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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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    Pundit | 16-04
  • Northern Europe looks to end fixed-term agreements for academics
    Long strings of fixed term employment agreements are not just a problem here in New Zealand but Sweden too, according to Education International. But the Swedish Association of University Teachers (SULF) has a plan to solve this. It is turning...
    TEU | 16-04
  • At Last: A Manufacturing Policy
    Date of Release: Thursday, April 17, 2014Body:  FIRST Union congratulates Labour on the release of its Manufacturing policy today.The union represents workers in the wood, food and textile manufacturing sectors. “In a week that has seen another manufacturing company, Christchurch Yarns, go into...
    First Union Media | 16-04
  • Collins: More contemptible lying
    Yesterday, Judith Collins treated New Zealand's media and people as if we were all complete fools. Here is what she said (via this morning's Herald): Ms Collins said she was unaware Oravida was having any problems getting its products into...
    Polity | 16-04
  • The Downside of Park and Ride
    Flicking back through older Atlantic Cities posts led to one from last year about Park and Ride catching my eye. It’s a fairly well reasoned cautionary tale which highlights the pitfalls and potential perverse outcomes from something that would appear...
    Transport Blog | 16-04
  • Heartland logic: More people have heard of Fidel Castro than Michael Mann, ...
    This is a guest post from Narahani.   Or is happening and is good for you, or has stopped happening, or is caused by CO2 but only a little, or is about to reverse due to lots of yet-to-be-discovered negative...
    Skeptical Science | 16-04
  • Submission
    Below is my draft submission on the Environmental Reporting Bill. I'm primarily interested in the freedom of information issues; I expect other groups to be focused on the reporting itself. I support the aims of the Environmental Reporting Bill of...
    No Right Turn | 16-04
  • Government’s ‘rock star economy’ throws hospital staff ou...
    The Public Service Association says administrative staff at hospitals around the country are missing out on Bill English’s ‘rock star...
    PSA | 16-04
  • Lip service: it’s all climate action ever gets from Key & Co
    As expected, the New Zealand government’s response to the IPCC’s Working Group 3 report on mitigating climate change pays lip service to the science, while maintaining that NZ is doing all that can be expected. Climate change minister Tim Groser’s...
    Hot Topic | 16-04
  • Progress of FCV “slave ships” Bill is good news – but much work remai...
    The Maritime Union of New Zealand says the progress of the “slave ships” Bill in the New Zealand Parliament is good news – but much work remains to be done....
    MUNZ | 16-04
  • Judith Collins’ reputation dependent on Slater’s scandals
    Judith Collins' reputation as the possible next leader of the National party is in shreds. Her reputation as a minister of the crown in the Key owned National party caucus is in tatters. A resignation is the only honorable thing...
    the Irascible Curmudgeon | 16-04
  • Photo of the Day: Red III
    Learning Your Stripes, 2013, Regan Gentry, Papatoetoe. Commissioned by Auckland Council aer  ...
    Transport Blog | 16-04
  • The cost of tax cheats
    How much do corporate tax cheats cost? In the US, over US$180 billion a year:US taxpayers would need to pay an average of $1,259 more a year to make up the federal and state taxes lost to corporations and individuals...
    No Right Turn | 16-04
  • Cats cavorting through capital – Morgan
    The capital’s cats are cavorting through Wellington properties at a rate of 49 million trespasses a year, according to a new study by anti-cat campaigner Gareth Morgan. Island Bay and the rest of the Southern Ward turned out to be...
    Gareth’s World | 16-04
  • “Stick to your knitting”…Gratuitous insult from Minister Groser to NZ...
    Climate Minister Groser continues to insult the New Zealand people – this time through our leading scientists. On Monday the IPCC released Working Group III’s section of its 5th Assessment Report.  Building on Group I (science) and II (impact), this...
    frogblog | 16-04
  • Needlessly shitty
    Parliament has been rejecting select committee submissions for not being written in English or Maori:The Health Select Committee is rejecting 60 submissions against plain packaging legislation because they were made in neither English nor Maori. [...] Committee chairman, National MP...
    No Right Turn | 16-04
  • Fiji: Hoist by his own petard?
    Last year Fijian dictator Voreqe Bainimarama tried to ban political parties in an effort to limit opposition in the lead-up to promised elections. A key part of the crackdown was a ban on political campaigning by anyone who wasn't a...
    No Right Turn | 16-04
  • The first victim!
    It is well established that the first victim in war is truth. Mind you the dispatch of truth usually comes well before the shooting starts. I have a personal interest in Ukraine and the dispatch of truth occurred for me...
    Open Parachute | 16-04
  • Key makes it up on “fat tax”
    Today John Key rejected suggestions that a tax on sugary drinks could save dozens of lives a year. Why? Read on: The New Zealand Medical Journal reported in February that a 20 per cent tax on sugary soft drinks would...
    Polity | 16-04
  • Workers support plain packaging of tobacco
    The CTU have today presented to the health select committee in support of plain packaging of tobacco. Photo:  ...
    CTU | 16-04
  • Labour focuses on minor transport issues
    Labour released a small part of their transport policy yesterday and frankly it’s absolute rubbish with it seemingly designed just to target a handful of complainers. You can get a good feel for what they’re aiming at when the policy...
    Transport Blog | 16-04
  • Lincoln cleaners outsourced
    Lincoln University will outsource its staff to an as yet undecided cleaning company, but TEU organiser Cindy Doull says it’s not worth it, and what money the university might save is negligible. “We’re disappointed... The post Lincoln cleaners outsourced appeared...
    TEU | 15-04
  • Gordon Campbell on the life and ACC work of Sir Owen Woodhouse
    With the death of Sir Owen Woodhouse, the founding father of the Accident Compensation Scheme, New Zealand has lost one of the titans of its post-war social policy. In its original incarnation in the early 1970s, ACC had been a...
    Gordon Campbell | 15-04
  • Cat cameras reveal surprising results
    Remember Gareth Morgan calling your cat a natural born killer or Zealandia a pet food factory? Well, he’s not backing down on his campaign to rid or restrain cats.  He wanted to prove that your property is visited by lots...
    Gareth’s World | 15-04
  • Access: Disability, identity and the internet
    The internet has enabled communication on a level that could never have been imagined before the "digital era". Individuals with even the most complex identities and niche interests can find like-minded people with whom to virtually congregate. People with disabilities...
    Public Address | 15-04
  • 2014 SkS News Bulletin #3: IPCC Report (WG III)
    Averting catastrophe is eminently affordable Climate experts sound the alarm Climate protection a 'task that can be solved' Climate report finds UN emissions target not out of reach IPCC report summary censored by governments around the world 'Modest hope' to...
    Skeptical Science | 15-04
  • Collins: The charade is getting silly
    via your New Zealand Herald this morning: Justice Minister Judith Collins' Beijing dinner with Oravida boss Stone Shi and a senior Chinese border control official came after the company made a formal request to New Zealand ministers to intervene with...
    Polity | 15-04
  • ‘Dr N’ Case Raises Question about NZ’s Abortion Laws
    By Sabrina Muck Dr N, a doctor working in a rural area with 30 years’ experience, was suspended for six months for illegally prescribing the medication misoprostol (Cytotec) to four patients in a manner contrary to legal pregnancy termination procedures...
    ALRANZ | 15-04
  • Safer driving will lead to cheaper insurance
    Warning, this post may sound a bit like an advertisement. Last week I got invited to find out a new product from Tower insurance that’s launching today that they hope will not only lower car insurance costs but also help...
    Transport Blog | 15-04
  • A statement from David Cunliffe
    Labour's leader talks about the issues that matter....
    Imperator Fish | 15-04
  • Work visa problems need monitoring
    The Government is handing out temporary work visas to migrants to work in jobs that could easily be filled by unemployed Kiwi workers in the Christchurch rebuild, says Darien Fenton, Labour’s Associate Immigration spokesperson. “In the past 12 months, temporary...
    Labour | 17-04
  • Resignation rates among cops soar
    The number of frontline officers quitting the police force is at a four-year high, with more than 350 walking off the job in the past year, Labour’s Police spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. “Since 2009 resignation rates among sworn staff have...
    Labour | 17-04
  • Service for victims of sexual violence pushed out in cold
    The Green Party is calling on Housing New Zealand to revisit its decision to evict an essential community organisation in Christchurch with only eight weeks notice.Yesterday at the Select Committee inquiry into funding for sexual violence support services the organisation...
    Greens | 17-04
  • Legal high ban worthy of wider pick-up
    Auckland Council’s ban on using legal highs in a public place is an excellent idea that should be replicated around New Zealand, says Labour’s Associate Health Spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “Auckland Council has implemented a by-law banning the use of psychoactive...
    Labour | 17-04
  • Smith sells state P-houses to first home buyers
    Nick Smith must reassure worried first home buyers that any Housing NZ houses sold under his First Home policy will be tested for P contamination after revelations that three out of seven properties sold in Wanganui tested positive for methamphetamine,...
    Labour | 17-04
  • PM’s China visit assisted Oravida, not Fonterra
    Questions must now be asked whether it was Fonterra or Oravida who really benefited from the Prime Minister’s recent visit to China, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “Before his departure, John Key said he would wait until all...
    Labour | 16-04
  • New Zealand’s use of ozone depleting gases increases
    A new Government report highlights that the amount of ozone depleting gases New Zealand is using is increasing, the Green Party said today.The report tabled in Parliament yesterday shows that total use of ozone depleting gases in New Zealand has...
    Greens | 16-04
  • Manufacturing Upgrade
    Labour is determined to support and grow our manufacturing sector. These policies grew out of the findings of the 2013 Parliamentary Inquiry into Manufacturing.  ...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Collins must admit misleading Parliament
    ACC Minister Judith Collins must front up and admit she has misled Parliament over ACC’s policy to stop paying compensation to clients who refused to fill in its privacy form, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. “Judith Collins claimed Labour...
    Labour | 16-04
  • English confirms he has no plan to raise wages
    Finance Minister Bill English has confirmed he has absolutely no plans to lift wages, Labour’s spokesperson on Labour Issues, Andrew Little says. “Bill English told the Chamber of Commerce yesterday that workers could expect a rise in average income of...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Govt careless and callous about threatened birds
    The National Government is increasing the threat to two of the world's most threatened and unique birds by opening up Victoria Forest Park to petroleum drilling, the Green Party said today.Scientists have recently published a ranking of the 100 most...
    Greens | 16-04
  • Genesis: The biggest fire sale of them all
    National has finished its asset sales with a massive bonfire of a fire sale, showing once and for all how much of a disaster this programme was, says Labour’s SOEs spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove. “Just 68,000 Kiwis bought shares in Genesis,...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Interest rates rise but only smokes increasing
    Mortgage rate rises are making life harder for homeowners, and many of them will be surprised the latest CPI figures show inflation would be zero were it not for tobacco tax hikes, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “New Zealanders...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Term One Report Card for Hekia Parata
    Assignment Teacher’s Comments Grade      ...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Hekia Parata kept exam book errors from schools
    Schools will be appalled to learn Education Minister Hekia Parata knew since January that hundreds of exam booklets had been returned to the wrong students but said nothing about it, Labour’s Education Spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Exams are stressful enough...
    Labour | 15-04
  • What has ACC Minister been doing?
    The ACC Minister needs to front up and explain what, if any, changes she has made to the broken culture of ACC rather than denying that she has any part to play in the dysfunction of her Ministry, the Green...
    Greens | 15-04
  • Promise of jam tomorrow takes the cake
    A claim by Minister of Finance Bill English that average wages will climb by $7,500 over the next four years is a cynical promise of jam tomorrow by a government whose record on wage growth is atrocious, Labour spokesperson on...
    Labour | 15-04
  • Judith Collins has to fess up on ACC blunder
    ACC Minster Judith Collins must front up and tell New Zealand how many people who refused to hand over their private details to ACC have been denied cover, says Labour’s ACC Spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “The legality of ACC’s privacy waver,...
    Labour | 15-04
  • Board of Inquiry conditions will save rivers in New Zealand
    The Ruataniwha dam decision released today has protected the Tukituki River and dashed the Government’s hope of the “one nutrient model” (TRIM) being adopted nationwide, says Labour’s Conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson. “It is a massive victory for those in the...
    Labour | 15-04
  • Labour turns wheels for cycling safety
    With more than a million New Zealanders now using cycling as an attractive alternative means of transport it is past time their safety was taken seriously, Labour’s Transport spokesperson Darien Fenton says. Due to speak to a cycling rally at...
    Labour | 15-04
  • SPEECH: Institute of Directors
    LEADING AND MANAGING OUR ECONOMIC FUTURE David Cunliffe MP, Labour Leader Speech to the Institute of Directors 15 April 2014, Auckland It's a privilege to be speaking here. The Institute of Directors has a proud history of developing New Zealand's...
    Labour | 15-04
  • More Oravida endorsements from John Key
    The use of a picture of John Key in an advertisement for Oravida’s scampi products in a Chinese airline magazine is further evidence of an unhealthily cosy relationship between the National Party and this company, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says....
    Labour | 15-04
  • Workers at Canterbury Yarns need redundancy support
    Workers faced with redundancy at Canterbury Yarns need a redundancy support co-ordinator, Green Party industrial relations spokesperson Denise Roche said today.Last week, Canterbury Yarns was placed in receivership. Canterbury Yarns joins a long list of New Zealand manufacturers who have...
    Greens | 14-04
  • Making the holidays easier for Kiwi drivers
    The next Labour Government will make the holidays easier and journeys quicker for Kiwi families driving on the roads, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “There’s nothing Kiwis like more than getting on the road and going on holiday. But on...
    Labour | 14-04
  • Ae Marika! 15 April 2014
    Our MANA AGM down in Rotorua on the weekend was a sold-out affair – even the media were struggling to get in! Political conferences can be very dull, but not this one. We had a great line-up of speakers including...
    Mana | 14-04
  • Green light from Labour for cancer screening programme
    Labour Leader David Cunliffe has today committed to a national bowel screening programme, starting with extending the current service to the Southern and Waikato districts. “Around 3000 New Zealanders develop bowel cancer each year and about 1200, or 100 a month,...
    Labour | 14-04
  • Adequate resourcing needed for victims’ advocate
    The establishment of a victims’ commissioner role will only be meaningful if it is properly resourced to do the job of advocating for victims’ interests, Labour Justice spokesperson Andrew Little says. Justice Minister Judith Collins has just recently indicated her...
    Labour | 13-04
  • IPCC report shows Government ignoring climate experts
    The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC) report into climate mitigation, just released in Berlin, shows the National Government is ignoring the pleas of the world's best climate scientists.The report says deep and fast emission cuts are vital from all...
    Greens | 13-04
  • Japan’s quick turnaround on whaling disappointing
    News that Japan plans to recommence some form of “scientific” whaling programme so quickly after the International Court of Justice’s ruling against it is very disappointing, says David Shearer, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson. “New Zealanders expected the ICJ ruling -...
    Labour | 13-04
  • Reviewable tenancies will increase risks for vulnerable children
    Instead of kicking families out of their homes if they can pay their rent, parents with young children should have the opportunity to purchase equity in a state-built home over time, the Green Party said todayFrom July, Housing New Zealand...
    Greens | 13-04
  • 48,000 New Zealanders drinking faecally contaminated water
    Some 48,000 people were provided with water that had issues with faecal contamination, 18,000 of whom were from Canterbury, the Green Party said today. The Ministry of Health's Annual Report on Drinking-Water in New Zealand for 2012/13 shows that 48,000...
    Greens | 12-04
  • Labour will move to save the Kauri
    Labour will spend $20 million over the next 10 years to stop the spread of Kauri dieback disease, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “We are facing an ecological disaster with over 11 per cent of the Kauri trees in the...
    Labour | 12-04
  • SPEECH: Saving our Kauri
    Seech notes Good morning. Thank you for joining us here today. As a West Auckland MP I am very aware the kauri is an important part of this place. The Waitakere Ranges with their thousands of kauri, are a taonga....
    Labour | 12-04
  • MANA to continue negotiations with the Internet Party
    The MANA AGM has decided unanimously tonight to continue negotiaitions with the Internet Party. Within a month further negotiations, further consultation with MANA branches and a final decision on whether to proceed with a relationship is expected....
    Mana | 12-04
  • National’s tax dodge
      National’s insistence that it is cracking down on tax dodgers is little more than a bit of election year chest beating, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “Revenue Minister Todd McClay surely doesn’t believe collecting $100 million of an estimated...
    Labour | 12-04
  • Housing prices go up – Gens X & Y give up
    Today’s REINZ report shows house prices continue skyward while first home buyers are dropping out of the market, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “According to the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand the national median house price has risen...
    Labour | 11-04
  • Do Key and Adams support Chorus appeal?
    John Key and Amy Adams must tell New Zealanders whether they support Chorus’ appeal of the High Court’s ruling in favour of the Commerce Commission, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “Chorus’ appeal is a waste of time. The company is...
    Labour | 11-04
  • Is Judith Collins unapologising
    Judith Collins appears to have retracted her apology for failing to disclose her meeting with her husband’s fellow company directors and a senior Chinese border control official just weeks after being ticked off by John Key for not doing so, Labour...
    Labour | 11-04
  • Media Advisory
    There have been a few minor changes to the MANA AGM agenda. Moana Jackson is unable to attend due to family commitments. Speaking in his place on Saturday morning MANA is pleased to welcome Georgina Beyer and Willie Jackson. MANA...
    Mana | 10-04
  • Green Party requests inquiry into Peter Dunne and Trust
    Green Party MP Denise Roche today wrote to the Parliamentary Registrar of Pecuniary Interests requesting an inquiry into whether Peter Dunne should have included his involvement as chair of the Northern Wellington Festival Trust on the Register of Pecuniary Interests...
    Greens | 10-04
  • Veterans short-changed
    The Veterans’ Support Bill reported back to Parliament today rejects a key recommendation of the Law Commission Review on which it is based and ignores the submissions of veterans and the RNZRSA, says Labour’s Veterans’ Affairs Spokesperson, Phil Goff. “A...
    Labour | 10-04
  • Tribute for Maungaharuru- Tangitu settlement
    Labour Member of Parliament for Ikaroa-Rāwhiti, Meka Whaitiri paid tribute to Maungaharuru-Tangitu today as their Treaty of Waitangi settlement became law. “The Bill acknowledges Treaty breaches that left Maungaharuru-Tangitu virtually landless. Today we were reminded of the history, mamae, loss...
    Labour | 10-04
  • Neglected rural and regional roads will cost more lives
    The government must take urgent action to prevent more accidents to truck drivers and other road users of increased logging trucks on neglected roads, says Darien Fenton, Labour’s Transport spokesperson. “The dangers to drivers and other road users in the...
    Labour | 10-04
  • Judith Collins’ refusal to answer a disgrace
    If John Key is holding his Ministers to any standards at all, he must make Judith Collins answer questions about the senior Chinese official she met during her taxpayer-funded visit to China last October, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. “Judith...
    Labour | 10-04
  • Ryall needs to heed hospital workforce issues
    The public health workforce, the same one Tony Ryall argues is making a lot of progress is facing increased pressure and staff burnout through his continued shuffling of the deckchairs, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Mr Ryall uses all...
    Labour | 10-04
  • Key ducks but can’t avoid High Court slap
    The High Court’s slap in the face to John Key and his Government over Chorus has left it with no option but to accept the Commerce Commission’s lawful process in deciding the price of copper, says Labour’s associate ICT spokesperson...
    Labour | 09-04
  • First home buyers shut out as LVRs bite
    The bad news continues for young Kiwis as the latest Core Logic report shows the proportion of first home buyers has declined since LVR lending restrictions came into force, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. Twenty two centres across the...
    Labour | 09-04
  • MANA – and, or, or not – DOTCOM
    Both MANA and the Internet Party share goals in common with other parties, like getting rid of National and reining in the GCSB. There are also differences, as there are with other parties as well. MANA accepted a request to...
    Mana | 09-04
  • Wise heads want wise response
    Labour accepts the challenge laid down by the Wise Response group to protect and future-proof New Zealand’s environment and economy. A petition calling for urgent action was presented to Labour’s Environment and Climate Change spokesperson Moana Mackey at Parliament this...
    Labour | 09-04
  • Greens support high profile Kiwis’ call for climate action
    The Green Party fully supports a group of high profile Kiwi business people, lawyers, academics and commentators delivering a petition to parliament today calling for the Government to take the threat of climate change more seriously.Wiseresponse, a group of over...
    Greens | 09-04
  • Service for victims of sexual violence pushed out in cold
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Service for victims of sexual violence pushed out in cold Thursday, 17 Apr 2014 | Press Release Christchurch cannot afford to lose this agency The Green Party is calling on Housing New Zealand...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Resignation rates among cops soar
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Resignation rates among cops soar The number of frontline officers quitting the police force is at a four-year high, with more than 350 walking off the job in the past year, Labour’s Police...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Work visa problems need monitoring
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Work visa problems need monitoring The Government is handing out temporary work visas to migrants to work in jobs that could easily be filled by unemployed Kiwi workers in the Christchurch rebuild, says...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Legal high ban worthy of wider pick-up
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Legal high ban worthy of wider pick-up Auckland Council’s ban on using legal highs in a public place is an excellent idea that should be replicated around New Zealand, says Labour’s Associate Health...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Smith sells state P-houses to first home buyers
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Smith sells state P-houses to first home buyers Nick Smith must reassure worried first home buyers that any Housing NZ houses sold under his First Home policy will be tested for P contamination...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup     Protests in Brazil:Brazil Franciscan friar kneels in front of Brazilian riot police officers asking for calm during confrontation with Landless...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup     Protests in Brazil:Brazil Franciscan friar kneels in front of Brazilian riot police officers asking for calm during confrontation with Landless...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce     Saif al-Islam al-Gaddafi will face the courts on 14 April. © IMED LAMLOUM/AFP/Getty Images         Read...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce     Saif al-Islam al-Gaddafi will face the courts on 14 April. © IMED LAMLOUM/AFP/Getty Images         Read...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights ...
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights record     Freedom of expression, association and assembly are under threat ahead of elections in Algeria. © FAROUK BATICHE/AFP/Getty Images    ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights ...
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights record     Freedom of expression, association and assembly are under threat ahead of elections in Algeria. © FAROUK BATICHE/AFP/Getty Images    ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed     Vietnamese activist Nguyen Tien Trung was one of the prisoners of conscience released this week. © Private      ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed     Vietnamese activist Nguyen Tien Trung was one of the prisoners of conscience released this week. © Private      ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • PM’s China visit assisted Oravida, not Fonterra
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: PM’s China visit assisted Oravida, not Fonterra Questions must now be asked whether it was Fonterra or Oravida who really benefited from the Prime Minister’s recent visit to China, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • New Zealand’s use of ozone depleting gases increases
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: New Zealand’s use of ozone depleting gases increases A new Government report highlights that the amount of ozone depleting gases New Zealand is using is increasing, the Green Party said today. The report...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • The issues behind the possible MANA-Internet Party Alliance
      Last weekend Kim Dotcom spoke at MANAs AGM to discuss the possibility of the Internet Party and MANA Party working together to defeat John Key this election. As someone who knows both Hone and Kim, I have a unique...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Manufacturing Upgrade
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Manufacturing Upgrade   Labour is determined to support and grow our manufacturing sector. These policies grew out of the findings of the 2013 Parliamentary Inquiry into Manufacturing.   – The claims and opinions...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Get work on 29th and the ANZAC spirit deserts the TPPA
      Groser and co would have been spitting tacks last week as the ANZAC spirit deserted the TPPA negotiations. Australia has done a deal directly with Japan which undercuts the demand for Japan to opening all agriculture in the TPPA....
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • No fracking solution to climate change
    Some British tabloids and oil lobbyists have jumped on comments made by an Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change author that fracking could play a role in addressing climate change as an argument for it here in Aotearoa, so is fracking...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • At Last: A Manufacturing Policy
    Source: First Union – Press Release/Statement: Headline: At Last: A Manufacturing Policy Date of Release:  Thursday, April 17, 2014 Body:  FIRST Union congratulates Labour on the release of its Manufacturing policy today. The union represents workers in the wood, food and...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Drone murder of New Zealander “justified” by Prime Minister
    Yesterday Prime Minister John Key justified the extrajudicial killing of a New Zealander in a US drone strike in Yemen with a few cynical, callous words at a stand-up press conference. Key said he’d been briefed by our spy agencies...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Secret Policeman’s Ball
      Amnesty International’s Secret Policeman’s Ball is back in New Zealand for one night of some of the best stand-up comedy from both national and international comics The freedom to provoke and in some cases offend is essential to the...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • So the US has assassinated a NZ citizen – what did Key know?
    A non judicial assassination by the US on a NZ citizen raises questions. Key made the idea that NZers were training with terrorists part of his farcical defence for the GCSB mass surveillance legislation. I say farcical because even if...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Something Better Than Something Worse: Why John Key could become our longes...
    IN HIS MEMORABLE holiday-home encounter with the host of Campbell Live, the Prime Minister, John Key, did not rule out running for a fourth term. Were he to be successful, the long-standing record of Sir Keith Holyoake (11 years and 2...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • GUEST BLOG: RIO TINTO WINS 2013 ROGER AWARD
      Sky City Casino Second, Chorus Third  The seven finalists for the 2013 Roger Award for the Worst Transnational Corporation Operating in Aotearoa/New Zealand were: ANZ, Chorus, IAG Insurance Group, Imperial Tobacco, Rio Tinto, Sky City Casino and Talent 2. The criteria for judging are...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • National drowning in an ocean of poisoned milk
    It is becoming difficult to keep up with which National Party MP is bleeding the most at the moment. Simon Bridges is being crucified by Whaleoil almost as much as Greenpeace are attacking him, suggesting Cam is seizing the moment...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Want to get rid of synthetic cannabis? Legalize real cannabis
    Have we managed to appreciate the madness that synthetic cannabis is legal yet more harmful than organic cannabis which is illegal? I find the current moral panic over synthetic cannabis difficult to become concerned with when alcohol is FAR more...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Save our homes – stop the evictions!
    “We will keep on fighting because it frightens me to think my grandchildren could become homeless,” Tere Campbell told me. Tere is a member of Tamaki Housing Group. In September 2011, tenants in 156 state homes in Glen Innes received...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • The daily humiliation of women and the constant policing and shaming of our...
    The last few months have been particularly bad for the shaming and policing of women’s bodies in the media, both in New Zealand and globally. First we had NZ Newstalk ZB presenter Rachel Smalley referring to women weighing over 70kgs...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • A case study of racism by Police at Auckland Airport
    A couple of days ago I returned from Samoa after attending a family matter and some contract work. Spending a few days in the warmth of our homeland was welcome relief from the cold weather starting to make its presence...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • An acute shortage of emergency youth housing
    The housing crisis is effecting everyone in Christchurch but some are more vulnerable than others. Recently I attended a workshop on emergency youth housing hosted by the 298 Youth Health Centre, who I worked for from 2001-2003. Over fifty people...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • The Oceans Issue
    The ‘Earth’ is 71% water but our oceans are the last frontier. The oceans are huge, relatively unexplored, full of weird and wonderful diversity. In New Zealand we’re never far from the sea, and our identity, our landscapes, our communities,...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Fear of South Auckland
    Fear of South Auckland...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • TV News Geography
    TV News Geography...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • The best bit about gay sex
    The best bit about gay sex...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • On not voting 1
    On not voting 1...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • On not voting 2
    On not voting 2...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Labour on trucks
    Labour on trucks...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Claire Trevett shows how biased msm works
    Read this nonsense by Claire Trevett… David Cunliffe denies claims he is ‘running scared’ Labour leader David Cunliffe has dismissed claims he is running scared from Prime Minister John Key and playing hard to get over a Campbell Live series...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Why won’t Judith Collins identify who the Chinese ‘bureaucrat’ is?
    Rumour as to the real reason Judith Collins won’t reveal who the mysterious Chinese ‘bureaucrat’ is who dined with her at a private dinner is because the Chinese ‘bureaucrat’ wasn’t some lowly border official and they are actually a junior ranking member...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Fighting PNG corruption and social media gags with … outspoken blogs
    Graphic: shutterstock.com Dr David Robie also blogs at Café Pacific THE BLOGGING war is hotting up in Papua New Guinea – just when things are getting riskier with draconian proposals over cybercrime law on the horizon. The state target for...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • UNbelieved – the true racism of NZ
    Racist Cartoon by Al Nisbet sums up the casual racism NZers enjoy The New Zealand government must consider United Nations rebukes on their indigenous rights record as ordinary and unremarkable by their casual reaction to the latest indictment - delivered through the clear and clinical...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • What has ACC Minister been doing?
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: What has ACC Minister been doing? Tuesday, 15 Apr 2014 | Press Release Judith Collins has made such little progress on ACC’s unacceptable privacy practices and needs to be held to account for...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Hekia Parata kept exam book errors from schools
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Hekia Parata kept exam book errors from schools Schools will be appalled to learn Education Minister Hekia Parata knew since January that hundreds of exam booklets had been returned to the wrong students...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Promise of jam tomorrow takes the cake
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Promise of jam tomorrow takes the cake A claim by Minister of Finance Bill English that average wages will climb by $7,500 over the next four years is a cynical promise of jam...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Judith Collins has to fess up on ACC blunder
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Judith Collins has to fess up on ACC blunder ACC Minster Judith Collins must front up and tell New Zealand how many people who refused to hand over their private details to ACC...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Board of Inquiry conditions will save rivers in New Zealand
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Board of Inquiry conditions will save rivers in New Zealand The Ruataniwha dam decision released today has protected the Tukituki River and dashed the Government’s hope of the “one nutrient model” (TRIM) being...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Labour turns wheels for cycling safety
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Labour turns wheels for cycling safety With more than a million New Zealanders now using cycling as an attractive alternative means of transport it is past time their safety was taken seriously, Labour’s...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • SPEECH: Institute of Directors
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: SPEECH: Institute of Directors LEADING AND MANAGING OUR ECONOMIC FUTURE David Cunliffe MP, Labour LeaderSpeech to the Institute of Directors15 April 2014, Auckland It’s a privilege to be speaking here. The Institute of...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • More Oravida endorsements from John Key
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: More Oravida endorsements from John Key The use of a picture of John Key in an advertisement for Oravida’s scampi products in a Chinese airline magazine is further evidence of an unhealthily cosy...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Comment on Labour Policy Announcement by NZMEA President
    “This policy release from the Labour Party is so important that if it becomes government policy it would define a shift in New Zealand’s culture,” says Brian Willoughby President of the NZMEA and Managing Director of Plinius Audio and Contex...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Manufacturing policy makes sense but….
    On the surface much of Labour's prescription for manufacturing is sound though questions remain over some of the detail not yet announced, the Employers and Manufacturers Association says....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Where Are The 15,000 Jobs?
    “Paula Bennett is today proudly telling New Zealand that beneficiary numbers have decreased by 15,000 in the past year. There is no proud declaration that 15,000 jobs have been created in the same period,” says Auckland Action Against Poverty spokesperson,...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Change of approach to government procurement needed
    The rail engineering industry has been totally let down by National’s lack of manufacturing policy, and Labour’s measures outlined today represent a marked shift in approach to supporting domestic industries, the RMTU said today....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Depreciation Policy Shouldn’t Be Just for Pet Industries
    The Taxpayers’ Union is welcoming Labour’s announcement to beef up rates of depreciation in the manufacturing sector, but is questioning why David Cunliffe is picking winners rather than applying the policy across all sectors. Jordan Williams,...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • FIFA U-20 World Cup NZ 2015 Kick Off Times Announced
    An array of kick-off times to suit football fans of all ages has been confirmed for the FIFA U-20 World Cup New Zealand 2015. With 52 matches spread across the nation, the public will be able to enjoy a collection...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • “Legitimate purpose” provides no protection under 167 form
    On Radio New Zealand today, the Privacy Commissioner indicated that ACC could only request information that was "relevant" for a "legitimate purpose". His view was therefore that the ACC167 form is not a "blank cheque" or...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • State: still keeping you safe on the road this Easter
    The long-awaited Easter/ Anzac break is nearly upon us while the weather may have taken a turn for the worse in several parts of the country, many Kiwis will still be packing up their cars to take a road trip....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Govt plan for community input into residential red zone
    Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel has welcomed Prime Minister John Key’s announcement today of a community participation process for the public to have a say on the future use of the residential red zone....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Governor-General to visit Turkey
    The Governor-General, Lt Gen The Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae, is to visit Turkey next week to lead New Zealand’s representation at the annual Gallipoli commemorations....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Actions of Police prior to death in custody were justified
    A report by the Independent Police Conduct Authority on the death of Adam Palmer while in Police custody found the actions of Police were justified during the arrest. The report also found that Police took all possible steps to try...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • New Electorate Boundaries Finalised
    New boundaries for the country’s 64 General and seven Māori electorates have been finalised – with an additional electorate created in Auckland. The 2014 Representation Commission has completed its statutory role of reviewing and redrawing electorate...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Save The Children Welcomes Strengthening Children’s Rights
    Save the Children New Zealand welcomes a new treaty which allows children to complain directly to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child about alleged violations of their rights....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Labour takes manufacturing seriously
    Labour takes manufacturing seriously Manufacturing workers and employers will all benefit from economic policies announced today by the Labour Party leader, David Cunliffe. The Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union has welcomed the announcement...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Manufacturing policy welcomed
    “Today’s announcement of Labour’s manufacturing policy is very welcome,” says CTU Economist Bill Rosenberg. “Just as many other developed countries are realising, having a strong manufacturing sector pays off in good jobs, retaining...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Operation Unite – a Blitz on Drunken Violence
    New Zealand Police are hoping to reduce the number of victims from alcohol related crime by asking the public to say ‘Yeah, Nah’ more often this holiday weekend....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Dunne Speaks
    Dunne Speaks 17 April 2014 There have been a number of harrowing cases presented this week about the impact of psychoactive substances on vulnerable young people. At one level, the tales are deeply disturbing. It is awful to see anyone...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Research announcement welcomed
    A leading Māori researcher has welcomed the announcement of the 2014 Te Pūnaha Hihiko - Vision Mātauranga Capability Fund by Science and Innovation Minister Steven Joyce and Māori Affairs Minister Dr Pita Sharples....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • At Last: A Manufacturing Policy
    At Last: A Manufacturing Policy FIRST Union congratulates Labour on the release of its Manufacturing policy today. The union represents workers in the wood, food and textile manufacturing sectors. “In a week that has seen another manufacturing company,...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Republic campaigners still positive after royal visit
    "Campaigners for a New Zealand Head of State are still feeling positive after ten days of royal events" says NZ Republic Chair, Savage. "Our polling before the visit showed increased support for a kiwi head of state. We have a...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Selling homes to foreigners benefits New Zealanders
    Winston Peters has apparently convinced David Cunliffe that when foreigners buy New Zealand property they make New Zealanders worse off. Mr Cunliffe has announced his intention to adopt Winston Peters’ policy of banning foreigners from buying...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Taxpayers’ Union Welcomes Key’s Rejection of ‘Fat Tax’
    The Taxpayers’ Union is welcoming Prime Minister John Key’s rejection of fat and sugar taxes ahead of this year's election. Jordan Williams, Executive Director of the Union, says:...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Law Commission Paper on a New Crown Civil Proceedings Act
    The Law Commission has released A New Crown Civil Proceedings Act for New Zealand , its Issues Paper on reforming the Crown Proceedings Act 1950. The Issues Paper proposes a new statute to replace the Crown Proceedings Act 1950....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Focus must now go on fishing industry jobs for NZ workers
    Maritime Union says focus must now go on fishing industry jobs for New Zealand workers...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Make the choice to stay safe on the road
    With Easter and Anzac Day giving us two successive long weekends this year there will be a lot of happy families preparing for trips....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Students Welcome Engagement with StudyLink
    The New Zealand Union of Students’ Associations (NZUSA) has welcomed the improved performance from StudyLink in 2014. There is no doubt that getting their loans and allowances processed on time makes it easier for students to concentrate on being...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Deaf And Hard of Hearing New Zealanders Marginalised
    Deaf And Hard of Hearing New Zealanders Marginalised Imagine if you could not access vital news and information. What would you do?...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Public lose interest in this council, 2016 to be a watershed
    The second term Auckland Council is proving to be an interesting one and very different to the inaugural 2010 – 2013 Governing Body. We are currently going through a budget round to lock in where council’s $3b expenditure is directed...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Labour and National join forces in new Maori confiscations
    Chris McKenzie, former-treaty negotiator and Te Tai Hauauru Maori party candidate, says that the Minister of Primary Industries’ plans to remove temporary exemptions for vessel operators derived from settlement negotiations is akin to confiscation...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • The FCV Bill – Flagging 30 years of failures?
    Paying seafarers at least a minimum wage under the Minimum Wage Act 1983 has applied to the New Zealand fishing industry for more than 30 years. It was, and is, a basic protection which had two universals – it was...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Oxfam’s Morning Tea 2014
    Oxfam’s Morning Tea 2014 Kiwis across the country are getting together over a cuppa to make a difference in the lives of people living in poverty in the developing world. They’re getting involved in Oxfam’s Morning Tea, a fun and...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • 1 in 4 Want to Improve Financial Literacy But Don’t Know How
    1 in 4 Want to Improve Financial Literacy But Don’t Know Where to Go...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Rio Tinto Wins 2013 Roger Award
    Sky City Casino Second, Chorus Third - The criteria for judging are by assessing the transnational (a corporation with 25% or more foreign ownership) that has the most negative impact in each or all of the following categories: economic dominance...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • ACC’s Strategy to stop compensation using ACC 167 Form
    On Radio NZ national’s morning report on 15 April 2014, ACC’s spokesperson Sid Miller denied the non-compliance was just a way for ACC to refuse people....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Workers support plain packaging of tobacco
    The CTU have today presented to the health select committee in support of plain packaging of tobacco. “Any steps that can be taken to lower smoking rates will result in New Zealand workers and their families having healthier and better...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Christchurch Housing Accord a Joke
    Christchurch Housing Accord a Joke Hugh Pavletich Performance Urban Planning Christchurch New Zealand 16 April 2014 The Housing Accord entered in to today between the Government and the Christchurch City Council, can only be described as a joke. Christchurch...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Infographic : World Giving Index 2013
    Infographic from Charities Aid Foundation World Giving Index 2013 A Global View Of Giving Trends (click to see full size version)...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Tranter questions CEO’s assurances
    “There is a bizarre notion among bureaucrats, politicians and others that if they say something then it must be so - despite all evidence to the contrary” said David Tranter, Health spokesman for Democrats for Social Credit....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • UNICEF NZ Urges Progress on Plain Packaging of Tobacco
    In its oral submission to the Health Select Committee today, UNICEF NZ expressed its strong support for the Smoke-free Environments (Tobacco Plain Packaging) Amendment Bill as a measure that will help reduce the uptake of smoking, and urged parliament...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Whitebait partners look for solutions
    Waikato-Tainui, local marae, councils and agencies are working together to better manage whitebait fisheries at Port Waikato following the compilation of a new report....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • NZ’s biggest killer fails to receive the Roger
    The Smokefree Coalition is disappointed Imperial Tobacco did not win the Roger Award for Worst Trans-national Company operating in New Zealand, despite manufacturing products that kill 5000 New Zealanders every year....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Tukituki decision a win for water quality and farming
    The draft decision by the Board of Inquiry (BOI) on the Tukituki Catchment proposal represents a significant win for freshwater management and the urgency of a transition to environmentally sustainable agriculture in New Zealand, says Fish & Game NZ....
    Scoop politics | 15-04
  • ACC reflects on passing of great Kiwi
    Today is a very sad day for ACC, as news of the passing of Sir Owen Woodhouse has become public knowledge....
    Scoop politics | 15-04
  • Lincoln cleaners outsourced
    Lincoln University will outsource its staff to an as yet undecided cleaning company, but TEU organiser Cindy Doull says it’s not worth it, and what money the university might save is negligible....
    Scoop politics | 15-04
  • New pipe ban will increase harm to cannabis consumers
    The Government will increase harm by further restricting the sale, supply and importation of drug harm reduction equipment. “This National-led Government seems to be encouraging use of the more harmful synthetics over safer natural cannabis....
    Scoop politics | 15-04
  • Council can’t ban legal highs
    Under current law Gisborne District Council cannot ban the sale of legal highs (psychoactive substances) in our district. Council can restrict where these substances are sold....
    Scoop politics | 15-04
  • Online job vacancies pick up in March
    The number of jobs advertised online grew by 1.9 per cent in March 2014, following a 1.3 per cent decrease in February, according to the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s latest Jobs Online report....
    Scoop politics | 15-04
  • White Poppies for Peace Annual Appeal
    The White Poppies for Peace Annual Appeal, the main fundraiser for the White Poppy Peace Scholarships, starts tomorrow and runs through until Thursday, 24 April....
    Scoop politics | 15-04
  • Lawyers saddened at passing of Sir Owen Woodhouse
    New Zealand has lost one of its greatest jurists with the death of Sir Owen Woodhouse, New Zealand Law Society President Chris Moore said today....
    Scoop politics | 15-04
  • “Rock star economy’ throws hospital staff out the window
    The Public Service Association says administrative staff at hospitals around the country are missing out on Bill English’s ‘rock star economy’, with the Government instructing pay rises be limited to just 0.7%....
    Scoop politics | 15-04
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