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Open mike 29/01/2013

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, January 29th, 2013 - 105 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…

105 comments on “Open mike 29/01/2013”

  1. Te Reo Putake 1

    Rather sad end to the Al Quada occupation of Timbuktu:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jan/28/mali-timbuktu-library-ancient-manuscripts

    • CV - Real Labour 1.1

      That’s just awful.

    • Pete 1.2

      As a heritage librarian, this deeply saddens me.Timbuktu is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and many of its treasures were destroyed when Al Qaida invaded last year. I see no purpose to this wanton act of destruction. Some of the manuscripts have been digitised, but it’s only a fraction.

    • muzza 1.3

      This is what happens, when you have *al qaeda fighters*, imported into an area, with the mission of kill and destroy.

      Have a look at the cultural destruction reeked by NATO forces around the ME/Africa, it is very likely that many of the *destroyed* artifacts, are in fact stolen, then sold/handed over to the *financiers*

      • McFlock 1.3.1

        Muzz, you have a unique ability to connect two arbitrary dots and call it “a nuanced reproduction of a lost Rembrandt, underneath all them other dots and lines and shit that were placed there by the powers that be to distract us”.

        • muzza 1.3.1.1

          Cultural destruction takes many forms McFlock, perhaps the manuscripts were destroyed, perhaps Hallé Ousmani Cissé and his cronies took backhanders to sell them, who really knows!

          The net loss amounts to the same thing so far as Mali, and its peoples are concerned, which is a real tragedy!

          Have a look at the cultural destruction during Gulf War 1/2 in Iraq, then consider that some of those artifacts, are stolen/destroyed/sold off, to order!

          • McFlock 1.3.1.1.1

            There’s a lot of difference between not planning for an occupation of an entire country and just burning down a library.

            • One Tāne Huna 1.3.1.1.1.1

              …and still more between either of the above and seeing everything through the distorting paranoid lens of Project Onan.

              This is the world in which “Al Quaeda” is a branch of the Illuminatii Special Ops Unit, remember, a waste of oxygen, bandwidth, and a perfectly good computer.

          • blue leopard 1.3.1.1.2

            I thought it was pretty standard information that the CIA have been actively interfering with countries for the last half century plus. William Blum wrote a book listing a lot of them. Am I understanding the comments here to be sneering at Muzza’s comment concerned over this fact?

            I find it very hard to watch international news now because I feel I am watching/listening to majorly distorted information, propaganda, I don’t know whether I am or not, however if there has been a book written listing many false flag style activities and describing them, (“researched from books, periodicals, newspapers and US Government publications” p12, W.Blum “The CIA a forgotten history”) and how it is not how it was reported at the time; then why would anyone believe that anything has changed now??

            Horrible to hear about those libraries. Hope that the manuscripts were taken and not destroyed.

            • McFlock 1.3.1.1.2.1

              Yes. The CIA wants to destroy a heritage site to blame AQ. Just like the CIA destroyed the Bamiyan Buddhas. And flew 1/4 scale drones into the twin towers. /sarc

              The trouble is that the CIA really have been fucking with the rest of the planet, but muzz shooting from the hip with absolutely no evidence to back it up simply muddies the waters even further.

              But obviously be it a local small-town murder, large scale terrorist act or cultural vandalism half a world away, there is no incident Muzz won’t grasp with both hands to hawk their latest conspiracy allusions (never making an actual allegation, of course, just casting aspersions).

              • How would someone get proof?

                What would be an effective way of getting public support in a violent clash?
                What about:
                “Ooo, I know, lets destroy some historical manuscripts, we know that really gets people’s goat”

                I am seriously “over” the international news; its horrible not keeping myself informed, yet I’d rather that than be misinformed. It is horrible what is going on in the world and we must question what we hear.

                I’m not into conspiracies, (as in this is all being guided by a few very wealthy people), however I think it is without doubt that we are being fed a pack a crap and having our opinions massively manipulated, so that we simply do not stand up and demand “NO MORE”. This won’t occur until more people question what they are being told. Sneering at someone who does so, doesn’t come across as the most intelligent response; not these days.

                The threats against Syria, co-ordinated in Washington and London, scale new peaks of hypocrisy. Contrary to the raw propaganda presented as news, the investigative journalism of the German daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung identifies those responsible for the massacre in Houla as the ‘rebels’ backed by Obama and Cameron. The paper’s sources include the rebels themselves. This has not been completely ignored in Britain. Writing in his personal blog, ever so quietly, Jon Williams, the BBC world news editor, effectively dishes his own ‘coverage’, citing western officials who describe the ‘psy-ops’ operation against Syria as ‘brilliant’. As brilliant as the destruction of Libya, and Iraq, and Afghanistan. ~J. Pilger

                http://www.globalresearch.ca/history-is-the-enemy-as-brilliant-psy-ops-become-the-news/31528

                • McFlock

                  Yes, we can argue that incontrovertible proof in any circumstance is likely to be impossible to gather. But Muzz mouths off with no evidence – no journalists asking questions, no alt.nutbar.media rants, no nothing. Muzz sees an incident, and says “ooo, corporate thieves might well have stolen the manuscripts”. There’s a murder in the paper, and Muzz’ spidey sense says “looks like a police clean-up crew to cover something up”.

                  Shit. Can’t we just wait for the dust to settle before throwing accusations about who burned a library or killed a young mum, neither of which we’d heard of before it came through on the telly?

                  • I guessed there was history with Muzza.

                    However, no, I don’t think we can wait for the dust to settle. For one thing, it never does, haven’t you noticed?

                    Can you imagine what it would be like in places like Iraq or Afghanistan. I’ll bet they wish that; that the Yanks and Brits would just F* right off and let the dust settle, that the bullets would stop flying. I hate to think what they think of us Westerners, wanting the dust to settle before we absorb the truth of the situation; that our culture is responsible for a whole lot of these problems.

                    • McFlock

                      Actually, we know pretty well who dropped the ball regarding Iraq’s historic monuments and museums, for example. Took a wee while though. Saddam was pretty crap to them, but the US assumption that post-invasion everything would be unicorns farting rainbows destroyed a large chunk of global history.

                    • Pascal's bookie

                      I dunno.

                      News has always been like this. Story breaks, truth emerges later.

                      It’s not a conspiracy, it’s hardwired in. Journos report what they see and are, more often, told.

                      So when you read a story quoting someone as saying ‘Y says X killed a bunch of people in war zone yesterday’. That’s what the news is: Y saying it.

                      Most of the confusion comes from readers thinking that journos ought to be omniscient and able to verify the truth of what Y is saying. But that’s not their job. That would more easily lead to people playing them in fact.

                      News orgs want to get teh story out as fast as they can, and that’s both important and valuable.the reason news is called the first draft of history, is that it collects data into a timeline so that the truth can be later interpreted. That’s a different job.

                    • Yes, good point Pascal’s bookie,

                      I did think that a journalists job used to be reporting the facts as accurately as possible, and this used to involve doing some research, not simply relaying what someone tells them, or tells them to say. One reason you gave that this is not done now, is the time factor, another is political/financial interests of the particular news outlet.

                      Whatever the reason for the poor level of reporting, there is no reason to read/listen/watch news and believe that what is going on is being reported verbatim; it is not.

                    • McFlock

                      Agreed, BL. But (in the complete absence of any opposing evidence at this early stage) nor should we necessarily assume that something completely different “very likely” happened. Which was Muzza’s initial reaction.

                    • With the consistently regular revelations that the CIA, American or British (French, Oil, Financial…) interests were involved in well less than scrupulous behaviour in such&such war, I think, is a pretty good reason to assume that it is unlikely what we are getting reported now is accurate to what is really going on.

                      I do not believe, however, it is beneficial to jump to conclusions about the details, i.e. who is behind it; this requires research. I do consider it rational to assume it is unlikely to be occurring, especially the given reasons, as it is reported.

                    • McFlock

                      The thing is that yeah, I can withhold judgement on whether the French involvement is out of the kindness of their hearts or simply because they want to put down a bit of a buffer against the Chinese global agricultural land grab. The latter involves plausible geopolitical motives consistent with neocolonial history.

                      But there’s no real benefit to burning down an ancient historic library and blaming it on AQ. It underlines the dickishness to people who value heritage libraries and ancient documents, but it’s not a significant selling point so much as, say, injured babies etc. Most people don’t give a shit about their local libraries, let alone ones in Africa. And looting the documents for financiers? Possible, but there’s a lot of risk involved for not much reward. If everyone’s looting, like post-invasion Iraq, then cool. But the French seem to have done their homework on this one.

                      So I don’t see any gain in fabricating or looting libraries as part of national policy.

                      But I do see it as consistent with previous (okay, apparent) AQ/fundy activities.

                      Sooner or later William of Occam has a shave.

                    • Pascal's bookie

                      I definitely don’t think you should take every quote in a paper as gospel.

                      But I do think it’s safe to take the fact that a quote was given as legit. If you don’t, you’ve got nothing.

                      The question I ask is not so much “Why is the paper telling me this?” but “Why is the person quoted saying this?” All the paper is doing is reporting that x said y. It’s up to readers to think about the truth of y given what they know about x.

                      And it’s also true that western govts muck about all over the world doing things. But that doesn’t mean I interpret every event through that lens. What is going on in Mali, or Iraq, or anywhere else is primarily about the locals. They too have agendas. I’m largely ignorant about those agendas, so it’s tempting to assume that what we are doing is more important than what is happening with the locals. It’s a temptation that’s way more important to fight, in my view, than trusting media reporting.

                      In Mali, you’ve got 90 odd percent of the country living in the south, of one ethnic group, and another bunch up in the North. The Northern folk basically live in the Sahara. The problem of western intervention starts there. Why is that one country? Who drew that border? The west, and it’s not one that makes sense.

                      I guess my point here is that every war is unique, and based on local conditions. Outsiders will try, ( often with some success) to interfere for their own ends, but the success they have will depend on the local truths. It’s the local stuff that really matters. You can’t start a war in a country that doesn’t in some way want one anyway. More often, the west is trying to shape a local war in their own favour.

                      We shouldn’t take it as read that the west is stirring shit up, or even suspect it.

                      classic example is Syria, which is an absolute clusterfuck as far as the west is concerned, because it’s not about us in anyway whatsoever, and yet due to it’s position ad capabilities the west has strong self perceived interests there. But that doesn’t mean that we are manipulating events. It’s more likely that events are out of out control, as they usually are, and we are panicking.

                      that’s the other lesson from histories of western intelligence antics; mots of it is blundering and panic driven from a position of ignorance and hubris.

                      I don’t give the intelligence agencies enough credit to suspect they could pull of too many conspiracies.

                  • @ McFlock,

                    Yeah, the conversation is heading toward who and what motivations might be creating the problem, and I am uncomfortable with that, however, I will mention that burning a library with ancient manuscripts in it is a whole lot different to burning down one of our local libraries! And I do understand there is a big market for manuscripts. I didn’t understand Muzza’s comment to be saying they burned the library “as part of National Policy” (lol), I understood Muzza’s comment to be indicating that “financiers” could benefit from the selling of these manuscripts.

                    Hopefully they have been looted prior to burning. It is clear that you don’t care much about ancient manuscripts, yet I find it very painful to hear they have been destroyed and I’m sure that many others, also, will too. Unsure whether it is common knowledge or not (so sorry if I am relaying something you already know)
                    We get the knowledge behind all our clever technology from the brilliant middle-eastern scholars who both translated and developed Greek knowledge, had they not done so, this knowledge would have been lost, due to our propensity for…burning knowledge…that didn’t fit in with the Christian paradigm of the time. Who knows what knowledge has been lost in these libraries that have been burned in Mali :(

                    Pascal’s bookie,
                    I agree with that approach, basically you are relaying ways to employ discernment with one’s intake of information.

                    To shape a war for one’s own purposes, is very manipulative and is really buggering things up for other countries, I sincerely wish that our Western culture would stop sticking its nose into other countries and get its own issues sorted. Best way to lead is by example, and “ours” is a shocking one.

                    Although I like the spirit of your comment of not giving intelligence agencies credit, I don’t agree. I was very swayed by “The Economic Hitman”, this was someone who was speaking about his personal experience and it sounded pretty damning. Naomi Klein’s “Shock Doctrine” and the William Blum book I mentioned earlier fairly well convince me that intelligence agencies are doing things that most wouldn’t believe and wouldn’t want to believe. And that, really, is the largest problem. Until people face what is going on, its unlikely to be improved upon.

                    • McFlock

                      but there are no reports it was looted. Just of fire.

                      So for muzz to say that “most likely” it was looted is just adding 1 and 1 together to get 8.

                    • @ McFlock,

                      Yes, fair enough. Having conversed with you, I can see that I have reached the end of actually believing what groups are labelled as on the news. Calling it the “crying wolf effect” may help you understand!

                      Perhaps in this case what has been reported has actually happened, or, perhaps, taking what PB noted, we may find out a different story in time to come. I just don’t see that Muzza’s comment was extraordinary in suggesting that the manuscripts could end up on the blackmarket.

                      Taking your & TRP’s comment below into account & also someone I was talking with, it does appear to be Al Qaeida’s M.O. to destroy heritage sites. And thus, yes, I concede, its a fair point. I continue, however, to get a very hollow feeling at any point I start feeling the remotest belief in what is being reported these days. I just smell a rat; view it as propaganda…oh dear, I’m turning into a cynic….

                    • McFlock

                      Perfectly possible that the manuscripts were stolen.

                      But based on one short report of a fire, it doesn’t follow to immediately assume that they were “most likely” stolen. The only hope we have of seeing through the bullshit is if we don’t make stuff up as we go along.

                      I have friends who are trying to find out what’s happening with their loved ones in Bundaberg. Apparently it’s quite difficult trying to find news through all the hollywood divorces and famous people feeling betrayed by Lance Armstrong. Most likely the powers that be made Lance confess to Oprah so that we’d not focus so closely on climate change. /sarc

                    • muzza

                      I said, very likely McFlock, and then linked to the time article below to illustrate how these things can play out.

                      Of course it’s conclusive, as shown by TRP’s link to a bbc article in todays (30/1) open mike.

                      The story keeps changing, the articles are more or less worthless in terms of credibility, which is generally what I am pointing out.

                      Blue Leopard/P’s B seems to understand, and I enjoyed reading their sensible comments, followed by what reads as a concession of sorts, from you!

                    • muzza

                      My comment above should read

                      Of course it’s NOT conclusive, as shown by TRP’s link to a bbc article in todays (30/1) open mike.

                    • McFlock

                      Firstly, okay, “very likely” rather than “most likely”. Not sure where I got the most from, fair enough.

                      But then you still have no basis for assuming that it is very likely that many of the *destroyed* artifacts, are in fact stolen, then sold/handed over to the *financiers*.

              • muzza

                Criminal activity thrives in chaos, and the theft of antiquities for a rapacious international black market is no exception

                Lebanon, Iraq and Afghanistan have all fallen victim to looters during previous wars, and Libya and Egypt, rich in archaeological sites, witnessed several attempts at looting during their more recent uprisings. In the case of Syria, however, the full-blown civil war may do more harm than simply the plundering of its culture. The burgeoning market for this ancient land’s priceless treasures could actually prolong and intensify the conflict, providing a ready supply of goods to be traded for weapons. Furthermore, the ongoing devastation inflicted on the country’s stunning archaeological sites—bullet holes lodged in walls of its ancient Roman cities, the debris of Byzantine churches, early mosques and crusader fortresses—rob Syria of its best chance for a post-conflict economic boom based on tourism, which, until the conflict started 18 months ago, contributed 12% to the national income.

                In case McFlock has forgotten recent history

                While the Nazis were in power, they plundered cultural property from every territory they occupied.

                Same crew reeking war upon the planet, same techniques employed to destroy/plunder nations, same techniques to fool the naive!

                • McFlock

                  So what reports of looting of Mali’s treasures have there been, muzz? Do you have anything from reality upon which to base your logical leap?

                • Te Reo Putake

                  Muzza, they burned the library and destroyed mosques because they believe that they are idolatrous or or in some way denying their version of the Mohammadan story. The taliban did similar shit in Afghanistan, and Saudi Arabia bulldozed flat anything that wasn’t Wahhabi. AQIM didn’t steal the books and manuscripts, they burned them as a final act of twisted piety before abandoning Timbuktu.

                  By the way, is your google broken? This stuff isn’t hard to find.

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

                  Excerpt:

                  The Wahhabi teachings disapprove of veneration of the historical sites associated with early Islam, on the grounds that only God should be worshipped and that veneration of sites associated with mortals leads to idolatry.[61] Many buildings associated with early Islam, including mazaar, mausoleums and other artifacts have been destroyed in Saudi Arabia by Wahhabis from early 19th century through the present day.[62][63] This practice has proved controversial and has received considerable criticism from Sunni and Shia Muslims and in the non-Muslim World.

                  Edit: snap joe90 below

    • joe90 1.4

      There’s a sectarian bent to this with most of the vandalism carried out by Sunni Wahhabis.

      The Bamiyan Buddahs were destroyed by the Wahhabi backed Taliban and the rebels in Mali who destroyed ancient shrines, with many more under threat, were most probably Wahhabi backed.

      There’s also an Egyptian extremist calling for the destruction of idols, the Sphinx and Pyramids.

  2. tracey 2

    Next time a politician or developer talks about building in Auckland or Christchurch, can someone ask them WHY the developers don’t have a ten year personal liability obligation as designers and builders do under the new regulations? Afterall it’s developers who take the biggest profit from building projects and drive the amount of money spent on a home of development, and if the leaky home saga is anything to go by they have cut and run and almost to a man have escaped any financial liability for those homes by dissolving their companies. I shudder to think what the landscape may look like in ten years if these guys lead the “build” and cut corners for greater profit as they did between 1990 and 2005.

    I heard Mr Carver of Jennian home sthis morning whinging and yet he has franchised his business and so HQ and he personally dont actually have to stand behind anything they build.

    This govt is heading us back down a building deregulation road, different to 1990’s but will have disastrous consequences… but not for non liable developers of course…

    • vto 2.1

      Simplistic and incorrect on several fronts there Tracey.

      Simplistic in retutn …. go ask your local politician those questions. It is they who changed the laws and regs which led directly to this disaster.

      Much exactly like Pike River.

      edit: and if every person in the process is required to have a personal guarantee then while you’re with your local pollie suggest that he/she also provide such a personal guarantee

      • tracey 2.1.1

        I have asked those questions.

        Can you explain to me vto how it is that a builder and designer can give (are forced to by regulation) such a guarantee but not the developer?? Please further explain how holding the developer liable for ten years post construction is simplistic? Surely the same logic applies to them as to the builders and designers, namely if they are personally liable they will do better work. As for the councils/territorial authorities, yes Govt has legislated immunity to them for any fuck ups they make… at least on one level it makes sense because it is the ratepayers who pay the price, but that doesn’t apply to the developers. I await your explanation of why it is simplistic to hold developers to account in this way. Can you also be specific about the area sin my post which are incorrect?

        The govt has already singled out builders and designers, I suggest opening it up to developers who drive these projects. Your last (edit) comment is a straw man argument and doesn’t actually address what I wrote.

        I look forward to your more detailed response.

        • CV - Real Labour 2.1.1.1

          Hammurabi’s Rule. Looks like ancient Babylon had it sorted.

          http://www.bloomberg.com/video/78071828-nassim-taleb-on-wall-street-protest-banking.html

        • MrSmith 2.1.1.2

          Tracey: The builders, developers and owners will build to the rules set by the government and councils or to put it another way if you make the speed limit 100km an hour people will drive to or about the limit but if you get caught breaking the limit you will then be breaking the rules/law and fined accordingly.

          Now some people started traveling at 110km and know-one stopped them, then they pushed it out to 120km and still nothing was done, then some people just started going any speed they wanted and of course things started to go wrong.

          You seem to have brought into the witch hunt this government have facilitated, the blame for this lays squarely at the foot of the National government of the day that deregulated the building industry and the councils for not enforcing what rules there where at the planing stage, and later during inspections.

          This in no way excuses the dodgy builders or the dodgy developers who by the way take all the risks and property developing is a very risky business. Yes people or companies declare bankruptcy and walk away, but very few set out with this in mind, all the people I know that have gone tits up have lost almost everything along with the reputation. The National government of the day are to blame so the National government of today should be fixing it! But knowing them they will be waiting of the market to sort it out, yeah right!

          Of course the aftermath of this and the CHCH earthquake will see more regulations, with that more expensive houses, basically the housing industry had been keeping prices down through cutting costs and corners for years now.

          • tracey 2.1.1.2.1

            again you dodge my question. Given that builders and designers (rightly or wrongly) have had personal liability placed on them for ten years, why not developers.

            “Of course the aftermath of this and the CHCH earthquake will see more regulations,” Really, so far the intent of this government is the opposite, less regulations already and intended, especially around developments (as opposed to single dwellings).

            I am well aware that builders on the whole are unfairly having 80% liability sheeted tot hem in leaky building claims. This is why I point to developer liability as well. They will, and have in the past, made much more money than the builders on each home built.

            As for intent, I dont think you have met many career developers because they absolutely, in consultation with their lawyer and accountant set up companies for a particular development, take the profit and then shut them down. Precisely to avoid any future liability on their work. Now back to your supposition that if caught breaking rules they will be fined… and how will they pay given without a legal entity to sue no one is liable?

            • CV - Real Labour 2.1.1.2.1.1

              You have to make the accountability of directors (former directors) in law, outlive the existence of the company.

  3. NoseViper (The Nose knows) 3

    The rise of Islamic activists may be unstoppable. The genie has come out of the bottle after being aroused by the west, USA and Russia (west?) mainly. The USA has to stop going to war as a means of getting their business indices trending upwards.

    In the meantime Genghis Khan type policies are arising from both sides of the battle. Things will be likely to get worse if people with integrity and clever practical minds don’t get hold of the decision making and budget. We need another Churchill type. Not perfect but with clear understanding of the threats ahead.

    • CV - Real Labour 3.1

      And if we don’t get a Churchill type, we may get someone far worse, from the other side of history.

  4. NoseViper (The Nose knows) 4

    Good chant? Out, out, out. John Key is too low key. Give us a Cheshire cat smile John.
    Repeat! (Cheshire cat’s smile faded away to nothing – Alice through the Looking Glass I think.)

  5. NoseViper (The Nose knows) 5

    This government can’t do its governing effectively to ensure the best for the whole country. So what do they do? Interfere with local government, such as Christchurch and now to disdain the information given on housing by the Auckland Council instead quoting the opinions of business as if it was necessarily correct. Anything that is working is likely to be rejigged and end up replaced with some shonky stuff.

    This also applies to Picton which needs to be on people’s agenda. That town is going to be hollowed out so that the government can cosy up to Chinese investors with bulging bank balances. Picton is a jewel, the interislander trip is a jewel, we are a poor country and can’t afford to adopt the throwaway society attitude to viable, effective, modern and good earning businesses. Mostly owned by NZs. With the profit remaining as a credit in NZ. If foreigners invest and leave money invested here, it is always a debt, a liability to us, that can be taken out at their will.

    • tc 5.1

      The interislander move is a slap in the face for kiwi small business and another win for their trucking lobby backers, like they haven’t been rewarded enough already with RONS, larger load sizes etc etc

      I find this encapsulates the NACT in a nutshell and the MSM sucked it up without as much as a ‘hang on wait a minute…’ during the slow news season.

      Can’t wait for 7 sharp to keep us all informed and invigorate debate. TVNZ falling behind Joyce’s lines to keep follks amused not informed while they go about their business. Can his mates at skycity have some of your studio in akl, you will not be needing it with production shifting to sky.

    • muzza 5.2

      I took the words of Bill English in regards to land etc, aimed at the AKL Council, as a future forecast, veiled as a threat!

      You need to gauge the reaction of the media/public when broadcasting, that central govt *might* look at taking over due process of an elected local govt.

      And the bad played on!

  6. vto 6

    This government is losing it in Christchurch.

    People wanting to retail or build or develop or invest or live in teh CBD have been frightened off by the great overlord and his ways. Go to it Brownlee, the CBD is all yours. Let us know once you’ve finished and we’ll all come see how you’ve done.

    Christchurch east is forgotten. Drive deep into the east and you will see what the stories are all about.

    People are forgotten. People are still living in squalor http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/christchurch-earthquake/8233403/Quake-hit-Christchurch-families-still-living-in-squalor Well done Brownlee, well done.

    At the last election there was a swing in favour of Brownlee, but this was disaster politics at the time whereby the incumbent is always favoured as people want stability at all costs. Next time around in 2014? I predict a spectacular hiding to nothing. Even the true Nats are agin this government, e.g. the government approach to buying their CBD properties.

    And then of course, once this government is tossed out the city will be left with some other new government which will no doubt move things around, change the goalposts and struggle to finish off Brownlee’s grand plan. Pessimism is just below the surface with many even today saying that they are still in two minds about the city and may well move yet.

    • bad12 6.1

      Am just about willing to put money on the fact that National this far out from November 2014 are pretty much history,

      A swing away from National in the Christchurch area as big as the swing that went toward them in that are in 2011 will all but finish them,

      As will a further swing away from the Maori Party who’s voters gave them(except for Te Tai Tonga)the benefit of the doubt vote in 2011, it has taken a couple of election cycles for the Maori Party voters to realize that the crumbs off of the table they can expect to gain with an application to the ‘Whanau Ora’ program cannot make up for their loss as Paula cuts a swathe through benefit numbers…

    • the Al1en 6.2

      Perhaps if more of them had voted Burns and Cosgrove, the government wouldn’t have a majority.
      And perhaps if they’d voted for JA instead of parker.
      Well, you get the gist.

      Better luck next election, Christchurch.

    • geoff 6.3

      Hey vto it’s not all bad news coming out of CHCH. Fletcher’s shareholders are do quite nicely, thank you very much
      http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/8233237/Fletcher-hot-property-as-payouts-exceed-1b

      nice to see a silver lining eh

  7. McFlock 7

    So apparently Israel has been administering contraceptives to Ethiopian Jews without their consent. And not, like, ages ago. They’ve only just issued an order to stop.

    That state just loves heaping on the irony, doesn’t it?

  8. gobsmacked 8

    Advice for David Shearer: ifyoudon’t
    knowhow
    todotherhythmof
    convincingcommu
    nication
    thenyouneedto
    markyourspeech
    withprettycolouredpens
    or
    some
    thing
    otherwiseitspain
    fultolistento
    andthepointsdon’thavemuchim
    pact

    I don’t know which is worse, the woeful comedy routine of Key’s performance or Shearer’s fifth-form delivery. The latter is lost without a script, the former should just get lost.

    • ad 8.1

      That’s and have some actual policy to launch the year with. None in that speech.

      If Shearer’s housing policy is the only thing pushing blood through Labour’s veins, then we’d better have a defibrilator ready. It’s a nasty risk to run to have it placed on that single hit to keep both hands on the ribcage, pressing.

    • xtasy 8.2

      With both anticipation and FEAR did I await the re-opening of Parliament this year, and today, my fears were confirmed yet again.

      For heaven’s sake, Labourites, get meetings called, at base level, prepare for a take-over of the party, a kind of “reclaiming” of what Labour traditionally once stood for, and what a “real” opposition party in Parliament should stand for right now!

      Start a bloody revolution, and once and for all, get RID of DEAD WOOD!

      Shearer’s speech was less than mediocre, an embarrassment, even though he tried hard.

      Key took off with attacking, blaming and slamming Labour and Shearer, then served up more of what the Nats have been preaching to us for the last few years, talked like an over-ambitious, half – intoxicated used car salesman, to hammer home to the public and Parliament, that they will push through their ideology driven agenda relentlessly.

      It was just more rehashed stuff of what we have heard before, and in that “State of the Nation Speech” from Key.

      Shearer was stumbling again, losing track, mis-spelling, mumbling and fumbling with his words, then at times seemed to get on track again, clearly wanted to present a message, but did anything but to convince. It was disappointing, and he is trying to act as one “leader” that he is not.

      Brian Edwards is right in his analysis:
      http://brianedwardsmedia.co.nz/2013/01/why-david-shearer-should-give-up-acting-hes-just-no-good-at-it/

      This is becoming such an embarrasment, and the whole party will suffer endlessly, if he is not forced to resign in the coming weeks. A challenge must be made, or this will be yet another lost political year. More defensive “selling” of the same housing policy, of youth apprenticeships for the dole, of a bit vague this and the other, that is NOT, what is needed now.

      Endless criticism of the same of National is not enough, it is not policy, does not deliver enough of an alternative.

      Good on Metiria Turei, she held a good, smart, balanced and promising speech, but the real OPPOSITION spokesperson and convincing debater today was Winston Peters!

      Those that still cannot see the problem with Shearer, you will never learn and get it!

      • Benghazi 8.2.1

        We don’t need a challenger Xtasy. Just 13 MPs brave enough to vote no confidence, to give us a vote.

        The process then invites candidates plus the incumbent to step forward to campaign. Show us what they’ve got, their ideas, their style.

        I really would like to hear from Robertson, Adern and Little. I don’t know enough about their potential as Leaders and want to see them strut their stuff.

        What I don’t want is King/Mallard making any more Leadership decisions for us. It is not their right to decide when to knife Shearer and replace him with Robertson.

        Let’s have an honest process now when we’ve time to pull it together and win well in 2014.

        • xtasy 8.2.1.1

          Yeah, those that are equally concerned, phone, email and talk to your MP, secretaries, tell them your concerns, put the clear message accross, that enough is enough.

          It would be insanity to take further risks with the status quo. But then, who am I to talk.

          I saw and heard much of Shearers speech once more in the evening, and it was maybe not quite as bad (less getting stuck and losing the thread of his speech than before), but he just does not come across well, lacks fire, is too wooden, insecure and tries to appear as a kind of person that he is not, and who he never will be able to be.

          Please, please, end this nightmare, Labourites.

  9. Pete 9

    John Key announces more working prisons

    I don’t think slave labour camps are really the direction we want this country going in. Nor do we want prison labour undercutting the wages of free people in this country.

    • bad12 9.1

      Slippery the Prime Minister re-invents the wheel making it square so it sits on the road better, back befor the Neo-liberals decided that there were grand ‘savings’ to be made by canning them there were all sorts of working arrangements for prison inmates, mostly these work initiatives were centered on the needs of the prisons infrastructure from painting and building gangs to full on commercial gardens and farming operations,

      The empty suitcase of intellectual rigor who is masquerading as the New Zealand Prime Minister would better serve the employment in the economy of released prisoners by restricting access to those who have criminal convictions records except where the occupation is sensitive such as hospitals,schools, care positions etc etc etc,

      Most employers these days conduct criminal history checks upon proposed employees including those who only offer day by day labour positions and wont employ anyone with a conviction that is less than ten years old,

      There are a few tho that with deliberation who with deliberation employ ex prison inmates and are mostly rewarded with workers committed to their jobs who work hard and behave in a manner that is a credit to the particular company that hired them…

      • Rogue Trooper 9.1.1

        Yes, i know many close to home who remain unemployed casualties of the no risk employment environment and / or unforgiving moral culture (whats a little overt rebellion compared to white collar fraud?)

        • bad12 9.1.1.1

          Indeed, whats a little white collar crime, the sum total of the fraudulent induced losses coming from the non-banking financial sector in the past 5 years makes the monetary loss of all the crimes committed by those incarcerated over that same 5 year period look insignificant, and, the only thing that comes remotely close to the cost of those fraudulent money transactions in the equation is the cost to the state of locking up the crims,

          The minor ones that is, to coin a phrase, jail is where the big crims send the little crims to get rid of the competition…

    • CV - Real Labour 9.2

      Transparent play to the law and order crowd. Hey lets learn from the US, we can fire local council staff and have prisoners doing the rubbish collection and mowing lawns instead.

      • Murray Olsen 9.2.1

        Maybe prisoners could milk Garth McVicar’s cows. That’d please the anti-immigration crowd as well.

        • bad12 9.2.1.1

          Seriously tho,”as Prime minister my one goal for the year is to get the crims to do a bit of graft”, i often comment on the Prime Ministers empty suitcase of intellectual rigor,

          I think some crim must have run off with it, even for Slippery that was one bizaarely stupid speech…

        • Rogue Trooper 9.2.1.2

          that’s Busting some slapstick humour there Murray

  10. Rogue Trooper 10

    its a monarch day here in the bay and they play play the Silk tree way
    so some (bad kesy) Second-Hand News to keep us amused (won’t ya lay down in the tall grass and let me do my stuff…)
    another 2.5 Billion people at the Arrival gate before 2050, dum dum diddle to be your fiddle , to be so near ya and not just hear ya…
    Obesity an expanding “global pandemic” (Staple that to the fridge)
    antibiotic resistant pathogens a threat “equivalent” to the GFC
    Ak real estate brochures delivered to the living rooms of wealthy Chinese at home; how now
    Brown cow?
    Back to school (1B5’s 30c; $3.00 the remainder of the year);NOvopay, League of Tables do not do Justice, NActional Standards, Christchurch rationalization and the flesh eating scaly one.
    the educational IT divides escalating costs of campus technology integration, software / application licenses multiplying technology scrabbling mathematical illiteracy.
    sadly, North Korean peasants eating their own as Kim continues to swear by the Enema tool of colonialist oppression while kiwis serve as social media guineas.Fine. John Steinbeck-The Pearl
    admire it some time. Oh Joy! c’e st ill cheery picking manufacturing success stories.Press them out.
    Consumption consumption consumption : wuyu- objectless desire.
    WINZ overwhelmed; annual leave, sick leave, vacancies: it’s the dole or 6-6 6 days a week stacking apples for exports down in the Dec quarter; a drop in o / seas Dairy sales of 11.7% (may be churning market though) You choose.
    Crop irrigation diverted to Throwing Copper above ground (Mister 13 tucks his patch under arm, bypassing the third long queue in an hour to front his case manager man (t#@lls better Knock on Wood; don’t get the wrong door though, “Sarge” might growl) Like water.Off a bucks back.

    husband and cultivate the world to ones proclivities and context-

    Vata-wind Ditta- bile Kapha-phlegm
    as the inspirational myriad future is over-run by the phasic powerful present past devoted belonging

    Exploitative hoarding marketing : Receptive?
    Hedonistic respectable ingenious : Authentic?
    Cynical here fatalistic yesterdays relativistic intervals : Believable pathways tomorrow?

    -Kale (Shoot To Thrill: did you know that playing aforementioned track was one attempt at “enhanced interrogation technique” by the screws at Guantanamo? Home on The Range may have been more effective)

    p.s the opposition has NO confidence in lynda Carter Speaking wonderfully for the Family. Hey, for Variety, sponsor a local child in need; kiwi kids are milk bix kids.(in Isolation we may soon only see the Mailman for 1/2 days. Thirteen Monkeys?)

    C.C. yes RL, imagine society without our social conscience (community meals start back soon); it would all be skeptical relativistic intersections (I want my MP3)

    A Song For GeoffC; Topic? What is Collective Anarchism? :)

  11. Tim 11

    OMG (as they say amongst the truly connected). That bloody band of lefties at Radio NZ are at it again! John Quiggin has just been on spouting his bloody communist shite – but NOW there’s some specimen that sounds like a muppet called David Peter Farrar – just to be “fair and balanced” of course.
    Roll on 5pm!

    • Rogue Trooper 11.1

      for some balance, can somebody please release me from moderation (i used the “t” word) when will i learn :(

      • Tim 11.1.1

        I understand your plight. I too sometimes go over the top. I just justify things by telling myself “There Is/Was No Alternative”. When that doesn’t work – I just watch Parliament.

  12. Tim 12

    Hey…..just btw (as they say in the truly connected world)……. now I know where some Slippery Dick comes by his dikshun. Yeee-oooh = “You know” Yearsnaturntiv = “There is no alterative”; RrrrAltee is = “The reality is”
    I’m reverting to Parliament on Chenill Noitnyforwah;

    It’s no wonder a Sikh mate of mine has such duffkilty with Unglish (over and above anywhere esse in the whurrl).

    In any event (Rogue), we can be assured of the muppet status I’ve assigned and plead guilty to

    • Rogue Trooper 12.1

      wellll, that sounds like some pretty damn fine Adobe Flash (there is always an alternative to the Somme) ;)

  13. Pascal's bookie 13

    John Key’s pointless, wandering 2013 opening speech was the straw that finally made my camel lose its shit.

    http://www.ben.geek.nz/2013/01/getting-active/

    lol

  14. Rogue Trooper 14

    Some (bad kesy) Second-Hand News ;) ;
    another 2.5 billion people at the Arrival gateway before 2050 (dum dum diddle to be your fiddle, to be so near ya and not just hear ya)
    Obesity a “global pandemic”; the 1.6 billion overweight and obese now outnumber the mal-nourished 2-1; The World is Fat-Barry Popkin, meanwhile Mozza’s ill with a bleeding ulcer
    anti-biotic resistant pathogens are a threat equivalent to the GFC
    Ak real estate being marketed to wealthy Chinese at home in their living rooms; how now Brown cow? or year of the snake?
    Back to School- NOvopay, League tables not Justice from the NActional Standards alongside Christchurch rationalization by flesh-eating scaly ones the costs of integrating technology into campuses, software application licenses teacher IT student mathematical illiteracy

    North Korean peasants literally eating their own as Kim swears by the imperialist enema
    kiwis social media guineas.John Steinbeck-The Pearl, give it a whirl.

  15. Dr Terry 15

    Well, we have enjoyed a nice holiday from the ranting John Key but already he is back at it. Very little talk about positive Government proposals of course. Certainly his usual loss of dignity (if ever he had that). Sneering and leering at opposition members (they must be getting under his skin so soon! Good sign!) This is a speech by “a decent bloke”? Spare me!

  16. Rogue Trooper 16

    Oh Joy c’est ill cheerily picking manufacturer anecdotes,
    Consumption consumption consumption : wuyi= objectless desire
    locally WINZ overwhelmed; annual leave, sick leave, vacancies; it’s the dole or 6-6 6 days a week stacking apples. You choose.
    (Mister 13 tucked his patch under his arm and bypassed the third long queue that hour to front his case manager man) Better knock, knock Knock on Wood; don’t get the wrong door now though, “Sarge” might growl.Like Water; off a bucks back.

    Crop irrigation diverted to Throwing Copper above ground.

    husband and cultivate and tailor world to ones proclivities and context

    Vatta-Wind Ditta-Bile Kapha-Phlegm
    inspirational myriad future over-run by the phasic powerful present past devoted belonging

    Exploitative hoarding marketing : Receptive?
    Hedonistic respectable ingenious : Authentic?

    cynicalhere fatalistic yesterdays relativistic intervals : Believable pathways Tommorow?

  17. xtasy 17

    Hooton labeling Standardistas as “fanatics” and “wreckers” of Labour’s November conference:

    http://www.nbr.co.nz/article/labour-heading-another-meltdown-set-go-weekend-review-lf-134941

    “Internal fanaticism
    This sort of internal fanaticism has been seen before, including when Don Brash’s supporters were undermining Bill English and when Paul Keating took out Bob Hawke. The strategy can work because, as Mr Hawke observed, it has a terrifying logic.

    If a challenger’s faction, even a minority, is utterly determined to make life impossible for the incumbent, then eventually the leadership or even prime ministership ceases to be worth holding.

    Labour’s new rules make the strategy even more likely to succeed and have created a risk of chronic instability. With members and unions now having the power to choose the leader, whichever faction happens to be in the minority will spend its time not taking the fight to the dreaded Tories, but signing up new members and manipulating union personnel.

    The new rules put Labour at constant risk of old-fashioned Leninist entrism. Already, party bosses report infiltration by former members of the Alliance who have no interest in being part of a modern social democratic party but want to recreate Labour as a replica of their old far-left ideal.”

    Well, one has to be mindful and alert about that man, making his odd appearance here.

    So that is what he summarises comments made on TS like!?

    He is an expert manipulator, that is for sure.

  18. Rogue Trooper 18

    feck! (less. sorry ’bout the place taken; Time and Space p-brane difficulties,or maybe some superstring)
    anyway,
    God Defend (foreign investment in) New Zealand; that’s the Key!

    Do(o)m;
    -in the letters; Housing Unaffordability-Banks and Boomers (they said it, not me)
    -China is likely to reinforce the Fijian position with navy vessels, arms and vehicles, yet, were those Israeli jets seen around Fordow? while the NZX50 continues to Aspire 8.

    Pr 11:18 The wicked man earns deceptive wages yet he who sows righteousness reaps a sure reward
    11:25 A generous person will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.

    Alternatively,
    the person who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what they have heard, yet doing it, they will be blessed in what they do.(Religion that God accepts as pure and faultless is this; to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself free from being Polluted by the world)

    -JJ (1:25 & 27; After Midnight, we gonna let it all hang out…for where we find envy and selfish ambition, there you find Disorder and every evil practice)

    • Rogue Trooper 19.1

      True? where do you find these articles joe? ;)

      • joe90 19.1.1

        l

        True? where do you find these articles joe?

        Link farms, Reddit, Metafilter, BoingBoing etc, a voracious appetite and the attention span of a sand fly with a low boredom threshold.

        • Rogue Trooper 19.1.1.1

          “boredom” was a researched topic discussed on RNZ theeuva day; apparently it’s a combination of appropriate stimulation unavailable and, a perceived absence of, and desire for similar. (not my problem; i find this site an adjunct though and it is an alternative meeting of the complete range of human motivations, for a change, particularly curiosity, and there is something healthy about a little idle collective creativity, i think, anyway)
          NOW,
          another topic of research i read recently was contrasting the “happiness” of the financially comfortable and those less so. (of course, a situational / extraneous variable that was Not addressed in the article, MSM, was the cultural context in which “happiness” factors were evaluated). Soooo, not surprisingly, people were “happier” in the Western culture studied if they had more dough.
          Interestingly, Half of New Zealand exists on below the median income, and therefore may be considered (within the premises of the article) to be “less so”. Interesting, but then what would i know, I’m only a mad low-income gardener of Allsorts.

      • Huginn 19.1.2

        Sad but true, Rogue. Welcome to Mega City.

        • Rogue Trooper 19.1.2.1

          I have been invited to write lyrics for, and attempt vocals in a Garage Band, and my mates’ influences, amongst other things? Free Jazz and CrAss (you could not make some of the stuff that happens in our connected / collective lives up! (Unrestful Movements for both of us; just listen for once, just listen to Anti-Trend)
          anyway, from another chapter, was amongst a group of formerly Very bad “perps” last night, who also have seen the “light”, and turning their lives away from The Island /Carousel
          so there is hope.

          -Rem (imagine being on The Radio!)

          • Rogue Trooper 19.1.2.2.1

            you know, and I know, my clone sleeps alone

            -Barker (why dontcha come up and shee me sometime Moneypenny?; in fact, where I reside is another menage a trois of “connections” (never been that greedy, or lucky, in the literal sense, yet regrettably got a little too greedy one-to-one, but that too, is another story)

  19. bad12 20

    The real question to be asked of the Slippery Prime Minister after today’s ‘State of the Nation’ speech in the Parliament today is did He change His diapers befor or after the childish harangue of the Opposition Party’s,

    The opening speech in the Parliamentary Year is a traditional opportunity for the Prime Minister to outline His or Her plans for the year and yet in what i detect as a display of fear our current one Slippery, chose instead at the last minute to drop the prepared speech notes in favor of a torrent of abuse directed at that opposition,

    Don’t let the apparent confidence of the Prime Minister fool you for an instant, any Prime Minister who allows one simple opposition policy, in this case the twin housing policies of the Green/Labour portion of that opposition, to derail a prepared speech has definitely not only lost the political initiative ‘going forward’ but has also lost the ‘plot’ bigtime,

    In another severely bizaare move by the Prime Minister,(possibly sniffing a knife in the back on the breeze), is the inclusion in the National MP’s ranks of a 3rd ‘party whip’, larger politicla party’s usually have two of these whips to organize their MP’s around their duties to the Select Committees and their duties in the House along with any other business the particular Party requires them to attend to,

    Why have 3 whips tho, simple , there has since Slippery the Prime Minister took over the leadership of that National Party been a simmering but unreported tension within the Caucus between two basic camps,(the Slippery’s and the Other’s), over the Leadership of National, there’s a few schisms within these camps over who will get to plunge the knife into the back of the current Prime Minister at the appropriate time and such a boiling tension in the ranks is simply the moving of the pawns in the quest for Power as opposed to the tensions within the Labour Opposition Party which center more on direction and policy,

    The extra whip??? in the political trade-offs between the two National Party factions the Cabinet make-up has largely become a finely balanced one for me and one for the Other’s juggling by the Prime Minister doling out the positions of power so as to delay that inevitable knifing from within His own ranks,

    Having miscalculated in the sacking of 2 Cabinet Ministers,( it aint Merril Lynch Slippery, they still get to hang around after you’ve crapped all over them from a great height), Slippery the prime Minister has belatedly He has handed the Other’s a surprise advantage and tipped the delicate balance of power that exists in that National Party Caucus hence the hastily arranged 3rd ‘whips’ job dragging yet another Slippery-ite into the already bulging power structure who’s very position now depends upon His support of the current Prime Minister, balance is restored,

    What tho to make of the theatrics of a clearly fearful Prime Minister in the chamber today lashing out at the opposition on a day that should have had Him proudly trumpeting the National Governments successes so far and outlining it’s ongoing plan for success, ( yes ha ha ha i am of course being facetious), what of a Government that according to the Prime Minister has a plan to push a few of the 8000 crims currently languishing in our jails into a bit of graft,

    Thats it???? apparently so if the words of the Prime Minister are anything to go by, everything is just so hunky dory according to this particular Prime Minister, there is no crisis in affordable housing that need be urgently addressed, no crisis of unemployment that cannot wait until November 2014 when someone else can address it, neither a last quarter export data report that shows that instead of growing the country’s exports in the last quarter were the worst since 2009,

    Nothing, not an iota of any pressing economic concern expressed, nary a care in the world shown for pressing societal issues while well meaning middle class New Zealanders set up Save the Children type websites so that the average New Zealander can sponsor Kiwi-kids an effort worthy of the third world,

    Bluntly, all that was contained in this the 4th ‘State of the Nation’ speech by this Slippery Prime Minister of this FAILURE of a National Government was a silent admission that They havn’t got a clue, don’t really give a s**t anyway, and the face as the Head of this unholy mess is quite frankly more worried about being knifed in the back by His colleagues than anything else going on at the moment,

    Wonder if His diapers are of the disposable variety, i just can’t imagine the abject horror inflicted upon the poor serf having to wash out the stench of such fear…

    • Rogue Trooper 20.1

      better than a bad Stuff. carry on weeding, I find it therapeutic, and then, then, productive plants can grow.

    • Jackal 20.2

      I’m not too sure about your 3rd whip theory but there’s certainly some truth to Key completely changing the script to focus on insulting the opposition parties for daring to have some solutions while National looks totally dead in the water.

      Not only does the fact that Key let his emotions get the better of him look entirely pathetic, he threw some in the press gallery right off their stride and their usual towing of the party line. Some even went ahead and published their pre-written articles based on Key’s script that of course didn’t include any of Keys venomous diatribe, which just goes to show how stupid some right wing journalists can be.

      Clearly National is bereft of ideas, and we have only just begun the 2013 cycle. If attack politics is all that the venal John Key is going to offer the public while the country slides ever further into economic and social decline, let’s just cut to the chase now and declare the 2014 election won for the left… Because if Key doesn’t show some actual leadership on some very pressing issues very soon, National is done and dusted.

      Of course the right wing propagandists are declaring Keys pathetic display of juvenile taunts a huge success, all the while knowing full well that their jabbering fool of a “leader” simply doesn’t have what it takes to rally the troops behind him, and what a sad pathetic lot of sycophantic troops they are… You would find more cheer on a chain gang.

  20. I have read Brian Edwards take on Shearer and i agree with his opinion.
    There was a jump in the polls when Shearer sent Cunliffe to the backbenches, there must
    be some very blood thirsty voters out there who are happy to see someone publicly denounced
    in such a fashion and without merit or sound reason.
    Is this what we have come down to? are these the levels that some find some comfort in, within
    the wider Labour electorate ? a party that prided itself on being inclusive,caring,respectable,
    apparantley those traits no longer exsist, perhaps.
    If so many don’t see Shearer as the leader of labour,then why is that feeling not put to the
    test, members of caucus should think long and hard whether they endorse Shearer
    or not in the secret ballot and put their personal aspriations aside and vote in accordance with many in the wider electorate that consider Shearer is not the right person for the job.
    To ignore the electorate and members is a folly and irresponsible, the ball is in the mp’s
    court.

  21. Draco T Bastard 22

    CEO: An over-paid bureaucrat, usually in the private sector, working against the good of society.

  22. Rogue Trooper 23

    Afewknowmanytruths
    http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/blacksabbath/afterforever.html
    just foolin’ around
    night (it’s another day tomorrow) :)

    p.s thanks for the “bread” D.

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  • Experiment-gate update
    Readers may recall the saga around an experimental mailer some Stanford / Dartmouth researchers sent into the state of Montana. In a randomised trial, it provided voters with some added information about two candidates running for a judicial election, and...
    Polity | 30-10
  • Why are our Politicians Auckland Toll Chickens?
    Yesterday both the National Government and Green Party opposed the suggestion to place a toll on Auckland’s roads, but for completely different reasons. The Government opposes it because they see it as a new tax. The Greens because they would...
    Gareth’s World | 29-10
  • The obvious question
    John Key says he knows who the hacker Rawshark is. So, will the police be raiding his home for ten hours and taking all his data, or is that something they only do to enemies of the National Party?...
    No Right Turn | 29-10
  • Guest post: Living with a criminal conviction
    What happens when one moment of bad judgement changes everything anyone ever thinks about you? Mike Jones* used a weapon to defend his girlfriend from an aggressive man at a party seven years ago. He’s still paying for that choice....
    On the Left | 29-10
  • Famous Kiwi Radio Host Invites Rapists To “Call In and Defend Yourselves...
    [This post is now being live-blogged. Please check back periodically for updates. The amazing header image is by Occupy Auckland media team co-ordinator @Redstar309z and features an artistic impression of two alleged #Roastbusters serial rapists - Joseph Levall Parker (left)...
    Spin Bin | 29-10
  • Famous Kiwi Radio Host Invites #Roastbusters Rapists To “Call In and Defe...
    [This post is now being live-blogged. Please check back periodically for updates. The amazing header image is by Occupy Auckland media team co-ordinator @Redstar309z and features an artistic impression of two alleged #Roastbusters serial rapists - Joseph Levall Parker (left)...
    Spin Bin | 29-10
  • Lower Hutt scientists win right to be academics
    Tertiary Update Vol 17 No 37 Lower Hutt scientists are joining TEU in large numbers after the union successfully argued that they should be classified as academics in Victoria University of Wellington’s new collective agreement. TEU members at Victoria recently...
    Tertiary Education Union | 29-10
  • Ex-TEU member heads Parliament’s education committee
    Former TEU member Dr Jian Yang will chair parliament’s Education and Science Select Committee. Elected to parliament only three years ago directly from his job in the political science department at the University of Auckland, Yang has risen quickly to...
    Tertiary Education Union | 29-10
  • Cabinet focuses tertiary education on economic growth
    The government has signalled again that it views tertiary education primarily as an economic tool rather than a tool for social opportunity and equity as well. The government has shifted tertiary education out of its Cabinet Social Policy Committee to...
    Tertiary Education Union | 29-10
  • Aged care worker wins historic pay equity case
    Aged Care worker and union member Kristine Bartlett won an historic legal case for pay equity this week. Bartlett’s employer, Terranova Homes & Care Ltd had appealed to the Court of Appeal against an Employment Court ruling that the wages...
    Tertiary Education Union | 29-10
  • Please help me get my Feed the Kids Bill to Select Committee
    Last week I took over the Feed the Kids Bill that Hone Harawira had introduced to Parliament. If passed, my Bill will provide government-funded breakfast and lunch in all decile 1 and 2 schools. Hungry kids can’t learn and are...
    frogblog | 29-10
  • Look to international students for funding says Joyce
    Tertiary education minister Steven Joyce says universities need to expand overseas and recruit more international students to boost their income. Joyce told TVNZ’s Q+A programme that New Zealand universities are not doing enough to generate income from international students. “If...
    Tertiary Education Union | 29-10
  • A Very Weird Story: Deconstructing Darren Aronofsky’s “NoahR...
    An Heretical Work: Darren Aronofsky's Noah is an attempt to reconstruct from the ill-fitting fragments of the much older and more finely textured myth of the Great Flood, a religious homily about human power, human guilt, and human redemption. That he...
    Bowalley Road | 29-10
  • World News Brief, Thursday October 30
    Top of the AgendaIraqi Kurdish Fighters Enter Syria...
    Pundit | 29-10
  • TVNZ Outsourcing Pasifika and Maori Programmes
    I’ve always been a big fan of our state broadcaster and I’ve particularly liked their range of current events programmes. But after Friday’s announcement that TVNZ will be sacking up to 40 staff by contracting out the Pacific and Maori...
    frogblog | 29-10
  • Gordon Campbell on the links between bad labour laws and poor safety practi...
    By co-incidence, one of the prime dangers of the government’s new employment relations law has been underlined by the release of the death and injury statistics among workers at New Zealand ports. These are highly profitable enterprises for the port...
    Gordon Campbell | 29-10
  • How Labour’s ballot paper works
    Some weeks ago, I promised not to post about the Labour leadership election. I am going to break that promise today, but only because some of the people I have talked with appear a bit confused about Labour’s preferential ballot....
    Polity | 29-10
  • UKIP’s apostrophe fail
    The venerable institution that is the United Kingdom Independence Party wanted a hoodie for young patriots, so they can proudly declare how great Britain remains. For UKIP, the sun has never set on the British Empire of Awesomeness. Until this...
    Polity | 29-10
  • Understanding climate science in 10 easy steps
    The latest United Nations report on climate change is about to be finalised, written by thousands of scientists. The report is VERY important, but also a bit dull.What we really want to know is: How bad is climate change? And what can...
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 29-10
  • Random thoughts on the Labour Party leadership contest
    Some thoughts on the leadership contest, and a puzzling mystery at the end....
    Imperator Fish | 29-10
  • Auckland Transport’s 30 Year Project List
    As part of the discussion on Alternative Transport Funding, which was launched yesterday, the Council also released a copy of Auckland Transport’s entire 30 year transport programme which includes the cost of projects and seemingly ranked according to some combination of criteria....
    Transport Blog | 29-10
  • Questions and Answers – October 30
    Press Release – Office of the Clerk EconomyInterest Rates and Inflation 1. ALASTAIR SCOTT (NationalWairarapa) to the Minister of Finance : What reports has he received on the economy, particularly on the direction of interest rates and inflation?QUESTIONS TO MINISTERS...
    Its our future | 29-10
  • Storm surge: Hurricane Sandy
    On the second anniversary of Superstorm Sandy making landfall, we are running an extract from a new book by Adam Sobel “Storm Surge: Hurricane Sandy, Our Changing Climate, and Extreme Weather of the Past and Future”. It’s a great read...
    Real Climate | 29-10
  • Questions For Oral Answer October 30
    Press Release – Office of the Clerk 1. ALASTAIR SCOTT to the Minister of Finance: What reports has he received on the economy, particularly on the direction of interest rates and inflation? QUESTIONS TO MINISTERS 1. ALASTAIR SCOTT to the...
    Its our future | 29-10
  • Trade Deal Threatens Farmers and Food Businesses
    Press Release – GE Free NZ The secret Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations are a direct threat to food businesses and farmers, and a moratorium on the release of GE crops must be enshrined in law before the TPP is signed.Trade...
    Its our future | 29-10
  • The latest poverty excuses
    Today, the National Government managed to out produce Fonterra in its production of hot air and manure, with their explanations to justify the figures released in the latest (UNICEF) report documenting how little John Key’s administration has done to reduce...
    Closing the Gap | 29-10
  • TPPA causing concern
    Press Release – Joint Press Release Concern over the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) negotiations is being expressed in two public meetings over the next week; one at a presentation on 5th November by former councillor Robin Gwynn to the...
    Its our future | 29-10
  • CTU announces election of new Secretary
    The contested election for the position of CTU Secretary has been won by Sam Huggard. Sam officially takes office on Monday 1 December 2014. Sam has worked in the union movement and brings a wealth of experience and a commitment...
    CTU | 29-10
  • Why my money’s on David Parker. And why Labour’s should be as well!
    OK, eventually you have to put your money where your mouth is. So who, of the four declared contestants – Nanaia Mahuta, Grant Robertson, Andrew Little and David Parker –  should, in my opinion, win the Labour leadership contest? And...
    Brian Edwards | 29-10
  • Arming police: evidence based policy or populist wishlist?
    At a time when people are questioning whether police forces in the United States have become too militarized, the president of New Zealand’s police association (NZPA) is calling for our police to be “fully armed”. He claims that incidents that...
    On the Left | 29-10
  • Flags > Poverty
    Today in parliament we saw both Kelvin Davis and Annette King make important and useful requests, both of which were denied. Annette King drew attention to the UNICEF report that shows that child poverty has not improved in New Zealand,...
    Fundamental | 29-10
  • Worker’s rights dealt severe blow with Bill’s passing
    The passing of the Employment Relations Amendment Bill is another blow to workers' rights in New Zealand, the Green Party said today.This afternoon, National's Employment Relations Amendment Bill passed with the support of Act and United Future."This bill will force...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Barriers to reporting sex crimes must go
    Both the Government and police need to take action to ensure that, in future, sexual abuse victims know they will be taken seriously, Labour’s Associate Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. “The young women involved in the Roast Busters case, and...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Te Wakaputanga – What we did not learn at school
    This week saw the 179th anniversary of the signing of Te Wakaputanga, the Declaration of Independence of the United Tribes of Niu Tireni. Most of us did not learn about this fundamentally critical document at school, we barely learned about...
    Greens | 30-10
  • NZ goes backwards on gender equality
    It is no coincidence that in the same week New Zealand is singled out for going backwards on child poverty under National,  we’ve also dropped in global rankings for gender equality. In one year New Zealand has dropped from 7th...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Kevin Hague questions the Minister of Health on management of Katherine Ric...
    Is he satisfied that all conflicts of interest that arose by the head of Food and Grocery Council Katherine Rich being a member of the Health Promotion Agency were managed in accordance with the provisions of the Crown Entities Act...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Bennett parks numbers on social housing
    Social Housing Minister Paula Bennett admitted today that well over 1000 families have been subsidised through the accommodation supplement to stay in the Ranui campground, somewhere she has previously described as not the right place for children to be growing...
    Labour | 30-10
  • 50,000 sign petition against anti-worker law
    More than 50,000 Kiwis have signed Labour’s petition against the Government’s scrapping of tea break entitlements, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “That’s the equivalent of five people signing our petition every minute for a week. It shows the...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Address in Reply Debate – Dr Kennedy Graham on UN Security Council- 2...
    In the Speech from the Throne last week the Prime Minister identified the usual domestic goals for his Government. I counted 17. They are not my subject today. I wish instead to focus on matters beyond our shores. In the...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Climate change harming ocean health
    New Zealand is responsible for one of the largest areas of sea in the world – an area 14 times the size of our land area. The National Government is promising new marine protected areas legislation with a discussion document...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Key misled public over Jason Ede
    Information contained in a new chapter of the book Key: Portrait of a Prime Minister, that Jason Ede stopped working for the National Party on the night the book Dirty Politics was released, shows Mr Key and senior ministers hid...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Greenpeace report highlights better path for NZ agriculture
    A Greenpeace International report highlights a better way forward for New Zealand agriculture than the GE and chemical mutation technologies supported by Federated Farmers, and the National Government through its research funding packages, the Green Party said today. "This report...
    Greens | 29-10
  • BNZ post record profits while leaving savers vulnerable
    A small part of the $850 million record profit posted by the Bank of New Zealand (BNZ) today needs to be set aside to protect savers' deposits in the future, said Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman today.Dr Norman was...
    Greens | 29-10
  • RBNZ U-turn shows monetary settings were wrong
    The Reserve Bank's U-turn on interest rates today shows monetary policy settings were wrong and New Zealanders have suffered unnecessarily through the loss of jobs and having to pay higher interest rates, the Green Party said today.Reserve Bank Governor Graeme...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Ports must take responsibility for shameful death toll
    Port companies must step up and take responsibility for a shameful toll of seven deaths and 133 serious accidents in the past three years, Labour MP Iain Lees-Galloway says. The frightening figures – released by the Rail, Maritime and Transport...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Please help me get my Feed the Kids Bill to Select Committee
    Last week I took over the Feed the Kids Bill that Hone Harawira had introduced to Parliament. If passed, my Bill will provide government-funded breakfast and lunch in all decile 1 and 2 schools. Hungry kids can’t learn and are...
    Greens | 29-10
  • TVNZ Outsourcing Pasifika and Maori Programmes
    I’ve always been a big fan of our state broadcaster and I’ve particularly liked their range of current events programmes. But after Friday’s announcement that TVNZ will be sacking up to 40 staff by contracting out the Pacific and Maori...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Labour urges iwi leaders to meet with National
    Labour’s Māori Caucus has called on iwi leaders and national Māori organisations to seek urgent meetings with the National Government to directly express their concerns about employment law changes which will harm Māori workers. In an open letter sent today...
    Labour | 29-10
  • ACC’s reputation needs fix, not glitz
    Restoring public trust and confidence in ACC will take a lot more than a new communications strategy or social media blitz, says Labour’s ACC spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “Under National, ACC has come to be perceived as insensitive, difficult to deal...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Lessons to be learned from police investigation
    The outcome of the so-called Roast Busters case should not put victims off reporting sexual crimes, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “This case has been mishandled from the start. Within days of police initially saying no charges had...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Anti-worker legislation is anti-Pacifica
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga, will go down in history as being part of a Government that harmed his own people through anti-worker legislation, says Labour’s Pacific Island Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio.  “Pacific people are among...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Five-year tax holiday for overseas tax dodgers
    National has just gifted a five-year tax holiday for foreign companies dodging their tax payments, says Revenue spokesperson David Clark. “Todd McClay has pretended he is doing something about overseas companies dodging their tax duties by joining an international initiative...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Traffic Jam Tax must be given the red light
    Auckland Council’s proposed Traffic Jam Tax could cost some households thousands of dollars a year just to use roads they had already paid for with their taxes and must be rejected, says Labour’s transport and Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford....
    Labour | 29-10
  • National has chance to show leadership on limos
    The National Party has the opportunity to show leadership by transitioning our vehicle fleet towards renewable electricity when a new contract to supply Government limousines for VIPs goes to tender next month, the Green Party said today. "This is a...
    Greens | 29-10
  • The Māori Party can’t have it both ways over labour laws
    The Māori Party has to fess up over its voting record on the Employment Relations Amendment Bill, says Labour’s Māori Caucus.  “It’s simply not good enough to oppose the bill at the same time  as they helped speed up its progress through...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Equal pay and the aged care sector
    Today the High Court upheld the historic ruling by the Employment Court that our Equal Pay Act could be used to consider work of equal value cases; the government has been telling the UN and ILO that it could for...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Court case perfect opportunity for Government to improve gender pay gap
    If the Government wants to halt New Zealand’s slump in international rankings on the gender pay gap it should act on the court finding that women deserve equal wages, Labour’s Women’s Affairs spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “The World Economic Forum’s...
    Labour | 28-10
  • All Auckland transport options should be considered
    All options for meeting Auckland's transport needs should be considered, including reprioritising the transport budget away from wasteful spending on motorways, the Green Party said today.Auckland mayor Len Brown is today releasing a transport report by the Independent Advisory Board,...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Another report highlights Govt failure on child poverty
    An international report measuring the impact of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) on child poverty rates, showing children in New Zealand have done worse than children in other countries, is further proof the Government needs to urgently take additional steps...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Child poverty: No more wake-up calls
    A new report which shows the National Government has made no inroads whatsoever into child poverty should do more than just set alarm bells ringing, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “UNICEF’s  latest Innocenti Report Card highlights the fact...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Eugenie Sage speaks in the 2014 Address in Reply Debate
    I congratulate you, Assistant Speaker Mallard, as Assistant Speaker and look forward to your knowledge, your fairness, and your light touch in being a referee of proceedings in this House. I congratulate also the other Assistant Speaker, Lindsay Tisch; the...
    Greens | 28-10
  • James Shaw’s Maiden Speech
    Tena Koe, Mr Speaker. I would like to take this opportunity to speak a little of the past, the present and the future. The privilege to serve in this Parliament was given to me by all those who gave their...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Govt airs real views on public broadcasting
    An admission by the Government that it is happy to experiment with Pacific and Maori audiences shows just how weak its vision for public broadcasting in New Zealand is, Labour’s Broadcasting spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. “National today admitted it doesn’t...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Does Judith Collins have a get out of jail card?
    Former justice minister Judith Collins appears to have been gifted a get out of jail free card based on the Prime Minister’s answers in Parliament today, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “Judith Collins claimed in an Official Information...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Solid Energy decision delay sensible
    Today’s announcement by the Board of Solid Energy that it will delay making a final decision on re-entering the Pike River mine is a sensible move, Labour’s MP for  West Coast-Tasman Damien O’Connor says. “It has been clear for some...
    Labour | 28-10
  • New York Green Bank off to a $1B start
    New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced late last week the New York Green Bank’s first NZD$1 billion tranche of green energy investments. The projects, which are difficult for the private sector to finance, are now possible by New York Green...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Bartlett case means Govt must act on equal pay
    The Court of Appeal victory for Lower Hutt caregiver, Kristine Bartlett demonstrates that both the Government and employers have been ignoring and not fully implementing equal pay law, the Green Party said today.The Court of Appeal today upheld earlier rulings...
    Greens | 27-10
  • Rotorua shift for Maori TV a bizarre move
    The bizarre idea to move Maori TV to Rotorua is either poor planning or possible political interference that adds to the perception of a service in crisis, says Labour MP for Tamaki Makaurau Peeni Henare. “Moving Maori TV to Rotorua...
    Labour | 27-10
  • Second rate deal a no go – Goff
    A second rate deal on dairy in the TPP would totally contradict the agreed purpose of the Pacific trade agreement, Labour’s Trade spokesperson, Phil Goff says. “Both the origin of the trade negotiations and leaders’ statements on its objectives emphasise...
    Labour | 27-10
  • Legal victory a boost for all working women
    Today’s legal victory for equal pay is a much-needed boost for working women at a time when the Government is pushing through reforms which will make it harder for them to get pay rises, Labour’s Women’s Affairs spokesperson Sue Moroney...
    Labour | 27-10
  • National’s failed commodities export strategy exposed
    National's strategy to rely on commodities such as milk powder and logs has been exposed in the September trade figures released today, the Green Party said."National's strategy to hang all economic hope on exporting ever-increasing volumes of milk powder and...
    Greens | 23-10
  • Caution needed on calls to arm police
    There is no justification for routinely arming our police and doing so would change forever the way officers interact with their communities, Labour’s Associate Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. “As one of the few organisations distinguished by its unarmed status,...
    Labour | 23-10
  • Govt strains to get tea break law through
    The Government has been left with egg on its face - failing to get its much-vaunted, but hugely unpopular, meal break law passed in the first week of its new term, Labour spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says.“National desperately...
    Labour | 23-10
  • How low can you go? Mining the depths
    The company says there will be economic benefits, which the EEZ Act says the EPA must consider, but even these benefits are in doubt. The royalties while not set will be tiny, the profits will flow offshore, and whatever phosphate...
    Greens | 23-10
  • Fed Farmers defend GE Agriculture
    Federated Farmers, which represents a minority of farmers, appears to be captured by a pro-GE clique hell bent on increasing unsustainable technologies for the benefit of the herbicide and patent controlling seed companies. That there are better more sustainable farming...
    Greens | 23-10
  • Government loses the affordable housing race
    Nick Smith is dreaming if he thinks he can deliver affordable housing to Cantabrians on his current figures, says Labour’s Associate Housing spokesperson Poto Williams. “The Minister’s announcement that the Government will build 237 new homes, most of which will...
    Labour | 23-10
  • Labour’s thoughts with Canadians
    Labour has offered its sympathies to the family and friends of the Canadian soldier who died in what appears to be a premeditated and unprovoked attack while standing at guard at the Ottawa National War Memorial. “Our thoughts are also...
    Labour | 23-10
  • What next for TVNZ? Outsourcing the news?
    Television New Zealand’s decision to outsource Māori and Pacific programming is a real blow to the notion that our state broadcaster is a public broadcaster, says Labour. “CEO Kevin Kenrick has said today that TVNZ has ‘a very long and...
    Labour | 22-10
  • Green Party expresses sympathy for Canadian shooting victims
    The Green Party expressed its solidarity with Canadians and the Canadian Parliament today, offering its sympathy for family and friends of the soldier killed in the attack. "Our thoughts are with all those caught up in the shooting in Canada...
    Greens | 22-10
  • Poverty & inequality don’t need protest marches – they need a riot:...
    The global level of inequality continues to skyrocket… Number of billionaires doubled since financial crisis The number of billionaires has doubled since the start of the financial crisis, according to a major new report from anti-poverty campaigners. According to Oxfam,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • If Key knows who Rawshark is…
    I’m sorry, what? John Key ‘given Rawshark’s name’The Prime Minister believes he knows who hacked Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater’s computer and produced the source material for Nicky Hager’s Dirty Politics, according to a new edition of a recently published...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Child Poverty stats in NZ
    Child Poverty stats in NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Crimes Act + Police Investigation = WTF
    Just to frame the farce that is the Roastbuster’s investigation and conclusion – here are the parts of the Crime Act http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1961/0043/latest/whole.html#DLM329057  the Roastbusters are proven to have violated – that the police (and some suspects!) themselves acknowledge occurred: Crimes...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Publishing Journalists’ Home Addresses Is A Tactic Of The Right, Not The ...
    I think I’m starting to get rather annoyed with the conduct of some pro-MANA people over this ongoing Parliamentary Services crew complement issue. Yes, we get that there are legitimate issues to be raised with how some political reporters in...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Aucklanders caught between a tarseal-addicted government and a weak mayor
    Len Brown’s proposal for motorway tolls to reduce congestion and provide funding for better public transport is a weak response to a critical issue. The $12 billion dollar shortfall on transport funding he talks about is mainly for projected new...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • A Very Weird Story: Deconstructing Darren Aronofsky’s Noah.
    NOAH is a curious movie. Conceived as a biblical epic, it’s target audience was originally the millions of Americans who regard the Bible as God’s inerrant word. With the sin-filled works of Hollywood forbidden to these true-believers, Christian movie-makers have developed...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • You Can Get Away With Rape In New Zealand
    Jessie Hume with last years petition against rape     The police have sent a strong message today.  In fact they’ve been sending a strong message for a while; a message that our government supports. “You can literally get away...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Roast Buster case – no charges. In the immortal words of NWA…
    Roast Busters case: No prosecutions Police are to make an announcement this afternoon on Operation Clover, the investigation into the “Roast Busters” allegations. The Herald understands the victim has been told that the alleged offenders will not be prosecuted due...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Key’s flag change distraction to cost $26million!
    No. Way. Bid to change NZ flag to cost millions The cost of holding two referendums and consulting on a change of flag has been estimated to be just under $26 million. Look. We all appreciate that the sleepy hobbits...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Why NZ Herald’s Labour Party crocodile tears are so audacious
    The front page the NZ Herald would use if they thought they could get away with it No one can take the recent columns by NZ Herald seriously… John Armstrong: Shadow lingers on National John Roughan: Labour’s leadership vote matters...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • The beginning of the end of Cameron Slater?
    Slater postings on man bizarre, court told A businessman has changed his appearance and had to install extra security at his home after Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater posted his business and personal documents online, he says. Mr Slater has...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • We are a milk power republic and Fonterra our unelected senate
    Wow. Just wow… Deputy mayor says he’ll be sacked South Taranaki deputy mayor Alex Ballantyne says he expects to be sacked because he has spoken out about the impact gasses coming from dumped Fonterra dairy products have had on his...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: “…But *actually* this is about ethics in political-game jo...
    Yesterday, a piece of mine on the recent revelations about Hone Harawira employing several gentlemen either accused or convicted of sex offences was published on The Daily Blog. Predictably, given the fierce loyalty which Hone inspires in his party faithful and...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Privilege cheque
    There was no race problem in my childhood. Living in central Wellington I was well-insulated from what was going on not so far away. This was the 60s and 70s, where the teachers enjoyed free love in the staff room...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • A brief word on Key’s claim that it will be raining carnage
    Isis will ‘rain carnage on the world’ – John Key Left unchecked Isis would “rain carnage on the world”, Prime Minister John Key says, but he has yet to make a decision on whether New Zealand troops will join a...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Meanwhile…
    ...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • How does Andrew Little win Labour Leadership and unify the caucus?
    Audrey Young’s excellent column on how the Caucus vote  is shaping up shows how Andrew Little becomes the next leader of the Labour Party. She identifies the factions as the following… Andrew Little 6: Andrew Little, David Cunliffe, Iain Lees Galloway,...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Joe Trinder – Right of response to Curwen
    You have asked that Hone Harawira deserves to explain what happened, how would he explain when his next door neighbour is an alleged sex offender. What explanation can Hone offer he wasn’t involved, Hone had no idea this offending was...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: That Hella-Weird Feeling When You Defend Tova O’Brien
    Oh dear. Yesterday morning I blogged that Hone deserved a chance to explain what exactly had happened as applies his office’s Parliamentary Services crew complement – and, importantly, that we deserve to be able to judge him on the strength of...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Canadian Green MP warns against harsh anti-terror measures
    Canada’s Green Party has provided a welcome counterpoint to Prime Minister Harper’s call for tougher anti-terrorism laws in the wake of a soldier outside the Canadian Parliament. On October 22, while she was still locked in her parliamentary office, Green...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • When is an asset sale not an asset sale? When it robs from the poor and ste...
    National have turned state housing on its head. At no time during the 2014 election did the Key Government even hint that they were going to privatise 30% of the Housing NZ stock of state homes. Not once. Key even...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part To...
    . . Continued from: Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Rua) . Bill English comes clean on National’s intentions for HNZ privatisation . On 14 October, in a report on The Daily Blog, I wrote, In...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • The Questions Have Been Asked – They Deserve An Answer
    A few days ago, allegations that had been percolating for some time about Hone Harawira employing three either accused or convicted sex offenders on his Parliamentary pay-roll came to light. (one imprisoned before working for MANA; one who found himself convicted and...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • I have seen one future, and it is bleak
    . . Back in  March 2012, I wrote this story regarding a march to support striking workers at Ports of Auckland. It appears there was some prescience about some of my observations at the time… . | | 18 March...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • US air strike war Key wants us in has killed a civilian a day so far
      The US air strike war that John Key wants us to join has killed a civilian a day so far. From the Washington Post... The United States launched its first airstrikes on militants in Syria on Sept. 23, and has continued...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • The instant Jihad syndrome
    My favourite new term is ‘self-radicalised’ – it suggests the reasons for terrorism are totally divorced from the actions of the West. This need to suddenly ramp up terror laws because of lone wolf, self-radicalised Jihadists seems convenient and counter-productive....
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • We have nothing to fear from Ebola but fear itself
    I suspect most Americans perceive Ebola like this   I can’t work out if the fear being spread within the media about Ebola is deliberate or just ignorance. Yes Ebola is a terrible plague that kills a large percentage of...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – “Meritocracy? I wish.”
    I’d like to start by linking to a post I had published at another site in support of Nanaia Mahuta for the Labour Party leadership election.  She has a reasonable chance, given that she already has the endorsement of Te...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Chocolate milk shortage and creepy Santa? Let’s talk about real news
    Child poverty is still a scarily serious problem in this country and house prices are soaring through the roof to the point where it is simply impossible for the average New Zealander to buy a home. There is also little...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • It’s time to celebrate Kiwi schools and teachers
    Some would have you believe that New Zealand’s schools are in a state of collapse, that your children are not being educated well and that things are going to hell in a hand basket.  That there is no innovation, no...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Ideological Blitzkrieg – Privatization of state housing, more charter sch...
    Pundits in pundit land will tell you that this Government is boring, that Key is the great pragmatist and that it is his ability to create elegant solutions that keeps him the firm favourite in many Kiwi eyes. This ability...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • Hegemony rules but resistance is fertile
    The Prime Minister is a puppet. Not just our current Prime Minister, but given the forces of multinational globalisation, the role of any head of state, is less as independent actor, and more as a puppet of international trends and...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • An open Letter to Sir Bob Jones: demanding a ‘liveable wage’ is not “...
    How out of touch with reality is Sir Bob Jones? You know, that white dude who invested in privatised SOEs after the selling off of our assets in the eighties and made a ludicrous and disgusting amount of money and is...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • My insecurity about the Security Council
    As I write this (on 24 October) it is international UN Day. Of course, you all knew that already, right? Well, the day celebrates the entry into force of the UN Charter in 1945. With the ratification of this founding...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Catherine Delahunty – Back in That House
    Parliament opened this week and I still find it a very odd place. Most of the people are reasonably courteous and friendly, but the rituals are archaic and the rules around issues like the swearing in oath are oppressive and...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Marae Investigates No More
    TVNZ yesterday announced the closure of their Māori and Pacific programmes department. That means they’ve chosen to stop making Fresh, Tagata Pasifika, Waka Huia and Marae Investigates to let independent producers get their hands on these lucrative contracts. This is...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • BLOGWATCH: An Un-Civil War in Labour, eh?
    Earlier today, my attention was directed to an entry that’s just recently appeared on the Slightly Left of Centre blog. It purports to contain the ‘inside word’ from a highly placed NZF source – which is funny, because I’m pretty sure...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Santanomics 101
    Santanomics could mean a number of things. It could be the study and practice of giving. Or it could mean the study and practice of rampant end-of-year commercialism. However, for me today it is the economics of erectingAuckland’s giant Santa...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • SkyCity boss misleads public over workers lost shifts
    SkyCity CEO Nigel Morrison has defended the employment practices at his company in an “Opinion” piece entitled “Human Capital key to corporate success” in the NZ Herald on Thursday. A number of his claims are misleading, contain only partial truths...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Review: Perfect Place
    I went to a Perfect Place on Tuesday night, and what a delight it was. The marshmallows sweetly (and forcefully) handed out pre-show, set the tone for the next hour. Walking up the stairs at The Basement was a complete...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • 5AA Australia – NZ on UN Security Council + Dirty Politics Lingers On
    5AA Australia: Selwyn Manning and Peter Godfrey deliver their weekly bulletin Across The Ditch. General round up of over night talkback issues: Thongs, Jandals and flip-flops… ISSUE 1: New Zealand has been successful in its campaign to become a non...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • When I mean me, I mean my office & when I call whaleoil I mean not as m...
    This. Is. Ludicrous. Green Party co-leader Russel Norman put the first of what are likely to be many questions about Mr Key’s relationship with Slater, asking him how many times he had phoned or texted the blogger since 2008. “None...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • A brief word on describing the Government as ‘boring and bland’
    The narrative being sown is that this Government will be a boring and bland third term. Boring and bland. Since the election, Key has announced he is privatising 30% of state houses without reinvesting any of that money back into housing society’s most...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • More Latté Than Lager: Reflections on Grant Robertson’s Campaign Launch.
    BIKERS? SERIOUSLY! Had Grant Robertson’s campaign launch been organised by Phil Goff? Was this a pitch for the votes of what few Waitakere Men remain in the Labour Party? Was I even at the right place? Well, yes, I was....
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • About Curwen Ares Rolinson
    Curwen Ares Rolinson – Curwen Ares Rolinson is a firebrand young nationalist presently engaged in acts of political resistance deep behind enemy lines amidst the leafy boughs of Epsom. He is affiliated with the New Zealand First Party; although his...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • About Kelly Ellis
    Kelly Ellis.Kelly Ellis – As a child, Kelly Ellis didn’t so much fall into the cracks, but willfully wriggled her way into them. Ejected from Onslow College – a big job in the 70s – Kelly worked in car factories,...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • About Kate Davis
    Kate Davis.Kate Davis – Having completed her BA in English and Politics, Kate is now starting her MA. Kate works as a volunteer advocate at Auckland Action Against Poverty and previously worked for the New Zealand Prostitutes Collective. Kate writes...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Parker does a Shearer – oh for a Labour Leader who can challenge msm fals...
    Sigh. It seems David Parker has done a Shearer… Like a cult and too red – Parker on LabourLabour leadership contender David Parker says Labour borders on feeling like “a cult” and must look at its branding – including its...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • A brief word on the hundreds of millions NZ is spending on the secret intel...
    The enormity of the mass surveillance state NZ Government’s have built carries a huge price tag… Kiwis pay $103m ‘membership fee’ for spyingThe $103 million taxpayer funding of New Zealand’s intelligence agencies is effectively a membership fee for joining the...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • CTU Runanga calls on iwi leaders
    Maori workers are calling on iwi leaders to speak out against the employment law changes expected to go through today. “Iwi leaders have previously spoken out when workers in Aotearoa have been under attack, we believe they should do so...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Educating children not the best solution to alcohol harm
    Alcohol Healthwatch says we need to look beyond educating children and young people to address deeply embedded attitudes and behaviours concerning alcohol....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • New code of welfare for rodeos released
    New standards to strengthen the animal welfare requirements for rodeos have been issued today by the Minister for Primary Industries, Nathan Guy....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • IPCA report riddle with inaccuracies, say students
    A report by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is riddled with inaccuracies, say students who laid the original complaint with the IPCA....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CT v The Queen – indecency convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rameka v The Queen – murder convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Auckland Council Out of Control
    Responding to the NZ Herald article that some Auckland households will face a rates rise of up to 9.6 per cent next year, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “Len Brown’s pledge to cap rates rises at 2.5 per...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Stats NZ staff escalate action with ‘no more meetings’ rule
    Statistics NZ staff have voted to escalate their ongoing industrial action in an effort to get Stats NZ back to the bargaining table with a reasonable offer. The staff, who are members of the Public Service Association (PSA), have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Rape Crisis calls for changes to criminal justice system
    Wellington Rape Crisis has added its voice to the public outcry following the announcement that there will be no charges in the teen rape gang case. Butterworth says the decision not to lay charges will not have been a surprise...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Police action justified in Blockade the Budget demonstration
    Police actions in dealing with a demonstration in Central Auckland known as Blockade the Budget on 1 June 2012 were justified and appropriate, an Independent Police Conduct Authority report released today found....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • NZDF Joins with Australia to Commemorate WWI Centenary
    A contingent of New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel will join their Australian counterparts at Australia’s first major commemoration of the First World War centenary in Albany, Western Australia this weekend....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Reserve Bank should reduce interest rate
    “The Reserve Bank should be reducing its policy interest rate, the OCR”, says CTU Economist Bill Rosenberg in response to the Bank’s announcement today that it is not increasing it....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • 2015 Stout Fellow will write about Māori & Criminal Justice
    Kim Workman, founder and advocate for the Robson Hanan Trust, which administers the Rethinking Crime and Punishment and Justspeak initiatives, has been awarded the 2015 John David Stout Fellowship at Victoria University....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • What John Key thought about ‘dirty politics’
    On September 20, John Key swept to victory to become one of New Zealand’s most successful and popular Prime Ministers. Rocked by scandal, the 2014 election campaign was one of the most brutal – and riveting – in recent history....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Trade Deal Threatens Farmers and Food Businesses
    The secret Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations are a direct threat to food businesses and farmers, and a moratorium on the release of GE crops must be enshrined in law before the TPP is signed....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • CTU announces election of new Secretary
    The contested election for the position of CTU Secretary has been won by Sam Huggard. Sam officially takes office on Monday 1 December 2014. Sam has worked in the union movement and brings a wealth of experience and a commitment...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kim Workman awarded 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship
    The Victoria University of Wellington 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship, funded by the Stout Trust, has been awarded to justice reform advocate Kim Workman. Mr Workman (Ngati Kahungungu ki Wairarapa, Rangitaane) is well known for his work on criminal justice,...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • TPPA causing concern
    Concern over the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) negotiations is being expressed in two public meetings over the next week; one at a presentation on 5th November by former councillor Robin Gwynn to the Napier City Council, the...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kiwis rally to demand justice for ‘Roast Buster’ survivors
    Over 1,500 kiwis have rallied to demand justice after the announcement of the NZ Police decision not to lay charges in the ‘Roast Busters’ saga....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • New employment law will hurt the most vulnerable NZers
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says changes to the Employment Relations Act, expected to be passed in Parliament tonight, will hurt vulnerable workers and their families more than anyone....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Consultation to close on proposed place names
    The New Zealand Geographic Board (NZGB) Ngā Pou Taunaha o Aotearoa today advised that only one month remains before public consultation closes for 18 name proposals for geographic features and places around Te Ika ā Māui (the North Island)....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Operation Clover – Statement from Police Commissioner
    I have taken a close interest in this investigation and I am confident police have conducted a thorough and professional enquiry in what has been a challenging and complex case. The Operation Clover team has ensured that victims have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Better policy would have protected children from recession
    Child Poverty Action Group says an international report released by UNICEF today shows good policy can protect and improve child well-being, even during a recession....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Outcome of Operation Clover investigation
    Police have completed a multi-agency investigation, Operation Clover, into the activities of a group calling themselves “The Roast Busters”. The 12 month enquiry focused on incidents involving allegations of sexual offending against a number of girls...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • False birth registration brings home detention
    A Whangarei woman who attempted to register the birth of a fictitious child to claim a sole parent benefit was sentenced to six months home detention in the Whangarei District Court today....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Family of Robert Ellis demand a proper investigation
    The family of a New Zealander killed in Indonesia are growing increasingly concerned at the lack of information they’ve received, and the handling of the investigation into his murder....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Minister of Health must account for aged care workers’ pay
    The New Zealand Federation of Business and Professional Women (BPW NZ) congratulates rest-home worker Kristine Bartlett on her landmark claim for equal pay from her employer and successfully pursuing this to the Court of Appeal....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Labour leadership candidates in Invercargill
    The four candidates for Labour Leader – Andrew Little, Nanaia Mahuta, David Parker and Grant Robertson - will be in Invercargill on Friday evening for a Husting meeting with members, as part of fourteen Husting Meetings being held nationwide as...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Public now needs to have its say over new tolls
    “I welcome the likes of new tolls and fuel taxes going out for public consultation after these matters have been talked about for 20 years. However the timing is not ideal as it comes on top of the likes of...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kiwis to fight back against TPPA ‘corporate trap’
    New Zealanders in at least sixteen different locations around the country are organising for an International Day of Action against the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) on 8 November, co-ordinated by It's Our Future NZ. This is part of an international...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Taxpayers’ Union Welcomes NZ First MP’s Resignation
    The Taxpayers’ Union is welcoming NZ First MP, Clayton Mitchell’s resignation from the Tauranga City Council, despite Party Leader Winston Peters' public comments in July that Mr Mitchell would do both jobs if elected to Parliament. The Union's...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Stopping unnecessary roading projects solution to transport
    Today Auckland Council released the Funding Auckland’s Transport Future report which claims Aucklanders need to choose higher rates, petrol taxes or tolls to pay for future transport projects, when the real issue is the prioritisation of unnecessary...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Fixing Auckland’s transport
    Today marks a critical step in the most important funding debate Auckland has ever had: whether or not Aucklanders are willing to pay for the transport system this city desperately needs to keep it moving, says Mayor Len Brown....
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • The New Zealand Gazette Moves into the Digital Age
    On Monday 20 October, the New Zealand Gazette was published completely online bringing to a close 173 years as a purely printed publication. First published in 1841 as the official government newspaper, the Gazette website gazette.govt.nz , replaces...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • International report shows NZ struggling with child poverty
    A report by UNICEF International shows that child poverty rates in New Zealand have scarcely changed since 2008 – this stands in contrast to a number of other countries that managed to significantly reduce child poverty in this time, including...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Labour leadership candidates in Dunedin
    The four candidates for Labour Leader – Andrew Little, Nanaia Mahuta, David Parker and Grant Robertson - will be in Dunedin on Thursday evening for a Husting meeting with members, as part of fourteen Husting Meetings being held nationwide as...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • UNICEF Report a Waste of Paper
    In response to the hysteria coming from the far left, Josh Forman of slightlyleftofcentre.co.nz writes the following:...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Press Council opens doors to digital media
    The New Zealand Press Council, the body which handles complaints against newspapers and magazines and their websites, is offering associate membership status to news and commentary-oriented digital media including bloggers....
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Tolls Should Be for New Roads, Not Old Ones
    The Taxpayers’ Union is slamming Auckland Council for wanting to introduce a motorist tax under the guise of ‘tolls’. Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says:...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Media freedom in West Papua: Protest at Indonesian embassy
    Today, Wednesday 29 October, there will be a peaceful protest at the Indonesian Embassy in Wellington to call on new Indonesian President Joko Widodo to honour his election promise to ensure greater media freedom in West Papua....
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Lack of leadership blamed for decline in Gender Equity
    BPW NZ challenges NZ’s lack of leadership with the decline in Gender Equity Ranking...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Richard Falk visit to NZ
    Professor Richard Falk, who recently completed a six-year term as United Nations Special Rapporteur on Palestinian human rights, will deliver a public lecture in Dunedin on Monday 10 November....
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Apprehension for meat workers as employment law bill passes
    The passing of the Employment Relations Amendment Bill today will send a wave of apprehension through the workers in the NZ meat industry says the Meat Workers Union....
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • “Yes to Children, No to Poverty” Says Commissioner
    Children’s Commissioner, Dr Russell Wills will describe impacts of poverty on children, with a focus on local solutions at the Tū Kaha biennial conference for Māori health for the central region DHBs at the Hawke’s Bay Racing Centre in Hastings...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • UNICEF report card highlights need for action
    Unicef’s child poverty report released today shows that New Zealand needs to be more proactive in pursuing policies to protect our most vulnerable members of society....
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Children of the Recession: NZ’s shame
    Children of the Recession : NZ’s shame Media release Wednesday 29 October 2014 “It is to New Zealand’s deepest shame that the latest Unicef report on children living in poverty ranks us 16th out of 41 developed countries. “Every day...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • UNICEF cautions NZ child poverty rates are “stagnating”
    An international report by UNICEF has found that child poverty rates in New Zealand have barely changed since 2008, despite similar sized countries significantly reducing child poverty during the recent recession....
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • TPP Too Important for Compromised Finish
    The New Zealand dairy industry is urging Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) partners not to compromise on the quality of the deal to get it done quickly....
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Labour leadership candidates in Nelson
    Labour leadership candidates in Nelson The four candidates for Labour Leader – Andrew Little, Nanaia Mahuta, David Parker and Grant Robertson - will be in Nelson on Tuesday evening for a Husting meeting with members, as part of fourteen Husting...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • History is made. Equal pay not just legal but possible!
    The New Zealand Nurses Organisation (NZNO) congratulates Kristine Bartlett and the Service and Food Workers Union: Ngā Ringa Tota on their historic win. Today the Court of Appeal dismissed an appeal from Kristine’s employer; opening the way for...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
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