Open mike 01/01/2016

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, January 1st, 2016 - 65 comments
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openmikeOpen 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 …

65 comments on “Open mike 01/01/2016”

  1. Craig H 1

    http://i.stuff.co.nz/good-reads/75523420/Giving-cash-to-the-poor-is-the-best-way-to-fix-poverty

    Surprise surprise – the best way to alleviate poverty is to give cash to the impoverished…

    • millsy 1.1

      Even John Key admits that this is true. (saying the fastest way out of poverty was an income related rent – effectively giving the poor more money).

    • Draco T Bastard 1.2

      Interestingly enough, the best way to get the economy moving is also by giving cash to the poor.

      The opposite is also true.

      • Pat 1.2.1

        one must not do that for the (mostly undeserving) poor will merely fritter it away on non productive items…..we must give it to the rich so they can further increase their (frequently non productive) capital holdings…..the poor are poor for a purpose.

    • Expat 1.3

      Yeah, didn’t they use to do that, give money to the unemployed, to the invalids, the solo parents, I’m sure they used to do that.
      Beneficiaries spend all their income in the local economy, which in turn helps to support employment.
      If there were an equal number of available jobs as there are people looking for work, unemployment would be almost non existent.
      Having a job provides dignity, hope, direction and most importantly, the ability to determine their own future and the future of their children.

      • alwyn 1.3.1

        “Beneficiaries spend all their income in the local economy”
        That would depend on whether you define National Superannuation as a benefit or not. I suggest you take a flight to Europe during the May – August period. At least half the passengers, at least in economy, are clearly in the over 65 bracket, myself and my wife among them.
        “If there were an equal number of available jobs ….”.
        There probably are. The problem is that the skills employers are looking for and the skills of the unemployed don’t align. Whatever you may think of Stephen Joyce his attempts to make tertiary training organisations tell their prospective students what happens to graduates in terms of getting well paid jobs must help try and align the demand and supply of particular skills. Sure it only the first job but that is the most important. What does happen to the plethora of graduates in “media studies”? They can’t all become Baristas can they?

        • Draco T Bastard 1.3.1.1

          “If there were an equal number of available jobs ….”.
          There probably are. The problem is that the skills employers are looking for and the skills of the unemployed don’t align.

          What a load of codswallop. Just after the Christchurch Earthquake there were enough unemployed builders in the country to get in and clean the place up and start the rebuild due to the GFC and general decline in building that that had caused. The problem was that the employers and the insurance companies didn’t want to pay an adequate amount to get them into Christchurch to do it.

          Instead they whinged to the government who then passed legislation allowing even more foreign workers in who weren’t as skilled as the NZ builders that were available. And when those workers got here they got abused by the employers.

          • Craig H 1.3.1.1.1

            Minor correction – legislation normally isn’t changed for most immigration purposes, particularly for categories of visas. The Immigration Act provides for Permanent Resident, Resident, Temporary and Interim visas, and Immigration Instructions then govern the actual categories of visas. Immigration Instructions are set by the Minister of Immigration, although major changes are normally agreed at cabinet level.

            This doesn’t undermine the basic point, though – the government changed the Immigration Instructions to make it easier to get work visas in the Canterbury region.

            • Expat 1.3.1.1.1.1

              Yes, hence, I use the term “Expat”, in 2011 fewer homes were built in NZ than in 1965, this saw a lot Kiwi’s abandon NZ for a “brighter future”.

        • Expat 1.3.1.2

          alwyn, I don’t consider Super recipients beneficiaries (even though they represent a large proportion of the welfare payout) , they have worked all their lives, mostly, and deserve retirement with dignity, how ever it should be means tested, after all isn’t it the user pays system, those who don’t need it shouldn’t get it, were talking about poverty, not trips to Europe on the pension.

          “If there were an equal number of available jobs ….”.
          There probably are.

          If there were, and there isn’t, then you wouldn’t have child poverty as described or 400k people looking for work, you know, headlining in the news.

          Education starts at school, not at tertiary, put the dollars in at the beginning of the process and make sure every child gets the opportunity to reach their potential, since before 2004, NZ was matching the needs of industry with the skills required, uni’s worked with industries to provide the skills industries were looking for, I know this for a fact, having been at uni then. Having worked in Aus, the uni skills in NZ match the needs of employers much more closely than those provided by most Aus uni’s do today. It’s also difficult in terms of changing demand, what’s required today and there is a short fall of, may have changed 5 years later, when all the students are qualifying, not uncommon.

          You probably don’t realise that not every one in the world is only interested in a well paid job, some people actually have things that they stand for and believe in, monetary reward is not the driving factor.

          I used to think Joyce was reasonable sort, but like every thing the Nats have done, he’s as full of shit as the rest of them, full of spin and no substance, just looking for another term, he screwed up in my local electorate in the by election, you know the one “send them a message”.

          When NZ returns to unemployment levels of below 3%, then we will see real prosperity, prosperity for all, that’s when we’ll see real growth in the economy, not growth from external sources like the Asian investment in real estate (globally), a smart economy is one that recognises every one has a part to play.

          When your embedded in philosophical stupidity, it can be hard to see common sense.

          • alwyn 1.3.1.2.1

            “how ever it should be means tested’
            On this I would disagree with you. The effect of means testing National Super can be seen in Australia. There a couple lose any entitlement to the Government provided super if you have assets, excluding a family home, of about $0.823 million. If they have less than $0.3 million they get about $35,000/year
            For most people to actually save up $800,000 requires a massive sacrifice during their working life. If you do so you then find that you can’t even get enough of a return from your savings to even match the level of the super. You can’t really get a return of $35,000 from your extra half million of savings can you?
            Most people seem to take the view that they are not even going to try. The also tend to buy McMansions, homes that are far larger than their real needs but which don’t have to be counted in the asset test. Do we really want that here?

            “400k people looking for work, you know, headlining in the news. ”
            Where do you get this figure from? I’ve never seen numbers at anything like that level. It would be an unemployment rate of about 14%.

            “since before 2004, NZ was matching the needs of industry with the skills required”.
            I am not sure we were doing it as late as that that we were doing so. What I find so difficult to accept is that there is very little push for people to go into trades. You can have a very satisfying and successful life as an electrician, a carpenter, a panel beater or a plumber (excluding clearing a blocked sewer of course). We have just about lost the apprenticeship system apparently with the continued expansion of the full time education system. That seems to be more in providing jobs for the educators than the young students.

            “may have changed 5 years later, when all the students are qualifying”
            As I have said above. Why do so many occupations seem to need such enormous training times? When I was at varsity a degree typically took three years and that was the peak of the education system.

            “not every one in the world is only interested in a well paid job”.
            Quite true but an awful lot who say they are interested in going where their muse leads them expect to get paid a very large income anyway. If they can’t get anyone to pay them for work they do they demand the income anyway. Let the taxpayer provide is the motto. I would like to be an artist, and sell pictures for the sort of sum a McCahon fetches but I am willing to accept that I’m not very good and it isn’t going to happen

            • Expat 1.3.1.2.1.1

              alwyn, You didn’t consider what I wrote,” those who don’t need it shouldn’t get it” that’s fair isn’t it.

              Regarding Aus pensioner entitlements, Australia has had an employer funded super scheme since the mid 80s, pensioners now retiring have accumulated more than $1.5m on average, some considerably more, and yes their family home is excluded from means testing (if they live in a major city it is probably worth more than $1.5m) the govt is in the process of redefining the means testing where around 300k pensioners will either lose it completely or it will be reduced, don’t forget, in Aus the wages and salaries are much higher, and the employers, out of their own pocket pay 9.5% of the emploees gross wage into a super fund for all employees, most super investments are returning between 8 & 12%, the govt is not taking any money from pensioners that have assets of less than $2m.
              In NZ, where is the super scheme that will provide for the retirement of the aging population, Cullen put a lot of money into the future retirement scheme, but this dick govt doesn’t seem to understand the huge long term economic benefits of having the employer contribute a reasonable amount, in fact the govt hasn’t contributed at all in 6 years, and I believe whittled the fund down. They have a very short sighted economic ideology.

              There is a great difference between Aus and NZ in the Tax system as well which hugely benefits low income earners, for instance, the first $18,200 is tax free for every one, no matter what you earn, this policy tends to be good for both workers and the economy, GST is only 10% and is only collected on 47% of all goods and services, unlike the wrought in NZ where you pay 15% on 97% of all goods and services, only country in the world.
              that does that, some countries have a much higher rate but much lower % of Goods and services. Even petrol tax is vastly less than in NZ, currently 91 fuel is selling at around $1.02 p/litre. The bad side of tax is the stamp duty on real estate sales avg $45,00, payroll tax of 5% and tax on insurance policies.

              The number of people looking for work was referred from a post on TDB form Martyn Bradbury recently where of number of graphs were displayed showing the current number of people on benefits (50k), official unemployed (239k) and people looking for work over 350k. These graphs covered a period of around 12 years, clearly showing the govt is now paying a benefit of the lowest ratio ever, around 20%, disgusting.

              Over the last 20 years I have seen skill shortages in all sorts of vocations and have even benefited my self from those shortages, from lawyers to sparkies to health workers, they generally only last a few years, by which time the new trainees are then in a surplus.

              The younger generation does tend to think society owes them a large salary for doing next to nothing, how ever reality soon catches up with them.

              • alwyn

                I based my comments on the Australian Government pension on this.
                http://www.superguide.com.au/smsfs/300000-retired-australians-to-lose-some-or-all-age-pension-entitlements
                That was where I got the bit about losing it all if you have more than $823,000.
                “Australians currently receiving a PART Age Pension and holding more than $823,000 in assets (excluding the family home) can expect to lose all PART Age pension entitlements.”
                And from here, and from talking to some of my Australian friends (I used to live there and still visit) the thing about buying McMansions.
                ” For many Australians there will be an incentive to restructure or sell down assets to ensure they don’t end up on a lower income than those receiving a FULL or PART Age Pension.”
                As far as not getting it if you don’t need it, it sounds very nice but isn’t terribly realistic in the current environment of very low interest rates we have. You need about a million dollars in term deposits to match the current married couple super rates.
                I read recently that you are in the top 1% of net wealth households in New Zealand if you have a net wealth of about $1.5 million. That includes the equity you have in your house. That is all households of course, not just pensioners. How many people are likely to be excluded on the grounds they don’t need it?
                As an aside the quickest way to get a letter from Bob Jones in the paper is to suggest in a newspaper article or letter that he gets National Super. There will be a response the next day that he never has and never will ask for it.
                You also propose that “most super investments are returning between 8 & 12%”. That I find, in today’ environment impossible to believe. I can’t do anything like that consistently and I am both very good at it and don’t have to worry about fees or taxes. If you can tell me anyone who produced, over the last 8 years say, better than 8% after fees and taxes I will happily pass over my investments.
                I’m not sure what the statement ” the govt is not taking any money from pensioners that have assets of less than $2m.” means. It is certainly taking away their Government Super.

                • Expat

                  The Aus govt is cracking down on wealthy pensioners, the 300k are only 1% of the total pensioners receiving a pension, there are also other loopholes that are being abused by these wealthy pensioners which will probably get closed.

                  Moving on, do you think it is fair to pay the pension to people who have an income stream of more than $100k p/a? , I don’t, but that’s only my opinion.

                  My Super is with Australian Super, and returned 10% last year and 2 years ago, it was 12%, in their prospectus they state that over the last 20yrs the avg return has been 9.8%, Australian Super is an industry super with very low fees, it is a non profit organisation.

                  You’re right about the low interest rates currently affecting retirees incomes, especially if the investments are with a savings type scheme, but it’s the same for every one out there with investments, you have to take the good with the bad.

                  • alwyn

                    A few minor comments and then I think I have run out of ideas.
                    I think you have got a decimal point wrong in ” 300k are only 1% of the total pensioners receiving a pension”. That implies there are 30 million pensioners in a population of about 22 million.

                    “income stream of more than $100k p/a?” Emotionally I say no it isn’t. However I suspect that there are very few of them. When you consider your super decisions you have to look very long term, at least 20 years before retirement and the only essential thing is certainty. The New Zealand approach does guarantee certainty and people are able to plan what they will do. They don’t have the Australian situation where the rules get changed on you when it is to late to do anything much about it. Where you get uncertainty people tend do say “bugger it” and do only what the law requires.

                    “returned 10% last year” They are doing well. I wonder how much is invested in the US, and they are riding on the back of the massive rise in the US dollar from buying about $A0.98 in 2013 to about $A1.37 today. That can really make returns look good, although you don’t want the fall to continue.

                    Incidentally it is very nice to be able to have a discussion where opinions and ideas can be debated in a civilized manner without comments like “you’re a psychopath” or “you are just a dickhead”.

                    • Incognito

                      ”Incidentally it is very nice to be able to have a discussion where opinions and ideas can be debated in a civilized manner without comments like “you’re a psychopath” or “you are just a dickhead”.”

                      QFT

  2. millsy 2

    Happy new year all.

    Some predictions…(reposed from last night)

    1) Phil Goff will win the Auckland Mayoralty, but the centre right will gain a majority on the council. However several radical young progressive will end with council seats on the ‘left’ side

    2) Labour will hold Mt Roskill, but with a lessened majority

    3) National/John Key will hold steady in the polls for most of the year, but will start declining in the last half of 2016, Labour will steadily crawl up.

    4) A prominent business leader will announce that they will stand for Parliament in 2017, but it would be for a party we didnt quite expect…

    5) Free healthcare will be extended to under 18’s but will be paid for by cutting subsidies for doctors visits for the rest of us.

    6) The government will announce plans for a Royal Commission on the future of National Superannuation.

    7) The RBNZ will increase the OCR in the December quarter.

    8) An incident will occur that will sow the seeds for a 1951/1981 style confrontation in 2017.

    9) John Key will announce he will be standing for a 4th term, but will not be standing in 2020.

    10) John Tamihere will become new leader of the Conservative Party.

    • weka 2.1

      Happy New Year to you too millsy.

      Interesting list.

      4) A prominent business leader will announce that they will stand for Parliament in 2017, but it would be for a party we didnt quite expect…

      8) An incident will occur that will sow the seeds for a 1951/1981 style confrontation in 2017.

      Are those generalised predictions or do you have something more specific in mind?

      • millsy 2.1.1

        Yeah, they are kinda generalised, I dont have any one or anything in mind at the moment, but I see a range of possibles and probables.

    • alwyn 2.2

      I like one of Toby Manhire’s predictions in the Herald

      “14 A newsreader will accidentally describe the Super City mayoral election as “Auckland’s choice – Cough or Groan”.”

      Sounds most appropriate to me.

  3. greywarshark 3

    Heard Jokey hen on RADIONZ this morning but didn’t know it. Some political hack was giving his opinion on the Northland by election. It was Key. Sounded thoroughly versed in all the political moves involved in the electorate choosing the MP.

    But there was no indication of giving a Speech from the throne (or should I say the comfy chair) about bright new policies for lifting the lives of those allocated space in the dinghy being towed behind The Luxury Yacht. There is always that dark thought – ‘Will they cut the connecting rope’ and then turn to their companions with the Goon quote in a high-pitched voice ‘They’ve fallen in the water”. The Australians did that to people they didn’t want who came from far away, now they are doing similar to neighbour NZrs they have decided they don’t want, and we are great adopters and adapters.

    • millsy 3.1

      One day those in the dinghy will sneak over to the luxury yacht and (this will probably get me banned) those on it.

  4. greywarshark 4

    Why are Greenpeace news summaries on the right being repeated. Two different posts showing as four takes up space in that column.

    • weka 4.1

      I think if a post or news article gets edited after it’s published (eg by Greenpeace) it will reappear in everyone’s RSS feeds again. It’s not unusual to see posts twice in the standard’s feed list.

  5. millsy 5

    Oh…and I forgot one more prediction..

    New Zealanders, especially the bottom 40-50% will continue to drown in a sea of low wages, high rents and high power prices, while the government, media and industry leaders continue to deny that there is a problem.

  6. Paul 6

    Dubai sets off spectacular fireworks as the Address Hotel burns right next to it.
    What a metaphor for the world in 2016.

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CXlOsw6UoAAiu42.jpg
    #DubaiFire

    • millsy 6.1

      A real-life “Towering Inferno”.

      Doesnt look like anyone got killed through thankfully. Hopefully fire services from around the world will study the techniques used to fight it.

  7. johnm 7

    A penetrating insight into how U$ neoliberalism and the market rules have destroyed a once prosperous optimistic society. Applies to us as well.

    America Is Being Destroyed By Problems That Are Unaddressed — Paul Craig Roberts

    ” Among the capitalist themselves and their shills among the libertarian ideologues, who are correct about the abuse of government power but less concerned with the abuse of private power, the capitalist greed that is destroying families and the economy is regarded as the road to progress. By distrusting government regulators of private misbehavior, libertarians provided the cover for the repeal of the financial regulation that made American capitalism functional. Today dysfunctional capitalism rules, thanks to greed and libertarian ideology. ”

    http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2015/12/30/america-is-being-destroyed-by-problems-that-are-unaddressed-paul-craig-roberts/

    • Draco T Bastard 7.1

      +1

      Great article and much of it does apply to NZ.

      Historically, capitalism was justified on the grounds that it guaranteed the efficient use of society’s resources. Profits were a sign that resources were being used to maximize social welfare, and losses were a sign of inefficient resource use, which was corrected by the firm going out of business. This is no longer the case when the economic policy of a country serves to protect financial institutions that are “too big to fail” and when profits reflect the relocation abroad of US GDP as a result of jobs offshoring. Clearly, American capitalism no longer serves society, and the worsening distribution of income and wealth prove it.

      None of these serious problems will be addressed by the presidential candidates, and no party’s platform will consist of a rescue plan for America. Unbridled greed, short-term in nature, will continue to drive America into the ground.

    • Draco T Bastard 8.1

      +1

      Excellent point.

    • Andre 8.2

      And yet the fuckwit deniers in the comments still trot out their delusions.
      …18 years…
      …sunspots…
      …conspiracy to get funding…

      Every single one of them.

      • Paul 8.2.1

        And those deniers include prominent opinion formers like Hosking and Leighton Smith.

      • Macro 8.2.2

        Yep! I noted that too and shook my head. Such is the state of the country that sees itself as the leader of the free world. I really wonder if we are heading not only into a new feudal age but also a new dark age – such is the ignorance of so many noisemakers.

  8. 2016 has started. At least here in New Zealand but it will be only 45 minutes to reach Europe.

    2015 has been an annus horribilus for me and mine. Loss of health, job, career for my husband, the death of my mother in law and 5 people I knew in varying degrees, who died of cancer or suicide. These years happen to all of us and how we get over them is what defines us.

    I woke up in this new year feeling hopeful for myself and my husband of 28 years. We will get through this somehow. We have much to look forward too. We have tools and skills and a safe income for now.

    But many have not. If you are born in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Yemen, Syria, Ukraine, your country has been destroyed, you may have loved ones who were killed in the mayhem the West foisted upon your country. You may have decided to got to countries who were not at war only to find that the people there did not want to know.

    If you are one of the people who lost their jobs, ended up on a no hour contract in a city with a housing bubble you may have found yourself living in a car with your family while the prime minister flew out to celebrate a gluttonous Christmas with his family in Hawaii. You may have been one of the people who were shunned by a healthcare system under pressure to make profit or is underfunded and you are on a waiting list for a lifesaving operation.

    To be quite honest, I don’t know how people in those situations cope. I can barely cope in the situation we are in so to have no help and be exposed to the brutality of war, famine, poverty is a hell I can only envision in my blackest dreams of fear and despair.

    I realize it could and still can so very easily be me. As the saying goes: There for the grace of God go I.

    Whether you believe in a divine being or not, chance or a bit of luck is a very real occurrence. For people like John Key to claim that poor, sick, young, old people only have themselves to blame for making bad lifestyle choices is barbaric, cruel and callous and my hope for this year is that while one of the blackest economic, spiritual, financial, military storms to ever hit humanity is upon us we will find our common humanity and resist the utter depravity we are being confronted with and that we will be able to share the abundance in our lives with the people around us who do not.

    May you all have peace. love and comfort in this new year.

    • Ad 9.1

      Ev, mine wasn’t as bad as yours, but it was there or thereabouts.

      I know of few people who had good years in 2015. For many, a disaster as you describe.

      I don’t mind a degree of global context to help perspective, but sometimes suffering is what it is.

      And sometimes, instead of making resolutions, mere resolution is enough. Completely agree with your will to find common humanity.

      Not sure if people understand TS has a real function in just communing over the unnecessary damage of life that poor government brings.

      Here’s to a fresh one.

    • sorry that you and yours have had a hard year.

      “my hope for this year is that while one of the blackest economic, spiritual, financial, military storms to ever hit humanity is upon us we will find our common humanity and resist the utter depravity we are being confronted with and that we will be able to share the abundance in our lives with the people around us who do not.”

      I hope that too ev – kia kaha

    • kenny 9.3

      Well said Traveller, and don’t forget Justice, for without Justice life is always a lot harder.

    • greywarshark 9.4

      Good wishes to you also travellerev. Had a bad news, good news book once. Seeing so much bad has happened I bet that the next page will produce something sweet that can be enjoyed for a time before the next hopefully, smaller problem arises. A wee boost can be amazing in helping over the rough bits. I wish you lots of little good bits this year.

  9. thechangeling 10

    +1. When are people who voted for Key going to wake up to all the rubbish and lies he promotes? How long can an avalanche be ignored?

  10. Manuka AOR 11

    Thank you for what you have written.

    “For people like John Key to claim that poor, sick, young, old people only have themselves to blame for making bad lifestyle choices is barbaric, cruel and callous and my hope for this year is that while one of the blackest economic, spiritual, financial, military storms to ever hit humanity is upon us we will find our common humanity and resist the utter depravity we are being confronted with and that we will be able to share the abundance in our lives with the people around us who do not.”

    I hope that for this year too, and that it leads to the ousting of this bunch of usurpers.

  11. Wayne 12

    These comments don’t really square with today’s Herald editorial, which I suggest more accurately reflects the mood of the majority of New Zealanders than many of the typical comments on The Standard.

    Some commenters seem to view New Zealand as some terrible place that is so bad that it is amazing it actually is seen by anyone as a first world nation. But at least as I see it New Zealand is actually doing pretty well. But it could obviously be better.

    It should be easier for young New Zealanders, especially in Auckland, to buy their first home.

    However, employment prospects are very good when compared to most other first world nations, even with annual immigration adding many tens of thousands of people looking for work. When it come to our health system and education system we stack up really well. I have had enough experience of both to know the truth of that.

    So Standardnista’s are going to have to do a better job than they have if they want to persuade New Zealanders to change their votes in 2017. Trying to paint a picture that New Zealand is a South Pacific hellhole that only a change of government can fix will not work – it simply lacks credibility with most New Zealanders.

    Perhaps being more optimistic, with an appealing modern alternative would be a better approach. It worked for Trudeau this last year, and in 2008 it worked for Obama.

    • Anne 12.1

      Some commenters seem to view New Zealand as some terrible place that is so bad that it is amazing it actually is seen by anyone as a first world nation.

      Trying to paint a picture that New Zealand is a South Pacific hellhole that only a change of government can fix…

      That’s bullshit Wayne and you know it. What you have done is transpose the comments coming from a minority of commenters onto the shoulders of the majority. It won’t work – not for those who regularly read TS and according to the figures there are many thousands who do. Add to that your amnesiac condition… because I recall the daily screams of anguish and horror coming from Her Majesty’s NZ Opposition between 1999 and 2008 over ‘imagined’ government conduct that was subsequently proven to be false – something that isn’t going to happen when the clandestine conduct of Her Majesty’s current NZ government is finally revealed.

      • Draco T Bastard 12.1.1

        +1

      • Manuka AOR 12.1.2

        “when the clandestine conduct of Her Majesty’s current NZ government is finally revealed.”
        Indeed. Just for starters, this from Bryce Edwards:
        “The integrity of governance of any society is dependent on numerous pillars that hold up democracy. Akin to an old roman temple, important institutions such as the Official Information Act, public servants and watchdogs act as the foundations of a corruption-free society.

        “But in 2015 it became apparent that some of the pillars of New Zealand’s governing arrangements have eroded, making democracy less stable. There have been apparent failings in the OIA regime, transparency of Government ministers and departments, murky deals struck and clampdowns on attempts to get accountability.” http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11561446

        • greywarshark 12.1.2.1

          This from Wayne –
          So Standardnista’s are going to have to do a better job than they have if they want to persuade New Zealanders to change their votes in 2017. Trying to paint a picture that New Zealand is a South Pacific hellhole that only a change of government can fix will not work – it simply lacks credibility with most New Zealanders.
          Perhaps being more optimistic, with an appealing modern alternative would be a better approach.

          Your Nasty PR machine already turns out plenty of soft soapy bubbles Wayne. If nobody speaks up for the impoverished who definitely are not getting a fair deal from the government, then they will be further left to rot. Certainly if Dr Wayne Mapp has his choice. Probably sticks transfers of his favourite places on his spectacle lenses to avoid seeing the hoi polloi and gets an exciting frisson from the rough TS types with their loud uncouth claims that everything in NZ isn’t rosy.

          By the way has that been invented yet – lenses that can be fed vistas chosen by the wearer? They would have to form a soft frame round the central viewing area, but they will definitely be invented soon as an aid to the wealthy. All those very plain, ugly, not cool people will fade out of sight man!

          Here is a ditty of the happy working man of yore hic! for Sir Wayne (to be).

          Listen to Will Fyffe telling it like it is after a couple of drinks on a Shaterday in Glasgow. That was in the good old days (when there was regular, well paid work) – they ain’t good old days in NZ now.

    • Andre 12.3

      Gosh, Wayne. You appear to be giving a bunch of lefties advice on how to win the next election. And for free, even! Why on earth would you want to do that?

    • Paul 12.4

      The Herald is a tabloid rag representing the interests of the 1%.
      John Roughan, who writes the Herald’s editorials, also wrote the hagiography of Key.
      Your spinning is just a bit too obvious.

    • Paul 12.5

      Obama did not offer an alternative.
      Ask the people of Detroit, Baghdad, Kabul, Baltimore, Damascus and Ferguson, Missouri.

    • One Two 12.6

      and it worked for Obama in 2008

      Obama lied and deceived so well they gave him a Nobel Peace prize like some ‘free pass’ to continue and expand the wars. Which he did and will continue to do

      That you’re an advocate for liars fits well with your comnents here, and your performance in government…

    • millsy 12.7

      OK Wayne, I agree there are a lot of people out there that are doing OK. But there are also a lot of people out there who are just hanging in there, and a lot of New Zealanders doing it rough.

      Incomes are bugger all for a lot of people, and things like accomodation and utilities are very expensive. Education and health have huge amounts of user pays built into them, such as ‘donations’ and subject fees, while doctors visits and prescriptions are getting expensive.

      Perhaps if you ventured out of your ivory tower for once, and had a bit of a tour round the boarding houses and motor camps of Auckland, you will get a different story.

      • Paul 12.7.1

        7 replies to Wayne so far and not one reply.
        The manners of these trolls, I tell you.

        • millsy 12.7.1.1

          He is in complete denial about what is happening in this country. I guess that is what having heaps of money and not wondering whether to pay the power bill or buy groceries does to you. He probably probably has about $100,000 in the bank at any one time, so its probably the equivalent of losing a 20c piece down the back of the couch.

    • Ad 12.8

      6.5% unemployed and rising.

      We’re not running the country – National is.
      So take your own advice before giving it.

    • Expat 12.9

      Hey Wayne, you’r a wanker, stop believing the bullshit presented to you by the MSM, the herald has absolutely no credibility at all, none what so ever, the editor of the herald has to be the dumbest bastard that I’ve come across for a long time, and it’s people like you willing to believe the total bullshit that this guy spews, that it’s disappointing to see how ignorant some Kiwi’s really are.

      Unfortunately, Trudeau wasn’t voted in, the other idiot was voted out, hopefully this will occur in 2017.

  12. Ovid 13

    Happy New Year, everyone. Here’s Charlie Brooker’s look-back on 2015.

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