The Jackal | 21-08
  • DHB industrial action withdrawn, workers to vote on new offer
    The Public Service Association (PSA) has withdrawn notices of industrial action covering 12,000 health workers at District Health Boards (DHBs)...
    PSA | 21-08
  • Required reading: “John Key – The End Game” by Bryan Gou...
    John Key – The End Game             It is one of the wonders of the modern world that the democracy that past generations fought and died for is regarded as of little consequence by those who currently enjoy its benefits.While many...
    Arch Rival | 21-08
  • John Key’s 69 Top Lies: Today no. 30 – Cameron Slater is nothin...
     3News Video John Key talks Nicky Hagers Dirty Politics  As much as John Key may wish it were otherwise, Cameron Slater is part of the National Party. Below is a photo of Cameron Slater's National Party membership card, taken by Cameron Slater himself as...
    Arch Rival | 21-08
  • 2014 – Ongoing jobless tally
    . . Continued from: 2013 – Ongoing jobless tally So by the numbers, for this year, January OceanaGold/Macraes Mine: 146 redundancies Fitzroy Yachts: 100 redundancies OceanaGold: 76 redundancies Tenix: 15 redundancies February Goodman Fielder: 125 redundancies Pacific Steel Group: 70-90 redundancies...
    Frankly Speaking | 21-08
  • 2014 – Ongoing jobless tally
    . . Continued from: 2013 – Ongoing jobless tally So by the numbers, for this year, January OceanaGold/Macraes Mine: 146 redundancies Fitzroy Yachts: 100 redundancies OceanaGold: 76 redundancies Tenix: 15 redundancies February Goodman Fielder: 125 redundancies Pacific Steel Group: 70-90 redundancies...
    Frankly Speaking | 21-08
  • Letter to the Editor: no phones in Hawaii, eh?
    . . from: Frank Macskasy <fmacskasy@gmail.com> to: Sunday Star Times <letters@star-times.co.nz> date: Thu, Aug 21, 2014 at 7:50 PM subject: Letter to the Editor . The editor Sunday Star Times . Key says he was in Hawaii on holiday when...
    Frankly Speaking | 21-08
  • Letter to the Editor: no phones in Hawaii, eh?
    . . from: Frank Macskasy <fmacskasy@gmail.com> to: Sunday Star Times <letters@star-times.co.nz> date: Thu, Aug 21, 2014 at 7:50 PM subject: Letter to the Editor . The editor Sunday Star Times . Key says he was in Hawaii on holiday when...
    Frankly Speaking | 21-08
  • From The Daily Blog: “We can have clean politics and get our democracy ba...
    This is my latest blog, cross-posted from The Daily Blog:   Something is rotten in our politics and it stinks. Dirty politics has sadly become one of the defining features of this election campaign. In the light of recent revelations...
    frogblog | 21-08
  • Poetiquette
    If you catch a bus tomorrow morning you may get a poetry performance for your trip as part of an NZ Bus campaign to improve bus etiquette. National Poetry Day is being celebrated this year with poets in residence onboard...
    Transport Blog | 21-08
  • John Key lied? Still no smoking gun.
    In recent days, John Key has been extensively questioned on what he or his office knew about Cameron Slater’s OIA request to the SIS. He’s steadfastly maintained that although his office was likely informed about the release of the documents...
    Occasionally erudite | 21-08
  • World News Brief, Thursday August 21
    Top of the AgendaVideo Stirs Renewed Concern Over ISIS...
    Pundit | 21-08
  • John Key – The End Game
    It is one of the wonders of the modern world that the democracy that past generations fought and died for is regarded as of little consequence by those who currently enjoy its benefits. While many parts of the world are...
    Bryan Gould | 21-08
  • Cornered Government comes out swinging
    The National Government is so desperate to keep its dead-in-the-water expert teachers policy alive, it has refused to rule out forcing schools to participate through legislation, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “John Key today attacked the Educational Institute for...
    Labour | 22-08
  • Pacific people continue to go backwards under National
    A report from Victoria University highlights the fact that Pacific people are continuing to go backwards under a National Government, said Labour’s Pacific Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio.  “The report shows the largest inequality increases were in smoking, obesity, tertiary...
    Labour | 22-08
  • Wellington transport plan needs to keep moving
    The failure of the Transport Agency to properly look at alternatives to the Basin Reserve flyover is not a good reason for further delays to improving transport in Wellington, Labour MPs Grant Robertson and Annette King say. “The Board of...
    Labour | 22-08
  • Labour’s focus on inequality, kids and better job prospects
    Tackling child poverty and removing barriers to people working part time to enhance their prospects of moving into a fulltime job are highlights of Labour’s Social Development policy. Releasing the policy today, spokesperson Sue Moroney said while part-time work was...
    Labour | 21-08
  • Political staff should give answers under oath
    The Inspector General of Security and Intelligence should use her full statutory powers to question witnesses under oath about the leak of SIS information, says Labour MP Phil Goff. “Leakage of confidential information from the SIS for political purposes is...
    Labour | 21-08
  • High dollar, hands-off Govt sends workers to dole queue
    The loss of up to 100 jobs at Croxley stationery in Auckland is devastating news for their families and the local Avondale community, Labour’s Employment, Skills and Training spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “The company’s inability to compete in international markets...
    Labour | 21-08
  • National’s flagship education policy dead in the water
    National’s plan to create executive principals and expert teachers is effectively dead in the water with news that 93 percent of primary teachers have no confidence in the scheme, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “The fact that teachers are...
    Labour | 21-08
  • Dunedin will be a knowledge and innovation centre under Labour
    Dunedin will become a knowledge and innovation centre under a Labour Government that will back local businesses, support technology initiatives and fund dynamic regional projects, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “Nowhere has the National Government’s short-sightedness been more apparently than...
    Labour | 21-08
  • Inquiry into SIS disclosures the right decision
    Labour MP Phil Goff says the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security has done the right thing by launching an inquiry into the disclosure of SIS documents about a meeting between himself and the agency’s former director-general. “This inquiry is necessary...
    Labour | 20-08
  • Labour – supporting and valuing carers and the cared for
    Placing real value on our elderly and the people who care for them will be a priority for a Labour Government, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. Releasing Labour’s Senior Citizens policy today David Cunliffe promised that a Labour Government would...
    Labour | 20-08
  • By Hoki! It’s Labour’s fisheries policy
    A Labour Government will protect the iconic Kiwi tradition of fishing by improving access to the coast, protecting the rights of recreational fishers and reviewing snapper restrictions, Labour’s Fisheries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “Catching a fish from the rocks, beach...
    Labour | 20-08
  • Mighty River – Mighty Profits – Mighty hard to swallow
    Mighty River Power’s profit increase of 84 per cent is simply outrageous, says Labour’s Energy spokesperson David Shearer. “Demand for electricity is flat or declining yet the company has made enormous profits. It is the latest power company to celebrate...
    Labour | 19-08
  • Collins’ actions were wrong, not unwise
    John Key’s moral compass remains off-kilter as he cannot bring himself to declare Judith Collins’ actions outright wrong, not simply ‘unwise’, said Labour MP Grant Robertson. “Under pressure John Key is finally shifting his stance but his failure to condemn...
    Labour | 19-08
  • Public servants behaving with more integrity than their masters
    The State Services Commission's new report on the integrity of our state services reflects the yawning gap between the behaviour of public servants and that of their political masters, Labour's State Services spokesperson Maryan Street says. “This report, which surveyed...
    Labour | 19-08
  • Phil Twyford Speech to NZCID
    "Labour's plan to build more and build better: how new approaches to housing, transport and urban development will deliver cities that work" Phil Twyford, Labour Party spokesperson on housing, transport, Auckland issues, and cities.  ...
    Labour | 19-08
  • Labour commits to independent Foreign Affairs and Trade
    “Labour is committed to New Zealand’s Foreign Affairs and Trade policy being independent and proactive, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Shearer says. “We are a small but respected country. Our voice and actions count in international affairs. Labour will take a...
    Labour | 19-08
  • Key must sack Collins over abhorrent actions
    The latest revelations that Judith Collins sent the contact details of a public servant to WhaleOil in a desperate attempt to divert media attention from a bad story is abhorrent, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. “John Key and Judith Collins...
    Labour | 19-08
  • It’s downhill from here under National
    The forecast drop in exports and predicted halving of growth shows that it’s downhill from here with National, Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker says. “Growth under this Government peaked in June and halves to two per cent in coming years....
    Labour | 19-08
  • John Key loses moral compass over Collins
    John Key has lost his moral compass over Judith Collins’ involvement with Cameron Slater and lost touch with New Zealanders’ sense of right and wrong, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. “Whoever is Prime Minister there are expectations they will not...
    Labour | 18-08
  • Mana Movement General Election 2014 List confirmed
    The MANA List is now confirmed with all the candidates as below (the numbers are the respective Internet MANA rankings). Candidate, Electorate, Internet MANA List Position Hone Harawira, Te Tai Tokerau (1) Annette Sykes, Waiariki (3) John Minto, Mt Roskill (4) Te Hamua Nikora, Ikaroa-Rawhiti...
    Mana | 18-08
  • PREFU likely to confirm dropping exports
    National’s economic management will be put under the spotlight in tomorrow’s PREFU given clear signs the so-called rock star economy has fallen off the stage, with plummeting prices for raw commodity exports, Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker says. “Under National,...
    Labour | 18-08
  • Record profits while Kiwis face a cold winter
    The record profits by two of New Zealand’s largest electricity companies will be a bitter pill for New Zealand households who are paying record amounts for their power, says Labour’s Energy spokesperson David Shearer. “No doubt the Key government will...
    Labour | 18-08
  • Time for John Key to answer yes or no questions
    John Key’s train-wreck interview on Morning Report shows he is no longer capable of a simple yes or no answer and has lost touch with what’s right and wrong, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. “John Key has become so media...
    Labour | 18-08
  • Key must clarify who signed out SIS OIA
    Yet again John Key is proving incapable of answering a simple question on an extremely important issue – this time who signed off Cameron Slater’s fast-tracked SIS OIA request on Phil Goff, said Labour MP Grant Robertson. “John Key’s claim...
    Labour | 18-08
  • Time to invest in our tertiary education system
    A Labour Government will fully review the student support system – including allowances, loans, accommodation support and scholarships – with a view to increasing access and making the system fair, transparent and sustainable, Labour’s Tertiary Education spokesperson Maryan Street says....
    Labour | 17-08
  • Labour will facilitate regional Māori economic development agencies
    The next Labour Government will facilitate the creation of regional Māori economic development groups lead by iwi and hapū to work in partnership with business and public agencies as part of its Māori Development policy. “Labour is committed to working towards...
    Labour | 16-08
    Labour’s New Zealand Council has today released an email from the General Manager of the National Party that directly contradicts recent statements from the Prime Minister in relation to the 2011 breaches of Labour Party website databases. In his stand-up...
    Labour | 16-08
  • Labour committed to a healthier NZ for all
    A Labour Government will shift the focus of the health system from narrow targets and short term thinking to make public health and prevention a priority, Labour’s health spokesperson Annette King says. Releasing Labour’s full Health policy today she said...
    Labour | 15-08
  • Time Key took responsibility for Collins
    It is well past time for John Key to take some responsibility for the misuse of power and information by his Minister Judith Collins, and follow through on his last warning to her, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. “The evidence released...
    Labour | 14-08
  • Dear John, time to answer a few questions… – Harawira
    “When Cameron Slater says about Kim Dotcom ‘I have lots on him…death by a thousand cuts…wait till you see what comes out in coming weeks on that fat c***t’, you have to ask whether this is the same Cameron Slater...
    Mana | 14-08
    “This week suicide has claimed yet more lives in whanau and communities in Ikaroa Rawhiti, and my heart goes out to those who are dealing with such a tragic loss”, says MANA candidate for Te Ikaroa Rawhiti, Te Hamua Nikora....
    Mana | 14-08
  • Offshore betting in Labour’s sights
    A Labour Government will clamp down on offshore gambling websites that deprive the local racing industry of funds, Labour’s Racing spokesperson Ross Robertson says. Releasing Labour’s racing policy today, he said betting on offshore websites is a major threat to...
    Labour | 14-08
  • Key has serious questions to answer on Dirty Politics
    John Key must answer the serious questions raised in Nicky Hager’s new book which reveal examples of dirty politics that New Zealanders will be deeply concerned about, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. “Many people will be disturbed by the evidence...
    Labour | 14-08
  • Creating an inclusive society for disabled people
    A Labour Government will provide free annual health checks for people with an intellectual disability, Labour’s Disability Issues spokesperson Ruth Dyson said today in announcing Labour’s Disability Issues policy. “We will also employ another 100 additional special education teachers and...
    Labour | 14-08
  • Media Advisory – MANA name change
    This is to advise all media that on the 24th of July the ‘Mana’ party name was officially changed to ‘MANA Movement’ under the Electoral Act 1993.  The inclusion of the word ‘Movement’ in our name shouldn’t come as a surprise...
    Mana | 13-08
  • New Zealand must help in the growing Iraq crisis
    The humanitarian crisis in Iraq looks certain to get worse before it gets better,” said David Shearer Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson. “New Zealand should urgently pledge increased humanitarian assistance to United Nations agencies and NGOs present on the ground....
    Labour | 13-08
  • Allegations of migrant worker rort should be investigated
    Labour is calling for an investigation into the alleged exploitation of workers at Hutt Railway workshops, hired to repair asbestos-riddled DL locomotives. Hutt South Labour MP Trevor Mallard has written to the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment asking that...
    Labour | 13-08
  • Medical and dentistry students get reprieve under Labour
    A Labour Government will restore the right of medical and dentistry students to get student loans after seven years of study because it is the right thing to do, Labour’s Tertiary Education spokesperson Maryan Street says. “Hard on the heels...
    Labour | 13-08
  • National must stop meddling with ACC before the election
    The redesign currently occurring at the Accident Claims Corporation (ACC) for sensitive claims needs to be put on hold immediately, said the Green Party today.The Green Party is concerned about work currently underway at ACC involving the sensitive claims service...
    Greens | 13-08
  • Markets slow but first home buyers still hurting
    First home buyers are hurting more than ever as the supply of affordable houses in the market dries up, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Reserve Bank will be happy LVR minimum deposits and rising interest rates have dampened...
    Labour | 13-08
  • Green Party celebrates MOU win on contaminated sites
    The Green Party is celebrating the announcement of a national register of contaminated sites today, and $2.5 million to start cleaning two sites up. The Green Party and the National Party agreed to include toxic site management work in their...
    Greens | 13-08
  • Emergency staff at breaking point
    The Southern DHB is so cash-strapped it is failing to fill nursing rosters, Labour’s Associate Health spokesperson David Clark says.  “Every day emergency department nurses arrive at work knowing they are likely to be carrying more than their recommended workload. ...
    Labour | 12-08
  • ACC minister fails in mission to change culture
    The latest damning report by the Auditor General shows that the ACC Minister has failed to fulfil her mission to fix the sick culture at ACC and real change will not come till a new Government is elected, the Green...
    Greens | 12-08
  • Labour’s regional development fund to support Palmerston North
    Labour will consider a proposal to develop an inland port at Palmerston North, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “The Palmerston North community has developed plans for an inland port which will bring jobs and economic growth to a region which...
    Labour | 12-08
  • Green Party announces priorities for Christchurch
    The Green Party has today announced its plan for a fairer, smarter and more democratic Canterbury rebuild, with a focus on smart transport solutions, restoring local democracy, and keeping Christchurch's assets.The plan sits across all of the Green Party's priorities...
    Greens | 11-08
  • Rock-star economy unplugged by China log jam
    The collapse of log prices due to oversupply in China threatens to wash the gloss off what remains of National's so-called rock-star economy, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “Already this year the price of milk solids has plunged by more...
    Labour | 11-08
  • Young job seekers dealt a poor hand
    National's "keep 'em poor" card for young people on a benefit is a sorry substitute for job training, Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Sue Moroney says.  The Government today announced it would extend its payment card scheme to all teen parents...
    Labour | 11-08
  • Labour – achieving change for Kiwi women
    Working towards being a world leader in eliminating violence against women and children will be a priority for a Labour Government. Releasing Labour’s Women’s Affairs policy today spokesperson Carol Beaumont said while Labour had a proud track record of achieving...
    Labour | 11-08
  • Accessible healthcare also affordable
      It is obvious from Tony Ryall’s hasty attack of Labour’s plans to extend free GP visits to older people that he hasn’t bothered to actually read the policy, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. "Mr Ryall’s response to Labour’s...
    Labour | 11-08
  • Full details of oil execs’ junket revealed
    Full details of a $237,000 taxpayer-funded oil executives' junket in 2011 have emerged.National paid the nearly quarter of a million dollars to wine and dine 11 oil executives in New Zealand during the World Cup.The trip included yachting, wine tasting,...
    Greens | 10-08
  • Steering By The Real: Chris Trotter responds to Paul Buchanan
    WHEN ACADEMICS take to blogging the rest of us best be careful. And when they offer comment on the subject of dirty politics we should all pay attention. I will always remember my history lecturer, Dr Michael Cullen’s, confident dismissal...
    The Daily Blog | 22-08
  • Interview Between Selwyn Manning & Sean Plunket Over SIS Release of OIA...
    During a RadioLive interview between host Sean Plunket and managing director of Multimedia Investments Ltd, journalist Selwyn Manning, a fiery exchange developed after Plunket attempted to “wet flannel” the issue of whether the Prime Minister has been truthful over what...
    The Daily Blog | 22-08
  • “Even though my hours are being cut, my rent doesn’t get cut to compens...
    Fast Food = Slow Pay   Lola is a manager at a major fast food chain. Last year her employer arbitrarily cut her hours from 32 hours to anywhere between 18 and 26 hours each week. “I said I can’t...
    The Daily Blog | 21-08
  • Hate Politics has no place in NZ Politics
    I wasn’t going to write about Nicky Hagar’s ‘Dirty Politics’.  There are plenty of policy issues to discuss. Then I read the book, and what it reveals strikes at the very heart of our democracy. My overwhelming feeling is one...
    The Daily Blog | 21-08
  • Pak’nSave pull adverts from Whaleoil
    Pak n Save have replied to complaints that their adverts were appearing on hate speech site Whaleoil by deciding to block their adverts from appearing on the site. Their reply… Congratulations for Pak’NSave on making this type of ethical stand. They...
    The Daily Blog | 21-08
  • Herald Poll – Why the Greens will hit 15%
    The biggest problem for John Key is that there are swathes of National Party voters who are educated and decent people whom will be forced to read Dirty Politics out of intellectual curiosity and will be horrified by what National...
    The Daily Blog | 21-08
  • Coalition for Better Broadcasting – Dirty Politics and Dirty Media
    The Nicky Hager book is mind blowing on so many levels. The revelations of government ministers and their staff colluding with vile and hateful schemers to attack other people, is truly ugly. When the dust settles on the illegalities, immoralities...
    The Daily Blog | 21-08
  • “You just have to keep on fighting” – an interview with Metiria Turei
    We’re meeting in her office. It’s austere, though she does have a nice teapot. The view is startling. One can map the Bowen Triangle, though the teapot is still more interesting. A group of pink faced men are running across...
    The Daily Blog | 21-08
  • Taxation and Real Estate – turning housing debate on its head
    The debate about property prices in New Zealand is disingenuous. It is clear that there is a global process in which speculators are using massive amounts of unspent and borrowed money to blow bubbles in the world’s major asset markets....
    The Daily Blog | 21-08
  • GUEST BLOG: Michael Wood – Faith and politics
    In a week which has seen our collective focus shift to those who see politics as a great game to be manipulated for their own ends, it is timely to reflect on the fact that many people are in fact...
    The Daily Blog | 21-08
  • Government’s Own Guidelines Show John Key Would Have Been Informed Of SIS...
    Analysis by Selwyn Manning. INFORMATION THAT I HAVE ACQUIRED, sourced from the State Services Commission, states in black and white the tight guideline requirements that must be followed whenever the SIS informs a Prime Minister of any pending release of...
    The Daily Blog | 21-08
  • Simply Not Credible: Dr Tucker’s “clarifications” are only making thi...
    THAT DR WARREN TUCKER, Director of the Security Intelligence Service in 2011, agreed to the release of politically sensitive material – thereby intervening in an on-going contretemps between the leaders of the National and Labour parties – without receiving the...
    The Daily Blog | 21-08
  • The Donghua Liu Affair: Evidence of Collusion between the NZ Herald and Imm...
    . 1. Prologue . The Donghua Liu Affair hit  the headlines on 18 June, with allegations that David Cunliffe wrote a letter in 2003,  on  behalf of  business migrant, Donghua Liu. Four days later, on Sunday 22 June, the Herald...
    The Daily Blog | 21-08
  • Dear Canon NZ – Malevolence should induce revulsion, it shouldn’t be ce...
    Giovanni Tiso’s analysis on Slater is possibly the best in NZ… It’s been a good week for some of us. A week of feeling vindicated, offeeling galvanised. Where it goes from here will depend on several factors, some of which are largely...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • 5AA Australia: After Dirty Politics Can National Provide Stable Government?
    AS WE ALL KNOW New Zealanders and Australians do not like political parties that are unstable, or can no longer assure us that they are able to provide stable government. And the big question for Kiwis as we prepare to...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • SIS letter means it’s over for Key
    It’s over. I may not agree with all of Phil Goff’s positions, but you can’t question his integrity the way Slater did in Dirty Politics and not be deeply concerned that our Secret Intelligence Agency is being used for political...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • who to vote for in Epsom
    who to vote for in Epsom...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • The Rise and Fall of John Key – who will be the next leader of National P...
    . . It was all set to go: Teamkey would be the cult of personality that would do Stalin, Mao, Reagan, Thatcher, or any of the Nth Korean Kim Dynasty, proud.  National and it’s “Teamkey” propaganda strategy   would cash-in Big Time...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • Who said Kiwis couldn’t get a fire in their bellies over an arcane intern...
    An amazing team of activists has taken the campaign on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) to local governments throughout the country. Their latest triumph came last Monday when the Dunedin City Council endorsed a resolution expressing concern about the TPPA...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • National’s Dangerous Education Agenda Exposed
    Putting aside the dirty politics coming out of the Beehive and the right-wing blogisphere, there are some very strong signals that another term of a National Government would do even more serious damage to the public education system. The Education...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • We can have clean politics and get our democracy back.
    Something is rotten in our politics and it stinks. Dirty politics has sadly become one of the defining features of this election campaign. In the light of recent revelations about the extent of nasty and disingenuous political strategies, it would...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • Book burning copies of Hager’s book? The next generation of National Part...
    It seems we are getting the next generation of National Party Dirty Politics now. There are claims the Young Nats in Hamilton are buying up copies of Dirty Politics and burning them. One witness was contacted by the Waikato Times...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • National Party Poetry Day Haiku
    Key’s inbox and Cam’s poison most foul, there he blows hoist by own harpoon...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • Why Cunliffe will be the next PM
    David Cunliffe will be the next Prime Minister of NZ. Labour’s inclusive and positive TV adverts… …are in stark contrast to National’s team of white people powering away from the rabble of the ‘others’… …the messaging is vital and crucial...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • From smiling assassin to grumpy butcher – on giving Judith Collins a last...
    After #dirtypolitics Key isn’t the smiling assassin, he is the grumpy butcher. When he said Judith had  a ‘last chance’ he meant 1 second after voting closes on 20th September. Key would love nothing more than to cut Collins loose and end...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • If the National Party rowing advert was real….
    If the National Party rowing advert was real there would be more blood in the water. If the National Party rowing advert was real it would be Cameron Slater calling the strokes. If the national Party rowing advert was real,...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • Cameron Slater: Zionist and political pundit
    It is hard to know where to start with right-wing blogger Cameron Slater (Whale Oil), especially after the release of Nicky Hager’s book Dirty Politics. This confirmed everything many of us thought Slater to be: a snivelling pundit who serves...
    The Daily Blog | 19-08
  • Bryce Edwards stood down from Herald for election season??? Are the editors...
    I only found this out via twitter last night and I am still in shock. Bryce Edwards, easily the best critical thinker and news analyst the NZ Herald has has been stood down by the NZ Herald ‘for the election...
    The Daily Blog | 19-08
  • So who’s a “conspiracy theorist” now?!
    . . As the media storm over Nicky Hager’s book, “Dirty Politics“,  and allegations over smear campaigns continue to swirl,  National’s spin doctors have given Key, Collins, and other National Party ministers a string of  phrases to use in all...
    The Daily Blog | 19-08
  • Momentum shift
    When you are deeply immersed in a local campaign sometimes it can be difficult to see the helicopter view.   I don’t know how accurate the political polls are and have always known that things can change quickly in politics...
    The Daily Blog | 19-08
  • Dear Toby Manhire. Bad call on backing Farrar
    Oh dear. I say this as someone who regards Toby Manhire as one of the smartest journalists/commentators/columnists this country has, and I think Toby has made a terribly dumb call here. Let’s see if Toby is still singing Farrar’s praises...
    The Daily Blog | 19-08
  • Radio NZ apologise to me for getting it wrong
    Radio NZ have contacted me, reviewed the claim by their host that I had an advance copy of Nicky Hager’s book and they have concluded they got it wrong, they have called me and apologised and will make a statement...
    The Daily Blog | 19-08
  • GUEST BLOG: Reclaim UoA – Students’ Message to Steven Joyce
    Tertiary Education – we’ve been sold a lemon  A group of 30 students attended an event on Tuesday evening about ‘the future of tertiary education’ at which the Minister of Tertiary Education Steven Joyce was slated to speak. As Joyce...
    The Daily Blog | 19-08
  • Can someone in the media please ask the PM of NZ to categorically deny any ...
    Now we see the MO of Slater & Co, the setting up, the digging for dirt, the use of staff to dig that dirt, can the Prime Minister of NZ categorically deny any National Party staff worked with Cam Slater...
    The Daily Blog | 19-08
  • Panic setting in for National as they realise what’s about to happen
    And the terror starts to set in. I’ve never seen blind panic like this before  and it’s spreading as the enormity of what’s about to happen starts to sink in. Hager’s book is a mere entree, Nicky’s personal ethics wouldn’t...
    The Daily Blog | 19-08
  • Hager’s Dirty Politics: what the book ultimately reveals is abuse of powe...
    Guide to the many faces of John Key Nicky’s book is now doing what I suspected it would do, create a shockwave of revulsion. Andrew Geddis over at Pundit Blog sums up this attitude best, and it’s reverberations build with every...
    The Daily Blog | 18-08
  • Fancy taking children seriously
    Let’s see why all political parties should pay close attention to the Green Party’s policy for children. First, it is a comprehensive attempt to put children, not ideology, at the heart of family policy. Wow, children at the heart of...
    The Daily Blog | 18-08
  • Amnesty International: Dear Azerbaijan, Stop Torture, Love Kiwi Kids
    This is a world where many adults often underestimate Generation Y. Being only a few years out of being a teenager myself, I feel I can make this statement with certainty. However, I have been the Youth Intern at Amnesty...
    The Daily Blog | 18-08
  • GCSB meetings today in Christchurch 1pm at Uni 7pm at Cathedral
    The 2014 GCSB meetings to discuss the mass surveillance state legislation passed by this Government will be debated in Christchurch today at two different meetings. 1pm at Canterbury University bottom floor James Height Building: Chair: Bomber Bradbury Ruth Dyson – Labour Party...
    The Daily Blog | 18-08
  • Things that 7 Sharp should probably be talking about
    Things that 7 Sharp should probably be talking about...
    The Daily Blog | 18-08
  • Guide to when Key is lying
    Guide to when Key is lying...
    The Daily Blog | 18-08
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – The State of the Student Nation …or is just Al...
    Students politics are dead and our student media is in terminal decline. The most disappointing thing about university is the politics, or should I say lack of? I was raised with the idea that students held the power.They were the...
    The Daily Blog | 18-08
  • Love Lifts Us Up: Thoughts from the Green Party’s campaign launch.
    Author Eleanor Catton wants people to give their party vote to the Greens.Photo by Peter Meecham NO ONE WAS QUITE SURE how he did it. Somehow Bob Harvey had persuaded the owners of the rights to Joe Cocker’s Up Where...
    The Daily Blog | 18-08
  • Test Stream
    width="600" height="400"> archive="http://theora.org/cortado.jar [3]" width="600" height="401">...
    The Daily Blog | 18-08
  • LIVE STREAM: You, Me and the GCSB ChCh Public Meetings
    LIVE STREAM EVENT here at 1pm & 7pm: The 2014 GCSB meetings to discuss the mass surveillance state legislation passed by this Government will be debated in Christchurch today at two different meetings. PLEASE NOTE: TDB recommends Chrome and Firefox...
    The Daily Blog | 18-08
  • Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today,
    Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking on Radio Hauraki...
    The Daily Blog | 18-08
  • How @whaledump might destroy the popular vote for National
    Dirty Politics is now creating a meltdown and National are in danger of a total vote collapse. The real threat to for National was if Nicky had all the emails released via the anonymous hacker who took them. That danger is now a...
    The Daily Blog | 18-08
  • Open letter to Radio NZ – you need to make a retraction now
    I have just sent this off to Radio NZ right now Dear Radio NZ Firstly, what a great interview by Guyon Espiner this morning with the Prime Minister. Great to see such hard hitting journalism. Unfortunately I am not contacting...
    The Daily Blog | 17-08
  • Radio NZ are lying about me
    I am getting this all second hand at the moment as I don’t bother listening to Radio NZ (except for that wonderful Wallace Chapman in the weekends) but there is a claim that Suzie Ferguson just insinuated on Radio NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 17-08
  • Farrar’s fake claim of being invaded + Slater’s claims of death threats...
    The counter spin to avoid focus on the series allegations made in Nicky Hager’s Dirty Politics continues. David Farrar’s ridiculous hysterics that he was invaded and his privacy has been blah blah blah has all been reduced from computer hacking to...
    The Daily Blog | 17-08
  • Te Kuiti man imprisoned for images of young children
    A Te Kuiti man caught with pictures of children being sexually abused has been sentenced to ten months imprisonment. Sickness beneficiary Daniel James Parry, 35, appeared for sentence in the Tauranga District Court today (Friday) after pleading guilty...
    Scoop politics | 22-08
  • Japan Maritime Training Squadron visit – Open Day, Band
    • The Japan Maritime Self-Defence Force Training Squadron will make port in Auckland from Wednesday 3 September to Saturday 6 September...
    Scoop politics | 22-08
  • MP Perk Transparency Needed
    The Taxpayers’ Union is slamming the increase in taxpayer-funded entitlements for MPs and their families published on the legislation website this afternoon . Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says:...
    Scoop politics | 22-08
  • Debating the future of Auckland’s housing
    With only weeks until the General Election, Auckland’s mounting housing crisis will be put under the spotlight in an Election Debate hosted by the School of Architecture and Planning at the University of Auckland. The debate’s topic “Market forces...
    Scoop politics | 22-08
  • Let’s sort this out – Human Rights Commission
    A Whangarei woman allegedly censured for greeting customers with Kia ora can get in touch with the Human Rights Commission says Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy. “We really need to resolve these kinds of issues. I had thought that...
    Scoop politics | 22-08
  • Aged Care Association welcomes Labour’s wages policy
    The New Zealand Aged Care Association welcomes the Labour Party’s announcement that if elected, it will raise the minimum wage for aged care workers within its first 100 days in Government....
    Scoop politics | 22-08
  • Honorary doctorate for Secretary-General of the UN
    An Honorary Doctor of Laws degree is to be bestowed on His Excellency Mr Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations, by the University of Auckland on Wednesday 3 September, both in recognition of his role as an international statesman...
    Scoop politics | 22-08
  • Surveillance of Mr Upul Jayasuriya
    The New Zealand Bar Association joins the International Bar Association (IBA) and other Law Societies and Bar Associations worldwide over the reported surveillance of Mr Upul Jayasuriya, President of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka....
    Scoop politics | 22-08
  • Bob Parker, China State Media and Tibet Forum
    Former Christchurch mayor was signed up to position statement without his knowledge; observed “happiness” in Tibet as Tibetan protesters elsewhere shot by security forces...
    Scoop politics | 22-08
  • “Walk the talk to reduce the wage gap”
    There’s just a few weeks left to convince the candidates of all political parties that reducing the wage gaps makes good sense....
    Scoop politics | 22-08
  • Digital Currency on the Drawing Board
    Government policies and digital currency ideas and issues will come together at three public workshops next week....
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • NZ Cycle Trail welcomes $8 million fund
    Government funding of $8 million to maintain and enhance the Great Rides of New Zealand will help ensure the trails are delivering the best possible visitor experience, says Evan Freshwater, Manager Nga Haerenga The New Zealand Cycle Trail Inc. (NZCT)....
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Judges Comments Bonkers – McVicar
    Napier Conservative Party Candidate Garth McVicar is accusing a Judge of forgetting that he is the gate-keeper for the community and not a benevolent caregiver for law breakers. "The comments by this Judge are not just alarming, they're completely...
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Oxfam: World must suspend arms sales to protect civilians
    As the New Zealand Government prepares to ratify the global Arms Trade Treaty, and after ceasefire talks collapsed and violence erupted yet again in Gaza yesterday, Oxfam is calling on all states to immediately suspend transfers of arms or ammunition...
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Degrees in Picking up Rubbish
    Responding to the Fairfax media report of a University of Otago survey of Wellington’s street-connected walkways, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says:...
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Another Union row
    “ The teachers union the NZEA is getting ready for another industrial dispute. These disputes now only occur in the government sector. National has no one to blame but themselves” said ACT Leader Dr Jamie Whyte....
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Whyte: Speech to Grey Power
    National’s failure to increase the age for super and reform health is a threat to every New Zealander’s security....
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Local Govt should not go into business
    “No one should take any comfort from the fact that “Infracon”, a roading company in Tararua and Central Hawke's Bay, is to go into liquidation. This puts the future of more than 200 jobs in doubt. ACT sympathises with those...
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Join the hikoi to end child poverty in New Zealand
    CPAG is calling on people across society to join a march from Britomart to Aotea Square in Auckland to demand action on child poverty in Aotearoa....
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Ngapuhi Chair Says Enough of the Political Sideshow
    Time for side-shows to end so we can focus on future of our nation – Raniera (Sonny) Tau, Chairman, Te Runanga A Iwi O Ngapuhi...
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Commissioner of Police v Kim Dotcom And Ors
    An order is made extending the duration of the registration of the restraining orders issued by the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia on 10 and 25 January 2012 and registered in New Zealand on 18...
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Labour Announcement on Future of Hillside Workshops Welcome
    Labour leader David Cunliffe’s announcement in Dunedin today that a government led by his party would re-open Hillside Railway workshops was welcomed by the Rail and Maritime Transport Union (RMTU). ‘Since the workshops were shut down in late...
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Primary teachers and principals vote to put kids first
    Teachers and principals have voted overwhelmingly against the Government’s controversial “Investing in Educational Success” policy, including proposed highly-paid principal and teacher roles....
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Prime Time with Sean Plunkett: Educating for Success
    In all the turmoil stirred up by the "Dirty Politics" revelations, the real issues that the campaign should be about have been put to one side....
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Dirty Politics – Number One Bestseller and Back in Stores
    An exposé of the hidden side of New Zealand politics, Nicky Hager's book, Dirty Politics , has been in hot demand since its release last Wednesday....
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Epsom: profiling NZ’s most controversial electorate
    Welcome to the wealthy inner Auckland electorate of Epsom: home of coat-tailing, the Tea Tapes, a convicted outgoing MP... and heavy newspaper and magazine readership....
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Families Free From Violence campaign and website
    We are pleased to announce the launch of our Families Free From Violence campaign and our new Families Free From Violence website. This website has been created to encourage people to take responsibility for ending family violence by seeking help...
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • PSA And DHBs Reach Settlement on Five Collective Agreements
    The 20 District Health Boards are pleased to reach settlement via mediation on five Multi Employer Collective Agreements (MECAs) with the Public Service Association for 12,000 mental and public health nurses, allied, public health and technical staff,...
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Refusal to complete census results in 46 convictions
    Failing to fill out a census form has resulted in the convictions of 46 people, Statistics New Zealand said today....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Council Amalgamations Still Bad Deal
    Northland, Bay of Plenty, and Wellington ratepayers should not be seduced into accepting the amalgamation of their Councils by a recent amendment to legislation allowing for local boards not community boards, Chris Leitch, Democrats for Social Credit...
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • DHB industrial action withdrawn
    The Public Service Association (PSA) has withdrawn notices of industrial action covering 12,000 health workers at District Health Boards (DHBs) across New Zealand, after progress was made in mediation....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Aged Care Pledge Needs Better Target, Says Care Agency
    Labour’s pledge to set up an aged care working group to address industry concerns is good to see, but appears to skirt the obvious issue of a looming lack of beds and carers for our rapidly growing elderly population, says...
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Social inequality still rife in New Zealand
    Social inequality has worsened over the past decade in New Zealand, a new study from Victoria University of Wellington shows....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Working towards a living wage and more Māori in paid work
    The Māori Party will build on the gains it has already achieved in Government and accelerate job opportunities particularly for young Māori....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Deepwater Group Supports Changes to Catch Limits
    The Deepwater Group says the increase in the Total Allowable Commercial Catch for hoki shows the benefits of a long term commitment to build biomass in this major New Zealand fishery....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • ACT announces Ohariu candidate Sean Fitzpatrick
    “Our Ohariu candidate will be Sean Fitzpatrick. Sean has strong ties to the region and I’m glad to hear he will be doing his best to grow ACT’s party vote in the area,” says Dr Whyte....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • ACT announces Tauranga candidate Stuart Pederson
    “Our Tauranga candidate will be Stuart Pedersen. Stuart has strong ties to Tauranga and I’m glad he has agreed to do his best to grow ACT’s party vote in the electorate,” says Dr Whyte....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Green Party scores massive own goal
    Green Party scores massive own goal as their own policy auditor criticises their fiscal plan...
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Green Party’s own Auditor of their Budget finds it dodgy
    “The Alternative Budget released by the Green's does not even stack up in the eyes of their chosen auditor – Infometrics” said ACT Leader Dr Jamie Whyte....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • New shark finning laws fall short for threatened species
    Environmental groups are welcoming some aspects of a raft of law changes announced today in relation to shark finning, but say that overall the chance for New Zealand to catch up with international efforts in shark conservation is being missed....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Promoting Labour’s Positive Policies
    General Secretary of the New Zealand Labour Party, Tim Barnett, today launched Labour’s television advertisements for the 2014 election. The advertisements help tell Labour’s positive story for a better New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Drug Court: Rare Insight into New Alternative Justice Model
    Māori Television’s latest New Zealand documentary presents a fascinating look inside a new alternative justice model – through the stories of convicted criminals....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Political parties pledge to increase overseas aid
    A survey of political parties looking at how much New Zealand should spend on Official Development Assistance (ODA) shows the overwhelming majority of parties are committed to raising the bar according to the Council for International Development (CID)....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Top Kiwis backing Tip the Scales campaign
    Sir Graham Henry, former All Black Kees Meeuws, singer-song writer Jamie McDell and fishing guru Matt Watson have pledged their support to Tip the Scales, a pre-election campaign generating public support for rebuilding New Zealand’s depleted inshore...
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Maritime Union continues to press over dirty politics
    Maritime Union National President Garry Parsloe says Ports of Auckland management is trying to get off the hook from its involvement with extreme right wing bloggers during the Ports of Auckland dispute....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • No end in sight to overwhelming human cost of conflict
    Two ceasefires have brought some respite to civilians in Gaza and southern Israel, amid hope that a durable cessation of hostilities might occur. In Gaza, these breaks in the fighting have barely given people enough time to seek medical care,...
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Young Kiwi speakers to represent NZ at Gallipoli 2015
    The RSA is delighted at the announcement made by Veterans' Affairs Minister Michael Woodhouse today, that all eight regional finalists of the 2015 ANZ RSA Cyril Bassett VC Speech Competition will be included in a group of 25 Youth Ambassadors...
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • “Bromance” Marriage Stunt Insulting Says LegaliseLove
    A promotional competition asking two best mates to get married in order to win an all-expenses-paid trip to the 2015 Rugby World Cup is insulting, marriage equality campaign LegaliseLove Aotearoa claims....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Cannabis Party first to register for 2014 General Election
    The Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party became the first party to register for the 2014 General Election today, when it meet with the Electoral Commission in Wellington at Midday....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • PGA: Addresses NZ’s ratification of Arms Trade Treaty
    President of Parliamentarians for Global Action and New Zealand MP Ross Robertson today addressed a celebration to mark New Zealand’s imminent ratification of the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), which is expected within the next few weeks....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
Images of the election
Public service advertisements by The Standard

Current CO2 level in the atmosphere