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Archive for January, 2010

Te-henua-e-noho. There once was an island.

Written By: - Date published: 12:15 pm, January 27th, 2010 - 29 comments

Today my partner Lyn Collie will be at the world premiere at Festival International du Film Documentaire Oceanien in Tahiti of the documentary that she has been producing part-time all the time I’ve known her. My congratulations to both her, the director Briar March, and the many other people who have worked on this documentary since they started working on it in 2006 for getting it out and being seen.

Nats in line for big $$ from own tax reforms

Written By: - Date published: 11:23 am, January 27th, 2010 - 31 comments

Fran O’Sullivan has a piece pointing out the vested interests of senior Nats regarding tax reform: “More than two-thirds of the National line-up have beneficial interests in trusts (entities that the Inland Revenue believes are responsible for a $300 million hole in tax revenues at the current 33 per cent tax rate).” – National wants to […]

On intellectual failure & economic crisis

Written By: - Date published: 10:30 am, January 27th, 2010 - 56 comments

Before they were swept along by the latest incarnation of US Right anti-intellectualism, National used to have some smart people. One of the last to go was Simon Upton. You might not always or even often agree with the man but at least he is informed and has the capacity to engage in serious debate […]

Minimum wage: what will it be?

Written By: - Date published: 9:56 am, January 27th, 2010 - 93 comments

The Government is set to announce its decision on the annual adjustment to the minimum wage today. So what’s it going to be? The three main positions out there are: Business lobby: Hold increase down to 50c an hour ($13 an hour). Unions: Step-change of $2.50 an hour ($15 an hour). Labour: $1.25 increase this […]

Double-dip recession on the horizon?

Written By: - Date published: 8:33 am, January 27th, 2010 - 14 comments

Leading US economist and Nobel laureate Paul Krugman sees a 30-40% chance of the US re-rentering recession this year, and the conditions that would cause that would almost certianly be replicated in other countries, including New Zealand, with the same result. More evidence that a second wave of recession may be on its way came […]

Open mike 27/01/2010

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, January 27th, 2010 - 29 comments

Topics of interest, announcements, general discussion. The usual rules apply (see the link to Policy in the banner). Step right up to the mike…

Key admits mistake: Tolley and Groser shuffled out

Written By: - Date published: 6:51 pm, January 26th, 2010 - 44 comments

Today John Key admitted his mistake in two Ministerial portfolio appointments, as two long overdue changes were announced. 1) Chopper Tolley has rightfully been shuffled out of the Tertiary Education portfolio, which goes to Steven Joyce. Tolley’s record has been appalling, most infamously taking a chopper ride to get a “helicopter view” of the AUT […]

Massachusetts not about health care

Written By: - Date published: 1:52 pm, January 26th, 2010 - 39 comments

I’m getting a bit sick of commentary suggesting Republican Scott Brown’s victory in the Massachusetts Senate race was a thumbs down for Obama’s universal health care package. It wasn’t. Health care was not an issue in the Massachusetts senate election. Why? Because in 2006 state-wide health care and coverage was enforced by Massachusetts law. Wikipedia’s […]

Why should the rich get to queue-jump?

Written By: - Date published: 10:41 am, January 26th, 2010 - 141 comments

Rahui Katene is worried that people who can’t afford stomach staplings here (which supposedly cures diabetes, although the evidence is mixed) are getting unsafe surgeries done overseas. The problem is the private health industry. A private stomach stapling costs $28,000. Well beyond the reach of most. Only the well-off can afford it. The result: allocation […]

Campbell and Hooton on do nothing Key

Written By: - Date published: 9:19 am, January 26th, 2010 - 23 comments

I can’t work out how to embed audio alone, so here’s a YouTube of Andrew Campbell and Matthew Hooton on the Key Government. Both agree that this government has done little and doesn’t appear to have a plan. Campbell sums up Key’s record: “The NDU yesterday issued a challenge to the Government to do a […]

You’re not a doctor, Tariana

Written By: - Date published: 7:30 am, January 26th, 2010 - 46 comments

Tariana Turia got her stomach stapled to tackle her diabetes and it seems to have worked. She wants more people to get the operation. If stomach stapling is a cost-effective way to treat diabetes and will prevent the need for other medical care I think that’s great. What I don’t want to see happen is […]

Open mike 26/01/2010

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, January 26th, 2010 - 8 comments

Topics of interest, announcements, general discussion. The usual rules apply (see the link to Policy in the banner). Step right up to the mike…

The power of public condemnation

Written By: - Date published: 3:39 pm, January 25th, 2010 - 23 comments

Phew, that was quick. Yesterday John Kingi writes to us about Club Physical promoting homophobic myths. I publish his email. The same day a 300 member Facebook group pops up, and John’s on NewstalkZB and GayNZ. Today, Club Physical’s apologising. A lot of the righties complained that we shouldn’t have posted this. Suspect that deep down they are sympathetic […]

The danger of pre-writing your narrative

Written By: - Date published: 1:53 pm, January 25th, 2010 - 27 comments

It was clear that the Herald had decided how Ratana would play this year: eveyone loves Key, Goff gets the cold shoulder. It didn’t matter what actually happened, that was going to be the Herald’s narrative: Ratana pats Key on the back Labour gets icy reception at Ratana You would think those headlines had been […]

Labour needs to be firm on tax

Written By: - Date published: 12:48 pm, January 25th, 2010 - 34 comments

Marty did some really excellent work last week on the Tax Working Group’s proposed tax reforms last week, which Zetetic summed up as ‘tax cuts for tax cheats’. I think Marty convincingly showed that slashing the top tax rates with all the benefits going to the rich and paying for it by putting the cost on poor […]

Subsidising Pandora’s box-office

Written By: - Date published: 11:46 am, January 25th, 2010 - 43 comments

 Gerry Brownlee is defending the $45 million tax break the Government gave the makers of Avatar to do most of their special effects work here. “Attracting large budget film productions here offers wider benefits to the economy, including increased opportunities for New Zealanders as well as tourism benefits from having New Zealand locations shown to […]

250,000 jobless and counting

Written By: - Date published: 10:49 am, January 25th, 2010 - 28 comments

Open mike 25/01/2010

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, January 25th, 2010 - 8 comments

Topics of interest, announcements, general discussion. The usual rules apply (see the link to Policy in the banner). Step right up to the mike…

Is Club Physical promoting homophobia?

Written By: - Date published: 1:16 pm, January 24th, 2010 - 115 comments

A reader, John, writes: “I’m a member of Club Physical and I was disgusted to see that in their latest E-newsletter (below) sent out to all their members via email address, they are promoting an article from a fringe website that claims eating soy “makes kids gay”. The mere idea that eating something “makes you gay” […]

The SAS, the media, and Key

Written By: - Date published: 11:53 am, January 24th, 2010 - 50 comments

I don’t think the SAS should be in Afghanistan. That said, there are good reasons why the activities of the SAS on deployment are meant to be kept secret. Both the media and John Key have behaved incredibly irresponsibly. Do the publishing of pictures and the name of Willi Apiata after he apparently took part […]

Open mike 24/01/2010

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, January 24th, 2010 - 18 comments

Topics of interest, announcements, general discussion. The usual rules apply (see the link to Policy in the banner). Step right up to the mike…

Key committed to [insert your priority here]

Written By: - Date published: 1:57 pm, January 23rd, 2010 - 31 comments

Last week: “Prime Minister John Key said the Government’s major theme in 2010 would be improving New Zealand’s economy” Today: “He said his almost exclusive focus this year was to improve educational standards in the country” Next week: An unrelenting focus on whatever you want him to pretend to care about today I guess he can […]


Written By: - Date published: 1:05 pm, January 23rd, 2010 - 25 comments

This is how Health Minister Tony Ryall announced the Government would be appealing the court decision to try to get out of paying people for caring for disabled children:  – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – Better support for family caregivers recommended Press […]

Hide opens door for Winston?

Written By: - Date published: 12:01 pm, January 23rd, 2010 - 14 comments

Eddie has already covered the story of Hide giving the middle finger to the people of Franklin regarding the Supercity. Franklin is Tory heartland. However the current local National MP for Hunua, the underwhelming Dr Paul Hutchinson, has consistently been taken to pieces over his government’s decision to destroy the district. Locals are furious with […]

How media should view polls

Written By: - Date published: 11:30 am, January 23rd, 2010 - 7 comments

Hattip: NickS linking to PhD comics

Tax is the price the elite pay to maintain their privilege

Written By: - Date published: 10:27 am, January 23rd, 2010 - 53 comments

John Roughan asks: “Nearly half of all personal tax revenue is contributed by just 10 per cent of us. Is this socially healthy?” To which I reply: “That 10% get 34% of the country’s income and own 52% of the country’s wealth, compared to the 50% who get 16% of the country’s income and own […]

Open mike 23/01/2010

Written By: - Date published: 8:37 am, January 23rd, 2010 - 21 comments

Topics of interest, announcements, general discussion. The usual rules apply (see the link to Policy in the banner). Step right up to the mike…

Thoughts on Massachusetts

Written By: - Date published: 8:12 am, January 23rd, 2010 - 3 comments

I enjoyed this piece by Jane Young over on Pundit so much I wanted to share: The brain in the White House appears to have been outsmarted by the brawn of a nude centrefold, as Obama’s filibuster-proof Senate number has been whipped away by a man once voted America’s Sexiest Man. You couldn’t make this stuff […]

Questions of trust

Written By: - Date published: 4:30 pm, January 22nd, 2010 - 27 comments

Over at Red Alert Stuart Nash asks whether the details of property developers being investigated by the IRD will be released in the same way Basher Bennett released the benefit details of two solo mums. Bloody good point. I’d also like to know if the details of the fifty percent of the richest 100 people […]

Massive jump in dole numbers – minister washes her hands

Written By: - Date published: 3:32 pm, January 22nd, 2010 - 18 comments

You may remember that late last year John Key, Bill English and Paula Bennett could hardly find the words to praise themselves for the falling numbers on the dole. That was until I pointed out that it was a seasonal dip that always occurs between September and November, and, actually, the seasonally dip over the […]

Wee gripes: work stoppage stats

Written By: - Date published: 2:06 pm, January 22nd, 2010 - 6 comments

NZPA is reporting that there were only four work stoppages in the last September quarter, making eighteen for the 2009 year to September. They then repeat the Stats NZ line that this figure is down on 2008. So good news eh? Fewer strikes means a more contented workforce surely. Except for the fact that the […]

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