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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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    No Right Turn | 21-11
  • Plan for mega factory farm ruffles feathers
    Not long ago I wrote about the proposal to build a mega factory farm in the small township of Patumahoe that would confine over 300, 000 hens to colony cages. This week the resource consent hearing for the proposed factory...
    frogblog | 21-11
  • CTU disappointed by poor government advice to workers on petrol station dri...
    The New Zealand Council of Trade Unions has raised concerns with the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (‘MBIE’) regarding their reported advice to workers about the petrol station drive away issue. Photo:  ...
    CTU | 21-11
  • Charging petrol station workers for drive-offs
    So workers at Masterton’s Night ‘n Day store have had their pay docked when criminals drive off without paying. From the flood of complaints coming from around the country, it’s not a practice that is confined only to Masterton, nor is it...
    Occasionally erudite | 21-11
  • Tearing up Westminster
    The central bargain of Westminster democracy is that the monarch stays out of politics, and in exchange they get to stay in the role, both legally and literally. Prince Charles - already famous for his undemocratic interventions in politics -...
    No Right Turn | 21-11
  • Journalism is not terrorism
    What happens if you're a UK journalist and you campaign for press freedom or report on police misconduct? The police database you as a terrorist:A group of journalists has launched a legal action against Scotland Yard after discovering that the...
    No Right Turn | 20-11
  • A century of changing transport spending
    Via Donal Curtin, I got wind of a fantastic Statistics NZ visualisation of changes to the Consumer Price Index over the last century. The Consumer Price Index, or CPI, is a tool that statistics agencies use to track inflation over...
    Transport Blog | 20-11
  • Boycott thieving employers
    In the past few days, we've learned of a new employer horror: petrol-station workers, often on th eminimum wage, being forced to pay for the crimes of their customers. Its unfair, immoral, and possibly illegal. So what can we do...
    No Right Turn | 20-11
  • Whiteboard Friday. How NZ’s welfare system traps people in poverty
    This Whiteboard Friday looks at how our current benefit system traps people in poverty, which is another reason we need to replace it with an Unconditional Basic Income. This week has been a big week for the Unconditional Basic Income....
    Gareth’s World | 20-11
  • Income mobility
    Recently Treasury has published a paper showing that most people do not stay at the same point on the income scale for an extended period. That is assuredly true, and is also a good thing in as far as it...
    Polity | 20-11
  • Read out, Xi in, as Hansen makes late change to All Blacks team
    All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has sprung a surprise by picking Chinese President Xi Jinping to start in this weekend’s test against Wales at the Millennium Stadium....
    Imperator Fish | 20-11
  • National restarts logging in West Coast forests
    The chainsaws stopped in native forest on public land in 1999 after a strong campaign by non-governmental organisations such as Forest and Bird and Native Forest Action (NFA), supported by the Green Party. Immediately after the 1999 election, the incoming...
    frogblog | 20-11
  • Persuasion experiment
    Michael LaCour, a PhD student at the excellent UCLA Political Science Department, along with Yale's Don Green, have a fascinating new paper on what causes people to change their mind on gay marriage. Many people know that a doorstep conversation...
    Polity | 20-11
  • $4.8 billion gone
    As readers know, the NZ Super Fund now contributes around $27 billion to our net position as a country, It will help us pay for the wave of baby boom retirements. Sadly, it is now clear that National's decision to...
    Polity | 20-11
  • Secondary teachers vote IES into collective
    21 November 2014 PPTA members have voted to include two teaching roles central to Investing in Educational Success (IES) in their collective agreement.At paid union meetings held throughout the country over the past two weeks 80.3% voted to include the...
    PPTA | 20-11
  • Labour’s Hercules?
    Hero? Saint? Both? Neither? In making Labour an electable proposition by 2017, Andrew Little faces a challenge of Herculean proportions. Then again, Hercules was presented with twelve impossible tasks. Little can succeed by successfully completing a more modest (but equally...
    Bowalley Road | 20-11
  • Roger Sutton and deja vu all over again
    What to say about the Roger Sutton story? Well, Andrea Vance has done some amazing work setting out the basic facts behind the carefully stage-managed whitewashing of Roger Sutton’s pseudo-departure. And stargazer at The Hand Mirror has responded to the...
    On the Left | 20-11
  • MoT acknowledge changing trends and future funding issues
    Last week the Briefings to government ministers (BIM) were published. I’ve already looked at what the Ministry of Transport (MoT) and NZTA have said about transport in Auckland and so in this post I’m going to look at some of the other points...
    Transport Blog | 20-11
  • Why we need to talk about the scientific consensus on climate change
    An interesting sequence of events followed the publication of a scientific paper the Skeptical Science team published in May last year. The paper found a 97% consensus that humans were causing global warming in relevant scientific papers. Finding an overwhelming...
    Skeptical Science | 20-11
  • 2014 – Ongoing jobless tally
    . . Continued from: 2013 – Ongoing jobless tally So by the numbers, for this year, January OceanaGold/Macraes Mine: 146 redundancies Fitzroy Yachts: 100 redundancies OceanaGold: 76 redundancies Tenix: 15 redundancies February Goodman Fielder: 125 redundancies Pacific Steel Group: 70-90 redundancies...
    Frankly Speaking | 20-11
  • 2014 – Ongoing jobless tally
    . . Continued from: 2013 – Ongoing jobless tally So by the numbers, for this year, January OceanaGold/Macraes Mine: 146 redundancies Fitzroy Yachts: 100 redundancies OceanaGold: 76 redundancies Tenix: 15 redundancies February Goodman Fielder: 125 redundancies Pacific Steel Group: 70-90 redundancies...
    Frankly Speaking | 20-11
  • Stuart’s 100 #56: More Dignity for Daily Users
    56 More Dignity for Daily Users What if there was a moment of civic dignity outside the Auckland District Court? The Auckland District Court on the corner of Albert and Kingston Streets is I think at last count the busiest...
    Transport Blog | 20-11
  • Prime Minister’s warped view of history
    Students who sat NCEA level 3 history exams last week might be very worried to hear the Prime Minister tell a Radio Station that New Zealand was one of the few countries that was settled peacefully by Europeans. Those students who wrote...
    frogblog | 20-11
  • The greatest tragedy of our time
    This is going to ruffle a few feathers. We are parasites. Yes you read that correctly – humanity is a giant collective parasite sucking the life juices from dear Mother Earth. I’m not a nihilist. I still believe there’s plenty...
    On the Left | 20-11
  • Proving anecdotes are reliable
    Here’s one to go with Let’s rely on anecdotes instead! Something I picked up on Facebook Similar articles  ...
    Open Parachute | 20-11
  • Proving anecdotes are reliable
    Here’s one to go with Let’s rely on anecdotes instead! Something I picked up on Facebook Similar articles  ...
    Open Parachute | 20-11
  • Class warfare in the UK
    Surprise, surprise! An independent study has shown that the UK's conservative government has been driving a massive transfer of wealth from the poor to the rich:A landmark study of the coalition’s tax and welfare policies six months before the general...
    No Right Turn | 20-11
  • That didn’t take long
    National's new teabreak law isn't even in force and employers are already abusing it:Yesterday a union member, who prefers to remain anonymous for fear of retribution, emailed Hotel Organiser Shanna Reeder. “This morning in the briefing our manager declared that...
    No Right Turn | 20-11
  • Justice is more important than international relations
    Yunus Rahmatullah is a Pakistani citizen. In 2004 he was disappeared by British forces in Iraq. The British then gave him to the Americans who rendered him to Afghanistan and kept him there without charge or trial for ten years,...
    No Right Turn | 20-11
  • The Sutton debacle
    Sexual Harassment in the Workplace: it’s not a good thing, except when you’re playing Frank Zappa’s 1988 instrumental album Guitar, in which case ‘Sexual Harassment in the Workplace’ is the opening track, and it’s a stonker. However, setting aside the...
    Occasionally erudite | 20-11
  • The dangers of ignoring context
    Here’s a 22 point plan for peace in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.Entrench Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestinian lands.Never let a chance go by to duplicitously conflate Hamas and some in Fatah with the Islamic State/ISIS/ISIL so as to gild the imperiled-Israeli...
    Pundit | 19-11
  • Rapid transit has passed the acid test
    I recently ran across a New Zealand Herald article from 2000 on the region’s plans to start building good rapid transit infrastructure. (Which, as Patrick highlighted in a recent post, is exactly what is holding Auckland back relative to its...
    Transport Blog | 19-11
  • Plan for mega factory farm ruffles feathers
    Not long ago I wrote about the proposal to build a mega factory farm in the small township of Patumahoe that would confine over 300, 000 hens to colony cages. This week the resource consent hearing for the proposed factory...
    Greens | 21-11
  • National opens door further to Chinese property speculators
    National has further opened the door to Chinese property speculators with the registration of a third Chinese bank here that will make it easier for Chinese investors to invest in New Zealand properties, the Green Party said today."As well, former...
    Greens | 20-11
  • National restarts logging in West Coast forests
    “Dead wood also contributes by providing nutrients to soils, supporting the agents of wood decay such as fungi and invertebrates and it is a key habitat for the regeneration of some trees.” Annual Report 2013/14, page 29. The National Government has...
    Greens | 20-11
  • Lab plan the beginning of slippery slope?
    It’s time for new Health Minister Jonathan Coleman to show his hand on plans to privatise lab services which doctors are warning could put patients’ lives at risk, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Clinicians have sent the Government some...
    Labour | 20-11
  • A-G called on to look into flagship ‘cost-saving’ programme
    New health Minister Jonathan Coleman has some serious questions to answer following a decision to wind up the Government’s flagship health savings provider HBL just a fortnight after giving it the green light to implement its plans, Labour’s Health spokesperson...
    Labour | 20-11
  • Prime Minister’s warped view of history
    Students who sat NCEA level 3 history exams last week might be very worried to hear the Prime Minister tell a Radio Station that New Zealand was one of the few countries that was settled peacefully by Europeans. Those students who wrote...
    Greens | 20-11
  • Climate of fear needs addressing
    It is hugely concerning that community and volunteer groups feel they are being gagged from speaking out against the Government, Labour’s Community and Voluntary Sector Spokesperson Louisa Wall says.  A Victoria University survey of 93 sector groups has found 50...
    Labour | 20-11
  • Mandatory code of conduct needed for supermarkets
    Labour has drafted legislation to establish a mandatory code of conduct for supermarkets to ensure New Zealand suppliers are not affected by anti-competitive behaviour. “Even though the Commerce Commission found no technical breaches of the law through some of Countdown’s...
    Labour | 19-11
  • National softening public up for 7th successive deficit
    Finance Minister Bill English is softening the public up for an announcement that National is going to fail in even its very limited goal of achieving a budget surplus, the Green Party said today."No finance minister in a generation has...
    Greens | 19-11
  • National caught out on state house porkies
    Housing NZ’s annual report out today directly contradicts the Government’s claim that one-third of its houses are in the wrong place and are the wrong size, said Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The annual report states 96 per cent of...
    Labour | 18-11
  • Damning report on Department of Conservation restructure
    The restructuring of the Department of Conservation (DOC) following National's severe funding cuts has been revealed as failure, the Green Party said today.The Taribon report has reviewed the new structure of DOC after 12 months. The restructuring, one of the...
    Greens | 18-11
  • Greens welcome Xi, but human rights need to be on agenda
    The Green Party welcomes the visit to New Zealand of Chinese President Xi Jinping and wishes to congratulate him on his recent announcement regarding China capping emissions for the first time.The United States and China recently unveiled a deal to...
    Greens | 18-11
  • Backing New Zealanders to get ahead
    New Labour Leader Andrew Little says it is an immense privilege to have been chosen to lead the party and to be given the task of ensuring it once again becomes a powerful force that backs New Zealanders in getting...
    Labour | 18-11
  • Andrew Little Elected Leader of Labour Party
    “The Labour Party congratulates Andrew Little, who has been elected as party leader in a robust and highly democratic process,” says Labour Party President Moira Coatsworth. “Andrew’s leadership will have the full support of the whole Labour Party.”...
    Labour | 18-11
  • Report into Brownlee security breach should be released
    The Government and Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) should release the report into former Minister of Transport Gerry Brownlee's airport security breach, the Green Party said today."The actions of a Minister of Transport breaching security at an airport are a matter...
    Greens | 17-11
  • Brownlee must ask CAA to release the report
    Gerry Brownlee must ask the Civil Aviation Authority to release the report that finds he broke the law in breaching airport security, says Labour's Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “It is inexcusable for any minister, let alone the then-Transport Minister, to...
    Labour | 17-11
  • G20 climate comment increases pressure on NZ
    The G20 decision to include climate change in its communiqué despite Australia's attempt to ignore it, increases pressure on New Zealand to come up with a credible plan to cut emissions, the Green Party said today.The G20 Leaders Communiqué from...
    Greens | 17-11
  • NZ joins G20 climate problem
    Confirmation this morning by John Key that his Government plans to do nothing to turn around NZ's rapidly rising greenhouse emissions means that New Zealand joins Australia as one of the problem children at the G20 meeting in Brisbane, the...
    Greens | 16-11
  • IRD joins Corrections in Phillip Smith failure
    It is incomprehensible that IRD and Corrections were not able to stop Phillip Smith from rorting the tax system out of $50,000 until it was too late, given that he was a notoriously manipulative prisoner stuck in jail, says Labour’s...
    Labour | 13-11
  • The Government has to listen to Olly
    When even hard boiled property investors like Olly Newland  say first home buyers have been shafted by Loan to Value Ratio lending restrictions, surely it is time for the Government to listen, says Labour's housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  "Auckland landlord...
    Labour | 13-11
  • Key used GCSB for political ends prior to 2014 election
    New documents released to the Green Party show that Prime Minister John Key used New Zealand's intelligence services for the National Party's political ends a few days out from the 2014 election, the Green Party said today.Documents released to the...
    Greens | 13-11
  • Government not meeting its climate target
    The Government must front up to the fact that its own advisors are now saying that New Zealand is off target in any transition to a low carbon future, says Labour’s spokesperson on Climate Change Nanaia Mahuta.  “A briefing to...
    Labour | 12-11
  • Briefing reveals Defence facilities ‘increasingly unfit for purpose’
    The Defence Briefing to the Incoming Minister reveals a deteriorating state in Defence facilities that are no longer fit for purpose, says Labour’s Defence spokesperson Phil Goff.  “The briefing is heavily censored but still reveals that Defence camps, bases and...
    Labour | 12-11
  • New projections show New Zealand missing climate target
    Briefings to Incoming Ministers released today reveal the Government's climate policy is failing with projected emission more than double what is needed to meet National's 2050 target, the Green Party saidProjections released by the Ministry for the Environment, as part...
    Greens | 12-11
  • National’s highways far less efficient
    National’s new state highways have a far lower cost-benefit ratio than motorways built under the last Labour Government, making a mockery of the Government’s bluster that its road building will boost the economy, says Labour's Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “New...
    Labour | 12-11
  • Governor points finger at National on supply
    The Reserve Bank Governor has admitted he had to keep loan to value mortgage restrictions in place because the Government’s attempts to increase housing has fallen ‘a long way short’, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The thousands of first...
    Labour | 12-11
  • Did Collins cover up Slater’s OIA requests?
    Disgraced former Cabinet Minister Judith Collins must explain why she appears to have tried to hide Official Information Act requests she fulfilled for Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater, Labour MP Megan Woods says. “New documents obtained by Labour show Judith...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Reserve Bank’s dairy warning must be heard
    The Reserve Bank’s warning that falling dairy prices are creating greater risks for the New Zealand economy must be taken seriously by Bill English and John Key, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “Dairy prices have nearly halved since February...
    Labour | 11-11
  • National’s housing failure keeps LVRs in place
    The Reserve Bank’s decision to leave loan-to-value ratio mortgage restrictions in place is further confirmation of National’s housing policy fiasco, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Reserve Bank would have lifted LVRs if they had seen any increase in...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Let’s see if it is plane sailing Mr Bridges
    Comments by Transport Minister Simon Bridges that Far North residents' anger over cutbacks to regional flights will be allayed by larger planes and cheaper fares out of Kerikeri, are just pure arrogance, says Labour’s Te Tai Tokerau MP Kelvin Davis....
    Labour | 11-11
  • Commerce Commission inquiry needed into building supplies monopoly
    The Commerce Commission must stop dragging the chain and urgently investigate the anti-competitive practices in the building industry that are driving up the cost of building materials, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Competition in the building materials market is...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Air New Zealand grounds Far North
    The announcement by Air New Zealand to close services from Kaitaia to Auckland will be an absolute disaster for the Far North, Labour MP for Te Tai Tokerau Kelvin Davis says.  “Air New Zealand is sending a signal to the...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Pulling West Coast flights a savage blow
    Air New Zealand’s decision to withdraw its Westport service is another kick in the guts for an already struggling community, West Coast-Tasman MP, Damien O’Connor says.   “Having been involved in the West Coast’s efforts to get Air Nelson to return...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Air NZ cuts economic lifelines to neglected regions
    Air New Zealand’s plans to cut its Eagle Air regional services to already struggling regions is a hammer blow to Westport, Whakatane and Kaitaia, says Labour's Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The regions of New Zealand are being abandoned by this...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Christchurch on the rent rack
    A jump of 20 per cent in weekly rents in the past year is a disaster for Christchurch, says Associate Housing spokesperson Poto Williams. “The Trade Me Property Rental Price index has rightly described the city as being a ‘...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Past time to act on warnings about palliative care
    Health officials have been warning the Government about a critical shortage of palliative care specialists for years, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader and Health spokesperson Annette King says. A stocktake carried out for the Ministry of Health shows New Zealand’s end...
    Labour | 10-11
  • Report must spur Government into action
    The soaring cost of domestic violence and child abuse highlight the need for the Government to prioritise and act on the issue, says Labour's spokesperson for Social Development, Sue Moroney.“Findings from the Glenn Inquiry that show the problem is estimated...
    Labour | 10-11
  • Family safety paramount, then urgent review
    Corrections Minister Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga has some serious questions to answer over why a dangerous prison escapee, convicted of further crimes while in jail, managed to abscond while he was on approved temporary release, Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.“Phillip...
    Labour | 09-11
  • LVRs a failed experiment from Bill English
    Loan to value mortgage restrictions are a failed experiment from Bill English to tame Auckland house prices, that have caused collateral damage to first home buyers and other regions, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The possible end of LVR...
    Labour | 09-11
  • Govt books getting worse as economy slows
    National’s economic credibility is under serious scrutiny with its search for surplus becoming harder due to an economy far too reliant on the dairy industry, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “National promised New Zealanders would get into surplus by...
    Labour | 06-11
  • Kiwis in pain because of Government underfunding
    New research showing one in three people needing elective surgery are being denied publicly-funded operations shows the Government must properly fund the health sector, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “For almost two years Labour has been warning about the...
    Labour | 06-11
  • National’s promised surplus looking doubtful
    Budget figures for the first quarter of the financial year released today by Treasury show the Government's goal of achieving a budget surplus is looking doubtful, the Green Party said today."National has staked its credibility on achieving a budget surplus...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Kevin Hague speaks on the Gambling Amendment Bill (No 3)
    I rise to give this speech on behalf of Denise Roche, who handles the gambling portfolio for the Green Party. This bill deals with class 4 gambling—pokies in pubs and clubs—and it is the result of changes that were suggested...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Kevin Hague speaks on the Health (Protection) Amendment Bill
    I would like to start off where the previous speaker left off, on the issue of balancing rights or balancing harms. All law is in some way a restriction of personal liberty. That is the point of law. When we...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Joyce backs away from yet another target
    Steven Joyce has backed away from two targets in two days, refusing to acknowledge that his Government has an unambitious aim to get unemployment down to 4 per cent in 11 years’ time, says Labour Associate Finance spokesperson David Clark....
    Labour | 06-11
  • Pacific peoples incomes and jobs falling under National
    The Minister of Pacific Peoples is attempting to bury the ugly facts of Pacific unemployment and income levels worsening since National took office in 2008, said Labour’s Pacific Affairs spokesperson, Su’a William Sio. “If the Minister doesn’t acknowledge how bad...
    Labour | 06-11
  • The Block NZ doing a better job than Nick Smith
    Nick Smith should consider calling in producers of The Block NZ with participants in the TV series completing more houses in two seasons than the Government’s failed Special Housing Area policy, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The Block NZ...
    Labour | 06-11
  • Meridian moves to kill competition from solar homes
    Big electricity companies are using their power to make it harder for families and businesses wanting to go solar and the National Government is doing nothing to help them, the Green Party said today. Meridian Energy announced today a 60-72...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Has John Key done all he could for Pike families?
    It will be forever on the conscience of John Key whether he did all he could to recover the remains of the 29 miners who died in Pike River, Labour’s MP for West Coast-Tasman Damien O’Connor says.  “The Prime Minister...
    Labour | 05-11
  • National further dashes hopes of new parents
    The National Government has once again shown its disdain for working parents by voting down proposals to extend paid parental leave, Labour MP Sue Moroney says.  “The Government vetoed an amended proposal that substantially reduced the cost of extending PPL...
    Labour | 05-11
  • Honouring the Ampatuan massacre victims as fight for justice goes on
    A grim reminder of the Maguindanao, or Ampatuan, massacre on 23 November 2014. Photo: DanRogayan A TOP Filipino investigative journalist will be speaking about the “worst attack” on journalists in history and her country’s culture of impunity in a keynote...
    The Daily Blog | 23-11
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – what are they afraid of: the erosion of democ...
    Today the Hamilton City Council has put on a big party to celebrate the 150th anniversary of European colonisation of the area.  There have been a series of events during the year to mark this event, including a civic ceremony. ...
    The Daily Blog | 22-11
  • #JohnKeyHistory
    John Key has done it again. This week our lovely Prime Minister has showed us how little he knows about the history of the country he is supposed to be running. Apparently “New Zealand was settled peacefully”. Was it really?...
    The Daily Blog | 22-11
  • G20 growth targets and growth model offer more problems than they solve
    At the recent G20 in Brisbane, member countries agreed to accelerate growth to an additional 2% on top of current trajectories. But ongoing public sector cuts, asset sales, and reducing workers’ rights indicate that at least part of the growth...
    The Daily Blog | 22-11
  • GUEST BLOG: Bill Courtney – Charter Schools: The Shroud of Secrecy Contin...
    The Ministry of Education yesterday released another batch of information relating to the five existing charter schools and the four new ones proposed for opening in 2015. As we have seen before, the release of such information, often requested under...
    The Daily Blog | 22-11
  • EXCLUSIVE: Campaign reflection, Laila Harré reaching out for radical minds
    Today I’ve announced that I will be stepping down from the Internet Party leadership in December. This will happen once options for the future have been developed for discussion and decision among members. My absolute focus in this election was...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • The Ebola crisis, capitalism and the Cuban medical revolution
    “Ebola emerged nearly 40 years ago. Why are clinicians still empty-handed, with no vaccines and no cure? Because Ebola has been, historically, geographically confined to poor African nations. The R&D incentive is virtually non-existent. A profit-driven industry does not invest...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • MEDIA WATCH: TVNZ Reveals Insane Deadlines For Māori and Pacific Island Pr...
    Last Tuesday, November 18th, TVNZ requested proposals from producers for the four Māori and Pacific Island programmes they will no longer be making in-house. Marae, Waka Huia, Fresh and Tagata Pasifika will keep their existing names, existing formats and existing...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • The Daily Blog Breakfast Club Ep. 1
    TDB Video, Live from Verona Cafe on K-Rd, Auckland – a weekly current affairs show with TDB Editor Martyn Bradbury. This week’s panel: Chris Trotter & Selwyn Manning.The issues: 1 – What now for the New Labour leader? 2 –...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • Performance-demonstration at Auckland’s High Court to demand justice for ...
    People outraged at the lack of justice in the so-called ‘Roast Busters’ case and 99% of other rape cases in this country are holding a visually powerful mass action at the Auckland High Court at 1 o’clock on Saturday. They...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • IES vote may weaken defense of public education
    PPTA announced today that secondary teachers have voted to include the IES (Investing in Education Success) as a variation to their collective employment agreement with the government. At one level it’s an understandable decision by PPTA members because through engaging in a consultation...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • NZ History lesson on Planet Key – the lies white people tell themselves
    John Key’s bizarre claims about our ‘peaceful history’ comes across like the apartheid history of South Africa where white people discovered Africa first… New Zealand ‘settled peacefully’ – PM New Zealand was “settled peacefully” by the British, the prime minister...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • Universal Basic Income and Labour Policy
    On Radio New Zealand’s None-to-Noon on Wednesday (19 November), new Labour leader Andrew Little intimated that he would like to put Universal Basic Income (UBI) on his policy agenda (What policy changes will Andrew Little usher in?) Predictably Kathryn Ryan, despite being...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • The New Notes : They Ain’t Mint
    Hulk Queen Angry. Hulk Queen smash.   Yesterday, the Reserve Bank announced its new designs for our banknotes. Now, I’ve historically been pretty sketch about this entire process; variously feeling affronted that the government could find eighty million dollars to fund a...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • MSM under-mining of new Labour Leader already begun?
    . . It did not take long. In fact, on the same day that Andrew Little won the Labour leadership*, the first media reporter was already asking if he would be stepping down  if Labour failed to lift in the...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • GUEST BLOG: Simon Buckingham – invisible disability voices
    Today I am ranting. The Disability Advisory Group has been announced by Auckland Council. This is the body that represents the interests and views of people with disabilities in Auckland. Whilst I would not have applied this time as I...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, Andrew Little
    Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, Andrew Little...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • Why labelling Little as a ‘Unionist’ is a joke and how he beats Key in ...
    The line being used to attack Andrew Little as a ‘Unionist’ is just an absurd joke, and it comes from people who clearly don’t understand the modern NZ Union movement. Andrew ran the EPM Bloody U, they are easily one...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • 5AA Australia – Labour’s New Leader + China’s President In New Zealan...
    Recorded on 20/11/14 – Captured Live on Ustream.tv. 5AA’s Peter Godfrey and Selwyn Manning.ISSUE ONE: The New Zealand Labour Party has elected its new leader, the vote going to a third round after no clear outright winner was found in...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • Did Roger Sutton think he was running the Rock Radio Station?
    Visible G-String Fridays? Full body hugs? Jokes about who you would and wouldn’t have sex with? Honey? Sweety? It’s like Roger thought he was running the Rock Radio Station, not a Government Public Service department set up to rebuild a...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • US Politics
      US Politics...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • Amnesty International – The conversation that needs to be had with China
    Caption: Police officer watching Hong Kong pro-democracy march, 01 July 2014 © Amnesty International    Yesterday’s edition of The New Zealand Herald features an open letter to all New Zealander’s from Xi Jinping, President of the People’s Republic of China. Along...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • GUEST BLOG: Patrick O’Dea – “Liar”
    LIAR! ‘Privatised social housing to benefit tenants’ English “Housing Corp was a poor performer and about a third of its housing stock was the wrong size, in poor condition and in the wrong place. That stock was worth about $5...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • Too Close For Comfort: Reflections on Andrew Little’s narrow victory over...
    THE TRAGIC SCREENSHOT of “Gracinda” in defeat bears eloquent testimony to the bitter disappointment of the Grant Robertson-led faction of the Labour Party. And, yes, ‘Party’ is the right word. The Robertson machine has now extended its influence well beyond...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • How to defeat child poverty
      How to defeat child poverty...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Little’s Shadow Cabinet
    Now the horror of trying to pacify the factions begins. The only thing Little’s new shadow cabinet must do is create the pretence of unity. The reason voters didn’t flock to Labour wasn’t the bloody CGT or Superannuation, it was...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • A pilgrimage with my sister – Rethink the System
    We’ve both wanted to do a pilgrimage for many years. But, unlike many modern pilgrims, we wanted to be pilgirms in our own country and get closer to our communities, rather than seek greater distance from them. We are both...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Lack of policy ambition is Andrew Little’s main problem
    I’ve met Andrew Little a few times and he’s a pleasant man who will make a reasonable job leading what the Labour Party has become in recent decades. He will preside over a much less divided caucus and will be...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Journos, film makers, media freedom advocates join Asia-Pacific political j...
    A candlelight vigil for the 58 victims of the 2009 Maguindanao massacre – 32 of them media people. Still no justice for them today. Renowned investigative journalists, film makers, academics and media freedom campaigners from across the Asia-Pacific region will...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • And the new Labour Leader is ZZZZZZZZZZ
    The victory lap by Caucus over the members choice of Cunliffe has ended and the new leader of the Labour Party is Andrew Little. Yawn. The dullness and caution of the latest Leadership race will be served well by Andrew,...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Allow the Facts to Get in the Way of the Neolib Stories
    One of the weaknesses of the political left in New Zealand over the last 30 years has been to allow the neoliberal storytellers to get away with lots of fibs and half-fibs. On TVNZ’s Q+A on 16 November, in a...
    The Daily Blog | 17-11
  • Defending The Boomers: A Response to Chloe King
    THE BABY-BOOM GENERATION (49-68 year-olds) currently numbers just under a quarter of New Zealand’s population. Even so, there is a pervasive notion that the generation of New Zealanders born between the end of World War II and the mid-1960s exercises...
    The Daily Blog | 17-11
  • This weeks Waatea news column – Waitangi Tribunal ruling enshrines Treaty...
      This weeks Waatea news column – Waitangi Tribunal ruling enshrines Treaty as a living document...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Key now says SAS will be needed to protect ‘trainers’ behind the wire
    Well, well, well. What do we have here? Government could send SAS to Iraq New Zealand’s elite Special Air Service (SAS) could be deployed to Iraq to protect Kiwi troops sent to train local forces. Prime Minister John Key confirmed...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Do You Want to Build a Meth Lab? (Frozen x Breaking Bad Parody)
    Do You Want to Build a Meth Lab? (Frozen x Breaking Bad Parody)...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Soft soap for the rich – harsh taxes for the poor
    It’s no surprise to see New Zealand has one of the world’s lowest tax rates for the rich and the superrich. A survey by the global accounting network UHY shows New Zealand’s highest tax rates are lower than even Australia,...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Phillip Smith and the rehabilitation process
    The dominant media narrative in horrible murder cases is that the perpetrator is unlikely ever to be rehabilitated. When it appears the offender may get parole the media turns first to family members of the victim who commonly (and understandably)...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • The Nation review: Finlayson’s terrifying definition of who is on terror ...
    Terrifying Nation today on TV3. Chris Finlayson is on justifying the Government’s Muslim fear mongering and extension of even more surveillance powers. It was jaw dropping. Finlayson says ‘alienated people with a chip on their shoulder’ is the threshold to get...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • A brief word on The Block NZ
    Is it just me or did The Block manage to sum up everything that is wrong about our culture and economy? Fetishised property speculation as mass entertainment in a country of homelessness & poverty. I wonder if State House tenants...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • Waitangi Tribunal ruling
    That spluttering choking sound of a thousand rednecks being informed Maori still have sovereignty is a hilarious cacophony of stupid… Crown still in charge: Minister Chris Finlayson on Waitangi Treaty ruling The Waitangi Tribunal’s finding that Maori chiefs who signed...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • A brief word on Phillip Smith
    We can arrest student loan & fine defaulters at the airport – but not convicted child molesting killers? Before we ban manufactured ISIS ‘terrorists’ from having passports, how about we just manage to stop child molesting killers from fleeing first?...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • Free Me From Religion
          The meeting begins – or at least it’s supposed to begin – but someone interrupts proceedings. She wants everyone to pray with their heads bowed while she can “thank our Father who art in Heaven.” I close...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • Key capitulates on TPPA while big money NZ set up propaganda fund
    So Key has capitulated on the ‘gold standard’ of free trade deals… The primary objective for New Zealand at Apec was to see some urgency injected into the TPP talks and to keep leaders aiming for a high quality deal....
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Why Phillip Smith is the least of our worries
    Well, it turns out Phillip Smith wasn’t half as clever as he thought he was, and he’s been arrested within a week. If the Prime Minister is through with making tasteless jokes, perhaps we can ramp down the media hysteria...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Constraining Credibility
      Most economists and members of the public – on both the right and the left – believe that economies are constrained by resource scarcity most of the time. In this view, economies are supply-constrained, and that the economic problem...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Migrant Labour, exploitation and free markets
    Once more we read about a horror story of virtual slavery for a migrant worker in a restaurant in Christchurch. The silver lining that in this case compensation should be paid is not assured. Often in situations like this the employer winds up...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • On baby boomers who give my generation unhelpful advice: JUST DON’T
    One of my mum’s colleagues recently told her that there is no money in what her daughter was doing; volunteering at a women’s refuge and writing on politics. This guy, dispensing all his pearls of wisdom, told my mother that...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Morbid Symptoms: Can Labour Be Born Anew?
    THE CHAIRS in the final meeting venue have been stacked away. All that expensive signage, commissioned for the benefit of the television cameras, no longer has a purpose. For the second time in just 14 months, Labour’s Leadership Contest is...
    The Daily Blog | 12-11
  • What’s Small, White, and Having Trouble Attracting New People?
    If your answer was something intimately connected to the person of Peter Dunne … then you’d be right. Last night, P-Dunney decided to bring his comedy and/or hair stylings to the twitterverse; penning a potentially somewhat ill-advised tweet in which he compared...
    The Daily Blog | 12-11
  • LATE at the Auckland Museum review – Slacktivisim: Its not just for Slack...
    Monday night is my yoga night. I’m not really very good it, I don’t really have the bendy, but I made a New Years resolution. This Monday however, I decided to put the yoga on prone and attend a gig...
    The Daily Blog | 12-11
  • Domestic violence problem bigger than Sky Tower
    Domestic violence problem bigger than Sky Tower SKYCITY’s Sky Tower in Auckland will be lit up in white on Monday evening Nov 25th at 10pm, on the eve of White Ribbon Day. The anti-domestic violence network SAFTINET (Safer Auckland Families...
    Scoop politics | 23-11
  • State Services Commissioner ‘unfit for the job’ says Little
    State Services Commissioner ‘unfit for the job’ says Little The new Labour leader Andrew Little has called for the State Services Commissioner Iain Rennie to be stood down after his handling of the Roger Sutton sexual harassment case. "The idea...
    Scoop politics | 23-11
  • Patrick Gower interviews Laila Harre
    Patrick Gower interviews Laila Harre Headlines: Laila Harre to quit as Internet Party leader by Christmas when the party has completed its review, but would love to return to parliament Says party considering options for its future including winding...
    Scoop politics | 22-11
  • Lisa Owen interviews Labour leader Andrew Little
    Lisa Owen interviews Labour leader Andrew Little Headlines: Andrew Little says the shape of his front-bench for the 2017 election may not be clear until the end of next year Indicates next week’s appointments may be temporary: “So I may...
    Scoop politics | 22-11
  • Phillip John Smith – statement
    Police and the New Zealand Embassy in Brasilia are aware of a decision from the Brazil Federal Court requiring the deportation of Phillip Smith within 10 days. Further assessment is required to ensure there is a full understanding of this...
    Scoop politics | 22-11
  • Green’s ‘not speaking out about human rights abuses in China
    Right to Life challenges Russell Norman the co-leader of the Green Party to explain why, he was prepared to ask Prime Minister John Key to talk to Chinese President Xi Jinping about human rights abuses in countries bordering China but...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Goodfellow congratulates Key on IDU election
    Goodfellow congratulates Key on IDU election National Party President Peter Goodfellow has congratulated Prime Minister John Key on his election today as Chairman of the International Democrat Union (IDU)....
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Taxpayers’ Union Congratulates PM on IDU Appointment
    The Taxpayers’ Union is today congratulating Rt. Hon. John Key on becoming the Chair of the International Democrat Union , as former Australian Prime Minister John Howard retires from the role after 12 years. Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • High demand for Consumer NZ’s “Do Not Knock” stickers
    Consumer NZ has distributed nearly 100,000 “Do Not Knock” stickers since the launch of its campaign to fight back against dodgy door-to-door sellers.The “Do Not Knock” campaign was launched on 3 November 2014. Free “Do Not Knock” stickers...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Phillip Smith decision still pending
    Detective Superintendent Mike Pannett is returning to Washington DC where he will continue to closely monitor a pending decision from the Brazilian authorities on the process to return Phillip Smith to New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • High Court demonstration to demand justice
    People outraged at the lack of justice in the so-called ‘Roast Busters’ case and 99% of other rape cases in this country are holding a visually powerful mass action at the Auckland High Court at 1 o’clock on Saturday. They...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • NZ Society Wins Global Award For Fighting Animal Testing
    New Zealand banning animal testing of legal highs has been acknowledged with an award given in London. The New Zealand Anti-Vivisection Society (NZAVS) was awarded the 2014 LUSH Prize for lobbying against animal testing. The prize was given at the...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Poor govt advice to workers on petrol station drive-offs
    The New Zealand Council of Trade Unions has raised concerns with the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment ('MBIE') regarding their reported advice to workers about the petrol station drive away issue....
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • New Ombudsman opinion
    The Ombudsman has published his opinion on a complaint concerning the Police refusal to release information about a charging decision....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Kindergarten support staff achieve pay rise in tough climate
    The valuable contribution of kindergarten support staff has been recognised with a pay increase, despite the significant funding cuts that the kindergarten associations are experiencing....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Democracy and Conservative Religion: The Case of Islam
    “Is Islam compatible with democracy?” is a frequently-asked question. Recent rethinking of secularism and democracy have opened up new possibilities to think about religion and democracy. This question is important particularly in the case...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • NZ fiscal watchdog needed to guard the public purse
    New Zealand needs tighter fiscal rules and an independent watchdog to improve the quality of government spending and reduce the risk of a return to deficit spending as the country’s population ages, if not before....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • NZSMI disappointed ANZTPA proposal shelved
    November 20, 2014: Consumer healthcare products industry body, the New Zealand Self-Medication Industry Association (SMI) says it is disappointed Government has once again shelved plans to create one medicines regulatory agency for both New Zealand and Australia....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Democracy Action Welcomes Tauranga Vote
    Responding to Tauranga Council’s unanimous vote not to establish separate Council seats on the basis of ethnicity, Lee Short, Democracy Action founder says: “The establishment of a Maori ward would have damaged the relationship between Maori and...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Employer caught abusing new ‘teabreaks law’
    Employer caught abusing new ‘teabreaks law’ to exploit workers The government passed the controversial ‘teabreaks’ legislation only a few weeks ago and already Unite Union has caught an employer using this law as an excuse for ill-treating their...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • FGC response to Commerce Commission report
    The New Zealand Food & Grocery Council is not surprised by the Commerce Commission’s findings, given New Zealand’s current legal framework....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Bascand: Brighter Money
    Seeing people’s initial reactions to the new banknote designs is a heartening reminder of what an important role currency plays in our lives, and what a sense of pride and heritage our notes evoke....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • RBNZ releases Brighter Money designs
    New Zealand’s banknotes are getting brighter and better, with the Reserve Bank today unveiling more vibrant and secure banknote designs which will progressively enter circulation later next year....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • 25 years of children’s rights
    UNICEF and OFC celebrate 25 years of children’s rights with Just Play Sports Days On Universal Children’s Day (20 November) and as part of the Oceania Football Confederation’s (OFC) inaugural President’s Cup, UNICEF will celebrate 25 years of children’s...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Xiamen delegation to Wellington has business focus
    Stronger business, education and cultural ties with our Chinese partners will be the focus when a 20-strong government and business delegation led by Xiamen Mayor Mr Liu Keqing which visits Wellington tomorrow (Friday) and Saturday as part of the...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Warriors promote White Ribbon Day message
    Warriors promote White Ribbon Day message Shine and Orakei Health Services On Tuesday, the Vodafone Warriors will promote the White Ribbon Day message to the community at Eastridge Shopping Centre, Mission Bay. The Warriors are supporting their charity...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Superannuitants to protest unethical investments
    A delegation of Auckland superannuitants will deliver a protest-card petition and protest letter to the New Zealand Super Fund this Thursday afternoon to call on the fund to divest from companies which support the Israeli occupation of Palestinian...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Manukau job cuts ‘running the place into the ground’
    Manukau Institute of Technology (MIT) confirmed to its staff yesterday that 54 jobs will go before Christmas....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Newcore Looks Pretty Rotten for Ratepayers
    Responding to the NZ Herald report that the IT system commissioned by Auckland Council to consolidate the eight systems the Super City inherited from its precursor councils could be facing a budget blowout of $100 million, Taxpayers’ Union Spokesman Ben...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Accountability following quake response inquiry not achieved
    Lessons still need to be learned from the search and rescue efforts following the February 2011 earthquake in Christchurch, a leading New Zealand lawyer, Nigel Hampton QC, says....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Our kids say: We are failing in our duty to protect them
    Our kids say: We are failing in our duty to protect them More than a quarter of Kiwi kids say children’s right to be safe and protected isn’t being upheld in New Zealand, identifying protection from violence, abuse and murder...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • PARS & Turuki Health Care collaborate on health and services
    Auckland-based PARS (People at Risk Solutions) have partnered with the Turuki Health Care Trust, to offer improved healthcare services to those in need. PARS works closely with former prisoners, providing mentoring, housing, and social services to ensure...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Children’s Plea
    A plea has been sent to all Members of Parliament, regardless of party affiliation, to accord urgency and priority to children's issues. These issues include vulnerability, safety and childhood poverty....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Treasury off track in search for sound policies
    Treasury is unlikely to find the ideas it is looking for to improve outcomes for children while its primary driver is cost-cutting, says Child Poverty Action Group....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Commission calls for answers on handling of CERA harassment
    EEO Commissioner Dr Jackie Blue is deeply concerned about the way in which the State Services Commission has handled sexual allegations made against CERA chief executive Roger Sutton this week and is calling for answers....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Ashley Dwayne Guy v The Queen: Appeal Upheld
    The appellant, Mr Guy, was found guilty by a jury of a charge of sexual violation by unlawful sexual connection. After the verdict it was discovered that, by error, the jury had been provided in the jury room with two...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Zonta Club to Take a Stand Against Gender-Based Violence
    During the 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence (25 November – 10 December), the Zonta Club of Wellington, along with members of the local community, will join nearly 1,200 Zonta clubs in 67 countries for the Zonta Says NO...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • New UNFPA report links progress and power to young people
    A UN report launched today calls for investment in young people as they are essential to social and economic progress....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • The Resignation with the Golden Handshake?
    Commenting on the settlement the State Services Commission has reached with former CERA CEO Roger Sutton, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says: "Only in the public sector do you receive a payout for ‘resigning’....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • NZ must not turn a blind eye to China’s human rights record
    Amnesty International is calling on New Zealand’s Prime Minister John Key to raise China’s shameful human rights record during President Xi Jinping’s visit to New Zealand this week....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • The Resignation with the Golden Handshake?
    Commenting on the settlement the State Services Commission has reached with former CERA CEO Roger Sutton, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says:...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Treasury’s covert & extremely odd welfare consultation
    A report this morning that Treasury is ‘crowd sourcing’ ideas on welfare policy is news to Auckland Action Against Poverty, even though we are currently one of the most active groups in the area....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • NZ invites Pacific peers to review development cooperation
    New Zealand has volunteered to be the first development partner in the Pacific region to undergo a review of its aid programme by Pacific island peers. The review will focus on New Zealand’s development cooperation and will give greater insight...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • EPMU joins Pike River families to mark fourth anniversary
    Representatives of the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union are proud to stand with the Pike River families to mark four years since 29 men lost their lives. “This is a particularly solemn day given the recent announcements of Solid Energy...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • 2013 Assessment of New Zealand’s National Integrity Systems
    SPEAKER TUILOMA NERONI SLADE: Former Judge, International Criminal Court in the Hague, former legal counsel at the Commonwealth Secretariat, Secretary-General of the Pacific Islands Forum 2008-2014. Introduced by Helen Sutch, Victoria University Council,...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Green Party ignoring Waimea’s environmental benefits
    Green Party MP Catherine Delahunty has overlooked the environmental benefits the proposed Waimea Community Dam will bring the Tasman community, says IrrigationNZ Chairperson Nicky Hyslop....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Women’s use of violence in violent relationships
    More than 80 percent of women who live with a physically violent partner will not initiate violence when they are not being hit, according to new research....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Poor credit rating linked to poor cardiovascular health
    Poor credit rating linked to poor cardiovascular health A credit score doesn’t only boil down a person’s entire financial history to a single number and somehow predict their credit-worthiness, it might also be saying something about a person’s...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • State Services Commissioner on Roger Sutton Investigation
    State Services Commissioner Iain Rennie today said the investigation into Roger Sutton’s conduct was robust. Roger Sutton chose to resign as Chief Executive of the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA) yesterday....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Predator Free NZ project welcomed
    Federated Farmers and the conservation organisation Forest & Bird are welcoming the Predator Free New Zealand initiative as an ambitious but achievable project that will have real benefits for conservation and the economy....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
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