Archive for June, 2014

Provincial councils not happy over roads.

Written By: - Date published: 1:38 pm, June 30th, 2014 - 38 comments

National has been sucking billions of dollars out of the provincial road maintenance budgets to throw into “Roads of Significance only to National” since 2009. In the latest round, maintenance costs for roads mostly used by trucks will drop to an average of 52%, with the small populations of ratepayers expected to subsidize trucking firms. Is it any wonder that they’re looking at National’s token gesture  over the weekend with disdain and anger. Meanwhile the urban centres aren’t getting the public transport they need.

Is Bill English’s ‘big data’, Big Brother & privatisation of govt?

Written By: - Date published: 11:00 am, June 30th, 2014 - 135 comments

Bill English has stated that a third term Key government would majorly reform the government’s budgeting & spending.  It’s a major move towards privatisation of public services, & full spectrum digitally-enhanced monitoring of individuals’ lives: especially those of the already demonised and harassed single mothers on benefits.

Local Bodies: Let’s Bring Our Banking Home!

Written By: - Date published: 10:45 am, June 30th, 2014 - 76 comments

In the 1980s and early 90s the wisdom of the day dictated that our Kiwi banks were unsustainable. The buyout by Aussie banks saw huge profits and dividends head across the ditch. Russel Norman revealed an unhealthy relationship between our Reserve Bank and Westpac in an ongoing relationship that hadn’t been tendered for. This will now be tendered for and now there is a possibility for kiwi bank to win the tender. It’s about time we restored some real competition and brought more of our banking home!

Polity: ROPS – Roads of Political Significance

Written By: - Date published: 8:51 am, June 30th, 2014 - 130 comments

National’s announcement yesterday of $212 million for 14 roading projects around regional New Zealand hits a lot of bad notes. I think it is a strategic mistake.  New Zealanders are not used to pork-barreling as naked as this. All but two of the projects are in National-held areas, and those other two are on National’s target list in September. And some are complete clunkers. For instance Nick Smith rerouting SH6 from the rich houses on to the kids going to schools

Pig Farming Expose – A personal perspective

Written By: - Date published: 6:30 am, June 30th, 2014 - 161 comments

Last night the Sunday show screened an expose of a Christchurch pig farm using footage provided by Farmwatch New Zealand. I was part of the investigation which resulted in this show and thought I would provide a more personal perspective on this story. I will also do my best to respond to comments on this […]

Open mike 30/06/2014

Written By: - Date published: 6:21 am, June 30th, 2014 - 264 comments

Open mike is your post. For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose. The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the Policy). Step up to the mike …

David Cunliffe Q+A

Written By: - Date published: 3:09 pm, June 29th, 2014 - 190 comments

David Cunliffe’s question and answer.

Remember this will be fully moderated. Keep your comments short, intelligent, and broadly on topic. David will be here at about 4pm. It’d be good to have your starting comments up by then.

Bryan Gould: An impartial press

Written By: - Date published: 11:25 am, June 29th, 2014 - 34 comments

Ed Miliband is competent, has the support of his party, but has abysmal poll ratings. The right-wing British press has played a significant role. For instance a messy bacon sandwich. In New Zealand, we all know that the British press is notoriously biased and that our own press may have their own allegiances but are reasonably  impartial. Which is why there are some disturbing features about the press treatment of the supposed “scandal” (as it is regularly referred to) of Donghua Liu and David Cunliffe.

The #teamkey personality cult

Written By: - Date published: 9:48 am, June 29th, 2014 - 120 comments

National has unveiled aspects of its 2014 campaign with John Key being a cult like figure and a slogan that makes it sound like National cares for ordinary New Zealanders.

A John Key. With assembly instructions.

Written By: - Date published: 9:06 am, June 29th, 2014 - 11 comments

How to make your very own New Zealand Prime Minister. Even better looking than this vessel.

It’s the season of books & posters: write your own

Written By: - Date published: 7:27 am, June 29th, 2014 - 7 comments

It seems to be the season of books and faux movie posters. Mary-Ellen O’Connor has published a Nats’ cook book. Proceeds of the sales will apparently be donated to the “centre left”.

Open mike 29/06/2014

Written By: - Date published: 7:00 am, June 29th, 2014 - 252 comments

Open mike is your post. For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose. The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the Policy). Step up to the mike …

Caption contest

Written By: - Date published: 2:53 pm, June 28th, 2014 - 79 comments

You know the rules …

John Key: the unwanted gift

Written By: - Date published: 2:26 pm, June 28th, 2014 - 67 comments

On Trademe.

“As new, unwanted gift from a smartarse.

John Key Portrait of a Prime Minister by John Roughan.

Essentially a love letter.

Utter rubbish but may get you out of a jam if you run out of toilet paper.

Proceeds from sale go to fighting poverty.”

Irascible: The Herald and Key duck, scuttle and run as Donghua Liu story loses credibility

Written By: - Date published: 2:19 pm, June 28th, 2014 - 35 comments

John Key - spy vs lie

It looks like the powers that be on the Herald’s editorial board are starting to realise that being a paid shill for the Key owned National Party is not as wise a move as they thought. Particularly as the realisation that the allegations fed from John Key and those around Donghua Liu are proving to be a quicksand that is sucking the already doubtful credibility of the paper as a crusading, principled record of fact away from it.

Local Bodies: Pay Equity, Rod Donald Was Right in 2004

Written By: - Date published: 1:44 pm, June 28th, 2014 - 3 comments

In 2004 Green Party Co-Leader Rod Donald made a speech about the Public Finance (State Sector Management) Bill. Ten years later the State Sector is still not an equitable employer. Pakeha men have done considerably better over the ten years than any other demographic and this is despite the fact that for many years now females have been out performing males academically. Women still earn less relative to their qualifications than men. There is some hope that a future Green/Labour coalition may finally address the issue.

NRT: Fixing Christchurch

Written By: - Date published: 10:53 am, June 28th, 2014 - 5 comments

Labour has announced another part of its package to fix Christchurch: an immediate crash home-building plan. The market has failed, so the government has to step in. Its that simple. As for why the market has failed, there’s the ongoing insurance problems of course, but perhaps this also has something to do with it. Living costs in ChCh are exceeding wages and the construction industry is pocketing the difference. Labour is also changing the rules about exploiting overseas labour.

David Cunliffe two-way on Sunday at 4pm

Written By: - Date published: 10:24 am, June 28th, 2014 - 61 comments

David Cunliffe will be putting up a post on Sunday earlier on Sunday. He will be around for some two way interaction at about 4pm-5pm. It will be similar to the previous session last month. However he has put more time in his schedule.

The reality is we’re pretty relaxed about fixing Christchurch

Written By: - Date published: 9:53 am, June 28th, 2014 - 26 comments

For so many of the people in this still-broken city, they feel that this is a journey which they have been left to walk alone. Too often they find themselves fighting against the state, rather than working with them. One gets the impression that for all the visits and photo ops, Key just doesn’t get the situation down here.

Open mike 28/06/2014

Written By: - Date published: 7:00 am, June 28th, 2014 - 202 comments

Open mike is your post. For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose. The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the Policy). Step up to the mike …

NRT: Who’d have thunk it?

Written By: - Date published: 2:23 pm, June 27th, 2014 - 60 comments

Capital gains tax is now accepted by a more people than who oppose it. But for a policy long considered a “third rail” of New Zealand politics, its a significant shift.  It ought to put paid forever to the idea that parties must go with the flow of public opinion because they are unable to affect it. Weak parties are. But if Labour stops being scared of its own shadow and afraid of its left-wing heritage, it can actually change things, and build the majorities it needs to govern.

The people respond to the Herald Editorial on Donghua Liu

Written By: - Date published: 11:53 am, June 27th, 2014 - 65 comments

Further to lprent’s post this morning there is an avalanche of responses on the Herald website to its Donghua Liu editorial. People are obviously furious and the anger is palpable. And there is a trade me sale of John Key’s book with a very funny series of questions and answers

Polity: Herald editorialisal

Written By: - Date published: 11:51 am, June 27th, 2014 - 8 comments

Once there is real, hard evidence of donations, then Labour can deal with it. Until then, there is nothing. The editorial is titled: “Cries of bias will not stop reporting.” Nobody is asking the Herald to stop reporting. I, for one, would just like to see better reporting. Better doesn’t necessarily mean “more favourable to my preferred political party;” better means “with greater regard for facts and less regard for compromised hearsay.”

NZ Herald: Be journalists, check before ‘reporting’

Written By: - Date published: 9:50 am, June 27th, 2014 - 61 comments

There is a self-serving anonymously authored editorial in the NZ Herald this morning “Editorial: Cries of bias will not stop reporting”.  Well for a start the problem isn’t with the Herald reporting. The journalism on the story has been performed by amateur journalists and facilitated by incompetent editors who didn’t check the story. This probably including whoever wrote this pathetic editorial. It appears to have been an abrupt change from their usual competent style of journalism. Of course the question has to be asked about what caused this change?

Open mike 27/06/2014

Written By: - Date published: 6:52 am, June 27th, 2014 - 348 comments

Open mike is your post. For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose. The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the Policy). Step up to the mike …

NRT: So much for Ruataniwha

Written By: - Date published: 9:08 pm, June 26th, 2014 - 18 comments

Yesterday, the Hawkes Bay Regional Coucil voted to invest $80 million in the Ruataniwha dam. Today, the board of inquiry upheld its resource consent decisions, effectively shitcanning the project. And that, hopefully, is that. Or will HBRC and the farmers demand National pass a law under urgency to allow them to pillage this river, just as they’re doing for the West Coast forests?

Dear John Armstrong

Written By: - Date published: 6:45 pm, June 26th, 2014 - 82 comments

A dear John letter to Herald Columnist John Armstrong.

NRT: Evidence: The NSA is funding the GCSB

Written By: - Date published: 3:02 pm, June 26th, 2014 - 12 comments

Last week, The Intercept published details on the NSA’s programs with partners to tap international communications cables. Most of the article focused on a program which seems to involve Denmark and Germany, with each helping the NSA to spy on the other. But buried in one of the background documents – the US “black budget” for Foreign Partner Access Project – was this titbit. It turns out that second parties in the five eyes program like the GCSB are funded from the USA. So, “our” spies take foreign money to work for a foreign power.

Imperator Fish: My statement to the New Zealand Herald

Written By: - Date published: 2:35 pm, June 26th, 2014 - 14 comments

Scott Yorke writes a statement for Jared Savage at the NZ Herald to conceal while attacking Labour with. As we know Jared will treat this with his usual journalistic caution and therefore briefly read it before publishing. Some of it might be true!!! Labour should be able to prove a negative with no information. That works for that paragon of journalism Cameron Slater, so why should the NZ Herald miss out on the joys of getting headlines out of nothing being verified. In fact the only thing wrong is that the source isn’t National dirty tricks (John Key’s top drawer).

Polity: What tax would Warren Buffet pay in New Zealand?

Written By: - Date published: 1:58 pm, June 26th, 2014 - 14 comments

With the ritual whining from the right about our tax rates in New Zealand now that Labour given aspects of their alternative budget, it pays to consider what the real tax rates for the wealthy here are. Because of our lack of a capital gains tax, we are in the strange position where we would tax a wealthy investor like Warren Buffet a lot less than he is in the USA. Thats outrageous.

John Roughan: NZ Herald’s white elephant

Written By: - Date published: 1:33 pm, June 26th, 2014 - 70 comments

There is one thing that shines through in the coverage of the biography of John Key today. It is by a veteran arselicker of the right – John Roughan, veteran editorial writer and columnist for the NZ Herald. He is someone that have have no respect for because his writing has a short-term approach to Auckland that is more characterised by stupidity and a rabid adherence to National’s partisan campaign needs. Both as an anonymous editorial writer and in his columns.

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