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Open mike 28/08/2012

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, August 28th, 2012 - 93 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…

93 comments on “Open mike 28/08/2012”

  1. Jenny 1

    Leftists around the world have been attacking the Arab spring and the overthrow of bloodthirsty dictators by the Arab peoples of the Middle East.

    To justify their support for butchers and torturers they have engaged in personal attacks slander and character assassination. But their main line of attack is to try and characterise the people’s revolts in the Middle East, as a “US and Western backed invasion”.

    It is well documented that during the cold war the US on a number of occasions on three continents supplied forces they supported, with the the ‘Stinger’ the highly effective shoulder launched anti-aircraft weapon. Ronald Reagan for instance supplied them to anti-communist Unita rebels in Angola.

    However, the first and best documented occasion was the war in Afghanistan.

    From Wikipedia:

    According to Crile, who includes information from Alexander Prokhanov, the Stinger was a “turning point”.[6] Milt Bearden saw it as a “force multiplier” and morale booster.[6] Charlie Wilson, the congressman behind US Operation Cyclone, described the first StingerMi-24 shootdowns in 1986 as one of the three crucial moments of his experience in the war, saying “we never really won a set piece battle before September 26, and then we never lost one afterwards”.[13][14] He was given the first spent Stinger tube as a gift and kept it on his office wall.

    Faster than any military jet with a speed of mach 5, heat seeking stinger missiles that zero in on jet and helicopter exhausts would clear the skies of Syria.

    The battlefield leveling effect of the stinger was the main reason for the investment in expensive counter measures like the stealth fighters and bombers.

    To back their claims that the US is behind the rebels, supporters of the Bashar Assad regime claim against all evidence, that the US through Turkey has also supplied the Free Syrian Army with stingers.

    http://www.scoopit.co.nz/story.php?title=syrian-opposition-gets-first-stingers

    If the above report carried by Scoop.co.nz wasn’t a lie, Then – As in the war against the Soviets in Aghanistan Western supplied ‘Stingers’ would be a game changer, allowing the rebels to shoot down jets and helicopters turning the tide of the war.

    It is only the regime’s air superiority that has kept their forces in the field allowing them to massacre at will even in the liberated areas.

    Quite possibly, just knowing that these very effective shoulder fired anti- aircraft weapons were in the hands of the rebels could ground the Syrian regime’s airforce.

    With the removal of air superiority the war would be over and the suffering of the Syrian people would be alleviated.

    Unfortunately this story carried on a major left website was a complete fabrication.

    Not a single Stinger has been delivered to the rebels leaving the civilian population vulnerable to merciless bombardment from the air and the rebels powerless to defend them.

    • muzza 1.1

      “civilian population vulnerable to merciless bombardment from the air and the rebels powerless to defend them”

      If only you understood how damaging your well intentioned, yet badly directed energy is for those you purport to be “defending”!

    • Rosie 1.2

      Hi Jenny,

      Hey, I’ve got to say your comments often leave me feeling baffled and I usually don’t respond. However your sense of outrage on Open Mike on Saturday regarding Anders Breivik being deemed not psychologically unwell was quite upsetting as you automatically assumed that monsters like him must be mentally unwell, therefore demonising all people who are suffering from mental illness. I don’t know if you read my responses. I hope you did because its important you learn about the reality of mental illness (in a clinical and social sense) Vs violent criminal activity.

      Now you are saying that lefties ‘have been attacking the Arab Spring and the overthrow of dictators………’ Are you familiar with the Occupy movement? The Arab Spring was the entire inspriration for the movement. It was the courage of the Arab people to stand up to dictators that encouraged people in NY and later all around the world to stand up against our western capitalist system, albeit different from systems in the East but damaging non the less. As the movement progressed the people of Tunisia, Libya and Egypt stood with the Occupy movement and gave talks about reclaiming democracy. There was a strong sense of solidarity between the Arab community and the entire Occupy Movement.
      Thats just one example but even so, how can you say Leftists would attack freedom form oppression when thats an aim that is close to many lefties hearts?

      • Jackal 1.2.1

        +1 You’ll note that Jenny won’t be able to supply any references to back up her grossly incorrect generalizations regarding leftists attacking the Arab spring. She/he is also likely wrong about the Syrian rebels having ground to air missiles.

        • grumpy 1.2.1.1

          Correct on both points.

        • McFlock 1.2.1.2

          Actually, from recollection of my uni foreign policy papers, the issue with the stingers was that it was a tacit admission of direct and strong US support against the soviets (stingers at the time being state of the art restricted weapons), a decision that went to Reagan. The stinger decision was basically a statement of “our wallet vs yours”.

        • Jenny 1.2.1.3

          …..You’ll note that Jenny won’t be able to supply any references to back up her grossly incorrect generalizations regarding leftists attacking the Arab spring. She/he is also likely wrong about the Syrian rebels having ground to air missiles.

          Jackal

          According to a Reuters report carried by Stuff.co.nz, the helicopter was brought down after hovering above the city for over an hour.

          “It was flying over the eastern part of the city and firing all morning,” an activist calling himself Abu Bakr told Reuters from near where the helicopter came down in the suburb of Qaboun. “The rebels had been trying to hit for about an hour,” he said. “Finally they did.”……

          Although rebel commanders have asked foreign allies for anti-aircraft missiles, Western nations are unwilling to supply such weapons for fear of them falling into hostile hands. There was no indication fighters in Damascus had used any missiles.

          Reuters

          http://www.stuff.co.nz/world/middle-east/7559188/Syrian-helicopter-shot-down-in-Damascus

          Helicopters being relatively slow moving and flying at low altitudes are vulnerable to sustained small arms fire, and can be brought down if a bullet strikes a vulnerable spot.

          Which is probably what happened here.

          • Jackal 1.2.1.3.1

            There has been more than just one helicopter shot down Jenny, and multiple reports of the Syrian rebels having surface to air missiles. As far as I can tell, there’s no reason for them to lie about such a thing?

            • mike e 1.2.1.3.1.1

              According to news reports sryrian rebels have adapted a long range artillary gun into an anti aircraft gun.

            • Jenny 1.2.1.3.1.2

              There has been more than just one helicopter shot down Jenny, and multiple reports of the Syrian rebels having surface to air missiles.

              Jackal

              I call you on this bullshit, Jackal. How about some evidence? Do you have any, or do you just make this stuff up out of spite.

      • Jenny 1.2.2

        Are you familiar with the Occupy movement? The Arab Spring was the entire inspriration for the movement. It was the courage of the Arab people to stand up to dictators that encouraged people in NY and later all around the world to stand up against our western capitalist system, albeit different from systems in the East but damaging non the less. As the movement progressed the people of Tunisia, Libya and Egypt stood with the Occupy movement…..

        Rosie

        Hi Rosie, I notice that you didn’t include Syria in your list of countries involved in the Arab Spring. Would you like to explain why?

        • Rosie 1.2.2.1

          Lordy Jenny, this is really getting out of hand.

          You ask why Syria wasn’t included in my list of countries involved in the Arab spring.

          Ok. I was talking about the Occupy movement and their solidarity with the Arab communitites inside America and in the middle east. I wasn’t talking about Syria as such. I was going by memory of the talks I listened to, live online and I remember speakers respresenting Libya, Egypt and Tunisia. My memory is going back to September, October 2011. Given that the civil uprising in Syria gained steam around mid March 2011 it is quite possible that there were Syrian people represented at the Occupy camp and actions. Amazingly, I can’t remember every detail from that time. I wasn’t watching the livestream 24 – 7 either. I was trying to illustrate to you that the Left is about freedom from oppression, using the Occupy movement as one recent example of left solidarity with the Arab spring. And I certianly don’t want a fight with you.

          However you are welcome to trawl through archive footage here if you want to find out if Occupy stood alongside Syria.

          http://occupywallst.org/

          • weka 1.2.2.1.1

            “Lordy Jenny, this is really getting out of hand.”

            You can say that again.

          • Jenny 1.2.2.1.2

            Hi Rosie, I think we may be talking at cross purposes here.

            I see that you agree that the occupy movement is modeled on the Arab Spring. Which is the case.

            From this I take it that you agree that the Arab spring was one of the greatest popular democratic social movements in history.

            But do you agree that the Syrian people’s initially peaceful protests were an extension of the Arab Spring?

            Do you know that the protesters initial demands were for democratic reforms not for the overthrow of the regime?

            Do you agree that Bashar Assad cognisant at what had happened to the dictators in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya decided very early on to try and drown this movement in blood?

            Do you agree that to defend themselves against mass detention and torture and mass murder that the Syrian people had no choice but to rise up and attempt to overthrow the dictator?

            Rosie, imagine if you can, that instead of just arresting and fining the Occupy protesters, the New Zealand government had ordered the police and the army to shoot them down. Detaining and torturing and murdering the families of soldiers and police who refused to carry out these orders and instead deserted.

            Who would you support? The protesters and the deserters or the government?

            When people are being killed there is no middle ground.

    • vto 1.3

      Bit difficult to understand exactly what you are saying through your discussion of stingers. Are you saying that the US is right to interfere in all of those middle east countries? That the US invasions and incursions are justified? That the British, Italian and Frenh invasions are justified?

      That the US is justified in killing more people every year than any other nation, but that others are bloodthirsty?

      • Jenny 1.3.1

        Bit difficult to understand exactly what you are saying through your discussion of stingers.

        vto

        Hi vto. What I am saying is that Western leftists who support Bashar Assad are not above lying to back up their treacherous depiction of the people’s revolt in Syria as a Western/US backed “invasion”.

    • grumpy 1.4

      The success of the rebels in Syria would only begin a new round of “suffering” for the Syrian people.

      • Jenny 1.4.1

        “Which side are you on?
        Which side are you on?
        One’s right and one’s wrong
        Which side are you on?

        Blogger dies calling for world wide protests against the regime

        Blogger Rami al-Saidr pays the ultimate price for Freedom

        http://fmacskasy.wordpress.com/2012/02/29/bloggers-lament-the-ultimate-sacrifice-for-freedom/

        Rami al-Said was reporting from the Syrian city of Homs – which as most of us know by now – is being pounded to rubble by a mad dictator’s army. Rami al-Said refused to leave, and instead chose to report on the genocide that was taking place.

        One of Rami al-Said’s last posts on his Facebook page stated,

        ”Baba Amro [a suburb of Homs] is being wiped out now, complete genocide, I don’t want you to tell us our hearts are with you because I know that, I want projects everywhere inside and outside I want everyone to go out in front of the embassies in al…l countries everywhere because we are soon to be nothing, there will be no more Baba Amr – I expect this is a final letter to you and we will not forgive you.”

        • Jenny 1.4.1.1

          Civilian correspondents with no diplomatic immunity, armed with nothing more than cameras are bravely trying to document what is happening in Syria.

          While the UN observers with State of the art body armour and diplomatic status, with access to the authorities and entitled to carry arms for personal protection, ans presumably, with far more freedom of movement than any civilian correspondent, have left Syria. Leaving the regime to it’s own devices.

          So much for Western support for the rebels.

          Immediately after the UN and our New Zealand troops departure, the regime began staging a nazi style pogrom in Damascus. Conducting house to house raids, dragging men and boys out of their homes and executing them in the street.

          http://news.yahoo.com/syrian-army-batters-parts-damascus-40-killed-115056556.html

          In tactics reminiscent of the Nazi assault on the Warsaw ghetto, columns of soldiers hiding behind tanks entered Damascus suburbs raiding houses and summarily executing those they capture.

          If the the UN observers had remained they could demand the right to investigate this war crime, instead, they have high tailed it.

          Unconfirmed reports claim a prominent Syrian journalist Mohamad Saeed al Odeh who had expressed sympathy for the anti-Assad revolt has been executed in the round up.

          Journalists are a particular threat to the regime because they expose the false narrative that the revolt is Western and/or Al Qaida plot.

          A Reuters report directly links the latest attacks to the exit of the UN observer mission.

          The army has this week used tanks and helicopter gunships in an offensive around Damascus that coincided with the departure of U.N. military observers….

          Activists in the southwestern Damascus suburb of Mouadamiya said Assad’s forces had killed 86 people there since Monday, half of them by execution. It was not possible to verify that report….

          ….One of the dead was named as Mohammad Saeed al Odeh, a journalist employed at a state-run newspaper who was sympathetic to the anti-Assad revolt. Activists said he had been executed in Nahr Eisha….

          While the UN observers and our troops, have scuttled off…..

          Civilian correspondents with no diplomatic immunity, armed with nothing more than cameras, have remained, to bravely document what is happening in Syria.

          Before they left the United Nations had estimated that;

          …more than 18,000 people have been killed in what has become a civil war after the state’s violent response to peaceful street protests triggered an armed rebellion in the pivotal Arab country.

          If apologists for the Assad regime like Colonial Viper had their way this latest massacre would be carried out right across Syria and not just the small area that Assad controls at present.

          • Jenny 1.4.1.1.1

            From a country listed as the most dangerous place on earth for reporters, with more than 13 reporters killed by the regime.

            More reports from indominatable Kiwi reporter Anita McNaught risking her life inside Syria.

            http://kiaoragaza.wordpress.com/2012/08/11/aleppo-rebels-retreat-from-the-bigger-bombs-dropped-by-jets/

            Well away from the extra judicial killings and torture and mass murder and detention that characterise this regime, Assad apologist Colonial Viper attacks McNaught.

            In making excuses for torturers and mass murder Colonial Viper, goes to great lengths to discredit Anita McNaught’s reporting of events. Trying to throw mud on her reputation, Colonial Viper ganging up with another Assad apologist Bad 12 suggests that McNaught could have remotely set off a bomb to make it appear that she was in danger.

            bad12…
            7 August 2012 at 1:14 am

            the fact tho that the propagandarists can arrange a huge explosion as the punctuation to McNaughts emotive bullshit, shows they do have some organizational ability,

            Since when is such emotive bullshit Journalism???…

            Reply

            Jenny…
            7 August 2012 at 1:46 am

            I might remind you bad, that, that was a real tank shell that landed near McNaught.

            If you think something like that can be scripted, then you are deeply into the conspiracy theory alternate nut-job universe.

            Reply

            Colonial Viper…
            7 August 2012 at 1:52 am

            place a shell 200m away and when you need it, set it off with a small charge.

            Indulging in character assassination, Colonial Viper also suggests that McNaught has surrendered her journalistic integrity to her employers.

            http://kiaoragaza.wordpress.com/2012/07/30/al-jazeera-speaks-to-captured-secret-police-in-northern-syria/

            Jenny1.3.1
            6 August 2012 at 10:42 pm

            Kiwi reporter Anita McNaught interview of captured Syrian Secret Police officers responsible for the shooting of unarmed protesters and responsible for over a hundred ‘disappeared’ civilian detainees.

            Reply

            Colonial Viper1.3.1.1
            6 August 2012 at 11:22 pm

            Frak off Jenny. You’re a pro-war activist.

            Reply

            Jenny1.3.1.1.1
            7 August 2012 at 1:29 am

            And you are a supporter of mass murder and torturer, terribly offended that those long victimised by your hero are hitting back.

            Reply

            Colonial Viper1.3.2
            6 August 2012 at 11:26 pm

            Al Jazeera is owned and funded by Qatari royalty. Who happen to be major American allies in the region, as well as hosting a major US military base on their soil.

            Reply

            Jenny1.3.2.1
            6 August 2012 at 11:45 pm

            CV, does your smear that Al Jazeera is bought and sold, also apply to Anita McNaught?

            Reply

            Colonial Viper1.3.2.1.1
            6 August 2012 at 11:47 pm

            is she being paid by them?

            Who do you believe the people of Syria as interviewed by Anita McNaught or the dictator of Syria and his Western apologists like Colonial Viper?

            Who do you believe an aggressive foul mouthed anonymous nobody with no experience of Syria or the Middle East, or Anita McNaught risking her life to uncover the truth?

  2. Carol 3

    Today the Children’s Commissioner’s Expert Advisory Group (EAG) report will be released, apparently. In anticipation of this Tim Watkin and Bomber have posts on the poverty issue:

    http://www.tumeke.blogspot.co.nz/2012/08/the-death-of-nz-egalitarianism.html

    Figures released on Thursday show 21% of children now living in poverty, median household incomes fell 3% while the richest amongst us had their salaries soar leading us to having the highest levels of inequality on record.

    How much did the wealthy gain? The average increase in 2011 for executives was $28, 311. That pay rise is more than a minimum wage worker earns in a year, and it get’s better for CEO’s. In 2011 our richest bosses earned on average 22.5 times more than the workers working for them.

    Borrowed tax cuts for the wealthy, forcing beneficiaries back to work when there are no jobs, higher unemployment, weaker unions, cut backs to public services and higher GST all have social consequences and we are now seeing the terrible harvest from those social consequences.

    This indicates the scale of the problem and the raft of changes that need to be made to provide any significant improvement for NZ’s children.

    Watkin offers some possible actions that he guesses might be in the Children’s Commissioner’s Expert Advisory Group report.

    http://www.pundit.co.nz/content/solutions-to-child-poverty-easy-as-123#comments

    First, the group will call for a Warrant of Fitness for landlords.

    Second, it’ll call for meals to be provided more widely in schools.
    …Third, the EAG is expected to call for some form of long-term and universal state assistance for kids – maybe a Universal Child Benefit, or some money every week for every child born. Until 1991 we had such a thing – a Family Benefit. That went in the Bolger/Richardson years.

    I think the first (rental property WOFs) would be hardest to implement. But this and the other two would go some way to alleviating the immediate dire situation. The UCB would have the longest, most far reaching impact, followed by the meals at school.

    But, until the vast levels of inequality are reduced,Watkin’s steps will just be a life raft, not a sustainable destination.

  3. just saying 4

    http://bat-bean-beam.blogspot.co.nz/

    Maybe not for everyone at a political blog, a book review from Giovani Tiso:

    David Peace, James Kelman, Kerstin Hensel, Pat Barker, Maurice Gee: these are the authors in Dougal’s meticulous catalogue, whose works allow him to explore what Raymond Williams has called the ‘working class fiction of fully developed class relations’; the challenges of representing the neoliberal city; the new guise of the realist historical novel; and finally what realism in the age of globalisation might mean and look like. The picture that emerges throughout these close readings is by necessity not one of a hegemonic genre, as realism was when the bourgeoisie went through its revolutionary phase, or by fiat under Stalinism; but rather of an ‘embattled, residual-emergent, ‘minor’ oppositional form.’ A realism that lurks through the fissures and cracks of late capitalism and yet is capable of producing useful, working models for thought and political action…

    Hell, I’m a bit of a Pat Barker and a Maurice Gee groupie. Will definitely read the book when it reaches the library!

    .

  4. weka 5

    Is anyone else having trouble getting TS to load? Could be my crappy broadband but I’m not having trouble with other websites.

    • Lanthanide 5.1

      I’ve had spotty problems, often in the evenings, for the last week or so.

    • lprent 5.2

      It is back on cloudflare (now that the moving is finished). Seems to be alternating between loading from sydney and from somewhere near wichita kansas.

      But I’m not getting any particular* problems on any of my linux systems using Chrome and firefox, on my ipad using chrome and safari, on my laptop reluctantly booted into vista using IE8, safari, firefox and chrome, and sneaking a peek on Lyn’s mac laptop for safari.

      Try clearing the cache (fastest way for any page is to hold the Shift key down while pressing Refresh http://lifehacker.com/5574852/shift%252Brefresh-is-like-the-restart-button-for-web-sites) first because you may have some of the junk CSS/javascript cached from when the site was having problems.

      * The one intermittent problem I am getting has been with the page loading “stopping” before displaying the Comments/Opinions/Online sidebar on the odd occasion. So the page is present except for the sidebar, but the page displays as if it is still loading. On chrome it shows on the bottom left that ones of the ad servers isn’t responding. I’m going to reorder the loading so that our site content comes first or set the ad code so it is async..

      • felix 5.2.1

        “Seems to be alternating between loading from sydney and from somewhere near wichita kansas. “

        Does that make you the Wichita lineman? :D

      • Lanthanide 5.2.2

        Have you tried sternly telling the server that it’s not in Kansas anymore?

        • lprent 5.2.2.1

          Yes. It’s reply was that the cloud IS Oz and that tracking it was tantamount to trying to kill it with collapsing it into Kansas when it could have been on bondi beach (ie Schroedinger’s cat).

      • weka 5.2.3

        Thanks Lynn. I’ve switched from Firefox to Safari and that seems better.

        I have had other slow loading webpages today, although there does seem to be something particular about TS.

        • weka 5.2.3.1

          hmm, for some reason my posts are going into moderation.

          Anyway, just found out that command +shift +R in Safari doesn’t refresh, but on TS it opens a slide up window with a very nice text only version of the post for that page (no comments or headers or sidebars) and the option to increase/decrease text size, or email or print the post. Cool.

          • weka 5.2.3.1.1

            That appears to be specific to WordPress (so far, doesn’t work on blogger, or general websites)

  5. Rosie 6

    It’s great that Richard Long has buggered off from the Opinion peice in the Dominion Post for the time being. Deborah Russell, in his place, has written another interesting peice. This time regarding abortion law in NZ:

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/comment/7557998/Abortion-a-womans-moral-choice-not-a-crime

    • weka 6.1

      I’m glad to see Deborah writing in the DomPost too. However this made me cringe:
       

      Bizarrely, we have decided that if a person needs to get a moral signoff for a decision, then the people who are capable of giving it are medical doctors.


      That might have been appropriate in the 1970s when doctors were often the most highly educated people in a community. But our levels of education have increased dramatically, and more people have the training to think through difficult decisions for themselves, and to help other people make decisions.
       

      Not sure what she means by educated there, but the implication is that you need some kind of academic education to be able to think and make moral decisions. Which is a ridiculous notion.

      • Bored 6.1.1

        Nice summary Weka, education and wisdom are disparate bedfellows.

      • vto 6.1.2

        You’re right Weka that intelligence and brains are two different things. They overlap a great deal of course but so often they get confused. Methinks the confusion arises more often with those with intelligence as they find their logic and thinking processes so convincing to themselves, and they are clearly more intelligent than others, that they must be right. They cannot understand how someone with less intelligence could have a different and possibly superior conclusion.

        Those with mere brains often do themselves the opposite injustice whereby they will think through something and then doubt their conclusion due to their acknowledged lack of intelligence, and then fail to follow through with their concluded necessary action. A real shame.

        On the other hand however, academic training of certain types without doubt assists in evaluating situations and providing ways in which to think through things and come up with answers. There is definitely a pratice of evaluation and consideration that imo assists with decisions.

  6. yeshe 7

    Taxpayer funded (!), this is potentially the most dangerous thing Key could change in NZ …. and the Monsantos of the world will be covered under the secrets of TPP .. BEWARE please, this has the worst possible consequences for us all … GMO agricultural conference upcoming …

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10829898

    Why hold it at all unless you were intent upon changing GMO status in this protected little land ?? And I bet in conjunction with it, they choose to release the secret study on what it supposedly costs NZ not to be growing GMO crops …

    Guvmint by Crosby Textor …. oh dear, oh dear. What is become of us ?

    • tc 7.1

      Yes be very afraid of what Monsanto etc are up to here, they’ve got form already in the US.

      Shows how Shonkey etc don’t give a F about anything other than their own bank accounts, to spanner our argriculture by allowing the likes of Monsanto to GM the industry and not allow us to have that ‘clean green’ point of difference with some genetic diversity, which the world would pay for, shows just how hollow that ‘Brighter future’ slogan was.

    • prism 7.2

      yeshe 7 and Rosie 8
      More on government action that affects our precious and highly celebrated (by government particularly) food production capacity and earnings. I have been looking into Federated Farmers recently and one of their reports in the arable section which brings up a biosecurity risk. It says that the government has lowered standards for importing grains which the Fed Farmers would have vetoed if they had been given a look-in. There are certain weeds that must be kept out because of other more scrupulous countries firm decision to exclude them.

      Every day our products feed 6 million dairy cows and 30 million sheep. Currently, a Southland farmer holds the world record for wheat production and we also have the highest maize yields in the world.
      One of arable farmers’ key concerns is biosecurity. The fact we are able to be world leaders in seed multiplication is mainly due to our weed, pest and disease free status. It is of paramount importance we maintain a biosecurity system that ensures harmful pests and diseases are kept out of New Zealand.
      A biosecurity breach of significant magnitude in the arable industry would seriously impede our ability to remain a productive part of the New Zealand economy. Market access could be lost if just one significant weed is found in our seed exports. The recent change to the Importation of Grains/Seeds for Consumption, Feed or Processing Import Health Standard,allowing a tolerance level for contaminant grains/seeds of up to 0.1 percent in weight is something we did not support and do not want repeated.

      We have been overtaken by a jelly like consistency that plays with possibilities of damage on an acceptable risk basis. Our standard of living is being gambled with by these money-mercenary creeps. http://www.fedfarm.org.nz/n3228.html

      • Rosie 7.2.1

        Prism. yes, its curious that we’ve been lowering our biosecurity standards in a time of increasing threat from evolving organisms and globe trotting organisms. The PSA virus in kiwifruit was one example.
        Will there come a time again when a farmer drives his/her tractor up the steps of parliament – but this time in protest against being exposed to biosecurity risks?

        • prism 7.2.1.1

          Rosie
          Oh yes. Shane Ardern, what a funny guy. We will have to have a serious clean out of smug dickheads and ideologues before we get anything eminently appropriate.

  7. Rosie 8

    That IS freaking frightening yeshe. Gone are the days of the vision of the 2020 organic nation. There was a movement back in the 90’s that correctly predicted world food shortages being upon us soon and the idea was not only for NZ to be completely self sufficient in food production for local consumption but to be a world class exporter of organically produced food, to countries eagar for clean GE free food. Perfect idea for an island nation like ours.
    But like other great visions it died when it was trampled over by the influence of Agri business. Our path could have been so different. GE isn’t about feeding the poor, its about lining the pockets of multi nationals.

    • Bored 8.1

      Rosie, frightening as it sounds it fits in as a central concepts of industrial agriculture, based upon petro chem energy and fertilisers, massive mechanisation, huge economies of scale…ownership of entire supply chains etc. The environment, in particular the ecosystemic biology comes a distant second to corporate dollars. Our nice cosy picture of the farmer on his plot is a distant memory.

      • Rosie 8.1.1

        Yes, sad but true Bored. Just the last two decades in NZ we have seen quite alarming increases in industrial dairying, (within the agri business sector) and the resulting harmful consequences for our environment, mainly our waterways. We have a population of 6 million dairy cows now and Fonterror want to more than triple that amount over the next few years. I don’t know how our islands, and our environment can sustain that level of mono culture. Once again, only one example of industrial farming. Cropping is another issue……

        There has been a great public response in reclaiming ownership of food production in the form of community gardens, local produce markets, fair trading and if you have flash cash, artisan farmers markets. But these actions are a drop in the ocean compared to the actions of Fonterror, dow, monsanto and all their cronies. Our rights to life’s essentials bought and sold.

      • prism 8.1.2

        For anyone keen to know more about GMOs and nz biosecurity approach here is a FAQ link which might offer something new. http://www.biosecurity.govt.nz/node/1479/related_faqs?page=2&expand=3396

        And I was looking for the date when new tolerances for imported grain came in and it appears to be sometime in October 2011, reported in Fed Farmers periodical 1 November 2011 as being recent. It appears that it is hard to obtain historical information on this biosecurity government website which just updates the information as it changes. I didn;t see a notice about the change and details and reasons. Though they may have been there. This Federated Farmers comment shows the difficulties we are having in running the country’s agricultural policy with out-of-control policies and change agents, private or government- appointed bureaucrats.

        The recent change to the Importation of Grains/Seeds for Consumption, Feed or Processing Import Health Standard,allowing a tolerance level for contaminant grains/seeds of up to 0.1 percent in weightis something we did not support and do not want repeated.

  8. Bored 9

    Rosie above reading the Dom commented upon a better commentary than is provided by Richard Long…thank bejasus is all I can say.

    For my sins I read the Listener last night (I used to subscribe but fired them when they became the voice of neo liberalism, courtesy of their owners, promoting lots of middle class angst stories to guide us all to the Right). Two stories stood out:

    First the loathsome Pagani lady had a column in which (reading between the lines) she justified the Shearer position on welfare by stating the Left were not hard enough on those on welfare, and that it came with a “responsibility”. All I could hear (between the lines) was “kill the poor if it gets me middle class votes”..

    Josie then went on to take a swipe at greater luminaries than her (Tariq Ali, Naomi Wolf etc) for their support of the Assange position (read to me like “he’s a rapist until proven otherwise, and the Empire is so benign he is not at risk”)…then a further swipe at the good folks of Whanganui for their opposition to the presence of the Beast…her argument on justice was very sound BUT she certainly did not connect with the local fears.

    I was left with no illusions of the position of Labour under the influence of these neo lib apologists.

    Then further reading…has Guyon Espiner had a Damascene moment? He interviewed Das, a Sydney based economist on the end of “growth”….appeared he was listening but was probably dumbstruck in the manner of a rabbit in the headlights…recommended reading for the benighted denizens of middle NZ, seismic shock material for the uninitiated. Let the middle classes worry, more angst.

    • Rosie 9.1

      Bored. You said it. Middle class angst sums up the Listener these days. I have read it occasionally over the last couple of years, just to give it a go and I often find myself having a “Are you serious?” moment.

      Interesting what you say about the Pagani column. (and others) Just confirms it doesn’t it, as if we needed convincing that Labours stance is in the middle. It’s funny because Republican Presidential hopeful, Mittens Romney has this slogan “Romney – for a better middle class”. So now our once working persons party and architects of our welfare system really is no different to the American nutty right wing Republican party?

      *Mittens: John Stewarts’ nick name for Mitt Romney. I like it.

      • Bored 9.1.1

        Yes Rosie, Labour a la Pagani / Shearer is very middle class…if you flick through NZ House and Garden this month (another middle class keeping up with the Jones mag) you will find lovely pictures of David Shearer at home, very bourgeois in Point Chev.

        The only upside is that he does not reside in a multi million dollar Parnell security complex with electric gates.

        I suspect the article was very carefully placed by Labour (Pagani?)for maximum middle class impact, got to win the centre you know, and the lovely brown faces in Otara don’t read this mag……

        • North 9.1.1.1

          ‘Cos to spend $8.95 to buy and read that wannabee mag’ means that at least three of their kids are sent from the table tonight. “No dinner for yous guys sorry, unless you share with your brothers.”

          “Don’t cry now……..being ‘aspirational’ will pay off in the end. And Mr Key/Shearer is coming to school tomorrow. Isn’t that exciting ?”

          Then Key/Shearer (politicians) use those same kids for bastard photo ops. Key more relentlessly than any of them.

          MSM wanks and I puke.

          How far away is uprising ?

      • prism 9.1.2

        Rosie
        Re the Listener. Is it surprising that Joanne Black their previous Features Editor with her own page on middle class angst, has gone to work for Bill English.

        • Rosie 9.1.2.1

          Joanne Black did my head in. She is on another planet. Planet Thordon I think.. No wonder she has gone to work for Bill English.. Lol.

  9. prism 10

    There was a report on 9tonoon this morning about the Correspondence School’s woes with their new computer. It started to be worked on in 2009. This year the students have not been receiving their work, or the wrong work. It is not compatible with the old system and there is a lack of confidence that all the records have been transferred correctly. The children and their supervisors have waited for ten weeks for their initial work, so will have to try and make up that time if they are to succeed. The teachers have had to source from somewhere some material to keep them going. This is a great way to bring up our achievement standards in education.
    http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/ninetonoon – Audio will go up soon.
    09:20 Computer botch up at the Correspondence School
    A computer botch up at the country’s biggest school – the Correspondence School – has seen its 24,000 students unable to receive school work for up to 10 weeks.

    And this reliance on technology, the promise of it to be so quick, so reliable, so all-embracing.
    So costly and bloody when it doesn’t work or does but intermittently and partially. We have poured money into computer systems in NZ. Remember the grand and expensive police INCIS, which fell over in the end because more and more requirements had been added onto the original specification.

    We have the poorest people in the most difficult circumstances being dumped on by Housing NZ. Unable to get help direct face to face at some designated spot, but having to have a phone and pay more than a bus fare to keep it in credit and so have access. The service they get may be slow, or vague, and the credit can run out before they have got a reliable response. The trend is to faceless inhuman government. I don’t like it. Kafkaesque.

    And the bad news about Australia’s treatment of us over there. An in depth piece talking to supporters and charity workers there, residents, and a NZ living there who is trying to fight this discrimination against us. Introduced in 2001.
    Sunday, 26 August 2012: NZers in Oz – the trouble with jumping the ditch
    Listen to this programme Insight for 26 August 2012 – New Zealanders in Australia
    duration: 27′54″ Download: Ogg Vorbis MP3 | Embed
    http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/insight

    The flow of New Zealanders moving to Australia is showing no sign of slowing down, with latest figures revealing a record equalling 54 thousand left in the last year.
    But some New Zealanders claim they are being discriminated against as the list of federal and state payments they are excluded from grows.
    Some would now like a visa introduced so that those planning to live in Australia understand the support on offer isn’t the same as that available at home.

    • mike e 10.1

      Scottish education system better than Tory goves mess.
      Scotland is keeping education out of the free market aproach.
      with very good results .Guardian!
      Hik town pariahna.Take note!

    • lprent 10.2

      The usual problem is with people wanting to write bespoke systems from the ground up whilst letting feature creep into the system before the version 1.0 framework is running.

      I’m of the general opinion that these days that for any net based system you just get an off the shelf-system (preferably open-source) written in a widespread language like php, python, or even ruby and put that in immediately.

      Adapt the organisation to it and after that then look at smaller bespoke modules written by different organisations, contractors or even your staff for parts of the system that actually need adaptation.

      If you can’t do that, then just use what someone else is doing. In this case grab the system that works used by a local university as it already exists.

      Most of the problem with software and organisations is the common delusion that what they are doing is unique and requires special software. Virtually all of the time that is incorrect when you are looking at sourcing the software from anywhere in the world. Even where there isn’t something that is unique in the business process, it is usually such a small part of the system that they’d be better off putting in an off-the-shelf and getting the ‘unique’ bit written and integrated as a data source/sink. The past masters of this approach are banks who typically have amazing kludges of software accumulated over generations and whose only compatibility appears that they share a monitor.

      But you can just about guarantee that they got sucked into having someone to write them a integrated system from ground up or had lots and lots of those “special” requirements that corporate bespoke provider coders like so much (it is like having your own bank when you get to maintain “special” code).

      As a programmer, the process tends to be repetitive, as boring as hell and is why I try not to work for companies focused internally. I have been export focused since 1995 and I really don’t bother keeping track of local coding any more.

      • prism 10.2.1

        lprent
        That’s interesting. There seems to be a lot of money available that isn’t spent wisely on tech.
        And people who don’t know what they want, what they are getting, and whether the software firm has done its job. One job I heard of had a specific request for something that the software firm didn’t put in. The managers at each end should have been spanked but probably got a wage rise.

        When you’re a cleaner and you don’t empty out someone’s paper bin you get spoken to. But expensive confusing systems designers and users can get away with their faults. Cleaning bins is something simple and obvious that anybody can understand. And the blame lies here?

        • tc 10.2.1.1

          Insys….who got sacked from within NZ police over that ?
          KR has spent 4 years integrating 2 very expensive off the shelf products and still not live.
          Ah the consultants spell you are feeling very very satisfied, just sign off this bill, everything will be all right, we have the connections, the kids, the schtick and mates in all the right places.

          • prism 10.2.1.1.1

            tc 10 2 1 1 On Incis –
            Here’s interesting stuff about one of the police guys from wikipedia.
            Barry Matthews (born 1946)…. He has a Masters Degree in Business Administration, Law Professional examinations, a Bachelor of Laws Degree and a Diploma of Criminology.[1]
            Matthews was in the New Zealand Police from 1965 to 1999. He was District Commander, Auckland Services District from 1992 to 1993, then Assistant Commissioner Planning and Finance, Police National Headquarters from 1993 to 1995.[1] In 1995 he became the Deputy Commissioner of Police. He was the project manager of the INCIS computer system when it was abandoned in 1999.[2] Four years later he left to take up appointment as Commissioner of the Western Australia Police.[1]
            Department of Corrections

            Matthews replaced Mark G. Byers as chief executive of the New Zealand Department of Corrections in February 2005. He served in the role until December 2010 when he resigned and was replaced by Ray Smith.
            On his resignation, he listed the installation of cell phone blocking technology at prisons throughout the country as one of his three greatest achievements as head of the Department. The system was budgeted to cost $6 million and another $200,000 a year to maintain. But in the two years it has been operating, repairs and upgrades have blown the budget to nearly $11 million. An investigation by the Dominion Post newspaper found it will cost another $2 million just “to fully jam Rimutaka”

            So a pretty comfortable fast moving life from one well paid job to another. And technology has used up a lot of our country’s capital for a non-cost benefit finish. And it’s not his fault he is Midas’ poor brother who turns everything to dross.

            More detailed information on the problems, the tech methods and Te Money in this link.
            http://www.adventurer.org.nz/?page=writing/mis/1999-06-01_Incis.html

            Two other people who were involved – Police Commissioner Peter Doone and IT manager Jeffrey Soar. Police Commissioner took a sideways promotion and worked within Helen Clark’s Prime Minister;s Department if my memory serves me.

            • bad12 10.2.1.1.1.1

              For a really good view of how to install a computer system that’s only going to cost X you will only have to wait a while until the new Inland Revenue one gets going,

              X is bound to blow out big time to XXX, should be a jolly little laugh to watch,(something to take our minds of child poverty reports)…

  10. prism 11

    I remember there was a book written about early days in Labour in NZ called I think
    ‘Keep left – no right turn’. If anyone knows of this, even the right title or author, it would be a help. It was written by someone well known in NZ.

    • Pascal's bookie 11.1

      Could be “No Left Turn” by Chris Trotter?

      Nicky Hager reviews it here:

      http://www.nickyhager.info/no-left-turn-by-chris-trotter/

      • prism 11.1.1

        Thanks PB
        I thought this one was written in the 1950-70s and is possibly out of print. But it’s just a nagging memory which I can’t pin down. Will read Chris Trotter though and another on I must is Tony Simpson’s The Sugarbag Years.

        • Bored 11.1.1.1

          Its quite rare to get literature among’st our recent crop of “creative writing course grads” that reflects our social and political history. I have read Trotter and Simpsons nonfiction tomes, but to make a personal impact I reckon fiction like Maurice Gees Plumb trilogy is far more powerful. As is Lee’s autobiographicals (Children of the Poor, Simple on a Soap Box), or Mulgans portrayal of depression NZ in Man Alone. Makes it more visceral. Only Duff has got that raw in recent years.

          I often wonder how many of our recent politicians ever read these works?

          • Rosie 11.1.1.1.1

            Remember, when asked about his reading material during the 08 campaign John key said (with that goofy grin that was wider than it is now days) “Aw, I don’t know. I just read the odd John Grisham (sp?) at Christmas time”………..Not a reader then………..he probably doesn’t get much further than reading menu’s.

            One book he should read is “The Night Book” by Charlotte Grimshaw. The joke is on him! Well, he’s not the main character but he is central to the story, as is his house in Parnell, his lifestyle and the characters (both real and imagined) and fundraisers behind the 08 campaign. It is a fiction book and Grimshaw has simply given the political characters in the story fictional names but its clear who they are. It ‘s not written as a comment on the political situation in NZ at that time, it is a story about the main character. Non the less, Grimshaws observations of Key and the National party machine are spot on. Quite funny too.

            • prism 11.1.1.1.1.1

              Rosie 11 1 1 1 1
              and Bored
              Did you read the trilogy of John Mortimer on the political progress of a working class boy to conservative wheeler and dealer, Leslie Titmuss? Paradise Postponed, etc.

          • fnjckg 11.1.1.1.2

            “Plumb” is a great novel (imo)

    • Herodotus 11.2

      For a days read there is “The Denial of Democracy” by Robin Gwynn
      Love to see this updated to cover the last 12 years. As the decline appears to have quickened.

      • prism 11.2.1

        Herodotus
        I hadn’t heard of The Denial of Democracy 1998. Not available on Trademe and hasn’t been for some time. google advises about his Massey lecture – A valedictory lecture by a departing history professor, by Robin Gwynn. Christchurch City Libraries list the book as being at Store2. As it’s some years old now that might be what other libraries call the Stack.

        He stood in 2010 local elections for Napier. They had 6 Councillors at Large of which he nearly was elected, also a number of wards. See http://www.elections2010.co.nz/2010/candidates/robin-gwynn Sounds like a man with integrity.

  11. National’s economic mismanagement and favoring of the rich has seen some terrible social consequences: http://localbodies-bsprout.blogspot.co.nz/2012/08/shocking-unemployment-figures-revealed.html

  12. I thought the David Cuncliffe interview on Sunday’s Nation was excellent and indicated a move towards Scandinavian Social Democracy. for the Labour Party. This should be compulsory viewing for all the political Left

  13. just saying 14

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/timaru-herald/opinion/steve-braunias/7543036/The-Secret-Diary-of-David-Shearer

    The secret diary of David Shearer – for the real story of the roof painting beneficiary and a good laugh!

    A teaser:

    …I’d waited till it was dark, went to his house, crept up the ladder, tipped him out of his wheelchair, and gave him the bash. By the time I finished with him he was lying in a bloody, coughing heap, legless.

    But there he was today, sitting in his wheelchair, painting his roof as though he didn’t have a care in the world.

    The neighbour came out to the letterbox.

    “Would you look at that,” he said, and spat at the ground.

    I said, “I still don’t know how he manages to get up the ladder in his wheelchair.”

    He said, “No, not him. Him.” He pointed at a man walking along the street.

    I said, “Is he a sickness beneficiary, too?” He said, “Probably. The point is that he’s a Maori youth. What are you going to do about it?”

  14. Draco T Bastard 15

    Finnsih Lessons

    On the same European tour that saw her impressed by the Finnish education system, Diane Ravitch went to an international education conference in Germany.

    She wrote that researchers from Europe, Asia and Latin America were alarmed by the education “reform” movement in the US, and were “fearful that the same trends — the same overemphasis of standardized testing, the same push for privatization and markets, and the same pressure to lower standards for entry into teaching — might come to their own countries”.

    Is this sounding familiar?

    This government is doing it all wrong.

  15. Draco T Bastard 16

    What Greece’s motorways mean for NZ

    While National MPs and business lobby groups may ardently believe that a few higher standard highways are worth $12 billion (75% of the spending on new infrastructure over the next decade), the international evidence from transport planning suggests that new motorways are the least effective way (PDF) to achieve the critical aim of moving more people and freight at lower cost. There are steeply diminishing returns from duplicating or replacing an existing link in a road network.

    But when has NACT ever considered facts when considering policy that they want to put in place?

  16. North 17

    In parliament today:

    Metiria Turei asks Key what money he will make available for kids in poverty.

    Key answers telling her it’s a “dopey idea” to pay money to children not in poverty. (??????)

    Give that answer to a bunch of hard-out Ngapuhi ladies of my acquaintance up here in the North.

    Just try it punk. Check out what you’d get.

    It wouldn’t be “Usain”. It’d be “Ooooh…….pain.” They’d smack you in your punk mouth.

    Suck it up New Zealand.

    Key doesn’t give a fuck !

  17. captain hook 18

    the complete book on keys modus operandi is contained in a nifty thesis set out by Anne Wilson Shaeff in ” When Society Becomes An Addict”, where all the tricks used to isolate and trash people are exposed.
    q.e.d.

  18. North 19

    I’m just watching The Walrus Everyman Sainsbury joshing with Mr Once Again In Cabinet Heatley about healthy houses.

    For Christ’s Sake ! What have we come to ?

    Now Walrus is saying “sorry gotta go, run out of time blah blah blah”.

    And him and Heatley and the well remunerated lady guest (not Rebstock Thank Christ) are all chortling on about Heatley having the Prime Minister’s ear.

    What’s the PM doing with the other ear ?

    Getting the feed from Wall Street/City of London I guess.

  19. Logie97 20

    Seems the SST has now infiltrated TVNZ and is influencing the editorial slant of the news .

    Wendy advised us tonight “…we have exclusive footage of Dixon’s last moments alive in his prison cell.” I suppose TVNZ, at least, gave us warning of what was to follow so we could switch channels.

    Welcome to Redneck NZ folks – the closest thing to those halcyon days of watching public humiliation and executions.

    (oh and why would you ask McVicar’s views on the marriage equality bill?

    • millsy 20.1

      I take it that he opposes?

      (The re-criminalization of homosexuality is a goal of the SST)

  20. millsy 21

    I now have in possesion of a list of hospital closures over the past 25 years, broken down by the period that each major party was in power.

    It will be published on ‘The Standard’ shortly.

    We shall then see the effect of tax cuts on public services.

  21. Israel court rules that Rachel Corrie was accidentally killed by Israeli Army bulldozer.
    Apparently it was her fault for being in a terrorist zone. Perhaps she should have been at home cooking some “damn eggs woman”.

    • prism 22.1

      William Joyce 22
      I didn’t realise that Rachel Corrie was wearing a high visibility red jacket very obvious in daylight. And she had been standing away from the bulldozer’s path so her presence was visible to the driver and she had a loudspeaker, which presumably was operating properly. I understand that the bulldozer paused when she was in front, but the driver was under orders no doubt, and moved forward and ran her over.

      I think Israel lost its soul some time ago after getting to its land, after its trauma, its terrible distress. The military have taken over since and those who want a real democracy are small voices, but the large voice large voice is in the fertile religious fundamentalist group whose cause I think aligns with those of the military. Poor Israel, never free, never honestly willing to negotiate a peace with their neighbours, in a prison of their own making.

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    Polity | 20-11
  • Secondary teachers vote IES into collective
    21 November 2014 PPTA members have voted to include two teaching roles central to Investing in Educational Success (IES) in their collective agreement.At paid union meetings held throughout the country over the past two weeks 80.3% voted to include the...
    PPTA | 20-11
  • Labour’s Hercules?
    Hero? Saint? Both? Neither? In making Labour an electable proposition by 2017, Andrew Little faces a challenge of Herculean proportions. Then again, Hercules was presented with twelve impossible tasks. Little can succeed by successfully completing a more modest (but equally...
    Bowalley Road | 20-11
  • Roger Sutton and deja vu all over again
    What to say about the Roger Sutton story? Well, Andrea Vance has done some amazing work setting out the basic facts behind the carefully stage-managed whitewashing of Roger Sutton’s pseudo-departure. And stargazer at The Hand Mirror has responded to the...
    On the Left | 20-11
  • MoT acknowledge changing trends and future funding issues
    Last week the Briefings to government ministers (BIM) were published. I’ve already looked at what the Ministry of Transport (MoT) and NZTA have said about transport in Auckland and so in this post I’m going to look at some of the other points...
    Transport Blog | 20-11
  • Why we need to talk about the scientific consensus on climate change
    An interesting sequence of events followed the publication of a scientific paper the Skeptical Science team published in May last year. The paper found a 97% consensus that humans were causing global warming in relevant scientific papers. Finding an overwhelming...
    Skeptical Science | 20-11
  • 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 | 20-11
  • 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 | 20-11
  • Stuart’s 100 #56: More Dignity for Daily Users
    56 More Dignity for Daily Users What if there was a moment of civic dignity outside the Auckland District Court? The Auckland District Court on the corner of Albert and Kingston Streets is I think at last count the busiest...
    Transport Blog | 20-11
  • Prime Minister’s warped view of history
    Students who sat NCEA level 3 history exams last week might be very worried to hear the Prime Minister tell a Radio Station that New Zealand was one of the few countries that was settled peacefully by Europeans. Those students who wrote...
    frogblog | 20-11
  • The greatest tragedy of our time
    This is going to ruffle a few feathers. We are parasites. Yes you read that correctly – humanity is a giant collective parasite sucking the life juices from dear Mother Earth. I’m not a nihilist. I still believe there’s plenty...
    On the Left | 20-11
  • Proving anecdotes are reliable
    Here’s one to go with Let’s rely on anecdotes instead! Something I picked up on Facebook Similar articles  ...
    Open Parachute | 20-11
  • Proving anecdotes are reliable
    Here’s one to go with Let’s rely on anecdotes instead! Something I picked up on Facebook Similar articles  ...
    Open Parachute | 20-11
  • Class warfare in the UK
    Surprise, surprise! An independent study has shown that the UK's conservative government has been driving a massive transfer of wealth from the poor to the rich:A landmark study of the coalition’s tax and welfare policies six months before the general...
    No Right Turn | 20-11
  • That didn’t take long
    National's new teabreak law isn't even in force and employers are already abusing it:Yesterday a union member, who prefers to remain anonymous for fear of retribution, emailed Hotel Organiser Shanna Reeder. “This morning in the briefing our manager declared that...
    No Right Turn | 20-11
  • Justice is more important than international relations
    Yunus Rahmatullah is a Pakistani citizen. In 2004 he was disappeared by British forces in Iraq. The British then gave him to the Americans who rendered him to Afghanistan and kept him there without charge or trial for ten years,...
    No Right Turn | 20-11
  • The Sutton debacle
    Sexual Harassment in the Workplace: it’s not a good thing, except when you’re playing Frank Zappa’s 1988 instrumental album Guitar, in which case ‘Sexual Harassment in the Workplace’ is the opening track, and it’s a stonker. However, setting aside the...
    Occasionally erudite | 20-11
  • The dangers of ignoring context
    Here’s a 22 point plan for peace in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.Entrench Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestinian lands.Never let a chance go by to duplicitously conflate Hamas and some in Fatah with the Islamic State/ISIS/ISIL so as to gild the imperiled-Israeli...
    Pundit | 19-11
  • Rapid transit has passed the acid test
    I recently ran across a New Zealand Herald article from 2000 on the region’s plans to start building good rapid transit infrastructure. (Which, as Patrick highlighted in a recent post, is exactly what is holding Auckland back relative to its...
    Transport Blog | 19-11
  • Plan for mega factory farm ruffles feathers
    Not long ago I wrote about the proposal to build a mega factory farm in the small township of Patumahoe that would confine over 300, 000 hens to colony cages. This week the resource consent hearing for the proposed factory...
    Greens | 21-11
  • National opens door further to Chinese property speculators
    National has further opened the door to Chinese property speculators with the registration of a third Chinese bank here that will make it easier for Chinese investors to invest in New Zealand properties, the Green Party said today."As well, former...
    Greens | 20-11
  • National restarts logging in West Coast forests
    “Dead wood also contributes by providing nutrients to soils, supporting the agents of wood decay such as fungi and invertebrates and it is a key habitat for the regeneration of some trees.” Annual Report 2013/14, page 29. The National Government has...
    Greens | 20-11
  • Lab plan the beginning of slippery slope?
    It’s time for new Health Minister Jonathan Coleman to show his hand on plans to privatise lab services which doctors are warning could put patients’ lives at risk, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Clinicians have sent the Government some...
    Labour | 20-11
  • A-G called on to look into flagship ‘cost-saving’ programme
    New health Minister Jonathan Coleman has some serious questions to answer following a decision to wind up the Government’s flagship health savings provider HBL just a fortnight after giving it the green light to implement its plans, Labour’s Health spokesperson...
    Labour | 20-11
  • Prime Minister’s warped view of history
    Students who sat NCEA level 3 history exams last week might be very worried to hear the Prime Minister tell a Radio Station that New Zealand was one of the few countries that was settled peacefully by Europeans. Those students who wrote...
    Greens | 20-11
  • Climate of fear needs addressing
    It is hugely concerning that community and volunteer groups feel they are being gagged from speaking out against the Government, Labour’s Community and Voluntary Sector Spokesperson Louisa Wall says.  A Victoria University survey of 93 sector groups has found 50...
    Labour | 20-11
  • Mandatory code of conduct needed for supermarkets
    Labour has drafted legislation to establish a mandatory code of conduct for supermarkets to ensure New Zealand suppliers are not affected by anti-competitive behaviour. “Even though the Commerce Commission found no technical breaches of the law through some of Countdown’s...
    Labour | 19-11
  • National softening public up for 7th successive deficit
    Finance Minister Bill English is softening the public up for an announcement that National is going to fail in even its very limited goal of achieving a budget surplus, the Green Party said today."No finance minister in a generation has...
    Greens | 19-11
  • National caught out on state house porkies
    Housing NZ’s annual report out today directly contradicts the Government’s claim that one-third of its houses are in the wrong place and are the wrong size, said Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The annual report states 96 per cent of...
    Labour | 18-11
  • Damning report on Department of Conservation restructure
    The restructuring of the Department of Conservation (DOC) following National's severe funding cuts has been revealed as failure, the Green Party said today.The Taribon report has reviewed the new structure of DOC after 12 months. The restructuring, one of the...
    Greens | 18-11
  • Greens welcome Xi, but human rights need to be on agenda
    The Green Party welcomes the visit to New Zealand of Chinese President Xi Jinping and wishes to congratulate him on his recent announcement regarding China capping emissions for the first time.The United States and China recently unveiled a deal to...
    Greens | 18-11
  • Backing New Zealanders to get ahead
    New Labour Leader Andrew Little says it is an immense privilege to have been chosen to lead the party and to be given the task of ensuring it once again becomes a powerful force that backs New Zealanders in getting...
    Labour | 18-11
  • Andrew Little Elected Leader of Labour Party
    “The Labour Party congratulates Andrew Little, who has been elected as party leader in a robust and highly democratic process,” says Labour Party President Moira Coatsworth. “Andrew’s leadership will have the full support of the whole Labour Party.”...
    Labour | 18-11
  • Report into Brownlee security breach should be released
    The Government and Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) should release the report into former Minister of Transport Gerry Brownlee's airport security breach, the Green Party said today."The actions of a Minister of Transport breaching security at an airport are a matter...
    Greens | 17-11
  • Brownlee must ask CAA to release the report
    Gerry Brownlee must ask the Civil Aviation Authority to release the report that finds he broke the law in breaching airport security, says Labour's Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “It is inexcusable for any minister, let alone the then-Transport Minister, to...
    Labour | 17-11
  • G20 climate comment increases pressure on NZ
    The G20 decision to include climate change in its communiqué despite Australia's attempt to ignore it, increases pressure on New Zealand to come up with a credible plan to cut emissions, the Green Party said today.The G20 Leaders Communiqué from...
    Greens | 17-11
  • NZ joins G20 climate problem
    Confirmation this morning by John Key that his Government plans to do nothing to turn around NZ's rapidly rising greenhouse emissions means that New Zealand joins Australia as one of the problem children at the G20 meeting in Brisbane, the...
    Greens | 16-11
  • IRD joins Corrections in Phillip Smith failure
    It is incomprehensible that IRD and Corrections were not able to stop Phillip Smith from rorting the tax system out of $50,000 until it was too late, given that he was a notoriously manipulative prisoner stuck in jail, says Labour’s...
    Labour | 13-11
  • The Government has to listen to Olly
    When even hard boiled property investors like Olly Newland  say first home buyers have been shafted by Loan to Value Ratio lending restrictions, surely it is time for the Government to listen, says Labour's housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  "Auckland landlord...
    Labour | 13-11
  • Key used GCSB for political ends prior to 2014 election
    New documents released to the Green Party show that Prime Minister John Key used New Zealand's intelligence services for the National Party's political ends a few days out from the 2014 election, the Green Party said today.Documents released to the...
    Greens | 13-11
  • Government not meeting its climate target
    The Government must front up to the fact that its own advisors are now saying that New Zealand is off target in any transition to a low carbon future, says Labour’s spokesperson on Climate Change Nanaia Mahuta.  “A briefing to...
    Labour | 12-11
  • Briefing reveals Defence facilities ‘increasingly unfit for purpose’
    The Defence Briefing to the Incoming Minister reveals a deteriorating state in Defence facilities that are no longer fit for purpose, says Labour’s Defence spokesperson Phil Goff.  “The briefing is heavily censored but still reveals that Defence camps, bases and...
    Labour | 12-11
  • New projections show New Zealand missing climate target
    Briefings to Incoming Ministers released today reveal the Government's climate policy is failing with projected emission more than double what is needed to meet National's 2050 target, the Green Party saidProjections released by the Ministry for the Environment, as part...
    Greens | 12-11
  • National’s highways far less efficient
    National’s new state highways have a far lower cost-benefit ratio than motorways built under the last Labour Government, making a mockery of the Government’s bluster that its road building will boost the economy, says Labour's Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “New...
    Labour | 12-11
  • Governor points finger at National on supply
    The Reserve Bank Governor has admitted he had to keep loan to value mortgage restrictions in place because the Government’s attempts to increase housing has fallen ‘a long way short’, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The thousands of first...
    Labour | 12-11
  • Did Collins cover up Slater’s OIA requests?
    Disgraced former Cabinet Minister Judith Collins must explain why she appears to have tried to hide Official Information Act requests she fulfilled for Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater, Labour MP Megan Woods says. “New documents obtained by Labour show Judith...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Reserve Bank’s dairy warning must be heard
    The Reserve Bank’s warning that falling dairy prices are creating greater risks for the New Zealand economy must be taken seriously by Bill English and John Key, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “Dairy prices have nearly halved since February...
    Labour | 11-11
  • National’s housing failure keeps LVRs in place
    The Reserve Bank’s decision to leave loan-to-value ratio mortgage restrictions in place is further confirmation of National’s housing policy fiasco, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Reserve Bank would have lifted LVRs if they had seen any increase in...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Let’s see if it is plane sailing Mr Bridges
    Comments by Transport Minister Simon Bridges that Far North residents' anger over cutbacks to regional flights will be allayed by larger planes and cheaper fares out of Kerikeri, are just pure arrogance, says Labour’s Te Tai Tokerau MP Kelvin Davis....
    Labour | 11-11
  • Commerce Commission inquiry needed into building supplies monopoly
    The Commerce Commission must stop dragging the chain and urgently investigate the anti-competitive practices in the building industry that are driving up the cost of building materials, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Competition in the building materials market is...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Air New Zealand grounds Far North
    The announcement by Air New Zealand to close services from Kaitaia to Auckland will be an absolute disaster for the Far North, Labour MP for Te Tai Tokerau Kelvin Davis says.  “Air New Zealand is sending a signal to the...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Pulling West Coast flights a savage blow
    Air New Zealand’s decision to withdraw its Westport service is another kick in the guts for an already struggling community, West Coast-Tasman MP, Damien O’Connor says.   “Having been involved in the West Coast’s efforts to get Air Nelson to return...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Air NZ cuts economic lifelines to neglected regions
    Air New Zealand’s plans to cut its Eagle Air regional services to already struggling regions is a hammer blow to Westport, Whakatane and Kaitaia, says Labour's Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The regions of New Zealand are being abandoned by this...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Christchurch on the rent rack
    A jump of 20 per cent in weekly rents in the past year is a disaster for Christchurch, says Associate Housing spokesperson Poto Williams. “The Trade Me Property Rental Price index has rightly described the city as being a ‘...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Past time to act on warnings about palliative care
    Health officials have been warning the Government about a critical shortage of palliative care specialists for years, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader and Health spokesperson Annette King says. A stocktake carried out for the Ministry of Health shows New Zealand’s end...
    Labour | 10-11
  • Report must spur Government into action
    The soaring cost of domestic violence and child abuse highlight the need for the Government to prioritise and act on the issue, says Labour's spokesperson for Social Development, Sue Moroney.“Findings from the Glenn Inquiry that show the problem is estimated...
    Labour | 10-11
  • Family safety paramount, then urgent review
    Corrections Minister Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga has some serious questions to answer over why a dangerous prison escapee, convicted of further crimes while in jail, managed to abscond while he was on approved temporary release, Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.“Phillip...
    Labour | 09-11
  • LVRs a failed experiment from Bill English
    Loan to value mortgage restrictions are a failed experiment from Bill English to tame Auckland house prices, that have caused collateral damage to first home buyers and other regions, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The possible end of LVR...
    Labour | 09-11
  • Govt books getting worse as economy slows
    National’s economic credibility is under serious scrutiny with its search for surplus becoming harder due to an economy far too reliant on the dairy industry, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “National promised New Zealanders would get into surplus by...
    Labour | 06-11
  • Kiwis in pain because of Government underfunding
    New research showing one in three people needing elective surgery are being denied publicly-funded operations shows the Government must properly fund the health sector, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “For almost two years Labour has been warning about the...
    Labour | 06-11
  • National’s promised surplus looking doubtful
    Budget figures for the first quarter of the financial year released today by Treasury show the Government's goal of achieving a budget surplus is looking doubtful, the Green Party said today."National has staked its credibility on achieving a budget surplus...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Kevin Hague speaks on the Gambling Amendment Bill (No 3)
    I rise to give this speech on behalf of Denise Roche, who handles the gambling portfolio for the Green Party. This bill deals with class 4 gambling—pokies in pubs and clubs—and it is the result of changes that were suggested...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Kevin Hague speaks on the Health (Protection) Amendment Bill
    I would like to start off where the previous speaker left off, on the issue of balancing rights or balancing harms. All law is in some way a restriction of personal liberty. That is the point of law. When we...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Joyce backs away from yet another target
    Steven Joyce has backed away from two targets in two days, refusing to acknowledge that his Government has an unambitious aim to get unemployment down to 4 per cent in 11 years’ time, says Labour Associate Finance spokesperson David Clark....
    Labour | 06-11
  • Pacific peoples incomes and jobs falling under National
    The Minister of Pacific Peoples is attempting to bury the ugly facts of Pacific unemployment and income levels worsening since National took office in 2008, said Labour’s Pacific Affairs spokesperson, Su’a William Sio. “If the Minister doesn’t acknowledge how bad...
    Labour | 06-11
  • The Block NZ doing a better job than Nick Smith
    Nick Smith should consider calling in producers of The Block NZ with participants in the TV series completing more houses in two seasons than the Government’s failed Special Housing Area policy, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The Block NZ...
    Labour | 06-11
  • Meridian moves to kill competition from solar homes
    Big electricity companies are using their power to make it harder for families and businesses wanting to go solar and the National Government is doing nothing to help them, the Green Party said today. Meridian Energy announced today a 60-72...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Has John Key done all he could for Pike families?
    It will be forever on the conscience of John Key whether he did all he could to recover the remains of the 29 miners who died in Pike River, Labour’s MP for West Coast-Tasman Damien O’Connor says.  “The Prime Minister...
    Labour | 05-11
  • National further dashes hopes of new parents
    The National Government has once again shown its disdain for working parents by voting down proposals to extend paid parental leave, Labour MP Sue Moroney says.  “The Government vetoed an amended proposal that substantially reduced the cost of extending PPL...
    Labour | 05-11
  • Honouring the Ampatuan massacre victims as fight for justice goes on
    A grim reminder of the Maguindanao, or Ampatuan, massacre on 23 November 2014. Photo: DanRogayan A TOP Filipino investigative journalist will be speaking about the “worst attack” on journalists in history and her country’s culture of impunity in a keynote...
    The Daily Blog | 23-11
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – what are they afraid of: the erosion of democ...
    Today the Hamilton City Council has put on a big party to celebrate the 150th anniversary of European colonisation of the area.  There have been a series of events during the year to mark this event, including a civic ceremony. ...
    The Daily Blog | 22-11
  • #JohnKeyHistory
    John Key has done it again. This week our lovely Prime Minister has showed us how little he knows about the history of the country he is supposed to be running. Apparently “New Zealand was settled peacefully”. Was it really?...
    The Daily Blog | 22-11
  • G20 growth targets and growth model offer more problems than they solve
    At the recent G20 in Brisbane, member countries agreed to accelerate growth to an additional 2% on top of current trajectories. But ongoing public sector cuts, asset sales, and reducing workers’ rights indicate that at least part of the growth...
    The Daily Blog | 22-11
  • GUEST BLOG: Bill Courtney – Charter Schools: The Shroud of Secrecy Contin...
    The Ministry of Education yesterday released another batch of information relating to the five existing charter schools and the four new ones proposed for opening in 2015. As we have seen before, the release of such information, often requested under...
    The Daily Blog | 22-11
  • EXCLUSIVE: Campaign reflection, Laila Harré reaching out for radical minds
    Today I’ve announced that I will be stepping down from the Internet Party leadership in December. This will happen once options for the future have been developed for discussion and decision among members. My absolute focus in this election was...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • The Ebola crisis, capitalism and the Cuban medical revolution
    “Ebola emerged nearly 40 years ago. Why are clinicians still empty-handed, with no vaccines and no cure? Because Ebola has been, historically, geographically confined to poor African nations. The R&D incentive is virtually non-existent. A profit-driven industry does not invest...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • MEDIA WATCH: TVNZ Reveals Insane Deadlines For Māori and Pacific Island Pr...
    Last Tuesday, November 18th, TVNZ requested proposals from producers for the four Māori and Pacific Island programmes they will no longer be making in-house. Marae, Waka Huia, Fresh and Tagata Pasifika will keep their existing names, existing formats and existing...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • The Daily Blog Breakfast Club Ep. 1
    TDB Video, Live from Verona Cafe on K-Rd, Auckland – a weekly current affairs show with TDB Editor Martyn Bradbury. This week’s panel: Chris Trotter & Selwyn Manning.The issues: 1 – What now for the New Labour leader? 2 –...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • Performance-demonstration at Auckland’s High Court to demand justice for ...
    People outraged at the lack of justice in the so-called ‘Roast Busters’ case and 99% of other rape cases in this country are holding a visually powerful mass action at the Auckland High Court at 1 o’clock on Saturday. They...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • IES vote may weaken defense of public education
    PPTA announced today that secondary teachers have voted to include the IES (Investing in Education Success) as a variation to their collective employment agreement with the government. At one level it’s an understandable decision by PPTA members because through engaging in a consultation...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • NZ History lesson on Planet Key – the lies white people tell themselves
    John Key’s bizarre claims about our ‘peaceful history’ comes across like the apartheid history of South Africa where white people discovered Africa first… New Zealand ‘settled peacefully’ – PM New Zealand was “settled peacefully” by the British, the prime minister...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • Universal Basic Income and Labour Policy
    On Radio New Zealand’s None-to-Noon on Wednesday (19 November), new Labour leader Andrew Little intimated that he would like to put Universal Basic Income (UBI) on his policy agenda (What policy changes will Andrew Little usher in?) Predictably Kathryn Ryan, despite being...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • The New Notes : They Ain’t Mint
    Hulk Queen Angry. Hulk Queen smash.   Yesterday, the Reserve Bank announced its new designs for our banknotes. Now, I’ve historically been pretty sketch about this entire process; variously feeling affronted that the government could find eighty million dollars to fund a...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • MSM under-mining of new Labour Leader already begun?
    . . It did not take long. In fact, on the same day that Andrew Little won the Labour leadership*, the first media reporter was already asking if he would be stepping down  if Labour failed to lift in the...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • GUEST BLOG: Simon Buckingham – invisible disability voices
    Today I am ranting. The Disability Advisory Group has been announced by Auckland Council. This is the body that represents the interests and views of people with disabilities in Auckland. Whilst I would not have applied this time as I...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, Andrew Little
    Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, Andrew Little...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • Why labelling Little as a ‘Unionist’ is a joke and how he beats Key in ...
    The line being used to attack Andrew Little as a ‘Unionist’ is just an absurd joke, and it comes from people who clearly don’t understand the modern NZ Union movement. Andrew ran the EPM Bloody U, they are easily one...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • 5AA Australia – Labour’s New Leader + China’s President In New Zealan...
    Recorded on 20/11/14 – Captured Live on Ustream.tv. 5AA’s Peter Godfrey and Selwyn Manning.ISSUE ONE: The New Zealand Labour Party has elected its new leader, the vote going to a third round after no clear outright winner was found in...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • Did Roger Sutton think he was running the Rock Radio Station?
    Visible G-String Fridays? Full body hugs? Jokes about who you would and wouldn’t have sex with? Honey? Sweety? It’s like Roger thought he was running the Rock Radio Station, not a Government Public Service department set up to rebuild a...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • US Politics
      US Politics...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • Amnesty International – The conversation that needs to be had with China
    Caption: Police officer watching Hong Kong pro-democracy march, 01 July 2014 © Amnesty International    Yesterday’s edition of The New Zealand Herald features an open letter to all New Zealander’s from Xi Jinping, President of the People’s Republic of China. Along...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • GUEST BLOG: Patrick O’Dea – “Liar”
    LIAR! ‘Privatised social housing to benefit tenants’ English “Housing Corp was a poor performer and about a third of its housing stock was the wrong size, in poor condition and in the wrong place. That stock was worth about $5...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • Too Close For Comfort: Reflections on Andrew Little’s narrow victory over...
    THE TRAGIC SCREENSHOT of “Gracinda” in defeat bears eloquent testimony to the bitter disappointment of the Grant Robertson-led faction of the Labour Party. And, yes, ‘Party’ is the right word. The Robertson machine has now extended its influence well beyond...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • How to defeat child poverty
      How to defeat child poverty...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Little’s Shadow Cabinet
    Now the horror of trying to pacify the factions begins. The only thing Little’s new shadow cabinet must do is create the pretence of unity. The reason voters didn’t flock to Labour wasn’t the bloody CGT or Superannuation, it was...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • A pilgrimage with my sister – Rethink the System
    We’ve both wanted to do a pilgrimage for many years. But, unlike many modern pilgrims, we wanted to be pilgirms in our own country and get closer to our communities, rather than seek greater distance from them. We are both...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Lack of policy ambition is Andrew Little’s main problem
    I’ve met Andrew Little a few times and he’s a pleasant man who will make a reasonable job leading what the Labour Party has become in recent decades. He will preside over a much less divided caucus and will be...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Journos, film makers, media freedom advocates join Asia-Pacific political j...
    A candlelight vigil for the 58 victims of the 2009 Maguindanao massacre – 32 of them media people. Still no justice for them today. Renowned investigative journalists, film makers, academics and media freedom campaigners from across the Asia-Pacific region will...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • And the new Labour Leader is ZZZZZZZZZZ
    The victory lap by Caucus over the members choice of Cunliffe has ended and the new leader of the Labour Party is Andrew Little. Yawn. The dullness and caution of the latest Leadership race will be served well by Andrew,...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Allow the Facts to Get in the Way of the Neolib Stories
    One of the weaknesses of the political left in New Zealand over the last 30 years has been to allow the neoliberal storytellers to get away with lots of fibs and half-fibs. On TVNZ’s Q+A on 16 November, in a...
    The Daily Blog | 17-11
  • Defending The Boomers: A Response to Chloe King
    THE BABY-BOOM GENERATION (49-68 year-olds) currently numbers just under a quarter of New Zealand’s population. Even so, there is a pervasive notion that the generation of New Zealanders born between the end of World War II and the mid-1960s exercises...
    The Daily Blog | 17-11
  • This weeks Waatea news column – Waitangi Tribunal ruling enshrines Treaty...
      This weeks Waatea news column – Waitangi Tribunal ruling enshrines Treaty as a living document...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Key now says SAS will be needed to protect ‘trainers’ behind the wire
    Well, well, well. What do we have here? Government could send SAS to Iraq New Zealand’s elite Special Air Service (SAS) could be deployed to Iraq to protect Kiwi troops sent to train local forces. Prime Minister John Key confirmed...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Do You Want to Build a Meth Lab? (Frozen x Breaking Bad Parody)
    Do You Want to Build a Meth Lab? (Frozen x Breaking Bad Parody)...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Soft soap for the rich – harsh taxes for the poor
    It’s no surprise to see New Zealand has one of the world’s lowest tax rates for the rich and the superrich. A survey by the global accounting network UHY shows New Zealand’s highest tax rates are lower than even Australia,...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Phillip Smith and the rehabilitation process
    The dominant media narrative in horrible murder cases is that the perpetrator is unlikely ever to be rehabilitated. When it appears the offender may get parole the media turns first to family members of the victim who commonly (and understandably)...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • The Nation review: Finlayson’s terrifying definition of who is on terror ...
    Terrifying Nation today on TV3. Chris Finlayson is on justifying the Government’s Muslim fear mongering and extension of even more surveillance powers. It was jaw dropping. Finlayson says ‘alienated people with a chip on their shoulder’ is the threshold to get...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • A brief word on The Block NZ
    Is it just me or did The Block manage to sum up everything that is wrong about our culture and economy? Fetishised property speculation as mass entertainment in a country of homelessness & poverty. I wonder if State House tenants...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • Waitangi Tribunal ruling
    That spluttering choking sound of a thousand rednecks being informed Maori still have sovereignty is a hilarious cacophony of stupid… Crown still in charge: Minister Chris Finlayson on Waitangi Treaty ruling The Waitangi Tribunal’s finding that Maori chiefs who signed...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • A brief word on Phillip Smith
    We can arrest student loan & fine defaulters at the airport – but not convicted child molesting killers? Before we ban manufactured ISIS ‘terrorists’ from having passports, how about we just manage to stop child molesting killers from fleeing first?...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • Free Me From Religion
          The meeting begins – or at least it’s supposed to begin – but someone interrupts proceedings. She wants everyone to pray with their heads bowed while she can “thank our Father who art in Heaven.” I close...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • Key capitulates on TPPA while big money NZ set up propaganda fund
    So Key has capitulated on the ‘gold standard’ of free trade deals… The primary objective for New Zealand at Apec was to see some urgency injected into the TPP talks and to keep leaders aiming for a high quality deal....
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Why Phillip Smith is the least of our worries
    Well, it turns out Phillip Smith wasn’t half as clever as he thought he was, and he’s been arrested within a week. If the Prime Minister is through with making tasteless jokes, perhaps we can ramp down the media hysteria...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Constraining Credibility
      Most economists and members of the public – on both the right and the left – believe that economies are constrained by resource scarcity most of the time. In this view, economies are supply-constrained, and that the economic problem...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Migrant Labour, exploitation and free markets
    Once more we read about a horror story of virtual slavery for a migrant worker in a restaurant in Christchurch. The silver lining that in this case compensation should be paid is not assured. Often in situations like this the employer winds up...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • On baby boomers who give my generation unhelpful advice: JUST DON’T
    One of my mum’s colleagues recently told her that there is no money in what her daughter was doing; volunteering at a women’s refuge and writing on politics. This guy, dispensing all his pearls of wisdom, told my mother that...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Morbid Symptoms: Can Labour Be Born Anew?
    THE CHAIRS in the final meeting venue have been stacked away. All that expensive signage, commissioned for the benefit of the television cameras, no longer has a purpose. For the second time in just 14 months, Labour’s Leadership Contest is...
    The Daily Blog | 12-11
  • What’s Small, White, and Having Trouble Attracting New People?
    If your answer was something intimately connected to the person of Peter Dunne … then you’d be right. Last night, P-Dunney decided to bring his comedy and/or hair stylings to the twitterverse; penning a potentially somewhat ill-advised tweet in which he compared...
    The Daily Blog | 12-11
  • LATE at the Auckland Museum review – Slacktivisim: Its not just for Slack...
    Monday night is my yoga night. I’m not really very good it, I don’t really have the bendy, but I made a New Years resolution. This Monday however, I decided to put the yoga on prone and attend a gig...
    The Daily Blog | 12-11
  • Domestic violence problem bigger than Sky Tower
    Domestic violence problem bigger than Sky Tower SKYCITY’s Sky Tower in Auckland will be lit up in white on Monday evening Nov 25th at 10pm, on the eve of White Ribbon Day. The anti-domestic violence network SAFTINET (Safer Auckland Families...
    Scoop politics | 23-11
  • State Services Commissioner ‘unfit for the job’ says Little
    State Services Commissioner ‘unfit for the job’ says Little The new Labour leader Andrew Little has called for the State Services Commissioner Iain Rennie to be stood down after his handling of the Roger Sutton sexual harassment case. "The idea...
    Scoop politics | 23-11
  • Patrick Gower interviews Laila Harre
    Patrick Gower interviews Laila Harre Headlines: Laila Harre to quit as Internet Party leader by Christmas when the party has completed its review, but would love to return to parliament Says party considering options for its future including winding...
    Scoop politics | 22-11
  • Lisa Owen interviews Labour leader Andrew Little
    Lisa Owen interviews Labour leader Andrew Little Headlines: Andrew Little says the shape of his front-bench for the 2017 election may not be clear until the end of next year Indicates next week’s appointments may be temporary: “So I may...
    Scoop politics | 22-11
  • Phillip John Smith – statement
    Police and the New Zealand Embassy in Brasilia are aware of a decision from the Brazil Federal Court requiring the deportation of Phillip Smith within 10 days. Further assessment is required to ensure there is a full understanding of this...
    Scoop politics | 22-11
  • Green’s ‘not speaking out about human rights abuses in China
    Right to Life challenges Russell Norman the co-leader of the Green Party to explain why, he was prepared to ask Prime Minister John Key to talk to Chinese President Xi Jinping about human rights abuses in countries bordering China but...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Goodfellow congratulates Key on IDU election
    Goodfellow congratulates Key on IDU election National Party President Peter Goodfellow has congratulated Prime Minister John Key on his election today as Chairman of the International Democrat Union (IDU)....
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Taxpayers’ Union Congratulates PM on IDU Appointment
    The Taxpayers’ Union is today congratulating Rt. Hon. John Key on becoming the Chair of the International Democrat Union , as former Australian Prime Minister John Howard retires from the role after 12 years. Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • High demand for Consumer NZ’s “Do Not Knock” stickers
    Consumer NZ has distributed nearly 100,000 “Do Not Knock” stickers since the launch of its campaign to fight back against dodgy door-to-door sellers.The “Do Not Knock” campaign was launched on 3 November 2014. Free “Do Not Knock” stickers...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Phillip Smith decision still pending
    Detective Superintendent Mike Pannett is returning to Washington DC where he will continue to closely monitor a pending decision from the Brazilian authorities on the process to return Phillip Smith to New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • High Court demonstration to demand justice
    People outraged at the lack of justice in the so-called ‘Roast Busters’ case and 99% of other rape cases in this country are holding a visually powerful mass action at the Auckland High Court at 1 o’clock on Saturday. They...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • NZ Society Wins Global Award For Fighting Animal Testing
    New Zealand banning animal testing of legal highs has been acknowledged with an award given in London. The New Zealand Anti-Vivisection Society (NZAVS) was awarded the 2014 LUSH Prize for lobbying against animal testing. The prize was given at the...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Poor govt advice to workers on petrol station drive-offs
    The New Zealand Council of Trade Unions has raised concerns with the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment ('MBIE') regarding their reported advice to workers about the petrol station drive away issue....
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • New Ombudsman opinion
    The Ombudsman has published his opinion on a complaint concerning the Police refusal to release information about a charging decision....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Kindergarten support staff achieve pay rise in tough climate
    The valuable contribution of kindergarten support staff has been recognised with a pay increase, despite the significant funding cuts that the kindergarten associations are experiencing....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Democracy and Conservative Religion: The Case of Islam
    “Is Islam compatible with democracy?” is a frequently-asked question. Recent rethinking of secularism and democracy have opened up new possibilities to think about religion and democracy. This question is important particularly in the case...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • NZ fiscal watchdog needed to guard the public purse
    New Zealand needs tighter fiscal rules and an independent watchdog to improve the quality of government spending and reduce the risk of a return to deficit spending as the country’s population ages, if not before....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • NZSMI disappointed ANZTPA proposal shelved
    November 20, 2014: Consumer healthcare products industry body, the New Zealand Self-Medication Industry Association (SMI) says it is disappointed Government has once again shelved plans to create one medicines regulatory agency for both New Zealand and Australia....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Democracy Action Welcomes Tauranga Vote
    Responding to Tauranga Council’s unanimous vote not to establish separate Council seats on the basis of ethnicity, Lee Short, Democracy Action founder says: “The establishment of a Maori ward would have damaged the relationship between Maori and...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Employer caught abusing new ‘teabreaks law’
    Employer caught abusing new ‘teabreaks law’ to exploit workers The government passed the controversial ‘teabreaks’ legislation only a few weeks ago and already Unite Union has caught an employer using this law as an excuse for ill-treating their...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • FGC response to Commerce Commission report
    The New Zealand Food & Grocery Council is not surprised by the Commerce Commission’s findings, given New Zealand’s current legal framework....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Bascand: Brighter Money
    Seeing people’s initial reactions to the new banknote designs is a heartening reminder of what an important role currency plays in our lives, and what a sense of pride and heritage our notes evoke....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • RBNZ releases Brighter Money designs
    New Zealand’s banknotes are getting brighter and better, with the Reserve Bank today unveiling more vibrant and secure banknote designs which will progressively enter circulation later next year....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • 25 years of children’s rights
    UNICEF and OFC celebrate 25 years of children’s rights with Just Play Sports Days On Universal Children’s Day (20 November) and as part of the Oceania Football Confederation’s (OFC) inaugural President’s Cup, UNICEF will celebrate 25 years of children’s...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Xiamen delegation to Wellington has business focus
    Stronger business, education and cultural ties with our Chinese partners will be the focus when a 20-strong government and business delegation led by Xiamen Mayor Mr Liu Keqing which visits Wellington tomorrow (Friday) and Saturday as part of the...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Warriors promote White Ribbon Day message
    Warriors promote White Ribbon Day message Shine and Orakei Health Services On Tuesday, the Vodafone Warriors will promote the White Ribbon Day message to the community at Eastridge Shopping Centre, Mission Bay. The Warriors are supporting their charity...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Superannuitants to protest unethical investments
    A delegation of Auckland superannuitants will deliver a protest-card petition and protest letter to the New Zealand Super Fund this Thursday afternoon to call on the fund to divest from companies which support the Israeli occupation of Palestinian...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Manukau job cuts ‘running the place into the ground’
    Manukau Institute of Technology (MIT) confirmed to its staff yesterday that 54 jobs will go before Christmas....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Newcore Looks Pretty Rotten for Ratepayers
    Responding to the NZ Herald report that the IT system commissioned by Auckland Council to consolidate the eight systems the Super City inherited from its precursor councils could be facing a budget blowout of $100 million, Taxpayers’ Union Spokesman Ben...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Accountability following quake response inquiry not achieved
    Lessons still need to be learned from the search and rescue efforts following the February 2011 earthquake in Christchurch, a leading New Zealand lawyer, Nigel Hampton QC, says....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Our kids say: We are failing in our duty to protect them
    Our kids say: We are failing in our duty to protect them More than a quarter of Kiwi kids say children’s right to be safe and protected isn’t being upheld in New Zealand, identifying protection from violence, abuse and murder...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • PARS & Turuki Health Care collaborate on health and services
    Auckland-based PARS (People at Risk Solutions) have partnered with the Turuki Health Care Trust, to offer improved healthcare services to those in need. PARS works closely with former prisoners, providing mentoring, housing, and social services to ensure...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Children’s Plea
    A plea has been sent to all Members of Parliament, regardless of party affiliation, to accord urgency and priority to children's issues. These issues include vulnerability, safety and childhood poverty....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Treasury off track in search for sound policies
    Treasury is unlikely to find the ideas it is looking for to improve outcomes for children while its primary driver is cost-cutting, says Child Poverty Action Group....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Commission calls for answers on handling of CERA harassment
    EEO Commissioner Dr Jackie Blue is deeply concerned about the way in which the State Services Commission has handled sexual allegations made against CERA chief executive Roger Sutton this week and is calling for answers....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Ashley Dwayne Guy v The Queen: Appeal Upheld
    The appellant, Mr Guy, was found guilty by a jury of a charge of sexual violation by unlawful sexual connection. After the verdict it was discovered that, by error, the jury had been provided in the jury room with two...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Zonta Club to Take a Stand Against Gender-Based Violence
    During the 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence (25 November – 10 December), the Zonta Club of Wellington, along with members of the local community, will join nearly 1,200 Zonta clubs in 67 countries for the Zonta Says NO...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • New UNFPA report links progress and power to young people
    A UN report launched today calls for investment in young people as they are essential to social and economic progress....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • The Resignation with the Golden Handshake?
    Commenting on the settlement the State Services Commission has reached with former CERA CEO Roger Sutton, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says: "Only in the public sector do you receive a payout for ‘resigning’....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • NZ must not turn a blind eye to China’s human rights record
    Amnesty International is calling on New Zealand’s Prime Minister John Key to raise China’s shameful human rights record during President Xi Jinping’s visit to New Zealand this week....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • The Resignation with the Golden Handshake?
    Commenting on the settlement the State Services Commission has reached with former CERA CEO Roger Sutton, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says:...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Treasury’s covert & extremely odd welfare consultation
    A report this morning that Treasury is ‘crowd sourcing’ ideas on welfare policy is news to Auckland Action Against Poverty, even though we are currently one of the most active groups in the area....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • NZ invites Pacific peers to review development cooperation
    New Zealand has volunteered to be the first development partner in the Pacific region to undergo a review of its aid programme by Pacific island peers. The review will focus on New Zealand’s development cooperation and will give greater insight...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • EPMU joins Pike River families to mark fourth anniversary
    Representatives of the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union are proud to stand with the Pike River families to mark four years since 29 men lost their lives. “This is a particularly solemn day given the recent announcements of Solid Energy...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • 2013 Assessment of New Zealand’s National Integrity Systems
    SPEAKER TUILOMA NERONI SLADE: Former Judge, International Criminal Court in the Hague, former legal counsel at the Commonwealth Secretariat, Secretary-General of the Pacific Islands Forum 2008-2014. Introduced by Helen Sutch, Victoria University Council,...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Green Party ignoring Waimea’s environmental benefits
    Green Party MP Catherine Delahunty has overlooked the environmental benefits the proposed Waimea Community Dam will bring the Tasman community, says IrrigationNZ Chairperson Nicky Hyslop....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Women’s use of violence in violent relationships
    More than 80 percent of women who live with a physically violent partner will not initiate violence when they are not being hit, according to new research....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Poor credit rating linked to poor cardiovascular health
    Poor credit rating linked to poor cardiovascular health A credit score doesn’t only boil down a person’s entire financial history to a single number and somehow predict their credit-worthiness, it might also be saying something about a person’s...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • State Services Commissioner on Roger Sutton Investigation
    State Services Commissioner Iain Rennie today said the investigation into Roger Sutton’s conduct was robust. Roger Sutton chose to resign as Chief Executive of the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA) yesterday....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Predator Free NZ project welcomed
    Federated Farmers and the conservation organisation Forest & Bird are welcoming the Predator Free New Zealand initiative as an ambitious but achievable project that will have real benefits for conservation and the economy....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
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