Archive for June, 2011

In other news

Written By: - Date published: 8:59 am, June 25th, 2011 - 14 comments

The spotlight was on Christchurch last week, and will be on Te Tai Tokerau over the weekend.  Lots of stories are slipping by under the radar.  But here are a couple of  pieces that deserve further comment.

Open mike 25/06/2011

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, June 25th, 2011 - 56 comments

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…

Rule by rentiers

Written By: - Date published: 8:44 pm, June 24th, 2011 - 31 comments

Fascinating column by Paul Krugman in the NYT. America’s growth is slowing, and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernancke has just anounced that he doesn’t understand why the recession is going on so long. Krugman’s focus is on employment, and he says that policy makers are catering almost exclusively to the interests of rentiers — those who derive lots of income from assets, who lent large sums of money in the past, often unwisely, but are now being protected from loss at everyone else’s expense. Sounds familiar here too – tax cuts at the top and asset sales to benefit the NZX.

Godwin the EQC

Written By: - Date published: 4:43 pm, June 24th, 2011 - 12 comments

Sometimes you have to simply start from 1.0 for Godwin’s Law. This pretty much applies to anything re-subtitled from the movie “Der Untergang”. The latest one that I have seen is this side splitting rendition of exactly what has been going on inside the EQC operation in Christchurch.

Schrödinger’s Prime Minister

Written By: - Date published: 2:13 pm, June 24th, 2011 - 5 comments

No Right Turn on John Key’s confusion over Pike River.  The flip flopping PM at his finest.

Weekend social 24/06/2011

Written By: - Date published: 2:00 pm, June 24th, 2011 - 5 comments

Weekend social is for non political chat. What’s on for the weekend, gigs, film or book reviews, sports, or whatever. No politics, no aggro, why can’t we all just get along?

That’s it?

Written By: - Date published: 12:22 pm, June 24th, 2011 - 10 comments

Amazing what political pressure can do. Christchurch package was clearly put together in the space of a couple of days. Buy-out at GV the obvious basic solution but will see many out of pocket. Option 2 is an admission of that but only open to some. None of the fish-hooks have been worked out. What’s Gerry been doing all this time?

Farrar’s tax cut chicanery

Written By: - Date published: 10:58 am, June 24th, 2011 - 98 comments

The National Research unit has created National pollster David Farrar has taken time out of his holiday to create a graph showing the reduction in tax across incomes. Supposedly it shows National’s tax cuts weren’t for the rich after all – we just imagined it! But the research unit Farrar have avoided some inconvenient facts.

Are you a Key person?

Written By: - Date published: 9:21 am, June 24th, 2011 - 56 comments

What about: ‘see ya, I’m off to India’?

Christchurch offer roundup

Written By: - Date published: 7:15 am, June 24th, 2011 - 69 comments

The buy out offer comes as a relief for many (but not all) of the red zone residents.  Twice as many are still in limbo.  The fate of the uninsured will be a major issue.  Is an uninsured resident of Avonside any less deserving of government help than an investor in a dodgy finance company?

Alasdair Thompson lolz

Written By: - Date published: 6:03 am, June 24th, 2011 - 33 comments

Your morning Facebook-related Alasdair Thompson lolz.

This man is pure comedy gold.

Open mike 24/06/2011

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, June 24th, 2011 - 35 comments

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…

If it quacks like a sexist duck…

Written By: - Date published: 8:32 pm, June 23rd, 2011 - 125 comments

Sure Alisdair Thompson’s comments today were sexist.

But they were also so dumb it’s hard to be offended.

Queen of Thorns explains

Christchurch annoucement

Written By: - Date published: 12:30 pm, June 23rd, 2011 - 134 comments

Eddie called it. Christchurch announcement is today. There are very high hopes. Points to watch: how many in the ‘don’t know’ category & are payouts at pre-quake market values? Notable release is this afternoon just before Key leaves. Makes it difficult to get reaction from residents in time for TV news and follow-up with Key. This post will be updated after release.

Chart ‘o the day: Warming is over

Written By: - Date published: 9:51 am, June 23rd, 2011 - 77 comments

The Christchurch Solution – Part 1

Written By: - Date published: 6:15 am, June 23rd, 2011 - 56 comments

The main details of the government’s plan for the worst affected Christchurch suburbs have been release via TV3.  Partly good, partly bad, partly ugly.  While some families will be relieved and happy, others will be angry, and still more will remain in limbo.  This is only the start of what is going to be a hugely complicated process.

Open mike 23/06/2011

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, June 23rd, 2011 - 96 comments

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…

Supreme Court 5-4 for WalMart in gender pay class action suit

Written By: - Date published: 10:34 pm, June 22nd, 2011 - 12 comments

The Supreme Court threw out a class action suit against WalMart alleging gender discrimination on a technicality – that the women had not proved that they were a deserving class for the purpose of the law. Reagan-Bush judges Scalia, Thomas, Kennedy, Alito and Roberts voted for WalMart; Clinton-Obama judges Ginsburg, Breyer, Sotomayor and Kagan for the women. This one will be back, that’s for sure.

A gutless strategy

Written By: - Date published: 9:07 pm, June 22nd, 2011 - 41 comments

Key is due to fly in to help announce the bad news in Christchurch tomorrow only to fly straight out to India the next day.

It’s seems the timing is all about keeping Key’s brand away from the bad news – he’ll do the sombre announcement and then leave others to deal with the fall out.

Gutless.

River of Kiwis now flood to Oz

Written By: - Date published: 2:29 pm, June 22nd, 2011 - 55 comments

3300 Kiwis left for Australia last month, breaking a 32-year-old record. Remember when John Key promised to stop the flow of Kiwis across the Tasman? Well, now it’s a flood…

[and mostly it’s not from Christchurch either]

Chart o’ the day: getting the hell out of dodge

Written By: - Date published: 11:43 am, June 22nd, 2011 - 18 comments

Turia on Te Tai Tokerau

Written By: - Date published: 10:37 am, June 22nd, 2011 - 25 comments

Were Tariana Turia’s comments on her own candidate in the Te Tai Tokerau by-election some kind of cunning plan, or just a simple stuff-up?

Round 3 in the Eastern – one week on

Written By: - Date published: 8:30 am, June 22nd, 2011 - 62 comments

After another terrible night in Christchurch, guest poster Andy-Roo writes about life on the ground in East Christchurch.

Pay $4K or they sell our assets overseas

Written By: - Date published: 6:29 am, June 22nd, 2011 - 134 comments

David Cunliffe has done the maths. National wants to sell $6.8 billion worth of assets and it says they would be bought up by ‘mums and dads’. How much would each household have to invest to keep hold of the assets we already own? Over $4,000. Have you got that kind of money lying around to buy what you already own? Me neither.

Open mike 22/06/2011

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, June 22nd, 2011 - 42 comments

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…

Dutch disease

Written By: - Date published: 5:10 pm, June 21st, 2011 - 68 comments

No it’s not a virus. It’s our dollar surfing on a dumper. Gareth Morgan and Neville Bennett have both written about it recently. Bennett says “There is increasing evidence that New Zealand is ailing. The symptoms are a high exchange rate, excessive foreign debt and a decline of the manufacturing sector.” The resulting damage if nothing is done, says Morgan, is  “a hollowing out of our non-commodity producing businesses, no correction in our household savings rate and in time, a balance of payments/external debt crisis as those factors conspire.” Bennett is not in the camp of those who say nothing can be done and offers some ideas backed up by the IMF. We need more thinking like that.

“There Once was an Island” in theatres this week

Written By: - Date published: 1:57 pm, June 21st, 2011 - 14 comments

My producer partner Lyn is back from Eire and has a theatrical release of their documentary underway in NZ. Director Briar March and producer Lyn Collie, along with two Australasian earth scientists specializing in oceanography and geomorphology looked at the effects of a rising sea levels and changing climate patterns are having on the people of the small Polynesian atoll Takuu in Papua New Guinea. Well worth watching on the big screen while you can.

The buck stops with Gerry

Written By: - Date published: 12:33 pm, June 21st, 2011 - 9 comments

Every day more stories of the poor management of the Christchurch recovery are coming out. Delays in physical rebuilding are understandable. Delays in EQC payouts are another. They undermine the city’s economy and stop rebuilding. A reader has sent in their story. It’s one of many. Brownlee should have sorted this months ago.

Caption Contest

Written By: - Date published: 11:00 am, June 21st, 2011 - 34 comments

Dunedin public meeting tomorrow

Written By: - Date published: 9:56 am, June 21st, 2011 - 63 comments

Up to forty jobs are at risk at Dunedin’s Hillside Railway Workshops, because the government would rather send money to China than invest in Kiwi jobs and industry.  It’s crazy.  Come along to the public meeting tomorrow Wednesday at 7pm.

Polls and people

Written By: - Date published: 7:25 am, June 21st, 2011 - 27 comments

The Roy Morgan Polls are all over the place, at the moment, and the latest one has the Left at the bottom of the roller coaster.  In other news, the Readers Digest survey of most trusted individuals, which this year is dominated by scientists!

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